Thursday, December 29, 2011

Blog Guelph: It Is Not In The Stars To Hold Our Destiny But In Ourselves

No Loitering! by Dom Cruz
No Loitering!, a photo by Dom Cruz on Flickr.

It Is Not In The Stars To Hold Our Destiny But In Ourselves
-William Shakespeare


We approach another of time's formal crossroads this week with New Year's heralding in a wash of champagne popping and resolution dropping, both big and small, all across the world. The television news crews will piece together their version of the year in review and heads of state will speak to the times. The time just past and the time that is yet to come. Everyone will have a say about time - in their public face or in their private. 


However, I would argue, it is not just time that we must consider, but also destiny.  Fate. Fortune. Providence. Serendipity. 


How will our lives change not only in time but in destiny?


To my loves and laughter as equally as to my struggles and sadnesses -  I say farewell 2011.


-Aidan M.D. Ware





Blog Guelph: It Is Not In The Stars To Hold Our Destiny But In Ourselves

Blog Guelph: It Is Not In The Stars To Hold Our Destiny But In Ourselves

Johnson Moon by AmarisG
Johnson Moon, a photo by AmarisG on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: It Is Not In The Stars To Hold Our Destiny But In Ourselves

night sky by steelers_#1fan
night sky, a photo by steelers_#1fan on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: It Is Not In The Stars To Hold Our Destiny But In Ourselves

Blog Guelph: It Is Not In The Stars To Hold Our Destiny But In Ourselves

PC155931-2 by photo_mb
PC155931-2, a photo by photo_mb on Flickr.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Blog Guelph: Skating at Market Square

Christmas Eve by Krista Kruger
Christmas Eve, a photo by Krista Kruger on Flickr.

Good Morning Blog Guelph!

How has your Christmas been? Mine has been wonderful and relaxing.

On Saturday, we braved the last minute shoppers to head out and get new skates for my growing boys so that we could enjoy the new Market Square skating rink at City Hall.

We were there on Christmas Eve and again on Christmas Day. There was something about it that was oh-so magical and brought back memories from my childhood.

You should definately check it out when you have some time.

See you all in 2012!

Krista

Blog Guelph: Skating at Market Square

Skating in Market Square by kim/ber
Skating in Market Square, a photo by kim/ber on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Skating at Market Square

Ice Skating at City Hall by felixtrio
Ice Skating at City Hall, a photo by felixtrio on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Skating at Market Square

Blog Guelph: Skating at Market Square

Friday, December 23, 2011

Blog Guelph: Holly Daze

Joy to Guelph and all those who tune in to Blog Guelph regularly.

There will be some sporadic blogging over the next two weeks as some of us Blog Guelphites take off to far reaches; secret places filled with family and warmth and no doubt a dram or two. Just think of it as a sweet holiday surprise, you never know when a post will be planted on you.
But do check in.
We like it that way.

I'm off to this, the magnificent Market Square tonight for a wee skate. It just so happens to be the last Fourth Friday of 2011, this one filled with hot chocolate and great neighbourliness. Fear not though, this tasty stew of creativity and community will carry on and evolve every fourth Friday of every month for - dare I say - the rest of our lives. I hope our children's children will carry it on too.
Go fourth and skate tonight. Or do whatever seizes your imagination. Just do it with goodwill.

Oh, and check out Downtown Guelph facebook page or our twin Twitter page to see if you could score a Tweet for Treats today.

Happiness all, and to all a good night.

I'll see you next year....

-Downtown Lynn

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Blog Guelph: Behold the Pillars of Our Community and Think Change

Guelph by Davey S
Guelph, a photo by Davey S on Flickr.


I doubt anyone has failed to hear about the recent issues plaguing our City Hall and it's easy to become bogged down in the negativity. However, I believe this has provided us with a unique opportunity to really think about the structure of our community; to think about our pillars - artistic, cultural, economic, political, and social. As a whole, are they strong enough to support change, broad enough to be inclusive, integrated enough to be caring, individual enough to give expression, dynamic enough to create opportunities?


And heck, I have to ask - do we even define our pillars?

The question of taking risk came up in a conversation I had this morning.  And it got me thinking about change (as I often do) and how change can not be brought about without some risk. A story that a colleague and friend of mine likes to share comes to mind: Frank Hasenfratz founded Linamar with a single metal lathe in his one-man machine shop in the basement of his home in 1964.

I say, it's fortunate for Guelph he didn't consider it too much of a risk.

But, my point is, Guelph is full of stories such as this one. About people unafraid to make change, to take fair risk - because they believe in a vision.

And although I blogged photos of some of our more well-known community pillars,  I think truthfully the pillars of our community are just being built - today, and in the weeks and months ahead.

I hope we will be unafraid as we raise up our voices and spirits in a column of change and optimism.


- Aidan M.D. Ware

Blog Guelph: Behold the Pillars of Our Community and Think Change

Waiting for Santa by felixtrio
Waiting for Santa, a photo by felixtrio on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Behold the Pillars of Our Community and Think Change

Art outside the Gallery by Stephen Just
Art outside the Gallery, a photo by Stephen Just on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Behold the Pillars of Our Community and Think Change

Blog Guelph: Behold the Pillars of Our Community and Think Change

Trapped In A Box by PhotoFinish001
Trapped In A Box, a photo by PhotoFinish001 on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Behold the Pillars of Our Community and Think Change

City Hall by felixtrio
City Hall, a photo by felixtrio on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Behold the Pillars of Our Community and Think Change

Johnston Hall by Peter A Wolf
Johnston Hall, a photo by Peter A Wolf on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Behold the Pillars of Our Community and Think Change

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Blog Guelph: Wintery trail beside Lourdes

Wintery trail beside Lourdes by kim/ber
Wintery trail beside Lourdes, a photo by kim/ber on Flickr.
Happy Tuesday!!!

Is everyone ready for Christmas? Is the hustle and bustle of the season starting to wear you down?

It is start to get to me. I have the next few days off of work, and everyone of them is going to be jam packed with baking and visiting and gift wrapping.

Today I thought I share some recent wintery shots with you, since the winter feeling is lacking this Christmas.

I hope everyone has a very merry Christmas.

Krista

Blog Guelph: Trunks

Trunks by peterkelly
Trunks, a photo by peterkelly on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Gray dawn rising

Gray dawn rising by Alan Norsworthy
Gray dawn rising, a photo by Alan Norsworthy on Flickr.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Blog Guelph: Stressmas Shopping

_MG_0877, originally uploaded by fishwithme55.

Greetings on a damp Monday,

Are you tearing your hair out trying to find the perfect gift for someone that has everything?

Please allow me to offer a different gift giving approach.

Pick a local charity. Make a donation in the name of the intended recipient. Direct the tax receipt their way.

Ho Ho Ho - you've just doubled your giving.

Here's a short list of local charities that could really use your support.

Guelph Food Bank - yes, they love donations of cash.

Guelph Arts Council - funds are used for a variety of creative undertakings.

Canadian Disability Resource Council is locally based and promote the well-being and inclusion of Canadians with disabilities.

Guelph Community Foundation provides support for a wide variety of local initiatives.

Plant an Old Growth Forest is the perfect charity for the visionary on your xmas list.

Now - enjoy today's seasonal photo selection. And remember to breath.

Jolly good.

Sue Richards

Blog Guelph: The Great Tree Hunt


The Great Tree Hunt, originally uploaded by claygrl.

Blog Guelph: percolated streetlight


percolated streetlight, originally uploaded by kim/ber.

Blog Guelph: Gingerbread in Candyland!!


Gingerbread in Candyland!!, originally uploaded by claygrl.

Blog Guelph: Annie's white tree


Annie's white tree, originally uploaded by M Pod.

Blog Guelph: Gnomes? Sprites?


Gnomes? Sprites?, originally uploaded by claygrl.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Blog Guelph: I have outwalked the furthest city light...I have been one acquainted with the night

The Brightest Star, originally uploaded by Krista Kruger.

excerpted from Robert Frost, "Acquainted with the Night"

Now lest you think my nod to Robert Frost suggests that I'm all broody today my dearhearts, I am far from it.
In fact I'm downright giddy.
Light as a feather, happy as an angel.
(thanks Scrooge)
This may be due in part to Aidan's beautiful love post yesterday, which reminded me of how very lucky I am in love.

But back to the nocturnal.
With next Wednesday's Solstice looming brightly we can relax, sit back and embrace the darkness while it's still here.
Because there is ample reason to celebrate.

There's been quite a bit of activity in the night skies in recent days. The Geminid meteor shower was tough to catch a glimpse of through Tuesdays cloud cover, but it was there. The night before that a meteorite tore across the sky over the watchful heads of several Guelph Tweeters. And mere days before that we had a lunar eclipse - again not so visible to our daytime eyes - but undeniably there nonetheless. So say the Aussies.

Now that's some serious busyness in the night.

So lift your downcast eyes and have a good look at these less-illuminated pics closely. Don't be daunted by the darkness, take note of it's generosity.

There is much beauty in the night.
Greatness without light.

-DowntownLynn-

Blog Guelph: I have outwalked the furthest city light...I have been one acquainted with the night

The Moon, originally uploaded by ManOfMoss.

Blog Guelph: I have outwalked the furthest city light...I have been one acquainted with the night

Church Of Our Lady, originally uploaded by ICT_photo.

Blog Guelph: I have outwalked the furthest city light...I have been one acquainted with the night

silent night II, originally uploaded by NaturesEssence.

Blog Guelph: I have outwalked the furthest city light...I have been one acquainted with the night

calming river, originally uploaded by NaturesEssence.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Blog Guelph: Love Is Just A Four Letter Word

LOVE by Julia Busato Photography
LOVE, a photo by Julia Busato Photography on Flickr.


I said goodbye unnoticed
Pushed toward things in my own games
Drifting in and out of lifetimes
Unmentionable by name
Searching for my double, looking for
Complete evaporation to the core
Though I tried and failed at finding any door
I must have thought that there was nothing more absurd
Than that love is just a four-letter word



-Bob Dylan, Love Is Just A Four Letter Word


Love is the most challenging word to define. It takes so many shapes, holds so many levels, parades so many faces. And in this world of tenuous and shifting machined connections, sometimes we forget love.


We forget the feel of it  - when it's given or when it's taken. 


But if our humanity is measured by our capacity for love, then I hope we will all take time to remember love again. To reach out across the distances between each other. 


Love could be merely a four letter word. But truthfully, that's up to you.


- Aidan M.D. Ware



Blog Guelph: Love Is Just A Four Letter Word

Love by crisscrossgirl
Love, a photo by crisscrossgirl on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Love Is Just A Four Letter Word

lovebirds by kaylavdoyle
lovebirds, a photo by kaylavdoyle on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Love Is Just A Four Letter Word

You Are Loved by peterkelly
You Are Loved, a photo by peterkelly on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Love Is Just A Four Letter Word

Life and Death by peterkelly
Life and Death, a photo by peterkelly on Flickr.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Blog Guelph - What light through yonder window breaks

Good Morning,

Please enjoy the scenery as seen through the eyes of a man who shoots with both digital and FILM cameras. I have said it before and will say it again, "Film's Not Dead", mark my words.

Alan Norsworthy is not only a fabulous photographer, but all round nice gentleman. He is willing to guide other photographers in their pursuit of photography. He has taught me more than a thing or two and I am very grateful. I think he should teach classes.

Enjoy the rain that is forecast. I am back to the clay pits to finish up seasonal orders for my loyal customers.

Cheers!
Bunny Safari

Blog Guelph - Into the light

Into the light by Alan Norsworthy
Into the light, a photo by Alan Norsworthy on Flickr.

Blog Guelph - The Woods

The Woods by Alan Norsworthy
The Woods, a photo by Alan Norsworthy on Flickr.

Blog Guelph - Room with a view

Room with a view by Alan Norsworthy
Room with a view, a photo by Alan Norsworthy on Flickr.

Blog Guelph - The other side of the tracks

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Blog Guelph: Trying To Find The Magic

Christmas Lights  by Sam Blayney
Christmas Lights , a photo by Sam Blayney on Flickr.

Happy Tuesday Blog Guelph!

It seems Christmas is coming very quickly, whether I like it or not. The days are flying by, and the amount of things I have to get done is a little bit overwhelming. Slowly, I am getting through it though.

The problem is, this year I am not feeling any of the Christmas magic.

By magic I mean that feeling that used to reside withing me as a kid. The joy and happiness that made Christmas so special. Somehow, it seems to be missing this year. I'm not sure if it is because I am getting older, or because I resent the over commercialized retail event Christmas has become. Either way, I'm not feeling it.

There are aspects of the season that make me smile though. Baking gingerbread cookies with my kids, and the glow of Christmas lights. I love pretty little Christmas tree balls, and of course the smiles on my kids faces when we talk about Christmas. I look forward to these small joys. They make Christmas worthwhile to me.

How about you? What do you like about Christmas? What are the things that make it worthwhile to you?

See you next week,

Krista

Blog Guelph: Trying To Find The Magic

light UP the tree by BleechBiPass
light UP the tree, a photo by BleechBiPass on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Trying To Find The Magic

Happy Holidays GPC by Monkey Hunter
Happy Holidays GPC, a photo by Monkey Hunter on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Trying To Find The Magic

Noel by peterkelly
Noel, a photo by peterkelly on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Trying To Find The Magic

Bokeh #51 - 'Tis the Season by ARebbs
Bokeh #51 - 'Tis the Season, a photo by ARebbs on Flickr.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Blog Guelph: Sumac Undercover

Sumac, Winter, originally uploaded by Terry McDonald.

Greetings and salutations this fine Monday morning.

I'm digging into my Guelph Community editorial archives today and reprinting a piece I wrote back in 2004. If you're one of those folks that feels run over by Christmas, perhaps my take will help you re-balance your season.

But before you start reading, please take a moment to appreciate the still beauty of Terry McDonald's images.

Stop. Notice. Breath. Submerge yourself in calm.


Hark Ye Harried Shoppers, Rest Ye Weary Gentlefolk

I greatly resent the herding quality of this month. Every Santa-fearing person on the face of the earth is squeezing themselves through the head of a pin neatly labeled Christmas. Starting as early as October and continuing without pause until Boxing Day, the merry script is laid out and our role is clearly defined. We must cheerfully put aside our own lives, find a twinkle for our eye and a blush for our cheek and shop till we drop.

This has never worked for me. Call me Scrooge, but my sense of giving and loving-kindness doesn’t correspond with a calendar date or a list of names. Nor does it fit with a time of year where I’m challenged to leave my house after 4p.m., perpetually chilled, constantly nodding off and routinely broke.

Our cultural understanding of giving is narrowly defined. We exchange mountains of useless consumer goods that cost bags of dough in the month of December. This is heartily reinforced by massive campaigns to “BUY ME NOW”, launched by every bauble-making enterprise on our continent in order to shore up lagging fourth-quarter revenues. None of this activity has anything to do with goodwill towards human kind or a babe in swaddling clothes. It’s commercial manipulation, plain and simple.

That said it does takes two to tango. I can’t help but notice that every person I talk with complains bitterly about the stress and expense of the holiday season. Then, frantically and in bad moods, race to the mall with credit card in hand, all the while blaming society for putting on the pressure.

Well merrily I say unto you ye harried shoppers; I have joyous news to share. You do not have to participate in the lunacy of spending money you don’t have. Nor do you need to find the perfect gift for the unknown relative or people whose name you’ve picked from a jar. As for dashing and prancing from store to mall to outlet in bad weather endangering your life and the lives of those you don’t know, rest ye weary gentlefolk.

Glory be and deck the halls, the bells are ringing and the carolers singing.... “Fa La La La La, You Can Opt Out!”

Hark and Harold Angel does not expect you to lose your mind. Society is you my friend and you have choice. Break the tinsel that ties, completely or little by little until a new pace finds you jingle-bell-jolly all year long. Simply start by saying no - or even better, no thank you.

Several years ago, I chose the slow ‘no’ route to Yuletide sanity. A little nip here and a tuck there and voila, Xmas excess eventually disappeared. Now, I barely do anything that resembles Christmas, in December.

My seasonal gift giving has gone the way of the Dodo too, as I’ve come to prefer sharing non-traditional gifts all year long. Notably, some of the finest gifts I’ve received arrived during the non-festive months, unwrapped, surprising and perfectly suited.

Last spring, my new next-door neighbours chose not to spray their grass with pesticides. Gloriously, a 14-year cycle of chemical lawn treatment came to an end, proving a gift to my health and the environment.

The neighbourhood kids give me reason to leave my home on the finest summer days when I hear their chirpy little voices dancing through my open window. They remind me that silly is fun and warm sidewalks are nice to sit on. Spontaneous playmates are sweet gifts.

When Tannis sings me a song or Katie invites me on a dog walk I feel gifted. Rob’s enthusiasm for rogue skating on wilderness ponds and Mark’s perfectly barbecued steaks are as delightfully received as given. The fine company and conversation of so many exceptional people warms my heart all year long. Their social generosity reminds me of how lucky I am - the gift of friendship.

Fifteen years ago, Henry gave me four Tulip Trees, grown from seeds he collected in the Carolinas. Now taller than my home and graced with orange and lime green magnolias in spring I’m left breathless -the gift of natural beauty.

An anonymous “fellow Guelph lover” left $600.00 cash in my mailbox last February with a note that simply thanked me for my commitment to beauty, creativity and community. I felt the gift of appreciation, recognition and understanding.

Then, way back in October 2002, Bonnie Ewen, former managing editor of this paper gave me a gift that will last my lifetime. During our first, brief meeting, Bonnie urged me to apply for the community editorial board. With the gift of encouragement, I poised my pen. Now, as I end my two-year stint, I am thrilled with the growth of my writing. May you rest in peace, Bonnie.

Dial back on your Stressmas to do list. Instead, sprinkle simple acts of kindness throughout the year.

Sue Richards

For more great Guelph photos, try these links:

Downtown Guelph, University of Guelph, The Guelph Hillside Festival or The Guelph Lake Conservation Area.

On the other hand, you may be curious about what the City of Guelph looked like last October or maybe Spring.

Indeed you may be the type that would love to wade through our deep and refreshing archives. There are over 5,000 terrific Guelph photos, taken by a growing tribe of fantastic photographers, currently available for your viewing pleasure. Check out the Blog Guelph archives located 'back up there' and appropriately titled: Blog Guelph Archives.