Jack’s Walk


The tracks at Corner of the Beach, about 15 minutes outside of Perce, ©voyager, all rights reserved

Lack of routine maintenance now equals expensive major repairs, ©voyager, all rights reserved

When my husband was young there were daily trains going to Perce, a little town at the end of the Gaspe Peninsula. The train brought supplies and tourists and was the main form of transportation for residents of the town to get Quebec City and Montreal for specialist doctors, hospitals, shopping and schools. Over the years the trains started coming less often and finally in August of 2013 the train stopped coming at all. Today train service will only take you as far east as  Matapedia and good luck getting farther east from there because even the buses have stopped going to Perce. It’s all about economics. More people drive nowadays and there is an airport in Gaspe that handles a lot of supply and tourist traffic. Also, track maintenance is expensive and everybody thinks somebody else should pay for it. The tracks in this photo were a vital part of life in the Perce area for just about 100 years. When I first started coming here 20+ years ago we used to wave at the trains from the beach as they passed us by.  I miss that.

Closer to the Sun

I work on (essentially) the fourth floor so I have a great view of some rooftops. As we had another sunny day, I couldn’t help myself and gave the work camera another workout. Most photos below the fold, since I got a bit… carried away.

(They’re a bit of an obscure Canadian band but something about them caught my ear – their music makes me a little bit happy, a little bit upbeat, a lot like winter sunlight…)

It was much earlier in the morning – I had my fun before the work day began, and it was beautiful.
©rq, all rights reserved.

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Let’s Start the Week with Roses

More photos of the famous Ruston Roses courtesy of DavidinOz.  The pink roses at the end look so fresh and fragrant that I wish there was “smell-o-vision.”

Some photos showing the scale of the garden at Ruston’s Roses. You can also see the potential if the new owners succeed.


©David Brindley, all rights reserved

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A Pair of Beautiful Mornings

As promised, same time, same place… Except does the ‘same time’ argument count if it’s a few weeks later?

First, an overcast morning. I was a bit disappointed because the previous morning had been clear skies and lovely dawn colours, but as it happens, I didn’t have a camera on me – I’ve been using the work camera since the dog out country chewed up my handy little soapbox, and my phone camera has given up ages ago (the selfie camera leaves much to be desired). So I borrowed the work camera, but this particular morning insisted on a blanket of clouds. Oh well, says I.

Lovely snow everywhere. Though a bit thin.
©rq, all rights reserved.

Then I left the work camera at work, of course, and the following morning arrived – clear skies, and those lovely dawn colours through the darkness. Screw it, I thought to myself – this needs a photo. And did my best with the selfie camera on my phone. Just pretend it’s an impressionist painting, and I think you can get past the blurriness and enjoy the atmosphere.

Bit of a different angle because the photo I took from the platform was terrible. See the drama!
©rq, all rights reserved.

It was still November when I took these photos, and the picture shows, I believe, electric train cables.

I got Mail: Treasures from Across the Sea

Dear voyager sent me a parcel full of wonders and I’m going to share at least the images with you.

various goodies

All the wonderful things in one place, except for the lavender, which was stolen ba my kid.


First of all, chocolate. I’m only going to eat this once my cold has gone completely.


Unicorn magnets. If the kids behave I will share. I’ll probably put some into their advent calendar.


Postcards and a roadmap from voyager’s summer residence. Now I can check where Jack walked.


A bone disk, I think. It says “fill me with resin and make me a pendant.” I think I need to work on an idea here.

beach findings

Sea urchins, snails and a sanddollar. How did voyager know I was working on an underwater landscape?


The wildlife guide is full of leaves from Jack’s walks. I have a pretty good idea as to what to do with them, but I won’t say anything yet. As I expected, #1 was very interested in the wildlife guide as such…

Seaglass and seashell fossils(?) I have an idea here, too…

Not pictured: a little matrioshka keyring that went directly to my keys…

Thanks you so much, voyager. Receiving your lovely gift was better than Christmas.

Teacher’s Corner: Things I don’t have to worry about

As you might know by now, being a teacher can be “exciting”.  From wrestling out of control teenagers over having misogynistic slurs hurled at me to a mother and adult brother trying to beat us up (fortunately I was in another parent-teacher talk). Still with that level of violence, there’s some things I don’t have to worry about. A big one is guns. While there have been some school shootings or massacres in Germany, the number is low, and actually yes, we’ve tightened gun laws after the first big one in 2002. The one in 2009 could only happen because the father of the shooter had disobeyed those and was subsequently convicted of manslaughter by negligence. Never say never, but  absolutely don’t worry about somebody shooting up my classroom with a military style assault weapon (and no, I’m not interested in the discussion of technicalities. You all know what weapons I mean).

I am worried about knives. They’re easy to get, easy to carry and can be deadly. But my chair is a very good defensive weapon against a knife. There’s a good chance I can get my students out of the room when somebody draws a knife while I try to calm that person. There’s a good chance that I will survive the extreme case of being hurt by a knife, which gets me to another thing I don#t have to worry about:

Healthcare cost. Should I or my students get hurt , we wouldn’t have to worry about who is paying our bills. I wouldn’t need to worry about losing my job for being sick or not getting paid because I used up my “sick days”. And I wouldn’t much need to worry about people blaming me for not having had a gun and killing somebody first.


Jack’s Walk

Jack won’t be allowed to take walks for the next 2 weeks so I thought this was a good chance to post some of the photos I took over the summer. Today I’m sharing the place we overnighted on the way to Perce. It’s a little place called Saint Luce, Quebec and we arrived just in time to watch the sunset over the St. Lawrence River.  There are a few more photos under the fold  and you can click for full size.


Sunset on the St. Lawrence River, ©voyager, all rights reserved

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David Ruston’s Roses

From Lofty, the story of the man behind Australia’s famous Ruston’s Roses.

This is a statue of David Ruston in a park in Renmark, a tribute to the man and his contribution.

… Ruston’s Roses in Renmark, once Australia’s biggest rose garden. David Ruston began working here at 18, and developed a life long passion for roses. He became world renowned, and was for a time President of the World Federation of Rose Societies.  He built his father’s original collection of 500 rose bushes in to over 50,000 bushes. But he didn’t just grow roses, he was also an expert floral arranger.

Sadly, his health declined, as did the gardens, although they are still open to the public and with new ownership I hope the garden will return to its previous splendor and supply roses to the world once again.  The garden currently has a contract to supply rose petals to the Nineteenth Street Distillery in Renmark for use in their Gin.

David had a fall a year ago, and although he was present for the opening of the Renmark Rose Festival he was unable to participate.

I like the use of hard steel to display a man of flowers.

©David Brindley, all rights reserved

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Achievement Unlocked: Status “Winter Wonderland” Acquired

Yes, it’s a winter wonderland out there right now (complete with angry driving and the fools who didn’t change to winter tires on time because ‘the law says December 1!’). I have said it before, and I will say it again: I love snow. A winter without snow is a desolate mess of oversalted streets and sooty puddles and pure, unadulterated darkness (and this ain’t even Finland!), but a winter with snow – ah! Ice Swimmer said it once, twice the light, and this is true. Yes, it’s a slushy, desolate mess in the city, but I far prefer hopping the irregular snow banks to slogging along the dirty trottoir without them.

Alas, the work schedule forbids me daylight hours, but here’s a glimpse into the wonderland of my backyard. I can only hope that there will be more.

It’s not much, but it makes a difference, even in that orange sodium glare.
©rq, all rights reserved.

Little solar light, doing its best, wearing a lovely winter hat!
©rq, all rights reserved.

Wee little icicles! So long as they’re not hanging from our eaves, they’re adorable.
©rq, all rights reserved.

Look at that crispy goodness!
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The beginnings of the skating rink – after a years’ hiatus, it will be up this year! Though I’ve been told there will be no skeleton track. Boo.
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And I had to retake the previous shot, because Ronja insisted she had to get in on the photo fun. She’s all puffed up and happy.
©rq, all rights reserved.

Singing the beauty out, it’s the Latvian Voices – the video is shot in the attic part of the National Art Museum (worth a visit), which is all painted white, and I hope this is a good omen for the winter to come.


Jack’s Walk

Jack is doing fairly well after the removal of his lump yesterday. The wound has 18 stitches and it’s on the back of his front leg running up to the top of his shoulder which turns out to be a difficult place to keep covered. Every time he stands up the dressing slides down to his toes and the area starts to ooze a bit of serous fluid tinged with blood. We see the vet later today and I’m hoping she has a solution for this. I tried using a child’s sock with the toe cut off to keep things in place. That didn’t work. Then I tried a long swath of veterinary wrap wound tightly and that didn’t work either. Ditto for Kling wrap and a tensor bandage. He’s pretty sleepy today so it’s not too much of a problem, but it will be in a day or two when he’s brighter. The stitches stay in for 2 weeks and no walks until they’re removed. I’ve added a surgical photo under the fold in case anyone is interested. It’s a bit gory, but we nurses like that sort of thing. If you don’t or are squeamish please don’t click-through.

Not quite HappyJack today, ©voyager, all rights reserved

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