Month: September 2013

Ode to Regina

This was my effort for the latest


I’m always curious how you came to be

So remote, so detached, not close to anyone or anything,

I looked you up but nearly didn’t call

Intimidated by your sparsity. Agoraphobic? Me?

Amongst the endless nothingness,

You are an abrupt, unashamed something.

A grain stain amongst the green and gold

Like chewing gum on the pub’s carpet.

And your name… I mean, seriously?

I always thought it was pronounced “ReGEEna”

Who were your forefathers, and what were they thinking?

Oh. Oh the Queen, right, I get it!

Yeah there she is, that bronze statue

A very young Queen on a horse by the lake.

That was one of the first things I heard about you:

“Regina has a pretty Leg!”

But you do know the Queen hasn’t looked like that in about fifty years, right?

Of course you do. There’s the modern Queen,

All fat-faced and grumpy on a $20 bill.

Well, you’d be grumpy too if you were

Shoved in and out of wallets and exchanged for beer.

I wonder how she’d feel about you

The flat prairie city she gave her title to,

Perhaps unknowingly.

So sparse, so quiet, such a contrast

To the headache; the noisy, busy, suffocating

hyperactive stench of humanity

The incomprehensible, irrepressible assault on the senses that is London, her home.

How far removed you are from all I have ever known.

And you are so young,

The Queen sits in her palace

Built while you were still a Pile of Bones

But I am glad I took the chance

Embraced your opportunity

I can see your brutal beauty

The place where they hand planted every single tree

This space, this flatness, that feels so free.



Miranda’s new pre-school

Last week my Big Grown Up baby went off to pre-school – or at least, pre-Kindergarten, for the first time.

DSCF7447She’s at Connaught Community School, and she does four mornings a week in the pre-K in a class of 16. We have had to get used to getting up a lot earlier to drop her off! Connaught is a 101 yr old community school, which also does French Immersion teaching (but not for Miri’s age group sadly, she needs to be a bit bigger yet!). It’s also under threat of demolition, which is why we were there dressed up for the Olde Tyme Picnic a few weeks ago. 101 years old is *very* old for Regina (heck , this whole country hasn’t been  a nation state for 150 years yet) but sadly the building hasn’t been well-maintained, and some overpaid geniuses somewhere in a planning office have decreed that it would be simpler and cheaper to tear it down and build a new one instead of repairing and maintaining a Heritage building. And of course that decision was made months ago on the quiet with no obvious public consultation and in the face of immense community opposition when it eventually did come to light.  My friend wrote an open letter to Saskatchewan’s Premier, Brad Wall, about Connaught, and she put it far more eloquently than I can! Read it here at The Regina Mom .

Anyway, assuming the building will be here long enough for Miranda to enjoy her first experience of school, off we toddled down the road at a ghastly time of day. The first morning, she was fairly shy even though we’d visited before and met the teachers before, but it all seemed a little different with loads of other kids running around in there. I stayed for the first half an hour or so to make sure she was OK, helped her get her coat and (handmade by Me) Peso backpack on the peg with her name on it, and tried to persuade her to sit down with the others. They played the Canadian National Anthem over the tanoy system! Is this normal in Canada? Better than having to sing hymns in assembly I suppose, but most of the children just fidgeted and looked confused, and the parents looked all uncomfortable about not knowing the words.

“Oh Canada,ba dum bum bum be dum…”

William Shatner’s version

On the second morning, Miranda just kissed me goodbye and dived straight into playing with the dolls house, until the teacher tried to round them all up for their registration. By the third day, she went straight in, sat down at the desk with her new friend Anyam, just said “Bye then Mummy” and didn’t even notice when I left!! So, safe to say she’s enjoying it! It has made a difference already; there have been far fewer tantrums, and she’s even having naps again in the afternoon (if only when I push her into town in the pushchair, admittedly!) Famous firsts also include now being able to draw an M for her name, and the ability to draw convincing faces complete with googly eyes. Ambidextrously. Mummy is PROUD.

So now, I have nearly twelve glorious child-free hours per week, AND nap time! What on earth do I do with myself??? This last week I’ve been Writing Things gratuitously for this month’s Word Up Wednesday, but it has felt very very odd in such a quiet house.  I felt all lost and lonesome the first day I dropped her off! But so proud of my baby… Maybe this free time will allow me to actually write something decent soon, or finally get around to finishing the coffee papers for uni, or even tidy up….Nah, I won’t kid myself about that last one…

I did find the time to turn myself into a zombie and participate in the 6th Annual Regina Zombie Walk, in aid of the Food Bank today though.