Friday, September 30, 2011

Fall is here!

Fall has come to London, Ontario. Leaves are turning red and yellow, streets and sidewalks are covered with fallen leaves and kids are excited. The red and yellow leaves and stuff are new; kids just tend to be excited; The season doesn't matter.

Little Fiona just turned two. This is her first fall and she loves it. Without prompting, she scoops up oodles of leaves and tosses them into the air. She thinks leaves are even better to toss than the sand she threw everywhere this summer. Leaves don't get in your eyes.

And the big, blue, leaf rake is so much more fun than the tiny sandbox pail and shovel. And leaves are everywhere, just everywhere. Sand is only found in any really amounts at the park --- or in the gutters at the side of the road. But the gutters don't count 'cause nobody will let you play there.

Gosh, if she thinks fall is fun. I can hardy wait to see her reaction to our Canadian winter.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Canadians love their pets

Taking a well earned time out for himself.
I don't own a dog nor a cat. Yet, many of my friends and relatives have at least one pet and often more.

Whenever I take my young granddaughter for a walk around my London, Ontario neighbourhood we encounter lots of folk out walking their pets. It is not uncommon to look up the street and see a couple of dogs and then to look behind us and see another dog or two, all being walked on a leashes.

After shooting this picture of one of my nieces' pets, I began wondering, just how many dogs and cats are there in Canada? I found this estimate on a pet forum site:

"Canadians currently own a total of eight million dogs and cats. According to Statistics Canada, there are approximately 3.5 million dogs and 4.5 million cats in the country."

Well, now I know. And if my granddaughter had her way, I'd be among those pet owners.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Neo-gothic buidings at the UWO

The University of Western Ontario (UWO) is famous for its campus. It is has lovely grounds with a great many neo-gothic style buildings. Up until the 1960s, the neo-gothic style was the rule rather than the exception. Today, the UWO plays an important role in the life of London, Ontario. The building towering over the trees is Middlesex College.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Rain, rain, don't go away! On second thought . . .

It rained today. At times the downpour was a veritable deluge. Fiona thought it was simply wonderful. You see, she had her red raincoat, red-plaid boots and a new umbrella. This was walking weather.

Fiona ran down the street; She spun about with merriment; She stopped to check her reflection in a small puddle. Everything was wet and that was neat.

She greeted other walkers with a happy "Hi!" They, in turn, would smile and return her cheery greeting. Fiona was the one bright spot in a rather dark and dismal day.

And then it started to rain, really rain. Big, fat drops fell all around with loud plop, plop, plops. When the rain started pounding down on Fiona, I put her umbrella up and showed her how to hold it above her head

This was not a good move, in Fiona's opinion. Her new, hot-pink umbrella was getting wet. She could hear the rain belting down on the taut plastic. Looking up, she could see the rain drops through the translucent plastic. The rain was running down the umbrella to the circular edge and falling to the ground in numerous, steady streams.

Even with the umbrella up, Fiona was getting wet. Dark, wet patches were appearing on her purple pants. It was time to head home and watch the rain from the comfort of a warm kitchen. I picked Fiona up and we headed back up the small hill towards home, all the while Fiona was cheering me on with calls of "Go Ga-gah!"

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Day in the Life of London, Ontario

Stuff is expensive. Children require lots of stuff. You do see where this is going, right?

My little granddaughter was was two as of the second of this month. She is a delight and has brightened up this old man's life. That said, she is expensive. I cannot believe what a good pair of shoes for a little kid cost.

I got very lucky when it came to buying Fiona a little girl's kitchen. I found one at Homesense. And I mean one. I imagine it wasn't the last one in stock but the only one they ever had.

You see, Homesense is a "jobber" outlet, that is, it is a store (in this case, a  Canadian chain of stores) specializing in buying odd lots of leftover inventory from wholesalers and other retailers, and selling the stuff at discount.

The Homesense inventory changes drastically from week to week and, with some things, from day to day. There's no guarantee they will have what you are looking for, but when they do, the price is an incredible bargain.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Scarecrow, nope. A scareowl.

To keep pigeons off roofs and ledges, folks often resort to using plastic owls as a type of "scarecrow" meant to banish the troublesome bird pests. The London Free Press had one; Pesky birds still built nests in the large company sign mounted on the paper's east wall. The owl pictured was set on the roof of an area hairdressing salon. Local birds didn't seem to take much notice.