Showing posts from January, 2017

The Day I Saw The Bald Eagles

This morning I woke up sick.

My chest was tight. My nose was dammed. There was a pain behind my left eye, probably because liquid was backed up into my sinuses. I breathed a big breath in three noticeable stages to fill my lungs. I had two things to do. Get my fatbike back from Redbike. They were bringing up the handlebars so there wasn't as much stress on my upper spine. (See 2015 for painful story behind the need for this modification.)  And I had promised to see Dub. He is a good friend and I don't see him as much now that I'm no longer in the newsroom. He helped get me through those five years and helped me put in perspective some unpleasant people.

Cue my first wrong decision:

He was gracious, as always. Texted back to get better, see you soon. Then I went to Redbike to pick up my bike.

On the way home, I saw what I rarely see on the Groat Bridge in the winter, which was people standing by the railing, looking downstream. Then, in a pool of water on the river, I saw …

Winter Ride

It is a good morning when the set designers escape and run around the city doing their stuff. More hoarfrost! More fog! More winter!

I would have gotten to work 10 minutes before I did if I didn't keep stopping to take pictures. As I look at them know, the pictures are okay, but also disappointing. Kind of dull, actually. Certainly no match for what I felt as I stopped to take them. I realize I am a bad photographer. I photograph what I see outside, only to realize later that I was actually trying to make stand still what I felt inside. What would a photo from a camera that shot back into the shooter as he shot out look like? I wonder. Maybe a written sentence.

Nevertheless, here are some pictures of scenes that made me stop and notice and even notice that I was noticing. It was a remarkable morning, as all mornings are when I feel happy to be alive and working my bicycle through this weather.

The thought kept coming back that this was all as beautiful as a painting or a postcard…

Winter Passes By

I might be projecting a bit here, but I registered a glimmer of recognition in the glance and quick nod of the jogger as he came off the Groat Bridge this morning. I was pedalling onto the bridge, and  had stopped to take a picture of the winter scene.

It's interesting to watch for the things that make us stop. I was struck by the winter layers: the crusty pavement, and then the tree lit by hoar frost, then the curve of the bridge, the river bank, and then the grey blue of the sky. When you are struck, you stop. And when you are stopped, it's easier to take a picture to record if not the feeling that did the striking, then, at least, the digital footprint. So, I reached into my back pocket and grabbed my iPhone and took the pic. By this time the jogger was right in front of me. As he passed, there was a smile in his eyes and he nodded.

No words, but I took it to mean:

One day, maybe soon, more Edmontonians will discover that, while there are things wrong with life in this cit…

Walking in Toronto

Here are 20 pictures from my wandering through downtown Toronto with Shelagh, and a couple of memories called up in the wandering. This was the view last night from up on the canyon wall.

Forty-two flights down the elevator shaft, we set out this morning. A broadsheet page tumbled by. The wind did what it seems to do to western Canadians with a cold smugness to them, which is to send them back to the hotel for another layer.

The wind also moved Shelagh into a walkway over York St, just up the street from Air Canada Centre. This part of downtown was hollow on a Saturday morning. It was built for the business crowd, and it waited for Monday.

The needle on top of the CN Tower looked like it could pop the saggy balloon clouds.

Along Front Street we looked into the window of the Hockey Hall of Fame. From the street, I could see the plaques of Rogie Vachon (who I operated on my Coleco table hockey set in games against Brucey Straka. There were tiny red and green plastic lights inserted in …

Hey, good cookin!

We eat well in our little house in west Edmonton. And we eat happy, too.

This is because Shelagh is a great cook. I didn't understand kitchens until I experienced Shelagh's. I mean, it's a like a master carpenter's workshop. Where you eat the woodwork.
She is inspired by Molly Yeh, Melissa Clark, Christopher Kimball, Yotam Ottolenghi, Lucy Waverman, Diana Henry, and Lynne Rossetto Kasper. And by Mrs, Timeus, who made brown soup when Shelagh was a girl. And by her mother, Phyllis, who made roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, and everything else.
We're inspired by her.
Shelagh's kitchen is also a kind of studio. She provides commentary on good things as she cooks, and reacts to the food as it takes shape.

I've picked up these insight scraps over the last few months. Here is some found poetry from Shelagh's kitchen, in her own words:

Nothing really smells like brown sugar.Is there anything better than a lime?Is there anything better than a lemon?I love parmesa…