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Winter has arrived — with a vengeance.

In the space of 24 hours, Winnipeg went from being without snow to completely blanketed with the white junk. And I, for one, am not happy at all… especially when it looks like it’s here to stay.

Times like these, I find myself yearning for the beaches of Barcelona, Alicante or even Essaouira. Heck, I’d even take being poolside at the Doha Marriott. (It is, after all, +27C and sunny in the Gulf Sheikdom at the moment.)

Remind me again why I, and so many like me, continue to live in this frozen wasteland?

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I’ve noticed a distressing trend this winter: where once the shovel was the plucky suburbanite’s best weapon against a snow-filled driveway, now it’s the leaf-blower.

I wish I were kidding.

Is this not yet another perfect example of our wretched excess, our lazy ways, our addiction to petroleum?

I don’t know, nor do I want to get all sanctimonious. I guess I just find it a little ridiculous. After all, shovels are cheap and the power required to push them free — if you’re the one doing the pushing.

Better still, I’ve always thought shovelling the driveway is a great way to get some fresh air and a little excercise during an otherwise sedentary, sheltered season.

My mistake.

I’ve previously mentioned the unseasonal November we were having in Winnipeg. So you know, it’s over.

It snowed yesterday, blanketing everything in a thick layer of the stuff. Today, the mercury has dropped to a crisp -8C. Winter is here – and it looks like she’s staying. Until June, no doubt.

So much for that.

October Snowfall“Ottawa’s not cold enough for you?”

That was a question I was asked (in jest I tell myself) more than a few times in the weeks leading up to my departure.

“It’s a dry cold,” I’d say, half-joking.

Winnipeg is notorious, of course, for its miserable weather.  So much so that the locals have embraced it as a point of pride, a badge of honour.

Still, waking up this morning – the tenth of October – to a blanket of snow covering absolutely everything, I couldn’t help but think someone, somewhere was laughing at the cruel joke they’d played upon, well, me.  For it’s not even been 48 hours since I returned to Winnipeg and already all those supposed friends who chided me for my decision have been given ample reason to point and laugh in, well, my direction.

“I told you so,” they  chortle.

Granted, the long-range forecast calls for a return to plus-zero temperatures, which should, one would reasonably assume, put a swift end to this climatic cock-up.

Then again, I suppose I should embrace this unfunny phenomenon.  I am, after all, a Winnipegger.