Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Weekend in Toronto

Way back in 1999 we visited Toronto to see our daughter and meet her future husband.  Since then they have married, lived in Sydney and in the UK, had two boys and live and work in Ottawa.
And now we were back in Toronto for a little catch up.

The TN tower is still there, much less dominant on the city skyline.  We did not go up this time - been there and done that. 

The guys went to a ball game at the Stadium while I went with my daughter to the Art Gallery of Ontario.
We concentrated on historical Canadian art including the Group of Seven and had a delicate afternoon tea of tiny scones with fresh made berry jam.  

A poor bird left this little blue egg on the concrete windowsill of our hotel room.  Six floors up in a stark courtyard!  So sad.

On Sunday we all went to a matinĂ©e performance of Hamilton.  It was a great production and the kids are just old enough to enjoy the rap music and understand the story of the founding fathers of the United States.  I enjoyed learning more history and the singers were excellent.  But I don’t like the noisy beat of Rap music. Oh dear :)

It was Mother’s Day and we had a little dinner date at the Toronto International Film Festival centre which was near the hotel.
My daughter gave me a bee brooch.

We travelled to and from Toronto by train which took 4-5 hours.  On the way home we took pictures of picturesque Ontario barns and churches.  I will try drawing and painting them when we go home.

I am having quite a random time trying to place and post pictures!  Enjoy, and I hope it is not confusing.
Til next time

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Spring in a cold climate

 Hello again

Well it just took me a good ten minutes to find my way back to the Dashboard - but here I am, still enjoying the wonders of the area around Ottawa.

Today we ventured to the art and tourist town of Almonte.  The melting snows create amazing rushing rivers foaming over the rapids in the centre of a pretty town.

I went fossicking with my daughter and found a few treasures - they are still packed for transit.  A  busy quilt shop yielded some fabric pieces: Canada geese and Maple leaves, as well as a nice haul of red Cardinal buttons.

It is incredible to me watching the Spring flowers emerge so quickly.  You n just five days we have gone from a few tulips to Apple blossom trees, Lilac, Forget-me-nots, Lily of the Valley spreading right through the city.  My daily walks are a joy of discovery.  

Last evening we saw and heard a red Cardinal high in the back garden in the tree tops.  They are quite shy it seems and try as I did I could not catch it with the camera .  It was up here:

At the end of the street is a very cute tiny library:

My daughter took a book down and traded it for Spare! I always said I would not buy it or read it but now it is here  am reading a bit of it out of curiosity.  I doubt I will go much further than just a quick scan.

Off to Toronto for a few days.  Bye for now.

Monday, May 8, 2023


Hello dear readers,
The Red Cardinals have arrived in Canada and are now safely enjoying family time in our daughter’s home in Ottawa.

The 14 hour flight across the Pacific to Vancouver went well.  I managed a few hours sleep and watched two movies.  The meals on board were very nice.

On our tenth visit to Vancouver airport, it was reassuring to see the Jade Canoe sculpture still there.

We missed the coronation telecast while en route but I have seen the ceremony recording since arriving.
I loved the music in the Abbey, the traditional ceremonial aspects, and the pageantry.  I wish King Charles and Queen Camilla well in their new roles.

Of course I loved the sartorial splendour of the robes and ladies fashions.  It is too difficult using the phone to put up all their pictures, but top marks to the Royal women in their white gowns and ceremonial capes: the Princess of Wales, Duchess of Edinburgh and Princess Anne especially.  I loved the Queen’s gown, elegant with gold embroidery and the fabulous Coronation diamond necklace. 
In the absence of tiaras (too controversial) I liked the Princess of Wales and Princess Charlotte’s matching sparkling silver laurel wreath headbands.  

There were hats, many very chic indeed.
My special picks for ladies fashion are Queen Letizia of Spain in pink; lady Louise, daughter of the Duke  of Edinburgh; Zara Philips; Princess Mary of Denmark; Dr Jill Biden; Mme Macron; and Princess Beatrice.

On Sunday afternoon we attended a Coronation garden party at the local historical museum.

It was light-hearted and fun.  We enjoyed a jazz band, celebration cake, made paper crowns, and inspected traditional needlework.  
To end the day, our grandsons introduced us to toasted marshmallows, complete with crackers and a square of chocolate.  Very festive.

I hope this blog will be readable!
Have a great week.