It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Striding, Part two

Today was another perfect “Let’s go for a walk!” day. Our street is still in chaos, as you can see, but I think that we’re in the final stages. The water and sewer stuff is done, so I think what’s going on now is preparing the road bed so as to lay the new street and sidewalk. I hope, I hope! After our usual 30 to 40 minute stride downtown, we are approaching our coffeeshop destination when we see…
…some sort of commotion further up the street. Having no set agenda and lots of idle curiosity, we have to go check it out. Once we arrive, we realize it’s the Pride Parade.

Good to see this lot has good relations with the local police! The officers in the car were waving and smiling, joking with the paraders and the parade-viewers. Yes, that is a rainbow flag hanging from the back window.

It was this particular group that brought a lump to my throat. It’s not the best picture, but what they’re doing is line dancing. Line dancing! Such an ordinary, unexceptional, some might call it mundane, even geeky – but an accomplishment for people for whom such a normal, everyday thing like dancing in public with their sweetie could have been dangerous not so very long ago. Still is, in some places. Imagine: line dancing as a subversive act!

And here we have it: the Real Reason Mary takes these longish walks every weekend. This, my non-Canadian friends, is a Chiller. A delicious, nicely sweet iced coffee confection, a drink for grown-ups, unlike the sickly-sweet approximation Starbucks offers. Made of espresso, milk, sugar, and crushed ice each one of this packs a nice caffeine wallop, the only form of caffeine my poor stomach will tolerate. (I figure it’s the anaesthetic effect of the ice.) It also, by my calculations, packs about 400 calories – but that’s okay, because, given that I burn 6.5 calories/minute for the 60+ minutes I walk to get one, I’m breaking even! It doesn’t count at all!! Mmmm-mmm-mmm, I love these things.

August 28, 2005 - Posted by | Ottawa, outings


  1. How long have they been working on the street now Mary, seems to be taking a long tme.

    Comment by Aginoth | August 28, 2005 | Reply

  2. Months. Since the beginning of May, and when they started, we were told it could be mid-October before they were finished. Phew.

    Comment by Mary P. | August 28, 2005 | Reply

  3. This post has been removed by the author.

    Comment by Bill | August 29, 2005 | Reply

  4. Great music choice on your profile. I must check out Lucille and Harry, they are new to me.

    Comment by robmcj | August 29, 2005 | Reply

  5. Your comment about the line dancers made me smile, and also sadly shake my head at the truth that not so long ago it would have been frowned upon.

    ‘..normal, everyday thing like dancing in public with their sweetie..’


    Comment by craziequeen | August 29, 2005 | Reply

  6. Bill: “Wacko homophobic religious freaks”? FYI, I have a policy against name-calling on my blog. Besides, just because someone disagrees with the lifestyle does not make them homophobic. Some are, indeed, but some only have an opinion about the lifestyle, not an irrational hatred of the people.

    In fact, the only religious folk I saw were those participating in the parade. Several churches were represented.

    Rob: Thanks! Brace yourself, you’ve provoked an onslaught!! Which is what happens when you compliment my music…

    Lucille Bogan was one of the original “dirty girls” of the blues. I’d recommend the album – “Shave ‘Em Dry: The Best of Lucille Bogan”. First blues album I’ve ever seen with a Parental Advisory warning label! She’s a raunchy gal.

    Harry Manx is much gentler, a Canadian blues guy who stretches the boundaries of the genre. In addition to the guitar, he plays a “mohan veena”, sort of a cross between a guitar and a sitar. My favourite album is “Wise and Otherwise”. I like his mellow, meditative stuff best.

    CQ: Thank you. That was the bit that meant the most to me, and I’m so pleased it resonated with someone. Dancing in public with your loved one, no matter what their sex, should just be a part of the very wide spectrum that is “normal” – just people being people.

    Comment by Mary P. | August 29, 2005 | Reply

  7. Sounds like a fabulous day!

    I want a chiller!! Though my hubbie loves those frozen coffee drinks from Starbucks, they are just TOO sweet. Wonder if I can find one of these in Kansas.
    Doubt it but I’ll dare to dream…
    meanwhile, have one for me next weekend!

    Comment by LoryKC | August 29, 2005 | Reply

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