Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Live music

Back in the Dark Ages when I was a youngster in England, I hung out at a lot of folk clubs. I loved live music, and saw lots of folkies perform including Martin Carthy, Peggy Seeger and Ewen McColl, Alex and Rory McEwen, loads more whose names I've forgotten. I always wanted to play the guitar but never learned, although I was given a guitar that I strummed along on and actually memorised 3 chords, but the musical gene has definitely missed me.

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I was recently reading a list of live music concerts that my bloggie friend Suldog has enjoyed, so I thought I'd try and remember all the concerts that I've seen.

Here's my list.... fairly short and in no particular order. Lots of Canadian performers. If I remember any more I'll add them. Anyone else like to offer up a list?

Liona Boyd - classical guitar 1974
Andres Segovia - classical guitar... Portsmouth UK early 1960s
Ray Charles ... Portsmouth UK early 1960s
The Beach Boys ... Rama Casino 2017
Rolling Stones/Everley Bros/Little Richard/Bo Diddley ... Gaumont Southampton UK October 1963
Tina Turner ... Toronto 1980s
Simon and Garfunkel ... Exhibition Stadium, Toronto  July 21 1983
Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee/Ramblin Jack Elliott ... concert at Royal Festival Hall in London in the 1960s.
Boy George and Culture Club ... Toronto  Maple Leaf Gardens 1984
James Taylor ...The Forum, Ontario Place Toronto early 1990s
Jully Black ... 2016
Dave Brubeck Quartet ... Massey Hall, Toronto March 15 1969
Alex Cuba ... 2016
Itzhak Perlman - violin
Gordon Lightfoot ... Peterborough Ontario 2001
Natalie McMaster and Donnell Leahy
Leahy - the next generation ... 2017
Jimmy Rankin
Ashley McIsaac
Dave Swarbrick and Jason Wilson
The Nylons
Shirley Bassey ... 1964
Michael Kaeshammer ... piano

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Olé! Mermelada!

January / February is the season for Seville oranges, those knobbly sour citrus fruits that are so necessary in making marmalade. They are hard to find, but I bought some really big juicy ones at our local Longos, the fancy new grocery store where everything costs a bit more than you'd expect. These oranges were grown in the USA although they carry the name of the city in Andalucia, Spain. Buying Seville oranges is the closest I'll come to Spain in the near future.
Of course, it's marmalade making time. I do enjoy a dollop of golden marmalade on my toast in the mornings.
I used 6 large Sevilles, 2 lemons and 1 sweet orange. First squeeze the juice out of the fruit, and remove the membranes and the seeds.... keep for later. Chop the orange and lemon rinds as thin as possible.
 Add water, and soak the fruit overnight, including the seeds and membranes in a net bag. Then boil it all up until the orange rind is cooked and soft.
Then for every 2 cups of fruit and juice, add 2 cups of sugar, and boil again for about 20 minutes, and it will start to gell. Take off the heat, stir for 10 minutes to cool, you don't want to break the jars, and to make sure the fruit doesn't all float at the top. Pour into sterilized hot jars, slap a lid on, and look forward to breakfast time.
A wonderful quote from Bob Hope:
"My folks were English. They were too poor to be British. I still have a bit of British in me. In fact, my blood type is solid marmalade."
I think mine is too.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019


Remember all that panic and fuss about Y2K? Was that really nineteen years ago? Crikey!
Twenty nineteen is definitely here, and it's time to look forward to the year ahead.
My New Year Resolutions? Well, if I tell you, I'll have to make sure I complete them, so by keeping secret I have a way out. But I do have a list of Hopes and Possibilities.
  • I'll be peeling potatoes and mashing turnips and heating up the haggis as usual for the Robbie Burns Night in January. DONE. The Robbie Burns Night was a great success, and the potatoes and turnips were delicious, of course.
  • I'm taking an acrylic art course on Wednesday evenings for the next 8 weeks. I'm hoping for some improvement with my ideas, designs, colour management, brush work.... well, improvement in everything really. DONE. or at least started.
  • Planning to go to Aquafit at the local pool. First I have to pick up the weekly swimming schedule to find out the days and times. DONE. Picked up the schedule but haven't gone to Aquafit yet.
  • If I'm going to Aquafit, I'll need a new swimsuit. The necessary elastic has definitely lost it's reliability in the current model.
  • Drink more water. Not at Aquafit though.
  • Summer holiday? Lots of possibilities. Rent a cottage on a lake? I've always fancied a trip to Iceland. Perhaps this is the year. Or Britain to visit cousins?
  • Walk more, and use the car less.
  • I want a robot vacuum cleaner. Any recommendations?
  • Finish a quilt that I started 18 months ago. DONE! Finished.
  • Finish another quilt that I started 14 years ago. (Don't hold your breath on that one.)
  • I'm thinking about a renting a plot in the community vegetable garden. But that sounds like hard work, all that digging and weeding. The jury's still out on that one.
Happy New Year to my Blog friends.... and keep Blogging despite all the competition from the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. and all those other social media thingummyjigs that I have no idea how to use.

Monday, 31 December 2018

2018 Reading List

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As usual, the list of books I've read this year of 2018, although I may have missed noting some of them, like the cookbooks and the art books. Have you read any of these? And also as usual.....   Canadian authors in BLUEBritish authors in REDAmerican authors in GREENAustralian and New Zealand authors in PURPLE.

The German Girl - Armando Lucas Correa
The Valley of Amazement - Amy Tan

The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter - Theodora Goss
Small Admissions - Amy Poeppel
The Good People - Hannah Kent
The Sealed Letter - Emma Donaghue (DNF)
Into the Water - Paula Hawkins
The Wonder - Emma Donaghue

Commonwealth - Ann Patchett
Minds of Winter - Ed O'Laughlin

Galore - Michael Crummey
Half the World Away - Cath Staincliffe
Smashed, Mashed, Boiled and Baked - Raghavan Iyer
The Almost Mood - Alice Sebold
Men Walking on Water - Emily Schultz
Alphouse - Carl Sever (DNF)

Gone Astray - Michelle Davies
The Book of Lies - Mary Horlock (DNF)
Victoria - Daisy Goodwin

Boy, 9, Missing - Nic Joseph
The Stowaway - Robert Hough
The Kingmaker's Daughter - Philippa Gregory

The Keeper of Secrets - Julie Thomas
Eva Moves the Furniture - Margot Livesey
Small Great Things - Jodi Picault

Fifteen Dogs - Andre Alexis (DNF 2nd attempt at reading this but it's horrible.)
Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell (3rd time reading this)
Slade House - David Mitchell (2nd time reading this)
Life after Life - Kate Atkinson (2nd time reading this)

The Ready Made Thief - Augustus Rose
Do Not Become Alarmed - Maile Maloy
That Old Ace in the Hole - Annie Proulx
First Snow, Last Light - Wayne Johnstone
The Italian Wife - Ann Hood
Her Every Fear - Peter Swanson

Mr Peanut - Adam Ross
All the Beautiful Lies - Peter Swanson

Brave Deeds - David Abrams
A French Wedding - Hannah Tunnecliffe
Perfect - Rachel Joyce

Transcription - Kate Atkinson
Erebus - Michael Palin
Home Fire - Kamila Shamsie
A Circle of Wives - Alice LaPlante
The Orenda - Joseph Boyden (second time reading)

And to start the New Year off, The Truth by Sir Michael Palin (recently knighted in the Queen's New Year's Honours List, Congratulations Michael!!) is on my bedside table. Actually I'm already on chapter 4.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

ATC Swap

My Art Groups are hosting a couple of ATC Swaps before Christmas.
What's an ATC?
ATC = Artist Trading Cards. You've probably heard of Hockey cards, or Baseball cards, or even Pokemon cards that the children collect.... well, these are similar size and shape, 2.5" x 3.5", and instead of celebrating sport, or imaginary creatures, they celebrate tiny works of art, and artists get together and trade them.
They can be totally imaginative, using paint, ink, collage, fabric, buttons, string, just about anything. Nothing too serious, just fun.
These are some of mine that will be traded this week.

After the swaps, I'll post some of the new ATCs that I recieve from other artists.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Hanging Out to Dry

I finally got around to printing my linocut Christmas Cards..... usually it's done, and they are in the mail long before this. But we have had postal strikes er... I mean labour interruptions here in Canada so I'm going to use it as my excuse.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Wandering in St Johns

The Anglican Cathedral of St John the Baptist stands at 16 Church Hill in the city of St Johns, Newfoundland. There's a small entrance on Gower Street between Church Hill and Cathedral Street. That's the entrance I used when I went in to look at the inside.

The Cathedral is the mother church of the Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador.
This is the main entrance on Church Hill. And this is where you would go to meet up with the St Johns Haunted Hike.
 As you can see, Cathedral Street is pretty steep.
This parish was founded in 1699. At least six wooden churches have stood on this site, destroyed by accidental fire, military operations or the rigorous Newfoundland weather. And before the churches, the land was used for public hangings up to the 1750s. The first stone church was begun in 1843, but only got as far as the cornerstone being laid. The present Cathedral was begun in 1847. The Nave was built 1847-1850, and served as the whole cathedral for the next 35 years, when the Chancel, Transepts and Sanctuary were added 1880-1885.
The Great Fire of 1892 caused extensive damage to the Cathedral and destroyed most of the town, leaving 11,000 people homeless. The roof timbers ignited causing the roof to collapse, and bringing the walls down with it. The heat melted the lead in all the stained glass windows except one, which can be seen in the Sacristy. The Cathedral was restored 1893-1905.
Looking towards the Cathedral from the back of the Masonic Hall, the red brick building on the right. These photos were taken in July sunshine. I think there would be some snowflakes flying today!