Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

I loved this "supercat" pumpkin that Harmony (with a littlehelp from Mom, Katie) made.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween rant

I've always had a lot of admiration for Londoners who went through the Blitz...night after night of noise and danger.

Saturday night in Vancouver helped me realize even more just how awful it must have been. It seems Vancouver has not become sufficiently civilized to ban fireworks altogether and we were treated to fireworks being set off in the English Bay area most of the night. We came home a day early to avoid a repeat.

It seems it is only legal to discharge the fireworks on Oct 31 and measly fines of $200 to $500 are in place. Also, you apparently need a permit to buy them, be over 19 and complete a fireworks safety test. And they are not to be discharged in a street, lane, or public place. Yeah...right. What were the Vancouver Police doing Saturday night by allowing this mayhem to go on?

It really makes me appreciate the firework ban in the Victoria area. My friends' pets are particularly happy!

Lunch at the Sylvia Hotel

The Sylvia really does feel like a "local" for us. We had lunch there with Richard yesterday. The ivy is beautiful at this time of year with the colours. It turned out to be a pretty good day rain, some sun, and a beautiful sunset.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Back in our home away from home...

It was great to get back to our Vancouver home and we had a very relaxing evening watching the the lights of Kits reflecting over the water and enjoying our fireplace...and of course a dram of scotch. Waking up this morning to the ocean, my freighters, and beautiful red and orange trees. We went to Las Margaritas for lunch and the tortilla soup was just wonderful as usual and perfect for a rainy day. We really do love this restaurant. It's cosy in the rain and wonderful in the sun.

And our Manager's kids have made a great job of decorating the lobby!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Who knew?

Finally, a use for all those zucchini. It seems our local deer are even eating those as well as the leaves. They must be really hard up since today one was actually nibbling around in our measly garden. Usually they give ours a pass and just dine on gourmet treats from our neighbours.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Why do I like this photo?

October 24: Dancers from the English National Ballet pose for photographers at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, near London, on October 24, 2011, to mark the launch of the Dance GB, the dance event of 2012 to be performed in a Big Top Tent in the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College in July next year.
Photograph by: CARL COURT, AFP/Getty Images

Well, of course because of the primary colours of red, and blue and basic black and white and the simple figures dancing remind me of Matisse figures which I love as well.

Read more:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

And the award for presiding over chaos goes to

I sent my cousin, John, Jack Knox's column on the "good old days" in journalism. I thought he would enjoy it and have a few war stories of his own.

From John:

"The Kamloops paper sounds pretty tame to me compared to say the Edmonton Journal where the police reporter, Gerry Ball, was a convicted bank robber, and Nick Lees, who I accompanied to an interview with a playboy bunny in her hotel room except he went in ahead of me, closed the door in my face, never to be seen again for days except by the hotel staff when both of them decamped in the wee hours of the morning for Jasper and then California. Fist fights between reporters and editors? That was just a part of the editing process at the Journal. God, I miss it."

And the award for presiding over chaos goes to

Monday, October 24, 2011

Parahawking in San Diego

Paragliders, beautiful birds, and the southern California coast and a beautiful sunny morning at home! Thanks to Don for sending it along.

Click on "Home" below to see the video.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Majority of Two: Craigslist Free Stuff...! Part Two...

I got a real laugh out of this. We did post some things on Craigslist Free...bed, bedding, bookcases I think. It was last Sept and someone, apparently a "student" phoned and said he was on the way and had a truck. All gone in 10 minutes. Sounds like there are people out there ready to pounce on anything good. I don't think the "mean cat" will be picked up anytime soon...

"Lou is a mean cat. She will probably bite and scratch you. She will pee on your carpet. She will not go out of the house. She is spayed. She has to go to new owners."

You have to wonder if this is a hoax.

A Majority of Two: Craigslist Free Stuff...! Part Two...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

In France, eating is a rapturous experience

From Shelley Fralic in The Vancouver Sun:

"I am one of those travellers who takes photographs of food, of most every meal I consume while in an locale where the cuisine is as tempting as it is sometimes unfamiliar, where memories of a trip are found not just in the architecture and culture of a new adventure, but at the table of a local eatery; eggplant Parmesan in Pescara, muskox burgers in Nunavut, chile relleno in Guadalajara, filet mignon at the Watergate Hotel, mushy peas in London, fresh-grilled baby octopus in Mykonos, cod cheeks in St. John’s."

Read more: In France, eating is a rapturous experience

I certainly agree and here are a few of my food photos from one of my favourite places in the world...the weekly market in Carqueiranne.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Unusual Buildings in the World

I loved these two perfectly the settings and context.

Chapel in the Rock (Arizona, USA).

Air Force Academy Chapel (Colorado, United States)

Container City (London, UK). I'm still fascinated by how old shipping containers can be used.

Habitat 67 is a housing complex located in Montreal, Quebec. It was designed by architect Moshe Safdie based on his master's thesis at McGill University and built as part of Expo 67.
Of course, Kerry and I saw this when we were at Expo seemed incredibly cool!

The Basket Building, Ohio, USA. The world’ s largest basket-shaped building is actually an office building housing the headquarters of Longaberger Basket Company.

Kansas City Public Library

Weird buildings of the world/story.html#ixzz1b3dN3xbt

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Julian Barnes wins the Booker instead of my favourite Esi Edugyan for Half-Blood Blues. At least the Telegraph announced it as "Barnes wins the Booker for his novella."

More weekend photos and videos.

Olympic Mountains in the mist.

Wonderful dahlia display.

Kites at Clover Point

Ducks go crazy for food while the peacock remains aloof from it all...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sizzling Tandoori

Today, Donna and Neil came over from Vancouver for a visit for a couple of days. They are staying at the Grand Pacific and we met them downtown for an East Indian meal at the Sizzling Tandoori on Johnson Street. This was the only East Indian restaurant open on Monday! It's only been open a year and we were impressed with the food. Some rather unusual things like pomegranate lamb curry( which Donna tried) and tandoori calamari which we all shared. Very yummmy!

Happy 34th Birthday, Richard!

My Mom, Richard, and my Dad in 1988.

I picked out this photo because of the balloons and figured it was a birthday of my Mom's and Richard's since their birthdays were both on Oct 17. Then, when I was scanning it I saw my Mom's writing on the back (she was always great at doing that and I wasn't...!):

"March 27th Arnold's Birthday...79th. Boy! Looks pretty good."

I agree, he did look pretty good!

So, have a great birthday with your friends in San Francisco. Dad and I will be thinking about you...and also my Mom.

Love you.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Enjoying the great weekend...

When I was driving around Beach Drive on the weekend, I just had to stop to take this photo of this house with this fabulous blue roof. The light was such that it doesn't look quite as bright in the photo. It is my favourite colour for painting, Cerulean Blue. Then I realized it was just a few doors down from a house we could have bought in the early 70's that was right on the water for $38,000. We didn't want a house and a "disadvantage" to us was that there was a suite in the lower level that could be rented and actually still looks like it is. How times change!

Partial side view of the house.

View from the house.

While I was taking the photos, I met this neat cat who lived in this house and took this little video.

Autumn mon amour....

I have always loved Autumn even though it meant back to work or school for many years. Something about the coolness, the colours, and new beginnings. As Mary reminded me today at lunch it also means days getting shorter, many months of rain and cold. All true but some how my mind is tricked into forgetting that. A few photos I took on the way to the post box to mail a letter.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Old family photo

Ian brought this photo over the other day and we all enjoyed looking at it. It was taken at Christmas in 1965, two years before Jim and I got together. I immediately began to fatten him up!

Jim's Dad, Mom, his maternal Grandmother, cousin Maureen, friend Evelyn, maternal Grandfather, friend Charlie, Jim.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The end of an era...

Richard will be very disappointed to hear that the Willow's Galley Fish and Chips shop is no more but at least I did manage to snag a photo on the Internet of the famous "Sunbather Burger" which was Richard's favourite. One reason for its fame was no doubtedly the two types of cheese.

Our favourite was always the fish and chips and we usually got a few shrimp on the side.

I was down at Jennings Florist in Estevan yesterday and noticed the "Closed for Renos-New Crew" sign and asked them about it. They told me the Galley was sold a year ago to the people who own the Demitasse in Oak Bay. It seems the quality went down and the prices went up and that annoyed the locals. Guess we didn't get to The Galley last year with all our own goings-on. Will be interesting to see what the new reincaration will be.

Now, Jennings Florist is another story. They now have had five generations working in the business. I began using them in 1971 when we first moved to Victoria and because of their excellent customer service I haven't changed. It was great when they moved to their current location in the Estevan Village.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

For Jacqueline

Today, Monique gave us the very sad news that her mother, Jacqueline, passed away. She was 94 years old.

Jacqueline in our villa in Carqueiranne in 2005.

Jim and I have many happy memories of Jacqueline. We first met her mother and father, Robert, in Bandol, in the south of France, in 1976, when we were all staying at the Hotel Splendid. We loved them very much and spent many happy times in Bandol and a few weeks later in Annecy, Monique's hometown and where they still lived. Jacqueline and Robert had found us a wonderful apartment to rent right on the lake of Annecy that we shared with Monique for the month of June that year.

Monique brought her parents to Canada a number of times and we all enjoyed each other's company so much. My parents invited them to spend a few days at their retirement home on Gabriola Island. It was such fun for all of us even though all the translating was up to the three of us since neither set of parents spoke any of the other language other than Robert, who pointed to Jacqueline and said "Pin Up" and to himself "Playboy". We had such laughs over that!

We were very sad to hear of Robert's passing.

Jacqueline met a wonderful man, Roger, and they were together until the end. We met Roger when Jim was teaching in France in 2003. They were living in Annecy and also had an apartment in St. Aygulf, on the French Riviera, an hour's drive from Carqueiranne where we were living. Jacqueline and Roger invited us up for lunch and it was so wonderful seeing her again and meeting Roger. He cooked a wonderful veal saute for us. I took this little video at time.

Jacqueline and Jim enjoying a conversation in their lovely apartment in Aygulf.

Jacqueline, me, and Roger enjoying a seaside walk in Aygulf.

In 2005, when Jim was again teaching in France and we had the villa in Carqueiranne, they came to visit us and we had another super visit with them.

Roger, me, and Jacqueline in our villa in Carqueiranne in 2005.

We will always cherish our memories of Jacqueline and the special relationship she and Monique had together.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Richard comes to visit

We stayed up way past our bedtime chatting with Richard last night. Brought us these cool mugs he got at a visit to the Boeing plant in Everett, Washington. Then today, he helped Jim get up the storm windows while I made stock from the turkey bones. Now, he's off to help Ian start a blog so someone else will be in the blogosphere soon....