nosy neighbours

nosy neighbours

I’ve been walking to work lately, most days. I take the neighbourhood route, avoiding the busy road until the winding residential streets run out. I walk in the cool of the morning, on the sunny side of the street, past quiet houses, and listen to the birds sing. Sometimes I see other people out walking their dogs, or jogging.

I arrive at work, where the spot I used to park has been taken over by roofers, and the rest of the parking lot has been removed by the construction crew working on a large building project. We are surrounded by drilling, thumping, hammering, blasting, and digging. Sometimes we can hardly get out the door for the cement trucks, dumptrucks or other heavy equipment moving in and out of the construction site. Yet people still manage to arrive, anyway, for art classes and gallery openings, workshops and meetings.

Then I walk home again, and when I reach the quiet streets of my neighbourhood, I see kids playing in backyards and cars pulling into driveways. And people are out walking dogs and jogging. And sometimes these two yappy dogs are out in their front yard, watching, ready to scold or gossip or at least make a lot of noise as I walk past, smiling.

Photo taken on March 31, 2011

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me and my shadow

me and my shadow

I don’t know who coined the term “retail therapy”, but sometimes I think shopping is an addiction. My partner frequently reminds me that I don’t have to buy something every day. If I go for a walk, I don’t need to take any money. I don’t have to buy a sweater or a closet organizer just because it’s on sale. Since I’ve been without work, I’ve found that staying home helps to keep me away from temptation.

So with the absence of spending money, I’m rediscovering the joy of dog. I love our two Cardigan Welsh Corgis, and when I was working full time I loved to be greeted when I returned home by happy tail-wagging dogs. Now that I’m home with them during the day, I’ve honed my tummy-scritching and ball-throwing techniques. And sometimes I’ll take energetic Fergus for a walk around the neighbourhood, and even take a few photos if I can persuade him to sit still for a moment or two. Having two furry friends who unconditionally love me — and are always ready to play and have fun — is one of the best kinds of therapy. No matter what kind of day I’m having, when I see their shining eyes and silly corgi grins, I starting grinning too.

Photo taken on November 11, 2010