Lunedi Lunacy

Well this pretty much sums up the Canada I grew up it!!!!

I have to admit that I stole this from my friend Yellow Dog Granny but it was just too good not to steal!  That and the fact that it gives me the chance to tell all my Canadian readers – both of them – about a fun little project that several of us Canucks  (including D. over at She Who Seeks) have on the go.

Anyone who read YDG knows that West is the home of the infamous Skunk Egg but its also the home of the good residents of the West Rest Haven.  As well as her many other activities our YDG volunteers there running Jackie’s Kitchen – a monthly taste treat that takes the gang on all sorts of culinary adventures. In June YDG decided to look no further than across the 49th parallel for a theme for the Kitchen and she’s doing a Canadian themed day.  Now its difficult to pin down what actually is Canadian cuisine – poutine? tourtiere? fiddleheads? artic char?  We’ve had some problem with that one let me tell you.

If we can’t identify a particularly Canadian food for the folks in West we decided at least we could share pictures of our home and native land with them.  So several of us have started a postcard campaign.  We’re hoping for postcards from every Province and Territory.  So if you happen to someone that I haven’t cornered written to about sending a card and would like to join us in saying “Hi  eh?” to our friends in West drop me a note at my e-mail and I’ll send you the address.

Meanwhile I have to find my mother’s old traditional recipe for poutine!!!!!

14 May – 1951: Trains run on the Talyllyn Railway in Wales for the first time since preservation, making it the first railway in the world to be operated by volunteers.

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Back in the old days of regular blog postings I would share some of my favourite bloggers and their words of wit and wisdom as well as random photos with a bit of theme thrown in. As I look over the old list on the side bar I see that many of my old friends no longer post regularly and in some cases not at all. Many of them have graduated to Facebook where we still are able to keep in touch with the comings and goings in our lives, if in a slightly more concise manner.

April 23, 2012 – Springtime comes to Ottawa!

However a few of my longtime blog buddies are still around, one has – to my immense joy – started blogging again and at least one of my dearest friends has begun her own blog.   Sadly one of my longtime favourites has announced she is closing down her blog.  So I’m back to sharing both favourite blogs and I thought, that given our return to winter yesterday,  I’d post a few photos of the “winter of our discontent” here in Ottawa. Now some of you may recall my “bitch slap” threat – well if one more person tells me what a “mild” winter its been this year I will personally make sure they are incorporated into an ice sculpture for next year’s Winterlude – some pictures of this year’s entries follow.

A recent addition to the many memorials to Canadian politicians, warriors and notables that dot the landscape of Ottawa is this remarkable statue of jazz great Oscar Peterson.  Unveiled by Queen Elizabeth in 2010 the bronze figure of Peterson, seated at his piano, observes the pedestrians and cars at the corner of Elgin and Slater in front of the National Arts Centre.  And passersby are treated to Peterson playing some of his most famous melodies.  I took this picture and short video late one evening after a January snow storm as I was walking home from the NAC.

My darling Jacquie Sue is still kicking ass over at Yellow Dog Granny – though with all the great things she’s been doing for the folks over at the Rest Home plus old Dexter fussin’ and a fumin’ I’m not sure how she does it. And now that she’s the youngest Great-Grandma I know she’s got a budding YDG to take under her wing – Olivia is one lucky little girl. But we still get our Monday Morning chuckles, updates on the doings in West and whatever else strikes her fancy. And one of these days I’m going to accept her invite and get my butt down to West and try one of those world famous skunk eggs!

One of the most popular features of Winterlude, after the 10 km skating rink on the Rideau Canal, is the International Ice Sculpture Contest. The first weekend of the annual winter festival was perfect for viewing some spectacular pieces of ice carving.  Unfortunately by the time we got to them the second weekend and an evening or two later many of the details had been eroded by a turn in the weather.  But there were still spectacular.  Many had an Inuit theme to them though there was a odd bit of commercialism.  And a sidebar to my friend Marco – that’s what would happen to your Samsung smartphone if you came to Canada in the winter!

You may recall that in January I headed over to London for a few days to see Dame Edna in her first – and sadly given her announced retirement, last – panto and to spend a few days with some friends.  Though time was tight I was able to have a lovely meal with my dear friend David – after having been royally entertained by his diplomate at the Garrick Club.  It was good to see David again, howbeit briefly, and even better to see that he has taken up blogging again at I’ll Think of Something Later.  David has been my guide to so many things through his blog and my meetings with him and his current postings are once again giving me untold delight.  Wonderful to have you back caro!

When we lived in Poland we were lucky that we had a great group of people at the Embassy, not always a given – a group that 12 years later many of whom we see for the occasional lunch, dinner or breakfast.  And one or two who have remained close friends – almost family actually.  Among the later is my darling Bev.  It would take a book to tell her story – she always seems to be on the run not from but to danger.  In the past 10 years I’ve lost count of the places she’s lived but I know Islamabad, Kabul, Darfur and Colombo are on the list.  Currently she’s living in Bangkok – thats when she’s not on the road to all manner of exotic places with strange sounding names like the up coming tour of  Nepal, India, Beirut, Bhutan, Kuala Lumpur, Sri Lanka, Nairobi.  Now my Bev is a person who does everything with passion and commitment both work and play and her latest passion is physical training.  And she loves sharing her passions and what better way than through a blog.  Her adventures as she checks out gyms and other cool sports stuff can be found at The Diesel Diva.  Welcome to blogdom darling good to have you with us.

Sadly Lotus Green over at Japonisme has announced that she is closing down her blog.  I’ve always enjoyed visiting her and being entertained, educated and often astounded by the wonderful wedding of image, word and sound.  She will be missed.

And what could be more Winter than a “Mountain of Lost Mittens” – this fun sculpture was actually made up of mittens that had been left in various places in Ottawa.

So enough of winter now – it is now almost the end of April and spring could make a more permanent appearance if it so desired?????

25 April – 1849: The Governor General of Canada, Lord Elgin, signs the Rebellion Losses Bill, outraging Montreal’s English population and triggering the Montreal Riots.

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Granny Get Your Gun!

I’ve been absent in the last few weeks from the blogging scene – both as a poster and as a reader. Things have just piled up and I’ve been getting that old familiar treading water feeling but hopefully the next week should be a better one and I should get back to regular postings.

Having said that I did see that one of my blogbuds has just had an anniversary. My Texas darlin’ Yellowdog Granny has been at this blog thing for five years. Five years – that’s a hell of a long time in the blogosphere. So for five years she’s been giving us the news and her views from West, Texas. She’s been making me laugh – thank god for Monday morning Stumbles; cry – I still miss Annie though Dexter has become one of my favorite cats; think – her views on life and her experience gives me a new perspective on my American cousins; and just damn well have a good time – where else would I have found out about Skunk Eggs?

I came to YDG through Sling when I was visiting over at his Domain and I saw this “dame” making irreverent comments. “Hey you can’t write that on the internet,” said I. So I went over and found out not only could you write that but a whole lot more. That would have been almost three years ago now and I don’t think I’ve missed a post since.

Now if someone had ever told me I’d become friends with an oft-married, gun-toting, ass-kicking”dame” from West, Texas I’d have checked what was in that brown bag they were guzzling from. But that is one of the joys of the Internet and blogging – you find people who, despite seemingly wide differences, you have a lot in common with. You find people who have passion and compassion.

You find people that you are glad you’ve met. And that my darlin’ YellowDog Granny would be you.

Big old bunch of Baci Cara – auguri e complementi. Here’s to five times five more!

13 marzo – San Rodrigo

I Blush

If you’ve scrolled through to the bottom of the blog you may notice that I’ve been given a new award. My friend JacqueSue, better known as YellowDog Granny felt kindly enough to include me in her list of people she wanted to receive the Bella Award.

YDG and I are a little bit like Donny and Marie – we’re almost the same age but she’s “a little bit country” and I’m a little bit “rock and roll”. Okay that isn’t really true she a good bit rock and roll too and I’m a little bit everything leaning heavy on the classical. But the point is that we have become friends – as far apart as we are geographically and as differing as our tastes may be, through this Internet thing we’ve come to appreciate each other as much for our differences as our similarities.

I look forward to hearing about what’s been happening in West, Texas because its so much a part of what makes her special. I’ve come to know how much Annie means to her and through her posts when she was sick, was concerned and worried along with her. I love it when she writes about her beloved Cowboys – don’t understand much about it but then she doesn’t get my opera thing. And I know I can be guaranteed a laugh when she posts her “Stumbles.” I enjoy her wit, her take on things, her wicked and warped sense of humour and the number of times she can use the word “fuck” in one sentence.

Now apparently there are rules with the Bella Award:

1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.

2) Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

I’ve accepted the award with pleasure and posted it along with a way to get to over to visit with YDG (be warned that sometimes the posts are not for the faint-hearted or prudish, this is a woman who speaks her mind.)

I’m not going to pass the award along to 15 people – mostly because YDG has taken the links right out of my mouth for a few. But I will add four people – though at the moment the first three are so busy with work, family and homes that they don’t necessarily post on a regular basis. The fourth keeps us up to date with happenings in her corner of the North West US and beyond.

So I’m passing it on to four women I have grown to love and care about:

My Darling Dora – the hottest Lady in Red I know.
Cowbell – who’s let us in, though not as often as I wish, on the growings and adventures of her brood, the dogs and TOFH!
Elizabeth – an artist in so many ways, though chiefly in living.
Lorraine – our Rainey is the one active wench and here wench is a good word!

Here’s to you ladies!

13 maggio – Nostra Signora di Fatima