Susan D in Ottawa, Canada: The Queen’s birthday weekend

20 May

We jumped straight from snow flurries and frost warnings last week to summer on the long Victoria Day weekend – we celebrate not on her actual birthday, but the Monday before.  The 24th of May is also the day that it is safe to plant one’s garden without fear of frost killing off new plantings.  The tulip festival that usually culminates on the weekend was cancelled for COVID safety, but the tulips didn’t know so they are all out in their glory with no busloads of visitors to appreciate their beauty this year.  

The population came out in number on the weekend.  The little park behind our house was full of people picnicking on blankets, playing Frisbee, tightrope walking, climbing trees – all enjoying the weather and themselves, and mostly, but not always, keeping the required safe two-metre distance from other groups.  There were more people than we remember seeing in the park.  Our street was also full of people walking and talking, riding but not driving; some ignoring the distancing requirement.  Sitting on the front porch one evening, we watched two young girls who were at safe distance talking as they sailed up the street on their scooters, and we watched as they came around the block again and again and again, until we lost count.  They looked so happy to be sprung from wherever they have been confined.

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