An End to Irony

Life is full of irony, or so it feels when that is foremost on one’s mind.  Here are just some of the ways that irony has played a role this week:

  •  Concerned that the hotel we were staying at was pet-friendly (and I am deadly allergic to cats), we made distancing ourselves from animals the priority on check in.  Reassuring us that pets were only ever housed on the main floor, and he was putting us on the fourth, coming in contact with cats would not be a problem the clerk said.  What did become a problem, though, was the fact that we were assigned a room as far from the elevator as we could get – not great for someone who is mobility challenged.  Adding insult to injury, as the saying goes, was the psychedelic carpet lining the hallways.
  • Finding a restaurant that offers gluten-free options can be tricky.  Night one proved disastrous, but I was too tired to object.  Night two, we opted for Mexican, which is typically safe for me.  Ironically, every item on the menu contained bell peppers which my husband and stepdaughter are allergic too.  That never happens!
  • We researched all the recommended places for birding, and then got the best photo in our friends’ backyard.

Having a sense of humour, always helps, and we had a great visit, despite the challenges.

If you didn’t get to read the entries for this week’s challenge, please go back to the original post and check them out.  Subhasree added a story about irony in the comment section which is interesting.

Irony worked well for Proscenium this week, which turned out to be a small blessing in the midst of a deluge of rain.  I hope the rain will be easing for you soon.

“To lose is to win!” is Stuff and What If’s realized irony, as she effectively illustrates in her poem:  If Only I’d Known.

We Wander…We Wonder also philosophizes about the human condition and finds the irony in her poem Being Human.

Sgeoil ponders the irony in a hummingbird’s antics in Rufous.

Thanks to all for participating.  I’ll see tomorrow with a new challenge.



Discovering Ottawa: Manotick

We are drawn to Manotick, a suburb of Ottawa, to visit with friends.  Arriving early, we decide to check out Watson’s Mill along the Rideau river.  Unfortunately, as it is off-season, the mill is not open this day, however there is still plenty to explore.

rain crystalsNext to the mill is a Veteran’s Memorial Garden with well manicured gardens and a paved path overlooking the river.  The clouds from yesterday’s rain are still lingering, and water droplets remain form jewels on spider’s webs.  Everything is still lush and green even though we are now into September.  We had hoped that the fall colours would be popping out.

Manotick, OnBlack ducks fish for their lunch in the waters below, or laze on the rocks, as gulls fly overhead.  On the other side of the mill is the damn, and further upstream, the water is mirror-still except for the patterns carved by ducks enjoying the serenity.  The park across the way looks pristine and dreamy in this light.  Later we will drive to the other side to enjoy it..

Across from mill is another, related, building which houses a used book store.  For $5 I pick up two hard-covered, and one paperback.  A steal!

random pianoThe park across the river is A Y Jackson, and its tree-lined paths lead to further viewing points.  At this time of day, there are only two others present – a woman on her phone (I walk in the opposite direction), and a woman reading her book on a bench in the shade.  A painted piano graces the overlook just beyond her, and I imagine impromptu concerts.  From here, I can see the back of the mill, the damn, the walkway across it, and more ducks enjoying the day.  A cormorant stands still in the middle of the river, as if announcing itself King for the day.

It is easy to understand why our friends chose to retire here.  Not unlike our Stonetown, the buildings have charm and the main area is lined with interesting shops and restaurants.

hawk perfectionMore than that, the house they have built for their retirement, backs onto a wooded area, and the irony of the day is that I get the best photos from their back step:  magazine worthy gardens, a wild rabbit that drops by and my gorgeous picture of the Cooper’s hawk on their back fence.

(V.J.’s challenge this week has been irony, so I apologize if the theme is getting a little tired, lol.)

Ah, Irony

Jazz, from Steps and Pauses sent me this sign, taken in Uncertain, Texas, a place she says is worthy of a visit:


I would think they have a rather large following.

I spotted this sign, and well…I think the ironies speak for themselves:

Elderly crossing

The black squirrel (featured) thought he had cleverly outrun his assailant – a raging red squirrel – only to find we were in his path.  Dramatic irony at its best.

Keep smiling all.  It’s Friday!

(Written for V.J.’s weekly challenge:  irony)


Stoic Hunter?

Who is more stoic
than the Great Blue,
stealthily enduring
rocks and rapids
to catch the day’s meal?

Appearances, however,
have been known to deceive…

seems this bird is no emotional
void, no paragon of strength,
but a closet thespian – caught him,
mid rehearsal – aspiring
to a phantom role –
of the opera variety.


(Written for Manic Mondays 3 Way Prompt: stoic.  Inspired by this Great Blue Heron photographed at the falls at Hog’s Back Park, Ottawa, On.  V.J.’s challenge this week is irony, so forgive me for injecting a bit of humour into the scene.)

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #15: Irony

Museum sign

Is it just me, or is there irony in the idea of a museum of tolerance – as if the concept itself, now defunct, has been mummified for perusal?

Life is full of ironies, and sometimes it takes an objective view to find them.  As a kid, I found it ironic that my father would preach that we should never smoke, while lighting up.  Certainly, it was hypocritical. Of course, he would respond with: “Practice what I say, not what I do!”

His other favourite response, when I would show him research indicating that cigarette smoking lead to cancer, was:  “I’m luckier than others; at least I know how I’m going to die.”  Ironically, I would remind him of this on his death bed.  (Not exactly dramatic irony, but dramatic enough.)

This week, let’s look for the ironic, and hopefully, have a chuckle.

(For more information about irony, clink here.)

To Participate:

  1.  Publish a post on the topic of irony on your blog.
  2.  Tag it VJWC.
  3.  Leave a link in the comments below or create a pingback.
  4.  Remember to read and comment on each other’s posts.

Have fun!  Look forward to reading your responses.


Salmon Intentions or Battle of the Can

A single onion, its papery crisp coating still intact, sits on a small cutting board, signalling intent.  Beside it, a sharp-edged knife, and an unopened can of salmon.

thIt is the salmon can that has turned this scenario from an action shot to a still-life.

I had planned to have it for dinner last night – a plan that started early in the day, when energy and clarity of thought of was still available.  I even thawed a gluten-free English muffin with the intention of spreading the salmon salad on the freshly toasted halves.  It felt like such a simple, yet healthy, option.

But then I went to the hospital, visited my now-on-the-mend husband, had my driver stop for a Starbuck’s on the way home, and ended up curled in a fetal position on the bed, feeling like I’d been thrust into a sudden-onset flu.

They must have put milk in my tea, was the only explanation I could come up with.  A couple of hours of close contact with the toilet, and I faced the ever-present dilemma of what to eat.  Could my stomach still handle the salmon?  I set it on the countertop while contemplating, selecting a small-sized onion and, well you know the rest of this picture. I considered the salmon over the next couple of hours, even picking the can up in my hands and trying desperately to will myself to continue.

In the end, I boiled an egg and ate that with muffin.

I’ll have it for lunch instead, I decided this morning, realizing that dinnertime is too late in the day for such momentous adventures.

It takes three attempts.
At 11:30 am, feeling somewhat energized (always a relative term with ME/CFS), I look at the onion, and the can, think about the effort it will take to open the can and then sort through the bones and skin – which I detest – and decide to rest instead.

12:12 am.  It’s not going to make itself, I realize, and I do need to eat, so I add a small glass bowl and the can opener to the setup, but still cannot see my way through to completing the action.  I lie down again. I could just nuke a cup of chicken broth.

1:38 pm.  This is ridiculous! The salmon is not going to make itself!  By now I can taste the salty fishiness of the desired repast, know it will be a gift of nutrients to my body, have convinced myself of the need.  I start with the onion, cut through the outer shell, discarding the unusable bits and finely chop half, placing it in the bowl.  That’s enough, screams my body, but I push on, opening the salmon, draining the water, and with a fork, begin to pick through the contents.  I just need to get enough meat to make this meal, I tell myself, discarding probably more than I should have.  Mashing the salmon and onion together, I add a dash of salt and pepper and a squeeze of mayonnaise (something I know I will regret later).  Done!

I sit to eat this masterpiece, afraid that I will not be able to manage it in bed, where I usually dine.

I spread the salad on thin rice cakes, savour the deliciousness with each bite, can no longer determine how hungry I am, or if I’ve eaten enough, settle on saving half of the mixture for tomorrow, and return to bed.

“What did you eat today?”  a well-meaning friend asks later.

“Salmon salad.”

“That sounds good – an easy meal.”

“Yes,” I respond, stifling my impulse to laugh at the irony of it all.

Who would believe that just contemplating a can of salmon could be such a battle?