Saturday, 25 April 2015


I lost my blogging ambition for a couple of weeks, lots of reasons. Did you miss me? Hmmm... I thought not.
Reason One: the weather has been so cold. We even had SNOW on the ground two days ago. I thought this was spring! I know I don't have to write my blog outside, but somehow the really un-springlike weather completely brought me to a standstill.
Reason Two: I was sewing, and once I get the sewing machine warmed up I have to finish. I made a pretty summer dress for my only granddaughter, the beauteous Emma, and made a funky Tshirt for me, made from 4 recycled Tshirts from the Sally Ann Thrift Shop. Oh this is such a bad picture.

Reason Three: Some surgery. Parathyroidectomy. Sounds very impressive, doesn't it. Just one night in hospital, lots of TLC from the nurses on the 11th floor and the hospital food was surprisingly edible. Home the next day, feeling great now. I was in Toronto for a follow-up appointment at the hospital so I took my camera along.

Toronto City Hall. Designed by Finnish architect Viljo Revell and built in 1965. Home of Toronto City Council..... and former home of notorious Toronto ex-Mayor Rob Ford... remember him?

The Countdown Clock for the Pan Am Games to be held in Toronto July 10 -26 2015.

The CN Tower was completed in 1976 becoming the World's tallest tower... but lost that title in 2010. It's now the 3rd tallest. The light on top of the weather beacon on the Canada Life building glows red for rain, green for fine and white for snow, and the lights on the actual pylon scroll up or down according to the forecast temperature. Clever.

The Red Rocket ... one of Toronto's many streetcars, 248 of them in fact. 

Outside the law courts.... the lion and the lamb. Every Individual is Equal Before and Under the Law and has the Right to the Equal Protection and Equal Benefit of the Law without Discrimination.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Whether the Weather...

The Weather Man was right about the high winds and the rain.......

.......... but he needs to check his spelling!

Sunday, 5 April 2015

This 'n' That 'n' t'Other

I think Canadian Spring might be just around the corner here in the Great White North. We actually had two back-to-back sunny days, but it's back to cold weather again today.
I took TessaDog for a run in the forest last weekend, but it was too icy to go far. I'm afraid of falling and nobody finding me for a week. I'd have to eat the dog to survive! YoungerSon wouldn't like that.

Just a few more of those glorious sunny days and this view will change to green instead of white.
Auction Sale season has started. Every year there's an interesting Good Friday sale at the local Community Hall, so I went along to do some people watching (always a good sport) and to see what was on offer. I bid on a few things, but didn't actually part with any money, prices were too high, and there was nothing that I really needed.

A carved totem or symbolic mask from the West coast, possibly Haida. It sold for $750.00.
The auctioneer has a contact in the Persian carpet business, and always has a large number of carpets and rugs on offer at the auctions. The large ones go quite cheaply, as nobody has room for a 30' x 20' rug, and carpets with a big pattern aren't fashionable any more.

This one sold for just over $200.00. Listed price was over $1500.00. A bargain for someone.
These sweet little 1950s Dutch dolls sold for only $12.50. I was tempted, but do I really need dolls? After they were sold, I wished I had bid on them..... but then I saw sense and was happy I didn't. Indecision, indecision. 

Browsing at the local Care and Share junk charity shop, I noticed this shoe box up on a high shelf. Chandler is one of my family names (my mother's maiden name) so I was instantly interested. I wonder if these Chandlers are long lost relatives? And do their shoe shops still exist? According to the box lid they had addresses and stores all across the USA.

The town of Ilfracombe in North Devon (England) is where I spent some of my school days, and two new state of the art web cams have been installed looking at the harbour. I can spend quite some time just watching the people and the boats. If you see a large blue and white boat tied up at the dock, it's the MS Oldenburg, the ferry to the island of Lundy. The web cam is here, well worth a look. You'll also see a view on Cam2 of Rapparee Beach, the site of a disastrous shipwreck in 1796 and also a fistfight in 1878 with the Crown Prince of Germany who apparently was a bit of a twerp.

I've been painting again. The colours haven't photographed well in this photo. A bit fuzzy.

That's all folks..... until next time!     Happy Easter.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Richard III

Richard Plantagenet was born at Fotheringhay in Northamptonshire, England, on 2 October 1452. He was the youngest son of Cecily Neville, daughter of Ralph, Earl of Westmorland, and Richard, Duke of York, who was at that time heir presumptive to the throne.

Richard became King of England in 1483, and ruled until his death in August 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth Field, the last decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses. He was the last King of England to be killed in battle on home soil, and the first since King Harold was killed at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

Picture from www.telegraph,
After the battle, Richard's naked body was given to monks and hastily and unceremoniously buried. Richard's remains were found in 2012 buried under a car park in Leicester where the former Greyfriars Church and Monastery had stood before it was destroyed by Henry VIII in the 1530s. The position of 11 wounds on the bones indicate that he had lost both his horse and his helmet when he was set upon by opposing troops. And the curved spine is consistent with descriptions of Richard as a hunchback.

Richard III 's remains are being buried today (March 26 2015) in Leicester Cathedral, 530 years after his violent death in battle. His plain English oak and yew coffin was crafted by a many times great nephew, a Canadian born cabinet maker who now lives in London.

Richard III's family tree can be seen here and the full story of the excavation and the discovery of Richard's resting place here.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Frozen - not the movie

It's been a brutally cold winter. Temperatures in Ontario and Quebec were 7 to 9 degrees colder than average.  In Toronto, it was the first February in 75 years where the temperature did not climb above the freezing mark all month.

Ottawa recorded its coldest-ever February, with an average temperature of -16.8 C, shattering the former record set in 1979.  People on Canada's East Coast spent most of February digging out after record snowfalls. Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island was buried under more than seven feet of snow.

The five Great Lakes were 84% covered with ice. Niagara Falls was partially frozen, inspiring a crazy man with a death wish to climb to the top.

So we definitely deserve some spring weather. It was a lovely day yesterday.... blue sky, sunshine and above freezing temperatures.

But a new sprinkling of snow on the ground today, and grey skies. I've forgotten what green grass and spring flowers look like.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

R M R at the C B C

If you are any nationality other than Canadian, R M R will mean absolutely nothing to you. But to most Canadians, R M R means the Rick Mercer Report shown at 8:00pm on Tuesday evenings on CBC TV.

Rick Mercer is a Canadian comedian, TV personality, political satirist, social commentator and author, and can easily be described as the Canadian Parliament's "One Man Unofficial Opposition".  I've been a fan ever since he started on CBC's 22 Minutes in the early 1990s. Now he's in his 12th year of the Mercer Report. He gets up to all sorts of antics highlighting the crazy and unusual things that happen across Canada, and each week he delivers his opinion via Rick's Rant while striding purposefully along a downtown alley lined with colourful gaffiti.... here's an example:

YoungerSon, The Bride and I had vouchers for tickets (free of course, thanks Bride!) to watch a taping of R M R at the CBC studios in Toronto. (The Other Grandma was babysitting.)  We found a cosy pub for a beer and a burger and then headed off to the CBC building on Front Street.

Tech display of the current broadcast in the front lobby of the CBC building. We had to line up with a couple of hundred other people to get our tickets, and then up in the elevators to the studio.

Getting the audience seated inside the studio. Rick came out to introduce the show and to chat to the audience before the taping started.

The set of the R M R, I took a couple of photos of Rick, but too blurry to publish, and no photos allowed when they are actually taping..
Looking up inside the CBC building. The green wall houses the elevators. RMR is taped at the top on the 10th floor.

Looking down to the main atrium level. 

I'll be watching Rick's show next Tuesday. Maybe I'll spot the backs of our heads.