The Quiet Days of Winter

I wrote this last Wednesday, here is it Friday and I just stumbled on it! Better late than never.

Winter came back yesterday, weakly, but definitely. It snowed off and on most of the day, but at the end of the day there was little accumulation and no shoveling required. This morning the sun sits hazily on the horizon, not hiding, and not shining. The forecast tells me that winter will get worse before it gets better, but that the process won’t take long, less than a week. I can live with that. Tomorrow we are to expect freezing rain, and lots and lots of snow.

As I am writing this there are 26 days 8 hours and 27 minutes until Spring, it is just around the corner. When we lived at the Country House, Spring held little meaning, as winter weather was full on until the end of March. But here in the balmy south of Ontario, Spring has meaning, the snow, if not gone completely, will be melting most days, and there will be a hint of mildness in the breezes. Of course we get Arctic blasts from time to time through March and April, but they are short lived.

Ginger and I are having a quiet morning. He is sleeping, of course. I am fiddling with little things, filing, checking on hydro usage, our furnace grant application, some unexplained withdrawals from the bank account, some expired credit card queries, etc. This isn’t much fun, but neither is it difficult or stressful, and it has to be done.

Winter weekdays follow patterns, out of necessity, due to the state of the weather just outside the door. Ginger insists that I sit in my easy chair for at least an hour in the mornings, he beside me stretched out on his footstool. He occasionally opens his eyes to make sure I am still there, silently communing with him. During this phase of the morning I enjoy my morning cup of coffee, read, meditate, plan projects, and sometimes enjoy the sunshine on those rare sunny winter mornings. The rest of the day is spent on projects of various kinds. The kitchen keeps me busy, flour to mill, bread to bake, meals to prepare, container management to keep up with, and of course cleaning, cleaning, cleaning.

As a Christmas gift to ourselves, we enrolled in a few channels on prime video, they were discounted for a two month trial. Attila and I were disappointed with Sundance, very dark offerings, well crafted but always leaving one with feelings of doom and misery. Starz was also a disappointment, what we haven’t already seen was vacuous or violent, and not much in between. The Smithsonian was interesting, and we enjoyed a few offerings there. We decided to continue with our favourite, the PBS channel, which we retained past the discount phase. We first watched the new version of All Creatures Great and Small, and enjoyed it immensely. I have the original series on DVD, and will probably watch it again soon. The original version remained truer to the book, but the changes made in the new version aren’t jarring. Currently we are watching Seaside Hotel, an excellent Danish series, with English subtitles.

On dreary days here at Mist Cottage, when Attila is away at work, I sometimes watch programming. Over the winter I have been intermittently watching several South Korean series. Right now it is “He is Psychometric”, with English subtitles. It is very melodramatic, and to my surprise I am enjoying it, the cultural assumptions about life are fascinating. This is the second South Korean with subtitles series I’ve watched this winter, the first was “May I Help You”, again interesting cultural assumptions. Both series have stories with an interesting premise, and do not rest their appeal on titillating visual violence, greed, or sex. Rather they rely heavily on character development and interesting plots.

It is difficult to find programming that is not violent or vacuous these days, so I really appreciate it when I find it!



Updated on Wed, Feb 22, 7:45 AM
-8 °C
DEVELOPING: Major ice and snow brings widespread power outage risk in southern Ontario… Major ice and snow brings widespread power outage risk in southern Ontario…
Wind 15 NE km/h
Humidity 70 %
Visibility 23 km
Sunrise 6:57 AM
Wind gust 23 km/h
Pressure 102 kPa
Ceiling 9100 m
Sunset 5:46 PM


“Each success only buys an admission ticket to a more difficult problem.”
Henry Kissinger
1923 – 99 years old at present!

And so here we are, a species at risk, pursuing success at almost every scale, coming up against more difficult problems, as hubris continues to guide us.

Be careful what you wish for works too.

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Hi, Maggie! I’m fascinated by your Korean programming. Do you think the “May I Help You” program is a take off on the older British sitcom “Are You Being Served?”? I used to enjoy that program many years ago. It’s about a group of people that work in a department store.

DH and I are watching programs on Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime. Prime of course comes with our Amazon Prime account. We’re currently watching the comedy “Hot in Cleveland” on that. We were watching “Yellowstone” but I’m having problems with none of the characters being some version of a good guy. There are basically 2 that are somewhat positive, but one is a good Indigenous woman and mother and the other is her boyfriend, who is inherently good but has grown up in a situation where people are killed all the time in the name of survival, and his character appears to fall into accepting that lifestyle.

It’s too heavy and negative for me, with no positive, happy moments for the characters. I’m doing better with programs that are maybe 10 years old and more positive.

Joan Lansberry

I love the PBS dramas. I never saw the original “All Creatures”, so I have no basis of comparison. Think I’d prefer the current one, though. I love the characters.