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Archive for the ‘holiday’ Category

As everyone in Atlantic Canada knows, this has been an unusual fall. It was fairly innocuous and pleasant until Post-tropical Storm Noel hit in November, immediately followed by a mix of rain and snow (I wish it had been a bit less post and a bit more tropical). Then winter hit a “little” early, with frequent flurries and temperatures that rarely made it above -5 C. Then we got this week’s weather. Things started warming up until today it broke plus 10 in places, a fair amount of rain fell, then it cleared up this afternoon and was amazingly sunny, with brisk (to a Newfoundlander) winds and temperatures staying above zero.

The nice thing for me was that the storm gave half decent waves along the Atlantic coast, so I rushed to Peggy’s Cove after work. Except for the wind blowing sea spray directly onto my lens when shooting straight at the waves, it was perfect. I finished around 4:40 pm, then drove back to town. Things had become strangely calm, with very little traffic, almost nothing open (except video stores and movie theatres, of course). The sense of calmness and serenity was wonderful.

I went home, downloaded some of the images from the Cove, and present them as one view of an Atlantic Canadian Christmas. Happy and peaceful holidays, and may your New Year’s resolutions be little ones.

Looking Out the Entrance

Looking Out the Entrance
The Gulls were really active, since the waves had stirred up the ocean.

In the Cove

In the Cove
Bad waves almost never make it into the Cove. Today there were 4-5 metre waves outside the cove and pounding on the entrance.

Crash

Crash
Tip: Don’t shoot directly into the wind, unless you like spray on your lens…I wanted this shot so much I tried it anyway.

Broken rock

Boroken rock
The large flat rock near the centre was broken off the ledge in the foreground. I estimate that it weighs on the order of 120 metric tonnes.

Boom

Boom

Smash

Smash
Best Viewed Large. Note the chunk gouged out of the rock in the foreground. This comes from Noel in November. There was a lot of damage in the Cove.

Sunset

Sunset
Along the Coast

Along the Coast
The entrance to the Cove is just beyond the little red shack. This coast is full of rock ledges and often has a lot of wave activity.

 The Evening Light

The Evening Light
I know it is cliche, but the light was very nice.

Again, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and Happy Quanza, Hannukah, and Chinese New Year (coming soon). Given the recent weather, I’m just as happy with a warm and dry Christmas.

a quickr pickr post

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There were small Blues and Big Blues, Wide Blues and Narrow Blues,

Fast Blues and Slow Blues,

Running Blues, Jogging Blues, Walking Blues and Dancing Blues.

Red Blues, White Blues, Dark Blues and Light Blues,

Happy Blues, Sad Blues, Angry Blues and those with the blues.

Marathon Blues, Half Marathon Blues, 10k Blues and 5k Blues,

and there were even Relay Blues and the Children’s Blues.

I realised that the annual Blue Nose Marathon was taking place today, and for a lark and also because it was pouring rain so that pursuing my normal photographic preferences was out of the question, I decided to have a look. Not wanting to be caught in the crowds near the finish nor the starting lines, I went to the MacDonald Bridge, where the Marathon and 10k runners would cross about halfway through their respective ordeals. There were very few spectators there, and I could walk around at will. It also turned out that the rain let up enough to allow me to take a few photos.

The 10k runners came first, because the marathoners had to circle downtown twice before crossing the bridge. The first few came in fast, and there was at least one woman in the top ten. Then a few minutes later the bridge started rumbling, and a sea of mostly red t-shirts moved towards me. I hid behind the railing, and saw a vast assortment of people walking, running, jogging, Nordic walking, and skipping with jump-ropes come towards me. They ranging in age from 6 months to over 70 years old, from anorexic to those over three hundred pounds, and were wearing (not all at the same time) shorts, at least one skirt, tights, jeans, oilskins, many colors of shirt, and some very strange hats. Most were sopping wet, but all the recreational and some of the competitive runners had grins plastered on their faces.

After the mob had moved through for their loop around Dartmouth, the marathoners started coming through. The leaders were 4-5 men, most of whom were in the 40+ age range. Then there were three women, followed by some more men. I heard later that when they crossed back over the bridge the women were still doing very well. This may be further evidence that women can approach or exceed male performance in the logest endurance events. The fact that about 7500 people participated may make this a statistically significant sample. Good on ya!

Newfoundlanders placed fairly high in the middle distance events. In the 10k run Aubrey Sanders from Corner Brook came in fourth behind three Nova Scotians led by Tyler Germani of Cape Breton with a 3:44 pace, and in the half marathon William Fitzgerald of Carbonear came in second behind Shawn Brady of Toronto with a 3:40 pace. But in the full marathon the highest placing from Newfoundland was Stephen Hunt from St. John’s in 32nd place, and Monica Kidd from the same town in 56th place.
Anyway, here are some shots taken by me with my wet camera, in low light of people moving fast (and slow). They had fun running, and I had just as much fun standing there and watching them run. It almost makes me want to switch from swimming and cycling to running. Almost!

Incoming

Incoming

Something worth chasing?

Something worth chasing?

Flying High

Flying High

Chauffeured

Chauffeured
“I love exercise. I could watch it all day.”-Russell

“I love my dad. He takes me and my little brother on a 10 km trip so I can see all these people sweating and staggering and turning all these strange and interesting colors…”

Thumbs Up!

Thumbs Up!

Cool Runnings

Cool Runnings

He just hadda wear shades…

Reeling Home

Reeling Home

Perfect Cadence

Perfect Cadence

Determination

Determination
He was doing the 10 km version of the race, and he was passing some of the other runners.

Second last climb

Second last climb

Soxy Sox

Soxy Sox

Some people dare to be different, and some have a lot of fun doing it.

Latin Beat

Latin Beat

I guess the maracas helped to keep the beat?

Friendly and Happy

Friendly and Happy

“Come on, Mom! We’re almost there!”

“….yes, dear….”

“Pardon me, Miss.”

He wasn’t the oldest person there by any stretch of the imagination.

a quickr pickr post

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Sometimes the strangest things pop into your head. And occasionally they are about things you have taken for granted for your entire life. When I was a kid I was raised as a Roman Catholic, going to Mass every Sunday until I was in my early twenties. Just from the readings I could argue that I had covered most of the New Testament and a fair bit of the Old Testament. Since schools in Newfoundland were denominational at the time, I had also had a solid grounding in Church History and doctrine (I had more fun with the history). Finally, I was a bit interested in other faiths, including Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Baha’i, etc. So I thought I could answer most common questions about the basics of Christianity in general and the Roman Catholic Church in particular. Thus goes hubris.

This afternoon I was thinking a little about the history and meaning of Good Friday. Then I wondered why it was called “Good“; I may have been told as a child but I couldn’t recall it. Then I thought about Easter, and wondered where that name came from. After all, if you want the word East involved in a Christian religious day, something related to Christmas and the star in the East would make more sense. Then I tried to come up with other strange names associated with the religious days of the Lenten season but came up empty.

“Hold on! Where does the word Lent come from?”

Here is the result of my googling ( a favourite pastime) on the subject.

  • Easter: In English and German it seems to come from Eostre, an Anglo Saxon goddess of fertility, according to the Venerable Bede. Her holiday was in Eostremonuth ( April). In other languages the etymology links back to the Hebrew Passover.
  • Lent: Before the Middle ages, English Christians used the Latin term quadragesima (40th). During the Middle Ages they changed it to Lent, which comes from the English and German word for spring. So this one is more obvious to me. So the next question is how spring replaced lencten (ye Olde English). Spring is also Old English, and refers to a spring of water, or a wellspring, so I guess the relation to the season was due to the thaw as the weather warmed up and the ice melted. Then when lencten became associated with the religious observance, they used spring for the season?
  • Good Friday: English and Dutch are among the few languages that refer to this day as good. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia the rationale or etymology is not clear. It could be from God’s Friday or the germanic Gute Freitag. In many languages the holiday is named Holy Friday. Since the English speaking world was Catholic when the name was finalised, the source also had to be Catholic. Finally, one source argued that it was Good because Jesus died for our sins on that day, but this sounds like a explanation after the fact. Anyway, the simplest of  these three words has the most obscure etymology.

The main Lenten holy days observed are:

  • Ash Wednesday: 40 days before Palm Sunday. The ash represents the eastern tradition of repentance before God.
  • Palm Sunday: the beginning of Holy Week. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a colt people put cloaks and small branches of trees on his path. The Palm leaves during services or Masses on that day commemorate this.

Finally, the holidays during Holy Week include Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday. The origins of their names and of the Lenten holidays is obvious, except for the three mentioned above.

I’ll leave the Easter Bunny for a more prolific writer (excuse the triple pun).

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