When I was a kid, we lived in Halifax, and I remember thinking that my birthday was the greatest day of the year because it was always the day we had our first snowfall. Now, I have no proof that it first snowed on November 22 consistently every year, and when I think about it, I'm sure there were years when it snowed much, much sooner. But for the last 10 years or so, it's been the reverse: No snow on my birthday. Winter has been coming later.* So I was thrilled this year, when on the 20th and 21st, we had little snowfalls, and then a big one on the 22nd!
This is a picture of our little backyard and the park behind. Sadly, we are in need of more snow now, as it doesn't look so pristine anymore. The last few days have been mild, and it's started to melt and become half-icy, half-slushy. I never thought I'd say this, but I WANT MORE SNOW!!!
In other news, the birthday was well-spent. It was really low-key. I spent the first part of the day lazing around, then I went to the gym. Then Randal made me dinner and it was sooo tasty: bacon-wrapped scallops for an appetizer, butternut squash soup, salad with mangoes and pomegranates and apples, then a main course of baked salmon, and finally, birthday carrot cake and tea! Lovely.
Over the weekend, we painted one room - the little front bedroom that is now going to be our "office" (computer room, really). Instead of butter yellow, it is now a nice dark, mossy green. Today we are putting together the IKEA computer desk. Tomorrow, I'm off to the gym. Wednesday, we're painting our bedroom. Then, Thursday, we're off to Toronto for the weekend. Next week, more painting.
So you see, I don't just sit around in my jammies and play video games all day long. Though that sounds awfully tempting.
* And before you all start saying, "No snow! Isn't that great!", let me compare the lack of snow in Japan in Nov/Dec/Jan to the lack of snow in Canada during the same time period. In Gifu City last winter, the snow was almost non-existent. It didn't even get very cold, for that matter. (At least not for a Canuck.) The grass stayed green. The skies were often blue. Plants continued looking nice. And people grew flowers, yes, flowers, outside in pots throughout the winter. It was pretty and colourful. I told my students, when they asked me why I thought it was better to have lots of snow in the wintertime, that the snow, in Canada at least, where nothing else is growing in winter, hides the ugliness of winter. It is bright and crisp and clean. Of course, I left out part about the spring when it all melts and becomes a foot of slush. Yuck.