ROUND AND ROUND By Axel Conradi (a poem)



Axel Conradi



Why do I force you to residential schools
for holding to myths not my own?
Why do I jail you in re-education camps
for calling Urumqi and Mecca home?

Why do I shackle my neighbour
never again to be loose?
Why do I choke him with my knee
as if it were a noose?

Why do I herd you onto trains
to places with Polish names?
Why do I prostitute for “comfort”
deny it and not take blame?

Why must I label you Infidel
if I answer the muezzin’s call?
Why must I seize the land of Jordan
by keening at the Western Wall?

Why do I rampage on Shiva’s behalf
if rumours have fouled my well?
Why must my Trinity be The Answer
and others be doomed to Hell?

Why do I travel down a road
of endless dead-end streets?
Why do I march round and round
when my heart knows where to meet?

By: Axel Conradi




Axel Conradi


No one’s talking, only tweeting

Traffic’s crawling, drugs are killing
But the birds still sing, my friends surround me
It will be alright, it will be alright

I don’t know why, I don’t know when
It may be in the here-and-now
It may be in the afterlife
I’ll cast my vote for the present tense
Because the future’s looking sketchy

Forests burning, ice caps melting
My head is pounding, my brain rebelling
But the birds still sing, my friends surround me
It will be alright, it will be alright

I don’t know why, I don’t know when
It may be in the here-and-now
It may be in the afterlife
I’ll cast my vote for the present tense
Because the future’s looking sketchy

Clans are stirring, the kids are marching
A virus spreading, people dying
But the birds still sing, my friends surround me
It will be alright, it will be alright

By: Axel Conradi


max 2



Max Bade


“And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven:

this travail has God given to the sons of man to be execercised therewith”.

Ecclesiastes I, 13

Essential Evolution and Nature of Science

In its simplest and etymological form, science means “knowledge”; “knowledge gained by methodical study”.

Even though mankind continuously has gathered “knowledge” over time through trial and error at first, and later through precept, “knowledge gained by study and reasoning” is of more recent origin.

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 Brian Northgrave





This is a brief history of the church my wife Valerie and I bought in January 1972 to live in with our three children, Ben 5, Stacey 3, and Beth 1, after some renovations to make an apartment in the church hall/basement.  The building had been up for sale for over a year, with a leaking roof, and some hymn books on the pews where the departing parishioners had left them.

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About JustOttawa, and How to become a Contributor

JustOttawa is a webpage newspaper featuring articles primarily by retirees and other friends living in Ottawa.

Our purpose

Our purpose is to showcase the writing talents of our contributors and to offer interesting reading. JustOttawa has no financial or editorial stake in what it publishes, since we are a volunteer, non-profit that welcomes opinions of all stripes.

We publish

Every few weeks we publish several new items which show up on the front page.  You can click on the contributor’s name in the column on the right of the front page and summaries of that author’s previous work appears.  Click on the title for the full article.

To keep up a good volume of published material, we are hoping that readers of JustOttawa will become contributors as well.

We hope you will think about it. A review of a restaurant, film, a holiday or whatever. Or a column on a subject close to your heart.  Think about adding some pictures.  Take a look at the material already on the website, it will give you some ideas.

Remember, JustOttawa is not looking for great works of literature, but just for material that would brighten the days of its readers.  We don’t plan to edit your material, but we will look it over to see if we think we might get sued.

Once you have written something the rest is easy.  Just email it as an attachment or simply in the text of your message to me at:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We would prefer the use of Word, but can normally manage with WordPerfect, and documents in RTF are easiest of all. Look forward to receiving your contributions. The pictures if any should be sent in separate emails.

All the best, Brian Northgrave



Now that I am an old woman I know that wearing purple, with a red hat Is nothing but spitting in the wind. True courage involves realism and facing facts. Yes, I can eat three pounds of sausages at a sitting, But my outraged guts will soon tell me who’s boss! When I suffer the pains of an inflated stomach, Mind over matter is never an option. It is hard to witness the blunting of a needle-sharp mind, And the slow disintegration of a formerly agile body, But if reality is not faced and counter-measures taken Then the process speeds up and spirals out of control. I must accept the need to write everything down, And the knowledge that facts sometimes defy instant retrieval. The filing system is ancient and clumsy, Its wheels turn slowly and the mechanisms creak. Even if I spend my money on satin sandals and bikinis Instead of buying old-woman’s shoes for swollen feet, And figure-concealing garments to hide sagging flesh, I nevertheless remain, inexorably senescent, And no amount of bravado Will miraculously resurrect the tautness of youth. Stiffening joints cannot mimic quicksilver movements. The aging body is no more flexible than the aging brain. Today the arms held out to me are to prevent a stumble, To bestow an occasional hug, or the affectionate kiss, Because for the old, the former glory days are over Even if the blood runs hot and the dreams are still fiery. I watch the exploits of youth while I sprawl like a beached whale… Women today have freedoms I never knew, But they are beyond my dwindling reach as the sands run out, So I agonize helplessly against "the dying of the light". I am essentially an old woman fighting the frailties of age, Hoarding the wisdom and experience of my years Within a cynical and enquiring mind more vigorous than my body. Buttressed by pills, patches, and prosthetics I delay the inevitable, And walk the treadmill of diminishing returns, While the landscape of my future darkens and recedes. A resigned acceptance is the only logical philosophy. Certainly wearing purple with a red hat would change nothing….. Valerie Simmons © 13th February, 2005

Valerie Simmons was 84 years old when she wrote this, and had been publishing on an amateur basis for several years.


REPAIRS/RENOVATIONS By Don Caldwell (Article)


don caldwell

Don Caldwell

Ah, renovations. What a wonderful word. It conjures up notions of fantasy - a promise of change to newness within the context of your already comfortable, if somewhat outdated but happy existence, with dispatch and little or no pain. After all its not like your are starting from scratch – building a new house or garden. You already have the house and garden. You are simply going to make a few improvements - upgrade some elements, add some new ones, sand a little woodwork, dab a bit of paint, hang some wallpaper, throw down a new carpet, install some new appliances, widen a doorway, throw in a nice Jacuzzi tub. And, you are going to get it all done in a week-end or two so that you can get back to the important things in life - golf, entertaining, grandchildren, golf, holidaying in the Caribbean, golf.

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PROFILE OF OTTAWA By Suzanne Fortey (Article)

Suzanne Fortey
ne ForteyOttawa in Profile

Ottawa, for most Canadians, conjures up images of Parliament buildings, of the longest skating rink in the world, of the site of many of our national institutions such as the Supreme Court of Canada, the National Gallery and foreign embassies. Visitors to the Capital region are also impressed by its beautiful natural setting with the Ottawa, Rideau and Gatineau rivers flowing through it against the backdrop of the Gatineau Hills. Plenty of parklands, waterways and greenspace adorn it, with extensive walking and bike paths. In Ottawa, the two founding cultures of Canada meet and interact, contributing to the making of a vibrant community. Formerly known as a government town, it is now also known as a high tech centre with the number of technology workers rivaling that of the government sector. All of these factors play a part in making Ottawa a great place to live.

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