Monday, December 14th: Spent much of the day working on the novel, enjoying the research (so easy on the Internet). Then started contacting Bordeaux wineries for my annual wine tour visits in May (www.pauwelstravel.com/tours/itinerary/Bordeaux-Tour-2016.pdf).
Tuesday, December 15th: My life would be so much less complicated if I could just sit back and write fiction – rather than have to write for a living. Dinner with Deborah at our friends Adrienne and Myra’s. We took Uber to their house but we gave the address as Palmerston Avenue instead of Palmerston Gardens. So we had to order another cab to take us to the right address and ended up half an hour late. I hate being lost and late. But our host we very gracious and the food and wine were delicious.
Wednesday, December 16th: My computer guru Pete came over to service my computer, cleaning out old temp files and making sure my external hard drive backed up my old files. These computer geeks are the Merlins of contemporary society. Instead of English Literature and Philosophy I should have studied computer science – only computers were rooms full of punch-card-spewing machines when I was in university. (I was in the same fraternity as Leonard Cohen. I can hear you say, “Leonard Cohen was in a fraternity!”)
Thursday, December 17th: Today is the day Deborah and I pick up our new car – a blue Acura ILX. We’re trading in the Acura RDX. Deborah is not exactly thrilled to be driving a smaller car but since Pinot the Wonderdog hates travelling in a car there’s really no need for us to have an SUV. I’m a great fan of Acura – this is the seventh Acura I’ve had in a row. The ILX has a lot of neat features: lane keeping assist system, adaptive cruise control, blind spot information system, rear cross traffic monitor… Jeez, I’ve been drinking the Kool-Aid. Let Deborah drive it home so that she would fall in love with it (and be Driver # 1 on the settings).
Friday, December 18th: After a day of writing fiction I rewarded myself by tasting Niagara College Teaching Winery Prodigy Icewine 2014: pale straw in colour with a rich bouquet of mango, pineapple and honey; full-bodied, with honeyed tropical fruity flavours kept from cloying by a lively spine of acidity. Beautifully balanced with a crisp, long finish (92).
Saturday, December 19th: My old friend and collaborator on the Ontario Wine Awards David Rose and his partner Elaine came over to visit. They’ve moved up to Muskoka to open a B&B they call Muskoka Rose. I made hummus, grilled shrimp and cheeses and we opened a bottle of Veuve Ambal Crémant de Bourgogne Grand Cuvée Brut (straw colour; toasty, apple and citrus bouquet; medium bodied, dry, with lively lemon-lime acidity and flavours of apple and warm brioche. Great value at $17.95 (89)).