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Pics & Prose

Brrrrr

Marina poses beneath some graffitiWin­ter tem­per­at­ures have def­in­itely settled in to our part of the world. The nicest part of which, mind you, is being warm, indoors, while work­ing with the smell of din­ner per­meat­ing the house. I could do with a hot chocol­ate but I guess a glass of wine will suf­fice.

Today’s pho­to fea­tures Mina, pos­ing cooly under a bridge on our hike last week­end.

Good Start

Looking up under a rail bridgeI hes­it­ate to say any­thing pos­it­ive, lest I stir up some trouble. Not that I’m super­sti­tious or any­thing but after all, Don­ald Trump takes office in just 20 days.

Ah, to hell with it; let’s chance it!

So far, 2017 is off to a good start. Des­pite being pinch-punched at 12:20 am.

Lucky for me, the New Year fell on a Sunday so I kept my weekly Sunday appoint­ment and made my way to the gym. Des­pite it being the new year, it was remark­ably quiet. I sus­pect this won’t be the case on Wed­nes­day morn­ing or next Sunday for that mat­ter. Typ­ic­ally, it takes a few months for the new­bies to give up their exer­cise regime. But, wheth­er it was because it was quiet or not, I had a very good run. I even went a bit fur­ther than usu­al in the same amount of time, clock­ing my best 5K time yet.

By noon, the fam­ily was off to the Moore Park Rav­ine which starts at the south side of Mount Pleas­ant Cemetery and is part, in part, of the Belt­line Trail we hiked last year. The trek was lovely among the trees and we passed some inter­est­ing bridges, includ­ing this won­der­ful rail bridge. How­ever, the trail was quite slip­pery, if not treach­er­ous in sec­tions. We found ourselves cross­ing from one side to the oth­er to tread on snow instead of ice.

Even­tu­ally, the path lead to the Ever­green Brick­works which is now an envir­on­ment­al centre housed in a former quarry. We sat in the sun by a smoul­der­ing fire, enjoy­ing hot apple cider while devour­ing some french fries. After a nice rest, we made our way back to the car.

And, aside from today’s exer­cise, I’ve also star­ted the year with some pic­tures, so all in all, not a bad way to start off. I hope your year is off to a good start as well.

Artful

Sunlit reedsArt is not what you see, but what you make oth­ers see.” –Edgar Degas

When I think of art, I think of all the won­der­ful artists we’ve lost this year: Bowie, Alan Rick­man, Harper Lee, Umber­to Eco, George Mar­tin, Gary Shand­ling, Prince, Ant­on Yelch­in, Kenny Baker, Gene Wilder, Leonard Cohen, Robert Vaughn, Florence Hende­r­son, George Michael, Richard Adams and just yes­ter­day, Car­rie Fish­er. 2016 was a for­mid­ably shitty year.

Ms. Fish­er was prob­ably my first Hol­ly­wood crush, way back in the sum­mer of 1977. I was twelve and she was a beau­ti­ful, feisty prin­cess fight­ing to save the galaxy.

But she was a more than Prin­cess Leia. Dia­gnosed as bipolar at a young age, Car­rie Fish­er was a vocal cham­pi­on for dis­cuss­ing men­tal health. It’s only fit­ting that her passing has sparked wide­spread interest and sup­port to de-stigmatize depres­sion, addic­tion and oth­er men­tal health issues. If you’d like to read more on this, here’s an art­icle at The Guard­i­an.

I star­ted this post with a quote, so it seems apro­pos I fin­ish with one:
I don’t want my life to imit­ate art, I want my life to be art.” —Car­rie Fish­er

Pre-Christmas Gift

A streetlight illuminates a snow-covered path.For the first time in a few years, we’ve received a sig­ni­fic­ant snow­fall in Toron­to. Sadly, I missed the storm which struck while I was in Cal­gary but overnight we received another 8–10 cms so I was able to work the old shov­el­ling muscles.

After a late din­ner, Jen­nifer and I decided to take a booted Lucy for a walk to check out the lights at the High Park gate. As luck would have it, the tightly-wrapped hol­i­day lights weren’t on, but I would be damned if I didn’t snap a few pic­tures after lug­ging my cam­era bag and tri­pod through the slush and snow.

I man­aged to cap­ture a few inter­est­ing pho­tos, one of which is fea­tured here.

Early Christmas

Our toy train by the Christmas tree
Huzzah! The Christ­mas tree is up and in record time!

To be hon­est, we’ve been pretty lax when it comes to put­ting up the dec­or­a­tions in years past. Truth be told, we only man­aged to buy a tree the week before Christ­mas last year. But the kids would have none of it this sea­son and star­ted pres­sur­ing EbeJen­nifer at the end of Novem­ber.

We also decided to dust off our toy train set which the kids gladly assembled togeth­er. There was an issue with trac­tion and the loco­mot­ive but after much per­sist­ence and tinker­ing, Mat­thew was able to get it to the sta­tion on time! My par­ents might remem­ber this old train as it used to be theirs. I can’t say how old it is exactly but I sus­pect it’s as vin­tage as me which means it’s been around for awhile.

And finally, while I’m not 100% con­vinced it was our embra­cing of the Hol­i­day Sea­son, but it snowed today in Toron­to. In fact, it’s still fall­ing and I’ve already been out to shovel once!

A Post

Wet oak leaves on the forest floor