I am back at it after a few days to visit Catherinanne and enjoy Quebec City. I left on Thursday Morning and came back on Sunday morning for the 10:30 Mass – (I am told I made the longest commute to church this past Sunday of any clergyperson in Canada). It was a short trip but a good little break for sure. Quebec City is probably our favourite place to vacation – the place is simply beautiful. Now – Catherinanne was not able to vacation too much she is after all working. I on the other hand was able to take a little breather and that was well appreciated. A couple of reflections from my trip I felt I should share –
1. A Refection of Food
“The Môss Bistro Belge, means mussels and fries, beer and chocolate. What a magic moment it is, indeed, sitting down with friends and having to choose a drink, when the place offers a unique selection of world renowned Belgian beers, including the famous Stella Artois. What an exquisite pleasure you feel, smelling the spellbinding aroma of the mussels simmering to perfection in an infusion of fresh herbs, celery and carrots.”
The words from the web page linked, give a fitting summary of a place that I love to go. A Dream – Belgian Beer and Mussels in one place. Not just mussels – but 14 different varieties of them (i.e. prepared in 14 different sauces etc). I need to add FOUR simple words – ALL YOU CAN EAT! It is a remarkable place as you sit in beautiful ambience and enjoy each others company while thinking which kind of mussels you might order next. Mussels prepared in curry, in mustard, in garlic and butter, in three tomato sauce, in wine and herbs, and in at least 9 more ways. Each time you order they arrive steamed in a pot and you get enjoy the aroma of such fine cuisine. For the tidier folks like Catherinanne you can have them come, in the sauce already shelled. The whole thing is great and It was a big thrill for me to be there with Catherinanne in Friday evening. We had a wonderful date! Thank You Catherinanne. I hasten to add that this is one of sooooo many places of great quality and ambience to eat and to socialize. From restaurants, to cafés, to pubs, to patisseries, to gelato stands, it is a paradise if you like to eat – and I like to eat!
2. A Reflection on Words
I forgot to take one of the many books I have been meaning to read of late. So at Pearson Airport I purchased a copy of Wayne Johnson’s The Custodian of Paradise. I have read over the half the book and am anxious to get the rest read to find out how the pivotal Character Sheilagh Fielding is doing. It is a marvellous book. Johnson is a Newfoundland author who has had several bestsellers and is known for his ability to write historical fiction. This is to say that he include historical figures in is fictitious stories, most notably Joey Smallwood who has a small role in this book. Miss Fielding was a non-pivotal character in his book The Colony of Unrequited Dreams. The Custodian of Paradise gives the reader a look into this Fielding who played piece in the earlier novel. If you have not read either of these I recommend both, and it really does not matter so much which order you read them in. One review I read last evening, in fact, said that the reader had wished he had not yet read “Colony” before he read this book telling the tale of Miss Fielding. The book is a great journey of a woman who struggles with her inner demons by seeking solitude and self examination. It really is hard to put down. Sheilagh has sought out an isolated island where no one lives and is living through her own journey and I am riveted to know what is happening next in her life. She comes from privilege but has a host of problems. This is a great journey into the human dynamic and is a thrill to read. I shall let you all know when I am finished if the second half is a great as the first – I have no doubt that it will be.
These two things come together for me if for no other reason than the title – "Custodian of Paradise." Quebec City is for me and I would say for Catherinanne and I both, a little piece of Paradise. The three days there gave me a reprieve in which to be custodian of not just the paradise of Quebece City, but also of the paradise of time and tenderness with the person i have missed for most of the last 12 weeks. While Catherinanne has made a couple of trips home it is always busy when she is here. So much to do and accomplish. It was a good way to have a visit. I was for a couple of days "Custodian of my own Paradise."
That’s all for now – The day marches on!