Magic Calgary, 18 Sept

Fresh air and outdoor life abound in Calgary and I’ve loved every moment, thanks to the fabulous and generous hospitality of my hostess, Carolyn, and her family. ‘Fall’ officially begins on the 22nd September and the leaves are just beginning to change colour with sprinklings of gold and orange highlighting the trees; the colour profusion will be spectacular in a few weeks.

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Carolyn and me, with Calgary in the background


I was fortunate to be in Calgary during the Beakerhead festival, an exhibition bringing together the arts, science and engineering sectors to produce amazing, outsized interactive works of art, spread throughout the city at various locations. Some of these were absolutely incredible, like a giant, mechanical serpent breathing flames and fire, genuinely like one of those horrible teethy aliens from the Alien films.

Sigourney Weaver, help!

Another work of art, a rather less malevolent one, was a series of about 10 giant musical seesaws laid out in a long row down by the River Bow. This was popular with everyone, old and young, and the cacophony of loud, deep musical booms as the seesaw ends bumped the ground was somehow pleasantly discordant. I had to have a shot, although I was horrified to see I bore a closer resemblance to Bella Emberg than I would have liked.


In reaction to this jarring image of my sausage-legged suspension, I took myself off to The Calgary Tower with a view to climbing the 191 metres worth of stairs to the top. Unfortunately, the stairs were closed to the public, so I had to take the ‘elevator’ up. The views of Calgary at the top were quite breath-taking and I learnt that a ‘chinook’ is a warm wind that often sweeps down over Calgary from the Rockies (not the name of the dog in The Lost Boys, which is what I kept thinking before I looked it up on google). When I got back to the hotel I took myself off to the gym and huffed and puffed my way around a few pieces of machinery to make up for the non-starter stairs.

Next stop Chateau Lake Louise.


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