It’s not Aix -en- Pro-vence, its X in Anti-gonish!

It was the first snowy day of the winter… for me…. I forgot to ask Antigonishers whether they’ve had the weather before I moved here. For me, it meant a cold walk to the Farmer’s Market and back, 20 minutes each way. The Farmer’s Market takes place in a building behind the arena on James Street from May til December, and this time of year it’s COOOLLLDDD inside too! I wandered around and around, several times, before making purchases, looking for veggies and colourful mittens mostly. I found some pale pink ones for 5 bucks… which i was very thankful for on the way home when i put them inside the larger ill-fitting mittens I’ve been wearing.

new pink mitts

new pink mitts

Some wonderful things i saw and tasted but forgot to take photos of… honey sticks, plastic tubes of honey flavoured with things like ginger and watermelon. Chocolate rum fruit cake. Blue Hubbard squash, whose skin is a funny grey blue which reminds me of Wedgwood. I’d never seen one before! the same farmer also had fiddlehead pickles in a jar… and one man was selling kale by the leaf! 33 cents each. I think it hasn’t been a very popular item til recently.

I spent my money more quickly than I’d hoped, leaving behind the organic cheese, pecan tart and jalapeno pepper jelly that I hankered for. I had to buy hot drinks twice and then leave, because it was just too frosty to stay. I felt sorry for the vendors, some of whom were not dressed for the arctic as they should have been.

Had a phone call from a friend as I walked home, and the novelty of owning a cell phone continues to frustrate and delight me. I turned the volume down inadvertently, was interrupted by passing traffic, and froze my fingers trying to handle the thing in the icy wind. but it was worth it to be able to walk and talk.

Not that I haven’t been walking and talking. Just, walking by myself and humming, and talking maybe not as much as I would back in Dartmouth, where I knew more people. I like that I have to walk to get anywhere. The novelty of THAT might wear off but it’s been good for me so far, and makes coming home to my lovely apartment a treat!

Speaking of which, Kathi brought me here with every bit of the stuff I hoped would go with me. I was proud of her for fitting it all in. We drove and unloaded everything, and took stock of the place. I love the kitchen, modern and clean with a washer and dryer in it. The living room is a place I’ll rarely go but somewhere to put up art,the bedroom also, but the study, which is really a second bedroom, lets in the morning sun and is my favourite room in the place. We moved the book case in there and it houses all my home office stuff, and the closet is full of my boxes. Kathi convinced me the bed should not remain in what is the living room, and I am glad I have a bedroom with a door instead of an opening onto the kitchen.

We went to Main Street’s Chinese restaurant which has the romantic name of Moonlight Cafe I believe and had yummy almond guy ding and tofu with veggies. Yum. and parking in the downtown is free until January, which is convenient and hospitable. The next day we ran around to shop for things like road salt, aluminum stove burner liners. and a flashlight, as well as a load of groceries. We tired ourselves out really well, but came home and Kathi made a wonderful salad and I boiled up a ham and made pea soup. We puttered and unpacked. Kathi LOVES organizing and decorating. I see the appeal but am glad it’s not an everyday occurrence.

Kathi left Thursday and I missed her right away but had lots to do unpacking and organizing.Friday I made a lot of phone calls and went out in the afternoon to talk to Jeff at the Lyghtsome Gallery about my poetry books. He has produced some lovely books himself for poet Anne Simpson and artist and writer Linda Johns, both Antigonish residents. Perhaps my next little chapbook will get the Lyghtsome treatment!

Tomorrow I don’t know… the library and the Tall and Small Cafe will be closed… I called the library and the lady there thought perhaps McDonald’s was the only free wifi hotspot open on a Sunday! And there is no post office in any pharmacy downtown…so none open on a SUndasy that I can figure out. It is rather refreshing that things are not open, but for someone like me who doesn’t really know many people here, it might be tricky to amuse myself! But I am going to try the university… I don’t imagine it will be totally closed… even though the last of exams was, I think, today… I count my blessings that it wasn’t me, writing them. That I’m writing this blog instead. and tomorrow, maybe the novel? Brrr, I’m already shaking.

Anna Syperek's image of Main Street Antigonish

Anna Syperek’s image of Main Street Antigonish

18 thoughts on “It’s not Aix -en- Pro-vence, its X in Anti-gonish!

  1. Feels strange to see my name in print! I think you will use your “living room” more than you realize. I predict old and new friends coming for tea and homemade cookies and the occasional bowl of hot, nourishing soup on a coooold winter’s afternoon.

  2. Hi Anna, I loved reading your blog and I’m glad that you are happy there and getting yourself sorted out with all the various things in Antigonish. With regard to keeping yourself occupied, perhaps we could play Scrabble on facebook from time to time,……if you can be bothered. It’s great that Kathi was so helpful and kind – she’s a great friend. Love your photo of the picture by Anna Syperek that you sent to me. I’ll be in touch again later.. Bye for now, Love, Mum XXXX

  3. Anna, it’s so great to hear your news and know that you are well and settling into your space. I love to read your blogs. so keep on going. Wishing you a happy Sunday.

  4. Hi Anna,

    Happy to hear that you are settling in, getting out and discovering Antigonish! Keep writing! Enjoy your space!

    I haven’t played Scrabble since that summer evening with you, your mum and friend! We’ll have to do that again next summer – I hope!


  5. Hi Anna
    I am so glad to hear you are well settled in foreign parts that are not too far away- although further than my normal transport will go. It all sounds wonderfully new and exciting. The apartment sounds quite nice too. I do hope it all goes well and you can write up a storm. All the best Liz

    • Hi e yes I am here and settling… it’s a lovely town where exciting things are happening. I went to see the show at the St FX Art Gallery today… Black and Blue by Don Pentz and Wayne Boucher… pretty breathtaking abstracts by two NS artists…
      hope you have a good christmas and then off to your favourite places… all the best to sasha and family

  6. Hi Anna,
    I just read your blog! How absolutely lovely! It’s just a slice to read about your coming and goings–in Antigonish, no less! It seems like we’re a worlds away (well, almost, as we are on opposite sides of the country!). Keep in touch!

    • hey karen it’s been ages! your H must be nearly a grown up! this is a bit of an adventure for me, Antigonish. I hope all goes ok here for me and that I get some freelance work and can make a living…. all the best to you guys this holiday season!

  7. Very nice Anna. Love reading your blogs. you make everything sound so rich and inviting. It’s as if I am there with you….. but, then again, isn’t that what a great writer does??
    Oh, and hope you received the card we sent you.

    Happy Holidays, Anna!!


  8. Hi Anna, It seems peaceful there. It snowed here last night which is rare and Stella is thrilled. We made an igloo last night and now she wants to go for a walk….everything shuts down here when it snows which I love…
    Glad to hear you are settling in…it is hard to make new friends initially in a place….John says they are waiting for you in the trees….not sure what he means by that but keep looking up I guess….sometimes he is oddly prophetic.

    • Krista my love… there are crows that flock to the trees by the river at sunset. maybe they will be my friends. glad you have snow… ours is almost melted away.. but i am sure there is more to come. vyyr tired… need a lie down…

  9. Hi Anna, sounds lovely up there. You should look up my friend, Deb Johnson, she writes for The Casket.

    Hoping we can come up on New Year’s Eve. I can bring an air mattress to pump up. Michelle and I are game; it depends on how Donna’s feeling.

    Ciao bella,

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