My first night here did not begin well. I got off the ferry which I’d caught from Prince Edward Island to Caribou, Nova Scotia, and drove out into a rainy, grey day that soon decided to kick it up a few notches for me into a storm which my wipers valiantly gave their all but to no avail. I kept going and there were breaks and I would round a bend and laugh at loud at The Beauty. I talk to myself. All the time. Forget trying to stay on the right-hand side of the road – which I did, because I kept saying, like a mantra ‘stay right, stay right – hang in there, stay right’ (I may have also told myself ‘love you Jen’ because goddamn it someone had to say it if it was all going to end. Or even if it wasn’t – it’s a nice thing to hear) – staying on the road was a feat. And I did it. And there was The View. The trees – all the greens – from that lovely ghostly green to that almost inky black and then they splodged in with the swathes of brown trees with their scraggly black branches. When I first wrote this I remembered gold but I had a pull in my gut that this was wrong. And it was. I did see one scoop of gold in a bush clinging to mountainside on the highway to Halifax but that was all and that hadn’t happened yet. And on the way to Annapolis Royal I would see golden leaves and apple blossoms and enough green to drown in, but not here, not now. There is no gold in these thar hills in this corner of the Nova Scotian landscape. This is a place that wants you to know that Winter isn’t coming, it never really left. If there was mist it would lurk. Instead it winks.
And the sea! I’d forgotten – there was that whole trying to not die on the other side of the world thing – or worse, just stop and be helpless – I was by the ocean! And there she was, miles of her, with boats being thrown about and waves having a Big Day Out and me, smiling so hard my face really did hurt. Still does to be honest – seems windburn is a thing – who knew? Or rosacea. But windburn sound so much more less menopausal. So I’m taking that. Windburn Sweetie – oh, and I have thin ankles. Update: It IS windburn. I know this because my face is now peeling and I look like a middle-aged alligater in a Rather Nice White Shirt and black pants with puffy eyes and great hair. Of course everyone at the IALJS is far too polite to say anything. Which is lovely, but really, I gave up caring about things that just have to take their course a long time ago. And what’s a bit of enforced face-peel when I’ve driven across Canada in a storm like a Boss? But my hair is great. Really. And only because I had the sense to visit Dean my hairdresser (no, I will not hyperlink to him. He is mine) before I left and, as usual, when he asked what I wanted I told him, as I always do, to do what he liked. He knows how to drive, I don’t. Except across Canada. Did I mention that? And drive he does. So forget the face honey – look! Look at that cut and colour. Please? Or my new hat. Look at that. It was made by Kelly who is ‘The Saucy Milliner’ and she’d only opened her story in Lunenburg two days earlier after moving from Toronto and she was just deciding whether or not to close up for the day when I ambled in and bought this:
My Great Aunt Lil and Doss were milliners so this was never not going to come with me. Because what is easier to travel with than a hat box after all? It’s mine and has felt like mine the moment I put it on so get used to seeing me peering at you from under this brim – pity I didn’t have it at Halifax to hide my sandpaper complexion but I have it now. But it that isn’t your cup of tea then perhaps you’d prefer to fall into the blue of this perfect day on the road to Lunenburg instead. You’re so welcome.