Wednesday, 31 October 2007

High Seas

The Space Cadet has been out with his camera.

The wind and rain should give way to sunshine by the weekend, according to the TV weather people, but what do they know? Are they ever right? Stay tuned, I'll let you know.

Gone missing..... Florida sunshine

The moment we arrived here, it started to rain and gale force winds are making it difficult to stay upright.
The surf is high but there's no surfing today, not on this beach anyway.

It's all to do with Tropical Storm Noel. An unwelcome visitor, in my opinion.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Time Out....

We're heading south for a much needed break.
Here's me relaxing on the beach last year modelling my new Red Hat!

I'll try to post from Florida, if I can find the energy.

Don't forget me while I'm gone! As Arnold says... "I'll be back"!

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Shoe Tree

I don't know how long this ancient willow has been decorated with discarded footwear, or who nailed the first shoe onto the trunk.
But not only shoes.
Boots, runners, flip-flops.
Typical of Canada, halfway up, there's even a pair of rusty hockey skates.

But the obvious question remains..... WHY?

Monday, 22 October 2007

Looking out

The view through my dining room window.

The sun always shines through these old stained glass windows, no matter what the weather.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

The Wedding - a few more pics.

The Bride's bouquet... orange calla lilies...

and the bridesmaids carried an assortment in autumn colours.

The bridesmaids were stunning in their gorgeous dresses.... three friends of the Bride and the Bride's sister....

.... and the groomsmen looked pretty good too. OlderSon was Best Man, and the other three handsome young men are friends of both the Bride and Groom.

Guests were invited to sign the engagement portrait.
And of course, the Wedding Cakes! The round one was a three tier chocolate cake provided by the reception venue. The Bride and Groom decoration on top came from the wedding cake of the Bride's great aunt who passed away earlier this year.
The square cake was my homemade fruit cake decorated by Susan. Both cakes were served at the late night buffet.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

The Wedding!

On a scale of 1 to 10 for weddings, that one was absolutely, definitely, and without a doubt, a 10!

Everything went according to plan. Wedding guests arrived from UK and Newfoundland on time. The weather co-operated with sunshine/clouds and a chilly breeze but NO RAIN! We seem to have been eating, drinking, and celebrating for weeks.

The Bride arrived with her mum and dad.

The ceremony was at the Royal Botanical Gardens, in a courtyard surrounded by flowers.

OlderSon (who was a very efficient and handsome Best Man), me, my newest daughter-in-law, and YoungerSon. We all look so happy! No, I didn't wear my wedding hat.... I thought about it, but, well, I decided it just didn't go with the outfit.

And the first son-in-law for the Bride's family.

Of course, enjoying ice-cold Champagne in the stretch Hummer... and a picnic of ham buns and Nutribars, thoughtfully packed by the Bride's mum to stave off hunger between the wedding and the reception.

We haven't seen any of the photographer's pictures yet, but he was full of interesting poses for the wedding party.....

.... especially this one! The bridesmaids were gorgeous.

The first dance at the reception.

And after that the party got really wild.

And now the newlyweds are enjoying sunny Portugal for a couple of weeks.
Ahhhh... it's all over. But what a super time we all had. My UK and Newfoundland guests have gone home. We are trying to get back to normal, whatever that is. Happy memories!

Friday, 12 October 2007

Wedding Cake Update

Canadian wedding cakes are usually sponge cake or chocolate cake, but I wanted to provide a traditional oldfashioned fruit cake, the sort seen at weddings in the UK.

and so..... the ingredients....

mix it all together...

bake for two and a half hours making the whole house smell delicious.....

douse well with sherry and cover with marzipan.....

and then take the three cakes to Susan for her expertise in decorating... remember Susan? The cake is currently in the back of my car ready for transportation to the reception.

Tell you all about the wedding next week!

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Trompe d'Oeil

A couple of blocks away, there is an old wooden shed with double doors that has been painted up with a Trompe d'Oeil design that I had often admired, so we biked over there to take a pic, and this is what we found.....

Susan, the artist, paint scraper in hand, had decided that the five years that her design had graced the doors was long enough, and it was time for a facelift.

I decided to record what was left... the topiary bushes either side of the doors....

... and the black and white guard kitty that kept watch through the seasons.
Why did she choose that particular day to scrape the doors?
Why did I choose that particular day to take the photo?
I think it was serendipity..... after talking to Susan for a while, I discovered that she makes and decorates wedding cakes, and I have been desperately looking for someone to ice the cakes for The Wedding, so a deal was struck, and I'm taking the cakes to her next week!

Perfect timing.
Susan has finished transforming the shed, here it is today with it's new look.
and a detail of the garden planter boxes.

I miss that black and white kitty.
Which design do you like best?

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Markham Fair - Part 4

Is everyone tired of visiting Markham Fair yet? Don't worry, this is the last chapter!

The Tractor Pull. Souped up tractors with alcohol injected engines. Each one pulls a heavy sled that offers progressively greater resistance as it is pulled. There's lots of noise and smoke and dirt flying everywhere. Cheering crowds and the smell of exhaust in the air, and a crazy commentator who doesn't actually know anything about tractor pulls.

The transfer sled is loaded with 45 gallon drums filled with concrete, which is moved to the front of the sled by an operator at the back.

In the last competition the tractors were pulling 22,000lbs of concrete plus 7,000lbs weight of the sled itself.
And then there's the midway, games of chance, win a giant stuffed furry animal, lose your money, eat candyfloss and peanuts, try out all the rides.....

.... and then it's over until next year. Ooooh my poor feet! See you all in September 2008!
Scroll down to see Markham Fair - Part 3, the quilts, Part 2, the veggies, and Part 1, the farm animals.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Markham Fair - Part 3

As with all rural Ontario Fall Fairs, there's the Handicrafts section. This includes painting, knitting, crochet, dressmaking, stained glass, woodcarving, cake decorating.... well, whatever your talent is, there's a class for you to enter.

I made my way straight to the quilt display.

This Champion Quilt was hand stitched..... each scrap of colour is a separate fabric.

.... and this one... well! It knocked me speechless. Grand Champion Quilt of the Fair. Semi-circular bottom end, corners the top end, machine stitched, I love the colours!

I have a quilt half finished... it's been that way for the past five years. Better get on with it ready for the 2008 Fair.
Scroll down to see Markham Fair - Part 2, the veggie display, and Part 1, the farm animals.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Markham Fair - Part 2

The Town of Markham, just north of Toronto, was essentially a rural farming community since it was first settled by pioneers from Britain and Europe, but in the last twenty years it has developed into a thriving urban centre, with most of it's new immigrant population from China and other parts of Asia.

However, Markham Fair still displays it's rural roots every September, and I hope it will keep the tradition for many years to come. Without farmers, we wouldn't have anything to eat.

First prize feed corn... a bit tough for us, but the cows love it.

The old tradition of a wheatsheaf.

First prize mixed veggie tray.

And did you know there was such a thing as Pink Banana Squash?

No Fall Fair would be complete without the giant vegetable class. This 5lb potato could feed my family for a week!

Scroll down for Markham Fair - Part 1, the farm animals.