Sunday, August 31, 2008

unesco world heritage site - the rhaetian railway

unesco recently added twenty seven new sites to its list of protected world heritage sites. i’m going to have a look at a few of those sites over the next little while but today i’d like to share one in particular. the rhaetian railway in the albula/bernina landscapes. so if you’re like me you’re wondering where on earth you’d find something by that name and surprisingly enough when you check into it you’ll find that it’s in switzerland and italy! your next question might well be - and what is the rhaetian railway?

well, i think that these pictures tell the story better than i possibly could . . .
unesco describes these rail lines as “the most spectacular narrow gauge rail lines in the world”. as you can see, its design was very deliberately incorporated to the greatest degree possible into the natural landscape with the result being a visually stunning collection of precipice clinging viaducts and bridges. the rail line is the highest altitude transalpine railway in the world.

an all-too brief but absolutely stunning video of a train journey in engadin, switzerland can be viewed here . . . that wasn’t enough was it?! here’s some more . . .

an excellent and nicely organized photo essay with lots of detailed information can be viewed here. another incredible photo essay can be viewed here.

here’s more excellent information with links to cultural sites that are not related to the railway but incorporated into the “landscapes” element of the protected site.

unesco’s own homepage devoted to this extraordinary railway, provides all sorts of links to help the armchair or prospective traveller fully appreciate and enjoy this incredible melding of technology and culture.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

a painterly rendering of berlin's s-bahn

in london, england you ride the tube, in toronto the subway, in paris the metro, and in berlin you ride the u-bahn and the s-bahn. rapid transit by any name is the most efficient means of moving people in and around cities. the underground world of cities is an extraordinary place that most people only visit when they are riding the subways underneath skyscrapers but it is when you occasionally and memorably burst out of a darkened tunnel into the relatively blinding light of day that the real advantage of inner-city rapid transit comes into being in my opinion - when you see the city from an entirely unique perspective.

the s-bahn in berlin (the name is an abbreviation for "stadtschnellbahn" or fast city train) is an above-ground system that is linked with the u-bahn or the primarily underground element of berlin’s rapid transit system.

here’s a typical s-bahn train . . .
now if you can’t see your way into getting over to berlin to check out the s-bahn for yourself, then you can at least visit their excellent home page, which has a comprehensive and fascinating photo gallery, links to 360 degree panoramas of berlin attractions, a feature on historical trains and lots of other very cool material!

david bowie and brian eno were residents of berlin some thirty two years ago. at that time they crafted the album "heroes" on which a beautiful track entitled "moss garden" can be found. an instrumental, “moss garden” features bowie plucking a japanese stringed instrument named a koto over a painterly wash of sound crafted by eno that contains elements of the wind, water, and even birds. the effect is soothing and evocative and conjures up images of marshland in the autumn.

it has been used to interesting effect in this film shot on the s-bahn. the film takes a painterly approach through its conscious blurring of the scenery that the camera is passing. the effect in combination with the music is in my view very lovely.

Friday, August 29, 2008

the golden fish turns one

this morning marks the end of the first year of the golden fish blog. it also marks the beginning of the second year of the golden fish blog, a coincidence that has not gone unnoticed!

here are a few thoughts on the matter of this blog.

that it has drifted across the map of what is possible through me in terms of content is a given. the subject matter is widespread and very occasionally follows a thread, but more often it reflects an interest, an achievement i want to share, or something i stumbled across, a memory, or even something someone says that makes me think “man, i’d love to know more about that”.

i noticed that some elements of what i began with faded off somewhere - not gone but not evident either. i also noticed that art and music drifted backwards in time, left the edge as it were. i noticed that my internal self was often left out of the equation at key points. my own sense of that is that it is out of consideration for the reader.

there is a strange distanced dialogue that takes place when writing a blog. the distance is driven by comfort, the degree of space the writer needs for themselves to preserve privacy, and then too, consideration for the reader as i mentioned above. how much does the reader actually want to know about the writer’s internal dialogue? hard to say and not generally a point of discussion in blog comments either!

stats counters might like to know that readership ranges from 5 or 6 hundred all the way up to 1400 a month. but i have found that readership isn’t all that important to me. it was for a while but it’s the process of thinking up an idea, or responding to a memory, or needing to know about something and then researching it, assembling it, and finally sharing that i find most enervating and motivating. that has happened 568 times in the past 366 days!

i had thought that the blog might find “a voice” but in fact it has no single voice because i had mistakenly thought that subject matter and voice were one and the same and i know that they aren’t. voice is a much more subtle beast than that. because i am interested in so many things, and especially by those ideas and events that i don't presently know about, the voice if there is one, is whatever exists in the space between my being, my thinking and my writing.

so, to close off the first year, here’s a lovely song sung by lisa gerrard who is accompanied by her former group dead can dance. the song is entitled “devorzhum” and is accompanied by lovely images of the visible universe.

thankyou for visiting.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

david byrne's bike racks

i've been riding bikes all my life - as far back as when my age was expressed in single-digit numbers - i don't drive, never have in fact (legally) and so i am intimately familiar with the challenges of bike ownership. one of the biggies is leaving the bike in a public place. if you've ever had a bike stolen you'll know that it is an excruciating and frustrating experience. to counter the possibility of this happening again, you'll likely do what i did which is to buy the heaviest lock possible and suffer through the years of lugging the big bugger around, knowing that it's actually not only going to secure your bike but through the added effort that it takes to haul it up and down hill and dale, you are adding luscious form to your already curvacious calves!

so the challenge then becomes finding somewhere and something to lock your bike to. the rule-of-thumb for locking up a bike is to attach it to something. the thinking is that that makes it less likely that someone is going to remove it than if the lock is merely attached to the bike making it easier to simply carry it off and chop the lock off later. the city i live in has virtually no bike racks. even the school i work at hasn't got one! street furniture, fences, and other bikes (if i am not travelling alone), become fair game for the cyclist anxious to secure his treasured velocipede.

bike rack design is a fairly boring matter . . .

but sometimes soneone, somewhere steps out of the box and shares whimsy . . . (image courtesy of five borough bicycle club brooklyn)

which leads me to this announcement from the nyc department of transportation! it seems that the nyc d.o.t. has come up with the smashing idea that "by bringing attractive yet functional sculptures to our streets, we are elevating the profile of cycling, and we believe that more and more people will begin to think about cycling as a mode of transportation, and not just a mode of recreation."

the solutions are structurally clever and purposeful but i like this proposal from architects stephan-jaklitsch for its simple unobtrusive melding of street art with function.

former talking heads front man (and recently featured on the golden fish blog for his collaboration with brian eno), david byrne has created and installed a set of bike racks on the streets of new york city that clearly espouse a similar perspective on the dual function of bike racks. david's bike racks step out of the singular function-oriented designs that fill the streets and offer people an incidental oportunity to think about why each particular model was placed in the location that it is. maybe they'll even laugh!

so what went into all of this and who knew that david byrne was "an avid cyclist?" for answers to these burning questions let's start here with david cycling through the city on his way to the workshop where the racks were made.

now that you're curious about all of this, you should head over to david's blog where you can find a tasty page that details the process from sketch . . .
to fabrication. the bonus is that there are some wonderful pictures of the racks on location!
nice work david!! after your tour is over maybe you could become an industrialist and crank out some of these so other cities can have something decent - or something at all - to lock bikes up to!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

chasing the light: the photography of todd hido

most evenings i head out for a walk with my wife and sometimes with friends. with the late august evenings ending sooner in terms of daylight, the quality of light on the return lap (these walks range from 45 minutes to an hour) is either right at the limits of seeing clearly, or gone and replaced by streetlights. i tried my hand at some photographs of a nearby farmer’s field the other night - deliberately not using the flash - and the results were interesting to me but not worthy of anyone else’s attention! (thank me some time for not sharing them).

rather than get all disillusioned i started looking ‘round the net for examples of other people’s work and their solution to this challenge. by coincidence i came across the work of a photographer named todd hido who takes photographs after dark or in limited light conditions. here are a few examples that i think are exceptional . . .

i love the quality of light that permeates todd's pictures. i also love the simultaneous feelings of familiarity and otherness as i look at pictures that remind me of similar scenes that i have passed through myself but not really noticed because they almost seemed too mundane to bother with. in todd's hands they become worthy of consideration and reflection - at least one indicator of their quality.

here's a video overview of todd's work and thinking . . .

to learn more about todd and to see more examples of his photography then visit todd’s home page. i also came across a very good article which details a a conversation with todd hido.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


being prompt and on time - even early - is something that i expect of myself and value in others. it shows the qualities of care and consideration. that people arrive for meetings and social events when they feel like it and invariably without any thought of an apology is a feature of the changing approach to timeliness and social niceties. in my own view, it devalues relationships in some respects.

this cute but very clever short from the brilliant animators at pixar, expresses some similar perspectives as they might apply to a little train that faces a daunting prospect while hauling a load across a very very high trestle.

by the way, did you know that pixar has won thirteen academy awards!

here is pixar’s short film “locomotion” . . .

Monday, August 25, 2008

david byrne and brian eno 2008

it’s sometimes a daunting experience - and more often an awakening and reminding experience - to be drawn to recall moments that seem like they were relatively recent but turn out to have taken place over twenty or thirty years ago. i find myself drawn immediately to think of all that has passed between the two parentheses of the event and the current moment.

i can still recall the first time i put david byrne’s and brian eno’s seminal release ”my life in the bush of ghosts” on my record player. having been immersed in its big brother talking head’s ”remain in light” released the previous year (1980) to mixed critical acclaim, i was somewhat prepared for what was presented in “my life in the bush of ghosts”, but with the musical influence more directly placed in byrne and eno’s hands, the results (in my mind and ears) were that much more powerful and transformative.

drawing together the best features of world music, funk, and the art school aesthetic that permeated the heads, “remain in light” was and still is one of the more powerful albums of music i have heard. “my life in the bush of ghosts” took it one step further, pushing the boundaries of those elements, and elaborating on some of the details that appeared on “remain in light” by using strategies, assumptions and techniques that more thoroughly reflected the emerging zeitgeist. drawing on a view that saw a less disjunctive sense of the spiritual, emotional, and cultural tapestry that is our world, "my life in the bush of ghosts" melded the seemingly disparate elements of culture and technology into music that could either be danced or listened to - or both!

released in 1981, it drew together “found-sounds”, funk, african rhythm, and most profoundly took the technique of sampling vocals from other sources such as commercial recordings of arabic singers, radio djs, and preachers into an entirely unfamiliar realm.

the boys then . . .

as an admirer of both men’s work independent of each other, it seemed like a wish come true that they should end up working together. that they ended up creating something larger than either of them in terms of its extraordinary impact on the world of music and on whatever other worlds music compels to move forward is now a given in the view of most music critics and admirers of contemporary music alike.

to hear soundbites from each track on “my life in the bush of ghosts” then wander over here.

two tracks that stand out for me in terms of their groundbreaking qualities but more importantly because of the power of the music itself are firstly “moonlight in glory”, astonishingly rendered here by jakob trollback. this is trollback’s stunning answer to the question “what would a music video look like if it were directed by the music, purely as an expression of a great song, rather than driven by a filmmaker's concept?” to see the video and hear a little bit of jakob's thinking go here.

nor surprisingly, byrne and eno’s trajectories have seen them acknowledge the respective wealth of their creative intellect through becoming visual artists, videographers, speakers and writers on a wide range of subjects but chiefly focussing on their insights into culture as a living breathing becoming entity, and of course their work as creators of music.

so it is really exciting and interesting to see that they have come together again after a lengthy period of time since their last collaboration to produce something almost entirely unexpected.

the boys now . . .

“ brian eno and i recently finished our first collaboration in about 30 years. the name of the new record is “everything that happens will happen today”. for the most part, brian did the music and i wrote some tunes, words and's familiar but completely new as well. we're pretty excited.” to learn more about the process whereby this album came into being then read this.

here then is david byrne and brian eno’s latest collaboration streamed . . .

if you are interested in learning more about david byrne and spending a little more time in his wonderful world then you really should visit david’s site. brian doesn’t have his own website but almost anything that is of interest connected to his work, thinking, projects, whatever can be found at enoweb.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

the rice lake prairies

a warm morning with a gentle breeze blowing from the south. the world is very quiet today.

at the side of our pool i planted wild grasses native to this area. it’s hard to imagine that at one time, in addition to being a woodland region, this area was also home to prairie. prairie always conjures up vast empty spaces once populated with huge herds of buffalo, criss-crossed by pioneers in covered wagons, and then covered with oceans of wheat.

not so!

not very far from here - i actually passed near the location on my recent bicycle tour - down by rice lake are the remnants of what was once a 300 square kilometer area now referred to as the rice lake prairies.

there you would have seen plants with names such as big bluestem,
little bluestem,
butterfly milkweed,
prairie buttercup,
upright bindweed,
wood lily,
and sky-blue aster,
the rice lake prairies were also home to oak savannah dominated by such trees as the black oak (which can grow to be 43 metres tall!),
and the white oak . . .
the very good news is that a diverse group of organizations representing various conservation authorities, first nations, and local governments are making a concerted effort to restore wherever possible the original habitats. the greatest challenge in this worthy effort is the restoration of the habitat through using nature’s own tried and true method which is fire. people naturally and instinctively associate fire with destruction but in the case of tall grass restoration it has the opposite effect.

as this excerpt from a related news article explains . . .

“prescribed burns are fires that are intentionally set by professionals to burn an area with pre-determined boundaries under strictly controlled circumstances for the purposes of restoring the site. fire clears away scrub and brush, allowing sunlight to penetrate the ground, awakening dormant seeds and clearing the way for grassland species to return to the site. fire also extends the growing season for native plants and shortens the season for invasive species. burning takes place under specific weather conditions that allow a safe and controlled burn.”

the sound of the wind blowing through fields of tall grass and the smell of hot sun on those fields are two of the many lovely sensory experiences of summertime. it’s truly wonderful that people are gradually gaining awareness and acting on the knowledge that is returning to us. it can’t help but make these little parts of our world that much healthier and to my way of thinking, that much more beautiful.

after all,

it’s good to be alone
the wild grasses.

the author of this lovely haiku - santoka taneda - lived between 1882 and 1940. a zen buddhist monk, he was also an accomplished poet. a lovely introduction to his work is available here.

Friday, August 22, 2008


after six days of cycling through verdant countryside and subject to the daily, hourly vagaries of the weather, there was catching up of all kinds to do once i got home. chief among those was the need to eat when and what i wanted. so as someone who (despite my sleek tanned appearance) has consumed his fair share of what is nominally “junk” food . . . . i’d like to spend a little time focussing here on one of my favourite forms of junk food - the donut.

to my credit, the taste for junk food has diminished considerably over the past few years but i still get the occasional hankering for something that as food goes has little bearing on my real or imagined needs and absolutely no bearing on my ambition to be healthy and to maintain that state.

the donut or doughnut was likely introduced into north america by dutch settlers who brought with them something called an olykoek or “oily cake”. sounds appetizing doesn’t it! believe it or not, the first confirmed sighting of the word doughnut is attributed to the use of the word by american author washington irving perhaps best known for his two stories “the legend of sleepy hollow” (which you can read online right here) and if you’re in the mood for a short (4 1/2 minutes) movie dating right back to the late 1890’s then you should watch this silent version of “rip van winkle”.

over the years, the donut family tree has evolved into the spectacularly divergent thing of beauty that it now is . . . here’s a sampler of what’s possible when you have a donut craving . . .
if you like this image then head over to gmushrooms who’ll sell you a much much larger version of this to slap on your fridge or on the wall of your garage to remind you of what you’re missing.

so back to the donut. what’s with the hole in the middle?

most of the answers that i was able to dig up agree that the reason for the hole lies in the fact that the interior of these fried cakes would not cook fully without a hole in the center. in other words you’d end up with a doughy centre and that would be sort of disgusting. my kids have told me that’s how they feel when i don’t quite cook cake all the way through. i see it as a nice segue into mashing the cake up into ice cream but they don’t share my enthusiasm.

the other story i came across is that a sea captain named hanson gregory, while manning his post one stormy night, found it impossible both to steer his vessel and to eat his fried cake. out of sheer frustration, and probably out of hunger, he impaled his cake over one of the spokes of the ship's wheel, thereby creating a finger hold with which to grip the cake.

my favourite donut is the boston cream donut. the boston cream is a magical concoction consisting of a hollow-centred donut usually coated with a chocolate glaze and filled inside with some sort of creamy goo. sorry if i don’t make it sound appealing but it’s not one of my skills to make food seem more amazing than it actually is. but, they are really really good and it’s one of those foods that i have real difficulty restraining myself from snaffling down in bulk quantities. the boston cream is a variation on a kind of cake called the berliner, which is a german pastry usually filled with whatever you want - jam, cream or whatever. the filling is placed in the donut through the insertion of a syringe, kind of like a turkey baster.

now, as i mentioned earlier, eating donuts takes you out of the realm of eating healthily and the details are alarming but here they are . . . . i took this data from krispy kreme’s website - arguably the least health-conscious of all the donut manufacturers, amazingly suppliers to many school fundraisers . . . hmmmmmm. they say that a boston cream looks like this on the stats chart: calories - 300 carbs - 35 fat in grams -17

if you’re totally put off by those statistics or by my graphic descriptions, then good! that just leaves more of these yummies on the shelves for me!

i recently went into a local donut-making establishment to pick up some of the little “bits” that they sell you in units of twenty, fourty, or sixty for my kids. i saw this item on the counter and absolutely had to have it . . .

ladies and gentlemen, the most flamboyant of all the donuts . . . “the hawaiian”!

it's not often that food enters this house to such an uproar but the mere sight of this donut sent my kids into paroxysms. it's so improbable. the colours. the name.

the donut connoisseur’s site fry my bacon, has this to say about people who buy such things “"by far the most flamboyant of the donut eaters. their tiny minds are dazzled by the array of colourful sprinkles. do not be alarmed if a hawaiian donut lover suddenly bursts into show tunes. they have the tendency to wear loud shirts and smile at you like loons." i only sing when i am alone or in my classroom so have no fear should you unknowingly stand at my side in a donut eatery. for more similar observations and evaluations you should read this article.

when i showed this donut to my kids they were absolutely gobsmacked and wondered at the “hawaiian” connection. i suggested it had something to do with the bright colours or something. the reality is that there is such a beast as the “hawaiian donut” but it’s a very different sort of experience than the one i had when i snarfed down this multicoloured sprinkle beladen dough ring. to learn more about the real “hawaiian” check this out.

anyhow, enough yacking about the donut. i think i’m gonna nip over to the shop and pick up a box.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

peterborough to kingston by bicycle - day six

a morning awakening to my father’s seventy fifth birthday! happy birthday dad! a nice breakfast and then the extraordinary experience of watching my father get on a bike and ride it up and down his street. his first bike ride in several decades and hopefully followed by others of equal or greater duration. inspired, i packed up and left via the waterfront trail out of cobourg.

on this the sixth and final day of my ride, i had mixed feelings. as i mentioned earlier in this travelogue, there's the wish to just keep on going and then also the wish to see family and to step away from the change in routine. it's a real conundrum to be sure.

following the waterfront trail's official route out of cobourg was easier said than done as part of it is under construction and unless you are intimately familiar with cobourg’s winding, criss-crossing streets you would have no clue how to regain your hold on the trail. as it was i rode a kind of zigzag route through some suburban streets lined with houses that i would say judging by their architecture probably dated back to the sixties. eventually,i carried my bike across a grass verge and out onto the road i wanted to be on. then i picked up hwy. 2 across to port hope. i left cobourg under a sunny blue sky with fluffy white clouds and best of all, my dad had said before i left that the weather service had declared this a rain and thunderstorm free day!

i had turned down the generous offer of a ride home with the bike in the trunk. you see, the reality of the route from port hope up to peterborough is that there are a lot of hills. the route is basically a climb as you ascend the old shoreline of glacial lake iroquois and then the oak ridges moraine and then the drumlin fields. it’s a fifty kilometre journey but it’s the hills that provide the challenge. for the history of lake iroquois have a look here, here, and here.

port hope sits at an altitude of 246 feet (75 m) above sea level. peterborough is 190.3 metres (roughly 620 feet) above sea level. not a giant climb but enough that you feel some of the inclines more than others. however, i really wanted to complete the entire circuit without assistance and so i decided to finish the thing properly.

here are a couple of pictures taken from hwy. 2 as it passes through port hope and leads out of town . . .

the road was very very busy especially with trucks and for the most part there is no paved shoulder so you sit in the thirty centimetres or so of paved lane that sits on and to the right of the painted line at the side of the road. more than once i simply pulled off as trucks coming towards me and from behind me converged. pulling off is also a good excuse to take a breather and look around.

here’s one such view . . .

another time i stopped and looked up to see one . . .
and then two hawks circling overhead . . .
did they know something?! i got back on the bike and moved on, looking over my shoulder to see if they were following and of course they weren’t. i guess they figured there was still some life left in the old guy!!

the rest of the ride was uneventful and amazingly the sky managed to stick to the weather report until about twenty minutes out of peterborough when the clouds gathered and decided to let loose one last bit of rain on me. i couldn’t believe it! by that point i was so close to home that i motored on through it. the final hill into peterborough after you pass through fraserville, pass under highway 115, cross a set of railway tracks is a bruiser. it is seemingly interminable and yet is mercifully provided with two lanes and a bit of a paved shoulder so that traffic can easily pass the struggling cyclist.

i finally made my way up that hill and rode along hwy 28 to lansdowne, hung a right and made my way through the winding streets of west end peterborough to my home where i was greeted by neighbours and family and at which time i hoisted a little bottle of henkell trocken to celebrate having ridden four hundred and fifty kilometres alone through south eastern ontario . . .
a last look at the sky which cleared as soon as i rode up the driveway . . .

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

peterborough to kingston by bicycle - day five

i left belleville around nine - well i left the hotel around nine - and headed straight over to tim horton's for coffee, a couple of apple fritters and a bagel and cream cheese. i hoovered this lot down - food could not be eaten in sufficient quantities is one discovery i made of life on a bicycle. some shameless dining experiences (that are not being documented here) involving double quantities of food, would likely shock and horrify some of my friends and family. it wasn’t until a couple of days after i returned home that my body settled back into its normal patterns of consumption.

this day began as did each of them, with the promise of heavy weather later in the day. the beginning and middle were generally in the range of clear skies to cloudy but not precipitating or exchanging ions between earth and sky as was the case towards the end of each day. so off i went.

i decided to stick with hwy. 2 through trenton and then on as far as brighton and then i would retrace my route south through colborne and alongside the lake, turning north back up to hwy. 2 just outside cobourg and then along king street / hwy. 2 through downtown cobourg and over to my parent’s home.

here’s a picture from highway 2 about twenty kilometres outside belleville . . . as you can see it was a beautiful day. traffic was fairly heavy in places. i raced through trenton up and over the impossibly steep-sided bridge and then past a historical plaque drawing attention to trenton's storied past as a film making centre. trenton was once an important film production centre. in 1917, a film studio was built in the town and a number of productions were filmed there. in 1923, the trenton film plant was purchased by the ontario government to house the studio and laboratory of the ontario motion picture bureau. the advent of talkies and 16mm film made the equipment at the film plant obsolete and the facility closed in 1934.

after blowing through trenton, i stopped at this bridge for a snack . . .
but i didn’t want to eat too much because i was really looking forward to splendid lunch back at lola’s coffee house in brighton. thoughts of tasty sandwiches, fresh baked tasty desserts, and yummy coffee made my legs spin a little faster and so it was with some degree of excitement that i wheeled through the outskirts of brighton and made the left turn onto brighton’s main street. i pedalled along to the driveway that leads into lola’s and this is what i saw . . . the horror! the horror!

now for those of you with short memories, i will also share the “before picture” taken just three days prior to this newer image . . .

there were three men working on whatever was happening to lola’s but none of them spoke english enough to understand my simple exasperated, dumbfounded, bewildered questioning. what happened? well, through the magic of the internet i am able to share what happened right here.

so with that crushing disappointment under my belt i decided to move on and left brighton along a relatively quiet road that eventually led me to the colborne turnoff. here are some pictures i took just after colborne . . .

you can tell i was feeling especially sorry to be leaving all this simple beauty. here i am in the middle of somewhere . . .
the road passed by the lake once more and i stopped to listen to the leaves blowing in the wind and the waves washing ashore. then the rain came. of course it did! what made this rain unique was that it was actually a cold rain . . . not quite the cold rain of late autumn but cold enough to make me work harder if only to stay warm. i never used my jacket or my rainpants on this trip. i biked the entire time in shorts and a short-sleeved bike shirt.

the road finally came back out to highway 2 at which point i turned left and headed for downtown cobourg. the rain had chilled me a fair bit so i decided to stop at “the human bean” coffee shop. this is a lovely place with great coffee and fresh-baked goods and filled with lovely people. i had a nice chat with a fellow cyclist and his playful children who recommended all sorts of tasties that i could purchase there, even offering me samples of their own purchases!

i wandered around the downtown area as the rain dropped icy cold until i couldn’t stand it any more and raced over to my parent’s home where a hot shower, a mug of soup and a change of clothes later, i felt more like myself again. a special dinner was prepared which we shared with my aunt margaret. i watched some of the olympics with my mum and then went to bed and promptly drifted off. today - just over 74 kilometres.

tomorrow - back home across the hills to peterborough.