Geographic Correspondents: How’s the weather?

Geographic Correspondents: How’s the weather?


Laakkuluk weather season

Matthew entered the room.

Amy entered the room.

Amy: Hi.

Matthew: Hello!

Laakkuluk entered the room.

Laakkuluk: Hello! You’re back home Matthew – good show?

Matthew: Yes, went well. Folks showed up, so that was nice.

Laakkuluk: How’s the weather? We’re -15C with snow and wind – you guys?

Amy: Very erratic. 17c one day, 5c the next, snowed a little today, hail.

Matthew: Leaves falling, no rain, quite nice. Does that make your work erratic?

Amy: October I’m down and lethargic. But I’m pumped since November!

Laakkuluk: Summer makes my work more erratic – fishing, camping and kids running around. Winter I buckle down to writing better.

Amy: Booking a school show for our company. A new Newfoundland children’s show: The Ogre’s Purse.

Matthew: Winter is for writing and booking shows. Anytime is good for booking shows.

Laakkuluk: Ogre’s Purse! Delightfully frightening! Do you like to scare children?

Amy: Get them excited is what we like!

Matthew: Fun to pop into a school, wind up 500 kids and leave.

Amy: I love to see children with eyes wide and pointing at the marvel!

Laakkuluk: Or their little hands making the movements of the story.

Matthew: My turn to edit this week, so let’s cut to the chase.

Laakkuluk: I thought this was the chase.

Amy: I’m chasing as fast as I can!

How does the winter influence your practice?

Laakkuluk: The effect is meditative – the sunlight so short and shadows so long. I stare at the landscape and have poetic thoughts.

Amy: It’s darker out, days are shorter.

Laakkuluk: My work incorporates the landscape and its changes.

Amy: I never thought about differentiating. I am more thoughtful in winter. I study things more: faces, reactions. In Fall I slow down and am tired, but I get out of it.

Laakkuluk: I’m the same – I need a bit of a lull after summer before I pick up again.

Matthew: Ditto

Amy: Summer is exhausting!

Laakkuluk: Summer is busy with festivals and travelling, when it’s not fishing/camping/chasing kids.

Matthew: SKAM gets site specific in the summer. The work ramps up.

Laakkuluk: You stick close to your home base in the summer?

Matthew: No we often tour. We actually have to focus on creating more for indoors so we have winter projects.

Amy: Work for our company ramps down in summer, but ramps up for me personally.

Matthew: We’ve done outdoor work in winter; you have to keep the audience moving. Short scenes, etc.

Amy: I like the idea of outdoor work in winter… intimate scenes, huddled together, actors and audience.

Laakkuluk: The Summer festival here will soon be taking applications. You should both apply!

Amy: We already sent a proposal, now a reminder.

Laakkuluk: Excellent – I’ll give them a nudge

Matthew: Congrats on your appointment to the board!

Laakkuluk: ha ha – you just looked. Thanks!


Amy: I just had a sealskin poppy sent to me- made by someone in Iqaluit. It’s beautiful.

Matthew: How do I get me one?

Laakkuluk: On Facebook: Iqaluit sell/swap.

Matthew: I miss so much not being on Facebook.

Amy: Have you ever been?

Matthew: No. Well, over my staff’s shoulder to the SKAM page. Or my partner’s to see pictures of my nieces and nephews.

Laakkuluk: Maybe a new winter time activity to pick up…

Matthew: I like my friends live.

Amy: It’s a good way to know what everyone is at, or what they had for dinner!

Matthew: What did you have for dinner last night?

photo 2Amy: Baked ham, baked beans and dairy free scalloped potatoes~

Matthew: My fave! Laakkuluk?

Laakkuluk: Whale skin, seal meat, dried char, frozen caribou and fermented walrus. I was at a feast to celebrate Nunavut’s youngest MLA!

Matthew: Holy moly. Puts my pot roast and veggies to shame.

Amy: That’s something- in winter, we cook indoors more.

Laakkuluk: Both of you had delicious meals too!

Matthew: Lucky us. That’s winter for you- Sunday dinners.

Amy: Whale skin? Is it tough? Like jerky?

Laakkuluk: No – it’s rubbery on the outside, a hide in the middle. You score through the hide and dip it in soya sauce- frozen/fresh. It jumps around when you bbq it because of the fat. People like it with wasabi sauce too.

Matthew: Should have made this column about how food affects practice.

Amy: Was there costume, indigenous dress?

Laakkuluk: No – people wore everyday clothes, including parkas and amauti. Baby-carrying parkas – amauti. Best way to keep a baby warm and safe!

Amy: Beautiful.  I wore one in a fashion show last year by an Iqaluit designer. I must find the photo and the designer’s name and send to you two.

Laakkuluk: You – how does food affect your practice?

Amy: I love to cook. It is part of my creativity. Easier than writing a play! Maybe not as rewarding, but it is for the moment! When you’re starved!

Laakkuluk: I would like to hang out in your kitchen while we cook!

Amy: You bring the whale and char; I’ll have moose pie.

Laakkuluk: Slurp!

Amy: Matthew, what do you cook?

Matthew: Stews and soups and slow cooking. Helps the work simmer too.

Amy: Always good this time of year. Soups, yum.

Laakkuluk: Work, cook, taste, work, taste…

Amy: The winter food feeds our work.

Laakkuluk: Helps us formulate deeper thoughts about our work.

Amy: The roots of our work.

Laakkuluk: The kitchen, the bubbling pots, the dark outside.

Amy: We formulate ideas in winter and they develop and spring forth for summer.

Matthew: What’s for lunch?

Amy: Leftovers. Halibut for supper.

Matthew: Oh right, you’ve eaten lunch.

Laakkuluk: Arugula salad with fennel and feta.

Amy: Yum. It’s 4:11 here now.

Matthew: Is it dark?

Laakkuluk: It’s 2:42 here.

Amy: In 40 minutes or so

Laakkuluk: Getting dark here too.

Matthew: 11:43am here.

Amy: We set our clocks back this weekend.

Laakkuluk: Having spent formative years in Saskatchewan, I find the time changes confusing. One thing with practice in the winter here is that the camaraderie seems more intimate because of the dark and the wind.

Amy: Here too- more isolated, so more intimate.

Laakkuluk: And the difficulty in travelling here – flights get cancelled.

Amy: Same here. Storms come up fast.

Matthew: There is something about coming in from the cold to make work.

Laakkuluk: Your storms come to us after they finish with you Amy.

Matthew: Different feeling than coming in from the sun.

Amy: Yes. Winter is like nesting.

Matthew: By the time they get here those storms are entirely changed.

Amy: A lot happens in the universe and atmosphere between here and there.

Laakkuluk: A good note to end on chums! Looking forward to seeing your pictures!

Amy: Me too. Snuggle up, until next time…

Matthew: Stay warm and well fed.

Amy: No worries there.

Laakkuluk: Take care!

Matthew: O:

Amy left the room.

Matthew: I mean

Laakkuluk:  Until next time!

Laakkuluk left the room.

Matthew left the room.




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About the Authors

Amy House’s theatre career spans forty years. I know - she does not look that old! A comedienne, writer, actor, arts advocate, and Artistic Animateur of RCA Theatre Company in St. John’s, Amy has created several one-woman shows including: The Seven Faces of Amy with Maxim Mazumdar, ’Tis Not Human, To Be What You Want To Be, and Scratch and Pull.
I am an advocate for the deep human need for all people, but especially post-colonial indigenous people to express themselves at a level of creative excellence. A mother, student, writer and performer based in Iqaluit, Nunavut. I live in a household that speaks Greenlandic, Inuktitut and English. My work includes uaajeerneq – Greenlandic mask dancing, music, drum-dancing, storytelling and acting. Hunting, camping and eating wild foods are all activities that figure largely in my family.