Sunday, July 15, 2007

Poor Molly ! Her vacation is over and it's back to work time tomorrow. Also back to posting a little more regularily on this blog. Lots of interesting stuff in Ottawa and even a few interesting people. I'll put in a few of my thoughts on the place as the days go by. For now here's an item:
One of the things that stuck Molly on her trip to Ottawa was the fact that almost all the grass there, private and public, was an odd mixture of green and yellow. More like fall grass than mid-summer grass. The number of derelict plots of land overgrown with weeds was considerably less than here in Winnipeg, but both the grass and the weeds here are a lush green colour- it's been a very wet year. Not so in Ottawa. Strangely enough it isn't that they lacked rain there. It rained for at least part of the day for all 8 days we were in the city, and a fellow from Gatineau told us that this had been the norm for almost 6 weeks. This might have been a little exaggeration but not by much. Asking around nobody seemed to have any reasonable explnation though many locals had noticed it as well, and they didn't think that it was normal. Some tried to explain it by saying that the City of Ottawa had ceased to use "chemicals". The trouble with this explanation is that the City of Winnipeg isn't in the habit of massively spreading expensive fertillizer and herbicides over public spaces either. But both the grass and the weeds are a nice bright shade of green here. As to private lawns Winnipeg should be, if it is not, the headquarters for most of the 'Dollar Stores' in five continents. This place is tightwad central, and I have never seen any city anywhere with such a collection of thrift stores and payday loan shark pools. If money does not have to be spent the average winnipeger will definitely not spend it. Everybody's lawn is green here, including the majority of those owned by the average winnipegger who wants to avoid spending money on it.
Who knows the true explanation. It's certainly beyond Molly. The one exception was Stevie's lawn. Not the grounds of Rideau Hall, the residence of the Governor General, which were only slightly less scrappy than the Ottawa average. Not the grounds of Parliament Hill which were worse than average being as they were put to a good use for a large part of the day as soccer pitches. Not any other public space that I saw. Nope, our dear Prime Minister Stevie has the best lawn in town. Molly wants to start a rumour here that Stevie's staff actually does use "chemicals". The ground up bodies of Canadian soldiers and Afghan civilians actually make mighty fine fertillizer. But Stevie would never do that. Would he ?

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