One of my few out and out disappointments upon arriving to live in Halifax was the discovery that the Public Gardens are closed through the winter. Yesterday evening then, became the first time I got to walk through them since last July. It was a bright and shiny day, with crystalline skies. The Gardens’ lawns were as green as the sky was blue, and the sweeping species of trees–tulips, willows, etc.–looked newly groomed. Around the bandstand–its fresh pain signs still attached–were beds of tulips arranged like so many layers of bonbons in a fancy candy box: lavender creams, peppermints, dark cherry, lemon, and rich vanilla. Even the reeds in a pond stood as though having just been commanded to attention.

Lest I had not a sufficiency of Victorian formality last thing in the day, I got a new dose first thing this morning. Cruising down Inglis at 7 am, I ran smack into a piper and a drummer, both in full mufti–right up through the drummer’s fur helmet. Their boots clicked on the sidewalk behind me as we all progressed north along Barrington, all turning in at the Superstore, where, wholly inappropriate to the prevailing theme of 1888, the Rolling Stones were being blasted to greet us.


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