(lyrics courtesy of Kirsty MacColl, one of my favourites and too soon gone from us.)

So it’s actually pretty cold here. I wouldn’t use the hyperbole that some local sources have, but as when I lived in England, many buildings here just aren’t built for cold weather and when you can’t get out of it, even +5C wears you down. Of course, extravagant use of the furnace helps (unlike England, where central heating seemingly never caught on) but I can’t help picturing the heat shimmer that must be appearing above our uninsulated roof.

And of course, a lot of crops here (citrus, strawberries, avocados) have gone kaput, and the situation of homeless people has become pretty worrying. But mostly, hearing people’s reactions is just funny.

And a belated welcome to Steve who has entered the blogging world with his impending move.

Random linkage:

Raglan Pullover Agreement
: Obligatory knitting content. But funny!

Pirates III: On my birthday! EeeeeEEEEEEeeee!!!!!

Banished words for 2007

Food hacks: Hacks in the programming sense, not in the schlock journalism sense. That would be different.

And speaking of cooking, one of the best pieces of advice that I never listen to is to not try new dishes for the first time when you have company over. I know this is good advice, but I got a subscription to a good cooking magazine for my birthday last year (thanks, Mom!) and every issue has stuff I need to try. Not to mention all the good stuff on the Intarweb. So I’ve managed to talk myself into trying a maximum of one new thing per dinner party. And last Sunday, that paid off. You really have to try this Toll House Pie. So. Damn. Good.


  1. Paul said...

    "many buildings here just aren’t built for cold weather"

    Single-pane windows, 'insulation' and 'weatherstripping' being strange words from a far-away place? Same in Asia. There's a 4-inch fixed air vent above my door, now plugged. At least you HAVE central heating!!

    Does the water temperature change with the seasons? My building's water tank is on the roof. Last time I rinsed my hands in liquid this cold was at Lake Louise. Our bedding, however, is amazingly warm, enough that the heater is off at night. However, that doesn't help when I have to get up early.  

  2. Anonymous said...


    One thing that always puzzled me when I was Stateside was the American phrase "freeze warning". As you know, up here in Jack Frost's homeland, we say "frost warning". ;-)


  3. Amy said...

    Paul: All those words, while not exactly foreign here, are certainly non-standard. The water temperature indeed depends on outside; I think the pipes are about 2" below the ground. In the summer, you could bath in the output from the "cold" water tap. I finally understand the point of those cold water dispensers on expensive fridges.

    Derek: Well, here it's not even a "freeze warning." It's a WEATHER ADVISORY! Like what you'd expect for blizzards or tornados or thunderstorms. It's probably a regional thing.  

  4. cenobyte said...

    Oh man. I didn't know about Kirsty MacColl...does that suck.

    I remember the last time I was in California (I was but a sprout), and all the locals were snickering to themselves because we were hanging out on the beach in our shorts and shirtsleeves, and swimming in the ocean, in the middle of December. The only other people on the beach were the be-wetsuited surfers and a few crustaceans. They didn't understand us, and we didn't understand their use of sweaters in that weather.  

  5. Christopher said...

    TUO, Your list of banished words contains one of my top five all time best words to say I like something. I find this development unsettling, and most non-awesome. If this makes me a lexical anathamaphile, so be it.  

  6. Xiaolung said...

    The problems with homelessness is hitting Calgary as well. They recently had to use an old abandoned Brick Furniture store to house an extra 300 people (and that building is slated for demolition later this year).

    Anyway, hi Amy. Got a blog of my own started up. Have a look:


    Cal (who remains in Calgary while Steve goes off to who knows where. He will be missed)  


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