Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hats off to the Japanese people

JAPAN ~ 10 Things to Learn from Its People

Not a single visual of chest-beating or wild grief. Sorrow itself has been elevated.

Disciplined queues for water and groceries. Not a rough word or a crude gesture.

The incredible architects, for instance. Buildings swayed but didn’t fall.

People bought only what they needed for the present, so everybody could get something.

No looting in shops. No honking and no overtaking on the roads. Just understanding.

Fifty workers stayed back to pump sea water in the N-reactors. How will they ever be repaid?

Restaurants cut prices. An unguarded ATM is left alone. The strong cared for the weak.

The old and the children, everyone knew exactly what to do. And they did just that.

They showed magnificent restraint in the bulletins. No sensationalizing. Only calm reportage.

When the power went off in a store, people put things back on the shelves and left quietly.

There was no "BREAKING NEWS" !!

The Scillies

Susan and Alan just got back from a very well deserved holiday in the Scillies...looks like a neat place to visit!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Richard's secret job....

Susan and Chris just got back from Palm Springs and were looking through their mail. The Harry Rosen magazine had this photo on the cover! Susan was convinced it was Richard and I can see why.

So, Richard, seems you have a double...

Harry Magazine: a magazine for men by Harry Rosen Inc.

P.S. from Richard:

"That's really funny because Harry Rosen also uses mannequins that look exactly like my friend Patrick."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The New Bohemiam Restaurant

We used a Groupon last night for a super meal in Kits...yum for sure! This is what we had. A fabulous combination of flavour.

Moroccan Tagine for Two! - A neighbourhood Fav…! -$29¾
Honey, cinnamon & preserved lemon braised lamb shank, stewed meat & free-range chicken
served with dried-fruit couscous, grilled flatbread, braised lentils,
cucumber salad, golden cauliflower, pickled cabbage & a citrus yogurt spread – Yum!

And there was a fabulous Greek Deli across the street. Must go back to explore that more thoroughly. I'm sure we'll be back to the restaurant as they have some great weeknight special like moules-frites (Saltspring Island Mussels) with aioli dip for $7 and featured pints for 2.99 on Wednesdays.

We'll get our tastebuds up for this next time...

Monday, March 28, 2011

English Bay in yesteryear

John sent me a jpeg of this postcard a cousin sent to him. It was dated 1912. I was curious about the pier and found this info:

English Bay Beach

The beach has always been popular, especially after sand was added in 1898 and people began to build themselves cottages where they would spend their summers. It's hard to imagine that in order to reach the beach in the 1890's, one had to follow trails through the bushes and then, when you arrived, the beach was divided in two by a large rock, men on one side and women on the other! In the early 1900's, a wooden bathhouse was built (people no longer had to change behind the bushes) and a walking pier with a glassed-in dance hall called "The Prom" were added. The current concrete bathhouse was constructed in 1931 while, seven years later, the pier and dance hall were both torn down.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bon Ton's

Yesterday we happened across Bon Ton's recently relocated in Kits on Broadway and couldn't resist going in since I remember my mother talking about how "fancy" it was although I don't think we ever had anything from this "Patisserie Francaise"...too expensive. Since John and Carol were coming for lunch today I thought I would buy a few things.

I had the server pick out a dozen of her favourite cookies. There didn't seem to be a lot of "French" type of pastries, actually. Also bought a couple of croissants and cheese straws. I guess everything was ok but not spectacular...Mary, your cheese straws are better!

And a rather different experience from France. Here, they asked me if I wanted a France, they automatically give you a box and make a big production of tying a pretty ribbon with a bow around it even if you buy two small inexpensive things. It's just the way it's done in France. You will see from the photo how the experience is a little different.

Same with flowers, you buy one rose (flowers are usually pretty cheap compared to here) in France and it's wrapped in cellophane and ribboned. Flowers and is the sizzle factor.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pacific Great Blue Herons nest in Stanley Park - Vancouver |

The herons have landed! I was on my way to the Robson Safeway today via the back way through Stanley Park and noticed all sorts of people with great cameras taking photos then I saw the herons and their nests. I
I took a few photos myself. A fellow next to me commented that they didn't seem to want to fly today...would be quite a site since they are around a metre tall! Seems there are around 200 nests in about 25 trees overall...a real "herony" as it is called.

Pacific Great Blue Herons nest in Stanley Park - Vancouver |

Thursday, March 24, 2011

flickspire - Life is like Coffee Movie

Don sent me this today and I think it says it all about the important things in life and why happiness eludes many people.

flickspire - Life is like Coffee Movie

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor

I think it would be hard not to like Elizabeth Taylor. She certainly seemed to live life to the full and many of her movies gave many people pleasure. And what a love story with Richard Burton.

I enjoyed these quotes:

"Some of my best leading men have been dogs and horses."

"The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they're going to have some pretty annoying virtues."

"When people say, 'She's got everything', I've got one answer - I haven't had tomorrow."

Ian sent me this photo as the one that resonated the most with him since she told Larry King that Mike Todd was the husband who was her soulmate. It is a wonderful photo of Liz, baby Liza, and Mike. Taken in 1957. Mike Todd died in a plane crash in 1958.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Home again....

This is really beginning to feel like home!

There's always something to watch here. This fellow set up a tightrope between two trees...perhaps he'll be the next big star on Cirque de Soleil...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Back swimming with the ducks....

The Hotel Grand Pacific opened its swimming pool Friday and it was great to get back. I've been three times already and it is certainly something I really miss not having
in Vancouver. Great to see the ducks around as well.

It looks very fresh and clean but not that much different since they went with beige again for the tiles...not exactly what I would have chosen!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Itty Bitty Book Review: "Sanctuary Line"

"Sanctuary Line" by Jane Urquhart

I begin a new Urquhart novel with great anticipation and am never disappointed. Always a wonderful blend of story, character, and especially metaphor and images. And this time an ending that surprised me although it was beautifully set up from the beginning.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Bodhran and tin whistle we bought in Ireland in 2000

This morning Jim asked me what day it was to set his watch and I told him it was Mar 16. Then went to Uplands for lunch and all the staff was in Irish atire...nice to finally know what day it was...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What do these two items have in common?

Rose bush

Pork shoulder


Reading in the Globe and Mail today that in the UK "typical" shopping basket to calculate the consumer price index that pork shoulder and rose bushes are out and iPhone apps, sparkling wines, and online dating agency fees are in.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring coming late this year

Well, there are snowdrops, crocus, and daffodils out and of course the cherry blossoms are beginning. These came on very quickly but everything is about three weeks late I'd say.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

An Oyama Saucage dinner!

We had a great time with the Curlings last night and we all enjoyed our saucages...even leftovers for all of us!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

For all the people affected by the earthquake in Japan

I hope that images of Japan will soon return to ones like this rather than the terrible devastation we are seeing and that we will hear many stories of loved ones being reunited.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Back in Victoria

Golf in Palm Springs

Victoria Golf Course

Coast Harbourside

Elaine and I had a super swim at the Coast Harbourside Pool (even a bit of sunshine depite the prediction for constant rain) and lunch at the Blue Crab...their brie, scallop, and shrimp pizza is amazing.

Dinner at the Victoria Golf Club with Chris and Susan last night. They head to Palm Springs today for two weeks so Chris will soon be teeing off in the sunshine...

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

A nostalgic day

We went to John and Nordene's for a drink yesterday and their new digs are in Kits on York Street in the same block where we had an apartment one street up on 1st Ave...what a coincidence! The good old Mohawk Lodge still looks pretty good and the pine trees have certainly grown in 40 years. Then, in front of some neat old houses in the area I saw a Honda motorbike pretty much exactly as the motorbike I had then only mine was blue. I remember I could fill the tank for 20 cents and that would take me 200 miles.

Monday, March 07, 2011

A super time on the "Drive" (Commercial)

The highlight of the Drive was meeting and petting Morgan, the cat..what a sweetheart! And we found a small lamp that was just what I was looking for ($16) and an umbrella stand ($5) that was also perfect. A bit scuffed up but I painted the scuffs over and there was this great foldable bag in the bottom when we got home that someone had dropped in by mistake I guess. I love these bags!

Then to a Chinese restaurant to use a Groupon certificate we had and we had Peking Duck for the first time. First course is the skin with pancakes, hoisin sauce and green onions, then the duck mixed up with veggies and lettuce to wrap it in. The the soup with and bones. Wow...delicious!

Itty Bitty Book Review: "The Matter with Morris"

"The Matter with Morris" by David Bergen

Well, Bergen does it again. I loved "The Time Inbetween" which took place in Vietnam and I wept through most of this one it was so beautifully done as well. It's about a man going through the grief of the loss of his 20 year old son in Afghanistan. Capturing all that withous becoming maudlin and sentimental...quite a feat.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Our first raclette chez nous in Vancouver

Carol and Dave joined us in our first raclette here and it was great to see them!

We continue to get the most amazing skies. I'll have to stop spending so much time looking at them and all the other activity here and try to paint it...

Friday, March 04, 2011

A picture ( or two) is worth a 1000 words...

Kerry and I went to Granville Island today and had lunch at Bridges...shared a calamari then a duck salad...yum...!