You know how if you're in, say, Australia, and you get into an elevator with someone, you might say "G'day mate" and slip into a little chit chat about the beach till you get to your floor? Well we in Canada have our own brand of small talk: mindless discussion with strangers about the weather. It's like a cultural sickness, actually, to which only a small subset are immune (you can recognize them by their meanie-faces).
Canadian A: Crazy weather we're having, no? I mean it's incredibly cold / hot / wet / humid / dry out there. Insane. I don't know how we're going to make it up north this weekend if this doesn't let up. I mean, the traffic is going to be impossible.
Canadian B: Oh, I know. But really, I think it's that much worse because of the strong wind / relative humidity / barometer/ high pressure system. You know, Regina is having the worst of it. I suggest, don't leave till Saturday morning because they're saying it's going to be better then.
Yes, we are a people of meteorologic buzzwords. A climatologically superior people. By which, I mean that if we're in an elevator in Canada with Canadians, see above for conversation we're going to have. However, if we're in your country, and you decide to talk about the weather... well, we'll just look at you smugly and give some wan, stock response. Unless you're Russian. Because, after all, we do know our place in the pantheon of bad weather.
All this is just the preamble to my real story. The story of how the power went off last night. And how it's still off. And it's January in Canada and it's minus 20 right now without a wind chill. And it was even colder last night. So when we woke up this morning it was 9 degrees in our house. You could see your breath, is what I'm saying. Oh, and how it might not be fixed till - well, they can't really confirm when. So we had to bleed the pipes before we left the house this morning. And I don't know if we're going home tonight.
I'm trying to look on the bright side: there was no wind chill in my bedroom / it won't cost me any money to fix this / I have friends I can stay with tonight / I don't have an infant to worry about. But really, last night, in the back of my mind all I could do was imagine death by freezing and frozen pipes and, for some compulsive reason, I really wanted to open the fridge. Just to make sure everything was still in there. Scott and M were all snuggly under the duvet, laughing, pretending they were winter camping and joking about how the glaciers can't get you if you stay cosy in the covers. I was contingency planning.
But make no mistake, as I write this - frozen fingers on the thaw (did I mention the power-requiring subways also weren't working and all the buses were too packed with peeps to stop so I ended up starting out from home merely cold and walking - I mean, jogging - to work) I am feeling superior.
Urban princess does scary power out and still manages to make it to work on time. Footage at 11. (If you have electricity, you can watch it.)