Cottage Critters The first weekend at the cottage went well. The weather was perfect, and the swimming was excellent--the water was actually the right temperature for feeling refreshed but not so refreshed that it took hours to steel yourself for the first dip. Apparently, I am allergic to mosquito bites. I am now covered in small welts that itch like mad (antihistimines are helping). I actually woke up because I was scratching myself in my sleep. I don't even recall getting bitten. Regardless, next weekend, I will liberally apply a deet-based repellent and keep as much skin as possible covered. This evening, I'm looking forward to slathering aloe and lavender on my bites in the hope that this will calm the itching down a bit. The cottage itself is beautifully quiet. We discovered that bull frogs will sing us to sleep every night without our asking. The wild roses surrounding the structure release their odour pretty much all day, and their scent wafts through the open (but screened) windows of the living room and veranda. No inaugural trip to the cottage is complete without an exploration of the shopping in the area. The closest village is Ste-Agathe, and it possesses a fine Dollarama store, a well-stocked Provigo, a hellish Canadian Tire, and a Tigre Geant. In the latter, I purchased "my kind of flip flops": they have small kitten heels that go fetchingly with jeans and will take me from city to country and back again in sweet urban style. They were only ten bucks, so I bought two pairs; black for evening and blue for cocktail hour by the lake.

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