fajrdrako: (Default)

There's an odd bit of my walk by the river where I have go go under the Hurdman transitway bridge, then up stairs to get to the path beside the Ottawa U football field that leads to the Hurdman foot bridge.

On Monday, it was just fine.

Yesterday under the bridge there was a suitcase on the path. Slightly zipped open, full of clothes and what looked like a laptop case. This was anomalous enough to have me wondering how it could have got there. If someone had thrown themselves into the river, it seems unlikely they would pack. A murder? No sign of violence. A stolen suitcase then, riffled through for anything valuable, and then just left there.

The more I thought about it, the more sinister it seemed. As if bad things happen under that bridge. So I hesitated this morning: but it would take me ten minutes out of my way to avoid it, and there seemed to be no immediate danger, so I went that way and the suitcase looked untouched since yesterday. I fought the impulse to search it a little myself. Perhaps I should have called the police, and reported it? Perhaps I will.

In the UK, and probably elsewhere, I might have worried that it might be a bomb. That never occurred to me till afterwards. A friend of mine had a bomb scare recently just outside her house in the country - yeah, it can happen.

Earlier in the walk, I encountered a runner who was concerned about a bicycle left unlocked and unattended by the path, with no owner in sight. She thought it had probably been stolen and then abandoned, and planned to call the cops to report it.

High crime on the Rideau River. This also makes me reflect that in a few weeks - I'm not sure how many - it will be too dark to walk alongside the river morning or evening, regardless of the weather. I must enjoy it while it lasts.

fajrdrako: (Doctor and Rose)

Every day when I walk to (or from) work, I see someone remarkable... I think I will designate a 'person of the day'.

Monday, it was six people - soldiers doing early-morning manoeuvres, I imagine. I said "Good morning," to them and one replied in kind. They looked a little strained. How far had they been hiking? I took considerable satisfaction in the fact that my back pack was almost as big as theirs.

Tuesday, it was the little boy on the bicycle. He was maybe three years old - four, tops. His bicycle was so little it barely reached my knee. His father was cycling slowly behind him, so the kid set the pace. He was manfully pedalling, slow but steady, not wobbling at all. Go, kid!

Today my Person of the Day was on a skateboard, just whizzing onto the Hurdman foot bridge as I was getting off. A youngish man. He had long blond hair. He wore a black hat, black jacket, black narrow-leg jeans, and black shoes, with neon orange shoelaces and a Hawaiian shirt (glimpsed under the jacket) in bright green, orange, and black. He could have been a Halloween poster, or a comic book character.

Yesterday as I walked home - only a few blocks from my place - someone spoke to me, beyond the customary "hello" one might use with strangers. He asked if the Torchwood patch on my back pack was a reference to Doctor Who. I admitted that it was. I said I was actually an alien in disguise. He replied that my Meat Suit was very good. We chatted about the show a bit - he said he's only watched from the Chrisopher Eccleston shows to the first Matt Smith series, but it's clear he's hooked.

Ahh, fandom. I love the way fans pop up here, there, and everywhere.

fajrdrako: (Default)

What with one thing and another, I got very little exercise in August and September, leaving me feeling unfit and flabby.

So yesterday I went to the gym, and then walked to work.

I used to walk to work all the time when I worked in Sandy Hill, about 45 minutes from home. I'm now about twice the distance. But I love to walk, and the bus isn't much faster...

Google directions said I could get there in 1 hour 10 minutes, and back in one hour and twelve minutes. I'm still trying to figure out what is different.

Now, when I walked yesterday, I didn't go from home, so that added a bit to the walk. I got some advice from a friend at the gym as to what direction to go, and then partly disregarded it - the advice not to use the Bank Street bridge was good, as that would have added enough time to make me late for work. So I walked along the Rideau River path, on the west side, till I got to Hurdman Bridge, where I crossed and then went along the path on the east side until I got to North River Avenue, cutting eastward at McArther. It took me an hour and twenty minutes - just enough time to change my clothes and get a quick coffee.

It was so very beautiful.

Alongside the Rideau River, on the northwest side. )

Today I went again to the gym, but was going for a checkup with my doctor, so I took a bus to work. (I had to wait a long time; I'm not convinced it was much faster than walking.) So I decided, in a "do as you mean to go on" sort of spirit, to walk home after work. It was a lovely day for walking, slightly warmer than I like, with the sun in my eyes most of the way home. Note to self: bring sunglasses to work.

It was still beautiful. And while Google said it should take me one hour and twelve minutes, it actually took me one hour and fifteen, which I think is pretty darn good, considering that I walked right along the Rideau River path instead of taking North River Avenue, which is straighter and more direct.

Now I'm trying to pretend my legs aren't tired.

It's supposed to be foggy tomorrow. Wonder how much difference that will make. I suppose it depends just how foggy it is.

fajrdrako: ([Doctor Who] - 01)

I decided to walk to work this morning. A beautiful sunny day, not too hot, just about perfect. According to Google Maps, I could do it in 67 minutes. I gave myself 80 minutes: I think those Google routes are all timed by men with legs longer than mine. Or just by people who are younger and more fit than I am. (Could that be?)

I enjoyed it very much indeed, especially when I got to the Eastern Parkway and could see nothing but trees, grass and wildflowers, and apartment buildings way beyond the trees. Lovely.

But I'm not very familiar with the Eastern Parkway, and found myself wondering how I could be walking along it for so long when it was only supposed to be a few minutes of the route. There'd been a fork in the path offering me two options: Tremblay Road to the left, Hog's Back to the right. I'd probably already missed my real turning by the time I got there. I had notes, taken from Google Maps, but I'd taken off my jacket and tucked it in my bag because I was hot, and the notes were in my jacket pocket. The instructions for the "Eastern Parkway" section of the route had been rather vague.

So after an idyllic wander through the mid-city countryside, I found myself suddenly at Hurdman Station. That was an unexpected shock.

If you're going to be lost in the woods, you might as well be lost in the woods at a major bus route junction. I got on one of the buses, and got to work on time. But I was puzzled. Where did I miss my turn?

If I have any energy left at 5 p.m., I'm going to try doing it in reverse. That should do it. Google Maps tells me that will take 68 minutes. I wonder where the extra minute sneaks in?

fajrdrako: (Default)

I love this time of year.

On Elgin Street.

fajrdrako: (Default)

I was excited to have seen daffodils. [livejournal.com profile] dewline told me there were tulips in bloom in Orleans - Ottawa's eastern suburb - and I was envious.

Then today, passing the Sunnyside Branch of the Ottawa Public Library, I saw this:

Srping is happening very fast.

fajrdrako: ([Misc] - 03)

Sunrise was listed at 5:57 this morning, so I got up at 5:45 and rushed outside. I was a little too late: the sun wasn't up yet when I went out, but close to, and the sky was light. I'll make it earlier tomorrow.

I went for a walk, and took pictures.

My pictures from today:

1. Street lamp and budding trees.

~ ~ ~

2. The Duck Pond. )

3. Patterson's Creek, Ottawa, just after sunrise today. )

4. Patterson's Creek, Ottawa, just after sunrise today - from another angle. )

5. Patterson's Creek yet again. )

And from yesterday:

6. Little Blue Flowers - Siberian Squills. )

7. Mixed crocuses. )

8. Elegant dress at Billings Bridge. )

9. The construction at Lansdowne Park. )

10. Daffodils at Third and O'Connor. )


Jan. 19th, 2013 10:26 am
fajrdrako: (Default)

I should have got up an hour earlier.

When I looked out the window, the snow was falling heavily, and had obviously been doing so for some time. And still is. So I set out for the gym, but there were no buses and the snow made the walking difficult, and three times as slow as usual.

But it is beautiful.

Snow on a bush on Bank Street.

So I gave up: returned my library books, and bought some things at the Bank Street Kardish -- which is having a "Customer Appreciation Day" sale, obviously successful, as the place was packed. Because things were 20% off I got some items I'd been needing but holding off on: unscented hand soap, for example.

Then I bought more groceries - clementines, carrots, a watermelon - and had a heavy load to struggle back through the snow with. They don't plough Third Avenue. They just don't. They did take away the snow banks last week, and just as well, or we wouldn't be able to see over them.

So now I'm inside, warm and dry and half dead. Feels as if I did ten workouts all at once. Time for coffee in celebration, I think.

fajrdrako: (pic#435946)

Before my Stephen Fry alarm clock went off this morning I woke up to the sound of a snow shovel outside my window. Which hasn't happened since last winter... Uh-oh, thought I.

And so it is. There were a few snow squalls yesterday, but nothing that stayed. Today... different story.

Time for the snow boots, I think.


Oct. 22nd, 2012 10:11 pm
fajrdrako: (Default)

The Rideau Canal at the end of October is a dreary sight. Last week, my cousin Barbara and I had supper at the Canal Ritz, a restaurant right on the Canal: it was beautiful.

Two days later, they drained the canal and the place is mostly mud. The canal looks pretty dismal between the time it's drained, and the time it turns into a gorgeous skating rink.

Crossing the Bank Street Bridge over the Rideau Canal at dusk, I looked down at the water and say that the ducks were having a big party:

Maybe the low water gives them better access to those delicious weeds.

fajrdrako: (Default)

Lately I have been walking past Lansdowne Park on a pretty much daily basis. Locals here will know that, after decades of City Hall debate, Lansdowne Park is being rebuilt as a shopping mall, sports centre, and condos. Every day it's a little different. The last few days, it's been mostly trenches, with a lone tree stump near Bank Street.

They've put up a board fence along Holmwood Avenue, and the inhabitants of the neighbourhood have made it an opportunity for art. Today I saw this:

I asked myself: is that Scott Summers, or is that Matt Murdock?


fajrdrako: (Default)

Over the past week it has been cold. Warm-gloves-and-hat kind of cold. So cold I reluctantly got my winter coat out of the closet - luckily I'd already taken it to the cleaners and got it back.

And today? Sunny and warm. T-shirt type warmth. So welcome.

I took a picture by the Rideau River:

And then two more... )

fajrdrako: (Default)

It was bound to happen one of these days.

I looked out the window this morning to snow. Snow, and still falling.

I wonder if it will stay on the ground.

fajrdrako: (Default)

It was so nice out today, I went to take some photos. All taken from about 3 p.m. to 3:30, all from my neighbourhood in Ottawa.

1. Tree by the Duck Pond

2. The house on the corner... )

fajrdrako: ([Canada])

I went downtown today, to the National Gallery. It was a hot but beautiful day.

Maybe because I was looking at paintings and thinking visually, I started looking at Ottawa as if it, too, were a piece of art. And looking particularly beautiful. So I started taking photos the way a tourist might, right there in the middle of the city, where all the good tourist attractions are.

And here they are:

  1. The Parliament Buildings, seen from inside the National Gallery:

    2. Maman )

fajrdrako: (Default)

Lisa, Lynne and I decided to go for a walk today - giving myself a break from apartment rearrangement and editing. I suggested that we got to the Farm - that is, the Central Experimental Farm - because it's about halfway between my place and Lisa's, and it's a break from the city - within the city.

It was a cold and windy day, but could have been far worse. While we were walking, it didn't rain or snow - though it snowed later, just about the time I was getting home. It was nice for a walk. We even got some scattered sunshine.

We went first to the Frog Pond, which doesn't look like much in April. The frogs, which are brass, were still in storage for the winter.

Then we went to the Arboretum, and wandered (over rather boggy grass) into the Fletcher Wildlife Garden. There were a few boisterous, happy dogs, and their owners - one named Radar was particularly cute. I haven't explored the Wildlife Garden much at all, and there were many wonders:

  • A bright red cardinal alone in a bare tree, singing his heart out. We could hear him for a long time. "It's amazing that one bird can make so much noise," said Lynne. I thought of my budgies, and said nothing.

  • There is a 'backyard garden' with flagstone paths and flower beds - not much to see in April, though there were a few green sprouts appearing under the leaves. A handwritten note in the window of the building - which really did look more like a house than a government building - noted the type of wildlife we might expect to see.

  • There's a pond for amphibians, with a tiny waterfall. We stood on the bridge in silence for a while, listening. Beautiful; serene.

It always brings back childhood memories to go to the Arboretum, where I used to toboggan as a kid (in the winter) and picnic (in the summer).

I didn't take my camera, but I had my Blackberry, and kept stopping to take pictures. Photos of the day:

1. At the Arboretum: trees and water.

- - -

2. Trees. )

3. An enchanted tree. )

4. The crow. )

5. A pond. )

6. Simply Biscotti. )

fajrdrako: ([Shakespeare])

Seems there's a new Ottawa Shakespeare Company, no apparent relation to the one Stewart Bain once set up, that did such a terrific Macbeth. I still have the T-shirt.

A new Shakespeare company, and they're doing one of my two faves, Hamlet. Woo-hoo! They said the video here was "in the style" of the show, and having seen it, I wonder what that means. Wildly rewritten? And what I really wonder is, how come Hamlet's in bed with Ophelia and still half-dressed? That really is a messed-up relationship...

fajrdrako: ([Coffee])

A couple of days ago I was standing at the corner of O'Connor and Slater, waiting to cross. I noticed that there were coffee shops on three out of four corners. Chuckling to myself, I looked at the fourth corner and saw the sign: Opening Soon! Tim Horton's.

The world is drowning in coffee. Ianto would approve.

fajrdrako: ([Misc] - 01)

I took my camera with me today when I went for a walk with Lisa at lunchtime, so when I got all excited on seeing a budding tree by the Rideau Canal, I took a picture:

1. Walking by the canal )

2. To get to the hospital, I had to walk for about twenty minutes to get to the bus stop at the corner of Main and Evelyn, then spend about ten minutes on the bus. I tried to make it to the bus stop in 15 minutes, and failed: it took about 17, and I saw the bus moving away in the distance as I got there. It wasn't a long wait till the next one, and I spent the time taking a photo of my irises and looking around.

Flowers on their way to maaseru in the hospital )

On leaving the hospital, I decided to see how long it would take me to walk home. According to Google Maps, it would take a little more than an hour. I thought it would take about an hour and a half - I have to cross the Pretoria Bridge and backtrack quite a bit. Still, worth a try.
It was just getting dark as I left the hospital at 7:30. There was a tiny crescent moon and it was a beautiful evening.

3. Not long after that, I saw two ducks, swimming in a large puddle by the side of the road. I stopped to take their picture, but as soon as they saw me, they stopped swimming and walked towards me with the hopeful look of ducks who think a human might feed them. I didn't; I just snapped their picture, and they tried to act nonchalant, nibbling at bits of leaves.

Ducks in a puddle by Smyth Road )

4. Further along, I saw the first bit of snow I've seen in a long time. This is for all the people, unaccustomed to snow, who think snow is beautiful. It is, when it's falling freshly in December, all white and fluffy. By March or April it's lumpy, mostly black, ugly shapes with debris embedded. The debris in this case was pine needles, as it was under a small grove of trees. To give some perspective to it, this chunk of ice was about 5' across and maybe 20" high.

A last vestige of snow )

5. Then I came to the Smyth Road Bridge. It was almost dark then, just a glimmer of light in the sky backlighting the clouds, and reflections from the houses alongside the Rideau River reflecting in the water.

The River )

6. Then I got to Main Street, where I paused for a photo, looking back southward towards the bridge. Let me explain, if you don't know Ottawa: there is nothing particularly "main" about our Main Street, which more or less connects the Pretoria Bridge (over the Canal) with the Smyth Road Bridge (over the River), but isn't downtown, isn't long or large or wide or anything.

Main Street, around 8 p.m. on a Friday in March )

I made the mistake of pausing to look at the books in a sidewalk display outside the Singing Pebbles Bookshop (in March!) and after that, my back started to hurt. It hurt less when I sort of pulled up my ribs - is that a posture problem?

I arrived home at 8:35 p.m., must sooner than I expected. Perhaps if I hadn't paused to look at those books, it would have been an hour, but if you think I can resist the sight of a book display, you don't know me very well.


fajrdrako: (Default)

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