June 2014

My Idea of Heaven: Summer in Ottawa

Ottawa is stunning. God really out did himself when he made this place. Two days here and I am already blissed out. I hope Canadians know just how lucky they are to live in such a beautiful warm place. You can do anything here and the weather rarely disrupts.

On the way home from the airport, my friend Michelle and I drove passed people having barbecues, sunbathing, cycling, running, playing with their kids. Imagine Scotland on a really good where everyone is outside enjoying the shy sun. That’s Canada, every single day.

I adore life here. I am writing this in a luscious green park a minute from my apartment. I am watching the Ottawa river flow past, geese paddling, planes flying, squirrels hopping across the grass. Sometimes one stops to acknowledge me and then continues to hop, hop, hop and scamper up a tree.

The air smells sweet like fresh cut grass and a summer warmth. A cosy breeze kisses my body and I feel the sun nourish me with vitamins and good hormones and sporadic freckles.


This is probably the first place I have ever lived where I need to apply sunscreen every single morning. Yesterday I walked past a homeless man begging on the street and he said “Beautiful day isn’t it?” And then noticing my pale complexion he exclaimed “why don’t you have a tan yet?!” I’ve been expecting this question but it makes me laugh that even strangers are taken aback by my milk bottle skin.

One thing I have noticed about the homeless in the summer time is that they sleep outside every day, tops off, lounging on the benches. And they seem content.

What is it about the warm weather that makes people smile?

In my opinion it’s the freedom and opportunity to share an experience with hundreds of other people. Everyone outside is appreciating the same thing as you, they are being made happy by the same thing that’s making you happy, you get to be with people and share life with them. No longer do you have to bussle indoors and hide from the cold, or stay in your home watching TV because it’s raining outside. You can experience life the way it was meant to be lived; with others, with strangers, with new friends and old ones.

I feel at home here, lying on the grass, under an old tree, writing about my world. This place is my idea of heaven.

Love Jill.


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