Researching The Trophy Room: Fog Hunting in October

The fog beats me up the steps to Montreal’s famous Mount Royal.

I know it isn’t everyone’s idea of fun – trooping around Montreal in October with the chill wind on your back, fog hugging the hills, and boots striking down on puddle-littered streets. But this was the city I’d been researching for three years and I wasn’t going to be fussy about a spot of fog and damp. In fact, being from subtropical Queensland, I relished the opportunity to snuggle into all the warm clothes I’d packed and strike out for the Tuesday fog hunt, sans hounds, whistle and rifle. I had to know this city in all seasons to fully immerse myself in the characters’ experiences.

The seats on the hill where the fog comes to rest.

Chasing the fog to the top of Mount Royal,  where it steals the main show, that beautiful view. But there’s always the imagination to help me out – glass pencil skyscrapers, the glittering steel of Jacques Cartier bridge, and the sparkling St Lawrence inlet. 

The piano atop the Mount Royal shuts its eyes tight against the fog and drizzle.

Come evening, the fog had quit the city, leaving Michel de Broin’s Dendrides and other captivating sculptures deliciously exposed. 

The most precious take-home memory of the fog was as a blanket for the steely Mount Royal Cross, where rosary beads commingle with rain beads.

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