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All We’re Chasing is the Sunset (And Surprisingly Warm Weather)

“Check out Canada’s 100% eco-friendly stay-at-home order!” I wrote in an email to my mom last Monday. I included these two pictures of the first snow of the year taken on a bitterly cold night.

Ottawa, first snow, November 2, 2020
Ottawa, first snow, November 2, 2020
Ottawa, first snow, November 2, 2020
Ottawa, first snow, November 2, 2020

It was cold again on Tuesday when I walked to a mall to meet a friend, the only safe and open indoor place we found to catch up without exposing her six-month-old baby girl to winter weather. When I got there, I noticed a large sign on the door: “All mall walking activities—formal and informal—are prohibited.” I burst out laughing. Really, guys?

My friend and I still walked through the long carpeted hallways without paying much attention to the mostly closed-for-good or closed-because-reason shops. All sitting areas were taped off and we skipped coffee because, well, masks. Seriously, 2020 is a really fucked up year.

The world is exhausting right now but life is really boring. I get up, work, go out for a long walk in the afternoon, work all evening and most of the night then I go to bed way too late. Mark comes home at 3 p.m. and the rest of the day drags on for him, especially now that it’s dark just before 5 p.m. and there are no activities or places to go. Work keeps me busy, at least—it’s actually somewhat of a miracle I get assignments considering how many industries and businesses are affected by COVID measures. I feel lucky.

France is back in lockdown except this time, schools are staying open. Rules aren’t as strict as during the first lockdown and my mom has to go to work (she’s teaching in an apprenticeship and skilled trades school). Non-essential businesses are closed and there’s a big debate on what’s essential and what’s not (Books? Christmas trees? Makeup?). Restrictions don’t seem to be as accepted as in the spring—after mandatory use of masks everywhere and curfews, COVID fatigue is setting in.

Meanwhile, in Canada… I don’t know. I really don’t. Canada isn’t doing too bad compared to the US and Europe but life isn’t normal at all either. There isn’t much to do but work if you still have a job. Other activities are either cancelled either impractical because of various restrictions I’m having a hard time keeping track of. I take it one day at the time, too much is changing all the time and I’m tired.

But once in a while, you get lucky. And we did get lucky this week with a surprising and unusual spell of warm weather—like, actually warm, around 20⁰C during the day.

It’s not going to last but damn, it feels good. Just like everybody else, we went out and spent Sunday afternoon chasing the sunset on Parliament Hill.

Ottawa sign, York Street, Ottawa Sign, ByWard Market, Ottawa, November 2020
Ottawa sign, York Street, Ottawa Sign, ByWard Market, Ottawa, November 2020
York Street steps to Major Hill's Park, Ottawa, November 2020
York Street steps to Major Hill’s Park, Ottawa, November 2020
Major Hill's Park, Ottawa, November 2020
Major Hill’s Park, Ottawa, November 2020
Ottawa River and Parliament Hill from Major Hill's Park, Ottawa, November 2020
Ottawa River and Parliament Hill from Major Hill’s Park, Ottawa, November 2020
Pumpkin head, Major Hill's Park, Ottawa, November 2020
Pumpkin head, Major Hill’s Park, Ottawa, November 2020
Parliament from Major Hill's Park, Ottawa, November 2020
Parliament from Major Hill’s Park, Ottawa, November 2020
Rideau Canal, Locks 1 - 8 , Ottawa, November 2020
Rideau Canal, Locks 1 – 8 , Ottawa, November 2020
Wellington Street, Ottawa, November 2020
Wellington Street, Ottawa, November 2020
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Alexandra Bridge and Ottawa River from Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Alexandra Bridge and Ottawa River from Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Alexandra Bridge and Ottawa River from Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Alexandra Bridge and Ottawa River from Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Alexandra Bridge and Ottawa River from Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Alexandra Bridge and Ottawa River from Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Ottawa River from Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Ottawa River from Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Library of Parliament, Ottawa River from Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Library of Parliament, Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Ottawa River from Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Ottawa River from Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Ottawa River from Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Ottawa River from Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Ottawa River from Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Ottawa River from Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Ottawa River from Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Supreme Court of Canada from Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Sunset on Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Sunset on Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Sunset on Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Sunset on Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Supreme Court of Canada from Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Supreme Court of Canada from Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Parliament Hill, West Block, Ottawa, November 2020
Parliament Hill, West Block, Ottawa, November 2020
Parliament Hill, West Block, Ottawa, November 2020
Parliament Hill, West Block, Ottawa, November 2020
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, November 2020
Rideau Canal, Locks 1 - 8 , Ottawa, November 2020
Rideau Canal, Locks 1 – 8 , Ottawa, November 2020

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