The Outsider: Metrication, procrastination and me
|By Will Jones - The Outsider | Nov. 1, 2018|
Finally, on the weekend of our first, as the weatherman on the CBC called it, ‘measurable snowfall event,’ I got around to getting ready for winter. I guess I was a little late but I’m still new to this, sort of.
Back in Blighty, getting ready for winter means putting on a thick sweater under your rain coat, just in case it gets chilly. Oh, and fetching that dusty box of Christmas decorations down from the loft.
But here, you guys have been getting ready for winter since mid- August, or if you’re lazy, the Labour Day weekend at the very latest, so it seems to me.
The first signs that folks are battening down the hatches is the sight of those shiny blue tent cities in fields along the highways. You know, the ones where boats live while they’re not tied to your dock. Shrink wrapped, I’m informed.
The only shrink wrapping that I saw in Blighty was a brief stint of vacuum packing that my mom did to meat as it went in the freezer, following a particularly memorable Christmas gift fail on my dad’s part. Early note to self – when I was 10, no less – do not buy your lovely wife kitchen gadgets as presents. He’s lucky they didn’t live here, or he might have been shrink wrapped and thrown in a field that winter, along with the shiny blue boat tents.
After boat wraps, the snow tires go on, long johns are unpacked; and folks begin to dress their ornamental cedar bushes in burlap, for what reason I have no clue.
The garden seemed a good place to start for me and I began by taking down the trampoline and putting away the patio set just hours before our ‘first measurable snowfall.’ Did you actually measure it? And, why oh why, when the meteorologists do measure it, do they give the depth in centimetres rather than inches like we use for everything else? Why has the weather been decimalized, metricated? It’s for dramatic effect, I’m sure. The size of your truck box is measured in feet, the thickness of a piece of timber in inches, and we all go the extra mile for the one we love but weather ... ten centimetres of snow sounds like a lot, much more than four inches, I guess and that’s how the radio weather-folk make their job a little more exciting.
But back to my garden. Also, on the radio was an interview about bees. Seems bees, our most important pollinator, are really struggling to survive and the wild ones hibernate by burrowing into grass and soil, hiding among the leaf litter, even carving holes into hollow flower stems to sleep away the winter.
Hmm. Guess there was no leaf raking or lawn mowing, no last turning over of the weedy veggie garden, nor deadheading of the flowers for me. Tick off that little list of jobs as ‘done’ and add saving the planet while I’m at it.
So, now all I have to do is throw the canoe in the shed and check that the snow blower actually works. Should have done that before our first measurable snowfall. Oh, and I’m gonna put on that thick woolly sweater that my mom sent me from Blighty, under my thermals.
WILL JONES - is The Outsider