February 2007


This is the only four-wheeled vehicle I’ve ever owned. It was ten years old when I bought it. I needed it to get to work during one of the summers I worked as a naturalist in Gatineau Park, when I was a student. (I lived in downtown Ottawa, and the park office was about a 20-minute drive away).


My fellow interpr├Ęte/naturaliste Anne and I were stars of the tiny stage in the woods up at the Lac Philippe campground. We created a show that presented a (no doubt) thrilling yet educational lesson about the things we could all do to prevent the deterioration of the environment. Our show combined live action with slides, and this photo was taken to illustrate the benefits of carpooling. We enlisted several of the office staff, as you can see. (That’s me peering out of the window from the back seat.) I don’t know if Anne is in the car or if she took the photo.

I loved that car! VW Rabbit GTI, the sporty 5-speed model. Until the clutch started to go, then it wasn’t so sporty, and I started taking the backroads to work because the car couldn’t maintain highway speed on the uphill portion of the route (Highway 5 ?). I wonder how environmentally friendly that car was?

This photo was taken a long time ago, and I remember it, but thought I had lost it. So I was happy to find it in my box of old stuff. Anne and I had such a fun and memorable summer.

For some reason I was rummaging through some boxes of old stuff and I found a lot of old letters and photos. It wasn’t exactly a huge surprise, as I know I’ve kept almost every letter I’ve ever received in the past. (For you youngsters reading, a “letter” is a piece of paper with writing on it, sent through the mail, i.e. placed in a box and then someone else carries it to its destination for you.) I have letters from friends, letters from family. High school friends, university friends, bat-lab friends (and other biology friends. But I like saying bat-lab.). Letters from former boyfriends, and from friends who were former boyfriends at the time they wrote. I found some forgotten letters from someone who had a crush on me that wasn’t fully requited. I even have some letters from myself … not to myself. But to my family or to a boyfriend, and somehow they ended up in my box of old stuff.

Many of them are in the envelopes still. Even looking at the envelopes brings back memories, without even pulling out the contents. I had forgotten the name of the street in Windsor where I lived in that crappy apartment with a man I never should have gotten so involved with at such a young age. (“I spent a year in Windsor one summer”.) But my friends were sending me letters there. And the envelopes remind me of some of the exotic travels of many of my friends, and of the two whole summers that my mailing address was the E.E.E.J.N., a research station in rural Costa Rica where I received about 50% of the mail people sent me.

I’ve kept these things because to me, they are interesting. I have this idea that someday I will have the time to re-read all of this material, and I will be able to use it to write a fascinating memoir of my life (fictional or otherwise). I do realize that this would probably be of interest to me only.

But what I’m going to do is scan a few of the old photos or cards and use them as occasional fodder for this blog. And if you have ever written me a letter in the past 20 years or so – beware! (or be excited) – maybe I will feature a snippet. Names will be changed to protect the not-so-innocent, if necessary.

If you find this prospect terribly exciting, and you want to make sure you don’t miss a single post, here’s what you can do: Scroll down to the bottom of this page and click on the link that says ” Subscribe to: Posts (Atom)“. This way you will receive an e-mail every time I update this self-indulgent diary. Don’t worry, I don’t think it will happen too often.

One of the TV shows I have been enjoying these days is My Name is Earl. Below is a clip from an episode I saw recently (it was a repeat, I think). I enjoyed this scene a lot. I arrived home from work shortly before 10:30 p.m. and just caught this bit before the credits rolled. I enjoyed it thoroughly, and looked forward to watching the episode (I was taping it) to find out the context.


As it turns out, There never really was much of a context for it, and in a way that makes me enjoy it a little bit more.

So, just because I can and because I’m such a 21st century gal, I’m going to try and embed a YouTube link right onto my blog. Let’s see if it works.

It seems to have worked! I feel so modern. Because strobe lights and robot dances are so, you know, modern. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

My 8-year old niece asked me to make her a sweater. She had some rather precise specifications. Orange and hot pink, and long. Here is what it looks like so far.

And at the same time I’m making a scarf for Gwladys, who is a 91-year-old woman I go visit and read to once a week or so. (In the winter, without a vehicle, it’s a lot harder for me to get to where she lives in a suburban area.) This scarf is made from an angora blend that is indescribably soft and light. Yet it’s cosy and warm. Her birthday is coming up soon (she’s an Aquarius like me). She doesn’t go out much anymore, mostly stays in her room in the old folks’ home where she lives. I think I will write more about her sometime because she is a really interesting person. (And that is the correct way of spelling her name; she is Welsh you see.)

When I can, I continue to build up an inventory of my glass jewelry and buttons. This is a necklace I sent to my sister a while ago. I like the shape of the leaf. It is a piece of copper foil stamped out with a paper punch, and I scored the ‘veins’ on it. It is one of the few kinds of metal you can fire in the kiln without it burning … though it changes colour.



I have also been making a number of tables and reports on the topic of criteria for prioritizing actions for integrated management and planning of ocean activities … Zzzzz. Not worth photos.

That’s it for now. I am trying to get a lot more glass stuff cut and prepared tonight so I can take it to the kiln tomorrow. I continue to fantasize about being able to buy my own kiln.

Thanks for checking in,
Your friend Cathy