Tuesday, 4 July 2017


Sometimes a theme just emerges from a day. It doesn't always have much meaning, but there it is.

For Canada Day this year, my mystery theme appeared to be hoops.

The Resident Fan Boy was determined to see the Ottawa festivities, so we hurried from our house-sit to Demeter's house. And there were hoops in the opening moments, as various First Nation dancers bounced and whirled around the Eternal Flame to the rhythm of the Spirit Drums.

July 1st 2007 - First Nation Dancer performing while the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family look on.  The dancer is possibly Ojibwa, as hoop-dancing is associated with that nation.

(Bono and The Edge also sang "One", which was nice of them.)

We had lunch at the only sushi restaurant we could find open on Canada Day, then made our way to Centennial Square to see what we could catch of the free concerts.

Well, actually, we couldn't see much of anything, because Demeter, very sensibly, is using a walker these days, so we couldn't clamber into the stands. We found a table under a small parasol by the fountain, and chatted amiably with a volunteer, while people-watching and half-listening to a jazz fusion band who claims Pat Metheny as an influence.

During the final number, which was apparently a well-known number, but since we couldn't see the band and couldn't hear everything the announcer said, I'm not sure what it was. I did like it -- it had a steady, travelling sort of rhythm, and, lulled by the music and the heat, I dreamily watched two people off in the distance, tossing and dancing with hula hoops, which seemed to hover around their bodies, as if they were in suspended wheels of bright colour.

Maybe it was this number.

In the evening, Cirque du Soleil whirled in hoops of steel and fire.

Meaning? Coincidence, probably. But Joseph Campbell pointed out that the way of escaping the ups and downs of the wheel of fate was to move to the centre -- something like the dancers, performers and acrobats of this one day.

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