Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Word-less Wednesday, Some "What I Wore", and an Attempt to Change Gears. . .

 Thanks so very, very much for all your kind, thoughtful, and encouraging comments on my last post. I'm working my way back to positive blogging energy, and I'm so grateful for your patience and your willingness to keep tuning in here, despite the ups and downs of this transitional time in my life. Indeed, some of you even find value in my words because I tend to write through the lows as well as the highs -- it seems there's some worth in acknowledging difficulties and discouragements.

But I do want to balance the picture regularly, and it's important you know that there are many good moments during these transitional times as well. I have already written the first in a brief series on friendships, old and new, in times of transition, and that post will go up very soon. Today is Wednesday, a day I often try to post recent photographs, and besides showing you several more of my downtown Ottawa shots, I'm including three photos from my Monday cycle with Pater (who photographed the two What Mater Wore Cycling shots).
 This beach is a 20/25-minute cycle from our downtown apartment, and the route is seaside almost all the way.  If we don't live on island waterfront anymore, this is a pretty decent compensation. . .
 Now let me just share a few more of those Ottawa shots, from the morning I posted about here . . . and no more words from me for now. But you know I'd love some from you. . .  Or just enjoy the images, and come back soon . . . Happy Wednesday!

Bonus What I Wore shot -- my black linen Madewell dress and hand-me-down (from my daughter) Bloch ballet shoes

hard to resist a reflection shot!




Juxtaposition -- old and new, lines and curves. . . 












Monday, June 27, 2016

Monday Morning, Finding Traction. . .

Not gonna lie. That Friday post was an effort of will, written despite a low mood and lack of energy, written because I wanted to wave at you before the weekend. I suppose I was naïve in not having anticipated some negativity, but by Saturday morning, I was seriously contemplating whether I want to continue blogging at all. Over-reaction, I know, and as the weekend progressed, this community once again demonstrated its thoughtfulness, kindness, and wisdom, although I did make the uncomfortable decision to delete one post. I did my best to answer each comment respectfully, but I have to tell you that the work that goes into these responses can be as tough and as time-consuming as what it takes to write a new post.

Meanwhile, the post that I've been trying to write for a week is STILL not completed, and I suspect your interest in my Ottawa/Montreal meet-ups must be waning. I'm trying to balance my commitment to promises I've made here with my own need for writing freedom.  And the post-moving fatigue is giving way to the exhaustion that results from doing too much (fun stuff!) in our new environment. . .

Plus, if you'll permit one more whine, all of this is happening right when I've got more new visitors streaming through (coming to see what I wore, sent by Sue ), and I wish I were better dressed, being more amusing, offering more scintillating perspectives, in order to convince them to join our conversation. . .

Because I know I'll get back on track very soon. Might even figure out a way to take decent What I Wore photos again, in this new space. . .  Might sort out how to channel some of my Instagram energy over this way (because that platform seems to suit my current moods better for the moment). .

Until I get my blogging energies and rhythms sorted, though, you might like to know that in my life off the screen, we're adjusting quite happily to an urban lifestyle. This weekend, besides the two separate overnight baby-sitting gigs, I also managed to

1. See Finding Dory with a seven-year-old (and Pater). Highly recommended, especially the seven-year-old part.

2.
Go to an Urban Sketchers' meet-up with a new friend.Our subject was a Vancouver Biennale sculpture, Trans Am Totem by Marcus Bowcott -- pictured above.  I was pleased enough with my rendition, but I was especially pleased that I pushed aside my nervousness about joining others in an "artistic" activity. Pleased I ignored the self-censorship, and just tried to look and draw, look and draw, look and draw, line after line, methodically. .  . in the sunshine, with like-minded, supportive people nearby. Pleased to be immersed in the process for an hour. So great! (And if you want to see how my sketch turned out, check out my Instagram button, top right column.)

3. Pedal with Pater on my first urban cycle of the year, first of what I know will be many (we're biking again today).

And the fun continues -- we've got tickets for a concert tonight, part of a great lineup of Vancouver Jazz Festival performances. . . a friend's coming to town this week, and there are lunch plans. . . and I think Pater and I might make some forays into some furniture and design stores, just daydreaming about how to feather our new nest. . . .

What about you? Are you easing into the week? Easing into the summer? Easing out of one mood and easing into another? Ease. . . . Transitions . . .  Ease. . . .Hmmmm, let's chat. . .


Friday, June 24, 2016

Here Comes the Weekend -- What Are You Up To?

I cannot lie: the devastating results of yesterday's referendum in the UK have me feeling too low for writing. Too low for doing much, quite honestly. At such times, I'm glad to have a small repertoire of dependable activities that are productive, satisfying in their mechanical natures. Some of these have helped get me through the most trying days of this Big Transition called Moving Off the Island. I'm going to say more about this personal list of resources next week.
This was the scene last time we babysat. . . 



Also coming up soon, another post in the continuing series from our Croatian correspondent, Dottoressa, who will be telling us more about the culinary traditions of her country. . .

I'm grateful to my friend Sue/Une Femme for mentioning me in a great article she posted today on defining one's personal style. As always, she's thoughtful, kind, wise, stylish and ever so articulate -- and honestly, I'm not just saying that because she says nice things about me.

No time to feel downcast about socio-political cataclysm on the world stage this weekend. We're doing an overnight baby-sitting gig for one daughter's anniversary celebration tonight, and we've got another granddaughter sleeping over tomorrow night while her parents gallivant. On Sunday, if all goes as planned, I'm joining a friend for an Urban Sketchers' outing, and by Sunday evening, I suspect there's going to be some serious couch time with my favourite Netflix boyfriend. . .

What about you? Any exciting plans for the weekend? Or any quiet, comforting activities on the agenda? Bubble-blowing, anyone?


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Word-less Wednesday, Taking My Mood for an Ottawa Morning Walk, With Camera

 Today's word-less Wednesday around here, and I'm trying to save the prose for posts I've already promised. But I'm going to share soon some of the approaches that are helping me move through this time of transition between homes, moving from island to city, living in a temporary small space, not easily able to begin new projects nor even easily continue ongoing ones.
As you already know, one of the best things we've done so far is building in a week's getaway to a hotel in downtown Ottawa where Pater was working on contract (and from where I headed out for a mini-trip to Montreal).  Still, during those lovely days, despite getting to meet up with friends old and new (again, that's coming soon in another post), I had some moody moments -- not grumpy, but unsettled and tending to melanchony. One morning in particular, I started trying to explain to Pater and quickly realised that talking to a distracted-but-trying-to-be-a-good-listener husband wasn't going to help. Instead, I dressed quickly, made sure my iPhone was charged right up, grabbed my Olloclip with the 2x telephoto, and headed into the downtown streets while they were still quiet. The sun wasn't fierce yet, but was already playing some fun games with the glass surfaces of the downtown windows.
 Looking back at these photos, only a few days later, I'm thinking of how quickly I was absorbed in the process of really looking, getting out of myself and back in, all at the same time, if that makes sense -- re-seated in myself maybe?
 At any rate, these are a few of the photos from that morning walk, which took me eventually to the Byward Market for "un café au lait, s'il vous plaît, en bol." And by the time I got back to the hotel,  the day's funk was completely banished. . .


 Trying to figure out what it is I liked so much and found distinctive about Ottawa's downtown mix of architecture. Many of the newer buildings are pretty close to brutalist, if with a late-20th-century's surface-of-glass twist. Nothing terribly exciting. But there's something about the mix, as it stands right now at least, with the reasonably wide streets, and the juxtaposition of heights (not too much sky-scraping, really, and quite a few buildings at nine or fewer storeys. So sky gets to play a large part, and there's some cool play of rectilinearity against negative blue space. I like that very much.
 And artisanal finishes on older brick buildings, and the juxtaposition of old and new. . .  Throw in a bird or two . . .


 A very individual view of Ottawa, one Saturday morning in June. . .
and there are quite a few more photos were those came from. . .

Hope you enjoyed!
Now I'm wondering what you have in your toolbox for quickly moving yourself out of those moods that really don't deserve too much of your energy (Some sadness and anger and crankiness does need to be worked through rather than pushed to the side, I hasten to add -- I'm not talking about that right now). . .
Or we don't even need to chat. It's supposed to be word-less Wednesday after all. I never manage that particularly well, do I? And I do love to read your comments. . . 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Dressing in Transitional Times. . . What I Wore

 I'm so grateful for your comments on yesterday's post -- they let me see how very much to-be-expected are my current mixed emotions, and they reassure me that I will eventually (soon?) be swept up into my new life here, as some of you have already experienced. I'm whittling down what I want to say about all that, mostly deciding to tell you a bit more about my Ottawa socialising (new friends and old friends, lunch or dinner out with someone almost every day of the week away!) and to tell you what activities are giving structure and rhythm to days in our temporary space. But that's for later.

For now,  I'm unpacking a bin or two and trying to figure out where in our tiny apartment to put these items I'd deemed absolutely necessary for our ten weeks' waiting time.  And I've also been trying to organise my Macbook Air, getting used to the absence of the PC I've always counted on, space hog that it is. . . So in the interests of clearing out and moving on and getting organised in new spaces, both virtual and material, here are some WIW posts taken in the last days of our move.

 As you can see from these, all taken end-of-May and early June we've not seen much of summer here on the Coast yet,  and Transitional seems to be a theme around here. It was warm enough, once or twice, to wear this navy J Crew dress, to enjoy the comfort of my new blindingly summer-white Birkenstock Arizonas, even sunny enough to justify the hat. But I kept a light cardi handy, and you'll notice that my legs are still a very winter white. . .

And while I probably wouldn't need the cashmere scarf AND the jean jacket together this week, I could still appreciate either one, especially in the evenings. 

 Honestly, this is probably my comfort zone, weather- and dress-wise.  I could wear this outfit every day (oh, let's be frank, I pretty much do!)
 Old Gap jean jacket, Bompard cashmere scarf (bought last summer and worn at least fifty days since -- indispensable in this colour!), J Crew olive-striped top, Levis, Fluevog loafers . . .
 Here's another variant.
 hand-me-down Joe Fresh floral khakis (my daughter left them to me when she moved to Rome--I'm doing my best to redeem their fast-fashion provenance by wearing them into the ground), a navy cotton poplin top, J Crew, my Gap jean jacket, and my new Vince sneakers (yes, the blisterers! but we're working on that. . . )
 Also working on how I will manage WIW posts in this temporary space (while trying not to feel too nostalgic about these shots in my old home. Sniff. Sigh). The only mirror here is hard to get any light at. Sue showed me her trick when we ladies-who-lunched it in Ottawa, and I may try to set up something similar with my iPad. Or try to recruit Pater again. . .
So now I've put these What I Wore posts on the blog, and I'll delete them from my MacBook, banish them from the Cloud, and with that, one more move is made from Transitional to New Space. Perhaps this might move us one step closer as well to Full Summer here in Vancouver. Although given what I've been reading about the temperatures some of you have been coping with (46 C, 114F?!!), I'll be careful what I wish for -- I found 32C in Ottawa quite hot enough, thanks.

Over to you now, the mic's all yours. . . comments on transitions and dressing for them, life and weather-wise both, very welcome. What's the weather like where you are at the moment? Are you finding comfort in clothes? Or even delight? Or boredom, perhaps? Resisting the retail sirens or steering close to those rocks? Do tell. Or instead, a snapshot in words of what you'll be doing today, no matter what the outfit.  As for me, time for a yoga video workout, and then I'm picking a certain redhead up from preschool for an afternoon with Nana. That'll knock melancholy off its blocks!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Monday, Monday -- Post-Move Monday. . .

I thought I'd have a different post for you this morning -- I started writing it yesterday, trying to wrestle with the various emotions I'm jumping through, back here by myself in our small apartment surrounded by post-moving clutter, a cool-ish June Vancouver outside, my island life no longer structuring my daily choices. Trying to write about why it was good to create some space elsewhere (sunny Ottawa and Montreal) in a hotel room with a fabulous view and someone to make my bed and change my towels, days organised by morning runs, lunches with friends, old and new, dinners with my husband in a different restaurant each night, blackout blinds and well-designed hotel beds ensuring good sleep after weeks and weeks without.

And trying to articulate how what I'm feeling isn't particularly sadness but involves a certain melancholy. Trying to explain how I budge the melancholy with activity, trying to reassure that I'm moving past it with projects and planning, and that overall I'm excited, anticipating what comes next. . . although admittedly with some trepidation.



But it's taking me much longer to write than I thought, and I suspect I'm going to have to divide it into several posts. I'm meeting my sister at 6:30 (yes! a.m! she's like that! -- and I've been awake since before 4 anyway -- jetlag!) for our first run together since I became an official Vancouver resident, and before I head off, I want to wish you a Happy Monday! Start of a new week, all the possibilities. Want to let you know I'm working on some words. Feeling the feels, as the kids say. . . .

Colour pops courtesy of my iPhone 6Plus and Ottawa's Byward Market, where I had a great chat with the 75-year-old woman whose family grows these gorgeous radishes, one of the few farmer-vendors left at the Marché, so tough a business has agriculture become. . .

Comments always welcome, as you know by now. . . 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Last Day in Ottawa

I fly home later today, and I'll post soon about this week in Ottawa. These last few hours here, though, I'm going to hang out in the sunshine with my guy. Meanwhile, here are a few photos, and if you haven't already seen what Sue posted, at High Heels in the Wilderness, I recommend you pop over there. Not only does she have a much better post-lunch photo of the two of us than I managed to capture, but she's also developed some thoughts on blogging and shame that really resonate with me. I hope to say more soon about the pleasure and privilege of meeting blogging friends--rest assured, Sue is as lovely, entertaining, bright, and thoughtful as you'd imagine from her writing.

Morning runs with Pater along the Rideau Canal

He insisted on taking this. I don't think it's flattering, but I do love that he thinks I look great! Funny guy!

This is better....getting ready for another lunch with friends. 

Layered a light linen sweater to keep the sun off my arms if there's no shade
Even brought a hat, but I can never keep it on...

One last view of our running route, this time along the Ottawa River.

Now to spend some time with Pater before we separate for most of the week...
And I don't have to tell you, do I, that your comments are always so very welcome (and I know I'm behind in responding to ones on the last post or two, but I'll catch up once I'm back home -- meanwhile, I've read and appreciated every one!)
 

 
 



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