Freezing rain and snow this morning. I'm sorry this Blog seems to have turned into a weather report, but so much of life here is determined by the weather! Canadians seem especially tuned in to the caprice and whimsy of nature. And they suck up every drop of summer they can while they have the chance. That is one of the things that really struck me when I first moved to Canada -- Canadians are always outdoors! They all seem to be avid gardeners, hikers, dirt-bikers, boaters, skiers, tennis players... Whenever I talk to a neighbour or colleague, they've just returned from a weekend on the Bruce Trail or canoeing on a lake. Gangs of neighbourhood kids congregate by some unspoken agreement to kick soccer balls around the field or ride their bikes around the park. The teenagers down the block play cricket or ball hockey in the street. On any warm weekend you will find a thousand people, literally, in Erindale Park picnicking by the river. It's impressive.
On the other hand, I've never seen a people more keen on reading, either. When winter drives us back indoors, Canadians reach for books and newspapers (they seem especially interested in news and keeping up to date on world events - probably because so many are from elsewhere in the world). I ride the subway every day and I see everyone on the train reading, and usually not fluff, either. Usually it's thick, serious-looking literature or newspapers. Well, or thumbing their electronic devices, but that's a relatively new phenomenon. Conversation is always about the weather yesterday and today and what's predicted for tomorrow. You can't help but pick up the habit.