Sunday, August 31, 2014

Two Susans and Istanbul...

A bit of a funny coincidence that my friend,  Susan,  in Vancouver,  posted this sketch on her blog today…

The Galata Bridge in Istanbul is crowded with fishermen - yes, all men.  My husband and I enjoyed a fish sandwich for lunch shortly after I snapped the photo which inspired yesterday's sketch .

And my friend, Susan,  in Victoria,  recently returned from a trip that included a number of days in Istanbul and recently sent me an email with these comments:

We loved every minute in Istanbul and because we were there so long, we saw
all the famous tourist sights and then were able to do things which were off
the beaten track.  We did a culinary walking tour of the Old City, which was
wonderful and very interesting.  We had no idea that Turkish cuisine was so
varied and delicious.  We went on a ferry to the end of the Bosphorus (the
busiest waterway we've ever seen) and got off on the European side in a
small village.  We found a great seafood restaurant on the water and had one
of our most memorable lunches, washed down with Turkish chardonnay.  We did
an all day tour called The Other Tour and went to the guide's mother's house
for lunch (delicious) and had our first Turkish bath.  Istanbul is
fascinating and complex (with some difficult political and social issues)
but one visit was enough for us.  It is a very different society from ours
or any truly European society we've been in and, while women have made huge
strides there in recent years, it is still chauvinistic.  Twenty five
percent of the Muslims there are religious, so religious women all cover
their heads.  It's a matter of degree:  a pretty head scarf to match a
conservative but pretty outfit to full burka.  Meanwhile, hubby or
significant other is in shorts, t-shirt and sandals!  One of our waiters was
clearly religious, as he couldn't hide his disapproval of Chris and me
ordering a bottle of wine to go with our dinner.  He made a "tsk tsk" sound
at me when he saw that I had actually finished one of my glasses!! However,
we are thrilled that we spent lots of time there and would recommend it as a
destination for others.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Rain…well, not so much.

I was thinking the gardeners would be happy about the rain but it seems to have stopped already.  I'm not sure 5 minutes of rain is going to do much good.   The campers this weekend will be happy not getting a drenching so far.

Not good timing for these tourists in an open bus...


People in Vancouver and Victoria have been complaining about drones.  Last night around 10pm we noticed about 6 or 7 lighted "things" which were most likely drones going across English Bay.  It all seems very Science Fiction and I do hope they get these things regulated and hopefully banned completely would be best as far as I'm concerned.  I guess it will take a tragic accident before that happens.

I see both Amazon and Google are looking into using these devices.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Just might rival The Laughing Men for public interaction

John took a great photo of the Ocean Cement Silos that have recently been painted with a mural.  What I love about this photo is all the people enjoying the public artwork.    We must head to Granville Island soon to see it.

Photo by John Denniston

P.S.  It got sunny later on in the day yesterday and we got in another warm ocean swim…a bonus!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Another wonderful ocean swim, music at The Sylvia...

Clouds rolling in today so perhaps the last of our wonderful beach days for a while.  We went to The Sylvia to hear Bruce Gerish last night…really enjoyed it.  A beautiful evening listening to music and watching the view.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Just had to buy another of these Fraser River Sockeye...

I got them to vacuum pack the 8 fillets in packages of two.  We'll have the tail fillets in the next day or two…saving the others for guests!

Wow….what a great photo!

When Susan and Dick were here for dinner the other night,  she took a photo of the sunset with her new smart phone and was pleased to get a freighter in as well since I love those.  Super photo!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Dick and Susan come for dinner last night

Another day in paradise…ocean swim,  good friends for dinner and lots of engaging conversation.  They may get down to Palm Springs for Dec and Jan which would be great.  So,  start getting that organized,  Guys!   And of course,  as usual these days,  I didn't take any photos so will brighten up this blog post with ones I found on the Internet…

I bought a whole Fraser River Sockeye from The Daily Catch on Davie.  It's just great to have this seafood store close by….something I was really missing.  These were selling for $20 on the boats at Steveston.  The Daily Catch was charging $25 but for that they cleaned, filleted,  and vacuum packed.  There were 8 fillets so had them wrap up 4 fresh and vacuum pack the rest individually.  I thought this was one heck of a deal!

And the salmon was fabulous if I do say so myself.  I baked it and kept the recipe simple to keep the flavour of the fish.  I spread a bit of dijon mustard on the fillets,  then a bit of lemon pepper and smoked paprika,  and lastly drizzled a bit of olive oil over them.  Baked at 400F for 15 minutes.

Kin's Market is close by The Daily Catch and picked up Chilliwack corn…pretty good but still haven't found anything to match Victoria's Silver Rill.  I am very impressed with the quality and price point of produce at Kin's and really looking forward to them opening on Denman.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Thinking of Palm Springs...

It's hard to believe the summer is almost over and there is a bit of Autumn in the air.  I love Autumn on the West Coast but will miss the ocean swimming.  We probably have a week or so of that left.  It will be interesting to see when the water just isn't warm enough anymore.

Erna,  our neighbour in Palm Springs,  called yesterday and we had a nice chat.  She is already looking forward and anxious to get to Palm Springs.  I am also thinking rather wistfully about the swimming,  the sunshine,  the restaurants,  Trader Joe's,  and all the neat things we do there.   And we'll have our bicycles….something new to try!

I got even more wistful after looking at the slideshow I made in iPhoto of our condo.  I'm not sure how to "share" that so made up a little blog.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Elevator working, warm swims, beautiful sunsets….

Friday afternoon our elevator got working again…finally!  The ocean water had been just a bit cooler for a couple of days and then these past two days back to being very warm again.  Another beautiful morning and looking forward to another wonderful swim!

John saw us on the beach yesterday and dropped by for a chat.  He had been on a ride to West Vancouver.   He and Carol were planning a swim at Spanish Banks in the evening and I expect it would be pretty warm too.  He posted this great photo of a sunset at Spanish Banks.  He usually doesn't take photos of sunsets.  I can't get enough of them as anyone who reads this blog knows…

Photo by John Denniston.  Notice the silhouette of the lifeguard…very cool!

My photos last night…taken from the balcony of course.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Granville Island to get even more cool!

Looks like the Brazilian artist team is almost finished painting the mural on these Ocean Cement silos…what a wonderful project bringing art to the people!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Out to Steveston today…first time this year…can hardly believe that!

We went out for fish and chips at Steveston today….had a nice table outside.  Lots of fresh sockeye being sold off the boats…a good deal at $20 for a 5 - 6 lb fish.  We were going for a swim when we got home and didn't want to climb the stairs again to put it away so didn't buy one.  We had our swim gear in the car.

And a real bonus was going to the Tram Museum out there and seeing one of the trams that my Dad worked on as a conductor.  They are in the process of refurbishing it.

Always a fun place to go.

 The guy in the middle is George Boston,  the father of a good friend of my father,  Bill Boston.  The docent said there were a number of  father and son teams working on the trams.

 Why shouldn't dogs get everything?

 These kids were quite cute.  Their older brother was trying to drum up business by trying to draw people in by shouting "Support child labour, buy a salmon"

 I'll have to look up recipes for squid ink.

This link is pretty interesting on the topic:

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Roger and Kerry come for lunch and bring food!

We had a great lunch with Roger and Kerry.  It was so nice to get a good long visit and they brought lots of goodies from Whole Foods for lunch….wonderful sandwiches,  a fabulous looking salad with spiced nuts which we didn't get to,  and amazing ginger cookies.  We have lots for tomorrow.
Thanks guys!

Having too much fun to think of taking photos…I'm getting rather bad at that these days. But I can take a photo of the lovely sunflowers they brought.  I haven't bought sunflowers for a while so loved getting these.

Then the sun cooperated and we had a great late afternoon swim.

First ocean swim in a week

Even though there wasn't much sun yesterday it was quite hot and muggy and so a swim seemed like a good idea.  We were surprised the water was quite so warm after the less than ideal weather lately.  Wonderfully refreshing and there were even a few regulars down there.

The stairs aren't too bad if I take it slow and wear my knee brace.  It might even help to strengthen the knee.  It looks like we'll be without an elevator until Friday and even then if it fails the inspection we'll still be without it…ah well.

Yesterday I decided to try some stand up comedy and was very impressed with Russell Peters.  There's lots of his stuff on Netflix and YouTube.   He's pretty funny and he's a Canadian.

We'll probably get out for another swim later on today.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Itty Bitty Book Review: "The Singing Sands"

"The Singing Sands"  by Josephine Tey

I've read a few of her mysteries but I think I must read all of them.  She is really very good and this one had a nice flavour of Scotland and especially the Shetlands.  She really does it all in terms of plot,  characterization,  and setting.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Home Sweet Home

We moved back to our apartment yesterday even though the elevator repair may be delayed.  It was great to be at Richard's so we aren't imprisioned for quite so long but we really missed being home.  Given the non beach weather this past week it was a perfect timing in that sense to be away from our paradise beach.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Absolutely amazing!

I just got back from the Douglas Coupland exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery…wow!  I just loved it.  I was planning on buying the catalogue book for Richard but think I'll have to keep it.

I won't make any commentary….you have to go and see for yourself!

 Maybe just one thing….have some gum to add to the "Gumhead"…idea is for the artist's face to be completely obliterated/

 I decided to grab a snack at one of the food carts around the gallery and just had to go to this one for old time's sake.  I didn't realize they were in Vancouver as well as Victoria.  I had a wonderful big piece of cod and yam frites for $10….good deal.

The food cart that was doing the best trade was Mom's Grilled Cheese and after seeing the product and the menu I can see why although I must admit I did wonder about all the fuss before.