Friday, August 31, 2007

The Rogues are back

A number of people commented on missing the Rogue's Gallery so I found some places to put the photos. Being spread around I think it looks better this way.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Fern's fabulous dahlias

Fern brought over these great dahlias from her garden the other day.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Fashion Blogs

I've been enjoying this fashion blog of Richard's friends, Amber and Eve. They include lots of great photos and I'm also amazed at some of the super deals they pick up at thrift stores and other discount places. And they post regularly which is what makes blogs work.

Painfully Hip

And for the younger crowd here's a fashion blog that a daughter of a friend created. Elizabeth is doing a pretty amazing job too.

Pearls and Purses

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Itty Bitty Book Reviews

Two books I've read for bookclubs I'm in.

"The Line of Beauty" by Alan Hollinghurst

This won the Booker in 2004 which I thought was rather surprising because I really think you'd have to classify it as a novel written for the male gay community rather than mainstream literature. He writes wonderfully well and the last half is almost (not quite sure) worth slogging through all the very graphic gay sex in the first 200 pages. If I wasn't reading it for a bookclub I probably wouldn't have finished it. It is quite a fascinating portrait of class society of Britain in the Thatcher era. It should be an interesting discussion as I'm sure most of us in the bookclub aren't used to reading things this racy and so focussed on sex and coke snorting!

"Before I Wake" by Robert J. Wiersema

This book is quite a contrast as it is pretty much devoid of sex scenes of any persuasion and focussed on the spiritual and miracles. Quite a thriller, though, as well. He is a local Victoria writer and this is his first novel. Really quite good and I look forward to reading more of his work. I expect it will generate an interesting discussion as well given the subject matter.

Monday, August 27, 2007

John Denniston's Photo Blog

My cousin, John, a retired newspaper photographer has started a photo blog that he is posting to everyday. The photos are local...Vancouver or Saltspring usually and I've been enjoying them a lot. I can see a painting coming from today's photo which is of Active will, of course, be significantly transformed by the time I get finished with it! I was interested to learn that the name "Active Pass" comes from the name of a ship...I thought it was so named because the waters there seem very active in terms of churning tides, etc.

Take a look at John Denniston's Photo Blog

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A few more up Island photos

Kin Beach, Chemainus. I think we could have swum here but we were a little pressed for time before dinner.

I thought this was an excellent idea for a memorial to an art teacher in Chemainus. There were quite a number of these flower containers that students had painted.

Transfer Beach, Ladysmith. This looked like a great place to have a swim too.

The dog days of summer...Ladysmith.

I wonder how long this bowling alley will be around...they all seem to be going the way of the dodo.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Cowichan Bay and the Malahat

It's always fun to visit here and think how cool it would be to live on a houseboat for a while.

Cowichan Bay

This store always has some fun wind socks

This piece of driftwood looks like it swallowed a canary....

View from the Malahat

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Anything Goes

We were up in Chemainus to see the Cole Porter musical called Anything Goes. A fabulous production...Joelle Rabu is just outstanding and all the cast really. Great choreography, costumes...everything was first class. We enjoyed the new Best Western there as furnishings and bedding as good as you get at the Fairmont group in Vancouver and you don't have $30 a day plus tips for valet parking! In the rooms and also around the hotel they had great old black and white photos of the region and the industry. Some super vintage theatre posters as well around the hotel. We started with lunch in Cowichan Bay, dinner at the theatre of course, and lunch at the Malahat Mountain Inn on the way back...wonderful view to go with the mussels.

Renaissance Books from Victoria has relocated in Chemainus...a fine old store.

This is one of my favourite murals in Chemainus.

This is one of the tribute's to Fern's Uncle Charlie, the famous hermit in Chemainus
who created and maintained many trails in the Chemainus area.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Back to School

This is the time I kid my friends who are still teaching about the "Back to School" ads that start appearing in full force around this time. These always struck terror into me as I was forced to realize the lazy days of summer were ending. The edge of this little joke has been taken off with reading about the marketing of bulletproof backpacks.

Bulletproof Backpacks

Monday, August 20, 2007

A few more photos from Vancouver

We certainly lucked in with our weather last week in Vancouver. We had warm swims every day. Quite a change even the day we left and I had the heat on in the morning this morning in Victoria...a first for August and let's hope it's a last.

Aren't all bistros French?

Cupcake shop on Denman. I hadn't had a cupcake for a million years but these were absolutely yummy. Got 6 assorted minis for 5 bucks.

I was almost afraid to drive around Stanley Park after this winter's devastating storms but I was happy to see that the park isn't too much changed up until Prospect Point and then you really see how bad that part is right until Third Beach.

Reflection in Wall Centre...the new look of Vancouver.

Waldorf Hotel...the old look of Vancouver.

This was the best place for pizza when we were in university in the 60's. Would you believe the 2010 Olympic Committee wanted to force them to change their name because of infringement on the Olympic brand? The restaurant won their case in court.

We had a great round of golf at Quilchena Golf Course where Jim has a free reciprocal...I got in free too! Then off to Steveston for dinner before catching the ferry home.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Streets of Vancouver

We've had a lot of fun in Vancouver seeing family and old friends. We went to the Banana Leaf Restaurant with Richard last night and had their 7 course tasting menu....great Malaysian food and good atmosphere.

Store on Davie Street...more like we used to see only in Chinatown.

I can never resist sunflowers.

I loved the "sun windows".

Indian Buffet...under 10 bucks for dinner...looks good.

Fancy new trolley buses although I still love the old cream coloured B.C. Electric ones.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sunrise to Sunset on English Bay

This photo taken from our hotel room in the morning. Considering there's a garbage strike there is very little garbage around. People are being responsible and we also put somebody's else's garbage away at the beach yesterday. I passed the strikers by Joe Fortes Library...they don't look like happy campers.

View from the Sylvia. It was quite windy yesterday but the water was amazining warm...around 20 degrees C I would say. A great swim!

We walked along the seawall to see the sunset after a super Greek dinner at Maria's Taverna on Denman. Very busy at the restaurant even on a Monday. Because it was a good day for once according to the servers..poor Van and Vic with their weather this year. There seems to be an open mike for anyone on Mondays after 7pm...we heard a few songs and poems. I was pleased to catch the mountains in the background with the varying blues...I love it when they are like this.

A picture says a thousand words, n'est-ce pas?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Vancouver mon amour...

There's never anything quite like this view of English Bay with the freighters.

Entrance to the Sylvia Hotel...I'm so glad they preserved this hotel. We're enjoying our stay here and looking forward to walking across the street to go swimming in English Bay.

It wouldn't be the Sylvia without the ivy.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Congratulations Lillian and Stuart!

Our neighbours, Colin and Chrystal, organized a surprise 50th Wedding Anniversary celebration for Colin's parents. They had arranged for a piper to play, a llama to attend, and their arrival in a vintage police car...lots of fun!

Doesn't this llama look regal?

A wonderful old car.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

More of Fern's experiments with paint...

This is the view from her studio...I really like the way she caught the movement of the water.

Window Boxes in Verona

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Advance Reviews for the Huxley Letters

Jim was really pleased to receive these very positive advance reviews for the Huxley letters by pretty famous folks in the literary world. It's been a long difficult process and it's gratifying that the work is being appreciated.

And he received a very warm and gracious email from Laura Huxley. She is such a wonderful supporter!

From: []
Sent: Tue 07/08/2007 5:06 PM
To: James Sexton
Subject: Re: Selected Letters blurbs

Dearest Jim:

Again you have compiled a wonderful new volume of Aldous' work. I can't wait to read these letters.

Please send whatever you have in any form as soon as you can.

Thank you,


Jim discussing Huxley's work with Laura in her home in the Hollywood Hills.

Advance Reviews:

"Aldous Huxley’s letters represent a valuable contribution to literary history—and an entertaining one. They reflect his high seriousness, and the extraordinary range of his cultural interests; at the same time they abound in witty gossip and shrewdly observed social detail. They also reveal many unexpected aspects of his personality and his private life. The Huxley who emerges from these pages is both formidable and very human. He can sometimes be arrogant or wrong-headed, too—but that doesn't make him any less readable.”—John Gross

“A fascinating and revelatory glimpse into the mental engine room one of the twentieth-century’s most commanding men of letters. Huxley knew everybody, and everybody knew him: these letters provide a vital record of an extraordinary moment in Europe’s history as well as a portrait of an extraordinary man. A volume as entertaining as it is illuminating.”—Roger Kimball

“These newly published letters of Aldous Huxley are like the discovery of buried treasure. It is as if some leading figure from the Age of Enlightenment had survived into the present. Expressing himself so naturally and often wittily in these letters, he sets a lasting example of intelligence and humanity.”—David Pryce Jones

Fish are jumpin...

We had our traditional fish supper with our neighbours, the Bings, last night. Once again, Chris got his limit of halibut and salmon and lots of crabs. As usual, Chris was very generous in sharing his fish with us so we'll be enjoying salmon for a while. I forgot to take a picture last night...we were all pretty busy getting the fish vacum packed, organizing dinner, etc. It was a lot of fun!

We've made quite a dent in this pile of crab already.

CORB LUND-The Truth Comes Out

Claire introduced me to this Albertan who sings great lyrics and music he writes himself. I really enjoyed a concert of his on TV the other night.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

A few images of Fernwood

I had lunch with Claire at the newly renovated Fernwood Inn...very impressed with the reno and the new menu. Jim and I also went for dinner at StagE, the new tapas and wine bar across the street. I was very impressed with the food; however, Jim still prefers a "real" meal. The play No. 14 Bus is definitely worth a miss...we left at intermission.

The Belfry in all its restored glory. It's such a wonderful addition to the Fernwood neighbourhood.

The new Fernwood Inn.

This bicycle appealed to me.

This could be New York...