One thing that made the past long weekend even more enjoyable was getting a whole bevy of packages in my mail.
I finally got my hockey helmet that, in a new record of ineptitude for Canada Post, took exactly a month to get here. I inaugurated it at Broomball by taking a tumble directly onto my elbow on my second shift that sent me home to put ice on it, and which is still swollen.
I also got a care package from my mom, which are always filled with consumable goodness not available in this frontier town.
Last, but certainly not least, I got a couple of books I've wanted to get for a while, but had a hard time finding in Canada: "A Parrot in the Pepper Tree" and "The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society" by Chris Stewart. These are the second and third books written by Stewart about his life as a British ex-pat on a farm in the Alpujarras in Andalucia, Spain. His first book, "Driving Over Lemons," I recently re-read in an effort to add some warmth to the barren, chilliness of my current environment. I've actually already read "A Parrot in the Pepper Tree;" it was in a trailer in Portugal I was staying in for 4 weeks back in 2004. I had just finished a 3 week stint wwoofing in the exact area of Spain Stewart lives in and writes about, and he describes the magic of the place perfectly. Once I found out he'd just released a third book, I had to have it, and almost paid to have it shipped from Amazon in the UK. Then, I discovered that Monro's Books, an independent bookstore in Victoria, had some copies available of both books, with very reasonable shipping. So now, not only do I have a couple of books about my favourite warm place in the world, I have the consumer satisfaction of supporting a small independent bookstore instead of a multinational corporation (or, for that matter, Heather Reisman).