Clouds, a walk, a visit to parliament, and Hell on Earth

November 6, 2006

For a rather premature, joint Christmas present, we have bought ourselves a painting by Joe Fidia that will hang on our living room wall to remind us of the forward view from CF-PTN’s cockpit, as we pierce the thin clouds that form over our local scenery. On Saturday, for fun, we flew north to the airfield at Mont Laurier over some sixty nautical miles of rocky woodland, interspersed with lakes that shone in the sunbeams. Ice is already forming on the higher patches of water and a line of showers from swirling snow clouds drew our eyes east towards Mont Tremblant, soon to be crowded with skiers.

Sunday morning four of us were trudging through a layer of snow up and down the Larriault trail in the Gatineau Park. This time grey cloud or mist obscured our usual view from the highest point on the walk, which didn’t matter, for the closer view of trees and streams was satisfaction enough. In any case I’d seen for miles on Friday morning from the top of the Peace Tower on Ottawa’s Parliament Hill.

Other high points of the Parliament tour were the opportunity to step inside the newly renovated Library of Parliament, hushed and smelling of polished pine, and then spending a while in the public gallery of the Senate Chamber to hear the end of a noble speech by the Hon. Elizabeth Hubley, a Senator from Prince Edward Island, on the Fishing Industry in Nunavut.

Friday evening, in the all black theatre at Ottawa’s Arts Court, we enjoyed a performance of Marlowe’s Tragical History of Dr Faustus, with Pierre Brault in the title role. There were some nice touches, Helen of Troy presented as a man in a mask, for instance, and the Emperor portrayed as a caricature of George W Bush with an apishly grinning Tony Blair as his side-kick! Audience participation was provoked, so that at one moment I had to bounce the blown up world back to one of Lucifer’s henchmen. This production of the play had Faustus carried off to Hell in a straight-jacket, after a ticking metronome had counted down the seconds of his final “one bare hour” of life, though actually throughout the whole story: “…Why, this is Hell, nor am I out of it,” as Mephistopheles confirms.

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