Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Canada Day Quickies
I would never have called myself a patriot before today. I don't own a Canadian flag, and I only know the first line of our anthem. While I do know how to steer a canoe and devour a donut, I neither drink beer nor understand hockey. Canada Day comes and goes yearly with little fanfare on my part. Most years, I'll be found sweating in a southbound car crammed full of camping gear. This year the holiday itself has an ungainly midweek time slot, and we had to celebrate close to home.
Today we made the best of local delights, beginning with a view from our porch, eating a breakfast of pancakes and maple syrop, watching spandex clad cyclists, dogs & owners strolling, birds dining at our feeders and squirrels racing through the trees (okay, the dog did the that).
For the afternoon, we went to Fairy Lake, Newmarket, a park as pretty as its name, with its willow shaded pathways flanking a broad swath of the Holland River. We were not alone in our plans and soon found ourselves negotiating a shifting fleshy maze of people. With a small blue blanket, we marked a small patch of shade as our own and sat for awhile. Our personal space was restricted to two feet on either side of us, as there was a slow moving river of people to our right and a family of ten dining on KFC to our left. I was brave enough to begin sketching a few of them until A) my feet got tingly from sitting with my legs crossed and B) I was afraid they'd object to my staring at them.
Thereafter, we wandered off to less populated regions and directly into the midst of an 1853 militia encampment, fully equipped with canvas tents, iron cookpots, rifles on racks, and handsome men dressed in red serge uniforms. We were treated to a full demonstration of marching manoeveres and musket practice. What better way to fire up patriotic pride then to watch manly men do completely anachronistic manly things?
Images: 3"x5" sketch paper, pencil, coloured pencil & watercolour pencil.
Ps. please pardon horrible errors, as now I want to check out the fireworks, got to run, edit later.