Susan Says

Welcome to “Susan Says”… this isn’t your usual blog it is just a chance to share ideas and get some feedback,so send me an email with your comments and we’ll talk.”Susan Says” allows me to share information and ideas when I think it’s relevant or it might be helpful. You know, sometimes it’s just better to get it off your chest than keep it all bottled up inside.  It’s also a good way to share the good news and contrary to popular belief or mainstream media sites – there’s lots of good news out there. Whether (you) the reader are of the same mind remains to be seen.  The messages will change on a fairly regular basis because I have ideas all the time and I share well.If you have something you’d like to add then feel free to email me at susan@susanmcelroy.com.I’d love to hear from you.

Supporting Toys for Tots

Posted by on 12-12-15 in Blog | Comments Off

TRY Recycling is a name well known to Londoners.

The company is a leader in recycling and waste management but it is also a company with a heart.

This year will mark the 3rd annual Toys for Tots drive.

Check out the link below to see how and why they participate.  Help if you can.

Cheers, Susan

TRY Elves and TOYS for TOTS

 

 

 

 

March And What We’ve Been Up To

Posted by on 3-03-15 in Blog | Comments Off

Old East Village BIA Shegelman Poster #1

Okay – so it’s March 9th and I just wanted to give you a quick update on what we’ve been doing. Yes it was a long cold winter but there was no hibernating. A new magazine designed and written just for the residents of London’s Old South – aptly named – Your Old South, was launched in January and the second issue is now in the hands of readers. The publication has been well received and seems to fit nicely into the niche that is “local”. Buy local and now read local. Community news and especially good news has always been a draw for people. Neighbours like to know what their neighbours are up to and who they are. Sometimes the information is quite surprising and interesting – even motivating.

London has a number of well known and vibrant neighbourhoods. The Old East Village is another part of the city where I get to be involved and the second in a series of three posters created by Simon Shegelman will soon be unveiled. The first is posted here. Those who travel Queens Ave on a regular basis may have seen it in a large format on the new signage for the Queens Ave parking lot – just east of Adelaide. Copies of the poster are up in the OEV and Western seems to have embraced the artwork. It truly is amazing. Watch for the next one…coming soon.

Take care and be assured spring is coming.

Cheers, Susan

Merry Christmas 2014

Posted by on 12-12-14 in Blog | Comments Off

Santas in a Can - what says Christmas more - made with love and looked upon with joy everyday.

Merry Christmas

Yes, it’s been quite a while since I’ve seen you here but things have been very busy. I wanted to take the time to wish you a very Merry Christmas and even though it’s two days before Christmas and I’m wildly busy I knew I had to make the time. So – home or away remember it’s about giving, and loving and joy. Check out the photo and article on the London Community News site. 500 turkeys from Chapman’s Pharmacy. This was a great event and what Christmas spirit is all about. You have to be diggin’ the hat too – way to go Shamez.

I’ve make a resolution to be back here more in the New Year so I hope you join me. Have a wonderful, happy and safe Christmas.

Cheers, Susan

Forced Winter Solitude – ENDS

Posted by on 4-04-14 in Blog | Comments Off

It’s been an interesting winter to say the least.  I don’t have to tell most of you what it’s been like – if you live anywhere in Canada you’ve experienced it firsthand.

What is brilliant is the affect the sunshine has had on us – even just the few days of it.  I love it and that’s probably why we have seasons – so we can wake up and realize why we’re here and what’s enjoyable.

So – welcome to Spring.

I also have a short list of things to consider doing in the next several weeks and months –

If you like music then you might want to take in the Jack Richardson Awards – next Sunday night – 13th – at the London Music Hall.  Admission is free and the line-up of performers is spectacular.  It starts at 7 pm. – 10th anniversary.
Featured artists include the black frame spectacle, ( I love these guys) John Noubarian, Sonja GustafsonMarcellus WallaceThe NicestThe MarriedsSarah Smith Music, and Garth Hudson from “The Band”. Yes people – the BAND and if you say “what band” you stay home.

Here’s a link to the details.

https://www.facebook.com/events/797935230220809/

 

  • or consider getting your tickets for the St. Joseph’s Hospice fundraiser – on June 18th.   It’s being held at the Best Western Lamplighter from 6 – 9 pm.  The hospice provides care to those who are dying and to their family members.  It’s not a hospital setting – but a hospice and if you’ve not been in that place yet – where someone you love or care about needs help in the final stages and days of their life – then good – but you may be someday. And for those who need the support it’s a remarkable service.

I’ve got a link here too – besides – most of you could use a new handbag.

http://www.sjhospicelondon.com/?i=12013&mid=1000&id=404824

 

The Aeolian El Sistema children’s orchestra continues to perform and amaze. The next stage appearance is tomorrow night at 6 p.m. – at the Aeolian Hall – Dundas and Rectory Street.  Admission is by donation and if you go be prepared to be enthralled and inspired.  It’s a perfect mix – kids and music and community.

www.aeolianhall.ca

 

Great April lineup of talent.  I’ve got tickets to Cindy Church at the end of the month.

 

And while we’re in the Old East Village you should consider taking in Musical Chairs on Saturday night at the St. Regis Tavern.  Local musicians supported by family, friends, neighbours and a growing fan base.  Who knew but this little bar gets rockin’ every Saturday night – and take money for the “pie” raffle. You’ll be glad you did.

 

Palace Theatre – presenting Queen Milli of Galt – May 15th – 24th

http://www.palacetheatre.ca/

 

And on the 19th – it’s a double feature – Monty Python – Life of Brian – the Meaning of Life.

 

Get out of the house – go somewhere and do something.

 

Visit friends – put your coat on a BBQ for your neighbours.  Break out your guitar or turn the stereo up really loud and dance around.

 

It’s Spring!

 

First week of September REMINDERS

Posted by on 9-09-13 in Blog | Comments Off

Took myself outside for this Susan Says and just about dropped everything – you’ll see what I mean – but no damage done. Just wanted to reminder everyone that it’s Western Fair time and if you haven’t been in awhile you should think about going. We’re fortunate to have such a GREAT fair in the heart of our uptown district. It’s still where city meets country and where else can you “whack a mole”? The Western Fair runs for 10 days – starting the first Friday in September – the 6th.

Go – have some FUN and some FAIR food, which might actually be better fare than you expect.

Then I wanted to encourage you to make a trip to see the Stephen Watson Memorial Mural. This is an outstanding and certain one of a kind art piece. It’s absolutely gigantic too and I’m not going to tell you about the big red squid – oh I guess I did. You’ve got to see this for yourself and when you do please think about how enriched we are by not only the art piece, but also by those who created it. There’s a real story to this mural and some tremendous storytellers behind the scenes. Check out some of the background here.

Then get downtown and see this for yourself. Take your camera or cell phone because you’re going to want a photo! It’s on Dundas – south side of the street – between Richmond and Clarence. Actually the west wall of the Arts Project. You can see it from King Street – in fact you can see it from just about anywhere down there. Did I mention it was BIG.

That’s about it for today. I promise I’ll watch the lighting for the next edition of Susan Says, but I just needed to get outside.

Cheers, Susan

Work in Progress - you should see it now!

 

 

 

Susan Says “What do you say?”

Posted by on 7-07-13 in Blog | Comments Off

We’re going to take a step in a new direction today and instead of you listening to me “Say” something, I’m going to ask you to tell me what you’d like to talk about. What’s on your mind? What do you like? Who’s driving you crazy or making your life better? Let’s talk about music or the man in the moon.

It’s been a while since we’ve chatted and I’ve missed the time on my soap box, but recently I watched a documentary about how the internet can really connect us to each other. The idea got me thinking about how I use this page and the internet in general and I realized this has been a one-way street. It’s not the best use of the medium and there’s so much more out there that we could discover and should discover. So, “what do you want to say” about anything.

Please tell me and you can do so in an email to susan@susanmcelroy.com – send me a video or an audio file. Send me a photo or an essay. You send them and I’ll share them.

Oh, and stay cool – it’s hot out there – so stay cool.

Cheers, Susan

End of May and Outside

Posted by on 5-05-13 in Blog | Comments Off

Well, it’s a been a while since I did a Susan Says and this one is just off the cuff.  It’s also the first time I ventured outside but the opportunity to work in the sunshine – in the outdoor office was too good to miss.  I apologize for the rambling nature of this Susan Says but maybe the nice weather has gone to my head and of course it’s Friday too.

Have a great weekend and I hope to see you at the Old East Village Annual Sidewalk Sale – tomorrow – Saturday, June 1st.

I also wanted to remind everyone that the London Cares Curbside Food Drive is coming up.  Check your recyling calendar for your day and take part.  It’s easy.  Just take non-perishable food items and place them in a bag.  Tie the bag with a bright coloured ribbon and set the donation near your Blue Boxes.  The person on the recycling truck or volunteers will stop and pick up the bag and take it to the London and Area Food Bank.

It’s easy and it’s a great way to support those in your community who need some extra help.

 

Cheers, Susan

Merry Christmas 2012

Posted by on 12-12-12 in Blog | Comments Off

Susan Says – Christmas 2012
Welcome to Susan Says – Christmas edition 2012. For those of you who have been coming to the site for awhile you will of course recognize the official Christmas stocking cap. I mean it can’t be Christmas without bells and lights and tinsel – although with Coach around we forgo the tinsel for obvious reasons.
I want to begin by wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season and a very Merry Christmas. I did make a very courageous and valiant effort to get cards out to everyone this year, but it just isn’t going to happen. Look for my special greetings in the New Year.
I was thinking about what I wanted to say this year and most of it was pretty standard fare and standard at Christmas is good – because it includes Peace on Earth and Joy to the World and warm wishes and the Yule Log channel, but I was hoping to be a bit more inspirational and then it came to me. I was posting on the Celebrate London website when I realized there was actually a gift I could give in this Susan Says.
So – here we go – no fancy wrapping paper or red bows – instead I’m going to give you a list of places, people and events that you can enjoy over the next 12 months. I believe London has a great deal to celebrate. Every day I meet people who are interesting and funny and engaging and making a positive difference in their community – in our community.
In 2013 I want you to make an effort to see your city on foot and in person. Get out of your house and out of your car and really see who and what’s out there for you. Have some fun at the grassroots level – on the street – with your family or friends. Get involved in your neighbourhood.
Here goes – my gift begins with this statement “In 2013 I am going to… (you get to say this aloud)

1. Get out of my home at least once a week and walk for an hour. The direction doesn’t matter, nor the destination but you have to get out and see where you live. Go the same way each time and pick a spot to take a photo. At the end of the year you’ll have 52 pictures of the same thing but it won’t be the same. Or take a different route each time and find the back streets and alleys or avenues that you’ve never seen before or maybe there’s a great green space waiting for you.
2. Pick a park and have a picnic. You can do this by yourself or you can bring a someone or someone(s) along. When was the last time you had a picnic? I mean a real picnic – planned and organized to be an event. London has an unbelievable network of parks and green spaces. You can find one near you or you can search out the one farthest from where you live. It’s totally up to you but make it special. And speaking of green spaces – have you been to the Westminster Ponds area or the Sifton Bog? I’m not crazy in asking because it’s easy to know where they are and just as easy to have never been.
3. Go to the Western Fair. Now this is optional for those who attend on a regular basis, but if it’s been awhile – then it’s time to go back to the Fair. Don’t make excuses – just go and enjoy. We take too many things for granted and we don’t celebrate them enough. The Fair really has something for everyone. Personally I haven’t been for a few years but the “Whack a Mole” is definitely calling my name. I don’t do rides – but watching others spin in circles is always fun and the agriculture exhibits are grounding. I do come from the farm originally and nothing smells as warm and wonderful as a cow. Just saying – not all of you will get that but those that do – will know exactly what I mean. Huge brown eyes and the sweet smell of hay are what cows are made of.
4. Go to the theatre or Orchestra London. This one is also optional – choose musicians or thespians . Whether it’s the Grand or the Palace or maybe a high school production the choice is yours to make but get yourself in an audience and watch a performance. Once again, London has an outstanding lineup of plays and theatrical events, music to feed your soul and if you’re missing them, it is your loss. Go. Enjoy. Experience. Celebrate.
5. Make certain I take someone to Banting House. Sir Frederick Banting was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work in diabetes research and the discovery of insulin. Banting House is located at the corner of Queens and Adelaide Street. There is plenty of parking right behind or bike racks and the buses run beside it every day. Dr. Banting was an extraordinary man. He was a Canadian that is known around the world and people pilgrimage to London to see what is London’s only National Historic Site. Banting House is a treasure for Londoners. If you have never been – GO. If you have been – take someone who hasn’t and when you are finished the tour take a moment to sit in the outside garden.
6. Go the Aeolian Hall. Now you might make this a double event with number four and a musical experience will be exceptional at the Aeolian. The acoustics will take your breath away and the character of the building is alive. This is a treasure and if all you have ever done is drive by then you must stop and go in. Do it. You can find a complete list of events and community programming – (yes, it is much more than a home for folk singers) on the website –
www.aeolianhall.ca
7. Go to the markets – yes markets – plural. Start with the Covent Garden Market in the heart of downtown and make certain you go upstairs for the view of downstairs. The vibrancy of the vendor stalls should be seen in person. Browse – buy something and if it’s in the winter – take you skates and spin around the open air rink. Then – pick another day and make your destination the Western Fair Farmers Market. Two markets – two experiences and great food, produce and people at both. Do both levels again and if you’re a coffee lover stop at the Fire Roasted Café on the second level. Pick a flavour from the Fair Trade products and sit back and sip. Perfect for a Saturday – but the coffee guys are open during the week.
8. Visit a neighbourhood I know nothing about. The city of London has a Neighbourgood Guide – you can find it on the city website, so if you can’t find a neighbourhood – it will help you out. The Guide lists special spots and hidden gems that are tucked away. Restaurants – businesses and community events. Trick is here you have to get out of your car once you arrive. Stroll – remember stroll – it’s closely related to saunter and there’s no caloric burn involved just a chance to see something new and connect with your community.
9. Hang a Canadian flag for July 1st or I am going to an event – maybe the Forks of the Thames or a neighbourhood celebration. I am going to be a noticeably proud Canadian in some way shape or form. People come from all around the world to be Canadian – what do they know that I don’t. Canada is a wonderful country. I am going to tell people I love being a Canadian – and if I can’t say that with meaning – I am going to the atlas to find an alternate place to call home and start the paperwork for emigrating.
10. Find another ten things to celebrate about my city – my home. I’m going to stop complaining (when I find myself doing that) and I’m going to replace the whining with a positive statement. And if I believe there are improvements to be made I am going to be active in making them. I will be engaged in my community – in my life – and I will be thankful that I can be.

So there – that’s my gift – if you’ve made it to the end of the list you won’t actually have a list that ends and that’s kind of the idea here.
I wish you a happy, safe and wonderful Christmas season. – oh, and try to see the lights in Victoria Park before they shut them off – it’s a great stroll opportunity and the children LOVE ringing the bell on the train. I wondered if the parks department sent someone to remove it every night at 11 – so they won’t break the downtown noise by-law – maybe not. Oh – and the festivals in the summer – you’ve got to go to at least one – and when the 2013 World Figure Skating Championships are on you should get downtown and see how many people you can meet who are from somewhere else. Be friendly and polite – work the stereotype.
And Artfusion in the Citi Plaza – local artists – so much talent – you can find them online too – I’m just getting started – trust me all you have to do is look up and you’ll find something to keep you busy and amaze you – take a walk at the university – and we have a cultural community that is bursting – do something ….
Merry Christmas and to all a good night.

Cheers, Susan

Quantum Nano Centre and Us

Posted by on 9-09-12 in Blog | Comments Off

You will have to watch the video today because I didn’t have time to write the script version.  I would encourage you to check out the University of Waterloo’s Quantum Nano Centre – Stephen Hawking is there today, or at least they were expecting him.

AND you should also take a minute to connect with Western University’s Engineering School and its Nanotechnology Group. Find out about Dr. Sun and his team.  We’ve got something to celebrate here too.

If I get a chance I’ll drop back and just put in the links.

The news is very exciting because this research will take us to the next level of small and intuitive.

Cheers, Susan

Stupid Parents

Posted by on 7-07-12 in Blog | Comments Off

Susan Says – Bike Trailers and Kids
Hi and welcome to Susan Says – July 4th.
Today I have a question – Why is it that in this country children MUST be strapped into safety seats until they are – oh about 12 years of age – when riding IN a vehicle of any description, but it is perfectly LEGAL to drag them on the roadway – three inches off the ground in a plastic bowl – as long as said Tupperware container is being towed by a bicycle?
What are the parents thinking when they sit their beloved child – the light of their life – the human being they would most likely give their life for – in a plastic dish with wheels and drive through traffic. These poor innocents sit right beside vehicle tires – inches from what could easily be a sure death, while Mom or Dad peddles through traffic – saving the environment-, seemingly oblivious to the fact that their offspring has virtually NO PROTECTION from any sort of impact. Really, how much baby do you think is going to be left if that container gets whacked by a car or truck or good forbid one of those electric bikes that people can now ride on the road without any license or training?
I’ve dropped a picture on the blog post to illustrate what I’m talking about and I understand many people use them on bike trails or paths and good for you, but we’ve all seen them on the streets and I know the people tugging the kids behind their bike are the same people who have spent $500 on the perfect car seat – baby protector for their vehicle. They’ve read the warnings and the safety instructions – they’ve installed it correctly and when they drive to Baby Baby Baby retail outlets one of them rides in the back beside the kid – just to make certain nothing happens. They put little stickers on their car indicating “Baby On Board”. The thought of a child unrestrained in a vehicle gives them nightmares and cold sweats but the images of squished baby under the wheel of a Prius just doesn’t enter their mind as they take to the streets on a bike made for one and a trailer of death tagging along behind them.
Oh, yeah – and they put helmets on the kids in the plastic bubble. What’s that for? Do they really expect baby brains won’t end up on the pavement when the cube van inadvertently runs up and over that cute little tag along thing?
In this day and age of the “nanny state” , where we are all required to be saved from ourselves because we obviously lack any intelligence or common sense to make good decisions, why haven’t the geeks who make the rules figured this one out?
Would you stand your child in the roadway and just hope the cars and trucks drove around them? Would you not envision the chance that a vehicle might swerve unexpectedly or not even see the little person. This tiny trailer you’re pulling is a death trap because the damn thing doesn’t sit more than two feet off the ground. If you’re parked beside a car the driver can see you – the cyclist – but they can’t see the BABY sitting on the ground – oh and sometimes they even put TWO kids in the little bowl. Must be they have life insurance on the little things and they’re hoping for a big payday.
What is it they say? Oh – “shit happens”, well “shit happens” people and it’s just a matter of time before someone’s kiddie is squashed into baby goo simply because they have stupid parents. It might be Darwinism and ultimately the best if the offspring of these idiots don’t see 3 years of age. However, the survival of the fittest isn’t fair to the child or to the poor bastard who’s at the wheel when baby becomes mush.
That’s the image I want you to take away from this – baby blood and guts everywhere – because that’s what will be the outcome when the baby trailer gets run over by the big bad car.
I expect people who use these ridiculous contraptions on the roadways have never actually seen what happens to bodies when they meet unexpectedly with oh, say a ton or two of moving metal. There’s no such thing as a little bump between the human and a vehicle and sitting at tire level is extremely dangerous. Squish – that’s the word for today – squish goes the baby. Oh, hey – think dead squirrel or skunk on the road – that’s what we’re talking about.
Now, I’ve taken to shouting at parents when I see them on the roads with their kids in these contraptions. It’s my road rage and I make no apologies for it – someone has to speak up for these helpless tykes. I usually yell – “Don’t you love your child” or “Are you nuts – get your kid off the road”. I get nasty stares and they usually peddle faster but I hope they eventually get a chance to think about the words they heard from the complete stranger who was not afraid to shout – yes in public – shout at them.
So – if you have one of these ridiculous things and you use it on the roadway STOP. If you know someone – STOP THEM and if you see someone using one in traffic – please take the time to roll down the window and shout at them. Get their attention and make them think – if that’s possible because I’ve come to the conclusion that they must actually be brain dead already.

Cheers, Susan

 

Simply insert baby or small child and ride carefree down the busy roadway. Warning: Should child trailer come in contact with another moving vehicle infant death will occur and may be immediate. It will definitely be messy.