Tuesday, April 26, 2011

So THIS Weekend...

... I will update my blog! Lots of piccies. Lots of piccies of... FOOD.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


... I'm pretty busy. But not too busy to wonder why people can walk away from a photocopier that they have just jammed... whistling, hands in pockets... what happened to leaving something in better shape than you found it?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cherry Beach, Part the Zillionth

I make myself laugh at how I can photograph the same things over and over and delight in them. I suppose it's the changing of the seasons and how dearly I love the advent of the spring and all it promises. This regular walk is also a balm for my soul. It clears out the psychic cobwebs and that is why I so often do it alone.

On this particular day it was very blustery, in fact I almost went over a couple of times. I laughed in delight, until some sand on the beach was blown into my face. Heyyyyyy!

Mmmm.... fluffy!

Filming was taking place at the east end of the trail.

The freighter I always see seemed extra magestic this time around.

And then I picked up some spicy chicken at the Asian market on the route home and had it, tossed with a pile of steamed baby bok choy. Num num.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spring Evening

I think I can bravely say that Spring is here at last. These evening, during some dolce far niente, listening to Debussy, it suddenly occurred to me that the kids were out playing on the basketball court again. I haven't heard those adolescent cries since last year, and it's a wonderful, urban sound. The combination of Debussy, a small pot of daffodils on the cofffee table, and those sounds from the street made me feel very good indeed. So I thought it time for the blog to lighten up, literally. And it has - what a girly, springy blog it looks!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Surpassing Love

Hands up who doesn't know the story of David Lean's masterful film, Brief Encounter (1945), surely the greatest cinematic love story the British have ever produced?

Well, if you don't know it, you might not want to read further, as there are big spoilers ahead, in fact THE spoiler, as I'm discussing the end of the film.

The first time I saw Brief Encounter I was just a little girl. I remember being teased because I had a bit of a crush on Fred (played by Cyril Raymond), the kindly, dull husband of Laura (Celia Johnson). The entire film plays as a flashback, as Laura sits, after dinner, with her husband, as he does the crossword and she, trying to do some mending, casts her mind back over her brief encounter with the dashing Alec (Trevor Howard).

What was I thinking, crushing on Fred? I haven't thought about that for a while, but tonight, while watching the last scene of the film, it occured to me: I've always found the Alec character a bit self-centered and a bit of a wild card, but undeniably a charming man. I couldn't blame Laura for her infatuation. But as the last, famous lines of the film were spoken, what I realized has always made me cry, as much as Laura's loss, is the depth to which her husband - dear, reliable Fred - loves her. It's quite breathtaking. In many parts of my life I have found myself having to acknowledge some truths that I knew in my childhood but have conveniently forgotten. Here was another one: the appreciation of a surpassing love.

I stand here proudly and declare, that I still love Fred!


"Yes dear..."

"Whatever your dream was, it wasn't a very happy one, was it?


"Is there anything I can do to help?"

"Yes Fred, you always help."

"You've been a long way away."


"Thank you for coming back to me."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dream Collector

Every fairy take his gait,
And each several chamber bless
Through this palace with sweet peace;
And the owner of it blessed
Ever shall in safety rest.
Trip away; make no stay.
Meet me all by break of day.

Some collect spoons, or recordings or teddy bears. I collect Dreams. Tonight I saw another production (this time by Soulpepper) of the play, and, as much as I treasure it, in the final scene as the fairies flit around the house, Benjamin Britten's operatic setting was haunting me. My favourite production of the opera maintained the elements I think are vital to make it work: the world of the three groupings of characters (Rustics, Nobles, Fairies) were well defined; there was no hamming; the fairy world was truly magical; Puck was played by a boy, but one who combined mystery and mischief.

That production was directed in 1981 by Peter Hall at Glyndebourne, and is available on DVD. Set in Elizabethan dress, the fairy world is all indigo blue and silver; the mortal world is all earth tones. Bernard Haitink conducted. I'm ordering it.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Happy Trails, Ginger Donut

It's with a heavy heart that I report the passing of our dear old Tibby. My parents' home feels a little empty tonight, so they are visiting me after a long, hard day, the only day he was ever really ill. This morning Tibby was a bit lethargic, with some bad breathing. Kind Dr. Aarabi came to my parents' home this evening and it was all over very soon, with no need for a stressful trip to the vet. Tibby's problem was heart failure. We have shed so many tears but now are drinking toasts with Orvieto Classico and - for me - Guinness.

Readers of this blog, and all our friends know what a gentle and funny cat he was, and what a handsome fellow too, as his photographs attest. You can visit him here.

R.I.P. dear Tibby. We love you so much.

Stabat Mater

Deutsche Grammophon is releasing a Pergolesi CD, with Anna Netrebko and Marianna Pizzolato, and I was lucky enough to be gifted with a copy last week. Today I listened to track 12, Pergolesi's Stabat Mater, the beautiful hymn about the suffering of Mary during Christ's crucifiction. As I listened to it, I recalled years ago seeing the film Cactus (1986), a haunting Australian film starring the radiant Isabelle Hupert, who I'd only seen previously in Lady of the Camelias (1981). Her restrained, Garbo-esque beauty is set against the lush, primeval backdrop of a heavily treed Australia. She plays a woman losing her sight, after a dreadful accident, only to find herself falling in love with a blind man. I recall little enough though, that I want to see it again.

Stabat mater dolorosa
juxta Crucem lacrimosa,
dum pendebat Filius.

At the Cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful Mother weeping,
close to her son to the last.

Formatting Issues with Blogger

Is anyone else having spacing issues with their blog posts? I have to now go in and add line breaks in html and even then, after saving, they don't necessarily take. Grrr...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Some Cute

A certain lovely young couple is expecting their first baby! We had a send-off at work and one of our colleagues made these striking fruit skewers with teddy-shaped pineapple slices. I love this idea, it could be incorporated into any theme.

I made lemony cupcakes with onesies made from royal icing colour flow:

Best of luck, J and S!