Monday, 30 July 2007

Don't Fence Me In

Isn't this the best looking fence you ever saw? It continues all around this manufacturing plant in Guelph. Of course, their business is steel tube and pipe rolling.

And on the same street is this yard full of weird and wonderful concrete sculptures. Can you imagine this at the end of the garden?

Friday, 27 July 2007

Cherry Ripe

First you take this.....
.... add this.......
............ and the result is this.

Toast and cherry jam, anyone???

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Spying on the Neighbours

I've read all the books.
I'm fed up with knitting.
I can't drive anywhere, or even walk very far right now, so I have been reduced to spying on the neighbours for my entertainment.

Just a few houses away, this old wooden house has been used as a Nursery School for the past 20 years, but since the sudden death of the owner last summer, it's been "FOR SALE". It's just had new windows and a new roof in the spring, but it didn't entice any buyers as the "FOR SALE" sign is still there.
Right opposite me, this house was sold in July 2005, and has been under extensive renovation ever since... nobody living in the main part of the house right now, a young couple rents the basement apartment. Last week it got a new roof and a new chimney.

And this afternoon, I heard the BUZZ of a chain saw. My neighbours to the side were cutting down a huge tree. Enlarge at the Red Arrow.

I'm glad it's him up there, and not me!

Most of the neighbourhood houses on this street are more than 40 years old, as this is one of the originally settled parts of town, but next door to me is a 4 year old house, with new owners who moved in a couple of months ago. They already are making changes, building extra bedrooms in the basement.
And at the end of the street, there is a huge extension going onto a big brick house, probably doubling the living space.
Constant changes happening round here, that's for sure.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Take it Easy

A lazy sunny summer weekend and I'm taking it easy under the garden umbrella. Foot up on a chair, pile of books beside me, cool drink on the table.

And when (if) I feel ambitious, I sit myself down on the grass and start weeding... tons of this purple Self-heal, or Heal-all, in the lawn, growing in huge clumps. The only islands of green in a sea of burnt yellow grass.

Haven't seen any fairies yet though. I hope I'm not destroying their natural habitat.

I love these Flower Fairies books, I have them all from my childhood. Poems and pictures by Cecily M. Barker.

When little elves have cut themselves,
Or Mouse has hurt her tail,
Or Froggie's arm has come to harm,
This herb will never fail.
The Fairy's skill can cure each ill
And soothe the sorest pain;
She'll bathe, and bind, and soon they'll find
That they are well again.

Just what I need for my foot!

YoungerSon came by on the way to a Volvo meet with some of his Volvo aficionado friends

And the Day Lilies are in bloom....

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Fancy Footwear and Lilies

Well, I went to the hospital and they gave me the boot, and said "Come back on Tuesday"! Once I get the hang of these crutches, I'll be mobile again.

But as I'll be staying fairly close to home for the immediate future, some more pics from the Royal Botanical Gardens... the glorious lily display.
Could these be giant Scrabble tiles?

And this is the ONLY lily I have ever grown in my own garden. This is the first year it has flowered, and I'm so proud of it, I just had to include it here!

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Just call me Hopalong!

I've spent the last 4 days getting used to a new form of transport.... crutches.
It's only minor surgery and looks more impressive than it really is, but it's very painful!

So I'm grounded for a while but I'll soon be on both feet again. Today it's back to the hospital to have the dressing changed and a walking boot put on.

Meanwhile I've got lots to amuse me.

Plus blogging, of course.

Thursday, 12 July 2007


While strolling through the Royal Botanical Gardens (see previous post) we came across the grave marking the final resting place of Martimas, a thoroughbred racehorse owned by William Hendrie, the original landowner.
Someone had placed a faded flower on the stone.
Having never seen such an elaborate grave for a horse before, I wanted to know more.
The Canadian Horseracing Hall of Fame web site says:
On the morning of August 23, 1898, a groom was leading a young colt about the scarcely-built environs of Brooklyn, N.Y., looking for Sheepshead Bay race course. That afternoon the Futurity Stakes, a race for the best two-year-olds in America, would be run at the Coney Island Jockey Club track.
It had been a long day for Martimas, who was owned by William Hendrie of Hamilton, Ontario. Following an overnight trip from Saratoga down the Hudson River to Manhattan, the colt was shipped by ferry to the docks in Brooklyn, about six miles from the track. The groom, after being misled many times and walking in circles for hours until he and Martimas were on the verge of exhaustion, arrived at the track 45 minutes before post time.
With 23 horses at the post, many on their worst behaviour, it took the starter 1 1/2 hours to get the field away. Martimas broke on top and was never headed in this great classic that is now run at Belmont.
The money Hendrie earned in winning the rich Futurity was given to build the Martimas Wing at Hamilton General Hospital. A multiple stakes winner on U.S. tracks, Martimas also won the Toronto Cup at Woodbine and the Canadian Derby at Fort Erie for trainer Ed Whyte. Martimas sired King's Plate winners Kelvin and Shimonese.
When Martimas died in 1916 he was buried at the Hendrie's Valley Farm in Aldershot near Hamilton. In 1931 the farm was donated to the citizens of Hamilton and is now the Royal Botanical Gardens.
In case you can't enlarge the photo, the inscription reads:
Foaled 1896 - Died 1916
Winner of FUTURITY and other races
and a sire of good horses
"Dumb creatures we have cherished here below
Shall give us joyous greeting
When we pass the golden gate
Is it folly that I hope it may be so?"

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Reconnaisance Run

We chose one of the hottest days of the summer to go to the Royal Botanical Gardens. I don't know why we did that.... it was 33C, that's 91F, with high humidity. I was melting.
I hadn't been there before and I wanted to check out The Royal Court which is where YoungerSon and The Beloved will be tying the knot in October.

It's under a canopy but is in an outdoor courtyard... with an ornamental pond and surrounding gardens. Pretty nice place for a wedding.

This is The Space Cadet's version of "tying the knot"... a perfect photo op for newlyweds.

It was so hot we had to make a pit stop for a cuppa....

... and doesn't this garden installation look comfy in spite of it's rather scary name.... "The Spider's Lair".

Sunday, 8 July 2007


We're Jammin'
I wanna jam it wid you
We're jammin', jammin',
And I hope you like jammin' too....

So sang Bob Marley, but I think he was referring to something a little different than this.
This is how it all started..... first we paid a visit to Barry's Berries strawberry farm:
Then YoungerSon was given the job of cleaning and hulling the fruit. He loved it, as you can see from the expression on his face.

Then we gave him a wooden spoon and said "Stir it up" so he did.
This cheered him up no end.
He looks so patriotic in his England soccer shirt and his London pinny. A tribute to the home country!

The Beloved... soon to be The Bride... was in charge of filling the boiling hot jars with boiling hot jam.
Not really an enviable job in a boiling hot kitchen in July.

And the end result... multiple jars of strawberry jam.

YoungerSon and The Beloved want to give a small thankyou gift to everyone at their wedding (not too long to go now, see the ticker at the very bottom of this blog), and wanted something a little different.... so (close your eyes, wedding guests, if you are reading this, it's a surprise) they are making strawberry jam!

This is the perfect gift... you can eat it, use the jar afterwards, it's hand made using pesticide-free local produce, and there's even a connection to YoungerSon's granfer in Devon, UK, who grew the best strawberries in Shammick.
So now my dining room holds 14 cases of 12 125ml jars... that's 168 jars! Enough to feed an army... well... a wedding and a couple of bridal showers anyway!
I hope we can resist the temptation to open a few jars before the great day!

For some reason, silly Blogger won't let me put a title to this post. Is anyone else having the same problem?
Update Tuesday July 10 2007: Title has been added. Alphabet Soup sent me to Blogger Help for the answer.... put the cursor on the word Title and it seems to work. Blogger says they are working on the problem.

Friday, 6 July 2007

Worms at the Bottom of the Garden

There's a worm at the bottom of my garden
And his name is Wiggly Woo
There's a worm at the bottom of my garden
And all that he can do -
Is wiggle all night...
And wiggle all day...
Whatever else the people do say;
There's a worm at the bottom of my garden
And his name is Wiggly Wooo-ooo!

When YoungerSon was at nursery school, he learnt about composting, and since then all the veggie waste and the garden waste ended up in huge pile of "stuff", but we never really did much with it.
Then The Space Cadet took over and built a compost bay two years ago. (The bricks came from the building site next door.... shhhh!) But it got really messy looking and he needed to clean it up. On the right is the original pile, on the left is the current year.

Then he decided that a second bay was needed.... each pile takes 2 years to mature into useable compost..... so.... more bricks.

And now it's so smart, it could be a gold medal winner in the compost stakes. All the grass clippings, veggie peelings, dead flowers etc go into the right hand bay. The left hand bay has been "fermenting" for two years and will be ready to sift and use by next spring. In fact, I have tomato plants there now.... taking advantage of the rich soil and of course, the worms!

In September 2007, a weekly curbside "Green Bin" collection will start. This programme will accept all organic waste including meat, paper, pet refuse, basically anything that is biodegradeable. What a great idea! We'll continue to compost all the veggie material, and we already recycle glass, plastic, cardboard in the "Blue Box", but this should cut down the amount of garbage that goes to the dump or landfill every week.
Every little helps.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Happy Birthday Canada

On 1 July, CANADA DAY, Canada celebrated it's 140th Birthday

Happy Birthday Canada!
And Canada Day weekend means it's Strawberry Festival time. All good Festivals start with a Strawberry Parade to kick off the festivities....

Of course, a Strawberry Festival has to have lots and lots of strawberries...

But you can't live on strawberries alone. Here I'm enjoying falafel from the Egyptian Coptic Church booth.

The Space Cadet couldn't resist joining in with the cowgirl Line Dancers on the street. He got a well deserved standing ovation from the crowd.

And of course, there were rides on the Berry-Go-Round...

119 people signed up for the Grand Whistle-Off.... an attempt to get into the Guinness Book of World Records for the most people whistling the same tunes at the same time. I helped out by volunteering as one of the Registrars... it all has to be official for the Guinness people. We whistled O Canada, Frere Jaques, Col. Bogey's March, Onward Christian Soldiers, Amazing Grace, Take Me Out To The Ball Game, and finished with O Canada (French version). Have you ever whistled in French? It's not easy. let me tell ya!
There were lots of fresh ripe Strawberries for sale...

and entertainment by the Family Quarles in the big tent...

No Festival is complete without a dog show.....

..... and a crazy Chinese magician who can pull a white rabbit out of a hat!

Canada Day ended with a 4 man parachute jump, and an accurate landing in the main baseball diamond.
And then Canada Day cake for everyone, spectacular fireworks, and the rest of the evening grooving to the sounds of The Blackboard Blues Band in the big tent.
Happy Birthday Canada..... and Happy July 4th to all my American blogger friends!