Nov 25, 2009
Uh, Forbidden? Whose permission do I need? What's going on?
Turns out our hosting company had some problems when they tried to migrate the site to a new server. We're told that ours is the only site affected, but it's taking them a while to figure out how to get it back online. Meanwhile, loyal walkers are contacting us to ask what's up - has the site been taken down, is Walkabout over?
No and no. Walkabout is very much not over! We're in it for the long haul because our vision is to revitalize a culture of walking in this province, and that takes time. However, it also takes outreach, and our interactive website has been a great part of that. We've missed it these past few days, and we know lots of you have too. I'm sorry about that. I don't know how to fix the DNS issues myself - all I know is to keep the pressure on the host to fix it soon because Nova Scotians have invested in this initiative. And when you log on to record your progress, you deserve better than a cold error message.
Every day we reach our goals is a small triumph, and another step on the road to making Nova Scotia a walker's province. So for now, jot your steps down with pen and paper, take the opportunity to put a gold star beside your best day(s), and keep checking the website for updates. When the site is restored, we can rejoin our virtual walking groups online, enter several days' worth of steps logged, watch our collective progress numbers jump, and remember that we're part of a provincial movement.
And... does anyone know a reliable website hosting company? Apparently "99.9% uptime" is not reliable enough!
Nov 4, 2009
Monday was a great fall day. Lots of sunshine, crisp temperature, and a great place to go. I was on my way to Walk around the River in River Bourgeois. The group meets Monday and Wednesday mornings at 10 am at 102 South side river and chooses the direction in which to walk. We went left,right and then returned. It,as you can see in the picture above,was a beautiful walk with a view many people only wish they could see. (We actually met a professional Photographer out for a few shots.)
On this day, we were 4 generations of women,but men are also welcome and encouraged,ages ranged from 40's to 70's,some used Nordic Walking poles and some did not,and there was lots to talk about. I even learned one of my neighbours hailed from that area.
Since it is November , information about the Veterans group showed an amazing coincidence.The area from Holland where one of our group was born had been liberated by several members of the River Bourgeois Veterans group. It is a small world.
And Walking takes you all over it, even if you only go 3-4 Kilometers !
Oct 27, 2009
Click on this link
Oct 22, 2009
How do we get out of the funk and actually inspire ourselves to move more? Walkabout helps provide the resources to support individuals in taking the first step, however what actually motivates someone to want to step on the bridge and support change? As I struggle to find time for activity - in my case running and going to the gym - in the midst of my busy day, I received a sobering thought: we all struggle with our lives and the health messages we receive to be active. However, knowing what to do and doing what you need to do are often two different things. And, even when you know what to do, and take steps to do it, there's the cold hard fact that the supports and environments required to support the decision are not always in place.
This is what I pondered as I pushed myself to go for a run yesterday. I didn't want to run. I wanted to sleep, or watch TV --- anything other than the physical act of running. It was a mental battle. I had to negotiate with myself: I will just put my sneakers on and go outside; I don't HAVE to run. I can just walk, or sit outside, but I have to get outside. Twenty minutes later I convinced myself to get out the door, and I headed to Point Pleasant Park. I tried to focus on the fresh fall smell and the colors outside to distract myself from the nagging feeling that I didn't want to be active. I'm not going to lie - the truth is, it didn't help. I was well aware that my body was screaming for me to stop and no amount of re framing of the other benefits of this active experience was going to override that reality.
This is my journey. And I'm sharing it with you. Research tells us that social supports are important in steps to behavior change. So, my step today is to acknowledge how I feel and to try to identify what's affecting my motivation. This may be one of the first steps on the road to change and to finding my passion for moving and writing again.
Bridge on The Marconi Rail Trail The wild life is returning to the ponds at the former heavy water plant
Sunday 01 November, Guided Walk Event
Registration: 1:30pm, Start Time: 2:00pm
Marconi Towers Trail (My name for this portion of the S&L Railroad)
5/10k Rated 1C, note our original assessment of this trail was 2C however the new SP for this year has made it much easier then previous walk s on this trail.
Start Point: 755 Hwy 255 (Donkin/Glace Bay Hwy)
The start point for this walk event is the “former Heavy Water Plant” parking lot in front of building #1 and please note that there are signs indicating the highway is closed except for “local traffic”. The road is open to the former plant and we will have signs directing you to the parking lot.
Walk Leader: Rollie Coombes, 849-0747, email@example.com
Oct 15, 2009
Gather your family and friends to enjoy the Scenery and Beauty along the Coxheath Hills Trail
When: Saturday, October 17th, 1 - 4 pm
What: The sound of Cape Breton music will be ini the air from pipers and fiddlers and experts will be along the trail to answer questions about the wildlife.
After the hike, join the Ceilidh in Knox Hall with fiddler Hanna Stockey and Kolten MadConeell on keyboard. Refreshments will be on hand.
Note: The trail and hall are located on Coxheath Road at the Blackett's Lake turnoff. Contact 564-6352 for more info.
I'll be there with Grandkids in tow!
Oct 6, 2009
For starters there is the Celtic Colors festival. How can you not get moving when you hear all those great Celtic tunes? And there are venues all over the Island from Port Hawkesbury to Sydney around to Ingonish. Take in any one of them and you will be rubbing elbows with the International visitors who can't believe our good fortune to live in this wonderful province! For you choices visit www.celticcolors.com
For myself I've planned a couple of Walkabout celebrations to drop in on this week and weekend. You'll see some Walkabout participants strolling along with their Nordic Walking sticks in Inverness Town on the 8th and on the weekend , after the big concert at the Joan Harris Pavilion, more Walkabout leaders willl be joining in the ISle MAdame Eco Trail Family fun day . Visit growislemadame.com to find out more about this fabulous trail. We'll be leaving on the Blue Trail at the boudreauville entrance at 2:00 PM on Sunday and there are many family activities planned for the afternoon.
Of course there is always the great pumpkin walk. Find a local patch and walk through with your kids until you find the perfect one!
Sep 11, 2009
1) Hikers are expected to be at the trailhead at least 30 minutes before the hike starts to check in.
2) Opening ceremonies on Friday, Sept. 11th will start when hikers come back from Middle Head between 7:30 pm. - 8:00 pm.
3) Outdoor Nature Photography workshop on Friday, Sept. 11th on the first weekend will take place at Jack Pine Trail, Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Meet at Jack Pine parking lot at Black Brook area at 1:30 pm.
4) Outdoor Nature Photography workshop on second weekend of the festival will be on Smokey Towers trail. Meet at Cape Smokey Provincial Park parking lot at 1:30 pm.
5) Introduction to GPS workshop will take at Brook Brook area - meet at Jack Pine Parking lot - 4:15 pm.
6) On Monday, Sept. 14 at NHN Trails, Cape North - There are two events a) There will be a guided hike- 4kms for hikers at NHN trails beginning at 10:00am. b) The Nordic Walking workshop - hiking with poles, a different event, will take place at 10:00 am and hikers will do another trail hiking with their poles. Please be there 30 minutes before the hike or workshop to check in. A barbecue will follow at 11:30 am. for hikers on the hike as well the Nordic Walking workshop.
7) Hikers are encouraged to pick up their Hike the Highlands festival Pass & National Park pass at the festival headquarters at Glenghorm Beach Resort, Ingonish. If you would like to pick them up at trailhead registration please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Hours of Operation
Festival headquarters and registration desk is located at the conference room downstairs just past Thirsty Hiker Pub. Hours of operation during the festival :
Friday, September 11th -
12:00 pm. – 9:00 pm.
Saturday, September 12th
- 8:00 am. – 8:00 pm.
Sunday, September 13th
- 8:00 am.– 11:00 am., 5:30 pm. – 8:00 pm.
Monday, September 14th -
8:00 am. – 10:00 am. 6:00 pm. – 8:00 pm.
Tuesday, September 15th-
8:00 am. – 10:00 am. 6:00 pm. – 8:00 pm
Wednesday, September 16th - 8:00 am. – 10:00 am. Thursday, September 17th - 8:00 am. – 10:00 am.
Friday, September 18th-
8:00 am. – 10:00 pm 6:00 pm. – 8:00 pm
Saturday, September 19th-
8:00 am. – 12:00 pm. 5:00 pm. – 8:00 pm.
Sunday, September 20th - Closed/ Cleanup in afternoon
2009 Photo Contest
All Hikers are Encourage to Enter
All hikers in the 6th Annual Hike the Highlands festival are encourage to take pictures throughout the festival and entered the photo contest in the following categories 1) Flora, 2) Fauna, 3) People, 4)Scenery and 5) Humour. 1st place winners will receive a free Hike the Highlands Pass for 2010 festival and photos display on the website, and festival blog. 2nd & 3rd place winners will be displayed on the website. Contest details will be available at the festival headquarters.
Sep 10, 2009
As we were in the city of Toronto, I was thinking, if I lived here I wouldn’t need a car. Lots of Public Transit, lots of green spaces to walk,and a picnic in Hyde Park made me a tad jealous, but traffic whizzing by, lots of people in line for subways, and the constant sound of emergency vehicles made me glad I was just a visitor.
Sep 2, 2009
Granddaughter Number 3 took a long walk up the road to get her first ride in the School bus today. I am sure her father then jumped on his bike and followed the bus to the school to make sure all went well. I'll be watching my email closely for the pictures. Her big brother took the same walk not too many years ago so he was able to be the fountain of knowledge to answer her questions and to guide her along the way.
One of my colleagues was walking her daughter to school for the first time! How exciting for her little girl, how emotional for the mom. But how wonderful to WALK together instead of jumping in the car. All the way there, just think of the conversation..who will be the teacher, where is the classroom, who will she play with, when can she eat her lunch.
Maybe we should all be thinking about Walking School buses in our neighbourhoods so we can share more of those moments together.
I also attended another important first step in a long walk this summer. My niece got married. She and her Dad took that long walk down the aisle. Again think of the conversation. ( I'm sure he was saying we love your choice but if you want we can walk right out the door! and she was saying this is a great first step in a long life together) . And yes they did stop at the appointed spot and everyone was delighted to watch the ceremony.
So while all the steps we take aren't quite so momentous, there are some steps this weekend you can take with your family and friends. I found a great little walk/run in Tatamagouche that is a great way to end the summer. Take a peek at http://buttertrailfunrun.blogspot.com/2009/06/butter-trail-fun-run.html
It seems like a lot of fun. Maybe I'll see you there.
Jul 20, 2009
This is a look at what one of my favorite beaches is like on a normal summer day. Since Numbers 1& 3 grandchildren live nearby, we often spend a lot of time there . I usually rule the beach from my favorite camp chair and watch the world go by.Well, I just got back from another girls' road trip. Loaded Numbers 2 & 4 in the car and headed for Hubbards NS to visit Numbers 1& 3. Imagine how thrilled I was to leave the sun behind in Truro and drive into the rain ...for days! I couldn't believe it, my only trip to Queensland beach ( one of the most beautiful spots in the province)this summer and I chose the rain. But did that stop the intrepid swimmers? Not on your life. Friday am , we loaded up the old granny ( me) with a chair ( good for putting your gear on to keep it out of the sand but never for sitting on) , snacks, life jackets( great for wearing in the breakers) dry towels, sweaters, and did I mention snacks? and off to the beach we went. It is a bit of a walk so we had to get the rules down pat. Since there are no sidewalks, we had to follow the red light-green light method. If a car is coming Red Light..everyone stands off to the side of the ditch and doesn't move. Green light occurs when the car goes by. Needless to say it took a while to get to the beach. Luckily on a foggy day there weren't too many cars.
Once on the beach we were thrilled to have it pretty much to ourselves. Air temp of 19 and Water temp of 17 degrees meant we were the only ones really in the water. From my vantage point the lifeguards seemed to be wearing their snow suits but that was only because I wished I had one myself.I congratulate them on staying put on their post when the day was so dismal .Discouraging for most but not the little otters, I call grand kids. We played in the waves until one or two of us were turning blue and than called it a day. Then the whole procession proceeded back up the hill yelling red light -green light until we hit the home front. Along the way we had to have a little detour into the wild strawberry patch. I've not seen one so large with so many berries in a long time. So I still think I was in a little bit of heaven, even though it was not a sunny day. I'm still the queen of my realm and my loyal subjects still think gramma is ok.
I highly recommend finding your way to this lovely spot of NS when it is sunny and go for a long walk along the sandy shores. Its great for the kid in all of us. You can read about it and other great NS beaches at www.tenbeaches.com.
Jul 6, 2009
Jul 2, 2009
Jul 1, 2009
Jun 28, 2009
Then on up the hill to see the Heart and Stroke gang ( basket cases really) getting ready to launch off on the 10 k . Sunday my better half and I volunteered in the Minas Basin while daughter number 2 ran her 10 k.It couldn't have been better.In fact five hours later there was 41 feet of water where I was Standing! How cool!
Check out the front page of the CH Sunday edition to see what 350-400 muddy runners /walkers look like.
Oh and by the way, I saw a peacock in full color on the way out of Five Islands. I guess he was proud of them too! Check the walkabout facebook site for picturs later in the week.
Jun 24, 2009
Jun 22, 2009
I also get to work on creative projects as well. One of the components of Walkabout includes a campaign focused on changing the way we think about walking. Walking is not glamorous. I know. However, here's the thing: I also think it is one of our best kept secrets - it can bring friends together for an evening, allow you to connect with your pet dog (or someone else's), helps you clear your head, and the lists goes on. Part of what we're focusing on is bringing that magic back.
We recently developed radio spots to support the Walkabout message. These cheeky, light-hearted pieces are engaging and pack a lot of punch. I invite you to listen to them here. Venture down the page to the bottom where the links are to the radio commercials! The main message is about walking, but there are also virtual ways to share this message: send an e-card, join the Facebook fan page, share interesting information you find on Twitter or other sites. Think of it as virtual walking 8--)
Where does walking take you? For me, I walk to and from work everyday (well - there was an exception when it was raining, if you'll recall from an earlier post), and I use the time to get lost in my head or work through work or home issues on my plate. Where does walking take you? I'd love to know, so share your walking secrets with a comment to this post!
Jun 19, 2009
I had the pleasure not long ago to combine two of my favorite things ... Library visit and walking. What more could you ask for? Well I got it. I was privileged to walk with some of the Main a Dieu folks who were and are responsible for the fabulous Main A Dieu Coastal Discovery centre(You can find out more at wwww.coastaldiscoverycentre.ca ).We went for a talk and walk on the first warm CB day, and while it was warm and sunny in Sydney, it was sunny in Main a Dieu and I was glad to have my sunhat to keep my head warm. But I could feel the warmth of the sun on my face while we walked down the beach around the boardwalk. All the sunshine makes the solar panels on the front of the building an understandable renovation. All along the boardwalk, there are look off nooks to see wild vegetation and to gaze out into the deep blue water. I can't think of anything more inviting than this beach on a July day. Then you could spend the day swimming, picnicking, poking around the local C@P site ( where you could borrow a walkabout pedometer) , touring the museum, and finishing up by borrowing a book from the library on site,. If you forget your picnic lunch, you could pop into the restaurant where the fish chowder makes the visit memorable in its own right.
And if you go down to the end of the Harbor, Moque Head Trail is an easy hour walk.
By the way, my goal this summer is to hit all of the CB groups who are walking for Walkabout and join them at least once. Let me know where you are and I'll come along for a walk.
Jun 18, 2009
My weekend was made a roaring success, not only because all four grand kids were in residence, but because all four decided to take part in the Dr's NS CB Fiddlers Youth run. While I made my way to the volunteer lines at 8:00 am , four little folks found runners, hats, and sunscreen and made their way in for the 11 am start. Over 600 youth from just about 3 years of age to Junior High were in the Joan Harris Pavilion next to the big fiddle to set out. I had the privilege to hang out with a very enthusiastic bunch of Grade 3 students before the official start.
Grand kid Number 1 was initially pointed in the Tots Run but stepped up to run with the elementary school kids.You couldn't have seen a happier face when he arrived at the finish line, and arrived before some of the big Junior High kids finished their run He and his Mom had a great time. And so did all other 599 participants. Lots of green T-shirts arrived at schools on Monday with the medal for proud display!
Meanwhile back at the Tot Trot, there were over 40 little folks who ran, walked, or toddled through the bubbles around the five laps to come in for a big finish to medals and cheers. I don't know who had the most fun, the runners or the watchers!
Jun 13, 2009
Jun 12, 2009
You know I have a few bad habits... and gardening is just one...Spending money is another, so when I can combine the two, how perfect. I started the day at the Truro Farmers market. ( Farm Markets are an entire subject unto themselves) . But since I have a gardening habit, it was mainly for the plants I went. And what a selection of vendors there was. Trees, native species, little gems I don't yet have. What more could I hope for? Well there was some great coffee and a a few crafts that called out my name as I passed by.
Next I hit a few antique shops , luckily no room for furniture in the vehicle. But lots to see.
Then a great little bistro near Margolians . I think it may even be in the same spot I used to buy fabric for my Quilting volunteers in another life. Then the highlight was up to AC to see the rock garden.The last time I was there, it was a work in progress. Now it is just a wonderful spot to go . I could walk around it all day and still see some flowers I missed on the last pass. And I was drooling over a pasque flower. ( Fate had it that my daughter bought one for me at the Halifax Farmers market , so I am now thinking about where to put it at home.) But there are samples of a scree garden that might have an influence on me too! Anyway if you want to go, checkout this site www.panoramio.com/photo/286433, and it includes directions. Or else visit nsac.ca/nscc-map/rockgarden.asp to take a peek. Then put your shoes on and take a walk to AC.
May 29, 2009
May 22, 2009
May 13, 2009
May 6, 2009
May 5, 2009
The way I see it, whether you're running 21km or walking 21 km, there's a certain amount of focus and commitment required. Not to mention, a whole lot of steps logged, water consumed and memories made. For the first time, I've kept a journal about my running experience. And while there's still two weeks to go, upon reflection, I've come to realize that the real learning isn't in the distance I've logged, but in the thoughts I've kept, the people I've seen and the places I've been.
- 10 days, 29 hours, 29 minutes until the marathon.
- This year, if you're participating in the Blue Nose Marathon, you can also join a charity challenge team. I'm on the the Heart and Stroke Foundation team. If you're walking or running, you can join our team as well! Or you can pledge to support the team (shameless team promotion I know 8--)
- There once was a little train engine with some very wise words: "I think I can. I think I can!"
- Good luck!
Apr 29, 2009
Walking takes you places :) but just because it doesn't look like it requires skill doesn't always mean unskilled people can do it although we had lots of fun trying. We have both decided we're going to stick with walking and volleyball for physical activity.
Can you see the world from your car window?
Apr 27, 2009
What are the signs? Kids playing in the water.( #s 1 & 3 were playing in the ocean this weekend) Ducks playing in the water. I caught a glimpse of these ducks in the ditch on the road by my house. Scared of the flock of Canada Geese in the lake perhaps?
And I’m glad that the bees are back. Across North America over 1/3 of the cultivated populations are being hit with some sort of illness which wipes the colony out. What would we do without these industrious little fellows? Most of our veggies at the local markets are pollinated by these little fliers. They’ve had a bad reputation but really are so necessary to life as we know it.
Apr 23, 2009
So, there I was walking with my head in the clouds making my way to work when my random thoughts about spring ran smack up against a more pressing thought about keys.
That's right, suddenly my tranquil thoughts about running a half-marathon were disrupted by more a more serious thought about whether I put my keys in my backpack.
Responding as I do to such immediate, annoying thoughts, I stopped to search my backpack. That's when a pleasant, soft-spoken elderly woman interrupted me.
"I have to give these to you," she says with her hand extended out to me with two tarnished pennies laying flat in her palm.
“What,” I ask staring at her, then the pennies, then at her again. “The pennies?”
“Yes, I have to give these pennies to you in order for it to be lucky,” she responds.
“Sorry,” I ask, not sure what act of superstition I am about to partake in.
“If you find pennies, you have to give them away for luck. And I found these ones back there” she tells me, pointing back to the sidewalk behind us.
“Okay, sure,” I say, “I’ve never heard of this, but I’ll take them, maybe they will bring me luck today.”
I thanked her, placed the pennies in my pocket, and returned to my search. She smiled and walked off relieved that she had passed on her pennies to someone. Finding my keys, I returned to my walk when my mind turned to thoughts about pennies.
Curious, I decided to find out more about pennies when I got to work. According to the Royal Canadian Mint, the penny is composed of the following: 94 per cent steel, 1.5 per cent nickel, and 4.5 per cent copper plating or copper plated zinc. It weighs 2.35 grams and is 19.05 mm in diameter and 1.45 mm in thickness. The Royal Canadian Mint minted 846,420,000 in 2007 and 928,434,000 in 2001.
On 10 October 2007, the Royal Canadian Mint released a study on the future of the penny in Canada. The findings show that most small retailers were slightly in favour of removing the penny while consumers were split on the issue.
You can find out more about the penny’s future at http://www.mint.ca/store/dyn/PDFs/FutureofthePennyENG.pdf.
I say we keep the penny. For, were it not for the penny, I would not have met this elderly woman eager to ensure I had a lucky day.
Apr 15, 2009
And it is amazing how the word spread.
Apr 11, 2009
For me, holding back as he took pictures, I found it to be an easy way to talk to him for in between me showing him how to change my camera's settings I was able to ask him about what he was doing lately. See, the thing of it all is his girlfriend just broke up with him.
The loss of your first love is always difficult. Surprisingly, my approach worked for he wasn't as guarded as he normally is when I ask him questions.
Who knows, maybe the "so, you want to push that button on the left three times" interspersed with "so, how are you feeling about everything" was an easy - or seamless - enough distraction to him that it didn't seem like his uncle was prying, but rather making sure he was okay.
He took these traffic light pictures, I simply told him where to stand and what to look for when we was ready. I like the photos for two reasons: first, it showed me what he thought was interesting on a windy, rainy, weekend afternoon on our way to get something to eat and second, it captured how we should approach life.
The red light means we should stop to take time out for ourselves and for those important to us in life.
The yellow light means we should proceed with some caution about big decisions in life.
And the green light means that if something or someone is important to us then we should go after them in life.
You never know what you'll find out or what you will see when you start to ask questions or view the world through the eyes of another when you go for a walk.
I found out that he's upset about the break up. He found out that he'll be okay.
He found out that he has an uncle he can talk to. I found out I have a nephew who likes cameras.
By talking and by walking, you'll eventually get to where you're going.
Apr 2, 2009
I’ve been thinking about umbrellas and how we use them; mostly because I expected sun today but maybe it might shower in a bit. I just came back from a spot where the umbrella is definitely used as sun protection. And as I watched folks using them, I thought there may be a fair amount of wisdom that we could take from these people.
For example: Our bus ride which would have been a quick 2 hour ride here in NS, was almost 4 hours. Why? Not just because the roads were bumpy (they were), but because we were heading through towns at noon, everyone was fetching their kids from school. On foot…with parasols (such a great word) and guess what? Busses yield to pedestrian traffic! And in areas of heavy population, the sidewalks were in better shape than the road. Walking is a way of life. Walking is important transportation for the population, and walking deserves some consideration.
So as I get ready to go to a meeting, I’m tucking my umbrella in my pack and hoping I’ll need it as a parasol not for avoiding the rain!
Mar 31, 2009
Mar 30, 2009
“They’re tearing down St. Joseph’s Church in the Hydrostone. It will make for some interesting photos! Do you want to go for a walk to see it?”
Who wouldn’t, really? I mean, it’s got the makings of a great day out: coffee, friends, history, not to mention a bit of walking and a hint of destruction. For someone who lives near but not in that area, I wasn’t prepared for what I saw among the twisted metal, broken concrete, and splintered wood. While I walk a lot in Halifax I haven’t happen to come by this area for some time during my walks.
Of course, I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t excited by the photographic opportunities in the scene I saw, but truth be told I also was saddened by the historical losses I witnessed.
This church has a story to tell. St. Joseph’s Church is situated in Halifax’s North End at the corner of Russell Street and Gottingen Street, which is in the vicinity of Halifax’s Hydrostone area. That location alone meant that the church would have been destroyed by the Halifax Explosion.
But there was more to this church. So, with some investigation, I came to learn that on Thursday 6 December 1917 – the year the Halifax Explosion occurred – more than 400 parishioners of this church were killed, representing about half of the parish at that time. Still, determined to rebuild, the area’s parishioners and residents began reconstructing the church, first as a basement church in the 1920s and later with the final construction of the upper structure in 1960s.
Declining attendance finally led to St. Joseph’s Church’s closure last summer. You never know what you’ll learn about this city when you get a phone call to go for a walk. You may see interesting sites, but you may also see history fade.
Mar 23, 2009
I’m interested in the doors I see during my walks.
I find them interesting not only because they tell interesting stories of care and neglect, but also because they hide historical secrets either innocuous or serious. For example, take this door, which I photographed recently one Saturday afternoon during a walkabout of the Halifax Citadel. The paint on the door – faded, blistered, and peeled – reveals character and history. Who knows, maybe the faded initials are the result of an enamored worker; the pockmarked imperfections the result of a misplaced hammer; and the rusted metal the result of a harsh winter.
I don’t know the initials, the pockmarks, and the metal that make up the door, but I can try to imagine those who built it and fixed it and it could go like this: a Parks Canada employee applied a layer of paint to a door years ago placed there by a Canadian Forces corporal a century ago. The two individuals separated by time are connected by the object. For the employee, the door is old. For the corporal, the door was new. The employee a student of preservation; the corporal a student of engineering. The employee a young student working to pay for school; the engineer a young corporal working to protect the fortress. The employee, soon after, graduated school and left; the engineer, soon after, was transferred overseas and killed.
Doors are important because they hide secrets not just behind them but also about them. This door is important because for three separate days it occupied the attention of three separate individuals: the photographer, the employee, and the engineer.
I can’t tell you how much this city has to offer to those with active imaginations. Clearly, it does. However, to let that happen for you, you need to get close to them, study them. And to do that you need to get out of your vehicle and out of your house. By valuing the historical spaces around us, we can begin to appreciate them, honour them, and preserve them, to say nothing about letting our minds wonder about them.