Wakefield, 33km north of Ottawa, an easy drive, worked its magic on us again, when we drove there today to take a walk round the village with Elva and Laurie. We kept to the streets this time, passing the Vorlage ski centre and the school. Chris had been in an angry mood when we reached the parking lot outside the Wakefield community centre; the cable from the one electric car charging station wouldn't reach the car, because of the snowbanks in the way (this has occurred before). He went inside the building to complain and discovered that the man in charge there was a friend of his whom he hadn't met for a while, so that defused the situation.
The river looked as wide and serene as ever, with its snowy surface, but the ice is thin this year and will soon break up. In the warmer season the Wakefield people are going to construct a new boardwalk parallel to the main street, right beside the river: an excellent idea.
Chamberlin's Lookout was closed today so we couldn't have our usual sit down there; we sat down at Le Hibou instead for hot drinks and a piece of lemon tart and carrot cake. Then while Chris talked to Rink* in the lobby of the community centre again, Laurie, Elva and I went into the auditorium there to watch the last film of this year's DocFest: Dark Horse, about a Welsh community that pulled together to breed and train an extraordinary racehorse named Dream Alliance, and it had a gripping story line. The film was a subtle commentary on British society too, poignant and cleverly put together. Everyone watching broke into applause at the end.
This entertainment seemed to resonate well with the people of Wakefield, enjoying glasses of wine or beer with Welsh Bara Brith and other goodies, afterwards, maybe because they too are (obviously!) a tight-knit community.
I wouldn't mind living there.
* Rink's wife Leanne (whom we also briefly met today) was the subject of an article published in the Ottawa Citizen in 2009, an article that makes for compulsive reading. We got to know the couple around that time and visited them in their house beside a lake near Wakefield where they still live. I have also read the heart-rending book Leanne wrote, about her and Rink's experiences with Médecins Sans Frontières: A Cruel Paradise.