Monday, September 29, 2014

Out for lunch today

Donna and I went out for lunch today at White Spot in Kerrisdale.   I had a legendary burger and it really was like the old time ones with the toasted bun and lots of Triple O and no lettuce or tomato.  Yum.  The idea was to walk around the village a bit but too rainy today for that.  We came back to their  condo and had a nice chat with Neil.

 Both Neil and Donna are looking terrific after their recent Alaska cruise.  It really was the perfect thing to do to relax and put a rather horrific year behind them and it obviously worked!

They have lots of chestnut trees in their area so I picked up some chestnuts to put in the bedrooms.  We haven't seen any spiders inside so far but they might find their way up here.  Probably an old wive's tale but…

Just googled it and it seems some elementary school kids proved that it isn't the case…ah well,  they are pretty anyway.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Out to New Westminster Quay today

We just love taking Skytrain out to New Westminster and having lunch at the Paddlewheeler Pub.  We've never had a bad meal there….everything seems to be good.  I had the calamari and Jim had the fish and chips…both excellent.

Always a wonderful view of the North Shore mountains on the Skytrain and love being up high and seeing the city go by.

Just a beautiful day today.  Would you believe Jim is actually down at our beach at the moment thinking he might go for a dip.  It will be a quick one I'm sure.

Photos taken while walking along the boardwalk.  The whole time we were dining and walking we saw only one boat on the river.  I wonder why?  

John and Carol come for dinner

It was great to see John and Carol last night and hear all about Carol's studies….she's doing a Masters in Liberal Arts at SFU.    It's quite a fascinating program but has a killer reading list.   Most of the people in the program are working full time and some have small children…not an easy gig for them.   This is a retirement project for Carol.   I took the year out to do my Masters and it was quite a different experience for those of us who did that and others who were still teaching full time and with family responsibilities.  We had a lot more fun!

And John took this great photo of the food…

Saturday, September 27, 2014

A budding artist….

Mary's grandson,  Eliot, age almost 4,  did these artworks.  I think they have a wonderful sense of colour and composition.  Now,  Mary,  you also have a wonderful sense of colour and composition so why don't you join Eliot when he creates??


Stupendo, fabuloso...

Words Jim's colleague in Spain used to describe the open textbook and their working together.  Jesuias is going to start using the text this November in his Masters classes.  It fits so well because the University of Almeria  allows profs to use the online medium for up to 70% of Masters classes.  He also hopes to involve Jim in an online tutoring capacity….all very exciting!

We will probably go to Spain next Fall for Jim to participate in the European Erasmus program where professors are invited to come for up to a month to give special lectures and work with faculty.  They pay travel and an honorarium .  Jesuias wanted Jim to come this Fall but we wanted to have the full winter season in Palm Springs.  Next year we'll probably be ready for a break from that and happy to spend a shorter time.  Jesuias is keen to take us to his favourite places in Andalusia and the weather will be Palm Springs like at that time of year.

A few photos from our November, 2010 trip.

 Jim and Jesuias at the Alhambra.  Jesuias gave us a wonderful tour since he lives in Granada half the time and knows the Alhambra very well.

Sitting in the sunshine on the ocean enjoying a paella in Nerja.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

West Coast weather in spades….

We've been enjoying the change in the weather and particularly enjoyed the sun coming out yesterday afternoon.  I've got lots of great reading material.  I'm enjoying J.K. Rowling's "The Silkworm" and I see another Louise Penny I haven't read has come up as a hold.  And I've ordered McEwan's latest novel,  "The Children Act" and as always really looking forward to that.  And I still have The Goldfinch which I stopped when holds came in since I bought it.

We took the car in for servicing the other day and did our usual lunch on The Drive.  We decided to go to Nick's…always a blast from the past.  And of course Jim was in heaven.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Artist Trading Cards

I'm always interested to see what people take in terms of my cards.  I did a number of original acrylic French Shutter studies and they went quickly…not surprisingly,  the little original paintings usually attract.  What is more interesting is the "prints" of original paintings.  This time I included a number of my first drawings coloured with felt pens that I did in my first art course (Absolute Beginner Drawing)  in 2001.  

What attracted the most people was the "Marmalade Making".  I remember I was inspired by Susan Carr making marmalade from seville oranges and made the drawing first as a practice before I painted it on a wooden tray to give her when we visited in Yorkshire one summer.  This is especially cool since Susan and Alan are coming out to Vancouver the first week of October.  We are so looking forward to their visit!

 8 x 10 felt pens on paper.

 This particular series was the most popular and I must say I liked them the best too.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Artist Trading Card Day

Quite a large group today so lots of wonderful little presents….I love them all!  We also traded some cards with a group in Regina so even more cards.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Back to wonderful weather today….

We took advantage of the rain to have lunch yesterday at Las Margaritas….it's a cosy place in the rain and a great place in the sun.  My tortilla soup went down very well.

I really got into my Louise Penny mystery today "The Beautiful Mystery" and finished it.  Now on to J.K. Rowling's second policier that came up quickly on hold.  I have a new trick…putting a hold on the large print version and I get it quickly.  I rather enjoy the larger print,  except with the Louise Penny,  some fool had crossed out all the F….words.  The person did use a light pencil but still!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Scotch mist most of the day...

I guess it was somehow appropriate that we had a "scotch mist" while the Independence Vote was going on in Scotland.  Yesterday,  Elaine came down with me on the bus to Harbour Centre and I went to my class and she went shopping and found two super tops at Topshop.  After my class we went to the Water Street Cafe in Gastown and both had the Calamari Caesar with an Italian Pinot Grigio….wonderful lunch!   One customer was wearing a kilt and hoping for a Yes result.

Jim had a good game of golf  and just got home before we were heading out to The Sylvia for a glass of wine and the music…one of our favourite groups were playing.  Jim was tired so didn't join us but Elaine enjoyed our local and the music.

It was just wonderful to see Elaine and we had a great visit.  When I went into the guest bedroom I found a beautiful thank you card and our favourite treats!   Thank you so much,  dear friend.  You are very precious to us.

No and Yes….

We were all very happy with the "No" vote and of course the "Yes" vote for the end of the teachers' strike.

Good article on the reaction around the world:

Reaction in London.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A relaxing beginning to the day then...

We always have a relaxing beginning when the three of us are together as we all enjoy the newspaper,  our black coffee so no fuss or muss,  and not talking!   Elaine always enjoys her Sudoku and she found lots in our old newspapers we hadn't recycled yet.

Elaine and I went for a swim at the Aquatic Centre and while it isn't the Hotel Grand Pacific,  she was pretty impressed for a public pool and loved the long, long, lengths.  Then back for a light lunch as Elaine was treating us to dinner at Le Crocodile in the evening.

A few days ago we had been cleaning up our storage locker and came across the old bracket to the copper pots and pans.  Jim thought it might be brass or copper so tracked down a scrap dealer on Powell Street so Elaine had an interesting trip through a part of town none of us goes to much.  It's changing,  though,  and there are some neat places popping up.  Turned out the bracket was steel so hot really worth anything but he took it off our hands.

Then off to Commercial Drive as Elaine hadn't wandered that area and had read about it on my blog.
She agreed it was a great place to wander!

Carthage Restaurant…our favourite on "the drive" and Elaine could totally see why.

Then off the Gourmet Warehouse,  a favourite haunt of Don and Elaine's,  to browse for goodies which we found.

 Jim enjoying a pre dinner scotch and looking very spiffy in Don's French motif tie.

Once we all read the Chef's Tasting Menu there was really no other choice to make!  And what a fabulous meal,,,everything was superb!

Chef’s Tasting Menu
Saffron infused King Crab Chowder
with Crispy Garlic Bread

Wild Mushroom Ravioli, Seared Baja Scallop and
Winter Chantrelle, Butternut Squash Sauce

Grilled Alberta Beef Tenderloin topped with
Lobster Tail, Tarragon Sauce Choron

Grapefruit Sorbet with Champagne

Warm Raspberry Soufflé, Lychee Almond Tartlette
Served with Mango Sorbet

Elaine chose a wonderful Gigondas.
Famille Perrin "L'Argnee" Vieilles Vignes, Gigondas " 2010

 The chowder….exquisite and our first bite had some crab!

 The ravioli and scallops…perhaps the most amazing scallops I've ever had!

 The steak and lobster in a sauce to die for that deserved the maximum number of stars possible!

 I always love these shoestring potatoes that are a signature at Le Crocodile

 Three amazing mini desserts…

 Do we look satisfied and sated or what!

And just when you think you couldn't eat another thing…the famous chocolate crocodiles that are absolutely to die for.

What an amazing meal and so wonderful to share it with you, Elaine,  thank you so much!