Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My own aioli...

I was pleased with my first attempt at an aioli and our guests, John and Jeanette, agreed!


Monday, June 28, 2010

And now for darling Jasper...

Don and Elaine were up at Fairburn Farm this weekend and met this delightful cat, Jasper...glad to hear not all cats are named Oscar these days!

So you think you're going to use your computer....

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Well behaved crow...

We've been taking advantage of any sunshine to eat outside and encountered this well behaved crow at the Victoria Golf Club the other day while having lunch. No cawing or begging....

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Landmarks - Public Art in the Capital Region

This link to public artwork in Victoria was in a letter to the editor recently. I found it most interesting and plan to photograph some of these works and post them here over the next while. I guess I've seen the "avocado" artwork at the Hotel Grand Pacific but didn't really focus on it. I rather like it and took these photos the other day.

Landmarks - Public Art in the Capital Region

Friday, June 25, 2010

Itty Bitty Book Review: "Solar"

"Solar" by Ian McEwan

McEwan never disappoints and this send up of the green industry among other things is a very amusing read. What makes this novel so much better than the "Week in December" was shaping up is while it is a critique of current events it isn't a rant and the critique comes through the development of the main character. Still surprised that Faulks was so ham handed.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Duckling time at the Hotel Grand Pacific

I was happy to see this family of ducklings that have escaped the crows, seagulls, hawks, racoons and other predators. The maintenance fellow there does try to protect them.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Food for thought...

Read this on Facebook today and liked it a lot.


If I were able to live my life anew,
In the next I would try to commit more errors.
I would not try to be so perfect, I would relax more.
I would be more foolish than I've been,
In fact, I would take few things seriously.
I would be less hygienic.
I would run more risks,
take more vacations,
contemplate more sunsets,
climb more mountains, swim more rivers.
I would go to more places where I've never been,
I would eat more ice cream and fewer beans,
I would have more real problems and less imaginary ones.

I was one of those people that lived sensibly
and prolifically each minute of his life;
Of course I had moments of happiness.
If I could go back I would try
to have only good moments.

Because if you didn't know, of that is life made:
only of moments; Don't lose the now.

I was one of those that never
went anywhere without a thermometer,
a hot-water bottle,
an umbrella, and a parachute;
If I could live again, I would travel lighter.

If I could live again,
I would begin to walk barefoot from the beginning of spring
and I would continue barefoot until autumn ends.
I would take more cart rides,
contemplate more dawns,
and play with more children,
If I had another life ahead of me.

But already you see, I am 85,
and I know that I am dying.

Jorge Luis Borges

Cool car!

Fern and I saw this car when we were having lunch at the Yacht Club the other day.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


The Oak Bay Library had this super bookmark display. I know some people save bookmarks and I've always thought it was such a great idea since it's a cheap way to have a collection. Somehow I never quite got around to doing it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Itty Bitty Book Review: "A Week in December"

A Week in December" by Sebastian Faulks

Well, this was a very "Fast Read" as I stopped at page 27;however, they were real pages not fake pages like the Martel book. I have really enjoyed Faulk's writing especially Birdsong and Charlotte Gray but this seems like a predictable rant about everything he doesn't like in Britain these days. I think the current state of Britain is ripe for a critique but this just wasn't starting out like it would have any real depth and reflection. Could be wrong...but onto "Solar"...you just can't beat McEwan's writing.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Itty Bitty Book Review: "Beatrice & Virgil"

"Beatrice & Virgil" by Yann Martel

I got to page 110 of less than 200. Actually, since the pages are small the book is really only a hundred pages. I thought of finishing it since it was so brief but then I picked up Sebastian Faulks "A Week in December" in Fast Reads today and I own a copy of Ian McEwan's "Solar" and it's waiting for me if I don't happen to have a book from the library so I don't think I'll bother.

I can't really judge the book since I didn't finish it but I think if an author can't capture your interest by half way through then I'm not sure he's going to. So, a million dollar advance and 8 years to produce this? I think I would have been ashamed to present it to my publishers but I guess not producing anything for years more would have been more embarrassing.

As much as I enjoyed listening to Martel's ideas and conversation at the reading I think he is perhaps a "one book wonder" as a writer.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Charming Prince Edward Island Home for Sale! - Home

I ran into an old colleague today and she told me about her brother's home they have been trying to sell for two years. It seems her brother recently spent about $100,000 updating and did most of the work himself.

The listing price is $129,000.00 and includes 6 appliances...unbelievable!

The garage alone could be a cottage!

Property Details


First time on the market in generations! This is a beautiful 2,500 square foot century farm home on more than half an acre of land. This desirable year-round home has been entirely rebuilt and updated from top to bottom by its second-generation owner, an expert tradesman. The structurally-sound renovated home features an improved foundation, newer insulation, electrical and plumbing. It is freshly painted inside and recently painted outside.

The property is heated by two furnaces: oil and wood*, located in a full basement with 8-ft ceilings. The large oil-fired hot water heater and excellent water pressure are ideal for those long, hot showers. Water is provided from well drilled into a deeper water table than most homes in the area. The water is better for your family and eliminates any hard water issues found with shallow wells. The house features excellent air circulation with many cross-breezes, which saves on A/C energy costs.

Residence features a bright interior with eat-in kitchen, large windows. Each door is trimmed with wide hand-cut pine finish and hardwood floors are found throughout the home. On both the main and second floors, there are a total of 6 bedrooms and 2.5 baths, one with Jacuzzi tub and the second with a large shower. The laundry room and the large (20-ft x 11.5-ft) master bedroom with ensuite are on the main level for easy access.

With 14 rooms, this home is large but not overwhelming. It fits a large family just as comfortably as a small family. It is also ideal for those with extended family that visit, for island vacationers who like to entertain, or for those interested in running a business from home. The large detached garage (see below) is perfect for light industrial or commercial work and the house can be set up as a wonderful Bed & Breakfast.

The home also has a charming south east veranda shaded by two mature trees, where you can relax and enjoy the country environment. Keep the screen sliding door open on the veranda to get the refreshing country breeze blowing in, or sit on the porch enjoying its unique feature… its own mature tree, growing right out of the veranda!

Spend your time in the west side of this beautiful island where the sunsets are second to none!

More info on the website:

Charming Prince Edward Island Home for Sale! - Home

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Le Grand Aioli

"Cooking is humour-let's not take ourselves too seriously and make dishes of thirty ingredients, 'a batterie de cuisine' with two days preparation. If a chicken falls off the counter, pick it up; if the cake cracks, frost it."
- Mireille Guiliano (French Women Don't Get Fat Cookbook)

The gorgeous weather yesterday put me in mind of a provence dish called Le Grand Aioli. It is typically a cold dish of various boiled vegetables (usually carrots, potatoes, and green beans, boiled fish (normally, desalted salt cod), and boiled eggs served with the aioli sauce.

Of course it lends itself to anything and I would make it with salmon and spot prawns and whatever veggies are fresh and in season. I must make this a summer specialty since it can all be prepared in advance. I'm surprised I haven't thought of doing this before!

Friday, June 11, 2010

How does my garden grow....

I'm using my back window boxes again for herbes and tomatoes (some small green fruits already) along with the geraniums. My cactus came out to bloom last weekend when we had that gorgeous day then went back to hibernating with the rain this week and then it's back! The lavender is looking great and I love having the cactus from the desert and the lavender together...reminds me of two of my favourite places...and of course a sunflower to view from my kitchen window to perfect the picture.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Itty Bitty Book Review: "The Man in the Wooden Hat"

"The Man in the Wooden Hat" by Jane Gardam

Thanks, Claire, for passing along this super sequel to Old Filth! Everyone I know who has read Old Filth has loved it and will love this sequel which is from Betty's point of view. Great stuff.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Our darling Chartreux ....

We were wondering if Oscar was a breed of cat and seemingly he is! Jim did a search of "grey cats" and brought up this info on the Chartreux breed...definitely looks like our Oscar. Grey, muscular, golden eyes, affectionate and quiet.

It seems this breed originated in France in Grenoble, the Savoie region, and so he is definitely a "petit savoyard". Monique, who is from this region, will appreciate this I'm sure! Charles de Gaulle and the French novelist, Colette, owned cats of this breed.

Not Oscar but looks so much like him...I'm sure he is this breed.

Chartreux - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Itty Bitty Book Review: "The God of the Hive"

"The God of the Hive" by Laurie R. King

I always enjoy the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series and this latest one doesn't disappoint. King does know how to spin a tale of mystery!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Chinatown in Victoria

After our lunch I picked up some crispy pork for our dinner and took some photos.