Archive for the ‘spring’ Category

Ducks!

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Plume and I were walking through the park at 6:30 this morning, arguing about whether it was better to plod slowly along the paved path or bound gaily through the pond of snow-melt that takes up a good part of the park at this time of year. In any case, we were getting a good look at the pond of snow melt and the many, loud, associated seagulls. And then a pair of ducks waded into the pond and started swimming.

In case you’re wondering what’s so special about ducks, take a look at my neighbourhood:

Parc Marquette cropped

Ducks might be nothing special for you, but they are very special for me.

Thanks, Plume! (Without whom I would have been reading the internet instead of going for an early-morning walk. With ducks.)

Excitement!

Friday, March 6th, 2009

Mark got his Canadian citizenship February 6th. It was very sweet and simple and bureaucratic and communal all at once. 375 candidates from 72 countries and their friends crowded into a college auditorium. The candidates were assigned seats in the front, friends and family at the back, tables of bureaucrats in between. The entire swearing-in took about two hours, most of which was taken up with candidates finalising their paperwork.

The citizenship judge was Croatian-born and gave a moving speech about how difficult emigration and the process of building a new life in a new country is, and warmly wishing all the candidates well in their common but individually difficult endeavours.

Mark, in front with the candidates, and I, behind with the well-wishers, each wept a little, moved.

For his citizenship present, Mark and I are taking the train two-thirds of the way across the country, east to west. We’re leaving Tuesday March 10. It’s a four-day trip, and we’re getting off to stretch our legs for an extra two days in Jasper. Then we spend two weeks in the Vancouver area and fly back.

Normally transportation for this trip would be on the order of $4,000 to $5,000. But I have a bunch of travel points from travelling for work and Mark is an excellent shopper, so we’re doing it for less than $800.

They say it’s spring on Vancouver Island: the cherry trees are budding, crocuses and daffodils are blooming.

I can’t think of anything else.

Spring! (or, Why Cats are Bad)

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Yesterday my father and I were enjoying the springs in our respective cities. Yes, at -6C it was coldish (normal for March 1 is -1C) but it was sunny and the birds were singing.

That my father was enjoying the spring weather is remarkable because he just arrived back from West Africa: you might think that the hot and muggy weather of Monrovia and Accra might set him up to interpret an Ottawa March 1 as winter. But no, the birds are singing: it’s spring!