Women’s March

Kelowna, BC, Canada was one of the cities that participated in rallying to support the Women’s March on Washington, DC on Saturday, January 21, 2017.


I am so grateful to live in a conscious, caring, aware community that exercises our freedom to voice thoughts, ideas and concerns, safely in public.


I have a lot of respect and gratitude for the willingness of Beth Farrell and Alison Moore to take the lead on this event, and for organizing it so well. It’s the movers and shakers like you that make it easy for the rest of us to just show up.


Thank you to all the speakers who shared their words of inspiration, their personal experiences and insights, to make us all understand better, and feel more connected in a purposeful way.

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(See many more photos in my Women’s March album on Facebook.)

I appreciate the thought-provoking and eloquent words shared today. I’m still processing my personal ‘calls to action’. In this photo below, I think Alison captures what many of us felt: freedom to proudly and safely express who we are, what we think, and how we’d like to change the world.



Women’s March © January 21, 2017 | Annie Zalezsak

#womensmarch, #whyimarch


My Long Shadow

My long shadow treks
on speckled decks.
With arched-over neck
I write my texts.

By empty fountains
my long shadow stands.
Between two mountains
I mull over plans.

My bold shadow rises
on mock sails I ride
in shadow disguises
I abide in pride.

The sun flashes gazes
down on Bernard.
I finish my phrases.
I complete my regard.

My short shadow drifts
into dusk it shifts
blending so pretty
into anonymity.

My Long Shadow © March 10, 2014 | Annie Zalezsak

Buds Abound

Photo by Annie Zalezsak

Spring has arrived in Kelowna.
The ski rink disappeared
(I swear it was just there a minute ago).
Moo-Lix is now ice-cream-scooping.
Ogopogo is smiling brightly.
Mallard pairs eye me suspiciously,
guarding their planned parenthood.
It’s 10 degrees celsius
so people are wearing shorts.
I’m warm and unzip my coat,
but by the lake
I do it up again;
don my hat and gloves.
The wind still chills.
Tourist families dot the downtown.
Terriers still in tartan,
Marmaduke plods on a lazy leash,
black Lab dives after beach pebbles rippling the lake.
Buds abound
bringing promises of a new life
right in front of my home.
Inside, a little spider shuffles along my living room wall.
Ah, yes, it’s spring in Kelowna!
Spring has most certainly arrived.
I open my windows wide.
Hang on a minute while I fetch the spider outside.
“You’ll find it much nicer out on my balcony,” I tell him.
“Have a great day!” I say, as he scoots out of sight.

Buds Abound © March 9, 2014 | Annie Zalezsak

Toilet Wisdom

In a toilet stall of the women’s washroom at the Kelowna Library, I read these words of wisdom:

Look at the sky: that is for you. Look at each person’s face as you pass them on the street: those faces are for you. And the street itself, and the ground under the street, and the ball of fire underneath the ground: all these things are for you. They are as much for you as they are for other people. Remember this when you wake up in the morning and think you have nothing.

Beneath this, someone else wrote:


We can find inspiration everywhere!

Kelowna and Beyond

Photo by Annie Zalezsak

It just so happens…

It just so happens that I live in Kelowna. Was it pre-destined? Was it planned? Not quite. After years of living abroad, it was as likely a place as any other to land. So far, so good. The number of times I’ve heard locals call Kelowna “paradise” makes me feel pretty certain I’m in the right place. I think I’ll stay – at least until some other location calls my name.

One thing for sure…

One thing for sure is that I am a nomad at heart. Some may call it lack of commitment, or unwillingness to set down roots. It took me a long time to realize that I did not have to stay anywhere that no longer felt ‘right’. There comes a moment when all energy shifts and I simply have to move on to another place. It’s not running away. It’s not even seeking new adventure. It’s simply flowing with the energy that directs me. It’s like the wind blowing a leaf in some random and playful way. My purpose is simply to let it carry me and trust wherever it may land.

Transition from Merthyr Vale to Kelowna

Even though I’ll be back in Merthyr at some point, the pre-goodbye goodbyes were important. First, there was the announcement dinner with Canadian Jacquie’s family about 2 weeks before departure. Then on Friday the 9th of March 2012, there was “The Last Supper” with my former employers, Peter and Paul.

Zoe was there, too. Good laugh, great company!

On Saturday, Darren, Toby dog and I went for a lovely walk in Trelewis park, where we happened to see some Canada geese.

On Sunday, Viv came over to the house for a couple of hours to chat and help sort out some stuff.

She took a family photo of Darren, me, and Toby the dog.

Train to Gatwick

On Tuesday the 13th of March 2012, Darren drove me to Cardiff Central train station for the 12:25pm train to Gatwick Airport, via Reading. I arrived at Gatwick around 3:50pm and went straight to the Hilton Hotel, where I met my Loughton friend, Jacqui. We talked into the wee hours, as per usual, about anything and everything… after a filling dinner and a couple of drinks at an airport restaurant, of course! We reminisced about our trips to Portugal, and how life has changed for us in the last year.

We got up at 5:30am on Wednesday the 14th of March and Jacqui saw me off at the airport gate. It was sad, but at the same time, a healthy and happy look toward a new chapter in life.

Flying to Calgary

I usually fly with Canadian Affair, and I’m pleased they’ve gone back to using Air Transat as an airline. Much better than Thomas Cook. The service is excellent, and you don’t have to pay for soft drinks! I watched movies most of the way, but kept an eye out for the views. It was mostly cloudy over the UK and the Atlantic, but when we got over Greenland, wow oh wow!

Just so beautiful!

Leaving the coast of Greenland, it looked like glaciers on the water.

I was surprised to see snow over Alberta. Somehow, I thought it would be as mild as it had been in the United Kingdom.

When we made the descent into Calgary airport I was relieved to see that there was no snow there.

I took the airport shuttle to the Travelodge hotel near Sunridge Blvd for a few hours rest. My room had a view in the direction of downtown Calgary with the rocky mountains as a backdrop.

At 5pm, I met up with Genny and Jeannette for drinks and dinner at Tony Roma’s in Calgary’s northeast. (Genny had a pina colada, I had a blue martini.)

Jeannette had a red wine.

The following day, Thursday the 15th of March 2012, I headed out on the 10:30am flight with Westjet to the rocky mountain interior.

Despite the clouds, I could see some of the dramatic interior rocky mountain landscape as we flew over the Okanagan Valley.

I was still a bit dubious about whether we’ll still be having snow.

We made the descent into Kelowna Airport.

And landed safely in Kelowna.

I got an airport shuttle straight to the new apartment downtown. The apartment is very spacious. Apparently it’s 1200 square feet. It has a second washroom as an ensuite to the master bedroom, which I didn’t even know about!

It has a mountain view in the distance. (Everywhere you look in Kelowna, there is a mountain view!)

There’s a family of mallards that hang out just down the street. They make me smile! I also saw a car with a British Columbia license plate and a Cymru Wales dragon flag bumper sticker on it!

Exploring Downtown

A few short blocks down Bernard Avenue is the lake. I took this picture today, Sunday the 25th of March. It was only 5 degrees celsius, but there were people out walking in their flip flops and sandals, and others sitting outside cafes drinking their coffees. Typically Canadian!

It looks like visitors can take a short cruise on the lake.

There are some historical information boards on Kelowna.

I encountered the infamous Ogopogo (aka Nessie to the Scots).

Walking back on Bernard Street, I popped into a few of the boutiques that were open for a lazy Sunday afternoon trade.

Starting my second week at work tomorrow!