No blog earlier today because I've been in Montreal. Fun! My best girlfriend, Sophie, decided that as we are both on holiday this week, a girl's only trip to Montreal was in order. We were to leave by ten so as to be there comfortably in time for lunch - it's about an hour and a half away. Sophie has never been on time for anything in her life, so when it turned out that we didn't leave till 11:30, it was only Sophie (to whom her chronic tardiness is always an abberation, never normal) who was surprised! The drive went by as quickly as a drive can only when partaken by two good friends who have gone a whole week without a decent conversation. Sophie lived in Montreal for years, so its narrow, elevated highways, bridges, crowded roads, French drivers and French signage were not in the least intimidating. With remarkable dispatch we were sitting to lunch at a nice Greek restaurant on Rue St. Artur, a nice pedestrian-only street entirely inhabited by eating establishments - Greek, Thai, Lebanese, Italian, Mexican, generic, and, yes, French. Though one might argue that in the province of Quebec, all restaurants are by definition French. Then off to the shops!! I have minimal cash, given that I'm having a basement room built this month, but nothing can dull the pleasure of window shopping in the eclectic, funky, fashionable shops we discovered. Clothing stores, of course, but also lighting, a gorgeous furniture shop, toy stores, vegetarian food, and any number of hard-to-define gift shops. Then the tourist trip up Mont Royale to take in the view of the city. It was lovely. It's a low city: few of the building visible in the miles and miles of city we could see passed ten stories; most are under five. The St. Laurence wound its way around - Montreal is on a couple of islands, which hadn't been readily apparent until we stood atop the mountain. We decided we'd had enough just as a bus filled to the brim with very nice cameras accompanied by a few tourists entered the parking lot. An hour and a half later, I'm home. The only thing we'd planned that we didn't squeeze in was the sangria on a patio. But that we can do here at home!