January in Review

January in Review

I know we're not done with it yet but it seems as though January has been going on forever and as I haven't been hanging out on the blog much recently I thought I'd do a bit of a wrap up of the month so far. As of January 19th Toronto already had more snow than it had all last winter and for the most part it's been cold, too cold for my liking (what can I say, I'm a lightweight when it comes to chilly temperatures!). But it didn't start out that way. New Year's Day the temperature reached a whopping 11 degrees Celsius in the Toronto area. Honestly, it felt like spring was on the way and we went for a long walk and pretended April was right around the corner.

N ew Year's goodies left in the trees on January 1st, 2011There was some residual evidence from the holidays left down by the river though. Goodies left in the trees and a party balloon that I was impressed to find intact by the path. Get a load of the mist coming off the melting river in the distance. There was a moment when I wondered if we were in imminent danger of being attacked by a werewolf or something...and then I realized they only tend to do that when it's dark.

balloon down by the river, January 1, 2011

Unfortunately, the warm weather was not to last and since New Year's Day I've been spending a lot of time working on my new YA novel, hanging out in movie theatres and rewatching period dramas on DVD.

The King's Speech was just as enjoyable the second time around (thanks to inspirational subject matter and performances by Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush that remain remarkably fresh even when you know the ins and outs of the story). The new Mike Leigh movie Another Year blew me away (I'm in continual awe of Leigh's profound understanding of ordinary people) and made me want to hang out with Jim Broadbent's and Ruth Sheen's characters until the end of time. I swear if the Doctor ever runs into Tom and Gerri he'll park the Tardis permanently on their street and never bother with time travel again, just be happy to hang out in their living room or help them with their gardening.

Another Year plus The Doctor

Made in Dagenham was funny, smart and inspirational and deserves a much bigger audience than its gotten so far. Black Swan was unnerving but thankfully slightly less disturbing than Requiem for a Dream (another Aronofsky effort). I was very glad to see Rabbit Hole reach my local suburban AMC. It's one of the most truthful movies about grief that I've seen. Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart offer raw, multi-layered performances as parents who have lost their young son to a car accident but try to deal with the loss in their own individual ways. There are no Hollywood plot points here or easy answers, just a faithful portrait of what loss can do to people, bringing unexpected people together and pushing others apart.

Last weekend we also hung out in the Royal Ontario Museum (which I'm a big fan of) for several hours. Upon leaving I took my gloves off for just long enough to snap this snowy picture. Pretty...but cold.

ROM, Toronto

If, like me, you live in Canada there's a good chance you have a copy of the Milk calendar and if, like me, you're a fan of veggies I heartily recommend the calendar's Hodgepodge recipe (which you can also find online by clicking the link). We tried it last weekend (photo proof below) and I'm not a big foodie but just look at it. Yum.


Continuing on with the countdown to April 1st we're at sixty-seven days remaining. In the meantime, stay warm!

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