I'm a country girl, no getting away from it. Boots by the backdoor, morning tramps through the misty fields with the dog bounding at my heels, gravel lanes and overgrown hedgerows where the last of the fading summer wildflowers nod their heads: these are the things which fill my world and offer me sustenance.
But occasionally, even a country girl craves something different. And with Montreal being just a short drive from my back door, it's not difficult to achieve.
The kids were at a birthday party in the West Island on Saturday. So I traded in my usual weekend wardrobe of jeans, wool sweater and corduroy jacket for my version of chic: black pants, crisp shirt, polished black boots, and-gasp-jewellry, dropped the children off at the party, and went shopping.
Shopping. There's an experience. Normally I hate shopping. We don't live near malls so I don't have to worry about it much. Which sometimes means we do without because it seems too much trouble to head into town. (Erik, for example, has worn pj's that were too small for the past two years, because I just never hit the right stores.)
The downside to never shopping - or the upside if you prefer - is that on those rare occasions when I do go and am in the mood for it, I tend to spend a lot of money. And Saturday was no exception. I finished the back to school clothes shopping that I never quite managed to do in August (including two sets of pyjamas for Erik), picked up the stuff we'll need to hit the slopes come Winter (feeling smug and organized as I did so), and browsed through Brault & Martineau's lovely furniture showroom, drooling. Patisseries, boutiques, specialty stores, crowds and crowds of people - it was a full day, a busy day, an exhausting day. By the time we had hit Toys R Us for a couple of gifts and had our mandatory wander through Chapters, I was done. So we had dinner out and drove home.
Yep. Once in a while, shopping in Montreal is just what the doctor ordered.
But boy, was I glad to get back to the slower pace of the Glen. Where, if you stand still for a moment, you can hear the earth breathe.