Sunday, May 24, 2009

Report from Ottawa

Here we are, all four generations of us! Taken the night before I left Vancouver.

Blogging more than I expected to here, thanks to this new little Netbook I packed along (at just 2 pounds!) and to a bit of time on my hands since I'm on my own. It's a bit odd to be on my own in Ottawa as most of my previous time here was visiting Pater who kept an apartment and worked here for a few years while I kept the homefront going back on our island. Since those were always, as we joked, "conjugal visits,"the whole city is tinged with an air of courtship for me, so returning to some of our favourite sites is lovely, but a bit melancholic.

Yesterday I walked along the canal to Carleton University, site of the conference -- the young man at the hotel concierge desk said it was about a 40-minute walk, but he obviously has longer, faster legs -- it took me over an hour, but was a lovely walk in the sunshine. On the walk home, I stopped at The Ritz on the Canal and enjoyed a glass of wine and a salad -- it always feels luxurious to treat myself to a nice meal while sitting by myself and just enjoying the view.

I was a bit surprised to find that our presence in town (supposedly there are 8000 academic/scholarly delegates attending) is eclipsed by that of the many, many racers -- yesterday afternoon were the shorter races (10K, 5K, and 2K) and this morning at 6:30 I was woken by the preparations for the marathon which began at 7. Right now there is pandemonium right outside the hotel as the 1/2 marathon gets underway, and racers are chattering away in the lobby as they cmoe back in to stash items with friends or take one last pee. Once they clear out of the way, I'm going to head out to campus, walking again (I doubt that the shuttle bus was able to get anywhere near the hotel, through these crowds -- truly, it's crazy excitement out there!)

I'm giving my paper this afternoon so the butterflies won't be gone 'til then -- wish me luck! It's really not such a big deal, one of four in our panel, which in turn is one of many panels over the four days -- and I doubt there will be 30 people there, but still . . .


  1. Good luck! Although I'm sure you'll do fabulously.

    Your picture is fantastic - what a treasure!

  2. I am sure your are extremely thoroughly prepared. Fingers crossed all the same. I am soooo very jealous of you salad and chilled wine I dream of such peace without the guilt.
    Have fun

  3. That's a great photo, your mum looks well. Hope the presentation went well - after that you can relax, right? Downtown Ottawa is so nice - when we went there for our house-hunting trip after living in small-town Alberta for 3 years, I took one look at the Byward Market and it was like the Mother Ship was calling me home!!! Patricia

  4. Good luck with your paper - I'm sure you'll do really well.

  5. I hope the paper went well - I'm sure it did!

  6. Oh I hope the paper went well, but I am sure it did. Fabulous family photo!

  7. First of all, the picture just below this is killing me - those glasses! That nose!

    Second of all, what a wonderful way to remember a city. I suppose if we ever leave B.C. Sharon and I will feel that way about Victoria...

  8. Thanks all -- the paper went well so now I can relax.
    Patricia: isn't the Market wonderful? Sadly, I didn't make it there this visit, but I love the cafe au lait there with a brioche!
    Thomas: aren't the glasses great?! And yes, between us two couples, our courtships will have transformed the usual perception of Ottawa and Victoria as bureaucratically boring cities. It is a lovely way to remember a city, for sure, and makes the whole commuting relationship somewhat worthwhile. . .

  9. Just am catching up--and am enjoying the virtual, vicarious visiting! I lived almost directly across from the Ritz on the Canal: QE Driveway at . . . Something Street and remember when it was a simple shack for putting on skates.

    I also spent a miserable year at Carleton (as an engineering school, I think it's predisposed to discount the humanities) but loved running along the canal and through the arboretum in back, for its hills.

    And now you're in London, taking my very favorite walks! I did those daily, with a stroller in tow, and have rarely been happier. Ahh, clotted cream, rather unappetizing to say, but delicious with scones.

    Hope your paper went well, despite the technological annoyances.


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