'A slow sort of country!' said the Queen. 'Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!'
If you're a Red Queen type of person, September is one of the more demanding months. It's time to get up and running again after the Sommerpause, as we call it in our German conversation group.(Lewis Carroll: Through The Looking Glass)
Chris has been using his German too, to prepare a paper for his December conference in Sindelfingen "Zum Kern des Software-Testens gehört ein Paradoxon ..." it begins ("At the heart of software testing lies a paradox ..."). I've checked and rechecked his every word, especially the pesky adjective endings, but am glad to say our friend Barbara has been over to supper to improve it further. Not that either she or I understand the thrust of the argument very well. The next step for Chris will be to practise talking it over without reference to the text. He's done this sort of thing before, but public speaking is tough in a foreign language and his expert audience is sure to follow up with questions.
Public speaking has been on my mind. I and some other Flying Club people had three goes at a presentation on Learning to Fly, the first go for practice, the other two goes for real in front of an audience would-be pilots and company at the Aviation Museum. Tonight we're having a debriefing session. The presenters, each approaching the subject from a different angle, were Jim, David, Benoit, Jeremy, John, Nathalie, Kathryn and me (...and I, Chris would want me to put, but I'm not such a pedant as he). All of us except David spoke too long-windedly; being at the microphone can be a heady experience. My job was to tell the audience how much wider are one's horizons when one takes to the air, literally and metaphorically; I waxed a bit too lyrical about some of the places I'd flown to.
|Meeting at the Métropolitain|
Earlier that week I'd been to the first of the local CFUW events, the one where you have to be careful not to sign up for too many activities. I put my name down to help with the HIPPY group offering "Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters" every once in a while, and also brought a photo album along that I'd compiled for UWHAW's table––"University Women Helping Afghan Women".
|The Flying Club's family barbecue|
Gardening, that's another thing. The flying club gardens are partly my responsibility too, but I have neglected them. I did spend an hour on the patch in front of the clubhouse last weekend and Carol turned up to help. We didn't even dare to look at the other, longer beds beside the hangar, shall have to persuade more friends to help with those.
This month I finally got to see Dancing in Jaffa, the film that documents a period of 10 weeks in that city, when world champion ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine came to teach Jewish and Palestinian children to dance together and forget their enmity. Our German conversation group had read an article about this earlier and the film had a showing (one only) at Ottawa's Mayfair Cinema the other day. It would warrant a second view. Another film I could watch over and over again is Babette's Feast––I have the video at home and it merits a separate blogpost. So does the novel I'm currently rereading, Mr. Sammler's Planet by Saul Bellow.
|Ottawa's War Museum from the bike path|
The sky this week is a glorious blue and the leaves are changing colour. Life moves on. I must cook some supper for Chris. Our son arrived at the gate in Toronto airport this evening, having sat through a night and a day all the way from SYD. Our daughter has just reached home in London after flying back from Helsinki.