Friday, April 30, 2010


mama is a little agitated.

she sits on this rock and ruffles her feathers and shakes her tailfeathers.

even though we are quite a safe distance away, high up on the breakwall. in fact we are higher up than usual (or she is lower down than usual) since the water level hasn't been so low in decades.
I certainly have never seen these rocks above the waterline before.

with a few quacks, she gathers her brood together.

head count...

there's always a straggler.
right, all together now, count off - one, two, three, ... up to eleven.
(or, in Dutch - een, twee, drie ... elf)

I was talking to a woman this morning who lives in that condo building and she was telling me that there was a nest on the third floor terrace. She wasn't certain just how they got the family across the road, through the park and into the water, but it involved some wildlife rescue people.
they move fast, these little fellas do,
but I managed one or two clear close ups
say awwwwwwww

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sunday, April 25, 2010

SundayStills - barns

One of my favourite shows of the real estate / reality genres on tv comes out of the UK, called Dream Home Abroad. It deals with the trials and tribulations of people who have big dreams and invade the picturesque countryside of France and Italy, buying up ruins abandonned buildings and turning them into gorgeous homes.

Sometimes, I can see the potential in the falling down, rock strewn, property.

Though, most of the time, I am simply transfixed by the outcome.

And wonder why the French and Italians have not bought up the ancient piles themselves to transform them and sell at inflated prices to those enchanted but less adventurous (foolhardy?) Brits.

We don't have any centuries old ruins waiting to be made habitable again.
I would dream of a barn conversion, with a view of the countryside...
but these old barns will soon disappear to make way for a development of large, expensive townhomes.
For more barns, from the many, many Sunday Stills participants who actually live on farms and use their barns, see here

Thursday, April 22, 2010

scent of sakura

a little piece of cherry blossom time

walking through the park at sunrise

drinking in the heavenly subtle scent

two weeks ahead of schedule

Happy Earth Day

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

where I am transported

I'm visiting Australia. Not physically, more's the pity.

With a few minutes between appointments, I wandered into a small charity shop. Perusing the bookshelves, I spied a copy of In a Sunburned Country. I have been meaning to read this book for years, but somehow kept forgetting. Now was my chance. A perfect antidote to The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo.

After my appointment I settled into one of those comfy chairs by the window with a coffee and my new book. What happened next was not elegant. But if you have ever read Bill Bryson, you will understand.

I soon found myself making indelicate snorting noises. I was almost choking with the effort to keep from laughing out loud. Soon, I knew my face was red. And wet from the tears streaming down my cheeks. I stared out the window and composed myself and started again. My body was involuntarily shaking. Those leather chairs proved to be of little use in supporting me as I crumpled helplessly. I surreptitiously reached into my bag for a bottle of water as a distraction. But it was useless. I should have known better.

A couple minutes later, a man passed by me on his way out. "Must be a rip snorter", he said, with a wink.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010


This condo building, the taller one in the city view, is barely two years old and not the most popular in my town. Mostly because of it being tall. And all glass. There are more to come. More changes to the landscape.
The first shot is from a view much higher up than my apartment.
In spite of not liking having this building obstructing my view of the sky, I am often awestruck by the changes in light and colour. Sometimes it is the reflections off this building that first draw my attention to the weather changes.
Lately, I have been experimenting with taking several shots of the same view at various times of the day and year and so, for your viewing pleasure, here is my submission to Sunday Stills. Pull up a chair, have a glass...
this collage was created between 6:45am and 9:45 am Wednesday morning this week. Below are a few more views culled from the archives.

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Friday, April 16, 2010


I awoke to a slight clattering noise.

My first thought was that it was the turtle slipping off his basking rock. I remembered seeing him basking before I went to bed, and he is big and lumbering.

My second thought was, since I'm awake...

and wandered into the livingroom to see a huge pigeon flying around.

He didn't seem happy to be visiting my humble abode.

Very quickly, the scent of fresh air from the open door lured him outside again where he landed on the railing. I swear he turned back to check that he was safe.

"my god, that was close" he must have been thinking before he flew off.

Which was rather close to what I was thinking.

I leave the door open, mostly for the fresh air, but also to let the cat wander in and out at will.

I glanced down at her as she followed me into the room.

"what? did I miss something?" she seemed to say as she wiped the sleep from her eyes.

I pointed outside.

"oh. they are filthy nuisances aren't they? I'm going back to bed."

Which was pretty much what I did.

After I closed the balcony door.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


We are doomed to be identified by numbers. Passwords, codes, PINs, addresses, telephones...
it is all a bit overwhelming.

And for us, in the 905 area code it will become just a bit more overwhelming. We will have the dubious honour of becoming the first to have 3 overlapping area codes.

Back in 1993, when numbers ran out for new telephones, the 416 area code, that included Toronto and the vast surrounding area, was split. Anyone whose postal code did not begin with a 'M' had to deal with a new area code of 905. This included the regions north, east and west of the city of Toronto. Why this region wasn't divided into a north/east and west/south split is a mystery, but obviously no-one expected the area to grow so fast. A scant few years later, in 2001, new area codes were introduced along with 10-digit dialling and the annoying voice of Emily to remind you every time you dialled. We now had, in Toronto: 416 and 647, and outside: 905 and 289. Now, the creation of 905 was quite a fuss, but at least the number fell into the usual rules of the area code - that being that the middle number should always be a '1' or a '0'. This new random numbering is not nearly so sexy. Or easy to remember. Or say quickly. Add 365 to the mix and confusion is bound to reign.

To be fair, the last addition wasn't nearly as traumatic and there doesn't seem to be nearly as many people (within my sphere) with the newer area codes and for the most part I don't even say mine as it is assumed to be 905 (or 416 if you are in Toronto) unless you say differently. But, it is forecasted that we will run out of numbers by 2014.

I am old enough to remember the old names with the two letter designation for the exchange - Howard, Oxford and Plymouth were the ones we used most often (that would be 46- 69- and 75- for any of you young 'uns out there). We had a party line for years. And the farm where I spent summers had the 2 long and 1 short ring (or was it 2 short and 1 long? or 1 long and 3 short?) I do remember how everything would stop until the rings finished so you knew if it was yours or not! Then there was the town I lived in where everyone had the same exchange, so you only needed to give out the last four digits of your phone number. You used to be able to tell where a business was located by their exchange number. Now you are lucky if you even get any phone number included in a business ad. Addresses went by the wayside a few years ago, most places giving out only a website for information.

A couple of years ago, I was shopping for a new phone book. I was rather particular - just lines for name and address and telephone. I really don't want or need a place for fax numbers or email addresses. One of my old books has a line for 'car phone' 'bus phone' and 'home phone'. Now I just want to find one that will leave enough space for large writing of 10-digit numbers with the '-' to make it easier to read. My cell phone does not have the dash so I get a too-long-for-one-line display of 6476776746. My brain can't handle that very well.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday AMuse

LEGO artist Jan Vormann fills up cracks in the region of Sabina, Italy, as part of the contemporary art festival '20 Eventi' during 2007

Sabina, Italy

Cracks in the walls of Yaffo in Tel Aviv, Israel, during 2008

Bryant Park, New York City

Jan Vormann fixing a wall with Lego.

found at Juxtapoz

Friday, April 9, 2010

april is a painful month

It feels like winter has returned.

But, I have been working out. Diligently and with determination.
As a result, my whole body feels battered and bruised.
I think my personal trainer may be trying to slowly kill me.

And I had to move the mouse to my left hand because of tendinitis in my right.
Now my left arm is aching.

So, I will rest and leave you with pictures of my 'garden', all decked out for Easter.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

april showers

Today started out being what would be a perfect spring day - if we hadn't had perfect summer weather on the weekend. Now it is absolutely pissing down rain. Which means I won't have to water my hydrangea for awhile.
On Sunday, I went to the oneofakind art show where I spent way too much money. The plan was to meet J and we would spend the afternoon together being enthralled with the artisans' amazing craftmanship and sample lots of jams and chutneys. But, she woke up with a headache and wasn't up for it, so in the end the plan was changed and I would head over to her place after the show for tea in her garden. I figured 2-3 hours and I would be exhausted from trailing around and seeing so much stuff.

That's what I thought. Four hours later, I ran out of money. To be fair, some of what I bought were birthday and Christmas presents. And I bought myself a new watch, which I love. I don't normally wear watches, but have been keeping my eye out for something that I could read the time, but looked very decorative. I don't wear much jewellery because I am lazy, not because I don't like it. I kept it on and kept looking at it and smiled every time I checked the time.

And, it being the last day of the show, you can usually get some good deals - "these are $12, but we've had such a nice conversation, you can have them for $10", "these ones are actually $xx, but I'll let them go for $x as it's almost the end of the day and I don't want to have to pack them up and cart them home again". Which is how I came home with 3 beautifully carved eggs. I need to find a spot to display them and when it is sunny again I'll take a picture for you.

Eventually, I had to leave. J was waiting for me in her garden, afterall. I wanted to take some pictures at the Exhibition grounds (where there are beautiful art deco and beaux arts buildings) while the trees were still bare. I may have spent a bit longer than I intended outside in the warm sunshine ... but at 5pm I said, enough, time for tea. And I had to be home in time to watch the last ever Inspector Frost. I got into my car, turned it on and took out my cell phone to say I was finally on my way. And realized it was actually 6pm. Seems, the time on my new watch hadn't been sprung forward. We were going to put it off, but I had gotten her a present which was food, so I still went. I think I hit every red light on the drive (which was in the other direction from home).

We had tea, we went back to the car and I showed her what I bought (that weren't the presents), then went back inside for a few more minutes. At exactly 8pm I left to get home in time for Frost.

At exactly 9pm I pulled into my driveway, silently cursing that I would miss the first few minutes - missing the beginning of a murder mystery is never good. The packages could stay in the car. I reached over to the back seat for my purse. An hour and twenty minutes later, I was back at J's house for my purse with my house keys and cell phone inside. My neighbour with an extra key was not home. There was nothing for it, but to return to Toronto. And holiday traffic had obviously not eased up yet. It had eased for the second homeward bound journey, which only took 45 minutes.

This made up for a totally uneventful previous week, I guess.

Monday, April 5, 2010