Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday AMuse

Neil Diamond

George Harrison

Fats Waller

Eric Clapton
from Sleeveface

Saturday, September 25, 2010

SundayStills - the letter S

I hadn't even checked what the theme was for this week's Sunday Stills until I came back from

the Stratford Festival (saw As You Like It and I loved it!) How appropriate.

Fortunately we only had about an hour and a half to drive, so we didn't need to avail ourselves of this establishment.

For those who are not familiar with Stratford, there are a lot of swans about. Stratford is known for the theatre and for the swans. And there is a bit of theatre around the swans as well. There is a parade when they are released into the Avon on the last Saturday in March and they are revered throughout the town.
Here come a few of them now. Someone has food.
I would have taken more photos of the swans, had I known about the S photo challenge. Still, this worked out very well. I'll be back in Stratford next month (for Kiss Me Kate) and I hope to find at least one of the two Black Swans. I am the designated driver, so my travelling companions may have to find an establishment for their own imbibement and entertainment while they wait out my incessant photographing.

See what everyone else came up with for their S at SundayStills

Sunday, September 19, 2010

knit one, knit two

Knitters are an unusual breed. They are compulsive, with a need to constantly have a project on the go. And it often goes with them - on the bus, to meetings, lunch hours in the park, monthly 'stitch 'n bitch gatherings with like minded friends... It was virtually guaranteed that every member of our (albeit tiny) family would get a knitted sweater for Christmas. When that became too much for our bodies and closests to handle, we all got afghans. Many, many afghans and sweaters have passed through my mother's hands. She was occasionally reduced to begging, "would any of your friends like a pillow cover or pot holder I could make for them?", "she's having a baby? oh good, I'll find a nice pattern, in green or yellow, just in case". A donation or two was made for the annual church bazaar. I was at a younger friend's house a few months ago, and in her loo, prominently on display - and for use, I guess - sat a knitted toilet paper roll cover. A washroom seemed as good a place as any to have a little laugh and cry at the memory of it all. Didn't we all have one of those hats, or sometimes a doll with a very large skirt to daintily cover the toilet rolls? I hated them when I was living at home, but at that moment I rather wished I had a nice one to remind me of my mother. Hannah thinks they are hilarious and wants a collection for her washroom. But, like me, she is not a knitter. Church bazaar. There's sure to be some old lady still making them!

So, when Sue Sturdy, an fibre artist who is now artist-in-residence at the Cambridge Centre for the Arts decided on an outdoor art installation, she wanted something that was special and spoke to the origins of the textile industry and the woolen mills that made the area prosper in the 19th and early 20th century. So, in the the city of Galt in Cambridge, near the old ruins of the mill race on the Main St Bridge

she managed to find over 1500 knitters to contribute to covering every inch of the bridge

somewhere along here there are even afghans made in Australia and New Zealand as a contribution

this is an original dress from the 60s that was donated

and thousands of people have wandered into downtown Galt to admire and exclaim and meet people (though, on this particular day it was relatively quiet, but still, everyone you passed had a word of admiration and awe)

On the day I went, I had a chance to meet Sue Sturdy who was walking the bridge and talking enthusiastically about the the various pieces. So many stories. Some were made specifically for this installation, some were donated. All will be taken down on Sept 27th and later laundered and refashioned to be donated to charities.

It seems I still have to learn how to use my Nikon. Sadly all my photos from that camera were shite.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

SundayStills - glass

There was a story in yesterday's Toronto Star about people who are mad for Pyrex. People who scour yard sales and thrift shops and ebay to add to their collection of prettily patterened CorningWare casserole dishes. People who are after my own heart. If there was one thing I was slightly disappointed with in my trip to the Corning Museum of Glass, it would be the complete lack of CorningWare. I really did expect to see a section solely devoted to the dishes that took over our kitchens.

I don't actually buy up all the pyrex dishes I see, but I do make a beeline towards them if I see any in a thrift or antique shop. I have been known to wander around the shop with something in my arms, before coming to my senses and realizing that since I don't bake, this set of bowls would just be in the way in the cupboards. Though sometimes, I cannot resist.

And, since I was in Corning, the birthplace of all things CorningWare patterned......

I bought this Cornflower teapot.

Last night, after writing this post in my head, I woke up from a dream that I had made my morning tea in my new teapot and opened my cupboard to see several FireKing mugs. I could very plainly see the patterns of diamonds and dots and little flowers.... now those I could use.
I'm off to the Antique Market. See you all later.
See more glass at Sunday Stills

Monday, September 6, 2010

Monday AMuse

I saw this on someone's (sorry, I forget whose) blog last week and remembered that I had a copy bookmarked for my own enjoyment!

So, as a way of remembering our friends in New Zealand this week, I present this as a response to any other natural disasters.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

wind and rain

I have just had a phone call from some friends/clients who were coming to town for the long weekend and hoped to fit in a massage while they were here. I have not seen them in the four years since they moved (3 hours away) so was looking forward to visiting with them. Their plans have changed due to some ferry being cancelled. Considering the winds and rain we have had, that doesn't really surprise me. And yet, we are pretty far away from Earl....

Yesterday, another friend really wanted to go to Ribfest and wanted me to go with him. I don't care for ribs and the crowds are always horrendous, but I figured we could entertain each other while he stood in line for however long it took to get his ribs. He also promised me a beer. It clouded over and started sprinkling just as he made up his mind which hot smokin' ribs he wanted, but it didn't look too bad. Wrong. Suddenly the sky deluged us with a torrent of rain. There was nowhere to hide. Ribfest is in a large park with lots of grass and... mud. Surprisingly there were still quite a few people who stuck it out and stayed in the queues. Certainly no one stopped bbq'g! Since I didn't fancy sitting at a wet patio with wet clothes we went home and changed. Later he picked me up and bought me dinner. It only seemed fair.

And now, the temperature has dropped considerably. I actually had to wear a jacket last night.
I saw someone raking his leaves yesterday and it made me sad. My balcony was covered in dead leaves and petals that have blown off my petunias and geraniums so I spent the morning sweeping and vacuuming them all up, thinking my friends could use the balcony while we were visiting and getting massaged, well, while one or the other of them was getting massaged. But, just before the phone call I realized it was too cold and windy to sit out there.

But, no worries. The heat will return by Monday. And my place is now spotless and the balcony is swept and redecorated with fall mums... so if you want to come visit, I'll be ready.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

city mouse

Yesterday was spent in the company of friends who live out in the country. They are a few miles from a quaint village and there are farms around to provide a faint (or more) whiff of animals. And eggs and corn and fresh tomatoes. There are neighbours close by, but the trees and hills provide enough cover that you may completely forget they are there. Straight down the road about 20 minutes away is a city that is one of the fastest growing in Ontario. And from there it is a short commute into the largest city in Canada.

Except for the cicadas and crickets and a few frogs, it was eerily quiet. A whole different world existed beyond the suburban crawl. I got almost giddy at the thought of coming back for their Fall Fair which is 160 years old this year. There is an annual Christmas Tree Lighting that attracts thousands of people! It all sounds so quaint. Bucolic. (though, doesn't that word have an awful sound to it? more like some kind of nasty disease instead of a pastoral poem)

These friends are moving next winter and have sold their house to people they suspect will not last long. They have no idea what living in the country will be like. I know that I would hate it, no matter how lovely and inviting it seems on a visit. I know that deep down, I am a city woman. I am also a bit lazy. I like not having to drive 15 minutes or more just to get condiments or coffee. Although, it has been pointed out that walking the 15 minutes to the stores is not lazy. I think it must be a perception of distance thing. I can sit and stare out a window with the best of them, but after awhile I need the stimulation of shops and street life and theatres and galleries close by for my amusement. It is fun to people watch when when you never know who you are going to run into and then there is the surprise of running into someone you know. In a village, the chances of running into the same people day after day might get a little claustrophobic. I like not having to worry about curling shingles, burst pipes and septic tanks. And snow drifts blocking a long unmaintained lane. And the worry of bears.
But every now and then, I wonder... if I had the money to buy exactly what I wanted and to maintain it properly... if I had a live-in gardener and a riding snowblower and a few chickens and a dog to scare the foxes would I change my lifestyle? Would I be happy with the constant quiet, or would I sink into a depression from the isolation? Would I feel a desolation wash over me when I realized the main street of the village was empty streets with shuttered stores at 5PM. My turtle might be happy to have a pond instead of an aquarium, but would he get along with the frogs?

Where I live now is not perfect. Most of you know that I live in a highrise. I may not have a yard, but I do have a rather large balcony. And a great view! The advantages are that I can call management to fix the plumbing. I can lock the door, give the key to a neighbour to watch the cat and water the plants and she does not even put on a coat (in winter). I am mere minutes from the lake and the downtown core, yet is very quiet. The traffic would be my number one complaint - it is there and constant, even if I don't hear it. And I would like to walk out my door and be outside, not in a hallway waiting for an elevator.

But these are minor quibbles. I would like to know what you like and dislike about where you have chosen to live. And if you had the chance, would you move into the city from the country or out to a farming community from a urban area?