Friday, July 30, 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pied-à-Terre in Vancouver

View from our unit.

We've never really been interested in a vacation or sun belt home but we have been wanting to spend more time in Vancouver. We looked into short term rentals this year but weren't very impressed with locations and comfort level.

So...we decided to rent an apartment for a year and may continue if we like it. We weren't really thinking of doing it quite so soon but a vacancy came up in a building, The Flamingo, that we consider the absolute best location in Vancouver. It's perfect for us...right on Beach Avenue west of Denman and very close to Stanley Park.

Great ocean views now and there will be even better views when the leaves fall. As John commented, we can do all the restaurants on Denman, then Robson, then Davie...then start again. And we have the Sylvia Hotel as our local. And we have the option of leaving from Vancouver for our, what a luxury that will be. And it will be great to see Richard and our Vancouver friends more often.

It's just a one bedroom (so no guests for a while...sorry!) but almost 800 sq ft so quite large and we're on a wait list for a two bedroom. We were surprised at how few two bedroom units there are in many desirable apartments in Vancouver.

We're moving in Aug 15...exciting times for us!

Apartment Rentals | Vancouver | West End | Flamingo

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A perfect ending to our Vancouver trip

We began the day by having breakfast with Donna, then headed to see Richard for a while, then a fabulous lunch as usual at John and Carol's before heading home...and then a big pod of killer whales with great viewing from the ferry!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

More Vancouver scenes...

Had great dinner with Richard and Claudia last night and had lunch at the Sylvia with old school and neighbourhood friends...hadn't seen Carol for over 40 years! Linda and I reconnected a few years ago.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Congratulations to Don!

Don will be inducted into the Opimian Hall of Fame in Montreal in October!

Congratulations, Don, and it should be great fun for both you and Elaine to spend some time in Montreal, one of my favourite cities in the world.

The autumn leaves should be beautiful at that time of year.

Don won in the following category:

Members Choice / Activity Support

Events; regular attendance, has frequently brought guests, helps to coordinate
Tours; has taken part in many tours, helped tour guides, promotes tours to others
Wine Offerings ;member who has consistently bought many different wines from many plans over time.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Another synchronicity....

I was just having lunch with Carole who recently returned from Paris (and other places) and we were talking about how beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral is. It is my favourite building in the world! Then, this postcard came in the mail. Wrongly addressed so can't keep old student of Jim's who got confused. She is a great old dear (French of France) who audited a number of his courses and always gave Jim a bottle of excellent French Champagne at the end of each course.

Carole and I were also talking about our emotional attachment to Vancouver especially the view at English Bay. I was reflecting on these emotional attachments I have to places. Certainly the south of France rates very high. And I think my love of Notre Dame is also a strong emotional attachment that happened in our first few minutes of our first trip to Paris in 1972.

We had travelled from England via the Hovercraft and then the train. Pouring rain in England, many delays for the Hovercraft because of stormy seas and a rough ride over the Channel, then the train to Paris in darkness, getting the Metro to St. Michel so underground, worrying about our hotel room still being available since it was close to midnight and the peak of summer (before the days of credit card guarantees), still jetlagged from the cross Atlantic flight, and dead tired from a horrendous day of travel.

We walked out of the St. Michel Metro station and into what seemed like a fantasy world. It was a warm balmy night and teeming with people. We were just so amazed by the Hausmann buildings, the cafés, everything. We walked down to the Seine and saw Notre Dame...I was in love! All the fatigue and worry lifted. Having a hotel room didn't matter as I could have stayed up all night.

They were just about to give up our hotel room so we got lucky. Then we went out to a café until 4am talking to people...well, Jim did most of the talking because I didn't speak French then but nothing mattered!

Boomin' cacti!

All three of my cacti are blooming now. I am just amazed by the hardiness of these plants. That's two years now I've just left them out all year in the original planters I put them in. They seemed to thrive on the cold winter the year before and also on this warm rainy winter. I'm curious to see if they will survive neglect and pampering another winter?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The world's most beautiful coins - Telegraph

Well, I was pretty amazed to see that the Telegraph actually rates our lowly "toonie" as one of the "World's Most Beautiful Coins". We tend to hate it as it makes for more change and often we only have a toonie ($2) to put in a meter when we really only need a loonie ($1). I will think a little differently of this coin now.

Take a look at this link and some of the cool the Australian one with the kangaroos.

The world's most beautiful coins - Telegraph

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Itty Bitty Book Review: "Say You Are One of Them"

"Say You Are One of Them" by Uwem Akpan

This is our bookclub reading for July and while I was a little hesitant with the prospect of reading stories that are pretty harsh I enjoyed the selection immensely. The horrors and good things of Africa are portrayed with a direct honesty, openness, and lack of sentimentality. I look forward to our discussion Wednesday.

Monday, July 19, 2010

What would we do without google?

My swifter wasn't working so figured it was because the batteries needed changing. I had done this before without a problem but this time it seemed like rocket science. Went and googled "changing batteries in a swifter" and came up with "If you can't figure out how to change your batteries you have lost your battery compartment altogether...look in the storage area where you keep your swifter."

Lo and behold that's where the battery compartment was and the batteries were still working...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Burka ban ruled out by immigration minister - Telegraph

Good for good old Blighty. Yeah...lots of folks love the French banning of the Burka. I've always had mixed feelings about it but I agree with the British view that it would be "rather un-British" and "run contrary to the conventions of a tolerant mutually respectful society".

The British Empire took on a hell of a lot by giving everyone in their colonies a right to citizenship in the UK before the EU and everything else. It didn't make any economic sense...only the British sense of "fair play".

Good on you Britain for being "British"!

Burka ban ruled out by immigration minister - Telegraph

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Red Beard's Revenge Pirate Ship Playhouse from PoshTots...cost: $52,000.00

A rather interesting synchronicity today as I received an email from an old neighbourhood friend I haven't seen since school and the local paper had a photo and story of kids' playhouses so got me thinking of what we played with in our neighbourhood.

A tin can for "kick the can" was the big neighbourhood game along with a bat and ball for softball on the local vacant lot. Our playhouse was the big hollow stump in Central park that we rode our horses (made from saplings with rope for a bridle) to. My favourite toy was my stove my Dad made out of four wooden cheese boxes, jam lids painted black for elements and empty thread spools for the knobs.

Times have changed....

And if parents really want to show their love they can buy the Tumble-Outpost for $122,730.00

Tumble Outpost at PoshTots

Friday, July 16, 2010

New ducklings at the Grand Pacific

These little ducklings are just two days old!

Me feeding some older ones.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Celebrating Bastille Day

Elaine and I began having moules-frites for lunch...tres français!

Then Nin had invited us to Carlton House for their Bastille Day celebrations. It was great to see everyone with their red, white, and blue! The meal began with escargot, then lobster bisque, poulet au vin, and a French cheese plate. Cabaret entertainment followed but as always, Nin gave the best performance and she wasn't even on the program!

Monique, Nin, and me.

Nin and Monique and the dancing dog!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The "bookworm"

These Oak Bay gardening folks are great. Last year in this area they had a "bed of flowers" with alarm clock and all. This year it's a bookworm and the book titles are being changed about every week or so. Initially I thought it was supposed to be the "Cadborosaurus" (local sea monster in Cadboro Bay) since the bookworm was reading the "Legend of the Cadborosaurus" but Don realized it was supposed to be a bookworm...good thinking!

Cadborosaurus willsi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Friday, July 09, 2010

Another record broken...33.2C in Victoria yesterday.

Oscar is still trying to beat the heat. He's getting a breeze from a fan...don't think he realizes my rabbit fur cat is a cat.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Doris McCarthy turning 100 today.

So it seems I share a birthday with this "should be more famous" artist. I had never heard of her before reading about her upcoming birthday in the Globe this weekend. Probably no surprise I like her work.

"Wave Movements #8" Oil on canvas 1969

"Reflecting" Oil on canvas 1967

"Medicine Lake" Oil on canvas 2000

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Summer is finally here!

Shaping up to be a great week weather-wise at last. Hoping this week's sun will turn these little green tomatoes red. The marigolds are volunteers...yeah for them! I've had to make do with bought sunflowers to make it seem like summer lately...

Monday, July 05, 2010

Dame Beryl Bainbridge - Telegraph

Susan Carr introduced me to Beryl Bainbridge with a short novel called "A Quiet Life"... quite funny and quirky as I recall. I read quite a few of her novels but was surprised she had written so much. I guess she just went off my radar for reading. I think she would have been fun to have a drink with.

Dame Beryl Bainbridge - Telegraph

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Duck eggs

The Curlings bought some duck eggs at the Cowichan Bay Chicken Farm and shared a couple with us. Amazingly large and tasted very much like chicken eggs...don't think I could tell the difference in a blind test. Yum...

Friday, July 02, 2010


Oscar planned to do a little serious Huxley reading but got distracted with pens and pencils.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Happy Canada Day in the rain...

Well, the geraniums are red even in the rain for Canada Day...hoping there might be a few red tomatoes but too early for that.