Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Bridges Of West Hill (in black & white)

The West Hill Community, where Linda and I live, can accurately be described as that area of Toronto surrounded by the Highland Creek Valley.

Because we are cut off from the rest of the City by that meandering waterway, we have bridges to connect us to the greater community.

Oh yes, we have bridges.

In all shapes and sizes.

From planks casually thrown across rivulets.

To small walking and biking bridges.

To medium sized bridges just large enough to accommodate one lane of traffic going in each direction.

To major bridges supporting three of the City's mighty thoroughfares.

And even bridges that used to be, but are never spoken of any longer.

If you have time and don't mind a bit of colour on a black and white themed day, here is a short video I shot back in May of 2008 of the new bridge that crosses Highland Creek just as it empties into Lake Ontario. Lindsay is along for the walk and will show us the way.

Friday, March 19, 2010

My Favourite Colour--Green

Green isn't boastful.

It sits quietly in the background.

Letting other colours take center stage.

At this time of year, out of all the other colours, I dream of green.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wrought Iron

I am the grandson of a blacksmith.

So I had hoped to find iron wrought into works of art.

Somewhere in my community.

As, I'm certain, you were able to find in yours.

Instead, despite looking and looking, I found fences.

Mostly around graveyards.

But decided, they were beautiful too.

If seen from the right perspective.

To see more Friday My Home Town Shoot Outs, or to join us, check the links in my top sidebar.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

In Remembrance--of my mother

The Friday My Home Town Shoot Out theme this week is "In Remembrance", a topic chosen by ChefE. Saturday being my mother's funeral I can't think of a more fitting time for reflecting on her life. What follows is part one of a very abbreviated version of her autobiography. Tomorrow Sepia Saturday (on Barry's personal blog) will feature part 2

My name is Rosanna and I was born in Mitcham, England to Captain George Shepherd and Rosanna Staines. I have a sister, Eileen and a brother, Ted. We first lived in rooms over the Star Pub which was owned by my grandfather then later moved to London Road.

Our first home was in rooms over the Star Pub

We grew up next to a butcher shop (above which dad’s sister Blanch Shepherd and her husband Wilfred Baden Bradford and their two children Gill and Roger lived) but which had all these the poor animals outside waiting for slaughter and was such a sad experience that I have been a vegetarian all my life.

Rosanna age 20

My parents first home was heated with a Valour Perfection lamp and our bed was heated with a brick that had been heated in the oven and wrapped in a towel. There was no bathroom but we did have a flush toilet only it was downstairs and outside. On one fine day my mother restained the toilet seat but forgot to tell dad who sat on it while it was still wet and ended up stuck to it. Mom had to use turpentine to separate the toilet from his bottom.

"Up The Yard" The Shepherd Smithy

Eileen, Ted and I use to play "up the yard" where dad, Grandfather Shepherd, and uncle Fred worked. The forge in the blacksmith shop was lovely on a cold winter’s day, especially when we were old enough to jump up and reach the bellow's handle.

Eileen, Rosanna and Mary

On one occasion, we three children played "wedding". Lana wore a white lace curtain, Ted was the groom and I played the horse who pulled them in a wooden wagon that dad had made for us. Incidentally, many, many years later, when I "developed my female anatomy" my siblings called me "three brass balls". Another nickname I had in school was "steamroller".

However I was a pretty good student and became head prefect for a couple of years. Being England it was, of course, an all girl's school and I once played the lead in our school's production of Hiawatha.

Rosanna (center stage) as Hiawatha in her School's Production