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. )


Dec. 14th, 2012 10:41 pm
fajrdrako: (Christmas)

Quite a day! I was up at 6:30 to go to the gym early. Then on my way home I went to Britten's, the magazine store on Bank Street, to see if they had the British GQ with the pictures of Daniel Craig in it. They did. I really can't afford magazines right now, but I knew I had a Britten's gift card from last Christmas that I could use. So I went home to get it, and came back to Britten's about 11 a.m.

And the magazine wasn't there.

So I went to the gentleman at the cash and said how I'd seen it only a few hours earlier - had someone bought it? Turns out that the next month's issue of GQ had come in so they'd pulled the old one. But it was still on the premises. They went rumaging through big boxes of magazines under their table, and eventually came up with it - on the very bottom.

So then I went to buy a humidifier, which I also couldn't afford - it was on sale for $79 - but I told myself it was like getting medicine, because I keep being told that people with Sjogren's need to have humidity. (Not forgetting that if I have too much humidity, I'll be struggling with candidiasis again! You can't win!) Anyway, Glebe Pharmacy had a humidifier/lamp that I found most attractive, and after looking at what the other stores had to offer - some more expensive, some less, none as attractive - I decided to go for it. And discovered that if I bought it with the points from my Optimum Card, which I didn't even realize was valid at that store, I could buy it for $13.

When I got home, I took all the fannish pictures down from the walls of my bathroom, mostly pictures from Doctor Who and sketches of characters in Game of Thrones, and picture of Peter Wingfield. I washed the frames and mounted pages from GQ... I knew it featured Daniel Craig as Bond, but I didn't know, or expect, that it had pictures of Ben Whishaw, too. Turned out it had more pictures of Wishaw than Craig. So I now have the following on my bathroom walls:

(That's my hairdryer and 2012 calendar below.)

- - -

Read more... )
The magazine cover, with Daniel Craig on it, is taped to the front of my bathroom door - with Christmas cards around it. The outside of my bathroom door is a little more casual, a little more seasonal and unplanned, than the walls inside.

Then Marion and Vicky came over, and [personal profile] maaseru. We ate Christmas food watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the cartoon, of course), and We're No Angels. There was turkey with dressing, gravy, and cranberry sauce; stir-fried kale and leeks; baked potatoes; Caesar salad; carrot cake; mince tarts; and eggnog. I made Pears Roasted in Maple Syrup for dessert.

Yeah, nice day.

fajrdrako: (Default)

Sensationalist weather reports have been circling around me like the approaching hurricane itself. Will it strike Ottawa, or not? Apparently Eastern Ontario is in the path. Will it dissipate before it gets here? Will we lose power? ...They're saying it'll likely be mild and rainy, with 80 mph winds.

There's news about the destruction of Wawa, Ontario. How awful. My mental image of Wawa comes from the Alan Rickman movie, Snow Cake.

So far, it's a windy, dark, cold day. But that's not abnormal for late October. We're lucky we don't have snow yet.

My pictures from today:

Trees at the Rideau Canal, showing the old former convent on Echo Drive.

~ ~ ~

Oak leaves on the pathway. )
~ ~ ~

Walking alongside the Canal. )
~ ~ ~


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)

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)

I love seeing - or wandering in - lost and ruined places. I didn't know there was one in my own city.

My friend Vince was in town, and invited me to go with him to the Canadian Forces Base where he had lived as a child. It was closed down as a base some years ago, and the buildings have since been razed. But nothing has yet replaced them. It's many square acres of wild land, right in the city. Weeds, trees, grasses, and scraps of pavement remain. A boarded-up school. Near the old parade ground, we found a heap of random rubbish - wood, a tire, cloth, a green plastic jar lid.

People aren't supposed to go there; but people living in the vicinity walk their dogs there. We met a charming spaniel named Samson. It felt like a place out of time, the impression intensified by Vince's reminiscences of the place as it used to be. The biplane from the Aviation Museum flew overhead, but most of the time, all we could hear was crickets and birds.

The fact that it was a rainy day seemed suitable: though it cleared up through the afternoon, and we didn't actually get wet from the rain, just from the wet grass we were walking through.

My photos:

1. Trees on the former Canadian Forces Base

2. A map of the area, from Google Maps )

3. Where once there was a home... )

4. The growth )

5. Gwatkin Private )

6. Puddle )

7. Playground )

8. School )

9. Grass )

10. The Old Parade Ground )

11. Vines on an old chain-link fence )

12. The Library )

13. Sumac )

14. The path leading back into the city )

We saw a white car enter through the locked and chained gates from the road - joked that it was spies meeting a rendezvous, but apparently the place is patrolled for trespassers.

fajrdrako: (Default)

I did quite a bit of wandering around the city today - unplanned but fun - and took these photos:

Ducks on the Rideau River:

~ ~ ~

Meanwhile, on the Ottawa River... )

fajrdrako: (Default)

I've been going for long walks lately, and delighting in the spring weather and the spring flowers. The iris is my favourite flower, and I can't resist photographing each I iris I pass on the street.

Pictures of irises over the past few days:

~ ~ ~

More irises... )

fajrdrako: (Default)

So cold today! How did that happen?

First, I helped [livejournal.com profile] maaseru clean out her fridge. Then I had a mammogram. (Ugh.) Then I walked from Preston and Carling to Bank and Grove, via the Bronson St. bridge, and did a workout at Curves. Then I walked along the Rideau River to Lees Avenue, and home over the Pretoria Bridge.

The Rideau Canal from the Bronson Bridge, as it looked today around noon:

Nice walk, but so cold. I saw some ducks huddled in the grass, as is that would help, all bundled into their own feathers. And the lilacs! Caught in half-bloom, with no scent at all.

This isn't spring. I'm not sure what it is, but it certainly isn't spring.


May. 3rd, 2012 01:41 pm
fajrdrako: (Default)

Walking by the Rideau River this morning - misty and nice.

fajrdrako: (Default)

Last night I was planning to clean my kitchen and sort out my cupboards before going to bed - a big burst of spring cleaning energy. My plan was to go to bed early, get up early, and go for a walk by the Rideau River, as I did yesterday with Lynne. It was about 7 km - four miles and a bit.

Then while cleaning, I knocked something over and it hit the full glass bottle of olive oil in my cupboard, which fell onto my floor and shattered. So much for getting to bed early. It took me ages to pick up all the little shards and scrub the oil off the floor. And then scrub it again.


But then I woke up feeling alert at 6:30, and thought: okay, I'll go for my walk anyway. And I did. It was... )

fajrdrako: (Default)

Having predictably slipped in almost all the New Year's Resolutions I made by the end of March - even the thing about doing yoga every day - I decided to make a new start on April 1. This time, I added going for a walk every day.

Now, I didn't intend for these to be photo-taking expeditions, but they sort of turn out that way. Today I walked to the Rideau River and back along the canal - it took about 70 minutes, and it was beautiful.

The pictures:

1. The Rideau River

~ ~ ~

2. Reflections )

fajrdrako: (Default)

While walking along Third Avenue today, I came across my favourite flower: dwarf iris.

I also saw this:

Can anyone tell me what kind of flower they are?


Mar. 22nd, 2012 08:41 pm
fajrdrako: (Default)

This is Ottawa, Canada's Capital, at more than 55 degrees North. We don't get flowers in March. In March, we get snow.

But it's been hot and the flowers, clearly confused, have forgotten we don't get flowers in March.

Yesterday I saw this is a garden down the street:

Today I looked at the same garden, and there were more flowers in it:

And then on Third Avenue, I saw one lonely, beautiful violet:

fajrdrako: (Default)

On Saturday after French class I wandered over to Confederation Park to see the Winterlude ice sculptures. I used to be downtown a lot in the winter; the last few days, not so much, so I've missed the ice sculptures. Some years it was just too cold. Last year, I went down the day after the ice sculptures had been unveiled, and it was too warm, and they'd melted into puddles.

A pity, since some years they've been magnificent. And I thought: If I were an internationally renounced ice sculptor, I wouldn't want to exhibit my work here if it's just going to melt in hours.

I guess the internationally renowned ice scuptors thought the same, because they weren't there this year. It was perfect weather: quite cold enough to keep them intact, but not so cold as to be uncomfortable; sunny and bright so the ice glittered in the sun.

And they were the tiniest, simplest, most pathetic ice sculptures I've ever seen in our Winterlude show. What a disappointment. What a letdown.

In compensation they had... things... set up like sculptures that weren't made of ice. Like a pyramid of winter mittens. Hockey sticks and ice skates made to look like winter trees. Clever, yes... but not really artistic to my eyes.

Here, see for yourself:

1. An ice wolf bays at the moon )


Jan. 13th, 2012 06:24 pm
fajrdrako: (Default)

The word of the day was snow. Lots and lots of snow. Around mid-morning it looked as if it might be stopping, but no, it was just getting its second wind.

It was really a terrific day. Partly because I felt good: after feeling tired and aching for a good part of the week, I felt good today, and with good energy. I proved that I could get up at 7, do yoga and meditate, shower and dress, make a meant-and-vegetable breakfast, and still get to work for 9 a.m. The work I was doing today at the CCA went smoothly - or at least, it went well for a while, until the photocopier died. Several people asked if I'd killed it. Not on purpose! Honest!

So I felt I could have a great lunch with [livejournal.com profile] gamergrrl at Migo, which we'd never been to before. Korean food. Ever since she went to Seoul she's loved japchae, and ever since she introduced me to japchae, I've loved it, too. So we both had japchae appetizers and I followed that with squid tempura; for desert, the waitress brought us, for interest's sake, a lovely cold, sweet ginger-cinnamon tea.

Yeah, I'd go back there anytime.

Luckily I went back to the CCA because there was more work for me to do - very good news. And the person who hired me for this job told me he was telling everyone else that they could hire me to do the jobs they really didn't have time time, which I thought was quite wonderful - meaning that he felt I did a good job with his work. Not only that, but he had me writing and organizing documents, not just printing and copying them.

So by the time I left work it was still snowing hard, but I wanted to get a panda calendar, so I walked down to Prospero Books and got one - and cause they were on sale for half price, I got a Zen calendar, because it was beautiful and I loved it, and I think I should have a Zen calendar because it suits me.

There were no buses. Sometimes that happens when it snows heavily: the buses just sort of disappeared. The only one which came by, adding insult to snub, said Out of Service, so I started to walk south on Bank Street just for the heck of it. Or the exercise. Or the challenge.

When I got to McLeod Street, I dropped in to Alliance Fran├žaise just to see if there was a classe B-14 for me tomorrow. I didn't think the chances were great: they needed two more students to register after Tuesday. I guess they did, because the class is on the schedule. So I have another French class after all, just when I'd given up hope. And the $400 refund I would have got if it were cancelled would have been nice, but I was still disappointed... and happy now. And a little guilty because I haven't been studying much.

So tomorrow I have to head out at something like 7:30 a.m. in the snow for three hours of hard work in a language class. Why on earth do I think this is fun? Am I crazy?

...Anyway, there I was, all cheered up knowing I had a French class tomorrow, when my bus came by. When I got to my stop, it was just about dusk, and so pretty with all the fresh snow that I put down my groceries and my calendars and my cane - which I'd brought with me in case it was slippery, but it wasn't - and took some photos. All photos here are of the street I live on.

The Glebe at dusk... )

fajrdrako: (Default)

It was cold enough when I left for work today to wear a light winter coat - then I regretted it on the way home.

It was so beautiful I couldn't resist taking pictures.

1. The Big Tree on Glebe Avenue

2. Fallen Leaves... )

3. Fallen Leaves in Garden... )

4. The Celtic Cross and the Pirate )

5. Halloween Serenity )

6. Pictish Pumpkin )

fajrdrako: ([Lymond])

Fifty years since the publication of The Game of Kings, one of the books which changed and shaped my life. Fifty years today, exactly. It isn't that I wouldn't have loved history anyway, or dramatically epic romantic heroes; I already did, back when I first read the book. But I would never have travelled, probably, to gatherings in Malta and Philadelphia, Dublin and Paolo Alto; I might never have been to Orkney. And I would never have known some of the wonderful people I have met through Dunnett fandom.

The Dorothy Dunnett Society suggested that fans the world over should get together and drink a toast to Dorothy Dunnett at 1 p.m. local time. So we did. Seven of us, at The Tea Party Cafe on York Street, Ottawa.

The Dorothy Dunnett Society proposed the text of toasts, but I made up ours: To Dorothy Dunnett, the best of the best.

And we toasted her.

I passed around my photo album of pictures from the first Dorothy Dunnett gathering in Edinburgh, in 1990. Beulah's comment: "We were so young, then." Tasia and [livejournal.com profile] josanpq replied, "We still are."

Beulah passed around cards with contact information for the Dorothy Dunnett Society. I showed them the latest issue of their publication, Whispering Gallery, and let them browse it - but made sure they gave it back. It's precious.

I had proposed that we each bring a favourite Dunnett quote, and some of us brought more than one.

[livejournal.com profile] josanpq quoted Thorkel's advice to Thorfinn in King Hereafter: "Accept the consequences." She also quoted Groa's line about 'five minutes'.

Tasia quoted Pawn in Frankincense when Lymond is talking to Philippa:

    "...The coast's a jungle of Moors, Turks, renegades from all over Europe, sitting in palaces built from the sale of Christian slaves. There are twenty thousand men, women and children in the bagnios of Algiers alone. I am not going to make it twenty thousand and one just because your mother didn't allow you to keep rabbits, or whatever is at the root of your unshakeable fixation."

    "I had weasels, instead," said Philippa shortly.

    "Good God," said Lymond, looking at her. "That explains a lot."

She also quoted a lovely passage from King Hereafter, which I don't know where to find. It begins, "You have only to lift your hand".

I chose, from Checkmate:

    A lie is a broad and spacious and glittering thing, sweeping belief before it from its very grandeur. But the truth fits, like an old man cutting cloth in an attic.

And from The Spring of the Ram:

    Calmness was a weapon and a defence; beauty was only a weapon and best left alone. He was to face the Emperor of the eastern Greek world, and he employed his only real rule. Put yourself in the other man's place. War and trade; love and freedom from love - it was the way to success in them all. When he failed, it was because he had forgotten it. Or, occasionally, because someone was better at it that he was. But only occasionally.

One reader chose the very beginning of Dolly and the Doctor Bird, which I would quote if I had my copy to hand.

Gemma chose the final verse of the wonderful rhyming game played by Lymond and Philippa in the House of the Revels in The Ringed Castle:

    Ah, Lamuel, lest your Life be Light
    Lament not for your Lost Delight
    Beshrew Loose Ladies in the Night

We voted on who had the best hat; three votes went to Tasia, three to Gemma, and someone just voted "Everybody", so [livejournal.com profile] josanpq flipped a coin to break the tie, and Gemma won the prize - a coffee table book with pictures of houses of Scotland, called The Scottish House.

And all the time we were drinking delicious tea from beautiful but mismatched cups, since it's a Mad Tea Party: spiced chai, Earl Grey, Lady Grey - or drinking coffee; or delicious mushroom soup, or eating cucumber sandwiches, or grilled cheese and veggies, or dahl over rice; and for dessert, pastries and scones. Mine was pumpkin scone with clotted cream and raspberry jam. I shared it. Mmm.

And though the Tea Party Cafe chef couldn't have known it, raspberry jam is a great Dunnett reference.

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: (Default)

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