Saturday, December 10, 2016


Not Amused

Photos: December 9, 2016

This large lion sits at the bottom of a stairwell, no longer guarding the antique store. He and his partner once sat proudly at street level by an antique store. When the store moved they, too moved, down into this stairwell guarding the new location. That did not last long.

Not Amused II

The store moved once again, morphing into a flower shop and there was no room for these majestic fellows at the new location. So they sit, abandoned. No one to brush the snow off their manes, no one to make their way down the stairs in search of treasures. They seem to be scowling at their fate.

Last of the Colour

Last Colour

Photo: December 8, 2016

I often wonder why some trees and bushes hang on to their leaves even after they have started to dry out. I do appreciate this last colour as all around everything fades to grey and sepia. I notice the oaks that seem determined to  hang on tenaciously to their brown leaves all winter, only to drop them in spring. Even scientists puzzle over why.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Warm Adventures

Coffee Time

Photos: December 7, 2016

Work had to be done on the transformer in our building and so (we were warned well in advance) we had no electricity for the better part of the day. I planned my day accordingly - no sitting around as the condo got cooler - I had a list of things to accomplish and warm places to visit. A bowl of café au lait accompanied my lunch at Duc de Lorraine, a pastry shop that has been around since 1952. It has a very French (from France) atmosphere.

My Lunch Mate

This fellow was my lunch mate. He stood there and watched me eat.

At the Christmas Market

The electricity came back sooner than expected, but I had more on my list of things to do - coffee with my son. Near where he lives they have opened a small Christmas market with outdoor fireplaces - a great place to warm up. By the time I returned home the building was warm and welcoming.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Candles for December 6

Evening Light

Photo: December 6, 2016

Dates have feelings attached to them - some filled with joy and some with sorrow and some may be tinged with both. As my late husband was Dutch, I always tried to celebrate Sinterklaas  (December 6) with my children - filling their shoes with marzipan, chocolate letters and other Dutch inspired treats. We liked to celebrate anything we could in December. The dark days, which could easily provoke a seasonal sadness, were enlivened by our sillyness - from Sinterklaas to Christmas, from Hanukkah to Festivus, we made our days more fun.

But December 6, since 1989, has been also associated with sorrow - the anniversary of the shootings at École Polytechnique, the engineering school at the Université de Montréal. Fourteen women lost their lives; another fourteen were injured. We must never forget them and what they represent - women who were studying to enter a fairly male-dominated profession, killed simply because they were women. Misogyny exists in many forms. While this was an extreme example, there is still a long way to go in fighting for equality for women, to stop the objectification and to encourage women to follow their dreams.

And so we remember
Geneviève Bergeron
Hélène Colgan
Nathalie Croteau
Barbara Daigneault
Anne-Marie Edward
Maud Haviernick
Maryse Laganière
Maryse Leclair
Anne-Marie Lemay
Sonia Pelletier
Michèle Richard
Annie St-Arneault
Annie Turcotte
Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz

A Little Snow

Out For a Walk

Photos: December 5, 2016

A little snow fell on the city. It's that time of year when winter is trying to set in but hasn't quite unleashed its full force.

A World Turned White

One day all is covered in white and the next the grass shows through again. I love the pristine look of fresh fallen snow.

Now a Winter Scene

I thought it would be fun to peer through this climbing equipment again to contrast the view with that from just a few days ago.

Snow has Fallen

The scene has been transformed.

The Snow is Falling

As the snow continued to fall sounds get muffled. There is an incredible sense of peace.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Late Autumn Afternoon

Starting to Freeze

Photos: December 4, 2016

There is something beautiful about a walk in the afternoon in the late autumn. The air in December has a bit of a bite as temperatures hover around freezing. Bits of ice cover this bit of water which pools in a depression.

Long Shadows

By 3:30 the sun sits low, casting long shadows and tinges everything with golden tones. Many were out enjoying a walk on Mont Royal.


The birds, too were enjoying the sunshine, swooping down to the feeders and back up to a safe branch to enjoy the seeds.

Montreal from Mount Royal

Mont-Royal is a place to escape the city but also to enjoy the city. The views from the promenade at the chalet are expansive, from the buildings of downtown, to the river and even to the mountains in the distance. It reminds us that we live on an island, so easy to forget as we see only the street scenes as we walk.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Evening Out

Along St-Denis

Photos: December 3, 2016

This time of year it is so easy to hunker down at home in the evening, yet I always appreciate when I have a reason to get out. The city is beautiful at night - the many lights and lively atmosphere.

Traffic on Rachel

As you look along Rachel you can see the cross hovering over Montreal. There are rules about building on the side of the mountain, the result being there is just forest and field below the peak of the mountain (actually not much more than a hill at 233 m  or 765 ft).

Waiting for the Music

We were on our way to a concert by Pallade Musica Chapelle-St-Louis - on the programme: A Musical Offering by Bach. What a splendid concert!

And then back into the night.