Kenora is on the western edge of Ontario. Indeed, it was once considered to be in Manitoba until a border dispute was resolved. After crossing the provincial border, Laetitia and her group made an excursion north to hike in Whiteshell Provincial Park before proceeding on to Winnipeg, the capital and largest city in Manitoba. Located at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, its name comes from a Cree word meaning “muddy waters.” Winnipeg has a lively arts and music scene with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Manitoba Theatre Centre, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and the Manitoba Opera, but Laetitia chose to take her group to several museums instead: the Manitoba Museum and the Winnipeg Art Gallery.
Traditionally, a visitor to Winnipeg would be advised that dining on Lake Winnipeg Gold Eye was a must. However, when the group arrived and Laetitia asked around for a recommendation, she found this local fish delicacy offered by only one restaurant, The Velvet Glove, at the Fairmont Winnipeg Hotel. Apparently, low populations of the fish in Lake Winnipeg have driven its price beyond the reach of most dining establishments. Having made dinner reservations, Laetitia dismissed her group to have some down time or to explore Winnipeg on their own.
The expression “Iron hand (or fist) in a velvet glove” has been attributed to Napoléon Bonaparte. It has a meaning similar to that of Teddy Roosevelt when he said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” The term has acquired other meanings as well. It’s a high priced shiraz. It has several sexual slang meanings, though there is no doubt that they weren’t what prompted the restaurant’s name choice. Laetitia was pondering these thoughts when she penned the limerick of the day.
In his coined phrase about “velvet glove”
Bonaparte wasn’t thinking of love
He meant being tough
Without being gruff –
Tenacious when push comes to shove.