Odds & Sods

At this stage of the pandemic, at this stage of the winter in Toronto with the snow falling outside, we’ve been inside a lot. There’s been snowstorms like we haven’t seen in years, which is kind of exciting and a reminder of how beautiful winter can be.

In spite of the danger sign, on some of the coldest days, when the ice was looking thick and solid, people went down the little ladder at the end of the pier and walked on the surface of the lake, crossing the harbour.

Meanwhile, here on the long days inside, we’ve gotten into Cat TV –

She’s bored, she misses her life as a hunter ruling over 4 back yards, clambering fences and scaling trees just to get closer to that bird…

So I’ve been putting Cat TV on – long loops from Youtube of someone’s back yard. One guy has a whole channel with a variety of them – winter / summer / spring / fall of 4 hours with a camera pointing at some seeds while the chipmunks, blackbirds, blue jays and squirrels all scramble and squawk and jockey for position.

The surprising thing I’ve noticed though, is how much I also enjoy having it on in the background. It satisfies some of my yearning for green, for trees and bushes, for birds and critters, as the view from here is ultra urban –

I showed my view to a zoom group I was in – it was a “shamanic” kind of gathering, and a number of the people were calling in from places like Shropshire or Devon or rural Wales, all with the rolling green, the sprawling gardens, birds chirping – so I had to show them my view for contrast.

“Blimey”, said the woman in Wales.

Anyways, last Sunday was suddenly uncharacteristically warm – a one-day blast of spring – so with A & C, we grabbed the moment and headed down to the beach, past the currently bizarre hodgepodge of a skyline on the way –

It was blustery so the kite enthusiasts were out, and one fellow with some kind of wet suit and paddle board situation swam by in the lake. I mean, yeah, the day was warm but there’s still plenty of ice in the lake.

C, the puppy, was not going in there with that ice…

I got to know A quite a bit during the spring and summer – we became walking buddies. She’s 3 floors above me and about 4 doors down, and we’re both single moms and have tons of interests in common, so we go for long walks in the neighbourhood – get outdoors, get some exercise, and talk to another human In Real Life.

She even came out one day in the kayak, which I’d been biking down to the beach and taking on outings while the weather was gorgeous.

The juxtaposition of the ultra urban living situation and the spectacular wilds of the lake makes this neighbourhood really interesting.

The whole area is currently very in development and under construction, which is kind of fascinating – to watch urban planning in action. The city is building a massive park in the strange wasteland on the way to the beach – an area that is very large and very underutilized.

So for example, this –

Is apparently going to become something like this –

And the current view of the neighbourhood –

Will apparently be transformed into something more like this –

To do my part, I’ve started a little graffiti project – bringing a sense of the wilds as they are displaced and / or shifted down to the huge new park, into the midst of the ultra urban –


It’s a fun little project, adding a sweet element of surprise to people’s days.

The first night we put a few up, I was out doing it with my friend R, and this adorable young couple stopped by to watch us with our brushes and buckets of wheat paste glue and asked:

“Is it Art?”

Why yes, yes it is, we answered.

With an extra special thanks to Brenda @burnsthefire for the nudge

Lens Artists Challenge – Odds & Ends

6 thoughts on “Odds & Sods”

  1. Love getting your news, and seeing your world!

    From: follow your nose Date: Sunday, March 13, 2022 at 17:06 To: smathews@magma.ca Subject: [New post] Odds & Sods Katharine Asals posted: ” At this stage of the pandemic, at this stage of the winter in Toronto with the snow falling outside, we’ve been inside a lot. There’s been snowstorms like we haven’t seen in years, which is kind of exciting and a reminder of how beautiful winter can be.”

  2. Jersey City NJ and NYC have both turned a lot of their waterfronts into people-friendly spaces. Rhode Island, where I am now, is thick with public waterfront, and the city of Providense has done some beutiful landscaping along the river.
    I hope they do your waterfront justice.

    1. Guap!!! Long time!!! Great to see you here on the interwebs. Wow, I’d love to visit Providence – I was born there, but haven’t had a reason to go back since I was a wee thing. In the pictures it looks very charming.

    1. Cat TV is brilliant. If I forget to turn it on, now she’ll swat the blank TV until I do, making clear her desire. And yes, I’ve got a bunch more drawings ready to go up around the bits of urban wasteland once the weather is more friendly. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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