In this improbably hip corner of London, Ontario, there is a bath tub. In my room. Un-hip, though, is the fact that the hotel stopped serving dinner A Long Time Ago, and I'm not venturing out into the frozen tundra, or whatever's out there. It was a long, bleak ride from Toronto (it might not have been bleak, but it was dark) that reminded me of the time in 1981 that I took a Greyhound bus from Boston to Fredericton, New Brunswick to stay with a girlfriend who, when I arrived, sat under a table because she thought I was Terry Eagleton. OK, in her defense, she'd warned me not to come. I ignored her advice. So after a few miserable days (it was March, with floating ice floes in the river, and icicles hanging off the statue of Robbie Burns) of us sitting around in country and western bars and drinking whiskey sours (by this time, she'd realised I wasn't TE), I decided to call it a day, and got on a Greyhound again (I had a pass) all the way to Key West. There's a novel in there somewhere. Meanwhile, I've had a rather uneven relationship to Canada in winter ever since.