Profile of a content writer

I wrote this piece as a timed exercise, modelled on Natalie Goldbergs: “Thunder and Lightning”

I am feeling brave enough to “cut the umbilical cord” to let it fly out here and allow you this little insight into me.

tea, books and kindle to hand

Seated on my couch, in my apartment, with laptop on my lap, mug of tea to hand (teapot within reach) my books close by, my phone clicking beside me, my kindle awaiting my touch and Alexa listening to my every command I feel prepared.

The world is quiet around me. I focus on the clock ticking. It ticks but it is not a functional clock, it is a decorators piece. Time is not important.

I hear the cooing of pigeons, the tug of wind, teenagers gathering, perhaps a car idling by. It is Sunday afternoon, business is for tomorrow.

Taking my eyes off the screen, I notice the sunlight dancing on the ceiling, the shadows cast on the floor. The sunlight highlights the wood of my table, my daughters library chair and adds interest to the ‘rent-neutral’ tone of the painted walls. It also makes patterns of the thin layer of dust settling on the dresser. The ‘cleaner’ will work when she is ready.

Gradually, as I settle into my role, my brain stores the important sensations, records the feelings and recalls memories. Like a huge library of books, chapters and verses it references all for future use….

This is my profile

I am a content writer

I am content.

It took me about 20 minutes to write the original and then a further 15 to re-read edit and make changes. I think it was a good exercise for me. What exercises, writing strategies, lessons do you recommend, follow and use?


*”cut the umbilical cord”

Natalie Goldberg Thunder and Lightning pg 186

Let’s play a game….

After a gentle drive along the A12, enjoying the beautiful Suffolk countryside take the B1078 signed to Campsea Ashe. Turn right following the B1078 towards Campsea Ashe, past the village shop turn left into the car park for Clarke and Simpson Auction

But wait, haven’t we been here before? Yes, of course, home of my local auction site; a cornucopia of antiques, collectables, curiosities and one-man’s-junk to my treasure trove.

After taking care of the business end, I enter saleroom 4 and take in the sights, sounds, aroma of history. Today, unusually, I’m on a mission. I am secretly taking part in my own, “Make me a Dealer” (BBC One) challenge.

Working with a small budget of £20 I aim to buy at least one lot that I can make a profit on. Armed with my camera, catalogue and buyer number I tour the room.

Lot 1: A collection of Del Padro figures in the form of Medieval Knights on horseback Estimate £30 – £50

I think that might be what is known as a “come and buy me” estimate. I would love them, but they are going to be too strong for me. My estimate £80-£100. This estimate was later to be proven correct, they sold to an online bidder for £95

This is a possibility. With a personal connection, as it is the year I was born, I would like it. Would it make a profit? Not unless I find the right buyer. Also it is one of several other plates and sundry items. Estimate £10-£20. A possible, but only at £15. Don’t forget the 18% buyers premium.

Lot 294: An oriental camphor wood blanket box – with key. Again above my budget, estimate £50-£80. But can I pause for a while and admire it’s beauty. Exquisite carving, the quality and detail of the lock, the deco style shaping of the rounded corners just the feel of the wood. Open the lid, and the camphor aroma plunges you into the orient, transporting you to far away places with stories of mystery, intrigue, romance and exotic nights. Dream but close the lid now, time to move on.

But the mood to travel afar lingers as I fall in love with these books. A beautiful set, with the original dust covers, and all in good condition. Inside, the text was illustrated with beautiful designs, calligraphy and pencil drawings of the places visited. I think I can honestly say, never was I so taken with the beauty, style and simple pleasure of holding a book and being privileged to enter into it’s story. I wanted them.

Lot 264: Ten volumes of The Silent Traveller by Chiang Yee. Estimate £150-£200

I hope the online buyer likes them. I wish them safe journeys.

Was I ever going to find something? Today, everything was too expensive, too big, or in job lots where I wanted maybe one or two items out of the box or boxes full.

Just recently my interests have been towards various art forms. Auctions can be good places to find that one piece of art you have been looking for to add interest to a blank wall, add a touch of culture to a clinical waiting room, or add colour, history or a story to your office. As usual for this auction there was a good selection. Some job lots of mixed styles, condition and interest. Some single pieces that required some knowledge of the artist before acquiring. But then, there it was:

Lot 436: Eleanor Cowles watercolour study depicting Isaac Lords near Ipswich Docks; together with a coloured print entitled “The Gentle Art of Making Guinness”. and a pair of oil studies depicting desert scenes and camels. Estimate £10 – £20

A small lot, within budget, hopefully, and with local interest making it easy to research and sell on. I set my price to within £10 – £12 pound, rewarded myself to a cup of tea, found a good seat in front of the rostrum and settled in for the sale. The clock ticked round to 11:00, auctioneer in place, the room is hushed with the rap of the hammer and we’re off…

Lot 1……

Auctions are unpredictable. Items of history, age and beauty may be sold for little money, or sometimes not sold at all if a reserve price is not met. Other items, which are damaged, mismatched or apparently of very little value, are sold above estimate. The lots I had circled as ‘interested’ went for more than I wanted to spend. Some started at above my price, others I had chance to bid on, but someone in the room or on-line wanted it more than I. Gradually, lot by lot, my chances of buying were dwindling until we reached that set of art work. My last chance.

Lot 436.. a set of mixed oils and watercolours, a nice little lot here, can we start at £20, (silence)… £10 then?, still nothing….£5 queries the auctioneer a little desperately, I hesitated, and some one started the bidding at £2, here we go, I bid $4 a counter bid, £6, I nodded, £8 a counter bid £10, I hesitated slightly, before bidding £12, but that was it… they refused, to the lady in the room at £12, looking for £14 is there anymore.. hammer held in the air, the auctioneer peers round the room, once more I’m looking for £14…. make no mistake I’m selling at £12…. the hammer falls, the price is set. I grin and show my number…. I am the proud owner of 4 pieces of art!

Game on……………………….home to research and sell them on for a profit.

Flower power

Poster advertising church flower festival

One of the projects that kept me busy soon after arriving back in England was the church Flower festival. As part of the Parish council I was involved in the planning, organising and preparing for the festival.

Although not an expert by any means, I am always an enthusiastic flower arranger, so was happy to take my share. This year I was given the three wall arrangements. A challenge I was nervously excited to take on.

This year I was also put in charge of the refreshment tent, serving tea, coffee and cake throughout the day, and lunches over the lunch period. This role I took on happily, although nervous about how little time I had to prepare, but our saying was, “It will be all right on the day!”

And you know, it was.

Some photographs to prove it. Slight apologies for the quality of the photographs, I didn’t have a lot of time, just slipped in to the church during quiet times at the refreshment tent.

Everyone did such a great job, and unfortunately, I did not manage to get photographs of all the displays. The Church was filled with wonderful arrangements, displaying God’s bounty in many ways, and such a beautiful aroma from the lillies and stocks. The wall displays that I did, needed to have height, but also I wanted them to appear to tumble down the wall. My vision was, to represent the prayers of the people ascending in gratitude to the gifts God showers upon us. I loved the gladioli’s, iris and sunflowers that added strength and structure. To give display an individuality, yet similar in theme I added different small flowers. In the centre I used more patriotic colours, to represent the memory of those giving service in war, by inserting red roses, and a touch of blue. On the right I used beautiful creamy lilies for peace and on the left more delicate, softer pinks and mauves. I was able to pull some lovely strands of ivy from the church yew trees, which gave me the downward sweep I wanted it. Fun to do even though I probably broke all health and safety rules, having to balance on the pews and the organ stool between the pews to reach up to the stands.

During the afternoon I managed to snap this shot of our wonderful Rev. spending quality time with his children using the lawn games which were a huge hit with the visiting families.

Visitors enjoying the wonderful refreshments

The best part of the two days has to be enjoying the company of friends and family, sitting in the beautiful setting of the church with tea, coffee, homemade cakes or lunch of rolls and side salad, or a ploughman’s lunch. We were blessed by the weather as the rain held off for most of the week-end and the slight breeze was refreshingly cool for most people.

As Sunday drew to a peaceful close, our Evensong service was replaced by a traditional songs of praise which is the only way to close a week-end of celebration and gratitude to God for his wonderful blessings.

I don’t have a recording of our singing, but here is a beautiful performance of one of the hymns chosen by the congregation, “The Day though Gavest”

Yes, it was all right on the day, in fact both days, and with thanks to generous visitors we raised money, but much more was the wonder of fellowship, the joy of creation and the love of service. Now we look forward to next year…..

Goodreads make better writing

After my return from Canada and a busy June, getting back into routine, and starting on some new adventures, I made the conscious decision to take some time out from wordpress to do more reading, process my ideas, and put more time into other projects.

So today, August 1st, I had planned to write. However I spent most of the afternoon trying, unsuccessfully to sort out e-mail issues with yahoo.

This will now be a short news update. My wordpress subscription runs out in October, and as I don’t want to renew it, I have between now and then to plan, design and create my own website. Which will mean serious research and work in making that a reality. Advice, recommendations and offers of help all accepted!

If I thought July raced by, August will fly, as I am away on travels to Paris later on in the month. Look for interesting travel posts. Maybe I will be braver and use more French than I did in Montreal? Probably not, but I will at least have family to help me.

During my time in July, I have been reading. They include

Writing as a Sacred Path By Jill Jepson

Thunder and Lightning and Writing down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg

And one out of my comfort zone, to expand my reading horizon, and which pleasantly surprised me and I quite enjoyed it. Amber Wake Gabriel Falling,

I chose to feature these as they had most impact and challenged me as a writer. Follow me on Goodreads

Now, dear readers, you are all up to date. August will be busy and exciting and I look forward to sharing it with you.

A little night music to end this discourse

A reflective prayer

To all a good night

Suffolk Day 2019

Itinerary for the day to celebrate Suffolk and discover Suffolk Secrets.

  1. Meet-the-makers event in Southwold to celebrate local crafts
  2. Explore Southwold
  3. Discover a Suffolk secret
  4. Destination: Lowestoft for the #firstlightlowestoft event
  5. Enjoy the Summer equinox

It was a beautiful, bright morning as set I off on this Summer adventure ride. B.J. – my car, was on top form as we navigated the A12, music on, window down, fresh air and sunshine.

Musical interlude

Arriving in Southwold I parked in the large car park at the pier, payed the reasonable fee, and enjoyed a cup of tea from my picnic resources – car door open, fresh breeze and the shushing sound of the waves, that is the British sea side.

Walking along the beach road towards town centre I reminisced the last time I was at Southwold, with family from Canada and we rented a beach hut for the day at the boating lake…

I found what I thought to be the crafter’s market; first impressions were that it was smaller than I imagined, with just six or seven stalls, all with lovely items.

I chatted with one vendor, who specialises in needlework, making cushions, blankets and accessories for the home. I spotted a basket containing glasses cases, and noticed the size and shape for my Huawei P20.

Looking good in the new cover!

Going further on into town I found another venue, about the same size with the addition of a snack bar and facilities.

Here there were more crafts, more unique and to my taste. I chatted to the crafter who made planters from a special concrete mix, bringing a modern twist to the glass handkerchief mold.

They look pretty don’t they? The concrete used is porous which makes it suitable for these.

I couldn’t buy one of the planters, not having any garden, however I did buy a small tub of medlar butter, perfect for my picnic hot cross buns.

Another stall carried, beautiful hand and machine stitched cards. They are exquisite, with the added touch, that she has placed the stitched fabric square into the card so that it can be reframed into a more permanent wooden frame, so that the card becomes a gift! My kind of card; I have often thought that I would rather buy another small gift, than buy a card to be thrown away, once it has been received.

Within sight of this venue was an antique shop: Cornucopia!

I didn’t buy anything, honest! I had a lovely chat with the owner,( sitting knitting, with a cup of tea, listening to Radio 4 on a vintage portable radio!) I shared my “bargain hunt” game with her, and together we chose a pair of Moroccan stain glass lamps for the big spend, a Black forest carved bear holding a cotton reel – ” thread bear” for the profit item, and another bear, who tore at the heart strings, needing a loving home!

I also loved the garden aspect of the shop….

A happy memory from my childhood, is touring the countryside during our annual summer holidays. Always wanting to be off the beaten track, away from most of the usual tourist places, we began a tradition of not calling it a holiday trip unless we drove down a road that had grass growing down the middle of it…..

Suffolk delighted!

Suffolk’s country roads

On my route along the A12 from Southwold to Lowestoft, there was a sign for an antique and craft market. Too good to pass by on a day with little agenda. It was here that I negotiated this ‘holiday’ road bringing back memories of summers long ago. Just a short drive and I arrived at Henstead Country Crafts.

A very pleasant hour spent browsing and chatting, especially to artist Mike Collis who deserves a special shout out for putting up with my questions and natter as he was trying to work. Check out the gallery here.

After this invigorating hour, it was time to head up to Lowestoft to find my airbnb accommodation for the night. Advertised as a quirky bungalow, it certainly lived up to it’s name. Richie was a perfect host, very welcoming and helpful. I enjoyed staying there and relaxed easily into the atmosphere of his lovely home.

A perfect way to end a perfect Suffolk saunter!

Next blog, here all about the Lowestoft First light festival

Time and tide…

Here I find myself, it is Wednesday evening, and nothing written yet, this week. However, to qualify, there has been writing, but other projects have taken up my time.

Today, I enjoyed being a senior, taking advantage of free bus travel, and special senior viewings at the Empire Theatre in Ipswich. On the menu today was “Fisherman’s Friend” directed by Chris Foggin

The movie is based on a true story of a group of Cornish Fishermen who found comradeship, healing and enjoyment from singing together on the boats as well as building up the community and raising money for local charities.

The film adds a love interest, rivalry and small town humour to this feel good factor real life story, making it a delightful film which will set your toes tapping, your heart breaking and your spirit strengthened. For this audience, it might have made them feel just a tiny bit proud of a British success story.

The down side might be you become nostalgic for former primary school singing lessons churning out sea shanties and other folk songs. One might even be caught singing them as you leave…. Blow the man down whey hey blow the man down

The real group have suffered some tragedy since making the film, but are still performing and continuing to raise money for a variety of charities including Fishermen’s Mission, McMillan Cancer and local schools and causes.

Keep hauling, buoys!

For today, that’s all folks. Thank you for reading, singing, dancing and sharing my epistles.

Drop me a comment if only to let me know you are alive and kicking and dancing your way through life.


To talk of many things…

Firstly, how great is it to be able to do battle with WordPress on my laptop now that I am back from my travels. I do love my Huawei P20 lite and Huawei MediaPad T3 purchased at Amazon Smile however the limitations become noticeable after some time, and my smile is replaced by being able to do this on my laptop. Okay, that is the business end over and done with.

Today, I had an appointment with our local country market, which although it is only a hop, step and jump from my apartment, to my shame I had not realised was held every Tuesday morning.

Image displays text and logo for the Martlesham Heath Country Market.

I was greeted with a warm smile and introduction. The organisers were only too glad to explain the concept and introduce me to the vendors. Although small, the array of different products and crafts this morning pleased the eye and the wallet.

These quick snaps demonstrate the type of produce and stalls on offer.

Other products on show today, were hand painted cards depicting local scenes and the artists pets, handmade hats, aprons and quilted bags and bead jewelry.

The priceless offering, though, has to be the connection with the local community. Whilst I was there, in just that hour, I was treated to stories of picking lemons in Cyprus, some of which ended up in the jar of lemon marmalade I purchased; stories of travel in Canada, providing memories for a family, now grown and making memories of their own; anecdotes of wily pigeons who know exactly when to invade the pea patch; how to successfully grow lime-green orchids in England and how this caring community share, support and nurture this small patch of England we call home.

Find out if you have a local country market in your area

Just a snippet post today as I get back into the routine of being back in England. Thank you again for reading, liking and adding your comments. All thoughts and ideas are welcome as we connect.


Exit through the gift shop and a brief jaunt into Quebec

After spending the miserable, rainy morning catching up on writing and e-mails, I was ready, on my last day in Ottawa, to have a final exploration. From research, and the still mixed weather forecast, it made sense to head to the Canadian Art Gallery. It was a short walk away from my very centrally located accommodation.

The Guaguin exhibition was not open until May 24th: I just missed that, so purchased a general admission ticket: which at $14 was unbelievable value. The first problem was to know where to start; deciding on the Canadian and Indigenous Art Gallery as the most appropriate.

It was a fascinating journey through time and place, best recorded in the following images of some of my favourite exhibits.

Taking us back to Montreal, in 1790’s this picture of Beaubien by François Beaucourt captures the essence of the bourgeois elite. The subject is seated at the gaming table and with a confident smile towards us, he lays down an Ace of hearts next to a pile of gold coins.

Two details taken from the large painting by Legare. The setting of night time, with the inclusion of great detail, skillfully captures the horror and devastation that the plague caused.

Portrait of a nun,  seated with the back light emphasizing the black veil in contrast to the white wimple.

I loved the quietness and innocent beauty of this portrait of Sister Saint-Alphonse.(Antoine Plamondon) The clever use of light in the background emphasises the contrast of the black veil and the immaculate white wimple. The viewer is caused to linger aand absorb her inner depth of peace and spirituality.

Both these paintings are by Cornelius Krieghoff illustrating his use of his native Dutch style. Even though they have the same style and attention to detail in colour and texture, I love that they show the artists ability to capture changing moods and subject matter. First, pause in front of the storm, and feel the wind blowing through the pines, whistling down river and pulling us towards the river tumbling over the rocks in white topped foam. Then, watch the horses strong, confident gait as they pull their load, finally, to the shelter of the Inn. They have served their master well, and deserve the rub down, food and evenings rest they know will be their reward.

All these show the intricate designs of glass bead work on fabric. The moccasin in black is striking in itS floral pattern and intricate bead work. They all reminded me of works I had seen in the textile museum in Toronto.

Another work by Antoine Plamondon. This is just a detail of the flautist’s eyes and mouth because I admired the skill in giving enough detail to show the perfect position of the lips and the concentration and thoughtfulness in the upwardly looking eyes. The master works at painting a master at work.

Homer Watson 1901

The Flood Gate

Both the subject matter and the style reminded me of Gainsborough and Constable.

It took me a long time to work round that section of just this gallery, and I was aware of time passing quickly with much more to see. I was also in need of some refreshment, so headed for a the Second Cup: indulging in a large Earl Grey Latte.

Image shows a china cup of Earl Grey Latte tea.
Always a favourite, Earl Grey Latte. A large cup serves well as a nourishing snack.

Wanting a contrast of styles, I tried the contemporary gallery for the last hour. Obviously a complete change, with much to challenge and consider. A few of my favourites follow.

Danie Mellor

Maba-I-Bala Rugu (of power in Darkness)

This work records the presence of indigenous peoples within the imperialist landscape. The details of star’s and celestial bodies, reference the stories from indigenous perspective.

Kelly Mark: REM 2007

This one was particularly interesting as the artist is from Welland, close to Port Colborne where I lived when in Canada.

It is also an incredible work.

The captions are my estimates of the years represented. What do you think?

Watching the film a little in each room was also fascinating; a trip down memory lane watching familiar scenes, characters and clips from films and TV shows, unfold in a new drama.

As a former teacher it was interesting to catch glimpses of school student’s reactions as they stormed through the gallery…

Particularly this work

Chloe Wise 1990

Olive Garden of Eden.

A satirical view of our modern Western habits of consumption and branding based on desire.

As I was contemplating this work I witnessed a teacher expertly guide her no nonsense, “this isn’t art” students into helping them find the skill in the exquisitely formed pieces, the pattern of randomised placement, and find an interpretation for themselves. So, is it art?

Olive Garden of Eden – detail.

So much more to observe, admire and ponder but it was almost closing time. Shall we exit through the gift shop?

Tourism and promotion at its best but who can resist? I bought books for the grandchildren, and resisted buying anything for myself mainly due to limited luggage space. I have all my photographs and most precious memories; more valuable than any trinket.

Out into the real world, and a fresh rainfall enticed me to take advantage of all the beautiful parks and green areas Ottawa provides. Tulip time!

Sights and sounds of Ottawa in the spring.

Just enjoying the views, and the fresh air and exploring I chose the long way home: via the Alexander Bridge, a short walk in Quebec and back across the Portage bridge to the now familiar Wellington Road. A perfect ending to Ottawa adventure in the art of man, and the creation of God.

And now my story is done. Taking over a week to process the images, complete the writing and work between other activities and family duties has given me a taste of the writing life for real. Thank you for being patient. Most of all, huge thanks for your support, likes and comments.

Now, for these last few days in Toronto, before I return to England, I will be concentrating on gathering more material, having mother-daughter time and last minute business. I may not have much chance to post but you can always follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

May is ending, June bursts forth. Happy Summer.


Fiddleheads,chocolate, tea and a story.

My second day in Ottawa had to be taken up with the market. Who can resist the promise of stalls selling local produce, flowers, artisan items and browsing a variety of independent stores?

Having said that, actually, the first store I went in was The Bay, I can’t even remember now, why I did, but something was calling me, and that something was chocolate. In one section of the store Lindt chocolateirs had a small chocolate demo stand, and coffee bar. This day they had a big sale, and huge pic-‘n-mix stands of more varieties of their chocolates than I had seen before. How could one resist?

I figured I needed to do way more than my 10,000 steps to walk all that off, so best get going!

Now into the market. There were cheese stores, and bread stores and places to savour local delicacies. All the stalls were bright and cheerful offering fresh flowers local produce, maple syrup and honey. As well as ethnic stores selling bright coloured clothing, material and accessories. The atmosphere was just as bright and cheerful alive with chatter, and venders shouting, traffic noise and coming and going.

Selling local produce

For once the camera was put away in favour of senses and memory telling the story.

Locally grown Fiddleheads

What a treat to be able to take some of these ‘home’ and be able to cook my own dinner.

I wandered here and there and everywhere, exploring more stores and finding more areas of market, including an indoor market and a bakery; a fresh made bagel will go well with the Fiddleheads.

Then, I saw the sign. It simply said TEA in bold yellow and green lettering. Well, yes, I could do with a cuppa, the British in me screamed!

As soon as I opened the door I was in love. WOW!

Immediately along the left wall was the counter top displaying lots of goodies, and the proprietor was busy kneading a batch of dough whilst welcoming me both with words, a smile and the heavenly smells.

All other walls were shelved with jar after jar of delicious looking tea blends. Names such as Buckingham Palace Breakfast Tea, loganberry, fruit teas, spice teas. Teas from Ceylon. Teas from India. Black teas, Green teas, blended teas and Nut teas. Did I want to take a seat and have tea?

Although there were many different types to choose from, it was tea time, so I asked for the best blend of Earl Grey he could provide. Whilst waiting I looked at the displays, and savoured every minute of being there. Taking tea is an experience deserving our time and attention. Not to be hurried. Tea is served. Would madam like anything else. Oh dear, yes madam would. The lemon and cranberry slice was irresistible.

I enjoyed the first cup of tea, hot, just the right amount of milk and correct brew. The second cup was taken with the cake, which was also delicious, lemony and correctly balanced with the cranberries. I was also enjoying the ambience; not too busy with just the right amount of customers to make business but not too busy. The staff obviously enjoyed working there, and engaged with regular customers and those new and needing help choosing, showing great knowledge of their produce. I felt right at home, it was my kind of store, one similar to the place of my dreams if I were ever to be blessed with the opportunity to own a business. I did not have my tablet, but I always carry a note book and pen, so out they came, imagination was fired up, and produced a Little Teasers story, first draft to be worked on later.

Ideas abound when surrounded by tea!

I did further exploration of the area which will merit a separate blog. Just one last thing…

Fiddleheads in a peanut sauce, baked beans, toasted bagel. Ginger and lemon grass pressed. Crystalised pineapple and matcha covered almonds, and a chocolate to complete this repast.

Heavenly fare.

Thank you for enduring this long epistle. Join me for further meanderings through Ottawa and my mind, as you deem fit.

I appreciate your likes, comments and follows. Only Connect!


All for less than a cup of tea

Monday, first day in Ottawa. Although the weather was cloudy, cool and with promises of rain, I was ready to explore. Ottawa, capital city of Canada so, first port of call had to be Houses of Parliament and government buildings.

Not to be daunted by the interruption of major road works, I walked up Elgin to Westchester so that I could get good views of the buildings. Unfortunately, there was major construction on the tower and Parliament buildings also, which limited photograph and visiting possibilities. Was I also a little disappointed as to a similarity to a certain building in London, England?

By this time the promised rain was producing a grim outlook and decidedly cool conditions; the centennial fire memorial became an appealing sight. 4

First constructed in 1967 as part of the centennial celebrations of Canada being a confederation. The fire burns natural gas and is surrounded by a fountain. Around the rim are shields of the Provinces, originally 13, as Nunavat was not a Province until 1999. A shield for Nunavat was added in 2017.

A further interesting fact concerns the money that generous tourists throw into the fountain. The money is collected and is given towards the Centennial Flame Award, providing funds ” to a person with a disability to enable him or her to conduct research and prepare a report on the contributions of one or more Canadians with disabilities to the public life of Canada or the activities of Parliament”. (News Release: Centennial Flame Research Award for Persons with Disabilities,” Subcommittee on the Status of Persons with Disabilities(2005): accessed January 24, 2012.)

Suitably warmed by the flame and its origin it was time to move on. Taking the walkway, leads you around the back of the building including magnificent views of the river, the architecture of Ottawa, the bridges and across the river back to Quebec.

By now the sun was playing with us, appearing every now and then to provide warmth and a brighter outlook which prompted more exploration on my part.

Finding my way down to the canal and lock system was a good start.

Notice the evidence of highwater and flooding.

The canal was started in 1826 and completed in 1832, an amazing feat of engineering, skill and hard graft by mainly Irish and French-Canadian labourers. It was built primarily for military defence, but it quickly became an important factor in Ottawa’s commercial development. The architect and supervisor of the canal was John By; with other manufacturers assisting during construction. Well known names such as John Redpath and Thomas McKay.

The remains of the storage facility, office, and store has been beautifully conserved and is now a museum.

There were was so much to see, it was impossible to take time to photograph everything. Not only did it give details of building the canal, but also insight into the history of the area and prominent families. A little gem possibly not as well known as some of the tourist spots.

Browsing in the shop, later, I found this cute wooden container of Maple tea. It will be a tasty reminder of my visit to Ottawa.

Wooden canister of maple tea

Satisfied with this days viewing, with much to consider and try to remember, I made my way back to the apartment. Once back, and fed and watered, I thought about all that I had done, all I had learned, and distance I had walked realising that I had done all this all for less than the cost of a cup of tea.

Good job!

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