I never knew there was a United Nations International Mountain Day until I started researching mountain eco-systems for the novel I’m working on.
Almost one billion people live in mountain areas, and over half the human population depends on mountains for water, food and clean energy. Yet mountains are under threat from climate change, land degradation, over exploitation and natural disasters, with potentially far-reaching and devastating consequences, both for mountain communities and the rest of the world. http://www.un.org/en/events/mountainday/
The theme of the 2018 International Mountain Day is #MountainsMatter….for water, disaster risk reduction, tourism, food, youth, Indigenous Peoples, and for biodiversity.
Did you know that mountains provide “between 60 and 80 percent of all freshwater resources for our planet”?
The FAO is asking all those who enjoy (holidays? skiing? snowboarding? mountaineering?) or depend on the mountains (that glass of water?) to join the call to specify why mountains matter at #MountainsMatter.
These photos are all from Banff. I had the great fortune to participate in a writing residency at the Banff Arts Centre in 2014.
Last summer, inspired by Thursday Doors master Norm 2.0’s post, we decided to drive the King’s Road (route 138) to Quebec City en route to Charlevoix rather than the much much faster autoroutes 40 or 20.
I insisted we start right from the beginning of the King’s Road. This meant creeping along rue Sherbrooke through the city and past some rather desolate areas in the east end of Montreal where the oil refineries used to be. It took us an hour and a half to get off the island.
The Moulin de La Chevrotière was most definitely one of the loveliest sights on the King’s Road (which is full of many lovely sights). Continue reading →
I’d been worried I wouldn’t see Little Girl-Giant and her Dog when they visited Montreal in May for Montreal’s 375th anniversary because the crowds were so huge. But the puppets dwarfed people and buildings.
First of all, my absolute favourite match-up is ‘Walking Figures’ by Magdalena Abakanowicz (Poland) in front of ManuVie. This is an empty plaza type area set back off the sidewalk, in front of walls of glass and the building’s conventional revolving glass doors.
The area normally feels rather blank and empty. Not any more! For me these massive figures are Continue reading →
When summer rolls around in Montreal, you can be sure of a couple of things: road works which send you off on complicated detours and festivals!
One of my absolute favourite festivals is the Mural Festival.
Two weeks to watch the artists at work and the murals emerge, and to wander up and down St Laurent without having to worry about traffic. And maybe visit the Breton crêperie or the Portuguese bakery or any number of coffee places or clothes boutiques, or the Enchanted Forest, a park taken over by yoga, dance, musicians and Lululemon for the duration of the Festival. I’d never realized before how very Continue reading →
I’m not a fan of the Grand Prix – the noise (pounding music, screaming tires, revving engines), the wasted resources (yes, I know, those tourist dollars coming into Montreal – but think of the taxpayers’ subsidies going out), the ‘vroom virus’ that infects even normally sedate drivers, making street crossing an extreme sport.
On the other hand, some of the doors are impressive.
To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday (for Europeans of course, not for those who were already here) Atwater Writers Exhibition ran a writing contest: 150 Words For 150 Years.
Writers submitted from all over Canada, the U.S., and several other countries too, such as India and Serbia.
I wrote a non-fiction piece about two particular incidents, 86 years apart, involving my grandmother’s copper kettle.
The kettle was given to her in 1912, a wedding present, just days before she and my grandfather (six days married) set sail from England for Canada. My mother gave the kettle to me when Continue reading →