Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

All the best to everyone for 2009!

Sydney, Australia, is the first place to bring in the New Year and this year had a $5 million fireworks extravaganza.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

No snow but wild weather continues

I thought I would go for a nice little walk on the beach but it was miserable and cold. This wind surfer seemed to be having a good time.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Snow is pretty much melted

Just in case we need a reminder of what it all looked like I thought I'd post these photos Fern took in front of her house on the Gorge. Beautiful!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Introducing Baby Linden

Kristen and Karen braved the snow to introduce us to their new family member...what a sweetie! They had quite a wild ride driving up from the San Francisco area. I hope they have an easier time getting home.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Sexton-Soles Christmas

This is getting to be a great tradition and we all had a super time last night. It was so nice to do a stress free and festive raclette. Notice the other tradition that has the men do the clean up...

The hats and jokes in the crackers were rather dismal but the prizes were exceptionally good. I got quite a nice metal yo-yo that Richard demonstrates in the video.

And then Ian really showed us how to do it!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Season's Greetings to all my readers

I wish everyone a great holiday season and if you're in Canada it seems like just about everyone is getting a white Christmas even here on the wet coast!

I thought this photo John took of the Vesuvius Village Store on Saltspring was very fitting for a Christmas message.

- Photo by John Denniston

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Victoria's wacky weather

Victoria is getting the whitest Christmas in Canada with the highest snowpack in the country...41 centimetres! Apparently that is even more than the North Pole currently has.

No wonder we're feeling like we've had a lot of snow. Normally our weather ranked out of 100 Canadian urban centres is:

First for mildest winter
First for fewest snow days
First for lowest snowfall

Susan and Alan's new cats

Susan and Alan lost their beloved cat, Charlie, at the beginning of the year. I was really pleased to hear about their new cats. I got a real laugh out of Mimi's "offerings"

From Susan:

Just when we were thinking about getting another cat, a photo appeared in the local paper of two young cats that had been abandoned. We thought we would offer to foster them until Cat’s Protection could find them a permanent home and this would tell us whether we could adjust to new pets. They are still here! They were both very nervous and traumatised at first, but they have come round amazingly well and are now friendly, amusing and very much loved members of our family. Josie is a beautiful tabby tortoiseshell, very independent and a superb hunter. This is a mixed blessing. We no longer have any horrible mice in the house or garage, but we do have many gruesome offerings brought in which we don’t care for. The other cat we call Mimi. She is black, rather chubby, and not a good hunter. Her main offering is “daily bread” which she steals for us from a neighbour's bird table.

Mimi has now added twigs to the 'daily bread"...some of them are so large I don't know how she manages to get them through the cat flap. We try to show proper appreciation though.

Josie was spotted stalking pheasant with Sid, the cat next door. They didn't catch it, but it might be a useful addition to the Festive fare if the learn to do better.

Mimi and Josie

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Snow on the mountains in the desert

These photos were from the Desert Sun recently. Locals do seem to love having the mountains with snow on them in the winter and complain that they're not "pretty" without it. I must say I love the mountains bare. Maybe this year I'll manage to actually capture what they look like in a painting.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Our very latest storm...

This is what this morning looked like...

Feeding the birds

I put some bread out on some foil hoping to attract some of the small birds who may be rather hungry with the snow. It immediately attracted a bunch of gulls...well, I guess they get hungry too. They made quite a noise and obviously wanted to attract attention for more handouts. Then a big flock of crows joined in. I was beginning to get visions of Hitchcock's "The Birds". One gull stayed around for quite a while hoping to get more.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Our weather’s pretty funny — at least to the rest of Canada (Times Colonist, 21 Dec 2008, Page A3)

Sitting here reading the TC online since it hasn't arrived surprise given the snow. I have a $20 waiting for the carrier if he does arrive. I see you can listen to articles online and also post articles to blogger so I tried it out here. Jack Knox is always good for a laugh.

Our weather’s pretty funny — at least to the rest of Canada
Times Colonist
21 Dec 2008

It was no good. I couldn’t go on. The snow was too deep, the ascent too high, the unrelenting, deafening gale sapping every last ounce of strength. Frostbitten fingers had long lost the ability to grip an ice axe. As wind-driven ice crystals more...

Before and after our latest storm

Before our last storm my cat seemed quite comfortable on his pillow of snow and my gnome seemed similarly content.

Last night it really started coming down and I would say we got about 8 inches of snow at least and more is on the way today. Cat and gnome completely buried as you can see from these photos taken from inside our back and front windows this morning. We don't have to get out to do anything but the road crews seem very on top of it as even Dewdney was plowed this morning when we got up.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Lego man

I now try to take photos of what seem like the most ordinary things although I'm still not that good at it. Richard used to make the most amazing things out of his lego and I don't have one photograph of that...ah well. I liked this photo the Telegraph printed of a giant Lego man washed up on a beach in Brighton after floating all the way from Holland.

Now wouldn't that have been something to come across on Willow's beach!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

Itty Bitty Book Review: "Bridge of Sighs"

"Bridge of Sighs" by Richard Russo

Wow...what a novel! I really haven't been able to tear myself away from it. A wonderful picture of small town America in about the same time frame as I grew up in and told mainly in flashback from someone my age. A complex, thoughtful, questioning but ultimately affirming book about the lives of people many of whom were just like my parents, my extended family, the neighbourhood I grew up in etc.

Russo won the Pulitzer for his novel "Empire Falls" which I'm looking forward to reading. I read his satire on academia called "Straight Man" which was amusing and had some meaning but not stunning literature like this novel was.

Always difficult to pick up something when you've just read something wonderful. In my current stack of books I have Mark Haddon's "A Spot of Bother" (wrote The Curious Incident of the dog in the Night-time), Joan Barfoot's "Luck" (I just loved "Exit Lines" recently), "Cockroach" by Rawi Hage (he won the Impac Dublin Award for "De Niro's Game" which I enjoyed and I was thrilled to end up with this book at our Christmas book exchange in ), and "The Bell Jar" by Sylvia Plath...this last one came inexplicable packaged with some books from Amazon I had ordered. I wonder which one will win out...the first two are library books so will get first dibs.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

For cat lovers

More Purry Logic from Jane Seabrook.

Snow in Victoria!

It started snowing last night and was snowing this morning for a while. I'd say we got 4-5 inches.

Guess we'll have to rely on our clocks rather than the sundial out on the sundeck...

Margret, the good samaritan, sholving off Elaine's stairs.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Smile of the day for cat lovers...

Jane Seabrook's images and sayings always make me smile. She has a number of books in the "Furry Logic" series and they are all available on You might get the odd one available locally.

For my numerous cat loving friends I'll be posting some of these over the next while from time to time. Buy the books!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

10 Worst Predictions

I thought this was an interesting list printed in the Telegraph today. Speaking of predictions...did anyone in the world actually predict the current global economic meltdown?

1. The iPod will never take off – Sir Alan Sugar in 2005

2. No need for a computer in the home – Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corp in 1977

3. "Nuclear-powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality within ten years" – Alex Lewyt, president of the Lewyt Corp vacuum company

4. TV won't last because people would, "soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night" – Darryl Zanuck in 1946

5. In 1933, after the first flight of the Boeing 247, a plane that could hold ten people, a proud Boeing engineer reportedly said, "There will never be a bigger plane built."

6. "We stand on the threshold of rocket mail" – US postmaster general Arthur Summerfield in 1959

7. Nobody would ever need more than 640KB of memory on their personal computer– Bill Gates in 1981, allegedly.

8. "The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys" – Sir William Preece, chief engineer at the Post Office in 1878

9. Spam will be solved – Bill Gates, 2004.

10. "X-rays will prove to be a hoax" – Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society, in 1883.

Monday, December 08, 2008

A car I yearned for...

I just used to love these little Nash convertibles! Spotted this one outside Food Forum the other day.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

And a few more bears...

I'll begin with our favourite which is of course the Hotel Grand Pacific. They always do a hotel theme and this year it was the desk asking "Mr. Duck, will this be a long stay or just a flying visit?" Very appropriate since one of the custodians feeds and takes very good care of the resident ducks.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Hotel Grand Pacific Bear Ware

It's that time again when the Queen Alexandra Foundation has the bears at the Grand Pacific. Always great imagination goes into them and a super fundraiser.

Elaine with the bears.

I would have loved this kitchen as a child although I treasured the "stove" my father made me out of free materials...four wooden 1 ft x 1 ft boxes (boxes butter came in in those days) stacked in a square, jam can lids painted black for elements, and empty thread spools for controls. My favourite toy!