mitchellirons

rough notes

Lookouts.

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I should post this before I forget to. Or before it becomes pointless.

I can see the container terminals in the harbour from my bedroom window. The bathroom window affords a better look, but I reserve those moments for the time that I choose to look to to sea.

Watching the action at the container terminals is interesting. From so far away, the trains, ships, people and Big Huge Steel Mechanical Cantilevers And post-panamax Crane things look like insects scurrying about a garden, going about their day moving things here and there in search of food and security. Even in the dead of winter, one finds movement on the docks, too. Wintertime is actually far more interesting, especially in the evening. That’s when the entire quarter lights up in a halogen glare. That haze is reminiscent of the light that comes off the steel factorys’ light in Hamilton Harbour in the night time. But this one is a bit more pure, and less stinky. The Halifax terminals exist for the shipment of raw goods and resources to and from Europe. Also the odd imported car and terrorist.

It is interesting, and also sad, to realize that the terminals here in Halifax, and others in Montreal, directly serve half the nation. Man, it all starts **here**. Sadly, though, it then all travels **there**, to where I used to live. And the small number of berths, wharfs, etc, are indicators of the small size of our large nations. There are around 20 berths, three container terminals, and I think around 12-14 cranes. And all of that is supposed to hit the trains for the interior. Numbers and modes of travel like that make me want to read Two Solitudes again, that classic rock of CanCon, to better understand our young nation.

If the view from the bedroom window sets me off into inward contemplation and my place in the nation, then the bathroom window drives home a completely opposite effect. Just couple feet away from the bedroom window, the bathroom window is set of by just enough to give a better vantage point towards the harbour approaches. YOu can get a clear sight of the Big island (McNab’s, I think) in the harbour, and you can see some of the old naval defenses on there. On a clear day, you can see for MILES! And its absolutely stunning in the early evening at sunset. There is so much navy blue out there. That’s what it is to me, So Much Navy Blue. Having grown up beside an inland sea, I know a bit about water and marine traffic, but when the the waters break collide with the horizon, as they do here beside the ocean, then the romanticist historian in me really comes alive. I live in an imaginary world, a land of make believe – my life plays out like a comic book at times, its how I see the world. But when I look out on the water in the late afternoon and think about “the way things were,” I suppose, well then, that’s when I can sincerely picture 18th century heavy frigates and sloops coming into the harbour or passing out to sea. Picturing the ships and thinking about the time, that’s when I realize how bloody isolated HM’s sailors, soldiers and officers stationed in Halifax must have been. Its bad enough to think about the winter weather out here without first how **empty**, yet vital, this pocket of the world would have been.

Anyhow, I’ve been meaning to post this since about February, when the snow was high and the cold wind wouldn’t fricken let up. But now, I’m about to give up my views of the water in the name of more space. We’re moving to the place beside us (same landlord, different building), into a two-bedroom unit with more room. its a good trade-off in the end, I assure you, and am looking forward to it. I’ll mention more details at a later date. Right now, all the news that is fit to print is the fact that ultimately The Chancery is moving once again. Come July, we’ll relocate out of the current digs in John Silver House, into the new S**********y Wing in the building beside it. Proper names and honours are still being established, updates to follow.

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Written by mitchellirons

May 6, 2004 at 8:29 pm

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