Monday, October 31, 2011


My clever daughter made ghosts from strawberries,
covered in white chocolate.
Everyone did a few faces.

And good old Frog in the Pond.
Freddos brought 'specially from Australia.

We crossed the river and went to Quebec
for a Halloween Dinner over the weekend....

This is delicious, melt-in-the-mouth Montreal Smoked Beef ..
or it was before we demolished most of it!


The petite garcon is wearing Halloween sox with his Spiderman shoes:

Went trick-or-treating with the petite garcon,
who looked adorable in his baby cow costume ...
and even said Trick or Treat at a few houses!

Thank you Canada, it's been Delightful Fun!


Saturday, October 29, 2011


The golden leaves continue to fall,
and it gets colder every day.

Minimums have gone from 6-8 deg C. to -6 degrees in two weeks.
Maximums hover around 4 deg.C.
There has been frost on the ground,
and grey snowy skies.
Fingers crossed for a dusting of snow for Halloween...

The petite garcon wears his koala hat when he is out and about:

and his Spiderman shoes, of course!

Everytime I come to North America,
I love to watch Live! with Regis and Kelly every morning.
The hilarious Regis Philbin has hosted this show since 1983.

Well, it seems I got here just in time to enjoy Regis' thick Bronx accent
and witty remarks one more time -
Regis has turned 80, and will retire on November 18th.
What a great career!

Speaking of TV, I have also caught up with Oprah's new OWN network.
There are quite a few interesting shows,
including Oprah's Life Lessons, where she recycles some of the best bits
from 25 years of Oprah - and fair enough too.

I met a fun sales assistant in an Ottawa boutique,
who had an interesting response when I said I was from Australia:
she started to talk about Hugh Jackman appearing on Oprah Down Under,
when he crashed into the stage lights!

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Houses and a bit of Wildlife

I love a French influence in architecture -
this church tower looks like the home of Rapunzel.

The houses in the neighbourhood are charming and interesting,
in a century-old and folksy way:

As Halloween approaches, I have been looking for the spooky ones.
These old houses have the appropriate air of creepy neglect:

Still on the hunt for wild life:
Apparently moose are really dangerous animals,
and when one recently appeared in a nearby town,
it was tranquillised and relocated (just like rogue crocodiles, it seems).

I'll have to settle for this sighting, I guess.

Today I saw a blue jay, much to my delight,
and it posed long enough for this shot:

They really are a most magnificent shade of blue.

Once or twice a day, a flock of Canadian geese fly overhead in an arrow formation,
honking and heading South for the Winter.
I walk around all day with camera in pocket, trying to
catch them in the 3 second window of opportunity - no luck so far.

And no luck in catching a red cardinal,
however a red bird was spotted at the Byward Market
investigating the gourmet delicacy known as a Beaver Tail:

Au Revoir

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I must be getting accustomed to the North American lifestyle.
Yesterday we went to a huge suburban shopping mall,
not something I would normally do on holidays.

Always keen to try the local customs,
I went to the Cinnabun shop:

Reader, I ate it!
The most decadent, soft, mouthwatering giant bun you can imagine.

The coffee cups carried an interesting message:

Let Cinnabun be an inspiration,
and add frosting to your life!

Fortified by this treat, we perused some Ottawa fashion for the coming winter.
Signage was so discreet, it was not evident that there were Bargains To Be Found.
At four consecutive shops, items chosen turned out to be 50% less at the cash register!
It started to feel like some surreal dream...

No animals were harmed in the production of my faux-leather jacket.
With the snow fast approaching, noone wanted this bright bag,
perfect for the Queensland summer sunshine:

I'm thinking colour-blocking, are you?

Today I have been baking, as you do.
Pumpkin Muffins and Peanut Butter cookies;
When in Rome......

Still no sign of the red cardinal, but it is fun to watch the flocks of Canadian
Geese flying south for the winter.  One day I will get the camera out in time to film them.

Meantime, I found a fridge magnet and posed it in the window:

Au Revoir

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Inspired by the beautiful  colours of Fall,
people hereabouts like to decorate their houses for the season.

I saw this display in Wal-Mart:

Being something of a chicken fancier,
I rather liked this display at Cora's, where we had Sunday brunch:

This is the petite garcon helping with the leaf raking.
I had no idea what a huge job it is,
and that it is necessary to clear the leaves before the first snowfall -
or the grass will die over winter.

The little one is wearing his new Spiderman shoes!!!

We took him to Valleyview Baby Animal Farm today -
it was such a delight...

Friday, October 21, 2011


I've been across the Ottawa River to Quebec,
and the beautiful Gatineau Park, a huge conservation area only 15 minutes from
Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
To say the Autumn Leaves were spectacular is an understatement -
they glitter and sparkle in the sunlight,
a symphony of yellow, red, pink and brown.

We spent hours driving from one lookout to the next.
The signs in Quebec are all in French, with no English translation.
Did you know a lookout is called a Belvedere?
So much nicer, don't you think?

Quebec farmlands, looking towards Ottawa.

In the middle of the park, is the former Summer Home of Canada's
longest serving Prime Minister Mackenzie King, who served
four terms in office between 1921 and 1948.
Unfortunately, the teahouse was closed and there were
people packing away the outdoor furniture in preparation
for the winter snows, expected in a few weeks.
I love a yellow house, and this one was elegant and pretty
in an art deco sort of way.

We came down from the hills to the village of Wakefield
for lunch, and Tourist Town Quaint Shop Browsing.
The pumpkins were everywhere:

I've been watching squirrels in the garden:
Walked to an old Antique Barn by the river:
It was pretty creepy, but intriguing,
and I saw this:

Au Revoir!