Familiar faces, worn out places

I wanted to document my walk to work. I love walking to work in the morning. I hope that wherever I wind up in the future, I will continue to have this option. If not, I might have to do something very old-lady-like, such as get up extra early and go for a stroll before work. That may be an overly lofty goal for my bed-loving self, but those morning walks sure are scrumptious.

And the walk is an interesting one. Although Saint John is a small city, it is still more city than this little girl has ever known. It also has a lot of history. Most of the buildings date back to the 1870s; unfortunately, so does most of the infrastructure. What you end up with is a strange mix of beautiful old architecture and a lot of run down dwellings, abandoned buildings and saggy structures. Even the decrepitude has a certain beauty to it.

Little Birdie  DandelionsTreeTrash  BUDS

Signs of spring.

I felt it would be disingenuous to exclude the garbage. It’s alllll part of the ‘charm’! The little bird caught my attention with his calls…I think he might be a House Sparrow!

Gothic Arches  imperial

Trinity Church  King Square  

Some structures along the way; the Gothic Arches (currently abandoned),
the Imperial Theatre (recently restored), Trinity Church (ringing its bells) and
the Bandstand in King’s Square (also recently restored).

Cast Iron 1

Market Gate

There is some pretty cool cast iron around the city.

CityMarket

Balemans

And finally, the City Market. I’ll miss this place the most of all in Saint John, I think.

Many a coffee, muffin and fresh fruit or vegetable has been purchased here.

I had intended to document the entire walk right up to the Museum entrance, but I ran into some old friends on my way through the market and got completely distracted. All three were people I knew in University, whom I hadn’t seen since we graduated (two from my undergrad and one from my B. Ed. program). None of these people live in the city, or even particularly nearby, so it was pleasantly surprising to bump into them.

There is something special about an unexpected reunion. You hear your name, turn around, and see a long-lost face you otherwise thought you may never have seen again. You feel that little bubble of excitement, like freshly poured champagne, and for a little while you are completely fine with tossing away whatever seemingly important obligations you had moments ago. You get to reconnect, just for a few moments; catch up on everything you each missed in the years between your last meeting. Then, you are both on your way again, with no notion of if or when you will meet again. A series of moments is all we ever really have with anyone in the end, isn’t it?

Since I’m a huge cheeseball, I often play myself a soundtrack in the back of my mind when I start waxing philosophical. Here’s today’s:

 

Advertisements

One thing at a time

A good friend and coworker of mine has a phrase. She always says it when things get busy.

“One thing at a time.”

This advice has been important for me lately. Looking around my apartment, it’s easy to feel completely overwhelmed. What am I going to do with all this stuff? There is a whole apartment filled with it. And there is an entire room still filled with boxes of mum’s things to be gone through, which is slow and excruciating work.

And yet, all you can do, is just work through it all one thing at a time.

One box at a time.

One day at a time.

One goodbye at a time.

 Image

Horse Happy

Any day involving horses is a fantabulous day as far as I’m concerned. I hope that everyone in their life finds something that makes them this happy. I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is about these animals that is so awesome. Winston Churchill supposedly said,

“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”

I can’t verify that he actually said that, and I hope that by “man” he meant “humanity”, because certainly the outsides of horses are loved by many girls and women as well. In fact, the number of men I have encountered at my riding schools in three years, I could count on one hand. Either way, he was sure right.

Let me show you the source of my happiness today. There is a new horse at the riding school I attend. His name is Jerry. He is a stubborn, speedy Paint and I’ve only ridden him twice, but I am having so much fun with him. He is packed full of spunk, energy and a dash of sass. I seem to have an affinity for slightly pig-headed horses who like to go fast. Go figure.

I felt a connection with him, though. When I let him loose in the pasture he just stood next to me instead of wandering off to eat hay as they usually do. And just before I left, I grabbed my camera to take a shot. He walked right over to the fence to say hello. He’s just so darn lovable!

IMG_0017

IMG_0031

 

I also got to have lunch next to this today:

IMG_0036

IMG_0046

Maelstrom!

The Reversing Falls. I think the tide was going out. There was a sweet whirlpool.

I feel the need to document all of this, because I will be leaving it soon. Why is it that we tend not to truly appreciate what we have, until we lose it? Somehow things come more into focus when there is emotion attached. My hope is that document everything as it happens will help keep it real for me. And hopefully remind me of it all when I’m elderly.

As long as we still have Internet, and are not living in some sort of post-civilization dystopia.

Maybe I should print these pages.

Happy Birds

Today’s happiness was brought to you by: BIRDS.

So, it was International Migratory Bird Day today. Birds are cool.

My current favourite is the Northern Flicker. They are a little type of brightly coloured woodpecker. Their name in french means “Flamboyant Woodpecker” (pic flamboyant).

Northern Flicker

“I’m fabulous!”

I work at a Museum and we did a whole bird-themed day around this. It was swank! In the course of preparing for the day, I also found a sweet site filled with bird song recordings under creative commons licensing. Educators, go nuts! I know I did 🙂

I particularly loved finding a recording of Barn Swallows. They are noisy little buggers, but growing up there was always a little family of barn swallows outside my window. Each morning I’d wake up to their chitter-chatter and I’d look out the window to watch the adults bring bugs to the little fledglings, all lined up in a row on the electrical wire attached to the house. I had almost forgotten that memory. I didn’t forget though, that if you get to close to their nests they will dive-bomb your head.

This year, it was a long hard winter. When I saw the first flock of blackbirds flying overhead (I knew it was them as I could faintly hear their calls), I actually cried. As a general rule, I loathe shedding tears in public, but the winter was cold and difficult this year, and not just because of the snow and ice.

So birds make me cry, they make me smile, and their feathers unfortunately make me sneeze.

Here is one of my buddies from the museum:

10750_696647350379913_1967217404_n

“Bonsoir!”

He is a Great Horned Owl; his French name is “The Grand Duke of America” (Le grand-duc d’Amérique).

tumblr_mcs4w5HHLl1r02tpmo1_1280