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The Engineer

The Life and Times of Donald F. Simmons

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Xmas odds and ends

Christmas Day in St. John's, 12.9 degrees, warmest Christmas on records. And the records go back a long way. Not a speck on snow to be seen.

One set of nieces and nephews got a Gamecube for Christmas. The good thing about them getting older is that they start getting toys I want to play with too. My sister told me to let them win at Super Mario Kart, but how are they going to learn if I do that?

I always like going down to the harbour and looking at all the ships in. It was packed this year, including what looked like half the Coast Guard.

You know why I like Nfld? You can go to a Tim Horton's and get a partridge-berry muffin.

My absolute favorite used bookstore in the whole-wide-world was closed for the holidays. Sigh. And here I was wanting to help the local economy.

Went down to Clark's Beach to visit with Aunt Doris, my mother's sister and the only non-sibling relative I'm really close to. She decided to sell her house in Dildo (don't laugh!) and move into a retirement community a little over a year ago. She's in good health and spirits, which is really great to see.

On the day I flew back the most incredible fog rolled in. You have not seen fog till you go to Nfld. Last year my brother and I barely made it out due to a snowstorm, but the planes know how to handle fog at least. Although our flight back, which included a plane change in Halifax, also had a stopover in Montreal that the itinerary didn't mention. Good thing I had a nice thick book for the trip (The Scar, by China Mieville.

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What's a partridge berry?

It's a red berry on this evergreen ground creeper. You can pick them in the fall and winter, although they're best in spring.

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