Leela Soma: Trip to Canada

walk along the river.jpg


walk along the river.jpgWhat excites me about Canada is the familiar yet different feel of the country. Coming from Glasgow, Scotland, I am reminded by every street name, town name of the origins of this country. Wiki:  

“Scottish Canadians are people of Scottish descent or heritage living in Canada. As the third-largest ethnic group in Canada and among the first to settle in Canada, Scottish people have made a large impact on Canadian culture since colonial times.”

No, I’m not forgetting the First Nation People’s too and some cities do have the Indian names.

My very short poem pays homage to them

Ancient Land

The land of the bison, moose and bear in pristine beauty
Thundering rivers, azure lakes lapping and rippling on shores,
Maple trees spreading sweetness and splendoured shade
Bounteous nature sacred to the First Nation Peoples
This ancient land whispers its secrets to man, every season.

But Glasgow, Renfrew, Aberdeen, Perth, Dundee, Houston, almost all the towns and cities of Scotland have a connection here. Names of places, so familiar, that one feels at home at once. Then you look at the achievements of this great country and marvel at the Scots of yore who made it happen and feel a sense of pride.

books ottawa.jpgSo many outings and experiences in my ten day stay in Canada that I have to share some with you. A walk along the River Ottawa was a delight, especially after consuming huge meals at two events on the previous day. There was a wonderful puja (service) at the temple for Lord Shiva, where the community prayed for the peace and prosperity for the entire world, followed by a huge lunch. Then in the evening there was a celebration of a golden wedding anniversary of a lovely couple who were married in Texas in a ten minute ceremony in the University where they had met in 1965! They were a charming couple. Again a big meal as always with delicious South Indian delicacies that was hard to resist. So the next morning we decided a wee bit of exercise was in order.

The walk along the huge Ottawa River was made joyous by the superb weather!

plans. fiddle heads.jpgNext on the agenda was of course some shopping! One can’t be in North America and not shop or go into a mall. That is one of the pleasures of a holiday. In a wee mall in Place D’Orleans I walked into the book store and was thrilled to see a lot of Ian Rankin’s books lining the shelves and in piles in the front of the store. Rebus fans are all over the world! It is always good to see Scottish writers’ books in the shops anywhere in the world. And our own chocs too! My daughter’s friends in USA love any good chocolate from Britain, so here were the treats

We had a lovely day at the Byward Market. At the centre of Ottawa and the world seems to have arrived at this place. Pubs abound, eateries, buskers of all types and things that are sold in the open stalls that are not seen in other parts of the world! Well! Have you seen a vegetable called ‘Fiddle Heads’? A special Ottawa green vegetable that defies description, a kind of squiggly curled bean is the best I can do. You decide here is a photo of the same!

japanese woman.jpgA Japanese woman singing her opera songs quite happily in the sunshine! While I had a taste of Beaver Tail! A yummy crispy pastry with any filling that you’d like!

Finally as a writer, discovering local books and writing is another important aspect of a holiday. Writer’s Festival in Ottawa is held during spring. I did attend the Writer’s Festival in 2009. A small but well organised Festival that brings in local talent and famous Canadian writers too.

Here is a wonderful website that helps me as a writer to know Canada better, 100 Canadian novels :

The American Association of University Women Book Sale, Buffalo, New York

This section: Leela Soma writing and blogging

Written by :

Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

Leave a Reply

Copyright Glasgow Westend 2009 thru 2017

Contact Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End | About Pat Byrne | Privacy Policy | Design by Jim Byrne Website Design