Rally before the Rain

The People’s Social Forum kick-started a four day event here in Ottawa with a march to Parliament Hill.

Dubbed the Woodstock of left-wing politics, the forum focuses on 17 themes:

  1. Climate;
  2. Communication;
  3. Community;
  4. Control;
  5. Earth;
  6. Economy;
  7. Food;
  8. Gender;
  9. Governance & Democracy;
  10. Impoverishment;
  11. International;
  12. Knowledge;
  13. Migration;
  14. Movements;
  15. Public services;
  16. Spirit; and
  17. Work.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) was there and dutifully reported on the rally, focusing on 2 more themes of (typically mundane) Canadian interest … the frustrating commute (“people were waiting 10-15 minutes at points”) and the weather (“well Adrian, that rain has chased them all away”).

My ideal strawberry experience

The Strawberry entry on Wikipedia claims that “strawberry flavor and fragrance are among the most popular hedonic characteristics for consumers”. Certainly nothing says summer quite like strawberries.


The Wikipedia article notes that the “ideal strawberry experience” has to do with attributes such as sweetness, fragrance and complex flavor. My ideal strawberry experience is predicated on the local attribute. This week, I ventured 10 kms down the highway to the Bélair farm for a flat of ripe, red berries.


I enjoyed them in a salad with cucumbers also bought at the Bélair farm, on mesclun purchased from McClelland farm – less than 10 kms from home if I were a crow – and topped by fennel sprouts from my own garden. Yummmm.


I enjoyed them sliced on baguette with Gorgonzola and the last of a strawberry-white wine preserve from 2012. The cheese is too strong for my partner, so I was grateful that our friend Jonathan dropped by to share the sensation.



To extend my enjoyment, I have been making small batches of preserves every night this week: Strawberry, Balsamic and Black Pepper spread; Strawberry and Mint jam; Strawberry Honey. As I listen to the satisfying ‘pop’ and ‘thuk’ sounds of the lids sealing tight, I ensure an “ideal strawberry experience” on even the coldest winter nights.


The beauty of the berry, preserved by sugar and heat, is captured by the camera in the rays of the morning sun.

‘Eau’ Canada

Enjoying a day of fun and relaxation on one of Canada’s many waterways – the Gatineau River in south-western Québec – with my partner Steve and friends Jonathan, Audrée, Ben and Annie. Feeling so fortunate to have such good people around me and to live in a country with so many beautiful and pristine areas.


Happy Canada Day!

A Wakefield Morning

A village with an awesome array of artists, hippies and regular folks like me – my Saturday morning food shopping hangout.

Finding Bliss at Brown Lake

Gatineau Park’s P17 is the closest parking lot to my home. The trailhead to the Brown Lake cabin starts at P17, so it is not unsurprising that I am hiking this trail often and in all seasons.

As the trail cuts through woodlands, fields and a former orchard, there is always a wide variety of plant life and insects to see – especially this time of year (yes, some of the insects are the biting kind – but you really do learn to live with them too).

The cabin sits close to the water … a haven for birds and insects and a nesting ground for turtles. I had always thought this body of water was Brown Lake. Beautiful .. but full of reeds and not suitable for swimming.

But on a hike this winter, I followed a snowshoe trail (only marked on the winter maps and virtually hidden in summer) and found that behind the tall reeds lies the real Brown Lake. Wide, long, deep. And no reeds. Just beautiful!

It was warm, sunny and I was all alone. I could not resist a quick (skinny) dip. Hello June!

Cape Breton Birding

Great birding in Cape Breton this time of year. Below are some of my favorite pics from the past week.

Now this birdie has flown home and is back in her ‘cage’ (i.e. work cubicle).