Tuesday, January 19, 2010


You can see the mountains of the Highlands just off the point. They're streaked with vibrant white snow giving them a beauty that's almost indescribable. You can see them quite clearly all the way to Smokey Mountain. This sight is not always possible because of fog, mist, or just poor environmental conditions, but the thing is you can see them now with absolute clarity. My wife mentioned it to me the other day, and pointed out that in all the time we have lived here, she has never seen them in such detail. Maybe it was just that week, but this is a few times now that we've witnessed this awe-inspiring vista. Perhaps the atmosphere is clearing up, don't know, but It's quite beautiful.

I like winter. I don't think I'm alone in this. I like the cool, crisp air; the crunch of snow under foot; the snugginess at home on a blustery night watching a movie or reading a good book; the sense of survival or hibernation or shelter from the fierce elements. You don't want to go out in that, skin can freeze quickly. What I don't like is the wind---the Nor'easter. God, it blows; it blows hard making a groaning noise that no matter what I do, I can still hear it. As the saying goes, that wind will blow right through you. My wife knows of my uneasiness with this wicked wind, but doesn't bring it up as an issue. Sometimes, when she decides to go to bed early, leaving me quietly puttering around the house, and the Nor'easter arrives and announces its presence with a soulful groan and a threatening moan, I will join her, usually waking her up. "The wind", I'll say, in a distracted way. "I know, dear", she'll reply putting her arms around me. Hey, we all have our weaknesses. Mine's the North East wind.

My wife finished reading Stephen King's UNDER THE DOME---all 12 hundred pages of it---and I can't seem to get a decent response form her about this novel. I read a review saying that this novel was the absolute best book King has ever written. I wanted to know if she agreed, but all I get is that it was good and entertaining but definitely not his best. So I guess that's all I can offer on it. I don't think I will read it---I'll wait for the movie.
I'm now reading BEFORE THE BIG BAND by Brian Clegg. I'm beginning to believe, from reading this book, that scientists, especially cosmologists, astrophysicists, etc, are a strange lot. More about that in another post.

I read GALORE by Michael Crummey, and I must say I really enjoyed it, overall. Michael Crummey is a Newfoundland writer whose first novel THE RIVER THIEVES almost won the Giller last year( Did I ever tell you that I don't like that prize?). Crummey is an excellent writer. I was amazed at his writing skill, and his imagination. Outlandish, vibrant characters; fantastical, unreal world; unworldly events make up this amazing novel which all takes place in a small rural village in Newfoundland. The humour is actually laugh out loud.

The novel spans over four generations of families in this area, and details all their relationships and foibles. Amazing! But(You knew it was coming, didn't you?) I rarely read novels of family generations spanning hundreds of years. I just don't like them, usually. My wife loves these kinds of novels, though, and wants to read it next. I find I get a bit confused about who is who and who belongs to who and who did what to who in such novels. But Crummey actually has a diagram/family tree at the front of the book where you can check to see where all the characters belong in this story. I checked it often. Good novel, check it out.

Next: The universe and everything

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