a peek inside the fishbowl

21 Sep, 2007

When the very nice turns very sour

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

I sat on the sand, overlooking the water at Westboro Beach yesterday afternoon. It was around 4:00. This is my favourite time of day, when the suns moves through the sky on its way down, subtly enhancing the colour of the world around us, giving everything a warm tone that makes ordinary things shine. And at 4 p.m., after a day of heating the sand underneath my feet, the sun was still giving off enough warmth to make sitting there totally blissful.

I was pleased to see the restaurant was still open. This was good. We’d planned to have dinner there. Mark was to meet us after work. As I sat there on the beach I decided that we were going to avoid the patio this time around. From my vantage point it looked like there were a few too many smokers and solitary cellphone users (why do they have to speak so loudly?). There was another group of loud talkers too. Ugh. These things would take away from the experience of eating outdoors in such a pretty setting. So we were going to eat on the beach, sand be damned.

As I sat there, looking out over the river, I keeping thinking to myself:

omg this is so beautiful.
this is so beautiful.
this is so beautiful.

The water was almost perfect, like a mirror. The sky was clear and blue. The occasional duck floated by with effortless paddling. The girls played on the shoreline with their buckets and shovels. They skipped rocks. Sarah found a piece of lakeweed and discovered it could be used as a substitute skipping rope.

There were only about a dozen people at the beach, half of whom were horizontally-aligned for maximum sun exposure. Their skins were almost uniformly auburn (clearly, these were regular tanners), and they looked so relaxed it was almost as if they didn’t have any bones, and their bodies were becoming one with the towels and beach chairs.

We live so near, yet we don’t take advantage of this spot nearly enough.

I felt like standing up and shouting: I’m alive! I’m alive!
But I didn’t.

Little did I realize that all of this beauty and reverie was soon to be ruined by three paunchy, middle-aged, idiots. (Continued here.)

4 Responses to "When the very nice turns very sour"

1 | The Veggie Vixen

September 21st, 2007 at 11:40 am


Don’t leave us hanging…

2 | D. Smith

September 21st, 2007 at 11:48 am


Wow, if they had been slim and young would those adjectives have preceded the word ‘idiots’? Just curious…

3 | andrea

September 21st, 2007 at 1:06 pm


D. Smith – if they were young and slim idiots I would have described them as young and slim idiots. I am trying to paint a picture here. And if it helps to further illustrate:

1) Paunchy guy #1 – greying hair, big belly, black shirt (open about halfway) with black pants.
2) Paunchy guy #2 – similar to above
3) Paunchy guy #3 – pauchy AND shirtless

4 | Sharon

September 21st, 2007 at 3:56 pm


Sooo What happened/

And by the way I’m trying that Roasted beet recipe tonight. Can’t wait!

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (24) and Sarah (22). During the day I work as a writer at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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