TTWWD – Leafing Canada

How does the song go? “Homeward bound, I wish I was homeward bound”…I am homeward bound! “Where my thought’s escaping, where my music’s playing” etc. That is me, my readers! I am leaving Canada – my last country, Ottawa – my last city and I am flying home. This is the penultimate TTWWD. What an adventure? It has gone so fast and delightfully, I have seen and learned a great deal, both about the places I have been and about myself – what I can endure, manage and survive.

I realise this is not Ray Mears or Bear Grylls territory, but nevertheless for me it was a big adventure. A very long break from work and home, travelling often on my own and then with a group (a mixed blessing, but without whom I couldn’t have covered the ground) and staying in hotels for one night only – what an environmental disaster that is: almost the worst thing I did to the planet – all those sheets and towels? Still, I will not be doing it again.

In most hotels, it should be noted, the option not to have one’s sheets changed every day seems to be catching on, quite whether the housemaids have got the message remains doubtful since in one hotel where I was staying more than one night I found the maid changing the sheets although I had followed to the letter the instructions on the card offering the option not to have them changed. Then there are the towels – in every bathroom there were enough for me and my non-existent companion, are they ALL washed after one person has left the hotel or do they take a chance that you didn’t use any of the others? There are no longer any single rooms in any hotel so ALL my sheets were king-size or larger, such luxury at night – such an acreage of sheet to wash, especially when you think that many of them only saw usage for about 6-7 hours.

20130605-181607.jpgthere were lots of displays like this or similar, a total of 3 large bath sheets, 3 medium towels, 3 hand towels and 3 face cloths, not to mention towelling bathrobes AND slippers! I suppose any slippers that are used get thrown away?

Oh, but it was worth it!

Here are some pictures of Canadian leaves, to justify the (sort of) pun in the title:

20130606-101740.jpgMaple leaf, the tree that sweetens Canada

20130606-101758.jpgManitoba Maple leaves

20130606-101805.jpgVirginia Creeper

20130606-101820.jpgWhite Pine, so called because the sap leaves a white resinous streak on branch and trunk

20130606-101827.jpga non-indigenous pine from Scotland

20130606-101834.jpgoops! this is not a leaf, this is a rose

20130606-101841.jpgand this is an hydrangea!
But last and not least is the Aspen, the damsel of the forest.

20130611-161608.jpgin winter her pale trunks stand out against the dark pines; in spring she dons a diaphanous shift of the palest green; by summer her dress is darker and trembling in the breeze and by Fall or autumn she has changed to an outfit of pale gold, a pointillism of heart shaped gold pieces, so evocatively painted by The Group of Seven and Tom Thompson, among others, whose outstanding oils grace the walls of galleries across Canada and beyond.

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