Posted by: Silver | February 20, 2012

Ottawa, part 2

My time in Ottawa was certainly busy: for the first time in over 18 months, I was back in the 9 to 5 office groove! It was definitely a shock to the system, but I think I coped. 😉 With three francophones on the SOS staff, it was a chance not to be missed to prepare for Québec, so a fair amount of time was spent getting the translations I’d done of all the emails, documents and other material that I repeatedly use in the organization of this journey double-checked, and also practising my (French) presentation in front of possibly the most tolerant and forgiving audience I will ever get! Unsurprisingly, I’m not quite word-perfect in French just yet(!), but I did discover that working in my second language did not in any way inhibit me from waving my arms around and jumping up and down just as passionately as ever, so even if the Québecois don’t understand a word I’m saying, hopefully I’ll still get the message across! 😉

Fortunately, it wasn’t all work though. After many days of unfavourable weather and ice conditions, I finally got to skate down the Rideau canal: all the way down! As it happens, this wasn’t actually my first time on the canal: I visited Ottawa on vacation a few years ago, and decided then to combine my very first experience of skating with my very first experience of the world’s largest skating rink. Last time, though, I just kinda puttered around, trying to stay upright and get the hang of this whole push-and-glide thing; this time, however, I was on a mission! In the company of two real Canadians (ie. people who own their own skates!), I was determined to make it along the whole 7.8 km of the skateway, without falling over. Admittedly, it was a bit touch and go at times, and I never dared skate faster than the speed at which I was prepared to fall over, should it come to that, but in spite of feeling 100% unelegant, and being overtaken by an embarrassing number of 4-year-olds, I made it! I’m not sure that even cycling across the whole country could possibly feel more triumphant! 😉

A true Rideau canal skateway tradition: Beaver Tails! Sugary fried pastries in the shape of... oh go on, guess! And yes, this was actually on the canal


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