Orangeville, Canada – Snow.

Theres this sound outside.

Its not a normal. Nor, is it a normal hour.

The curtain in my room is within arm’s reach, so I reach over with my left arm to push the curtain to one side, and prop my body up with the right arm to peer over the window sill. Theres flashing lights.

A bobcat.

On the street.

Its still black outside. There is no reason for a bobcat to be on the street. Except… then it hits me. They’re moving all the snow. Its nowhere near daylight, and these guys are stuck right into it.

Just before we were set to go to sleep last night, the snow started falling. Bec came back from the shops, and the car had a light layer of snow over the surface. It didn’t stop. By the morning, we had a good 6 inches. Thats not a bad bloody effort.

Bec enquires as to what I’m looking at; “They’re moving snow”. It seems so obscure to us. I’m surprised that Bec doesn’t get out of bed to have a look. She’s been hanging out for this. I snuggle back into her, and she lays there for a minute.

I get comfy.

She’s up.

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Snow village

“What you doing babe?”, as she makes her way to the window. The curiosity got the better of her. “I wanna see the snow”. To be honest, I don’t remember how the rest of the conversation went. I was lucky to be able to recall this much. I’m happy to go back to sleep.

We wake a few hours later and chill our downstairs. Bec reads. I blog. Uncle Drew rubs his eyes. We all win.

“Listen. Your aunt has told me I have to make you guys bacon and eggs”.

I don’t even know why this is a discussion. Of course were not gonna oppose that. Canada is all about it’s pigs. Like Australia is with lamb, Canada is with pig. Bacon and eggs for everyone. Its thick, its juicy and its tasty. You cant not love it. I cant not love it.

The snow has fallen. Bec is as keen as a mung bean to get her mitts into the fresh snow. She walks outside, bends down and places her hand on the snow. She turns to face me, mouth wide open: “Oh My Gosh!” she exclaims, while flapping her hands around. “Billy! You have to feel this”. I’ve got my hands full. I’m recording her, because we both knew that she’d have a good reaction. I wasn’t expecting it to be this good though. She tends to get excited over things I generally would never, so I don’t think heaps of it.

I’m just glad she’s having a good time. I put the camera down, and head over. As I step down the steps, I hardly feel any resistance beneath my feet. I’m surprised, and I can feel the excitement rising. Its the first time

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Eating the snow

I’ve also felt fresh snow. Like, fresh, properly fresh snow. I crouch on the pavement, open my palm and press my hand into the snow. I’m already half depressed into the snow before I realise it, and thats when I understand.
Its so surreal. Its so light, it is like it isn’t even in the way at all. Its like a powder. I’ve heard snowboarders talk about having fresh powder to carve on. I think it is the first time that I have really understood. Its flippin amazing. It feels like clouds look. Its crazy. A smile creeps across my face and I look to bec. She’s already way away

playing in the snow that covers the lawn. She’s digging for the nuts that we left out for the squirrel.

I’m now freezing. You cant spend too much time outside after a fresh drop. Its bloody cold.

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Weightless

We get changed and get ready to head out.

We head out to a little town called Erin. Its about a 20 min drive away, but it is really lovely along the road there. Everything is covered in snow. Roofs are loaded with snow. The kerbs are packed with the snow that the bobcat operator out the front of our place at 4 in the morning didn’t want. Its literally everywhere. The river banks are layered with it and it creates this incredible start contrast in the landscapes. Its phenomenal.

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Literally everywhere

We’re intentionally going to a tea room for lunch that has been recommended to us a few times. We park the car and make our way along the main street. We detour a few times to check out the river passing under bridges. Unsurprisingly, Bec picks up some snow. I’m holding a camera, and her gaze at the same time, with a look that she knows better than to rival. “I really want to throw this at you”.

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It’s on

I suggestingly turn my camera to the other side of my body and lower my gaze to use my peripherals to watch for her moves. She follows through. I bend down to pick up a clump of snow about the size of my head. I’ve got it. Bec runs over to me “No. No. No. No, don’t Bill. No”. She bear hugs me from behind to try and constrain me. Didn’t quite work. I lob the snow up and over my head, and it lands perfectly on Bec’s back. Win.

She’s let go, and is loading up for the next attack. By this point, Uncle Drew is prepping to get involved, and disguises one of his shots as a

throw from Bec. Sneaky punk. We throw snow at each other. We throw snow in the water. We throw snow at the ground, just to watch it splatter. The novelty is still there for us.

We tuck into the tea rooms and get hoeing into some soup and tea. Its not the sorta place I would come with my mates, but its still a worthy trip. I’d recommend it.

We make our way back along Erin’s main road, all the way along, stamping on any pile of snow that I can find. I’m literally 5 years old. We make our way back to the car and head to Alton, which is famous for the Alton Mill. Its pretty much a hub for artists to come and work and showcase their works. There were some incredible pieces, ranging from woodwork and carpentry, through to jewellery and paintings.

As we were exploring the depths of the labyrinth, which is the old mill, we came across a room all set up with 15 sets of paints, canvasses and brushes. I peer around the corner and there is this guy looking straight back at me, who is a crisp blend of an ‘inner city Russell Crowe’ and a CEO. Straight away, we get chatting with him, and were taken in by the immaculate work of his paintings. The detail is incredible and the craftsmanship is impeccable. But, the thing that impressed me the most was his mentality to approaching art.

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Meet Mark Grice

A lot of artists I have met have been those who believe that they have to be in the right frame of mind, or mood to be able to create their art. When I’d mentioned that, he just

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$8500 rocking chair

says “Oh no. No.”, all the while shaking his head in disagreement. The analogy he gives is that of an accountant finalising someone’s books. “The accountant doesn’t hang onto the books because he gets attached to it. Its a job you do it, then you do the next one”. Its great to see someone who has pursued art, and instead of waiting for their big break and waiting for the rest of the world to see their talent hiding in the dark corners in a little town in the middle of nowhere, Mark had told us about how he just sold 3, $1500 paintings in one night, simply by actually being part of an event and getting out there.

Its a testament to him as an artist, his work ethic and commitment to improving his craft. He’s even got a TV segment. He’s certainly doing art right. Oh, and the paintings that he is standing in front of are paintings that he has intentionally only spent 30 minutes painting. He’s a pretty bloody good artist.

Here’s a trailer for a show of his.

Leading on from Alton, we make the trek home, but not without a detour to photograph a barn that I missed on our way to Erin.

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We sleep.

I blog.

Its late.

Come back later,

Billy

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