Jane's Space

Jane's news and thoughts.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Facebook and the Bofa News

Facebook was why I stopped working on the BOFA news each month. Joining Facebook inundated me with joy. It was glorious to “see” so many people, and “talk” to them. Soon I didn’t feel like doing the news, and I didn’t do it. It’s quite difficult to do, but so many people check it out, over 1000 a day, and so many people have contacted other people through it, that I felt it had some importance. It was sort of my gift to Bofa and improv and lately Lit, and Canterbury. And a connection to so many people I have worked with and loved. And then I realized, as I was once again wrestling with my guilt at not doing it, and my feeling that I should do it, that an underlying truth was working in me, like a current in a river: Facebook, with its constant, lightning-speed communications, made the Bofa news irrelevant.

Over Christmas though, quite a few Bofa people asked, “hey, where’s the news- and your blog? You quit? What’s up with that?” And then I had a call from my sister, a computer teacher and website designer who created and looks after the site. “You know,“ she said, “it’s been 4 months since you did the News. The statistics show more people are looking at it than ever. More than any of my other sites. Do it, or decide not to.”

So I did it. The January news is up, and I am working on the February news. It all seemed worthwhile again. And not everyone is on Facebook, after all.

The news is a lot of work, but only for about three or five days each month ( if I stay on top of it.) And as for Facebook itself, it really is a phenomenal invention! Once again I am in love with it.
I am not very good at it. ( “Facebook” should be a verb. I expect it is one now, along with such abuses of the English language as “message me.”) Sometimes I can’t figure out where the messages are, under the videos and jokes and applications and gifts and various screens - and I go away, and leave it all for another time. But then, a gift, I return and find a new person, or someone finds me, I see a beloved face, and my heart lifts.
I’ll do the Bofa news.

I always thought angels were for making Major Announcements, or for shining royal blue stained-glass windows, or for the top of Christmas trees - or for poets. Or country songs.
And then I met one.

There has been a lot of ice around here lately. In fact icicles melted and then froze, in a vicious wind, an inch thick all over my windshield and the side of my car. I was unable to open the car door. It looked as though the ocean had frozen in waves on the hood and windshield. I had to cancel my evening plans that night, call my son and wait for help.

So today I was in Loblaws, looking for salt and not finding any, because there had been a run on it. A manager told me about ice-melter, near the front doors, and offered to get me a bag. I haven’t been able to lift anything heavy since ‘98 and The First Surgery, and I wasn’t sure how I should handle 22 pounds of ice-melter. You need to understand the problem: first there is getting the ice bag into the cart; then there is getting the bag onto the belt to pay for it; then there is getting it back into the cart; then there is getting it from the cart into the car. I usually put heavy things on the seat of the cart, and then tip them into the trunk. And, last, there is getting it into the house. I often get help with that.

Today I heard the woman in front of me in line at the cash telling someone in front of her that there was ice-melter at the front of the store. She had overheard my conversation with the manager, and we had smiled at each other as he brought me the bag. She turned to me, and indicating the bag of ice-melter, she said, “can I borrow this for the cashier to scan? That way this lady can pay for it and just pick up a bag on the way out.”
“Sure, “ I said.

That’s what happened. My lady then said, taking the bag back from the cashier, “I’ll just put this on here (the belt) for you,” “Great,” I said, “Too many surgeries make that a problem for me!” “Oh, then I’ll put it in the cart,” she said. As she put the bag in the cart, I blurted, “oh, could you put it in the seat instead? Then I can tip it into the car.” And she did.

After I paid for my groceries, three lifting problems solved easily, I headed out with my cart, over the icy parking lot, in the sunshine. I was putting the groceries onto the back seat, when out of nowhere my lady appeared. “I just saw you as I was leaving,” she said,” and I thought I would move this for you.“ She grabbed the bag and lifted it into the car seat for me. I saw her car beyond her, the driver door open. “Omigod,” I said, “you are an Angel. A real one.” “It takes two minutes,” she said, and she smiled at me as she drove off, and I felt through my whole body how lucky I was.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

September 22, 2007



It seems like forever since I wrote this blog.
The summer has sped by, and I am trying to catch it now. Luckily for all of us, summer is lingering into fall. But today is gusty, the red roses are whipping in the wind, and there are yellow maple leaves scudding around the lawn and driveway, offending my pink and blue colour scheme.

Summer was so busy that for the first time in seven years I didn’t put up the Bofa news. I forgot that when you are looking after kids you have no other life. Has it been that long? But I did have the joy of my grandchildren and of exploring summer with them.

Summer was a season of falls for me. Three on stairs. I tore a knee meniscus, (twice), and then a toe, and then sprained an ankle. Not so good. Ice and crutches have worked wonders, and physio is looking after my ankle now, but I am anxious to be ‘normal' again.

Summer meant:

* The Poets’ Pathway was pretty well in abeyance.

* Going to Stratford. Such a treat! I went with my first Drama babies from Laurentian. From 1976, 7, 8. We had an idyllic trip, full of laughter and happiness. We loved the plays - well not Merchant of Venice... we drove home from Hamilton listening to the soundtrack from Oklahoma, through soft summer air with a full orange moon riding low beside us, hearts full .

* Visiting Toronto, seeing Stephanie and Glenn’s new house.

* Making my garden beautiful.

* Spending time at Marjory’s lodge, watching my grandson swim and learn to row, watching him come home in the boat with two really big bass - the first fish he ever caught.

*Going to a cottage, movies, beaches, swimming pools, the Fools’ Twelfth Night and the Odyssey show. Attending more than 20 concerts at the Chamber Music Festival, and more at the NAC and the Governor-General's home, and getting drunk on piano and violin and Beethoven. Even though I was on crutches I saw quite a few Fringe plays in the muggy heat. (Ottawa U has a lot of sidewalks and stairs around its theatres!)

*Visiting with Marjorie Malpass and Erin Pleet, who started me on Facebook, and Michelle Rakos and Adam Denault and Levon Henderson and Neil Smith and Sheri Segal - seeing Mike Valliant-Saunders and his two lovely children, and Duane Keogh and Christie Watson and Steve Fisher and Cari Leslie and Martin Gero. And Carol.


I saw Margaret Atwood in the flesh! She was a guest of honour at the opening night party of The Penelopiad at the NAC. On Sunday I am attending a workshop, and she will be speaking in the afternoon in the Studio. It is interesting to compare her natural voice with the one I am used to in her work. The Penelopiad is a compelling production, and highly visual; stunningly disciplined. There are 13 female actors in it, no guys. Margaret Atwood was composed and witty, dry and honest and composed and intelligent, of course.

We went to see Duane Keogh and The Town Pants performing at Grace O’Malley’s. Poor Duane was sick, but still full of energy, bouncing and singing, resounding off the walls - I don't know who has more energy than the Town Pants. They are amazing, and a packed house loved them.

I learned how to do Power Point for some presentations for the Poet's Pathway, in the fall. I had a wonderful time taking photos of spots along the 35-kilometre trail, and finding poems by the Confederation Poets to go with them. Mind you, often I was trying to find photos to go with a poem, and that's more difficult.
It wasn't nearly as much fun speaking at a microphone at the NCC's first public forum though, while someone kept waving at me to hurry up.

I am still taking piano lessons, and practising every day; this summer I had a meltdown over my piano playing when I heard myself on tape for the first time, at an electronic piano. But now I can't wait to get into the grade 6 Conservatory book, silly I know, because of course it will be even harder than the grade 5 book, which still has lots of challenges for me!

My first study guide for the NAC was due in November. It was on Macbeth. I worked maybe 200 hours, maybe 400! but I loved doing it.
It's on line, as are Jim's study guides, on the NAC site, in a section called Arts Alive. Or here ( if you want to study Macbeth some more!) : http://www.nac-cna.ca/en/allaboutthenac/publications/education/macbeth_guide.pdf
Part of preparing for it was attending some wonderful workshops - one with the brilliant Peter Hinton (artistic director of the NAC) and one with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Young People Fucking

Going to Martin's movie was a joy.
So many people everywhere, milling and excited and laughing, Martin exhausted, my son-in-law, Glenn, (a producer of the movie), exhausted, Stephanie exhausted; people sleeping on the apartment floor, people in the restaurant afterwards, bemoaning their lack of tickets which were all sold out, the staff lining up to say goodbye at the door. A sunny day, an early movie: 9:30am. And on every street corner, copies of NOW and Martin's face and Aaron's, looming large! And the movie, so funny and good-hearted and sometimes, well, where do you LEARN that stuff?


I saw Adam before he left for the great green north of BC.
Adam asked, do you like shrimp? Then he arrived, lugging a heavy shiny pasta maker.
I couldn’t help peel the shrimp, ugh, grey sluggy things- and Adam made pasta, mixing it right on the counter, cooking the shrimp to pink perfection – the meal was delicious. Truly, it was. The best shrimp I have ever tasted, tender and sweet!

Stephanie and I went to Stratford to see the workshop of David Nugent's stunning musical.
Jim went too, and Ben and Naomi, in fact there were hundreds of people watching. A dozen of Stratford's best singers lined up facing each other and sang and read their lines at music stands, with four musicians behind them. The musical was funny and touching and horrifying, as Dave satirized small-town morality and capital punishment.

Incredible, really. Barely a decade after graduating, Martin has made a popular film, and Dave has written a musical and workshopped it at Stratford.

Friday, June 15, 2007


Lynn Cox sent this poster of the Fringe Fiesta II for JUNE 23, at the OTTAWA FRINGE. Teri Loretto sings with her band, Lotion, and Matt Ouimet plays in the band.

The Fiesta features 3 raffles (ticket are a dollar) of prizes like tickets to upcoming shows by Odyssey, The Fools, Toto II, as well as shows like Jesse Buck's Bubkus, Cougars by Schema and the opening of Third Wall's Top Girls. There will also be a raffle of 3 GCTC season passes for two, and two tickets to the opening of The Penelopiad at the NAC. More than 60 theatre T-shirts will be given out- some will come with the prizes, some will be thrown to the mosh pit!

Last, but not least, Teri Loretto's funk band, Lotion is playing, and there is free Mexican Food. (It is also the night they announce Best of Fringe, so lots of performers show up to party!)
Be There or Be Square!
There's Safety in Numbers.

There are more than 60 shows in the Ottawa Fringe this year and Teri Loretto is in The Donohue Sisters, with Mary Ellis and Patricia Tedford, and Alec Toller, Robin's brother, performs in his own show, We Could Be Ours.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

June 5, 2007

Hockey in Ottawa in June

“Oh, somewhere in this favoured land the sun is shining bright,
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light;
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout,
But there is no joy in Mudville—mighty Casey has struck out.”

Casey at the Bat. Written by Ernest Lawrence Thayer.

Today couldn’t be more grey. If it weren’t for the green waving trees, and the soggy bedraggled flowers, it could be November or February. I just know it's pathetic fallacy. Ottawa has been a joyous place to be lately, as the Senators make their run for the Stanley Cup. Today the series stands at 3-1, Anaheim.
I honestly can’t believe that I haven’t missed a playoff game. I know you don’t believe it either. I just love Chris Neil’s toothless smile and frantic energy and Mike Fisher’s valiant lightning effort. And Alfredsson’s dogged speed and heart. Their seeming indefatigability.

For those of you not living here now, everything is red in Ottawa. Across the road, three little boys dance around in huge Sens sweaters every evening, holding signs and yelling, “honk if you love the Sens”, and Maitland becomes a chaos of honking horns. Flags, sometimes four, hang off car windows. I have mine on, thanks to Glenn! Even the tire store has a sign, “duck-hunting season.” Signs are everywhere –flags, jerseys, t-shirts, on homes, lawns, businesses, cars, street corners – and before, during and after each game, Elgin Street is stuffed with thousands of red-clad Ottawans, as is Scotiabank Place – inside and outside. In the rain. Painted heads, faces, bare legs under red togas, chests and heads covered with shields and cups - and the screaming, honking exhilaration from five-year olds to ninety-year olds – I feel I am at an Ottawa improv final.

It was watching my grandson start to acquire hockey skills that made me a fan. Seeing wee boys fall on the ice constantly, for no apparent reason, and slide into the net every time they tried to make a goal made me aware of the skills of the professionals. Watching a game at Scotiabank Place from a box let me actually see patterns and planning. Who knew! I thought hockey was just smashing! I have talked to so many friends who are new fans, who credit the new rules for their involvement. THAT’s why we get to see such fast impressive skills now. Except of course, when we watch Anaheim, whose filthy tactics are amazing to me, as Senators are constantly smashed once more for good measure when they have been knocked down already.

“A hard call” “a tough decision” “ a courageous move”: Suspending Pronger. What incredible BS. A repeat offender. A huge bully. He should have been suspended for the rest of the series. At least.
Listening to Don Cherry with his NBC goons, I mean commentators, last night, this is what I heard: “Fans want violence.” “Fighting is the most honorable part of hockey.” Somebody should put those old boys out of our misery. Also this one, the old-time, needs-a-consciousness-raiser, (or a brain implant) CBC commentator, Neale: “ Do they? Does Dolly Parton lie on her back?”

I actually don’t care whether the Senators win the Stanley Cup. They have shown fantastic skill and class, over and over again, and have brought joy and pride and camaraderie to this whole city, and I think to many more as well. Good job!! Mind you, the celebrations, had we won, would have been overwhelming, no doubt about that. There was a thought to march the Cup back to the Governor-Generals’ residence, whence it came. Now, there’s poetry!

And, there still could be three games to go—maybe the Sens will win tomorrow, on the soggy ice of Anaheim!

Sunday, May 06, 2007


Sheri Segal was a member of wild Bofa 1992. Sheri was also a writer in my Writer's Craft class, and I delighted in her quick wit and acerbic, self-deprecating humour. She graduated from Ryerson in Journalism, and now, with a law degree, she practises in the Parliament of Canada. You need a sense of humour there, I have no doubt.
Occasionally Sheri and I get together, maybe go to a movie, and her stories still make me laugh. She still loves to write. I asked her to contribute to www.bofa.ca. Sheri is generous, and she agreed. Soon her column will be on that page.

So, here is a special treat for you:


So Jane asked me to write a little blog for her page. This is flattering, given that I have done no writing (excluding personal e-mails, legal opinions and legislation) over the course of the past few years. And while I will admit that I have a lot to say via e-mail, should much of what I have to say be published in this ever-so public of forums, I will likely be disowned, dumped or fired (though if I had to choose one…Wait. Never mind. See? This is why I am always in trouble).But I have come up with a solution of sorts. I will lie. I mean, write fiction. Sometimes. You won’t know. This way I will still be able to see my nieces and collect a pay cheque. I will always say nice things about my boyfriend though, because he will be reading this little blog thing and also, because he is perfect. Even though the rest of the contents will be fiction. Maybe.

Another obstacle I am facing has to do with the fact that I am not even sure that I remember how to write like a normal person. Most legislative drafters I know generally end up writing things that are
a) in the form of a list;
b) boring to the reader; and
c) mostly incomprehensible.

Because that’s what we do.

But I like my job. Sure, I am no Matthew or Stephanie or Martin, doing fun, interesting creative, meaningful things, but still, I work for Parliament and some people find that very interesting. Like my mom (not to brag, but my mom also happens to think that I am very smart and funny). People who are very passionate about a particular cause (or who are passionate about being passionate about a cause) also tend to find my job interesting. These people, generally friends of friends, take great pleasure in bringing up their plans for social reform at parties and on car trips. They too apparently have mothers who think that they are very smart and interesting.

Recently, I was approached by a very earnest individual who really wanted to talk to me about his plan to help the children (in situations like this, people seem to overlook the fact that I am not an elected member of Parliament). He told me about the little organization he was planning to start and in the same breath told me about the group’s first priority – to make it illegal to download child pornography. So devoted to his cause (helping the children) was he, that he was actually sad to find out that it is already illegal to download child porn. "Oh no!" he said when I told him the happy news that the children were already being helped "how awful. We really wanted to do something for the children.” I thought it inappropriate to suggest that the best thing he could do for the children (and the rest of us) was not to have any of his own. I might have suggested it in another circumstance though, for example had we been more than twenty minutes into our four-hour car ride. Speaking of helping children, it is very bad when people drink when they are pregnant. Sometimes their babies come out really stupid.

Coincidentally, I had the pleasure of sitting in front of a large group of middle aged, drunk women at the Jann Arden concert the other night (that’s right, Jann Arden). Listening to them talk through the whole event was really so much better than listening to the concert though, as they were talking about menopause, a subject everyone finds super-fascinating. Really? A heat flash you say? Honestly, we were in a hockey arena. Who wouldn’t want a heat flash?I analogize talking during a concert to snacking on freshly popped microwave popcorn in a nice restaurant -- even if you are so tacky that it won't affect the enjoyment of your own meal, everyone around you will be affected due to the smelliness of aforementioned popcorn. Now that I think about it, I guess talking through a concert is also analogous to talking through a movie. Or smoking on a bike path. Or eating pickles in the car. Okay, maybe not that last one, but passenger pickle pecking is particularly pernicious to my personal driving pleasure.

Jann was brilliant though. She is a painter and a storyteller. Her songs are meaningful and poetic (No, they don’t all rhyme), her voice is beautiful and pure, and she is hilarious (that’s right. HILARIOUS). If I could choose a sister, I would choose her (though I will take this opportunity to remind my real sister, should she stumble upon this blog, to kindly refer back to the FICTION rule, above). I also saw Final Fantasy in concert last week. (I feel a need to share this not only because of how incredible this guy is, but because I do not want to be classified as one of those easy-listening chicks. I happen to be very hip)(seriously. I am easily the third-hippest in my lunch and learn group)(and there are almost eleven of us). Final Fantasy is also brilliant and creative and modest and adorable. In fact, if I could choose a boyfriend, I would choose him (though I will take this opportunity to remind my real boyfriend to please refer back to what I just said to my sister. This is FICTION.)

So that’s it for now. Talk to you soon.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A blog about Spring.

Ahhh. Now it’s Spring. Tulips are shooting up, the smells of fresh paint and cigarette smoke are wafting from next door, as my neighbour spruces up her garden, I’m counting blooms, checking the signs of life returning to the land, beauty coming back… daffodils are opening, people are visiting from school, it's hockey play off time. I have seen more games this year than any time ever. These finals are absolutely wrought with anxiety. Here's why:

And then there are the Senators! Seven p.m. arrives and I start to get restless, then I realize why - there is no game tonight. Can you believe it, me? I have learned a lot about hockey from watching my grandson learn to play. Yes, this is him, his team winning first place for his level in the league.

Two ravens –they are so big I swear they must be ravens – keep zooming my roof, swooping low as they approach the window in front of me. Howling winds, temperatures of 23, 25, just as I was about to despair – 16 centimetres of snow a week ago, 15 degrees two days later.

What a glorious day Saturday was! My friend and I went to a new documentary, A Heard of Poets, about Ottawa poets – there must have been 30 or more, reciting and performing in all kinds of Ottawa venues. It is Writer’s Festival time in Ottawa, and how wonderful to see hundreds of people in the Library at the National Archives, for poetry!

After we parked at the Archives we walked to the back to look at the river and we were suddenly in the woods, right there in downtown Ottawa. We watched chipmunks and a squirrel in the sudden silence- and two Downy Woodpeckers rapping on the trees, and butterflies – so many butterflies, black and white, suddenly swooping toward us, one at a time. Another island of peace and nature in the heart of the city. Ottawa is so beautiful.

After the film we had dinner at the lovely Keg on Richmond, the one in a heritage home beside a walled garden, Maplelawn. The patio wasn’t open, but we could see the river glinting outside, and the 21-degree air was soft, and our skin was loving the sunshine on the way in. After dinner we went to a choral concert at the Unitarian Church. That church is warm and lovely with its redwood exterior and its high spire –and it is such a generous church. Three choirs sang, and as we sat in the angled wooden pews, looking out through two walls of glass at the trees and water beyond, the sky was everywhere. I watched it slowly deepen, and at intermission the two walls of sky were solid deep blue and green, a beautiful counterpoint to the red carpets and wooden pews. The third choir stood in front of the blue-green sky with the soft church light glowing in front, and the sky slowly darkened. It was living art – a feast of sight and sound.

I had spent the morning working in the garden, in the sunny blue… a perfect day. Surely Spring has arrived in Ottawa!


So let me tell you more about the Poets’ Pathway. We had the reading/party I told you about, and it went wonderfully.

To our delight, Clive Doucet came. He is a super poet and a fine writer, and an excellent human being. He is even that most impossible of beings, an excellent politician. He has been a city councillor for years. I had brought a book of his poetry, Canal Seasons. I had been struck by his synthesis of poetry and rowing, and by his statements about how poetry was meant to be seen outside in the community, and I was going to read his thoughts and some of his work out loud. But he read his own poems, since I had them there! I was so glad I had brought his book!

Other poets read their work, and we read some very famous, and some not-so-famous poems, and gave Archibald Lampman his due, and Wilfred Campbell too. Jodi sang Joni Mitchell, in her glorious soprano, and Erwin read a poem in Flemish, and we had breaks for wine and food and chat. I read a poem by Kurt Vonnegut that Jehan had sent me, and Clive Doucet initiated a discussion about the tribute that the Globe and Mail published when Vonnegut died. A tribute that did not adequately reflect Vonnegut's passion or importance or voice.

And here it is. my exciting news! At our first break, Clive Doucet told me that he intends to support the Poets' Pathway and bring a motion to City Council. We were stunned! How fantastic! To make matters even better, the NCC has just published a list of NCC lands to be saved, and all the lands the Pathway has been fighting for are there. The Poets' Pathway Committee has been fighting for these lands for many years, long before I came on the scene, and we are now working with fervour to do all we can to make the Pathway happen.


I have some more news – look who visited. Robin and Cari. They both seem wonderful. Not changed at all since they were together on BOFA three years ago!

Robin was on his way to New York to perform with his class, the new LAMDA graduates. And Cari was on her way to perform in an improv show at Canterbury. Cari won the Johnson Heart Award at the games. Her coach was Dan Lajoie. Canterbury’s coach was Jeff Lawson. Funny. Jeff and Dan were competing in the Games in the mid nineties. Now they are competing in the Games as coaches.

Speaking of Dan and Jeff, here is a picture of Kurt and Christie after we went out for dinner.

And I forgot to put this photo up earlier – so here is Steve Fisher, with a new skill in hand…

And of course, since it’s spring , people are graduating. Trisha Allison has her final LAMII show in Montreal, May 24, 25, 26. I am looking forward to going, with my triumvirate.

And Chris Cochrane is graduating too! Look at these photos of Chris and Hamza sent by Hamza – who only has one term to go at Studio 58!


I saw Jim’s show - Fallen Angels - it’s funny and sweet and gorgeous - at OLT. And Helen’s Necklace at GCTC. I especially enjoyed Jason Jazrawi who played the roles Raoul played in Toronto — and there was a musician, Amir Amiri, who made wonderful music throughout the play, playing cymbals with a violin bow… and a dulcimer.
Although this seems to be a dreadful pun, it isn’t meant that way - Scorched at the NAC was a searing piece of theatre.
I am looking forward to seeing Christie Watson in She Stoops To Conquer this month. Christie is playing Kate Hardcastle, and I love Restoration comedies, especially this one. Seems to me they are hilarious just as they are- I wonder why Christie is cast as a girl.

A few words about Health and the Environment.

Every day new "discoveries" are filling the news. I have to say that most of them I was reading about in the 60's... but look at the news about salt! Hey, pay attention! There would be 25% fewer heart attacks if people cut down on the salt that is loaded onto everything. Studies say so.

And the news about Bisphenol A! I already told you about that one, a few blogs ago. You should definitely check out this one again. This is the chemical in hard plastics that affects your hormones. Even a tiny bit does.

And then there’s the furor these days about plastic bags. Remember when I wrote about trying to remember to ask for paper bags in grocery stores? Now it’s second nature! Amazing how everyone is leaping into this fray, yea! I don't understand why paper bags in grocery stores is not the default choice. People should have to ask for plastic bags.
There are a few things I do which make me feel "good" - hanging out the laundry, making pickles, and now using brown paper bags for groceries, and putting them out to be recycled.

Friday, April 06, 2007

April 6, 2007

So, it's Easter weekend. Happy Easter!

Steph and Glenn are home, in Ottawa, and I have done my running around - it's so peaceful, for the first time in weeks, I think. The house is filled with colour - flowers, chocolate eggs, people, paintings. Dog!

It's not so colourful outside though! I am waiting for this miracle - my first real sign of Spring:

This is a closeup of my beautiful, fragile, peach Azalea. And in the front yard, I am waiting for my Crab Apple tree to bloom. It is even more fragile than the Azalea -the blooms open in the gusts of Spring, and usually the second day after the blossoms are out, I come home

with wet leaves plastered to my windshield, to a pink lawn, and a bedraggled, naked tree. Don't really know why I have this tree any more - I wait all year for its two days of bloom, and it has grown big enough that its shade interferes with these pink roses that used to cover the lawn.

That's a lot of pink for one blog!

I am going to add two pictures, in a different colour, of another of my favourite "It's Spring in Ottawa' sights.

Wild and beautiful! HOG'S BACK FALLS

Speaking of wild and beautiful...

Next weekend we are having a small gathering to read a few poems and celebrate Spring and talk about the Poets' Pathway that I am working on, with lots of other people of course. It's a wonderful project, truly, and it appeals to all my instincts. I remember writing about this before - well, sort of writing about it. In my blog of September 2006, I wrote about Archibald Lampman, and then a Poets' Walk. I said I might even volunteer. Well, I did, and have been working on it ever since. It is very exciting , a project of the Greenspace Alliance, and you can read about it on their website. A new site is about to open.

In a nutshell, people on this committee are working for a 30-kilometre path from Britannia to McCarthy Woods ( near Mooney's Bay) to Beechwood Cemetery, where many old Ottawa citizens are resting, including three of the best Confederation poets, A. Lampman, D.C. Scott and W.W. Campbell. The path would celebrate Canadian poetry, and Ottawa's poets, through preserving the land they walked and skied on, the land they trudged through and lay on, honored and studied, the new, wild and beautiful land that inspired a first outpouring of love for a new country.
Ottawa is still the centre of the country's poet-making tradition. How fitting then, to have such a living monument to all Canada's poets.

Here's a picture of Archibald Lampman. He is a romantic figure, having had a sad love affair, and dying at the age of 37.

That's about the age of Lord Byron at his death, and Lampman is in many ways like the Romantic poets- Wordsworth,Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, Byron, all of whom loved nature and most of whom died young. I was in love with all those poets when I studied them in university. They were young and rebellious and thoughtful, and all for nature and wildness and freedom and the common man! Archibald Lampman worked at the post office downtown, that imposing building on Sparks St.