Happy day, Canada!
I can join the millions in downtown Ottawa to watch the Will and Kate circus; I even know where exactly to stand to see them best (in front of the National Gallery when they move from their motorcade car to the landau). I could move from there to the chicken barbecue which is always an Ottawa favorite at Major’s Hill Park, the one sponsored by the Chicken Farmers of Canada.
I could mosey on down to the Hill itself, watch the Changing of the Guard at 10 a.m. then park my rear on the grounds of Parliament Hill and wait for the happy couple to arrive for the afternoon Canada Day show.
As I told a Facebook friend yesterday, there is so much to do in Ottawa on Canada Day, and I’m thrilled not to have to do any of it.
Scott agrees. He worked as a cameraman and producer for 26 years at the CBC, the last five years of which he produced the Canada Day news items for The National. As far as he’s concerned, it will be a frosty day in July before he goes downtown on the nation’s birthday, a frosty day indeed.
I spent years dragging the kids downtown, then other years dragging myself downtown out of loneliness and desperation as a singleton mother. when the kids spent summers with their Dad.
It was easier back when the Press Club was open because you could get out, do the rounds and come back to the Club, settle into the air conditioning with a frosty mug and scarf down some chili and dogs and watch the festivities out the window. I would spend most of Canada Day with the television crews who were on call all day, killing time smoking reefers while draining Denny’s beer keg.
Man, those were the days.
I had enough of that ten years ago, and I now prefer to settle into an easy chair, eat some of Scott’s famous barbecue, and watch the Snowbirds from my perch on St. Laurent Boulevard. In fact, I think I can see the little birdies better from here than on the Hill.
Once in a while, we watch the show on the television, or at least have it on, when the rain inevitably pours down on the masses. We just laugh at all those fools getting drenched. That’s what you do when you get old.
We’re comfortably in bed by the time the fireworks go off, congratulating ourselves on how sane we have become.
I do remember one great Canada Day celebration which I may have told you about, but I’ll tell it again, because it’s such a good story. I was at the Press Club all afternoon playing video games and drinking beer, and decided I was slightly over-refreshed so I toddled up to the Hill about six p.m., lay down in the nice, warm sun with my baseball cap over my head. It was all innocent enough, just a girl having a little snooze among a smattering of families and cops.
I awoke suddenly and sat up when I heard a sharp noise.
I looked around me, and I was surrounded by thousands of people, and realized the night show was about to begin and I was just a few feet from the front of the stage!
Try to beat that for a Canada Day story.
Anyway, it’s good living in the Nation’s Capital on a day when Canadians like themselves. Everyone is so happy, wearing those silly stickers and waiving little flags. I’m sure Will and Kate will have a ball.
Might I recommend the chicken sandwiches at Major’s Hill Park?
A lot of chickens had to die for the nation’s birthday, so celebrate their lives with a little mayo, pickles on the side.
We might as well enjoy them.