Thursday, May 27, 2010

...on the other side: Ottawa


Andrea and I are halfway through the process of moving here from Winnipeg. I've been here for nearly two weeks now, starting my new job, and our stuff arrived safely last Wednesday in a shared truck. But Andrea's still in Winnipeg tying up loose ends, and we don't have a place of our own set up yet. I've been staying with some very generous friends downtown and helping them with some projects in return. It's a weird time! All the hard work of moving away from Winnipeg is dealt with but there are still emotions of loss and displacement. Even though this was my choice and it's my long-lost hometown, it is disorienting to be the "new kid" in town! Ottawa has nearly twice the population and a much higher average family income than Winnipeg, so everything here seems bustling and shiny.

For example, a pillar at the corner of the block where I work has a base of shiny black rock. But not just any rock! It's beautiful Larvikite, a semi-precious stone with lots of dramatic blue flash:

I've made lovely jewellery using this very same stone!

Some would call it "flashy", and some would call it "fabulous". I don't know what to think of the downtown streetscaping so far, but I do know that I'm being very well taken care of by my friends and family. And I know that there is an amazing arts and cultural scene that belies Ottawa's rather buttoned-down reputation. And I know that there's an active and creative glass beadmaking scene that I'm very excited to join!

For now, we're still working on settling in. The rest will come in time.

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