Lakeside Life

Basically, it’s boats, fishing and water…





Whitby Shores, Whitby, Ontario

By Aisha Ashraf

An autistic Irish immigrant in a cross-cultural marriage, Aisha Ashraf is the archetypal outlander, writing to root herself through place and perspective. Published in The Rumpus, The Maine Review, River Teeth, HuffPost and elsewhere, her work explores the legacy of trauma, the nature of being an outsider and the narrow confines of belonging. She currently lives in Canada.


  1. LOVE the photos. I grew up in New York state, loving the Finger Lakes and lake life in general. Then we started going to beaches on the East Coast and I became a huge beach fan. I’ve since come to realize that I don’t think I’d do well in a place without water. (That makes the Netherlands ideal, ha!) My husband spent summers on Cape Cod, so we get back there now and again. Growing up, I equated further north with colder water, so it’s great to see so many people out enjoying water life. My children have never been to a cottage on a lake – so sad given how much of my childhood was spent there.

    1. Thanks Linda, glad you like them, I have a lot of fun taking them. I’m like you, I have always lived near water, whether it was rivers in Ireland and various parts of England, or the sea when I when I studied in Portsmouth. There’s something very grounding about being near water, maybe because it reminds us that there are mediums where we don’t hold the superior position, it forces us to respect the bigger picture. A bit like being an expat in some ways, wouldn’t you say!
      Some people I speak to won’t swim in Lake Ontario, claiming it’s too cold. They are used to the warmer lakes (further north 😉 ) in cottage country. But I’ve swum in the sea and rivers back in the UK and THAT is cold!!! Maybe your next holiday destination should be a lakeside cottage, you can tell your kids about your childhood and ensure you don’t regret not sharing something so integral to who you are with them.

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