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Last updated: 1 January 1999 (Part 4)


The Willey Year in Review (1998 Part 1)

[April to June]    [July to September]     [October to December]

On these pages we plan to provide updates of activities and events from throughout the year.  The life and times of a family never remain static, and neither will these pages.


With little time to recover from New Year celebrations, January 1998 started off with an icy blast.  A series of fierce freezing rain storms hit the Eastern part of Canada, including the Ottawa area.   The result was severe damage to trees and power lines.  Many areas were without power, and heat, for many weeks.  As described in our report on Ice Storm 1998, we were personally without power for six days.

Mont Ste. MarieThings are now back to normal including hitting the ski slopes at Mont Ste. Marie where Christopher and I take ski lessons once a week.  This is something that we have done annually for the past 7 years.  Many people are unaware that Mont Ste. Marie has the second highest vertical drop in the Outaouais and Laurentide region of Québec.  Only Mont Tremblant is higher.  We both find Mont Ste. Marie to be the best skiing at a reasonable price.


On February 2nd I went to Mont Tremblant with a group of colleagues from the office.  Under a blue sky and a bright sun and with a temperature just below freezing, I experienced one of the best days of skiing at Tremblant I have ever had.  Normally when I go to Tremblant it is cold, windy and icy.  The other guys in the group thought long and hard about staying overnight and skiing a second day.

The wonderful weather continued all week and into the first week of Winterlude.  My friend and I managed to get in some skating at lunchtime during the week and we visited the Ice Sculpture area on the Tuesday evening.   The sculptures are amazing.  Bathed in various coloured lights, they take on a surreal look.  Evenings are the best time to see them and I highly recommend a visit.

We also went to see Bryan Adams at the Corel Centre.  It was a great show though his voice was often drowned out by the music.  An amusing part of the show was when he invited fans to take over for the band.  He found guitarists, a drummer, tamborinists and finally a singer who despite his enthusiasm, couldn't sing too well!

February has been especially warm...too warm for my liking (as a skier).  At this rate I will have to crank up the lawnmower before the end of March!  On February 28th I took part in our office curling tournament.  Christopher came along to cheer me on but he spent most of the afternoon on the pool table with his buddy Sam, taking on all comers.  Our team played quite well, especially for those that don't play regularly, and we surprised ourselves (and probably most of the office) by winning the "A" Division trophy.


March has been relatively quiet.   On the 6th we went to the Orpheus Musical Theatre production of Li'l Abner, a wonderfully funny adaptation of the Al Capp comic strip of yesteryear.  Orpheus, now in its 92nd season, always put on great professional-quality shows at a reasonable price.   The next show is Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat which will take place June 5 - 13.

I went curling once again on the 14th at the annual Ottawa CA (Chartered Accountant) Bonspiel.  I ended out skipping one of the three teams registered from our office.  I am happy that the team was able to hold back the laughter at my sometimes strange strategy calls so that they could throw their stones.  We played quite well and won one of our games, but above all we had fun.

Within a one week period we had a first hand look at the El Niño effect.

The cold:  First, on the weekend of the 21st, winter revisted us with a vengence.  High winds made the 20 cm seem like 50 cm creating large snowdrifts and making roads barely passable, particularly in open areas.   This was especially difficult for us since we were returning from north of Montréal during the height of the storm.  It took us 5 hours (and two snowdrifts) to travel a distance normally covered in 3 hours.

The best of winter:  On Tuesday, the sun was out and the temperature was a wonderful -5 celcius.  I thought very hard about playing hookey from work and hitting the ski hills but I eventually went to work...a decision I regret today.

The rains:  On Thursday and Friday the rains came, mixed with much warmer temperatures, which pretty well got rid of the snow in town.   So much for skiing.

Summer?  On Saturday, the temperature hit 24 celcius with bright sunshine!  After hibernating over the winter, people nervously exited their homes.  Seeing that all was right with the world, cars were suddenly being washed, bicycles and in-line skates were quickly found, and the sidewalks were full of happy shorts.  I test drove some cars.  By the Monday evening I had bought a new car (I didn't know that El Niño did that to people).

Continued on next page


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