Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Afternoon Walk - Downtown

Me and My Future Digs

 ["Sturdy shoes will carry me a thousand miles"]

Properly attired in sturdy shoes and several warm layers of plaid and denim (a very Canadian thing, eh), I walked downtown to pick up hockey tickets recently and saw - lo and behold - me and a future apartment for my wife and I. (Okay. That's if I can convince her. Not easy!)

["The Jail Birds: These downtown condos are small and cozy"]

["Ye Olde Courthouse: I've got my eye on the upstairs apartment w balcony"]

Getting into fun and fitness walks while living in Downtown London would be easy. I'd just walk to Wortley Village for coffee and groceries every second day. Every day if my wife hands me a list.

: )

Link to My Afternoon Walk

Photos GH

Scotland 2014 Photos: Faint Footsteps

Inveraray - Monday, October 27

["It's a long way to Inveraray. Rain drops keep falling on my head"]

Geoff and Margaret Slee of Edinburgh picked me up in their car early Monday morning and whisked me off to Inveraray. Though the day was overcast, dreary and drizzly, I felt (and Geoff said) it was the kind of day my father and his mates - from many Allied nations during WW2 - would have grown quite used to as they trained at HMS Quebec (Navy base) on Loch Fyne, a few minutes by car south of Inveraray.

 ["Troops sent to Inveraray would get off the train at Arrochar and Tarbet"]

 ["From Arrochar troops would be trucked on a long and winding road"]

 ["Veterans would long remember their first views of Inveraray"]

 ["The west side of the main street"]

["My father and mates would have been familiar with the east side too"]

I caught a sense of how rigorous the training was (in assaults and landings) undergone by Army, Navy and RAF personnel during the 1940s, thanks to the poor weather, harsh temperature of the loch and rugged countryside. But thanks to warm hospitality offered by local Scots and the undeniable beauty of the surroundings, time spent Scotland by Combined Ops trainees, Commandos, etc., would have been well remembered - as it is by me.

 ["The Navy drill hall still stands at the former HMS Quebec site"]

 ["A significant memorial to the members of Combined Operations"]

 ["The former HMS Quebec site is now home to a caravan park"]

 ["A few buildings and cement ramps still remain from the wartime era"]

 ["Seventy years ago assault landing craft filled the loch"]

["I will soon fly back to Scotland for more 'look-arounds and walk-abouts'"]

My first trip to Scotland was a door-opener and I will undoubtedly return for more and clearer 'look-arounds and walk-abouts' in the future. The desire to follow faint footsteps still holds me in its grasp.

Link to Scotland 2014 Photos - October 26

Link to Combined Operations by Geoff Slee

Photos GH

Halifax Trip 6

Busy Weekend

 ["Gord and Paul Harrison at Gathering on the Green"]

On Saturday, June 5, 2010, I sold birdhouses at Gathering on the Green in order to have enough gas money to get me to Canada's East Coast. That was one busy day.

On Sunday I made a wider luggage rack for the back of the motorcycle and on Monday I packed the bike to the rafters. Good thing the Yamaha is sturdy!

On Tuesday I said goodbye to grandson Oliver in the back laneway and hopped aboard.

["Halifax, here I come"]

I got there all safe and sound and life hasn't been the same since. It's been even busier in what I consider a pretty productive way.

Link to Halifax Trip 5

Photos GH and Family

The Workshop - Squirrel Nesting Boxes 2

They Look Big

They look big because they are big. Back is 24" H x 11.5" W. Sides are 20" H x 13.25" W (slope for lid is 4 degrees).

Yesterday I cut pieces of white pine (like the back) for the lid, selected western cedar boards for the batten and trim, then cut the boards into strips. The shop smelled like a BC forest. Yummy.

Progress continues.

Link to The Workshop

Photo GH

My Afternoon Walk - Short Cut Map

Prettier in Real Life

Like some people I know, East Woods Pond looks better in real life than in a photo.

 ["Look closely at upper right corner. Hawk?"]

How does one get to the pond in order to hug the oldest tree known to a few hearty Londoners?

First, you walk to Archies on Wharncliffe and Cove Rd. Then you walk west, down Cove Rd. hill and hang yerself a right. Keep on goin' now.

Q: re upper right corner of Top Photo. Is that a hawk in the next tree?

Link to My Afternoon Walk

Photos GH

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Workshop - Squirrel Nesting Boxes

It's A Living

["What's Gord building this time?" "Oh, dear"]

Readers may know I am not fussy about squirrels because they occasionally lodge over winter in my attic and eat seed from - and lay siege to, the fuzzy brutes - my bird feeder. I've considered buying dynamite but that comes with some issues.

However, I was recently asked to make two nesting boxes for a person who rescues injured animals and wishes to provide a sanctuary of sorts for squirrels. (If only the little beggars would stay in this person's yard and not visit or nest in mine!)

["I am well underway, more to follow, hopefully not more squirrels"]

So............. after considerable thought ("Again, how far away do you live?").............. I said I would build the boxes.  More progress re these projects will be posted here soon.

FYI I found it interesting that plans for nesting boxes exist online and many come from the UK and the southern USA. In both those places, as I learned in the past, squirrel meat commonly appears on menus and in butcher shops right beside the pork chops.

Link to more from The Workshop

Photos GH

Recommended Reading

Drop Zone Sicily by William Breuer

I recently finished reading Breuer's book entitled Storming Hitler's Rhine (very good - link to details) and discovered - on the back fly leaf, thus proving the value of reading everything a book has to offer - the title of another book he'd written a year or two earlier, i.e., in 1983, forty years after D-Day Sicily, aka Operation Husky, an invasion in which my father participated.  I immediately ordered it via and, voila (!), it arrived yesterday.

Breuer also participated in WW2, is a solid writer, and though he doesn't fully highlight the role of Canadian divisions in his books as much as American, he at least mentions them, more than can be said for other non-Canadian writers.

Link to Recommended Reading  

Photo GH

Artsy Fartsy 12

Crop Crop

This way or that?

Link to Artsy Fartsy 11

Photos GH

Zoom w a View

East Woods Pond 2

A unique tree rests beside a path along one side of East Woods Pond, about a ten minute walk from my house in Old South. 

If it falls into the pond in my lifetime I will rescue a limb or two for walking sticks.

Sound fair?

Link to Zoom w a View

Photos GH

My Afternoon Walk - Short Cut 2

The Old Tree

My walking mate hugged this old tree during a fun and fitness walk recently and said, "Hang in there, Buddy."

Though hollow, I believe the tree will hang in there for several more years and point the way along a lovely path - beside East Woods Pond - for explorers of all ages.

Link to My Afternoon Walk

Photos GH

Monday, December 29, 2014

Halifax Trip 5

SS Silver Walnut

'Halifax and Another Hard Promise' (BW version) approaches its completion date. Today I assemble 'a story in photos', about a wee boat in which my dad was buried at sea, then move on to the last few bits and bites.

Link to Halifax Trip 4

Photo GH, 2010

The Workshop - Cedar Feeders 5

Assembly Line

Before Christmas I finished two nicely painted bird feeders of similar size to these in my workshop. I will describe the project as follows: Lovely rescued cedar, solid construction, easy pace.

I am now repeating the process for two more - an aromatic project to be sure - before going onto a project that breaks all the rules!

More to follow shortly about 'squirrel houses'! WTheck!

(Has Gord gone over to the dark side?)

Link to more from The Workshop

Photos GH

My Afternoon Walk - Short Cut

Quiet Pond

My walking mate and I recently found a short cut between Springbank Drive and Cove Road.

Lovely, quiet, peaceful route beside a wee pond.

Link to My Afternoon Walk

Photos GH

Photo Files - Snow Day

Parking Spaces

Old photo reminds me of the time - not too long ago - when we used to get snow during winter months.

Link to more Photo Files

Photo GH

Zoom w a View

East Woods Pond

My walking mate and I recently found a short cut from Springbank Park to Wharncliffe and Bruce St., but once on it our pace slowed to a crawl.

The change of pace did us some good, actually. The short cut - a well-kept secret - took us to a quiet pond, a 'photographer's dream' some might say.

Link to more Zoom w a View

Photos GH

My Afternoon Walk - Harris Park Path

Beside the Path

I predict my afternoon walk will take me through Harris Park again today and passed slow-moving ducks and 'Mate' Majdic memorial (near Blackfriars Bridge).

More about 'Mate' Majdic'

Photos GH 

Artsy Fartsy 11

Ella and Anna's Art

"Tutti Fruitti" by Ella Harrison

"My Cat" by Anna Harrison

My twin grand-daughters found the Paper app on my iPad. They create interesting pictures. We must be related!

Link to Artsy Fartsy 10

Pictures from iPad

Friday, December 26, 2014

My Morning Walk - Jailhouse 2

Solid Brick Work

Lovely sights to behold during a steady walk-about in downtown London with my walking mate, Don K.

Our final leg takes us along the Thames River path and into Wortley Village, another pair of London highlights. Much like Don and I! : )

Photos GH