Thursday, 21 December 2017

THE TRUE WINTER WONDERLAND



You hear that song everywhere. Tinkling in the background as you fight your way through throngs of holiday shoppers laden with bags of fuzzy socks, foaming bath balls, and pricey charm bracelets. When you comb the racks for that last minute 70% off Christmas Home Decor even though you don't need that one more Santa on skis or that cute laughing snowman or that set of plastic antlers that would look great as a centrepiece trimmed with tea lights and ivy. It's infiltrated the drug store, so you can register it even with blocked up ears when you're hawking unmentionable substances into a kleenex as you load your basket with cough syrup, Tylenol and camomile tea.
The Forks Market, Winnipeg
It's that song everyone knows but has learned to ignore - a form of Yuletide white noise. It's Walking in a Winter Wonderland! Written in 1934 by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith, this classic "Christmas Song" been recorded by over 200 different artists from Clay Aiken to Billy Idol!

But it's not until you step into a true winter wonderland that you understand the magic  the original writers had in mind 84 years ago. Winter can be magical. On a recent walk through The Forks area in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada where the Red and Assiniboine rivers meet, I felt that sense of wonder. Check out these pictures taken on a warm (for Winnipeg -1C is warm!) Winnipeg afternoon.
Winnipeg has miles of skating trails along the rivers and through the riverside parks. If you work downtown you can actually skate rather that drive or cycle. It's peaceful, beautiful and therapeutic.
A beautiful view of the Forks Children's Playground, with the Canadian Human Rights Museum in the background. A powerful reminder of the darker aspects of Canada's history of human rights.
The early stages of construction the beautiful Ice Castles that stay on display throughout the winter. At night they're lit up in a rainbow of colours and you can walk through them, climb on them, have a picnic if you're dressed right!
What better than walking through the winter woods on fresh snow!

Or sitting by the window with a hot cup of coffee waiting for the snow ploughs to come and dig you out!
Or marvelling at the way hoar frost looks like spun sugar on bare tree branches! 

Or wrapping up to take a sleigh ride through the forest!

Well that's my ode to winter in Winnipeg! Hope you all have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday and a prosperous, peaceful New Year filled with new, exciting books.


In the meantime I'll leave you with one of the best renditions of Winter Wonderland by the smooth and suave Dean Martin.



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