Posted by: Valerie | March 26, 2010

Excited by very little


The weather had us fooled. We were so willing to believe it was spring already. As if we didn’t know better. We Canucks know perfectly well in our hearts that there is still lots of time for freezing temperatures and giant blizzards. Still, merry thoughts of spring and gardens were beginning to affect many of us.  Reality check tonight. It’s going down to minus 14 degrees. Glad I resisted the temptation to store the winter wellies in the basement and bring out the spring clothes.

I wrote that last night and indeed it was still at minus 14 this morning and didn’t improve much over the course of the day.

Friday is the big day of our week up here in the boonies. It’s the day when we hop into the van and head for town to do the week’s shopping. What a pathetic sentence! The high spot of the week? Really, I need some new high spots. Of course cabin fever has contributed to this greatly. We get excited by very little after a winter spent gazing at the walls, the computer and the telly, interspersed by periods of snow-shovelling.

There was one discovery we made today that almost counts as a high spot. We made a detour to check out a butcher’s shop that is on the highway some few km south of Bancroft. What a find! How often does one find a real old-fashioned butcher’s shop? First, the exterior is delightfully rustic with wreaths and dried flowers etc. Obviously originally a home, the main floor has been opened up completely and the walls painted red (appropriate really).   But the best part was that this is a real butcher’s shop – shop, not meat store – and the butcher who served us also made the sausages he GAVE us to try and were utterly delicious.

Our quaint new butcher shop

All this means that I have been giving some thought to what has been happening in our little town. Bancroft has got some wonderful natural assets that are all but completely ignored by the noodle-headed nitwits that make up the town council. We have a pretty river running right through town. With the exception of a small municipal park at one end of the town, for the most part the river runs unseen behind the back of shops and the latest horror to mushroom up on the main street, a huge Shoppers Drug Mart. Which wasn’t needed at all as the town already had three pharmacies – one of which was forcibly bought up by SDM. And God save us, they keep talking about letting Walmart come to town. Hopefully that won’t happen.

Our other big natural asset is a huge cliff that runs along the opposite side of the highway to the river. It’s stunning! What isn’t so attractive is the series of mini strip malls that decorate its base. Many of which are standing empty. No-one considered putting some greenspace there.  A farmer’s market would be nice. Not that there a lot of farmers round here as not much edible grows on rocks.

To be fair there is an effort being made to improve things but so far this has amounted only to trouble and strife in the council and internecine wars in the population. For all my muttering and criticism, I keep well out of this sort of thing.

I have tried the committee thing a couple of times in my life and have come to the conclusion that unless I am in charge of the committee and everyone does what I say, then I don’t want to be there. Democracy is not my thing – I prefer a benign dictatorship as long as it’s me.

That’s enough of that.

Hey! Look what she bought!

Tomorrow we are going to our first auction of the year! Yay! When Joe first took me along to country auctions, I was quite appalled by the junk and would have happily have turned right around and left. But then I learned how to sniff around and find little gems. I am still much more restrained in my bidding than Joe who seems to lose all sense of fiscal caution and bids with joyful abandon. He has bought some very odd things including, for example, a real bullet maker. Useful, yes? I am so glad that he has his “shop” to store all his treasures.

We were in the shop looking for something the other day and Joe was saying how much he was looking forward to getting out there again as the weather warms up (it’s unheated). I asked what he does when he spends hours out there. His answer was that he just likes to move things around and tidy up corners and even just give some of his stuff a fond pat.

One of the helpers at the local auction

The auctions are enormous fun for me now that I`m comfortable with the process and have got to know some of the characters who frequent them. I always take my camera and alleviate the boredom while they are selling off fishing lures (or bullet makers) by taking character shots. Some turn out well. Some don`t. There are women with knitting, people with dogs, an occasional cat can be found curled up on one of the chairs and even when it’s standing room only, no-one moves the cat. This is of course only right.

I think that’s enough for now. There may be a special auction posting though. Keep checking in!

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