Wednesday, 29 June 2011

178/365 Whoop whoop for Wednesdays.

A whoop for blogging on the actual day today. Caught up again, we'll see how long that lasts.

Another whoop for the baby salamanders spotted (by Paul) on our walk this morning. After he'd pointed out two in quick succession, he had the cheek to tell me that I 'just aren't a good salamander spotter'. The cheek of the man! Granted the only one I did find first was dead. Anyhow, I think it is one of the slender salamanders, but will endeavour to find out more.

And a final whoop for corn on the cob tasting this evening. We sampled herby oven-baked, and then boiled with a sample of flavoured butters.

After a very scientific study of two hungry adults, I can report 100% agreement on the outcome. The final consensus was a preference for the texture on the baked corn, and the flavour of the lime-chilli powder-garlic butter. If anyone would like to offer funding for further indepth research, I can be contacted in the usual ways, but have a preference for postcards. x

177/365 Tuesday and I'm back on the needles

Knitting mojo hit today, sadly not with any of the projects I should be working on, but as a good friend of mine keeps reminding me, we knit because we enjoy it, it shouldn't feel like hard work. So, here is the progress on a shawlette scarfy number. the pattern is called Trillian and after seeing two of my colleaguey-friends working on these I finally caved and joined in....

....not that I generally wear scarfette-shawly things, but that has never stopped me before.

In other news, the postal strike is over. I'm not taking sides - but I am very happy to be reconnected with envelopes and stamps, and will be back letter writing pronto. And happily the first delivery included a little something from the parental-ships - hoorah!

176/365 Monday flew by....

....and yet again I failed to take a photo til back from Jazzfest again. Back on the main-gate again, which I enjoy both for its view of the stage and the banter with festival customers. I have never been so popular as I am with the older generation of jazz-goer. It must be the accent (cos it sure as hell isn't anything else in that t-shirt!).

Anyway, today's photographic treat is of photographic potential:

The chemicals in the 'dark room', patiently awaiting our use.....I'm feeling some project ideas developing (b-dum ching!) this space (but feel free to go about your daily business in the meantime, it may be a while before these plans come to fruition!).

Monday, 27 June 2011

175/365 Cake update

Some of you may have been concerned about the lack of cake mentioned in recent weeks. Rest assured that although the housework may not have been done, and the craft projects are lagging behind targets, the cake is still getting eaten. I have never managed to keep going with a New Year's resolution with such dedication before. I'm so very proud.

Yesterday P and I whipped up a Victoria Sponge for the work party (complete with homemade raspberry jam). While we were there we also got to try everyone else's contributions (well it would have been rude not to!), including the amazing Mole cake - a chocolate/banana/raspberry and cream mountain. There's another one to add to the repertoire at a later date.

174/365 Look whats growing!

Woop woop! There must be enough for at least half a sandwich!

KD Lang was fabidosey at Jazzfest, complete with accordion accompaniment (got to love an accordion). And, as it was my second shift I was trusted out interacting with the public - silly bananas! Also honored with the position of standing in a muddy hole to make sure none of the patrons tripped over......I did an expert job and may make myself a badge to recognize this new skill....hmmm.....

Saturday, 25 June 2011

173/365 Red lame and leopard print

(That should be pronounced larm-ay, can't work out how to do accents on here. )

I wish I had a photo to show Mr. Elvis Costello strumming one of his five thousand guitars whilst wearing a shiny red jacket and leopard print fedora. Sadly photography is banned at the festival, and whilst most people were ignoring this ruling, as I was wearing my volunteer pass I thought it was best if I behaved myself....Anyway, he was fab indeed. I'm not a die hard fan and so couldn't sing along to quite as many as the rest of the crowd, but the rain held off (the only two rain free hours of the day!) and he definitely put on a great show.

So my photo today is of the view of parliament when I got home and walked the dog, still humming '(I don't want to go to) Chelsea'.

(Sorry to end on a sad note, but we think Junior McBeaky may not have made it. We saw him in a garden up the street last night and he didn't look too well, although the adults were still on patrol. Poor love. x)

172/365 Gratutious chest shot

Yes, in an effort to boost readership I have resorted to the old age technique of taking photos of my chest, pretty stunning hey? Well, this is the flattering fitted look you get when you insist on ordering a 'large' volunteer freebie shirt. When will I ever learn? Ho hum, 'twill make a good nightshirt.

Anyway, jazzfest is here, and Friday night was my first shift. And it was also a ridiculously rainy day with thunderstorms starting at around 6:30pm. My shift started at 7pm. Eek. Thankfully for the most part it was dry though, with the downpour we feared all evening kicking in during the encore. And frankly by that stage I'd had about all I wanted of Mr. Robert Plant. I'm sure if you are a fan it was a good gig, but afraid I found it a bit M.O.R. And the 'planters' weren't half litter-louts! Blimey O'Reilly.

3 more shifts to go and the forecast is looking soggy! Hopefully I'll get some great musical experiences out of it though, time will tell.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

171/365 Beaky Junior

We have been invaded! Greedy McBeaky Junior has taken shelter on the balcony, sadly he seems to have left the nest before he can fly, and for some reason his response was to hop up all our stairs and nestle up to the watering can.

The whole McBeaky clan is now camped out at various vantage points in the backyard, waiting to caw maniacally whenever we venture near the backdoor. There were some menacing swoops when I went out to leave a towel and grub too - ungrateful bunch!

Now its dark things seem to have quietened down, I'm hoping Junior makes it through the night. I'm a sucker for big blue eyes.

(Also went to see the Governor General inspect the ceremonial guard this morning, photos on flickr).

170/365 Ducks are a paddling.

No, sadly it isn't quite the return of guess the duck, sorry to those of you who have been waiting with baited breath. But a duck photo to keep you going in the meantime, these two lovely ladies have decided that the top of the waterfall is the perfect place to paddle and look for tasty treats - extreme paddling indeed.

169/365 On a school night?

Late nights were few and far between back in England. Midnight only existed when nerves about the following days lessons meant I couldn't get to sleep.
However, midnight on a Monday night crawled round this week and we were still out enjoying jazz, how things change.

(Although, as I am writing this on Wednesday I can attest to the fact that although I may have more of them, I still can't cope with burning the candle at both ends.....Tuesday morning was grumpy-town! Yes I know midnight isn't late in most people's worlds, but I'm a 10pm to bed girl. The show was definitely worth it though).

Monday, 20 June 2011

168/365 Weekends are made of this....


167/365 Stress

You're lying in your hammock, the birds are tweeting, the annoyingly loud jet-skier has buzzed off, you've got your Pernod in reach, your book is getting gripping.....and then you realise your knitting is just out of reach.


Saturday, 18 June 2011

Friday, 17 June 2011

165/365 My bouche is amused.

Apparently this is sliced radish with some kind of sauce and a vegetarian caviar on top.
Some thoughts (well two anyway):

* What on earth do you make vegetarian caviar from?
* Do you think they realised how much this looks like a bloodshot eyeball when they made it?

Thursday, 16 June 2011

164/365 Night swimming

Well, strictly speaking it was evening swimming, but still in the water as sun was setting so I think it counts.

Cycled to Mooney's Bay this evening, and straight into the water for a couple of laps with swallows sweeping overhead and ducklings paddling on the shore. Sounds peaceful and idyllic, but when you add in the evenings dragon boat-race practice it was far from it, atmospheric though.

Post swim we picnicked on the sand on home made bread and fake-chicken salad, with a flask of coffee to wash it down (no, not lashings and lashings of ginger beer, this is starting to sound a tad Enid Blyton isn't it?!).

Expecting the bike ride home to be an unwelcome slog we were surprised to find that our legs seemed fresh after the swim. Which added to the fun of the ride which included a haunting orange full moon, bats out for dinner (one with faulty eco-location bumping the front of my bike!), a frog chorus and a speedy diversion off the path as a fallen tree loomed up ahead of us (it wasn't there on the way out!).

Best of all were the fireflies though, flashing at least three different colours as they bobbed about in the tall grasses to the side of the path. Magical.

Sadly our camera skills weren't up to capturing them, so here is the cheeky gull who kept a very beady eye on us during our picnic. Apparently the aroma of my home-made bread works on birdies as well as swimmers. x

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

163/365 Keep at arms length

My sister and her other half took some corking arm-length shots while they were here. Somehow she manages to remember to smile and look relaxed whereas generally I am too busy concentrating on not dropping the camera and whether I have my finger on the right button.

Anyway, despite successfully managing to cut off all three heads in this one, I like it. Jasper decided that he wanted to watch the rowers on our post picnic wander this evening, strange dog.

162/365 Underappreciated

Some animals are under appreciated, or even thought of negatively. Now maybe if I had had my precious garden rooted up, or if Jasper had had a smelly encounter, I may think of them differently. For now though, I have much love for the skunk.

That is all.

Monday, 13 June 2011

161/365 Some days are better than others....

....and today was a good one.

My view for much of the day:

which was entertaining enough with Paul cadging a lift from Karen when he could, especially when heading uphill.

However, the day was also filled with picnics, river swimming (or paddling in my case), pirate ships, dragon boats, farmers markets, stumbling on concerts in the park, mariokart winning (woop woop!), cricket watching, scone eating, delicious dining out.....smiling. Fab.

160/365 Wandering the streets

People are different.

That is not big news to anyone I'm sure, but today emphasized some of the differences.

P, T and I spent the afternoon mesmerised by handmade books and typesettings. Drooling may be a better word.

S fell in love with a Ferrari, and another car I can't remember the name of, whilst K eyed up motorbikes although most of these fell short of her standards.

I fell in love with a bug.

I have been called 'special' by several people this weekend, and I am shoosing to take it as a compliment.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

159/365 Ribs ribs ribs

I'm not completely sure, but I think we finally found an activity that the visitors approved of:

158/365 You do win friends with salad

Yummy yummy salad season. On offer this evening:
Rocket, Sweet Potato and Grilled Mozzarella salad, with a honey and thyme dressing.
Panzella - grilled peppers, tomatoes and ciabatta in an olive oil and garlic dressing.
Deep fried courgette and onion cakes with Mint yoghurt.

Tasty tasty tasty (and much less greasy than it looks in the photo, food photography is not my strong point).

Thursday, 9 June 2011

157/365 Rainy days, eventually

Hot, muggy, hot and muggy, all day long.....then THUNDERSTORM! Hoorah! Torrential rain, hail (apparently), and how the wind blowed.....then it cleared and finally it was comfortable enough to venture outside again.

Apparently there was a good chance of views of the Northern lights, but we only got to see the lights in the carpark as it clouded up. We'll try again tomorrow - one day we'll get to see them, one day.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

156/365 And off they go....

And I can safely say, that at least for the first two minutes they were on the right side of the road!

I was a space cadet today, no idea why, wiped out. I did manage to install my cat though, and make a Mary Poppins egg costume. So creatively a good one, just zonked. Lets hope for a kick of energy tomorrow. x

155/365 Monday breakfasts

I can safely say that since K and S arrived my intake of poached eggs has rocketed, and I am nothing but happy about this situation. I still haven't sampled one of S's masterpieces, maybe I'll get to do that at the weekend.....but for now Hamie's were a treat indeed.

A pottering day for me, while the guests headed to the beach by bicycle. It was Hot indeed (and yes, that is capitalised on purpose).

Caught up with friends in the afternoon and an epic Mariokart evening. I won!!!!!! (it has taken over 12 years for me to beat P at this, although it may have something to do with him not playing for a long long time. But hey, a victory is a victory!).

Monday, 6 June 2011

154/365 The obligatory poutine trip...

Every set of visitors we have, we end up taking for Poutine, its become a tradition. Strangely, not everyone seems as enamoured with this Canadian delicacy as we are, as can be seen by this shot:

I would like to make it clear that, despite how it may seem from the faces she's pulling in many of the posts in the last week, K does appear to be enjoying herself - honest!

153/365 Intrepid explorers....

Who'd have thought that my sister would be a better canoe steerer than me, having practised on pub crawls in Norwich of all places! Her and S were determined to find a turtle today, after our repeated tales of the monster from the depths seen here last year. Despite repeated explorations of the lake edges they were unsuccessful. Thankfully there were more smores to ease the pain.....somehow I don't think that any of us will have toned up over the weekend despite all the paddling!

152/365 Catching up - Friday

Off to a cottage for the weekend, and the forecast foretold rain rain and more rain for Saturday and Sunday. We descided to make the best of it and were in the canoe and pedalo pronto on arrival. Jasper still is not fond of the getting in and out of the canoe, but is very happy once he is being paddled around, maybe campooing with him will work after all.

An evening filled with Flux, BBQ salmon, and smores on the campfire. Not too shabby at all. If only all Fridays were like this. x

Friday, 3 June 2011

151/365 A difference of opinion....

Off to the cinema this evening. Paul and I are semi regular at the Mayfair so we thought we'd take our visitors so they could enjoy it as much as we do. Maybe we should have picked a different film?

This is the 'before' shot, but frankly, K only looked more disappointed afterwards, and S more bemused.....

Our ratings?
P gave it 5 stars,
4 from me (slightly too many exploding heads for my tastes),
K gave it 0. (although she did stay awake for the whole film!)
S? He described it as 'off the scale', but sadly I don't think he meant in the positive direction!

I'll leave you with a fabulous old joke told over a pint of Strongbow before the film....

'What's the difference between a buffalo and a bison?'
'You can't wash your hands in a buffalo.'

.......oops. I'd only had two sips of cider! And apparently I am morphing into my Dad as I grow older and I struggled even to get this mixed-up version out as I was giggling and in tears.

I'll get my coat.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

150/365 Bears!

The brilliant thing about having visitors is that it inspires you to explore. We've prided ourselves on being far more active than we ever were in England, but the little kick of having to entertain is always welcome, so today we crammed in all we could.

The four of us started with a whirlwind tour of the areas supermarkets, in search of cheap carrots. This accomplished we headed over to Quebec and made our way to Parc Omega to find us some (semi)-wild life. Turns out it finds you!

The checklist of critters seen? Wapitis, White-tailed deer, raccoon, Reindeer, Ibex, Wild boar (and babies), Bison (and babies), Groundhog, Black Bears (and baby), Timberwolves (and babies), Arctic Wolves and Coyotes. I think that's it. Oh and a new bird for me (Bobolink, awesome name), and both yellow and black swallowtail butterflies.

After an afternoon of spotting and being slobbered on to varying degrees, we wandered round the last section on foot, spending an amazing ten minutes observing mummy and baby bear tussle from the safety of the boardwalk above. Baby bear wanted to climb the tree, mummy bear was not amused.

To top off the day, a ferry ride across the river back to Ontario, and three out of four of us cooled off with a swim before we chowed down on fab BBQ. (You can guess for yourselves who didn't want to get their toes cold!).

Definitely a fab day all round. Hoorah!

PS. I have started a creative challenge, but am blogging about it elsewhere, if you're interested in that kind of thing, head here.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

149/365 Ice cream - woop woop!

K and S went sight-seeing in the hot HOT heat today, and were pretty wiped out on their return - the solution, ice-cream of course!

From left to right,
P with a choco-coffee flavour (it had a better name than that but I can't remember!)
Me with an italian named treat, again can't rememember. It was cream and rose water flavoured and so so delicious. My new favourite, til the next one!
S with banana flavoured - and boy was it banana flavoured.
And K with a rum fantasy, which would have got me drunk had I had the whole thing.

For some reason I'm the only one with ice-cream on my nose......but in my defence S was the first to dribble!