My comfort zone, distance-wise, for a healthy walk is 2 - 4 miles. Within that range there is much to see in this fair city, especially if one leaves the main sidewalks or pathways and takes a less-travelled route.
November, with wetter and cooler days than most recent months, is coming to a close. The weather, however, has not dampened my desire to get out the door on a regular basis and walk the city streets and pathways. As well, upcoming snowy days will not be a hindrance to my fun and fitness routine.
Using tunnel-vision, I see many miles ahead
Yesterday I walked downtown and back, part of the way with my son and grandson, and completed an errand at the same time. Many of my walks are now linked to double purposes, i.e., fun and fitness, and picking up or dropping off an item. I think I'm the cheapest delivery service in London!
Walk #22 in November - 7.5 miles
After supper, because I don't get TSN on TV and I wanted to catch up on the Grey Cup game, I grabbed my high-tech Walkman and walked around the Village. The game was a real nail-biter, eh!? (If that wee AM/FM radio lasts another 20 years I'll be very happy.)
A Bit of November Number Crunching:
I should finish the month with 24 or 25 walks
I should cover 100-plus miles
My average walk should be around 4.0 miles
The last 10 weeks look pretty solid
Ten weeks ago I vacationed in PEI, only walked 11 miles. No regrets. Last week I ventured to the Bruce Peninsula, and I took an enjoyable break on two of the days up there. That being said, my 10-week average still looks AOK, right around 25 miles per week.
Vacations affect the 10-week average, but not by much
The jogging routine is over and done for 2016, and next year I will try to complete 60 - 70 jogs. Is there a marathon in my future? We shall see what we shall see.
December approaches and I will keep the following numbers in mind - 25 walks, 4 miles per outing, 100 miles (or so) by the end of the month. Yearly weigh-in should be positive!
I locked my motorcycle behind the Jail Hostel and saw much of the city by foot. I discovered Ottawa is both big and small - big buildings upon which to gaze and reflect, small corner pubs within reach when my dogs barked and my throat was dry. "Chambly Noir, s'il vous plait. Merci." (Chez Lucien)
TZ2 (a set of 120 walks) has started off with 9 in a row. Lovely
My sturdy map of Ottawa, near the National Library and Archives
Significant sites are mapped and numbered - in bronze
Terry Fox: One of Canada's champions
Walk-abouts are my bread and butter when I travel. And between travels I walk the streets of London for fun and fitness and the occasional pit stop when dogs get tired.
Used with permission of Gary Spencer (son of Joe Spencer)
The sixteen photographs presented are from a very rare collection belonging to Joe Spencer (Toronto, Brighton, ONT), now deceased, a former member of RCNVR and Combined Operations during WW2. The photos are shared with the kind permission of Joe's son, Gary Spencer. Each one came to me with a brief caption (now in italics under the photo) and gives us information that perhaps can be linked to other stories and other photos - some already shared or displayed on this site.
I will be careful to make readers aware of some of the connections these pictures have to Canadian stories, etc. However, I also welcome input from others about other links, in order to expand our collective understanding of what was happening in Combined Ops when these pictures were taken.
Top photo: Chuck Rose (3rd from left below) perhaps has just arrived in Greenock, Scotland, near the Canadian manning station at HMCS Niobe. If so, he and his mates were soon on a train to see their first landing craft at HMS Northney, Hayling Island.
8 men, Northney 3, Hayling Island, Hants
L - R: Allan Adlington (London), Joe Spencer (Toronto), Chuck Rose (Chippawa), Doug Harrison (Norwich), Art Bradfield (Simcoe), Don Linder (Kitchener), Joe Watson (Simcoe), J. Jacobs (unknown)
Context: HMS Northney was a training camp (4 sites) on Hayling Island, adjacent to Havant in southern England. These Canadians arrived at HMCS Niobe, Scotland from HMCS Stadacona, Halifax aboard the Volendam in January 1942.
In his Navy memoirs my father writes:
We spent little time at Niobe but entrained for Havant (near Hayling Island).... to H.M.S. Northney 1, a barracks (formerly a summer resort) with a large mess hall and cabins with four bedrooms. This was January, 1942 and there was no heat at all in the brick cabins. The toilets all froze and split. But we made out. Our eating quarters were heated.
Context: After their introduction to landing craft at HMS Northney, Hayling Island, the new recruits from Canada were sent to HMS Quebec, the Number 1 Combined Operations Training Centre near Inveraray, Scotland.
My father writes:
We were all in good shape and this was to be one of the more memorable camps, with our first actual work and introduction to landing barges.... there were lots of adventures, therefore many memories....
We trained on assault landing crafts which carried approximately 37 soldiers and a crew of four, i.e., Coxswain, two seamen and stoker. Some carried an officer.... ALCs were made of 3/16 inch plating, thick enough to stop a .303. (They) sat three rows of soldiers including two outside rows under 3/16th inch cowling, but the centre row was completely exposed.
We also trained on LCMs, or landing craft, mechanized. LCMs carried soldiers or a truck, a Bren gun carrier, supplies, land mines, gasoline, etc. But LCMs wouldn't stop a bullet.
ALC 269 leaving Newhaven, Aug. 21 1942. L. Birkenes, C. Sheeler
ALC 269 returning to Southampton fron Newhaven. C. Sheeler, Joe Spencer
Context: The operation the first Canadians in Combined Ops participated in, i.e., after training at HMS Quebec and Camp Auchengate (Irvine), was Operation RUTTER, the raid on Dieppe. RUTTER was planned for early July, cancelled one day before the event, and reinstated as Operation JUBILEE, set for August 19, 1942. The above two photos are dated Aug. 21 and were taken two days after their ALCs returned from Dieppe. Joe Spencer, under the White Ensign above, is known to have participated in the raid.
Art Warrick, Verne Smart on the Ennerdale in Algiers
Context: Canadians travelled aboard the Ennerdale on their way to Operation RUTTER and aboard it again (and its sister ship Derwentdale, both oil tankers) on their way to the invasion of North Africa. In the top of this pair, one can see landing craft either on deck or hanging on davits aboard the Ennerdale, and in the second we see Art and Verne standing inside a landing craft, likely an LCM.
C. Rose (front left), J. Dale (top left), P. Bowers (top centre),
Joe Spencer (front right), J. Watson (top right). Glasgow 1943
Context: The date is helpful. Canadians in C.O. were back in Scotland's Combined Ops camps, training in the early months of 1943 for upcoming operations in Sicily (July - Operation HUSKY) and Italy (September, Operation BAYTOWN and AVALANCHE). There would have been a few opportunities while on leave to visit Glasgow. Photo shops, pubs, dance halls.... take your pick.
LCM 81-7 hoisted off E. Charmain in Sicily, July 10, 1943. MacGregor's boat
Ismalia, Egypt. - P. Martel, E. Chambers, S. Ingram, N. Mitchinson
Charley Sellick, Jim Ivison. Sicily
Jack Trevor. Sicily
Unloading LCM, Green Beach, Sicily 1943
Convoy, Sicily to Malta. J. Spencer in boat 2nd in foreground
Context: The invasion of Sicily was a great ordeal for Canadians in Combined Operations. Once the emptied troop and supply ships left the coast, men lived aboard their LCMs or in caves. For 4 weeks or more, hard duty persisted on the beaches in order to supply troops moving slowly north toward Messina. In August the men were sent to Malta for rest and recuperation from illnesses, e.g., dysentery. They were also told to repair tired, damaged landing craft for the upcoming invasion of Italy. No rest for the weary.
The birdbox w attached pilothouse is of goodly size and the boat-shaped facade has to fit just right. After a couple of adjustments I think I have 'the look' finished in a reasonable style. That's me all over - reasonable. : )
Now, for details.
The Pankhurst M tug will soon be ready for the water!
Earlier in the season I cut stock for eight lovely red cedar birdhouses but only had room to attack six with the sander and paint brush. I don't call my space the 'wee' workshop for no good reason. : )
That being said, as I approach the end of the season I will put on a rush to get things tidied up in there.
Don't feel blue. I haven't forgotten you
So, today I cut trim and add a few details to these sturdy models.
Birdbox section is 8"H x 7.5"W x 7.5"Deep, w plywood roof
Pilothouse, left, 4"W, 5"Deep
I've never been on a tugboat, but as I studied photos of the Pankhurst M I thought it. I think it would be a remarkable experience in some ways, and hard work at times for the crew. Pros and Cons, like a lot of other things in life. Good work and Hard work, at the same time.
Overhead view is in top right corner of sketch
The facade/boat hull profile will be 18 - 20"Long
So, this custom project is underway, I'm using white pine, and there will be a lot of careful painting.
While leaving Mont Tremblant in early morning I drifted through a ghostly stretch of countryside. While heading downhill, mild fog everywhere, I lost my sense of up and down to some degree and - because the horizon line was obscured - thought I was heading toward an ocean of clouds and water.
Yesterday I wrote the following about this lovely, lovely white barn on Glencolin Line (a few miles NW of Aylmer):
If I had a million dollars I'd buy this barn.
"Gord's Oddities - Antiques, Art, and One Old Radio"
People who don't know me won't catch the drift. I have shop-keepers in my family tree. I suppose that if I bought this barn I could run an antique store and sell oddities along with my art work, birdhouses and Rietveld furniture. A radio would be playing at all times and I'd have a beer fridge out back for special guests. Life would be grand.
I could walk to the rail bridge on Hekkla Road to get my exercise.