James Bay looked beautifully moody on this grey spring day. The misty air smelled of salt and wet grass as we approached the hillsides, trimmed with strange hedges and covered with grassy meadows, specked with early daffodils. The beauty of this bay has the ability to soothe the most troubled soul with its harmonious horizon of snow capped mountainous islands.
And it greeted me yesterday with the most smiling of all faces - the setting sun sending horizontal rays through the layers of grass and diffuses through the atmosphere with moving dots like swimming plankton.
The lobby at James Bay Inn smells vaguely of almonds and baby powder and has everything one needs to pass time meaningfully - a piano and a chess set. The only thing missing was people to play with (or play the piano for me). But even just looking at the space and the antique Victorian sofas and upholstered chairs creates a lively conversation in one’s head.
In the evening, as we walked on Toronto street, approaching Beacon Hill Park, a strangely familiar scent permeated the air: brewing tea! Was it Early Grey, or something else? It was obviously present but also slipped away quickly before I was able to fully analyze it. It reminded me mostly of wet tea leaves. A few steps later, it was Blueberry tea. “Hmmm, Victorians must be true tea lovers if their streets smell like this!”. I was determined to come back through the same street on the way to the inn, but the winding trails on the parks mossy belly distracted me and I was walking in a different street. I almost just arrived at the hotel, when the tea waft appeared again. This time, it was more like a lychee tea. Cleverly, I stopper right there and than and bent over the nearest branch of flowering bush that happened to be just by my feet. Sure enough, this was the source of the scent. The bush looks like pittosporum with green blossoms. And smells amazingly like fruity black tea.