Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

With the general fireworks ban it's been wonderfully quiet this year and I hope it stays that way for tonight. It was becoming like Bagdad and big problems for the police and firemen.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Introducing Quito....

We all fell in love with Roger and Kerry's wonderful dog named Quito (named after the capital of Ecuador). I believe the breed is Alaskan Huskey. He's very amusing and insists on being constantly petted. If you stop, he will brush his paw against your face to say, "Hey, I didn't say you could stop petting me!"

Quito sitting pretty.

Quito dancing

Quito and Kerry

More of Roger's memorabilia

Roger talking about his grandfather who was a drummmer boy in WW I.

Roger talks about the cross belt

More about the cross belt

Monday, October 29, 2007

Katie Turnell's Artwork

I really enjoyed seeing Katie's (Rog and Kerry's daughter) artwork around the house.
(Sorry some are a bit blurry but I didn't have my tripod)

Their beloved Sandy, a golden retriever, who was a part of the family for many years.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

People photos from Edmonton

It was a short visit but we really had a blast!

The Three Musketeers

Rog and Kerry's son, Patrick, with Quito

Kerry at the Citadel Theatre complex.

Kerry and Donna

Kerry, Quito and Roger

Neil and his good buddy, Quito.

Roger and his memorabilia

Roger has all sorts of interesting memorabilia in his den. I got him to talk about a few of the things and made little videos.

Roger talks about his experience flying with the Snowbirds.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Notes from the prairie

I arrived in Edmonton safe and sound and the plane was even 20 minutes early!

It got up to 25C yesterday for a bit (a record) but very cool today but wonderfully clear and sunny. Had a great dinner last night at the restaurant at the theatre..Alberta prime rib was fabulous and the play, "I Claudia" was excellent. I was very impressed with the theatre complex...three theatres and lots of plays going on.

I don't think I would have recognized Edmonton from our time here at Otto and Janette's wedding 35 years ago. Amazing development...over a million here now.

It's been great to see Kerry and Roger and then Donna and Neil arrived today and we've been having lots of laughs.

It's cooler today but wonderfully clear and sunny. I enjoyed our walk yesterday around a ravine area close by and have an idea for a painting already. We're off now to buy painting supplies for Kerry...she is going to become a convert!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fabulous day for golf....

It was just a fabulous day for golf at The Ridge today...too bad just Barb and I could make it! Notice the little pumpkins they have a tee markers...cute idea.

Itty Bitty Book Review "The Careful Use of Compliments"

"The Careful Use of Compliments" by Alexander McCall Smith

An Isabel Dalhousie novel and amusing and thoughtful. Lightweight but McCall Smith is always charming.

Monday, October 22, 2007

I do love this time of year...

A few photos I took on my walk today.

The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard

This is a BBC series that began on PBS last night showing two of six episodes. Try to catch the repeat and tune in regardless next Sunday night on Masterpiece Theatre. It's amusing and thoughtful. We really enjoyed it!

Review: 'Amazing Mrs. Pritchard' takes charge

I'm off to Edmonton Wed. for a mini reunion with a couple of old school friends, Donna and Kerry. We're all really looking forward to it!

So, I dug out my big wool sweater I bought in Donegal, scarf, tuque, gloves, etc. Then I checked the forecast to see if I need my's warmer in Edmonton than in Victoria today! Victoria and Edmonton are predicted to have the same temp Wed (13 C) and then it does get cooler in Edmonton. Who knew!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Wren Restaurant

In a nutshell......pretentious,absurd, and staff with an attitude.

This is a new restaurant on Cadboro Bay Road next to Slaters. The menu looked interesting and they did an amazing job of creating an attractive space out of nothing. We were looking forward to having a new restaurant in the neighbourhood and probably would have become keen clients.

We had to wait an inordinately long time to get our wine yet one staff member stood in a daze at the bar the whole time and did nothing. The wine list is VERY small and no mention is made of where the wines come from. The wine we chose was from Australia and was unknown to us but was very good quality for the price.

Our first complaint was about a tapas "special" ($8) that consisted of a very small single one inch square of ravioli. This was taken off our bill after remarking that it was a joke. We had been warned that the dish consisted of one piece but I don't think anyone would think it would be so small. The filling was miniscule and unrecognizable. It was absurdly presented in a glass with a small pitcher of broth to pour over it. Weird presentation to say the least. The other tapas of escargot and the charcuterie plate were excellent quality and although small, not a laughable size. We commented positively to our server.

We decided to just order the tapas first and then see if we wanted main courses or continue with tapas. We also like to dine leisurely. Our server asked us three times in a five minute period if we had decided on our next course. What's up with that?

We decided on main courses. Jim had pasta with Chorizo, Monique had the mussles, and I ordered the rack of lamb. Again, Jim and Monique's portions were small but not laughable and of good quality. My "rack" of lamb was another story.

The server rudely walked away and refused to listen when when we complained about the "rack" of lamb which consisted of 2 small ribs of lamb, a bit of squash and roast potatoes served on a small sushi plate. This was listed as a main course and the cost was $30.

All tables were full but people didn't linger. Perhaps they were going home to order pizza to get a decent feed.

When I googled to see if there was any info or reviews I picked up this one:

"I walked in for lunch and I was treated horribly at the door. Over half of the tables were empty and I was told no that with no reservation too bad. I wasn't offered a table for later in the afternoon or even to book for another day.
I have never been treated so poorly in a restaurant.

Make sure you have a reservation if you plan on going!!"

I must say that I also have never been treated so poorly in a restaurant. My guess is they will be out of business in a matter of months. I certainly won't be darkening their door again.

* Update
I just got off the phone from a call from the owner. Phoning to hear my side of the story seemed like a positive step; however, her attitude was high minded and no apology for the rude behaviour of her server. It seems everyone but us adores her restaurant. Such arrogance!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Autumn at the next door neighbour's

Lots of lovely displays of leaves around but I see this everytime I go out to the car in back...the red tree and the purple hydrangeas are just perfect.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Itty Bitty Book Review: Death by Sheer Torture

"Death by Sheer Torture" by Robert Barnard

John has been recommending Barnard for a while and dropped one over on his way back to Vancouver as the library didn't have the ones he suggested reading. I'm amazed our library doesn't have all of his as he writes a good mystery and and there's lots of "British" humour along the way. I loved the depiction of the "squealies" in this one...montrous children who need to be locked in their rooms at night. I'm looking forward to reading more. I'm sure my mystery loving friends will love him.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

7:01 am 30 years ago...

Richard was born and what a wonderful moment that was! We were 30 years old ourselves and it's hard to imagine 30 years have passed! My computer's getting fixed so I can't post the photos I wanted so dug up this old super 8 footage I made into a birthday video card for Richard's 23rd birthday. Ah's all about recyling these days, isn't it? I guess Richard was working in San Francisco then in the computer industry.

Richard, you've been a wonderful son and have had a pretty darn interesting life so far because of your willingness to do new things. We should get used to you coming up with new twists to your life's path but we continue to be amazed. So now, seven years after I made this little video you are working in film, got a degree in English and Fine Arts, and are playing the drums in a band.

Have a great birthday and enjoy the public debut of your band at your party!


Mom and Dad

Monday, October 15, 2007

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Ragdoll Cats

I met a neighbour's cat I hadn't seen before and won't be seeing much as they are moving soon. Too bad as it's an absolutely lovely friendly and gentle. Susan said it's a "ragdoll" breed. The following from Wikipedia:

"The Ragdoll is a breed of medium longhaired cat. It is best known for its docile and placid temperament and affectionate nature. They are non-aggressive to the point that many cats cannot or should not be let outside for prolonged periods as many will not defend themselves and most do not hunt. The name "Ragdoll" derived from the fact that many of these cats go completely limp and relax when picked up. Ragdolls have a sturdy body, short legs, and a thick coat with Siamese-style points."

What a concept...breeding a cat for all the things we love about them!

Meerkat Manor: Animal Planet

We love the Meerkats at The Living Desert in Palm Desert. I see there is a Discovery "Soap" on a family of them. Actually seems quite interesting to watch. You can pick up episodes online.

Meerkat Manor: Animal Planet

Friday, October 12, 2007

Tidbits from the Telegraph

Since our Times Colonist didn't arrive this morning due to production problems I'm reading the Telegraph from London in more detail...usually I just peruse the headlines.

A few quotes from stories that captured my interest...this isn't a tabloid but almost seems like it from these stories...

* "Nicolas Sarkozy, the president of France, faces renewed speculation that his marriage may be about to break down after reportedly saying that he was getting ready for life as a bachelor. The level of feverish gossip in the French media and on the internet has reached unprecedented heights in a country which was once famous for ignoring its leaders' private lives."

* "Stringent new regulations and increased insurance premiums have pushed the price of a modest festive display to as much as £25,000, and out of the reach of many town budgets. Smaller towns may lose their Christmas lights
This year councils must use a pressure gauge to individually test every bolt holding a cable or light fitting to a wall. Only fully insured professionals can hang the lights and workers must use expensive hydraulic platforms to do the job because ladders are not deemed safe."

* "The parents of missing Madeleine McCann have issued a furious rebuttal to an "offensive" report claiming Portuguese police believe Gerry is not her father.
Kate and Gerry were "horrified and devastated" by the latest "absolutely untrue" slurs in the Portuguese press claiming Madeleine's DNA was different to that of her twin siblings – all three of whom were conceived by In-Vitro Fertilisation – because she has a different father.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Doris Lessing wins the Nobel Prize for Literature

I'm not a tremendous fan of Lessing and only really read one book of hers called "Briefing for a Descent into Hell" which I found quite fascinating. She has created a body of interesting work and I'm not unhappy with the choice but still would like to see Margaret Atwood win it one of these days. I think she deserves it as well for her body of work and her contribution to putting Canadian literature on the map.

The following links to a rather interesting interview with Lessing about writers, writing, and how we should read novels.

BBC - BBC Four - Audio Interviews - Doris Lessing

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Perpetuum Mobile

We were listening to some of our Penguin Cafe Orchestra cuts last night and of course there is loads of stuff on YouTube. I have to get used to remembering that EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD is on YouTube! I wasn't familiar with this one. Guess there's a lot we don't know. We were introduced to them ages ago when we had the satellite dish and could pick up the BBC. We taped a great performance and interview with them from the South Bank Show with Melvin Bragg. Will have to try to find that video.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Titanic Exhibit

We enjoyed the Titanic Exhibit at the Royal BC Museum yesterday even though everyone and their dog was there, the Victoria Marathon made parking and driving crazy, and it was raining cats and dogs (the Chicago Marathon had to be shut down yesterday because of the extreme dead and many ill). You get a boarding pass with information about a passenger as you enter and as you leave you see whether you survived or not...all three of us survived.

When we got home we enjoyed a brew of Spinnaker's special Titanic stout and Jim read us this great Thomas Hardy poem about the Titanic. Some excellent photos and info on this site as well.

Poetry Page

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Richard came over for the weekend and we are giving many thanks for all the computer work he did for us...merci, Richard.

Ian and Monique joined us for turkey dinner last night and we all ached from laughing so much! We're off to see the Titanic exhibit today so leftovers will be an easy dinner.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

More photos from Italy


It was so warm this summer the grape harvest was a couple of weeks early.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Cinque Terre

Fern and John are back from Italy and got some great photos. These are from Cinque Terre.

I wonder if the cat got any fish in the end!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

My first painting in a while

Now that the rains are here with a vengeance I'm back to doing some painting. A photo of John's that I posted not long ago served as the inspiration for this one.

"Popcorn vender at English Bay"
18 x 24 acrylic on canvas

More Chinatown photos

Dragon Alley

Monday, October 01, 2007


While I was getting new tires put on the car the other day I took advantage of being in the area of Chinatown and took some photos.

This is an empty shop in Fantan Alley...I thought this version of "brown paper" was kind of neat.

An attractive construction wall...I wonder if yet another condo is going to be built here. I do wonder who is going to buy all these condos.