Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
One part of the rink is reserved for beginners, with cones and metal devices which can be pushed while those less steady on their feet learn how to skate. I've never been comfortable on skates, but love to watch as others glide around.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
|He's off with some customers|
Friday, December 24, 2010
Despite the sun the cold nipped at my hands as I took them out of my gloves to snap photos, but the cold air is also exhilarating. A walk on a sunny, cold winter day is a delight.
And the days are getting longer...
With just my point and shoot I tried to get a good photograph -no tripod. I should keep one in the car. This photo doesn't do it justice, but here is the moon, caught in the branches. The water in Lake St. Louis has not yet frozen, so the lights are reflecting on this bay.
Slightly post-processed and cropped from another photo - lots of room for improvement.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
You have to use your imagination when looking at these new formations, This lot seems to be standing around - waiting for a bus? or just chatting (or is that chattering) about the weather. As winter progresses the shapes can change - sagging and stooping.
Here are a few more. What do they make you think of?
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Slowly now, the days will get longer, giving more daylight time to enjoy the crisp winter days.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Coming out of the concert it was quite magical as night had fallen and all the lights from the stall and on the trees were twinkling. Some people were huddled around a bonfire, warming up after time spent shopping.
If you read French, you can find out more about the Marché de Noël.
Last year I took some daytime photos, see them here.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Another wall has every kind of sauce and marinade you can imagine from every ethnic group. You can burn your gut with the hottest hot sauces, enjoy every flavour of salad dressing and sample sauces from around the world. Do you need specialty rice? special grains? any kind of tea? I can spend a long time just admiring the variety. And I do buy. Shopping here always comes with conversation, whether about the origins of what you buy or about politics. Shopping here is personal and browsing is encouraged. It's a must stop every time I come to the market.
Today's basket included some gifts, tea and wild rice.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
In the summer his friend suffered from vandalism. Some youngsters thought it was a good idea to push it over. These lions are very heavy; my neighbour had to get a small crane to set it back on its pedestal. I don't understand what goes through people's minds when they commit these acts.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
The train from Toronto to Montreal stopped at Brockville station. The train itself, split in two there, with half continuing on to Ottawa and half to Montreal. I had time to admire this mural through the window. Many years of events are depicted here. It's how I sometimes feel as I get older, seeing the layers of history in one scene. I drive through the city and remember buildings that are no longer there, walk past places from my youth and remember people and events that happened. It's nice to have that fourth dimension to see, for those are our stories.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Some cars still do not have their snow tires and they skid and slip on the snow-covered roads. The snow continued all day today - up to 30 cm. But it is light fluffy snow - easy to shovel, though not when there is lots of it nor once the plows have come around and compacted it.
Winter is so lovely when you can be inside looking out, when someone else does the shovelling, when you can strap on a pair of snowshoes and just wander the woods. And the first storm always brings a magical feel as everything is transformed. Winter has settled in for now.
In the official rules you are supposed to use a 3 minute timer. We bend the rules and play as long as we like making words in French as well as in English.
This board was particularly fruitful.
Here are a few words to start you off:
How many can you add?
Monday, December 6, 2010
Friday, December 3, 2010
As I was driving I was listening to Q on CBC radio. William Gibson was on and he was asked if the Internet was dumbing us down. I loved his answer. First he said that we are the only creatures that have created prostheses for memory from writing on scrolls to handmade books to printing and on through the various media. The Internet is just the latest prosthesis. With facts on hand we can free our brains to think, to ask the questions we need answered, to think more deeply.
A colleague recently pointed me to Conrad Woolfram's TED Talk on computers and mathematics and how letting the computers do computations we could be free to do the thinking. We have to understand what computation needs to be done, but can give that part of the task over. In this way, students can be doing more mathematical thinking.
So the computer in both situations can make us stronger - doing the low level tasks and freeing our brains for the deeper work. In this odd way there is a connection between what I heard and what I saw. While Louis Cyr is a celebration of brawn; I like to think of the computer as a brain expander.
Sometimes it pays to be out early. This shot was taken out the front window of my car as I was stopped at a red light. I was on my way to an early morning appointment.
It's one way to start the day with a smile on my face. How can a day go bad when it starts like this! Interesting that it started a day on which I ended an uncomfortable work situation and everyone felt OK about it. I feel like the sun is rising in my life. Making room for new adventures (one of which is a photography course starting at the end of January).
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
I love the solid feel of the old stone buildings. Across the street are newer condos which just don't have the same charm. Fortunately, the architects tried to make them fit into the surroundings in terms of size and proportions.
The concert - a delight. A visit with Mr. Bach by Ensemble Caprice. Just the thing to chase away the blues on a blustery grey day.
The market has been transformed into its winter style. The only outdoor stalls are these tree sellers. A protective structure has enclosed some of the outdoor kiosks so they are now indoors. The market feels cosier - and the always friendly atmosphere prevails.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Yet even this street has only borne witness for a few hundred years. In travelling I have walked on roads much older and stepped where famous people of history have walked.
Here in Montreal, I walk in the footsteps of the people who settled here, leaving their homes an ocean away to live in what was sometimes a very hostile environment. I walk where the sailors have walked as they entered the church where the concert was held, offering prayers for safe journeys. I stroll where the merchants of Montreal walked on their way to Bonsecours Market. Each generation has left its imprint on the city and each generation has, at times, erased the past to make way for the future through demolition and new structures. It is nice to have a part of the city where we can still connect with the city's past.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Back to the boots, hats, scarves and mitts. But the air smelled fresh and the snow crunched under foot. Daylight seems brighter reflected off the snow and night-time sparkles. The first snows are festive as holidays approach. Snow in March feels wearisome.
So cheers to all - to an easy winter, to wonderful music, to a festive December.
Friday, November 26, 2010
The house smells wonderful with cooking smells wafting up the stairs to my office. When I was small, my mother sometimes served me soup with a whole chicken leg in the bowl "chicken in the pot", but since this photo, I have stripped the meat from the bones. I love to have soups- freshly made or defrosted from the freezer. They make a wholesome meal and warm you up on cold winter days.
Paperwork, on the other hand, doesn't quite have that same warming effect. As soon as I sort through one stack, the postman brings more to the house. There is a never-ending supply. Sometimes I feel like I am a processing plant taking mail in, sorting it for various recipients in this house, then dealing with my own, with envelopes in recycling and the important pieces on the continuously growing piles. At least I made a good dent today.
We are heading into the darkest part of the year, with the shortest day being less than a month away. Lights are appearing all over the city. They used to be "Christmas lights" which would appear in December and be gone some time in January. Now they seem to appear earlier and last most of the winter. I like the British term - fairy lights. It makes them appropriate for any season. In many countries, December is a time for festivals and holidays for which light - whether candles, oil lamps, stars... is a symbol of the holiday. It certainly brightens the season, making long dark nights sparkle.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Daily Shoot: Illustrate the process or thought of traveling today, possibly by documenting your own travels.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
It becomes a case of "you can't see the trees for the forest" It's just one big jumble of stuff. Oh - just give me a few tasteful lights that chase the darkness away instead of all these commercially made apparitions!
Friday, November 19, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
The dancers were delightful, costumes were sumptuous and the music was lovely. Altogether - a feast!
But colour is disappearing. These grasses have lost their vibrant greens and now, faded and bleached, they wave in the breeze.