Sunday, 30 September 2007

Markham Fair - Part 1 - and Wedding Update

If it's the last weekend in September, it must be Markham Fair.
We spent Friday at the Fair. A typical Ontario Fall Fair, this one has been in existence for the past 163 years.

Somehow I missed visiting the cow barn, so no pics of cows, but here's one of the alpacas. This fellow's name is Jingle.

And the baby piggies.... bacon sandwich, anyone?

A Lincoln Longwool..... aptly named. Handsome, isn't he?

Prizewinning pigeon. Lot's of colourful birds of all kinds, chickens, bantams, pigeons, and also rabbits...

... and of course, displays of farm machinery both old and new. The Space Cadet tries his hand at tree planting.

Wedding Update
Scroll down to the bottom of the blog page and you'll see the countdown to The Wedding. 13 days to go! The Bride's getting nervous. The Groom seems to be reasonably calm so far, but there's plenty of time for that to change
Of course, there are a million last-minute tasks:
  • Calligraphy for seating chart for the reception. DONE
  • Sew buttons on Mother-of-the-Groom outfit. DONE
  • Decide on jewellery to match Mother-of-the-Groom outfit.DONE
  • Sew wrap to match Wedding Dress for the Bride. DONE
  • Deliver the 3 tiers of Wedding cake to the cake icing lady Oct 9. DONE, pick the completed cake up on Thursday
  • Order food for Wedding rehearsal dinner Oct 12. DONE
  • Hair do. DONE
  • Confirm hotel reservations. DONE
  • Clean house ready for visiting wedding guests. NEVER ENDING JOB.
  • Meet rellies from UK and Newfoundland at the Airport Oct 9. DONE
  • Canadian Thanksgiving dinner with The Space Cadet's family Oct 8. DONE
  • Canadian Thanksgiving dinner with my family Oct 10. DONE
  • probably lots more stuff I haven't even thought of yet.......

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Colours of Autumn

I think Autumn in Canada must be Mother Nature's way of apologising in advance for the harsh winter to come.

Wild asters, sometimes known as Michaelmas Daisy.

Sedum in my garden.

The sunny colours of Golden Rod. This isn't the one that makes you sneeze, that's Ragweed.

I look out of my front window and I see this glorious red maple.

And of course, fruit and veggies are abundant at this time of year. Bacon and tomato sandwiches for lunch, my favourite. A teeny weeny sprinkle of salt, some mayo, toasted homemade 12 grain bread.... need I say more?

P.S. Getting close to that magic number of 10,000 blog visitors! If you are Number 10,000, leave me a message, there will be a little prize in the mail for you.
Update on Thursday at 8:00pm: Nobody has admitted to being Blogger number 10,000, and I know there was somebody, as now we are at 10.008, so I'll keep the prize and try again on my One Year Blogiversary which will be in November.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Marking Time

Christ Church Anglican has just finished building a modern addition, and last Sunday a vertical Sundial was installed on the south wall.

The only other vertical Sundial on a church in Canada is on the wall of Christ Church Anglican in Victoria, British Columbia, the other side of the country.

The tradition of a Sundial on the wall of a church dates back hundreds of years. People would know when it was time to attend mass, and could keep track of time.

Perhaps there were a lot of people late to church on cloudy days.

We were there at just after 2:30pm... the sundial reads just after 1:30, then add an hour for Daylight Savings.

Installing a sundial and reading the time accurately is obviously a very complicated process. Instructions for use are posted on the wall.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Men at Work - Part 2

Just to clarify the previous post a little bit to those of you without benefit of a British background..... here's the "Hole in the Ground" video.... visuals are poor but at least you can hear the song. It was a huge comedy hit in 1960s Britain. Typical British workmen. Click here.

And Sue of Vintage to Victorian reminded me of Bernard Cribbins' other comedy song "Right Said Fred". Thanks Sue! Click here for a video, this is delightful!

Sorry, I haven't figured out how to upload a video to Blogger yet. I probably need to get the nearest ten year old to help me.

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Men at Work - Part 1

Anyone remember Bernard Cribbins and "Hole in the Ground"?
Perhaps you have to be British and of A Certain Age for this to be familiar.......

"Don't dig there, dig it elsewhere
Your digging it round and it ought to be square
The shape of it's wrong, it's much too long
And you can't put a hole where a hole don't belong."

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Victorian doorway

The elegant front entrance of a Victorian home in my neighbourhood.

This is a red brick house built in 1884 by Abraham Pipher, a local carpenter. He must have been a skilled carpenter as there's lots of decorative woodwork on this home. Enlarge the picture to see the detail around the door frame. The house has been painted white for as long as I can remember.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Saying Goodbye

A fluffy three month old golden retriever puppy came to live with us thirteen years ago.

She had already made her TV debut as a Christmas puppy with a big red bow on a Black’s Cameras ad.

She had a big back yard to run in, and two boys who took her everywhere.
She loved to swim in the town reservoir.
She chased those pesky squirrels. She never caught one.
She spent four (or was it five?) summers at Camp Bellaleo with YoungerSon.

When OlderSon and The Equestrienne moved to their two acre “country estate” she moved with them.

She was gentle and patient even when small rambunctious nieces and nephews climbed all over her.

She had a good life.
She was a good dog.
She was the very best.

August 1 1994 – September 17 2007.

Friday, 14 September 2007

Random Thoughts

  • This morning I summoned up the courage to clean out the cupboard under the kitchen sink. Where do all those containers of assorted cleaners come from, and who puts them away after only a couple of squirts?
  • Then I cleaned out the cupboard under the bathroom vanity. More containers missing only one squirt. Intriguing.
  • It couldn't possibly be me doing that, could it?
  • Less than a month to go now to The Wedding. I'm getting nervous.
  • Should I wear my "Camilla Wedding Hat"? Will anyone else be wearing hats?
  • Why am I worrying about anyone else wearing hats???? Just wear it and look stunning!!
  • The clock on my blog always points to 12 noon. It annoys me. I can't change it. Why? Clock update Sept 15... it seems to have healed itself and is now telling the right time!
  • And in fact I can't make any customising changes to my blog. Again, why?
  • This gorgeous fellow was on my screen door this morning. Isn't he beautiful?

  • And this tiny turtle was slowly crossing the bike path at the reservoir. The Space Cadet's Boy Scout training kicked in and he saved the little chap's life by helping him to the other side. YAY Space Cadet!!! (That's his finger in the pic.)

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Tall Tale

Devastating news!
Overnight, the CN Tower in Toronto lost it's status as the world's tallest free standing structure. It has held the record at 553 metres (1,824.9 feet) for just over 30 years.

No, it didn't fall down.

It was surpassed by the Burj Dubai tower under construction in Dubai, which reached the height of 555 metres (1,831.5 feet) yesterday.

The Dubai skyscraper will eventually reach the mind boggling, gobsmacking height of around 800 metres. The actual finished height is being kept secret for now. It'll have 165 storeys of apartments, shops, hotel rooms and office space.
Get ready to update your Guinness Book of World Records.

Photo "borrowed" from the Toronto Star, Sept 13 2007.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Country Rambles

The town reservoir is just across the path from the crabapple tree. It's been designated a conservation area. There are bike paths and walking trails through the forest. I've seen beaver here, and hundreds of Canada geese, and every summer a pair of swans returns to bring up their family.

It looks idyllic. But among the bulrushes, Purple Loosestrife is starting to spread. This is a non-native wetlands plant that can outgrow native aquatic plants on which wildlife depends. It chokes out the other vegetation and soon becomes the dominant species. This threatens the hundreds of species of plants, birds, mammals, reptiles, insects, fish and amphibians that rely on healthy wetland habitat for their survival.

And looking in the other direction.....

.... something to steer clear of, a huge wasps nest. This is in the tree next to the crabapple tree, so perhaps crabapple jelly isn't such a good idea after all.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Crabapple tree

Another sign that Summer is fading into Autumn.

hmmm.... I'm thinking Crabapple jelly???? There's bound to be a recipe somewhere on the internet.

Friday, 7 September 2007

All Aboard!

I was biking in the right place at the right time yesterday to catch unusual activity at the train station. It’s normally quiet all day as the only trains running are morning and evening GO commuter trains.

York Durham Heritage Railway had brought this veteran engine, DL 4068, from their yard in Uxbridge, Ontario, just a few miles up the line from Stouffville.
DL 4068 is an Alco RS-3 dating from the 1950s.

She (are trains female?? like ships?) had been stored in YDHR’s yard and was being picked up by CN to be delivered to Delaware and Lackawanna main yards at Batavia, NY for restoration. She will be restored to the original Delaware & Hudson black and yellow scheme, with D-L lettering. She was originally Lamoille Valley Railroad 7801.

CN 4114 arrived as scheduled to collect the engine.

Uncoupling from YDHR's engine.

She's finally coupled up to CN, and will soon be on her way to Toronto, and then on to Batavia for a bit of much needed TLC.

There's another pic of 4068 here in her original Delaware and Hudson colours.
And another one here.

On her way, down the line towards Toronto.
Somehow, I always feel a tinge of sadness at the sight of the back end of a train disappearing down the track.

YDHR engine 3612 on her way back to Uxbridge after a morning of hard work.
3612 is an RS-ll built by Alco (American Locomotive Company) in 1956.
The YDHR is run completely by enthusiastic volunteers, most of them are former railway employees.
I suppose once a railwayman, always a railwayman!

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Trembling Aspen

Making the most of the remaining summer, The Space Cadet and I have been out biking through the wild area around the town reservoir.
This stand of Trembling Aspen is a favourite building material for beavers. The leaves flutter in the breeze, giving a trembling effect.
According to Wikipedia, an old tradition says aspen leaves are made from female tongues, and their quivering is due to women's inability to stop talking.
No comment.

The same pic, rendered as an oil painting, courtesy of my photo software.
It looks a bit like a "paint by numbers" masterpiece.

Which version do you like best?

Monday, 3 September 2007

¡danza con mí!

Labour Day weekend? September already?
That means it's time for Hispanic Fiesta '07 in Toronto, featuring local & International Hispanic performers representing 20 different Spanish speaking countries.

Hijos del Sol, Andean music from Ecuador.... or was it Peru?

Spanish Flamenco dance by Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Academy, accompanied by a guitar, percussion and a wonderful girl singer.

Anahuac Grupo Folklorico dance troupe representing Nicaragua. Colourful!

The girls were carrying bowls covered with a white cloth as part of their traditional dance. Can anyone explain?

Puro Mexico Ballet Folklorico representing Mexico.

Club Caribe Colombia dance troupe representing Colombia.

Melodia dance troupe representing Bolivia. Fantastic masks and colourful jewelled sparkly costumes.

This is the diablada or devil dance. The diablada is a centuries-old ritual surviving unchanged from colonial days.

The heavy masks have horns, bulging eyes, fangs, long hair and in contrast to the frightening masks, the devils wear sparkling breastplates, silk embroidered shawls, and golden spurs.

This was a devil of a dance!

And they wore boots to die for!