Like a throwback to days of yore, I'm settled comfortably into my new housesit, and I have to do without cell phone coverage (gasp) and use a... are you ready?... dial-up Internet connection. Hard to believe, isn't it? I actually have to phone my cell phone number to pick up any voice mail messages and wait for a second or two for my online warfish game screen to refresh.
Not only that, but to do my day's work, I put on my coveralls with torn bib and straw hat and whistle for the dogs. And at night I have to walk around the house opening all the windows and raising the blinds to let the cool air in because they don't have air conditioning.
How, you are probably asking, can I endure it?
Easy. The peace here is incredible. I'm looking after a lovely, lovely property outside of Nelson. They have several acres of vegetable gardens, flower beds, and woods. It being July the planting has all been done, so all I have to do is water, weed and eat the produce. Hold on a minute while I have a munch of lettuce leaves picked about 5 minutes ago with homemade dressing (bet you didn't know there was such a thing as homemade dressing). It has been incredibly hot - 42 degrees Celsius said the sign in town earlier - 39 said the thermometer in the shade of the front porch. Yup, I even have a wrap around porch. With the heat, and no rain, comes the threat of fire of course, so one of my tasks is to keep the perimeter of the property moist. And one very nice thing about the Kootenays is that although the days can get incredibly hot, the nights are very pleasant. Unlike Toronto where the furnace rages day and night.
They have two dogs, about the size of small horses. Fortunately my own little mutt is getting on with them fine. Something about the dignity of old age perhaps. Did I mention that this is Grizzly territory? Shenzi has had a bell added to her collar - so I can find her in the woods, and also so that the bears will hear her coming. And run in terror before they see the size of her and fall down laughing.
All of which has little to do with writing mysteries, but I'm getting to that. Tonight I'm going for my second walk-along with the beat constable in town. I'll be with him from 11 to 1. Way past my bedtime (we country folk to go bed early, you know), but that's apparently when the action takes place. There is usually not much trouble on the streets of a small town between six and eight, they tell me.