August 6th, 2009

Goth marquise

O Canada

So here we are, in the lobby bar of the Hilton Bonaventure Montreal, myself with a mojito and the marquis with a beer, making use of the free wi-fi. Not so much the usual, for a Wednesday evening. We flew in with no problems whatsoever -- pleasant on-time flight, airports efficient at both ends, and all luggage accounted for. To find ourselves in a hi-rise Hilton set in its own rooftop garden, all very calm and quiet and green. And Montreal is lovely. (If too hot.) We have seen archaeology at the Museum of History and investigated the power of water at the Biosphere; been honoured by two long glimpses of a very plump groundhog in the Parc Jean Drapeau, and rather shorter ones of beavers, macaques, otters, lynxes and a sloth in the Biodome.

The greenhouses at the botanic gardens contain a plant (a spotted begonia) that bears an uncanny resemblance to Horus. No, really. Long, pointy and spotted. We have dined with fjm, chilperic and mkillingworth, and attended a party in honour of papersky, where there were many more British usual suspects. Plus some nice Americans and Canadians. Through the windows of a moving train, we glimpsed ci5rod setting off somewhere purposefully.

The local beers are excellent, notably a house-brewed cherry wheat beer at Brutopia. The lovely bilingual bookshop, Indigo had Living With Ghosts on its shelves, and let me sign their copies and sold me Pierre Pevel's Musketeer-influenced fantasies in a lovely French edition. (Plus many other books.)

We have discovered that, given a choice between walking underground and walking in direct hot sun, I'll take the underground every time. The marquis is a amused. Me, I think it just goes to prove that a rational hatred of the nasty horrid burning stuff trumps a phobia any time.

Tomorrow, the con starts. I have three panels before the opening ceremony (Celtic fantasy, heaven help me; translations; dark fantasy); the marquis has one. Keep your fingers crossed for me for the Celts. I'll keep you posted.