Days 131-134 I went to Ottawa for my first reading at The Manx pub on Elgin - I'd attended readings there but never given one. Host David O'Meara does an amazing job of getting in a welcoming crowd and creating a cozy yet exciting atmosphere. The fish tacos at the Manx are pretty delicious, with yummy lime salsa and slaw and sweet-potato shavings. Dear One and I had a really great time.
It was also the 30th anniversary of my graduation from Carleton's journalism school. I'd registered for the celebratory lunch but in the end my sister-graduate Nancy Hall and I ended up choosing to have our own private lunch at a lovely cafe in Wakefield complete with stained glass, piping hot chai latte and a reclaimed green and cream coloured steam engine whistling past.
Another first was that instead of checking out of our b&b and having no retreat after 11am on our day of departure, I booked a second night even though we weren't going to sleep there. This felt horribly extravagant but in the end, on a rainy Sunday with several appointments, it meant one could nip back to the shady room for a nap here, a shower there, a half-hour reading in bed and a quick loll in the sitting room checking emails and eating apples.
On our return to Montreal, this lovely invite lay under the letter-slot: an invitation from London to the Royal Festival Hall for the Orange Prize ceremony. Pretty exciting, Gertrude.