Confessions of a Street Walker – part 42

It is possible that you have seen a rather peculiar woman walking around the streets of Hamilton over the last six years. If you have, I hope you gave a wave…because I am she.

So I managed to finish all of Dundas before the end of August. The second last walk was hardly a road anymore – Cramer Road (off of Hwy 5) is listed as a road but is more like the edge of a farmers field. I walked it anyway. Then the last Dundasian road was Innovation Drive where I walked past the still-being-built CHCH building. I did so enjoy exploring Dundas.

And now I have Flamborough to work on – which is a LOT of ground to cover.

so far

New Years Resolution – August 2021

My brother and I have made a New Years Resolution to watch a movie ‘together’ each month. ‘Together’ became difficult to do once co-vid restrictions were imposed and then he moved to another province. So now we are both watching the same movie and get together on Google Meet to talk about it.

This month the choice was mine and I chose A Countess from Hong Kong – starring Marlon Brando and Sophia Loren. It was written and directed by Charles Chaplin, who also did the music and had a cameo. It was a fun movie. It was interesting to see three very different movie posters for the same movie.

I assume that Technicolor was a big deal to warrant such prominent lettering.
Clearly trying to sell the comedy angle
Such a different perspective

As usual, we started babbling way off topic but I miss chatting with my brother.

Looking forward to next month.

Confessions of a Street Walker – part 41

It is possible that you have seen a rather peculiar woman walking around the streets of Hamilton over the last six years. If you have, I hope you gave a wave…because I am she.

So a few pretty cool things happened this past week. The first is that the Hamilton Mountain Writers’ Guild has published it’s fifth anthology book. My copy came from Amazon early in the week. I am looking forward to reading the other short stories/poems. The profits from the book sales go to Neighbour to Neighbour which is a local organization striving to alleviate poverty in our local area. A good cause to be sure.

Just a taste – the introduction to my story

I do enjoy meeting fellow walkers – especially when something about their walking is epic. The two walkers I met this past week are pretty epic in my estimations.

On Sunday I had the opportunity to meet Daniel Perrins who is on a pretty amazing walk. Like a preacher on a pulpit, Daniel shares his knowledge, raising awareness of the male suicide issue. Travelling with his canine companion, Charger, Daniel hopes to cover a significant number of miles on his mission. Safe travels Daniel. #ProjectJeb

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an amazing amount of miles to cover

Then on Thursday evening I got a chance to meet my favourite duck. Lewis Mallard. I had written about Lewis earlier (link below) I confess that I am always on the lookout for this fine feathered fellow who spreads his delightful duckly cheer when he walks through the streets of Hamilton. Lewis you made my day. @lewis_mallard

Confessions of a Street Walker – part 40

It is possible that you have seen a rather peculiar woman walking around the streets of Hamilton over the last six years. If you have, I hope you gave a wave…because I am she.

It has been a while since I have posted. I have still been walking. I typically go out to previously unwalked-upon streets on Monday mornings. I usually plot and plan. I figure out where to park and which roads I will tackle. I check weather so I am not caught unprepared. I confess that this past Monday I was a tad unprepared for the heat.

I was walking out near Sheffield. I had found a place to park at the ball diamond and headed out.

We were promised a hot day and we sure got one. I set out a little later than usual and it was fairly overcast but then the sun came out – shining – hard. I didn’t have a hat and I probably should have worn one. There was a breeze but at one point it didn’t matter too much. I had water with me but I came woefully close to not having enough. I was sweating so much that my salty sweat was running into my eyes and stinging enough that I was squinting as I walked and dripped.

I don’t think I was ever in any real danger of heat stroke but it was sort of starting to feel like it. So every once in a while I stopped and took refuge under a shady tree and sipped my lukewarm water. So there I was just a sittin’ in the grass where all manner of insecty creatures could be crawling into my clothing or shoes. It could sound sort of bucolic but it was really just me – hanging out, next to the ditch, under a tree.

The GPS tracking is never perfect but it did show my sitting spots. I saw a guy cutting his grass on a riding mower and imagined asking him for a ride on his mower to the ball diamond. (ha ha) I am glad that I don’t let my imagination get away with me. I had stopped five times and the last time I could see the car but thought that the tree looked too inviting.

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At the end of July I walked on Alexander Street finishing Ancaster.

Although, to be fair, I confess that Ancaster seems to have new streets being built all the time. I will wait until they are no longer construction zones. There is a new section going in off of Shaver Road that I will do in the future.

The next post will be an exciting one.

New Years Resolution – July 2021

My brother and I have made a New Years Resolution to watch a movie ‘together’ each month. ‘Together’ became difficult to do once co-vid restrictions were imposed and then he moved to another province. So now we are both watching the same movie and get together on Google Meet to talk about it.

So the movie choice this month was The Barefoot Contessa. A 1954 movie that we enjoyed watching after the debacle of last month’s choice.

Bogart was brilliant – as always. It was interesting to note the changes of society over time. Some things that were quite acceptable then are hardly socially acceptable now. Many of the themes were handled quite well even though it was not quite the happily ever after that most people want to see in a movie. We enjoyed some of the twists that were presented and others were a tad confusing. But, on the whole, well worth spending some time watching this one.

Our cousin Edith from BC watched it with us and the three if us met online to discuss the movie. What a treat. A little complicated to figure a good time to watch and then meet for our three different time zones but well worth it. I enjoyed it very much and hope we can do it again.

Looking forward to next month.

Confessions of a Street Walker – part 39 – Canada Day

It is possible that you have seen a rather peculiar woman walking around the streets of Hamilton over the last six years. If you have, I hope you gave a wave…because I am she.

Whenever it is a long weekend I try to take advantage of the quieter roads and walk on the streets that are better to walk on when they are less busy. They have quite often included roads that climb up and down our escarpment. Today’s walk had me meandering down Valley Road. Escarpment roads are known for blind curves and narrow shoulders which can be dangerous. This one was not too bad.

Today’s walk

I parked at a dog park (I confess that I was without a dog) and I hiked up a trail to get up the escarpment and then finished up a couple of roads and then headed back down the escarpment to the car.

I had a lovely conversation with two couples who were out walking and they were quite helpful providing some information for my next long-weekend walk. It is always nice to get information from ‘the locals’. I rarely stop to get names or take pictures when I come across some friendly folks but there some are, over my shoulder, in a very far away picture from the ‘rear-view mirror’ : )

My hair needs a trim. Tomorrow is my first hair cut appointment in months.

Last May long weekend walk I ran into my son-in-law Ken who was out biking. I confess that it is always nice to see a friendly face when I am out walking.

So I spent my Canada Day realizing that I am privileged to be walking on roads, some of which likely started out as trails formed by the people who were here first.

I also passed by a cemetery today. I usually like to walk past cemeteries. There is a certain peacefulness there among the stones. But today, it pained me. Here in Canada, there have been recent discoveries of the bodies of Indigenous children who were forced to attend residential schools many years ago. It pained me to think of the hundreds of children who do not have a stone marking their lives. Children who had been torn from their families in a completely misguided attempt to ‘Canadianize’ them. Children who suffered from the diseases of the time and brutality from people who were charged with their care.

I confess that I am not really sure how to be a part of making this better. But I will attempt to educate myself and I will look for stories. I will listen and I will pray for healing.

New Years Resolution – June 2021

My brother and I have made a New Years Resolution to watch a movie ‘together’ each month. ‘Together’ became difficult to do once co-vid restrictions were imposed and then he moved to another province. So now we are both watching the same movie and get together on Google Meet to talk about it.

The movie choice was mine this month and boy, I chose a stinker. Last month Jeff’s choice was Her so this month I chose Why Him?

And I had to ask myself about 45 seconds into the movie why me? Why should I continue watching this? I hoped that it would improve but well, not so much. It did have it’s moments but it was not worth it to wade through the crass crap to get to those moments.

The connection with last month’s movie was that the computer voice in Her was Scarlett Johansson who also stars in some of the Avenger movies who have cameos by Stan Lee. The computer voice in Why Him is Kaley Cuoco who starred in Big Bang Theory who also had an episode with a cameo by Stan Lee. They were both also listed as top ten earning females in 2019.

So Jeff and I both agreed that it was not a good movie. We washed out our ears and eyeballs and decided to move on.

A shout out to my daughter Laura for watching the entire last months review even though it was 3/4 of an hour. This month will be a bigger challenge because we managed well over the hour. That said, we only talked about the movie for the first half hour or so and then we started babbling about all kinds of other stuff. Only listen if you are desperate to listen in on our weird conversations.

Looking forward to next month.

Stealth Art # 8

I belong to the Facebook page Hamilton Ontario Painted Rocks (#hoprocks) . It is a lovely group of local people who enjoy painting rocks and ‘hiding’ them so they can be found by others. Most of the time there is an element of encouragement or kindness in this ‘leaving of rocks’ for people to find. Random rocks and random places, all in a spirit of community fun. What I like best about the group is that all skill levels are appreciated. From simple basic painting done by children to art that is truly epic. I have been participating by creating the very simplest of rocks that mostly are ‘have a nice day’ written in marker on them and leaving them when I go out on my long walks all over greater Hamilton. Now my artistic skills are elementary at best but I did branch out to include painting lady bugs. Fairly simple but they were actually recognizable as ladybugs.

I have been leaving my ladybugs all over the place. Last December I hid a number of them in my neighbourhood. Most of them were snapped up fairly quickly and some people played along by posting on the #hoprocks page that the ladybug had been found. I went by one hiding spot and I noticed that the ladybug was still there.

facing The Village of Wentworth Heights at the entrance to 426 Rymal Road East

I suppose that I might have hid it too well and I decided I should move it to an easier-to-find spot. So today I went to check on it and wouldn’t you know it – that ladybug is stuck. Jammed in tight, she was not moving. She might be a permanent addition to the tree unless someone can pry her out.

Encouraged by seeing the efforts of others in the #hoprocks group, I thought that I should actually try to do some real painting. I know a number of very accomplished artists and knew that anything that I would try would not be nearly as glorious as theirs, but was willing to give it a try. Jennifer from the #hoprocks group often incorporates the rocks features when painting her rocks. I got myself a ribbledy rock and some paint and gave it a try.

Well, I quickly discovered that painting is hard. At least painting recognizable things is hard. I thought I would try a beach scene and thought I could paint some dunes leading up to the water along the lines of the rock. It didn’t turn out too bad but then I tried to paint a lighthouse. Umm, well, in my head I was painting a light house but I don’t know that it turned out that way.

I think it looks like a tube of toothpaste with an sunshiny cap on top.

Through the group, I found an artist who creates stunning work. I was lucky enough to buy this beauty. It sits in my home and brightens up my day whenever I see it.

Terry Brawner is so talented.

So, while I will not be painting stunning masterpieces, I will continue having fun painting rocks and leaving them in places so they can be enjoyed by others.

Stealth Art #7

I am a big fan of a local Hamilton artist with a secret identity. Lewis Mallard walks Hamilton streets spreading his duckly cheer to anyone lucky enough to cross his path. I follow him on Instagram.

Lewis at the bandshell at Gage Park

When I began painting rocks I found some that seemed to be shaped a little eggish, which gave me an idea. I decided to print off some of Lewis’s art and create some duck eggs. These are part of #hoprocks (Hamilton Ontario Painted Rocks) on Facebook.

On my walk today I left them at Gage Park where Lewis had been sighted a while back.

I thought of writing a story where I happen upon Lewis at the park and frighten him with my enthusiasm for meeting him for the first time. I then start chasing him around the park. He manages to avoid me and finds some clever hiding spots. But whenever I start closing in, Lewis is startled into laying an egg, right there in the park, and then runs off only to have the chase continue until all of the eggs are laid.

I don’t know how to realistically write that story because Lewis is a boy duck and I don’t know that boy ducks can lay eggs. : )

Will anyone think that perhaps Lewis has laid these eggs? One can only hope.

I have not met Lewis in the wild yet but perhaps one day…

New Years Resolution – May 2021

My brother and I have made a New Years Resolution to watch a movie ‘together’ each month. ‘Together’ became difficult to do once co-vid restrictions were imposed and then he moved to another province. So now we are both watching the same movie and have been posting our separate video reviews.

The movie choice this month was Jeff’s and he chose Her.

Joaquin Phoenix is brilliant in this movie. The language was a tad rough for my sensibilities. I got a text mid-way through the movie with Jeff’s apologies for picking one that he realized, while watching, that had scenes and language that were not quite my cup of tea. It had some pretty good themes and I thought it was good but I did not think it was great. I like that we get to watch movies that we would not normally consider. We can always learn things – even from a movie that we did not enjoy.

Last month, we had made separate reviews and then we had a Duo call afterwards and talked much longer about the movie. This month, instead of posting separate reviews we decided to record our movie discussion through Google Meet. I miss being in the same room and yabbling while we watch a movie together but it was a pretty good solution.

I find it hard to talk about a movie into a video recorder for more than 5 minutes but we managed to record a rather lengthy discussion. Like our regular conversations, we happily wandered off-topic quite a bit. I am thinking you have to be pretty desperate to watch the whole thing but there is a little bit of fun included. Enjoy.

Until next month.