Sunday, November 27, 2011

. . . and the candy canes were "Yummy!"

I see big parades like the annual Santa Claus Parade in New York or the Rose (Bowl) Parade in Pasadena, California, and I think, "Wow!" But, they are truly over-the-top events.

There is something to be said for a simple parade of local kids marching for the fun of it, and being encouraged by the positive hoots and hollers of thousands of local kids and their parents who line the parade route.

Saturday's parade was small even by London standards, but it was still good. Hey, just ask Fiona. And the candy canes were, "Yummy!"

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Santa Claus Parades are about fun

Don't you just love her smile. Saturday's parade featured lots of smiles.
London, Ontario has two Santa Claus parades. The official London parade was held earlier in November, downtown and a night. The much simpler parade today was held before noon in northwest London, ending in what was once the village of Hyde Park.

Did the parade have fancy floats? No. But, there were lots of smiling kids --- both in the parade and lining the sides of the road. This parade was a throwback to the days of the small village parade. It was an opportunity for kids to parade, to dance, to strut their stuff, to wave and it was a chance for other kids to watch and to cheer. Everybody knew their part; There were lots of wave and lots of cheers.

The parade was a success.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Long walls are becoming common

When I was born, Canadian neighbourhoods didn't have walls. This is no longer true, especially in the newer subdivisions. Roads are far busier today than they were in the past. And busier means noisier. Walls not only block out the sight of a busy road, walls deflects noise.

This wall is quite new. It is just a few years old. As you can see, some areas are already showing wear. This is because the wall is not solid brick; It is not even a brick veneer; It's fake. This wall is a relatively, inexpensive prefab construction. It is not very durable.

Curious as to what is to be found hiding behind this wall only a short walk from my London, Ontario home? Look below.

Monday, November 21, 2011

City Centre towers

Decades ago the finest hotel in London sat at the corner of Dundas and Wellington Streets. Londoners still talk fondly of Hotel London and its beautiful, oh-so-ornate ballroom. But the hotel fell to the wrecking ball, makimg way for the modern towers. At the time they were built, the towers were the tallest buildings in London, Ontario.

Today a hotel is part of the complex: Hilton London. It's a nice hotel but not all that special. Originally, it was a Holiday Inn and one might say the old girl's roots are showing.

Personally, I wish Hotel London was still on the site. I'm very fond of old, city-core hotels.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

White swan on dark water

You can't go wrong with a shot of a white swan on dark water. Trees bare of colourful leaves and ground still bare of white snow, take a picture of the perfect fallback - a white swan on dark water.

(This image has been messed with a bit using Photoshop content aware. To learn more, I posted some info on my Photo blog on a post titled, "It was a firing offence." Stay alert, there is a link that leads to a post on media use of models to illustrate news stories. Forgive me if this appears like I am trolling for hits. I'm not. I'm just trying to share.)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Children are the future of our cities

Fiona checks out the bouquet she gathered for her grandmothers.
Many cities are in trouble, all around the globe. But they do have a hope: Children.

Fiona loves walks and this fall she discovered the dry, withered leaves of fall covering the ground. She loves them. They crackle and snap when walked upon. They float wildly, dispersing everywhere, when tossed in the air. And they make a great bouquet when gathered up and carried home. (Huh? I never thought of that.)

The little 26-month-old child carefully gathered a fist full of leaves, telling me they were for her grandmas back home. When she had gathered too many to carry without damage, she called for me. "Help, gah-gah! Help!"

After spending some time gathering leaves, she examined her collection with a critical eye and decided something extra was needed. She picked a couple of dandelions gone to seed. The white fluffy heads contrasted perfectly with the brittle, brown-yellow leaves. She had the focal point for her dried leaves bouquet.

Our children have imaginations that are not trapped in the past. We must nurture these young minds. We must encourage our children. The seeds of a promising future are contained within.