August 30, 2015
Auntie Muriel

Muriel stayed with us for a couple of days, to Elizabeth's and Matthew's great delight.

Dave, Karen and their kids came over to visit some more right before Dave left for the airport to Sweden. There was much playing and curtain shortening (also known as finishing up the "Blue room" for Lorianne). Auntie Muriel brought along her recently rediscovered stitch sampler from boarding school in Sakeji, which we found quite interesting. I'm thinking something similar might be a cool project for Elizabeth!

In the afternoon Margaret came over and we all went to Ottawa's most controversial splash park. The Landsdowne park development was pretty controversial in its own right. There were shenanigans over an international design competition which was (illegally) cancelled in order to give building rights to local business men for a nominal fee. Bitter battles over parkland that was converted to (ugly) condo buildings and a football stadium that was refurbished in order to house the latest iteration of a football team despite a long and storied tradition of football teams spectacularly failing to thrive in that same location. Plans to host all kinds of events while waving away parking concerns, while reducing the already inadequate amount of parking available. It was a bit of a mess, but at least our local community would get a beautiful water plaza out of the deal.

The artist's conception showed a massive pool with fountains. There was talk of getting rid of the nearby wading pool because the new splash pad and playground was going to be sooooo cool. And then, this being Ottawa, we spent $44 million dollars on a giant "granite and brushed stainless steel sculpture" with tiny water plaza complete with confusing signs telling people to keep off the artwork. Local papers have had a field day, of course.

It's kind of interesting. Not $44 million dollars interesting, mind you... But the kids did have fun running through the sprinklers and we regretted not bringing towels or a change of clothes.

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