So I am reading a book I found on the shelves of our ‘SAS library’ at work called A Fool and Forty Acres about how a Toronto urbanite picked up his family and moved to farmland in Prince Edward County (an unlikely, but increasingly popular new wine region in Ontario just around the start of the 1000 Islands area in between Kingston and Toronto) in order to plant vines and see what happens.
I am not usually much for memoirs and non-fiction in general, but the premise of this man’s journey intrigued me, and for obvious reasons, the subject appealed to me. And it is a good read, as I reach about the half way point. I can’t wait to discover how his initial attempts to graft roots and vines and manage all the natural elements pan out. I also like his slightly poetic, lilting style of writing – it almost conjurs the pace and feel of the life and land around him.
What I don’t like has been the occasional and painfully long segments of the book that break into history lessons, reviewing Loyalist settlers and colonialist mindset back in the 1800’s etc. I am reminded (oh, gawd, it was hell) of suffering through Susannah Moodie’s Roughing it in the Bush for our Canadian literature class in my first year of university (it was a requirement for journalism students – ???). I’m sorry, but I don’t care that it was extremely rare to have a female settler of the day actually able to read and write, let alone write 600 pages of SCINTILLATING day to day stories of the trials and tribulations of life in Canada at the time. Actually, you could have just told me about how cool that was, and that would have been all I needed to take away from that. Hated. it.
So yeah…I love this book, OUTSIDE of the Moodie-esque ramblings. When he gets back to tales of his travails and the characters he comes across live and in person, he’s got me. What’s especially cool is that just this week I received an email from Huff estate and inn offering a great weekend stay and ‘play’ package, and to celebrate our first wedding anniversary, husband and I are heading there in person to explore unchartered territory, and visit some of these estates and try these wines. And in doing so, a lot of the people mentioned in the book will likely be kicking around the community when we get there. I think that is pretty neat, and it is adding a whole new dimension to why I am excited to go. We love Niagara, and I am curious to see how the wines of this new region measure up.
I just love how little layers in life converge, making for fun and meaningful memories. Should be fun.