Monday, January 31, 2011
Though we haven't had a lot of snow this winter, we have had a lot of grey days with sprinklings of snow. It has slowly accumulated, leaving us with a constantly white landscape. My indoor garden brings me smiles, as the bright colours counteract the monochrome outdoors.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Friday, January 28, 2011
I've started a photography course - and it has thrown me a curve - no more shooting on automatic. I'm really trying to get my head around F-stops and shutter speed and which to set when to get what and what do I want out of a photograph? There may be some very wonky photographs over the next while (though I may cheat and use my point and shoot as I always have it with me).
I like to set myself challenges - keeps the brain cells flexible. Living lifelong learning...
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Students, too come in every shape and size. Why do we accept that their bodies can be so different one from another, but think their brains should all fit one mould? Teachers know this can't be the case, that one size education cannot fit all. Why do politicians think they know better?
Monday, January 24, 2011
Notes on a page don't mean a lot until you let them come alive through voice or instruments. Today I played this sonata by Handel with a friend playing the continuo line on her cello (with one of her cats playing the audience).
What a treat to find the music in the notes, the sense of elegance and joy. The instruments carry on a conversation, sometimes supporting each other, sometimes answering each other. It is a challenge to find what the composer wanted to say and at the same time to add something of yourself in the playing.
Daily Shoot: Celebrate the pretty things in life. Make a photograph of the most beautiful thing you see today.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
A busker takes advantage of the warm spot to ply his trade. The sound reverberates along the passageway just as his image reverberates through the mirrors. He seemed to have charmed many passers-by as his case had amassed a tidy sum. Fortunately no snakes were dancing out of it.
Down the stairs you can see beyond as the mirrors let us glimpse around the corner.
This path leads one way with no branches, no decisions, so unlike the path our life takes with choices, back-tracking, breaking trails, and finding new paths to take.
Daily Shoot: Make a photograph featuring a path, road, or trail that leads the eye through the photograph.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Daily Shoot: Make a photograph with a triangular composition.
I got out too late - so the triangle is somewhat obscured by the darkness.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Saturday, January 15, 2011
I'm reading "The Anthologist" - so far not a favourite. My bookmark keeps my place as I come back. The bookmark was given to me; it is from a Montreal organization: 60 Million Girls which supports education projects for girls in the developing world. They are hosting an event in May which will feature Greg Mortenson of the Central Asia Institute (read about him in his books: Three Cups of Tea and Stones into Schools)
"When you educate a girl you educate a whole family"
Good reminder as I read, how important literacy and education is to people around the world.
I was admiring the fat flakes of snow that were gently falling when I noticed this stairway - a spiral. Utilitarian, it serves as a fire escape.
I always think of learning as a spiral and have never understood people who think it is a straight line. Each time we revisit an idea or concept, our understanding deepens. While we build on past learning, we also need to constantly go back. And all of this takes time.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Just read the tag!
Buying clothing has become more complicated with moral decisions accompanying fashion decisions. There was a time when I shopped that I bought something if I liked it and I could afford it. Now many criteria affect my decision. Where was it made? Do I want to support outsourcing or goods made in my country? Was it made in a sweat shop? What is the fabric? Does it breathe? What are the washing requirements? Does it have to be dry cleaned? What about environmental questions - if it comes from far is this a good choice? Is it made from a renewable resource? ... So many questions with answers often conflicting. Complications...
This yellow orchid sits on my window sill. putting a splash of colour in front of the sometimes white or grey landscape. I follow the growth of each plant, delighting in new buds, waiting patiently for them to open. Four of my orchids have sent up shoots. More flowers to come soon.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Water - it seems so innocuous. Yet if you read the news today, visit Australia and see the devastating effects of water gone wild. My thoughts are with my virtual friend in Brisbane, who though she is on higher ground, is witnessing the inundation there. Today is the first anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti. Clean water there is still a problem resulting in many suffering from cholera.
It flows clear and clean from my tap. No shortages. This is a resource to be treasured.
We don't need them all.
Time to play.
Complicated metre - 5/8 time.
Sometimes with the other parts
It just adds to the excitement
When the rhythms play off each other.
I guess that's like life.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Some long rays of sun reached us this afternoon. But cold, damp windy gusts kept us from taking a long walk. I've always loved the look of the dried flowers and grasses sticking up through the snow. Many years ago, my late husband and I wanted to start buying art for our home. We saw a painting by William Allister that we loved, but it was too expensive. We settled on a small canvas - very reminiscent of this winter scene.
My photograph doesn't do it justice. Allister was a distant friend of my parents. He was a Canadian artist and writer who wrote a novel of his time as a POW during the second world war: A Handful of Rice. You can learn more about Allister here.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Friday, January 7, 2011
The railroad bisects Casselman and the haunting sound of the train whistles can frequently be heard.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
I did catch her wandering around the house the other morning. She quite enjoyed exploring and my old cats no longer seem bothered by her presence.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Monday, January 3, 2011
Here is what the main part of the building looks like.
This fire station adds character to its surroundings, unlike many of the utilitarian buildings of more recent times.
Sunday, January 2, 2011
There is a cat, Nora, who plays the piano with her piano teacher owner. Her YouTube video came to the attention of a composer, Mindaugas Piecaitis, who wrote a concerto with her music. Noël has not yet started playing music nor has he joined in with feline vocalizations, but he makes a great audience.
This cyclamen rewards me with new blooms. Like me, the plant has been around a while but it constantly creates new growth. New Year's is always a time to stop and reflect, to ponder whether the path we are on is the one we want to be taking, to set goals to tweak our lives and thus create new growth. Life is in constant change - the changes that happen to us and the changes we make happen. We have to tend our inner gardens well, to nourish, to find the sunshine and to revel in our own blooms.
Wishing all my friends new growth and a year full of blossoming dreams.
Saturday, January 1, 2011
This map is used courtesy of World Sites Atlas
In 2010, there is no doubt in my mind that my trip to the Arctic was the highlight. You can read about it in my August entries. Our trip left from Toronto. We flew to Greenland (Kangerlusuak) and boarded a ship for our adventure. The approximate itinerary can be seen below.
Our itinerary changed due to weather, ice conditions, and the need to meet the Canada customs agents who, due to hotel space, had to go to Qiqiqtarjuaq instead of Clyde River. What an experience!
I passed this store window and thought it was delightful. Several things in the window are made of chocolate. If I had not been in a hurry, I certainly would have been enticed inside by the display. It's an art to create a good display. So many store windows fall short. But then not all stores are selling chocolate!