brave McAvity

Brave McAvity

Ever notice how fire hydrants look like little firefighters? Look at their red uniforms, their shiny helmets, their arms stretched out to help. Look at the way they stand protectively, patiently, ready for any emergency. They are short but sturdy, always the first to get dug out of the snowbank, but the last to get noticed in a crowd. They provide many community services, including acting as a message board for dogs and a vantage point for parade-watchers.

It’s good luck to have a fire hydrant near your home (we have one across the street), and it’s also good for your insurance rates. It’s a comfort to see their little faces keeping an eye on your neighbourhood. When there is a fire (fires do happen), that little fire hydrant could be your best friend in the whole world.

In the town of Tweed, Ontario, all the fire hydrants are painted — there is a cat, a pirate, a chef, a police officer — but here in Saint John, they wear their classic uniforms. They don’t need painted faces because they already look friendly. And they have names: this one is named McAvity. McAvity here is part of a small army of firefighters protecting our city. Brave McAvity.

Photo taken on February 24, 2011

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long and short

long and short

Saint John is one of the sunniest cities in Canada… but only in the winter. In fact, an Arctic front arrived over the weekend, bringing clear crispy nights and bright sunny days. The crusty snow is so reflective you have to wear sunglasses outdoors to avoid being blinded by sunlight.

In short: it’s frigid. Currently, the windchill is minus 36 Celcius.

* * *

I’ve written before about my efforts to find a job, and my decision to start my own business focusing on freelance photography and writing. It’s been a long wait and struggle trying to find the right niche. Well, I think I’ve found it. I’ve started working again, but I can’t as yet say too much about the job because many details are still to be worked out. And in the past week, I’ve had two people ask for my business card. So, I’ve ordered some business cards and started to put together a website here. Obviously, it’s still under construction, but I welcome your feedback.

In short: things are looking up. I’m thrilled.

Photo taken on January 22, 2010

Fergus meets the lady in red

When I take my camera for a walk, I tend to see differently. I notice light and shadows, lines and shapes, small personal details that tell a story. When I take Fergus as well, my walk is less predictable. We’ll linger in some places and rush by others. We might investigate the bushes at the side of the roadway, or run exuberantly up a steep hill (both of us panting at the top). He’s an energetic walking companion, ensuring I get more exercise than I would without him, and he’s mostly good at sitting and staying while I’m taking a photo, except when there’s a cat. Yesterday evening when we went for a walk, there were five cats… or maybe four cats and one Something Else. I only had time to take three photos, but what interesting stories we had to tell when we arrived home again!

Taken on August 5, 2010

port city

There are two kinds of Maritimers: those who stay, and those who leave. And of the people who leave, there are those who return, and those who want to return but never do. I was part of the outward migration in the 1990s, when Saint John lost almost 14% of its population. The recession had hit the city hard, many businesses closed and times were tough. I returned, but it took a while to be convinced. I had to see the city for what it was, not just as I remembered it. I had to realize that this city had weathered many recessions, many boom-and-bust cycles, and survived. And I had to believe that this could be a place where I would not only survive, but thrive. Since I’ve been back, I’ve met many others who have also felt the tug of home. I’m pleased to be one of the Maritimers who returned.

Taken on May 24, 2009