Tag Archives: walking

Sometimes, I need the sea…

Okay, as Nanowrimo procrastination, I’ve wandered about the internet, looking for houses on Nova Scotia’s Southern Shore. It is true madness, but all it took was me seeing that there is a Ukulele ceilidh happening there every two years to make me wish to live in Liverpool. Well, that and the view of a multi-coloured house painted by mad artists who did full paintings on every stair riser.  It’s for sale, and my wild side wants it.

They are obviously characters in Liverpool, and that’s cool. And the ocean is right there, and that’s cool, too. Not that it’s far away here in Dartmouth, but I live in utter utter suburbia, quiet enough you can hear the water babbling in the creek that runs behind us here.

And sometimes, I wish for a good strong wind to blow the fur out of my brain, and the scent of salt. It doesn’t filter its way often way over here, surrounded as I am by “little houses, on a hillside, and they’re all made of ticky tacky“. . .

So today, my exercise and renovation buddy and I decided to take ourselves on a walk by the sea. Not the beach today – it’s just turned cold and we weren’t psychologically or physically ready for the full sea air treatment, but down around a harbour, and through a woodland path.

It was a good choice over the gym. They gym, nice as it is, always feels like I’ve been placed in a science museum with a bunch of research gerbils and we are all running endlessly on our exercise wheels, chirruping to ourselves. It feels very good to exercise, yes it does, but the wind is helpful, too.

Our legs gave out right by a well-positioned bench, so we sat and looked at the sea, and the wind tumbling the oak leaves together like hands clapping for our performance. The sea stretched out in front of us, vast and surprisingly calm and blue. The air was fresh, unused. It made my brain feel the way it does when I eat those intolerably strong peppermints – cool and a bit spicy and cold when I breathed in…

There’s a huge tree along our walking path, with a branch that looks like it was specifically set up for a rope swing. The whole experience made me long for a house of my own, with a bunch of my trees around it, and a view to the ocean, with windows to open to the breeze.

We staggered back, MS legs not quite ready for the distance, and ears freezing.

But better. So much better.



Just hold it in! Or, why Halifax is just that little bit off perfect…

I just do not get people who don’t like dogs. I understand not wanting to share your home with them, and I hate barking, too, as Chutney well knows, but other than that, what’s not to like? And yet – it took me hours of searching to find an apartment that would let my wee poodle come with me. I’m paying a premium for the place I have, just because I have the dog. He’s good company, and most importantly, he makes me get out and walk and so has prevented my legs from coiling into corkscrews thanks to MS. Sometimes I don’t LIKE that he makes me walk, but it’s our deal.  I give him love, thousands of dollars worth of toys, and food, and he acts as my trainer. It’s hard to ignore something staring right in your face and saying “Owwwwt?” (which I really should tape to add to the many similar things on YouTube, as he does say it very clearly).(I have yet to teach the parrotlet to talk…)

The problem comes with meeting this request to go out. I blogged before about the woman in my apartment building who told me never to walk on her patch of land near her apartment and especially not with the dog or she would hate me forever.  Forever! Seriously. Today I was out with the pup and he was just WALKING on some of the grass around the corner from some condos. Nothing was coming out of him, he had already emptied himself.  Like a good owner, I’d scooped. I always scoop. I try to walk him different places so that his pee adds to the greenness of the grass, rather than detracting from it. I am polite when walking, smile at others, have Chutney trained to be polite.

Anyway, this old lady pulled up in her car and lowered her electric window. She asked where I lived, and I told her I lived right there. She explained that the grass didn’t actually belong to the apartment building (which I knew) and that “they” didn’t like dogs walking on their grass. I said, well, he was JUST walking. She pointed out that she really didn’t like dogs “urinating” on the grass. Then she rolled up her window and drove away in her huge boat like gas guzzling car to have her perm appointment or whatever.

So, seems to me I can’t walk my dog on my lawn or anywhere else. I wanted to ask her – “Hey – what about those birds, then? Hey?  Shall I chase them away so they don’t do that awful pooping thing they do?  Heaven forbid a blade of oddly green grass get splattered!” What do they think the violently green lawn is fertilized with? Nitrogen. Which is in pee.

I am sorely tempted to take poor Chutney and set him up with a basket to pee off the edge of my balcony, or take to walking him only after darkness. And then squeezing HUGE steaming lumps of poo out of him in all the places I’ve been told not to let him go. Heck, maybe I’ll join in. I could save up.

The thing is, these people probably own a cat or two. I love cats, don’t get me wrong, but kitty litter should be declared a toxic material and need special disposal, as any of you with a cat or three will tell you.  It makes the eyes stream, it does, it’s heavy, and it fills vast amounts of our landfill, where it repels the rats who might eat the rest of it (okay, nothing repels rats, true, but it’s a good line). Is it any worse to let a doggie have a wee pee in the grass and some sacs of poop in the garbage than to send gallons of pee and poo soaked sand to the dump?

I want to scream at these women: “Get a frikken life!” and “I used cloth diapers on my kids, dammit!”and “Got laid lately? Maybe you should!” and “Don’t get too close – I hate old ladies and tend to bite!” (though that’s not specifically true as I love lots of older women, and men. I just hate “old ladies” of either sex.)

The truly annoying thing is that she would never have spoken to me if I were a man. Or if I had a man with me.

Or if I only walked Chutney twice a day, but we go out several times for exercise and to keep my muscles moving. I am short, with grey hair, and recognizable. In the fog I’ve been known to wear hot pink. It’s the only raincoat I have. Keeps me from being squashed.

The thing is, we all cause some bit of stress on people living nearby us.  I have a screaming newborn upstairs.  Do I take the person aside and say in stern tones “We don’t like that sort of thing around here?” Other people have conversations in the hallway. Should I stick my head out and make disapproving shushing noises?  There’s a guy who smokes at the entrance door. Should I report him to the cops?

No, bloody heckness, I shouldn’t. If you don’t want to share space with people and their pets and children and their breathing and lovemaking and washing machine noises, go live in the country! Alone!

But then, there are all those damn birds to cope with.