Sunday, June 22, 2008

Newfoundland Sunday

The sun finally shone on St John's today. We were unprepared for the sudden brightness and warmth! Here, at last, "the million dollar harbour view" (taken from the Dildo room - named as they all are after places in Newfoundland in the Battery Hotel... but who would request this room I wonder?)

We had Cod Au Gratin yesterday for lunch, featuring salt cod and surprisingly good despite appearances:

Last night's banquet, Anne Szumigalski Lecture, book launch and prize-giving ceremony took place at the Fluvarium, where you can go eyeball to eyeball with brown trout.

Many poets milled...

The banquet's highlights were the salad which had a good dressing and amazingly sweet cherry tomatoes

and the cheesecake, but the routine banquet choices of salmon or chicken were about what you might expect; the chicken was uninspired. How does one choose between industrially-reared chicken and farmed salmon anyway? Tough call.

Then Maurice Mierau

introduced the night's star turn, Don McKay delivering a talk on geo-poetics.

Followed by prizes, book launch readings...

Afterwards there was music; the harpist, I was told, plays with the symphony. The squeezebox players were excellent.

It all sounded great but I had to scoot off early in order to catch my ride back. The rest was a blur....

There are some great mailboxes on Signal Hill Road.

Breakfast at Coffee Matters on Military Road (I'm afraid the fruit was awful - sour, unwholesome, nearly fermented and I suspect it was a pre-cut restaurant pack rather than a salad made in house. The yogurt wasn't good either. The coffee was ok...)

Lunch from Sweet Relic, an absolutely four star foodie joint,

in the oldest building in the oldest city in North America;

just fabulous: spinach torte with goat cheese, and a sweet potato frittata with brie. In compostable packaging, no less.

Another day, another bed....

And tonight I'm going on a Boreal Poetry Garden walk.


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