Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Autumn's change

This past weekend we went back to standard time. We simply flipped the clock back one full hour, and I feel I'm still recovering from the time change. Yes, it's a bit brighter when I wake up, but it's dark, when I drive home from work.

I feel myself adjusting my patterns, ever so slightly, to accommodate this shift. I've travelled and had to adjust for twelve hour time zones, and somehow, this one little hour time adjustment, has knocked me sideways. Perhaps it's the darkness at 5:00 p.m. I come home in the dark, and am unmotivated to go back out — better to just keep me moving somewhere directly from work. We are not in the depths of the winter yet, and I am already wincing at the idea. What will I be like in early January?

Having never been a fan of autumn — this only adds to my dislike of the season. I know I know, I need to make an attitude adjustment. Okay autumn, I'm going to face you head on, embrace you, and keep focusing on December 21, when our days start getting a little bit longer. It's the best I can do, as I really hate these short days of November. I've always thought I suffered from SAD.

Oh how I yearn for the glory of my friend Mr. Sunshine, and the seemingly endlessly long days of summer. Sigh...

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Ten years ago this weekend, I completed something I never thought I would do: I had no real intention of doing, but am so glad I did. I ran the Washington D.C. Marine Corps Marathon: 42.2 km or 26.1 miles.

In January of 2003, I joined a running group called Jeansmarines. Their purpose was to train a group of people to run and complete the Marine Corps marathon. Heck, what did I know about running a marathon? I hadn't run since I was in high school, and even then, I only ran under a mile, under duress.

Elated, exhausted and empowered!
Little did I know when I went to the first meeting on a dreary grey wet Saturday morning in January, that I was about to embark on one of the most challenging and empowering experiences of my life. I formed bonds with a group of ladies that have held up ten years later. Hours of training, over a nine month period, allowed for a lot of life story swapping to happen. We were at our best and our worst on those training runs. We were vulnerable and we were cranky. We did not judge, we listened, we laughed, we shared, we encouraged, we chanted that we would finish upright and smiling, we were determined that we would beat the dreaded bus that could possibly scoop us up at the bridge on race day, we had a sense of humor over this crazy task at hand, we shared well deserved post run breakfasts, hill trained in the heat, ran in the rain, speed trained in the dark and shared in the final glory on race day in October.

There is something about completing a task, few take on, that allowed me to call myself an elite athlete, for a day anyway, call myself a marathoner for life and have such long lasting effects. I proved more to myself, than I could have thought possible. I found out just how much grit and determination I can muster up when I'm motivated and challenged, which has held in good stead. What I also found out, was that without that group of women at my side on those nine months of training, I couldn't have done it. I may not have been able to untie my running shoes after I ran across the finish line, but I could smile and know that that moment couldn't be taken away from me. We all shared in the glory at the post run dinner, all sporting our medals and lifting a glass of champagne surrounded by our families and friends that were our support system and cheerleaders.

Thank you Jean Marmoreo, the Jean in jeansmarines,  for help empower me on October 26 2003.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Free Expression

I realize it has been some time that I have written my blog, and quite frankly I have missed it. I've had good intentions, and a lot of things I've wanted to write about, but let other things get in the way of my blogging. Perhaps because I knew I could always take up, where I left off, at any time, gave me the freedom to take my time in getting back into it, and writing about whatever my heart desired.

Over the past ten days, I've had the pleasure of seeing two very different art shows at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

The first was the Ai Weiwei show. I was invited to attend an event put on by the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression: Voices of Freedom. I'm photo 41 with Ai Weiwei.  It was a multi-media event honouring dissident artist Ai Weiwei and paying tribute to his relentless pursuit of free expression through art, social media and political protest. Prior to the event I took a wander through the Ai Weiwei show, two floors below.

Ai Weiwei is the master of "selfies" and hard hitting in his presentation of what is going on around him. Currently he is in China, unable to leave the country, because he has been highly and openly critical of the Chinese Government's stance on democracy and human rights. I photographed different pieces in his show, I tweeted throughout the CJFE event, and instagramed his art. I had full freedom to pass along whatever thoughts and images I had. I was allowed to freely photography his installations. Ai Weiwei wants the word out there. He wants to share. "Everything is art. Everything is politics," is a Weiwei-ism.

One week later I went to see the Bowie show, as in David Bowie. Without a doubt, David Bowie was, and is an innovator. He is the king of high stage drama on the music scene, always growing, evolving and pushing the limits throughout his career. While I can appreciate all he explored, and developed, I was never totally enamored. But, that is my choice. I give credit where credit is due, and Bowie clearly pushed the vanguard over a fifty year period. Taking risks, asserting his view of free expression, is what David Bowie did strive for. And, I think he did it quite successfully. The Bowie show was interactive, it was full of theatrics and music, had costumes and drama, and clearly had an admiring following attending.

What I found different about the two show, was my freedom to photograph the shows. Ai Weiwei was all about a full on anything goes. Touch the rebar installation, photograph it, have fun looking through the crescent moon doors. Bowie, allowed no photographs except at the entrance where the sign was, apparently due to copyright infringement. So where Ai Weiwei is desperately fighting for freedom of expression, and allowing his work to photographed by all, Bowie wants his own freedom of expression, but keeps it under lock and key when it comes to openly sharing, without his control. I guess that is what freedom of expression is. Having the choice. Being in control of your work, however that may be.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Memories made

I've just returned from four days in New York City. Four days in New York is like eight days any where else. Each day was high energy and action packed, filled with great memories and a longing to return. We ended the trip on a high, which as my friend Kitti always said after we had a successful day of teaching in Kathmandu, is always a good thing.

Some notes on our four days: fast, noisy, busy, exciting, wet, great views, surprises, wonderful Broadway, Central Park is much bigger than you think, lots of dog walkers, great shopping, Patsy's pizza, Balthazar's, Nobu 57's edge, never a cab when you need one, Bloomingdales shoe department, Soho charm, excess, huge blintzes at Carnegie Deli, many half eaten meals, action, my Mom's birthday, the food hall in the Plaza hotel, good friend Ian, style and personality.

Great memories are made from all of those things.

My Mom, the birthday girl, a surprise by our friend Ian,
and me at Nobu 57 for a VIP lunch, thanks to Matt,
Ian's son who is executive chef.

Monday, May 27, 2013


I'm a tall woman, and rarely feel small in a crowd, but this past weekend I felt like a little shrimp.

On Sunday I attended my aunt's 90th birthday celebrations. My aunt wanted a dinner with family, but didn't want a party. Hmm. OK. So we had a gathering of family and friends for a large dinner, to celebrate Marcelle's birthday, but it wasn't a party, per se, even though there was a birthday cake and I saw cousins and friends, dare I say, I usually only see at weddings or funerals. It was so nice to see everyone under such auspicious circumstances.

I saw a cousin, John,  I haven't seen in years. His brothers are all a bit older than me, and as a kid intimidated me. I saw these big tall guys, who were older, and I was the only little girl around, and just got shy on them. Well, I think I had reason to feel intimidated as a kid. These boys were tall, and are tall. My cousins are all well over six feet. My cousin John's two boys are seven feet and seven feet two inches respectively. Now that's tall!

Honestly, I had to get on my tippy toes to hug these guys. That is just unheard of for me.

When I was in China a few years ago, I remember getting mobbed on the Bund in Shanghai, by groups of Chinese that wanted their photo taken with me, because of my height. When I was climbing the Great Wall, I had Chinese families stop me, to have their photos taken with me, standing on their tippy-toes, trying to be as tall as me. Now I know how these people felt. I wasn't standing on my tippy-toes with my cousins, but I sure wasn't seeing eye to eye, till we sat down. It was a neat experience.

My Aunt Marcelle, the birthday girl,
my cousin Tony and my Mom (BTW my Mom isn't small either)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Documentaries are to Canada...

... what Jazz is to America. At least that's what a slide flashed us before each documentary I recently saw at Toronto's Hot Docs (that's hot documentaries) film festival.

I'm a film buff — always have been. I've always meant to get more involved with TIFF in September, but have been overwhelmed by the line-ups and options. Hot Docs seemed much more manageable to me, and still had the high quality and cache. This year was the twentieth anniversary of Hot Docs, and the selections were outstanding.

Initially Belinda and I booked a ten ticket package, thinking five films each would be plenty. What with trying to coordinate what we wanted to see, without taking time off work, our personal commitments and being able to coordinate the locations of the films so that we weren't necessarily running across downtown, at first seemed daunting. We easily managed to coordinate the five selections, locations, and times. Success.

Expedition to the End of the World at TIFF's Lightbox was our first film, with a Q & A by the director and producer post show. What a beautifully shot documentary, with a quirky cadre of stars set on top of a gorgeous soundtrack that went from Mozart to techno rock. I've noticed that since their appearance in Toronto, they are hitting Europe by storm and winning awards. Kudos to them.

Sunday had three docs scheduled, all showing back to back at the ROM — how convenient. We saw, The Only Son, The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne and Terms and Conditions on Sunday afternoon.

The Only Son took me back to my lovely memories of Nepal and the people I encountered there. The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne was a surprisingly interesting look at a seventy-something jewel thief and her matter of fact attitude. Terms and Conditions made me think about what I was saying and doing on the internet and showed me how big brother IS watching. It was a full day. After each film we were asked to rate them. How could I not give these movies a good rating. I mean, in each case, I wasn't bored, there was a captivating story, well thought out, I was entertained, amused and made to think.

Wednesday after work, Belinda and I took the red rocket downtown to watch our last film, In God we Trust, the Bernie Madoff story, as told by his personal assistant,  Eleanor Squillar. Wow. This film pointed out the excess and craziness of Madoff's story. Needless to say, a post screening Q & A with the directors and Eleanor made for a lively discussion.

Q & A post screening of In God we Trust
But, there were more films I still wanted to see. I also went to see Muscle Shoals at the Bloor Cinema. I don't think there wasn't one person smiling when they left that screening. Throughout the film I saw heads bobbing, toes tapping and heard people questioning what Keith Richards was saying. It was pure fun and delight as the story of Muscle Shoals Alabama was told. I would love to have the soundtrack to that film. I probably have a lot of it as I scour my music collection, but to have it all in one take, would be great. This film ultimately won the viewers choice award at the end of the festival.

Hot Docs is over, but Belinda and I are still hitting the docs we missed, which are still playing at the Bloor Cinema. On Friday we saw The Manor. The Manor is a strip joint on the edge of Guelph Ontario, but plays a supporting role to the main players, the Cohen family and their family dynamics. Is any family normal, whatever that is? But this family was willing to show the raw underbelly that made them tick. 

Yes, we have one more doc slated, Scatter my Ashes at Bergdorf's. Hot Docs here I come.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


I have a vivid memory of the first time I heard Fleetwood Mac's Rumours album played. I was a passenger in a friend of a friend's car, driving north on Islington Avenue from Woodbridge to Kleinberg, going to a party in someone's rec room. It was 1977. Last night, at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, I was transported back to that moment, when Fleetwood Mac sang out their first song of the evening, Second hand news, just as I heard it as the first song on Rumours on that drive. I was spellbound for the rest of the evening. I knew all the lyrics to all the songs on that album, and could easily have sung along last night.

Fleetwood Mac is one of those iconic bands of the 1970's, and my youth. Thirty six years later, we are both sounding great. Their show was fun, entertaining, well thought out, had great visual effects and showed us that they have only become a finer vintage.

While they played Rhiannon, their first hit, the sweet aroma of reefer snuck by me, and their eye catching visuals backing the stage lured me in to their performance, and I was hooked. We heard a smattering from all their albums. Lindsay Buckingham's guitar solo grabbed me — I finally breathed out, when he strung his guitar for the last time. Outstanding! How old is Mick Fleetwood? That man can rock! He was pounding his skins with the passion of a pup still out to prove himself, yet clearly enjoying his role at the helm of this band sporting his black knickers and red shoes. Stevie Nicks' voice was as strong and as identifiable as ever. She was still sporting her black angel look, and as the evening wore on, she donned her trademark top hat for the first of their two encores. Each member was allowed to shine. I was relieving a moment or two along with the rest of this audience.

As my Mom has said, "you need to blow out the cobwebs once in a while," and last night we both did. My Mom and I tapped our toes, bobbed our heads, swayed our shoulders and thoroughly knocked out a mess of cobwebs.

Thank you Fleetwood Mac for providing all that good entertainment.
Don't Stop.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Father and a daughter

How do you describe that bond that exists between fathers and daughters?

My Dad died sixteen years ago today, unexpectedly, at the age of 63. I was at his side in Japan when he moved on. It's so weird. One minute they are here, and the next, poof, they aren't. I wondered if his soul was lifting up from his body, looking down at the situation, when the doctor declared him dead.

My Dad and I had your typical roller coaster relationship. When I was small, he was, my male role model — strong and protective, a good provider, had a camera on his shoulder at every event to record our lives, I knew I could count on him, he could build anything and taught me how to ride a bike and to drive stick shift. But he also instilled values in me, that only later I recognized. As I grew up we had our moments, our disagreements, didn't quite see eye to eye on a lot of things, but, he was my Dad, for better and for worse, I accepted him, and I think he did me, in his way.

I miss him, and still think of him often. This is my personal Father's Day. Happy Father's Day Dad.
Love, Kathi

Friday, March 29, 2013

Easter Feaster and spring

My indoor spring-scape.
This has been a long winter. Some might say a very long winter. I have one tiny clump of snow still on my boulevard.

With this long weekend of Easter upon us, I am starting to see a glimpse of spring — longer blue skied days, birds are singing, and the raccoons have taken to knocking over my garbage bin again.

There still aren't any real signs of life in my garden, not even on my pussy willow standard, but, as the trend of longer and sunnier days continues, budding gardens can't be far behind. Another sign of spring is that our first yard waste pick-up for the season is next week. Aside from all my retired neighbours, who have way too much time on their hands, I haven't even thought of lifting a twig. I'm sure they will have oodles of bags for the compost truck. I'm actually looking forward to getting out and cleaning up the garden, but am waiting for the lawn to firm up a bit, before I start traipsing over it.

While spring is slow in coming outside, I keep on springing up the inside of my house with tulips, to let me know my own can't be too far away now.

Easter is traditionally the start of spring for me, and with it falling early this year, I hope spring comes early too.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

March Break

Me, on top of the Swiss Alps.
One of my favourite March Breaks.
Oh, to be a student again, well, more precisely, to be a student on March Break this week. The coveted week off, by every student, in the middle of what feels like an endless winter.

I was lucky enough to have wonderful March break holidays when I was a kid. During my high school years my Dad and I would go on amazing ski holidays. A week to bond and ski, laugh and create memories. It was all good fun. We skied the American and Canadian Rockies, the Austrian and Swiss Alps, until my grade thirteen year, when I fell down a staircase, while on a ski trip with friends, and ended up with my leg in a cast. Mexico, would have to be substituted for Park City Utah.

March break always seemed to arrive just in the nick of time, when you felt you couldn't deal with the endless grey days any longer. March break should be mandatory for everyone. A respite from work and the everyday routine, is a tonic that we can all benefit from, particularly when we live in a northern, colder climate. Sadly, it is not mandatory for all. Alas, we've just sprung our clocks forward an hour, and the days will be getting longer, and daylight will last longer, so, all in all, things are looking up.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My boys

It's not what you were thinking, I'm talking about the cars I've had the pleasure to call mine, over my driving lifetime. I heard a commercial for the Toronto Auto Show on the radio this morning as I was driving in to work, and it got me to thinking about my past boys. Yes, my cars, contrary to popular thought, have all been boys.

Bob, my first beaut, was a Cortez Gold 1971 Pontiac Grand Prix, with a 455 motor, which seemed to impress, most men, but all I knew was he sure was peppy. Bob had a nose on him that wouldn't quit. He was stylish, had door handles that the likes have, we will not see again. I learned to drive with Bob, learned how to park in any spot, thanks to my brother, be it parallel, back in, drive in, you name it. He had lovely dulcet tones, that there was no way I could sneak in late at night.

 My next boy was an '84 RX7, that I adored, and he was simply my babe. He was a stick shift. This is where my love affair with the standard transmission began. I have been unable to be charmed by the lure of an automatic transmission since. He had brown leather interior and a moon roof that popped out. There was nothing better than driving on a country road on a summer evening with the roof off, and U2's rhythmic Mysterious Ways, or rockin Desire, blaring from my surround sound cassette deck. Bliss. Gearing down as I approached a four way stop on a lonely deserted road, I felt I was waking up the cows in the fields.

My next boy remained nameless. We never bonded. It was my shortest relationship, and not noteworthy, exept to say that he was a magnet for scrapes, bangs and dings.

Toto, was made in Kansas, so it only seemed appropriate, I named him after one of my favorite characters. Toto sits tall and proud, a Mazda Tribute, again a stick model, and after ten years, I still enjoy driving him. No, he doesn't have the luster of the earlier boys or the same cache, but he's practical, has a four doors, something I hadn't experienced before, is stable and has never let me down.

Now I've learned, to be prepared for, "just in case" scenarios. When my babe died unexpectedly, and his terminal rust on the undercarriage didn't allow me to get a new motor, I hadn't given any thought as to what car would replace him, so went with the first thing someone recommended. Hence the lack of bonding. I now have taken the time to plan, for, "just in case". He will have to have a stick, so I am limited, to high end or cool lower end vehicles. Alas, I hope that day doesn't come too soon, but, I do have my eye on a cute little Fiat 500 cabriolet.

No, I would not call myself a car person, but, for all the time we seem to spend in our vehicles, I sure want to enjoy what I'm in.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Not sure what it is, but I've been thinking about these happy smiling faces I came to know, when I was in Kathmandu two years ago, doing volunteer work at the Swayanbhunath Temple, aka The Sacred Monkey Temple.

I just can't email them to see how they are doing. Snail mail is so ineffective there, it's just not worth doing. But I'm curious as to how they are doing, and what they have been up to in the past couple of  years.

It's difficult to divorce yourself from something that has had an affect on you. As someone recently pointed out to me, it's not the length of time you spent with them, it's the quality of time and profound affect they had on me. At the time, I knew my young monks, and all the people I encountered in Nepal were being imprinted on me, but just didn't realize how strongly, until some time has passed. I miss Nepal, oh, not the squatty toilets or smoke filled streets, but I miss the people, and the generosity of spirit that came so naturally to them,  that I encountered daily.

Every time I hear Bob Seger's Kathmandu, I long for another place, truly.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Pining for Tucson

It's February, and that means it is time for the huge Gem and Mineral show in Tucson. It is a massive show with over forty venues and thousands of dealers from around the world. You name it, from glorious diamonds to colourful agates by the bucket load,  it will all be for sale.

I really liked Tucson when I was there two years ago for the show, and after the snowfall we had yesterday, have an inkling to be there now. I'm reading all sorts of postings from friends that are at the show, shopping, taking courses, mingling and having fun. Like minded individuals sharing their love for designing, creating and enthusiasm for jewellery.

Oh to be in the desert. There is something restorative about it, at least for me — it is very calming.

 I mean, where else can you see Doc Holliday strolling down the street, but in Tombstone?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

WYSIWYG with George

Last night I had the pleasure of briefly meeting George Stroumboulopoulos at the Diamond Jubilee Gala, one of the well deserving recipients of the Diamond Jubilee medal.

In those few moments we spent having a photo op, I found George to be just as I experience him when I watch him each night —  patient, unassuming, playful, genuine, a listener, a nice guy — and how refreshing was that. Often when you finally meet someone, who you've watched for years, you find a completely different person, and wonder why you liked that person in the first place.

George is everyone's boyfriend, and I like that about him. He doesn't discriminate, he just wants to be everyone's bud.

Thank you George for making me smile, bring a twinkle to my eye and a spring in my step. Alas, if only for the evening...

WYSIWYG with George.

What a who's who event!

Tonight I was invited to attend the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Gala, at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto.

What a who's who of Canadian talent! The attendees, were a combination of those that had received the diamond Jubilee medal, the Order of Canada, Order of Ontario and any combination there of. There were a cross section of sports heroes, Paul Henderson, Elizabeth Manley, Ken Dryden and George Chuvalo, musicians, Liona Boyd, Bruce Cockburn and Tom Cochrane, politicians, James Bartleman and Jean Augustine, many people I reckognized, but couldn't think of their names, until I passed them.

It was exciting. I had my photo taken with a very cordial Dan Aykroyd, tried to talk to Tommy Hunter, who had a steadfast group around him, nabbed a photo with my boyfriend George Strombo, who swore we had met before, seriously, spoke to Ken Dryden about the perfect Christmas tree our family bought from his family's Christmas tree farm when I was a kid, and celebrated in all the good so many people of this fine province have done.

Peter Mansbridge hosted the event, and showed a clip of Paul Henderson's winning goal of the '72 Canada Russia series.  I mean, what Canadian born pre -1965, doesn't know where they were when that winning goal of '72 was scored — I was sitting in my grade 5 classroom on the floor watching it on a raised black and white set that was rolled in from the AV department.

Tonight was about acknowledging volunteerism, about making things better, about leaving things better than when you found it, no matter how big or how small, and celebrating in it. It is about making a difference, be it full time or part time. I must say, I was inspired.

My friend Vicki produced the event, and a fine job she did. Vicki too is a recipient of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal.

Congratulations Queen's Diamond Jubilee recipients — job well done.

Me and my boyfriend George.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

It's hockey night in Canada!

Go Leaf's Go!

What can I say my true patriotism comes out when I go to watch a Leaf's game live. While the NHL was on strike, I didn't care one way or another what happened, though I did feel bad for the small businesses that suffered from the lack of customers due to their lack of play. I just got home from a Leaf's vs Bruins game. These teams were part of the original six, before any kind of expansion was even thought of. How exciting is that? These teams have history, they have rivalry, they have passion. Truth be known, I think I lost my interest at the second expansion in the 1970's when so many teams came on board. But tonight's game was one of those classic meetings, you have to experience, at least once.

There is nothing like going to a game live. I wouldn't make the effort to watch it on TV, even though there is a Leaf's game on every Saturday night. I think the feeling I get when I'm in the stands, feeling the chill from the ice, the roar of the fans chanting, watching those Zamboni's clean the ice in zippy time — I get caught up in the excitement. It is Canada's game.

Now unfortunately we lost to Boston tonight 1-0, but we didn't deserve to win either. We played  a sloppy game, without any kind of focus. It was like watching a baseball game, in that they rarely getting exciting before the seventh inning stretch, and this game didn't come alive, really, till the third period. Suddenly it was as if the team woke up, noticed they were losing and thought, "hey, we better start playing as a team instead of just shooting the puck to no one". You could hear the audience get louder, chanting "go Leaf's go" faster and with more enthusiasm, until it was obvious that we were going to lose.

But for a few shining moments there, a few close calls, I felt extra Canadian, proud that hockey is our game, as I sat next to two Boston fans tonight. The Americans may have their football, and the Superbowl tomorrow, but hockey is our game.

My name is Kathi, and I am Canadian. Thanks for asking me to the game Belin.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Starry starry night

It's -12˚C, but feels like -19˚C with the windchill, and I feel warm after my 5 km walk this evening. Some may say I'm crazy walking in this weather, but truth be known, I really enjoy it. As long as you are dressed properly, it's wonderful. Ok my cheeks were initially cold when I first started out, and my chin was feeling pointy and cold, but they were warm before I did my first 1 km.

The moon is growing fuller and the stars are shining brightly tonight as I looked up on this cold and clear night. I saw more stars than I remember normally seeing in Toronto, with all of our light pollution. The snow is crunchy underneath my running shoes. I love that sound — you don't hear it very often in Toronto, especially in the last few years, with the warmer winters we've been having. I can hear shinny being played at the local outdoor rink, as the puck hits the boards. Sounds are traveling so easily tonight.

I saw a neighbor having a cigarette on his porch as I walked by and he just laughed when I said I was warm, but really I was. Even my phone was warm when I tried to take a picture of the moon, the steam kept rolling off of it and getting in the photo.

Steam coming off my camera
as I tried to capture the moon.

Starry starry night......

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Crazy weather

 I know the calender says January 12, but it sure feels more like April 12 outside today.

Two weeks ago on my weekly constitutional along the lakefront with Barb, we were fighting biting winds and snow. On that day there were very few people along the Martin-Goodman trail — even the dog walkers stayed inside that day. The phrase, "mad dogs and Englishmen" came to mind that day, even though I realize that saying applies to hot sultry days, we even knew we were mad to be out that day.

What a difference two weeks can make. Today the parking lot at the Grenadier restaurant in High Park, our starting point, was jammed first thing, full of runners, walkers and dog walkers. Walking down to the lake front we saw runners in t-shirts, saw bare flesh we hadn't seen in months and the dogs and their owners were out in full force. The trail was clear of any sign of snow, except for the odd ice patch which hadn't been hit by the morning sun yet. It was crazy. Ducks and swans were cavorting, dogs were playful and I even saw one young mite smiling and lying in the sand, albeit in his jacket and pants, trying to be coaxed up by his Grandmother. I said, "he seems happy enough," and she just smiled, shrugged her shoulders and said, "happy" in her Polish accent.

But this weather is just not right, as much as I'm enjoying it, there are consequences to be had. This past week, orcas were trapped in the ice in Hudson's Bay, having veered way off course to their wintering grounds. Western Canada has had a constantly deluge of frigid temperatures. What does this all mean in the long run?

In the meantime, this weekend I've tucked away my Uggs and am happily sporting my driving mocs.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Do we always have to be celebrating something?

No sooner than I've closed the final box of Christmas decor items, and recycled the last of the boxing week flyers, I've started receiving Valentine themed emails. Really? Can the Easter bunny be far behind too?

Is there ever a time, when we are simply enjoying the moment, just because? Do we always have to be bombarded with an event, whether we celebrate it or not? I was actually looking forward to the little calm that follows the big Christmas hoopla, but I guess there is no rest for the wicked, as they try to suck me into the vortex of Valentine's day, and the jewellery I should be wearing, or the lingerie I should be receiving or the chocolates I should be eating.

Ok, I'm now going to take my own time-out, and just ignore all this stuff for a while. Now don't get me wrong, I believe in our mass market society, but, a week without having some holiday thrown on me would be nice, after all, I haven't finished the Christmas chocolates or pondered my new year's resolutions yet.