Day one: Mount Royal challenge

This was my holiday break within my Canada visit. My family duties were changing as they managed the new routine of work, school, day-care and weekends. Time for me to adventure into pastures new whilst in my beloved country.

After the day of travelling, and wanting some time to adjust I had mentally thought to just relax, spend time in the hotel, enjoy some me time and catch up on writing and correspondence. However, after days of wishing that spring would come more than one day at a time, yesterday dawned as such a day. Far too nice to spend indoors. So, aimed with snacks, reading and phone I chose to explore the immediate area, which just happens to be Mount Royal. I did sit and read for a little while, but then itchy feet wanted to explore and shake off the uncertainties of yesterday’s realisation that this is a different Canada a different culture and the realities of yes, a different language and all that goes with that.

Who can resist the call of green spaces, trails through woodland, a spot of climbing and the promise of views, history unfolding and stories of man made monuments? Not me that’s for sure.

Upwards in more ways than one I took on what was to become an uplifting experience. With each step I became quieter in spirit and began to enjoy the familiarity of walking in nature. This was the rooting and grounding I needed. Gradually I became more confident to acknowledge and enjoy the people sharing the paths with me. I realised that these paths were everyday routes to work, school or just daily forms of exercise.

I easily slipped back into Sue mode and enjoyed noticing people. People going about their everyday business, riding, walking, jogging or running the paths. People with families enjoying time together on a beautiful spring day.

There was a man with his two children, sitting on some rocks at the top of a steep path down, absorbed in his books and papers, whilst his children played, regardless of the danger. To them there was no danger in the familiarity of a favourite place.

There was the young artist, seated with his inks and paper, working on interpreting the scene in front of him, noticing the play of light and shadow, the movement of leaves in the breeze and the powerful stillness of the surrounding height.

There was the man, seated on a bench, in quiet meditation and thought. To him Mount Royal was home and had the sanctity of refuge and familiarity.

There was the dog trotting along obediently behind his master; ignoring the urge to go and follow enticing smells and calls from the underground in favour of walking in faithful communion with his charge.
There was the family with the young baby, whimpering her protest at being carried along in the warm sun, uncomfortable in over protective clothing and bored with this activity.
Here was a youngster, who seemed happily detached from his family, playing happily in the dusty soil, because of the inquisitive nature that drives to understand why making tunnels in the dirt with your head feels so good.

Arriving finally at the destination for today, the Mount Royal chateau, I entered the coolness of the building to have my breath taken away by the open space splendour.


This was the summit for today. I knew there was so much more for me to enjoy, more secrets to uncover, more lessons to be learned. But I had reached the pinnacle for this occasion. The majesty of the building and the glory of that space fulfilled my sense of longing and adventure for this day, but the promise of more to come gladdened my spirit. However there was just one more beautiful surprise awaiting me….

I chose not to linger at the observation point, which was now quite noisy and busy. My eye was caught by the sight of a lone figure, standing to one side, just her and her camera. Intrigued I walked over slowly and quietly, pausing to ensure I did not disturb her ,’prey’.

Readers that know me will wonder at the discovery I made, that this was what was being filmed so avidly. Down in the wooded undergrowth this little fellow was happily showing off his true colours. Thanks to the wonders of close up photography, at least as much as my Huawei P20 will allow, I am not as close to him as it appears, otherwise, my unexplainable fear of birds would have prohibited the quick shots I did manage before making my retreat.

Now it was time to descend back to the hustle of practical life. But not without making this promise/challenge to myself. That I would explore Mount Royal every day of my stay here. Partly for physical exercise as recent injuries have meant I cannot do my usual exercise routine, but mainly as an exercise in creativity, spiritual and mental stimulation.

Mount Royal: challenge accepted!

Mount Royal challenge.

Stay tuned for the continuing adventures of Sue v Mount Royal

I’m back!

Just a quick post to say, that thanks to WordPress’ rewind process and their helpful, helpline my site is back to working order, with only two posts missing, which I can soon re-do.

I will continue to post as much as I can, however I am working on tidying this site up and also biggest news, I am returning to Canada in March, in order to take on grandmother babysitting duties and then try to do more travelling around which will be exciting. Life is going to be busy, exciting, challenging and a most excellent adventure!

Thought for the day: Challenges arrive and they bring the chance to grow.

Word for the day: Excel

Quote of the day:

“Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Proving nature’s laws wrong, it learned to walk without having feet. Funny, it seems to by keeping it’s dreams; it learned to breathe fresh air. Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared.”

― Tupac Shakur, The Rose That Grew from Concrete

“One to grow on”: What are some of the challenges you have recently grown on and how has it had effect on your life?

Bookshelf: Romance

My owner loves me. This is a fact best revealed in the way she caresses my frame and lovingly oils and polishes me. I appreciate the care she takes to keep me looking good which suits my purpose. Books and magazines are stored in order. Her favourite poetry and novels, story books she cannot relinquish even though they are now from childhood and her carefully stacked collection of Geographical magazines which she reads thoroughly both for study and pleasure.

Inside my bureau, carefully locked, are her treasured items. One day she surprised me with a present. She had returned from holiday and placed my key onto a keyring in the shape of a horseshoe. She told me the story of how they had visited a forge and she had bought the small horseshoe keyring to remember the holiday and because she thought the rustic looking horseshoe contrasted with my refinement. It was her quirky sense of style and romance and I loved it.

Other reminders of holidays were also kept within the cubbies of my bureau. Postcards, photographs, bookmarks or small books. All tokens of her varied interests and hobbies.

Then came the letters. Sometimes, short ones written on blue paper with special airmail postage. Then others, longer and sometimes including pictures or other items, perhaps a faded leaf or flower.

I could sense changes of mood in my owner. Sometimes she would be happy and would hum and sing whilst she worked. Other times she would seem anxious and perhaps a bit petulant.

However the letters kept coming quite regularly. There were so many of them they had to be stored in other places, only the most recent ones kept to hand until she had replied. Oh yes, she was kept just as busy writing similar letters. Usually a couple of short blue ones during the week, and then longer ones at the weekend. I hoped she was not forgetting her studies.

Other changes were also happening. Holidays were now taken at different times. The family were growing up and becoming more independent. Suddenly a very new and important document appeared in my bureau for safe keeping. It was a passport. Also there seemed to be many forms to be filled out, and different booklets to be looked at. I found out that they were to do with college.

Then I began to get worried. Was I going to be left alone? Was I even needed any more? Would I be abandoned for a larger, more important desk?

As the year turned from late spring, to summer, I noticed more studying being done. Late nights, early mornings. Books were hardly put away but left untidily on the shelf. Sometimes I was even left open, unlocked overnight with papers and scribbled notes left scattered around. Words such as exams, reports, college and interviews were all part of my owner’s vocabulary which seemed to make her stressed. But then there would be exciting talk of holidays, the passport again, travel tickets and aeroplanes.

Then my owner would be happy again and would laugh and read one of the letters, her eyes sparkling and her face glowing. These were the best times.

Then on one day, it all seemed to end. I was lovingly restored to order. My owner carefully polished me and tidied me. I also noticed that clothes from the wardrobe were packed into suitcases. The passport and tickets were taken out of their places and placed on the top shelf with a purse and small bag ready for the next day.

I felt sad that my owner was going away again. This time for the whole summer. She was going to Canada, and I had a feeling it was something to do with those letters both sent and received. I began to realise that many things were going to change but I was happy for my owner.

As she left the next morning, she took one look at her clean and tidy room and whispered goodbye, sighed and then said, quietly, “I’ll be back after the Summer.”

I was left to wonder, what’s next?