Day 86. Very Spooky

It’s a shame that for so many kids throughout North America, this year’s Halloween celebrations will probably pass largely unnoticed, due to Hurricane Sandy.  I always loved going out trick-or-treating.  It wasn’t even so much all the candy we got.  It was the preparations.  Deciding ‘who’ I wanted to be.  Deciding on a costume.  Buying all the candy for the kids who came to our house.  Carving our pumpkin (which none of us at my house were all that good at).  Toasting the pumpkin seeds.

And then, on the night, itself.  Rushing home from school.  The inevitable grumbling, because I was too excited to eat dinner, and my parents insisted.  And got their way. Finally, getting started.  My mother, helping with my make-up.  Getting dressed in my costume.  Again, disagreeing with the parents, who wanted me to wear a coat because it was cold; and me refusing because then my costume would be hidden.  Eventually compromising on sweaters, worn under the costume.

My parents would take turns.  My father would take me out first.  My mother would stay Continue reading

Day 85. Mmmm Good!

I mentioned, briefly, in yesterday’s post that I had brunch, this past Sunday, with a friend’s daughter and her boyfriend.  We went to the Thompson Diner, one of the restaurants in the very trendy, luxury boutique hotel that opened not all that long ago, in Toronto.  I suggested it because they serve a good breakfast; and, in particular, their pancakes are outstanding.

Don’t believe me?  Think a pancake is a pancake is a pancake?

Well, feast your eyes on this stack.  That’s what I ordered.  Blueberry pancakes.  Yes, they are that huge.  The size of a dinner plate.  Each one is close to a quarter of an inch thick.  And you get three in an order.

Crammed, and I mean crammed full of fresh blueberries.  Topped with even more, and a light dusting of powdered sugar.  I had to have a side of crispy bacon.  After all, what are pancakes without bacon?  And good maple syrup.  Real maple syrup.

The Thompson Diner’s pancakes are the lightest, fluffiest pancakes I have ever eaten.  Trust me on this.  But even so, it is impossible for one person to finish the whole order.  I’ve been there three times now, and the most I’ve ever eaten is half. Continue reading

Day 84. Junk Drawers

I had brunch, yesterday, with a friend’s daughter, and her boyfriend.  Because the weather was so miserable (cold, windy, rain), I promised myself that I would attack my junk drawer when I got home.

Do you have one?  Of course you do.  Doesn’t everyone?  You know the one I mean.  It’s where you dump all those ‘its-and-bits’, the ‘odds-and-sods’ you think you should hang on to.  You don’t know what else to do with them, or where else to put them, so you shove them into the junk drawer.  Until you can no longer open or close it, because it’s too full of, well, junk.

And then you wait for a miserable day to attack it.  Well, yesterday was my day.

My junk drawer is located in one of my bedside tables.  I started by taking out each item one by one.  That was a total drag, so I just dumped the whole thing over on to my bed.  This is Continue reading

Day 83. Frustrated Artist

In yesterday’s post (addendum) I mentioned that I had originally wanted to be an art director, not a writer.  My mother used to tell me I never stopped drawing.  She always said that all my school notebooks were covered with doodles, from first grade through to the day I graduated from high school.

My grandmother had two drawers in a chest in her den, that were reserved for endless pieces of paper; and all my coloured pencils.  My father’s younger brother was in the stationery business; and once a week, like clockwork, he dropped by to bring me a fresh supply of paper.  I went through reams and reams of it.

As a child I went to art classes at the Montreal Museum of Fine Art; and my favourite subjects in school were art and English.  Always.  At the summer camp I went to, we put on a major production each year.  A play, usually one that had been on Broadway, and we Continue reading

Still Day 82. An Addendum


How lucky am I.  I have just been nominated for the One Lovely Blog award by MANNINGTREE ARCHIVE.  If you haven’t already visited this blog, you should.  It is all about one man’s passion for the arts.  For film, theatre, music and literature.  But the twist is, the artists that he’s so passionate about are the ‘greats’ from another era.  So visiting the MANNINGTREE ARCHIVE is like a visit to a wonderful museum.

The rules for the award are:

Thank and link back to the person that nominated you.  SO THANKS, AGAIN, TO ………..       MANNINGTREE  ARCHIVE.

Post the award picture in your post.

Tell 7 things about yourself:

  • I’m afraid of heights.
  • I’m terrified of snakes.
  • Before I gave it up, I was a pretty good golfer.
  • My dream was to become an art director, not a writer.  But I’m very happy with the way it turned out.
  • If I’m really enjoying it, I can read an entire hard cover book in a day.
  • The most movies I have ever seen, in a single day, is 6; which I did very often when I went to the Toronto International Film Festival.
  • I’m addicted to reading my horoscope in the daily newspaper.

Nominate 15 other bloggers and notify them of their nomination.  Here is my diverse list of nominations, in no particular order:

Magnificent Nose

Perfect Whole


Margaret’s Miscellany



Book Peeps


The Better Man Project

The Grammar Belle


Cristian Mihai


The Misfortune of Knowing

It Started With a Quote

Day 82. Hush Now

Honestly, I can’t take it any more. You cannot open a newspaper, or watch television, without being absolutely bombarded with political opinions. The pundits are dissecting every word, every nuance, every stance, every plan, every wink, every blink, every smile, every frown, every step, every misstep, every platform, every remark (snide and otherwise), every criticism, every accusation that is coming out of anyone’s mouth.

They’re commenting on the opinions of other pundits, other networks, former politicos, the candidates, members of congress, celebrities and businessmen and women. They’re even commenting on what Mr. and Mrs. average American citizen is saying, as they’re interviewed coming out of malls and movie theatres and parking lots.

No wonder people are confused. How are you supposed to think with all that noise?

This is not my country, I’m talking about. It’s not my election. Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are not my candidates. I can’t vote. But I do vote here, in Canada. So this I know.

Continue reading

Day 81. What Happened?

When I worked in the fashion industry back in Montreal, one of my favourite models to work with was a young, beautiful, tall blonde from Czechoslovakia.  Before moving to Canada, in 1975, she was an extremely talented skier.  So good, in fact, she was selected as an alternate on the 1972 Czech Olympic Ski Team.

In all honesty, she was every designer’s favourite model.  She was beautiful, everything looked fabulous on her, she had a great personality on and off the runway, she was very bright and extremely professional.  She was always on time, always prepared, always at her best.  If she partied, and I have no idea whether or not she did, she didn’t the night before a job, that’s for damn sure.  That was very evident.

Her name, when I first met her, was Ivana Winklmayr.  The name you would know her by, though, is Ivana Trump. Continue reading

Day 80. Sentimental Value

While objects, ‘things’, can never be as important to us as the people in our lives, we still feel a sense of loss when we lose them, or when they’re  taken from us.  It’s not really the item we’re upset about.  Well, maybe initially it is.  But not in the longer term.  Because whatever it is, it can be replaced.

But what can never be replaced is the sentimental value associated with that piece of jewelry.  Or scrapbook.  Or punch bowl.  Or photograph.  Or whatever it is, that’s now gone.  The story that goes along with it, the memories of how it came in to your life and what role it played, the new life it took on when it came into your possession; it’s not covered by insurance.  Its value is not monetary.

Like my mother’s autograph book.  She always loved ‘live’ entertainment, even as a young child.  From the time I was little, I remember her telling me about going to movies and seeing a singer or dancer as part of the ticket price.  She saw Cab Calloway and Ella Fitzgerald.  Duke Ellington, Lena Horne, Frank Sinatra when he was still a skinny kid, Continue reading

Day 79. Just Resting

My least favourite time of the year is fast approaching.  November.  Actually from now until it snows and everything looks pretty again.  At least until the snow turns grey and slushy.  Dirty looking.  And then that’s a whole other kind of ugly.

The signs and signals are there.  Trees are really starting to lose their leaves; and whereas in the summer branches are almost totally hidden by foliage, now it’s the opposite.  Now it’s the branches we can see clearly, while the leaves that are left are just sprinkled here and there.  Drifting to the ground, as we watch. Some in slow motion.  Others, in the blink of an eye.  Floating.  Fluttering.  Twisting.  Turning.  Twirling. Being carried by the wind.  Lifted.  Lowered.  Landing.  Somewhere.  And on an on it goes, until none are left.

Small trees are already completely bare.

And just the other day I noticed that most roads, sidewalks and lawns are already covered with leaves.  On rainy days, like yesterday, they’re hazardous, because they become very slippery when they’re wet.  Any day now, they’ll be stuck to the windshields of cars that are left outside over night. And again, when they’re wet, they’re hell to get off the glass.

Why is it that they always stick to the windshield wipers?  They hide in that little groove where the wipers stay, until you use them.  Sometimes you can’t see them there.  And then, there they are, as soon as you turn Continue reading

Day 78. Colour Me …

The other day, the author of a blog I follow wrote about colour.  It made me think.  Ever since my trip to India, I cannot get enough of the colour turquoise.  Not the pale, watery version.

The deep, bright, vibrant, intense shade.  It’s the colour painted on my bedroom walls.  Chotchkies I collect.  Pillows, tossed on a daybed in my living room.  Sweaters.  T-shirts.  Even my wallet.  And my toothbrush.  I’m drawn to it, like a bee to honey.

It just makes me feel good.  It makes me smile.  And it warms me up.

Before I became obsessed with turquoise, it was celadon green.  Pale, soft and relaxing, celadon isn’t just a colour.  It’s also the name given to ceramics which originated in 13th century China, and were glazed in that particular shade of green.

It’s a very calming colour; and in my  condo, my living and dining room walls were celadon.  Whenever I stepped into those rooms, it was like letting out a huge sigh of relief.  A polar opposite of what I’m living in, now. Continue reading