Ahhhhh … bliss …

I’m just publishing this now, but I wrote it a week ago this past Sunday. I delayed it because a day later tragedy struck Toronto; and at the time it just didn’t feel right to talk about trivialities 24 hours after 10 innocent people were killed and 14 others injured when a disturbed man, who allegedly was angry because he was spurned by women, purposely drove his rented van right into them.

The Sunday this was written I was sitting on a patio — at long last — at my local Starbucks, savouring both the beautiful weather and a tall Pike Place (medium roast coffee). This past Sunday — a mere week later — I awoke to snow. Yes, snow, at the end of April. You’ll be happy to know, today it’s expected to hit 23 celsius (78 degrees Fahrenheit), so all is right with the world again — at least in terms of the weather.

Writing a post celebrating being able to sit on a patio may not seem Continue reading

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Cautiously optimistic …

Yes, I’m superstitious.  And that’s why I try to be careful about making predictions.  Prognosticating.  Assuming.  Planning ahead.  Counting my chickens.  Because the last thing I want to do is jinx bearmyself.  Put a hex on things.  You know.  Screw things up.  And then curse myself forever and a day for having such a big mouth, for blowing it.

So let’s just say the signs are all pointing in the right direction.

Saturday, while I was out and about, I could see that restaurants and cafes had their terraces open; and, people were out there, enjoying the weather.  The streets were packed.  Old folks, Continue reading

Day 4. Flower Power

It’s a dull day here, today.  Grey and overcast, with a threat of thunderstorms.  I woke up to the sound of rain rat-tat-tatting against my windows; and it’s been on again, off again ever since.  God knows we need some rain.  We’ve had an exceptionally hot, humid and dry summer, in Toronto.  But still, it’s dingy out there.

Which has, for some inexplicable reason, made me think of flowers.  Probably because the sight of even a single bloom can brighten any day; and any mood.  No matter how dark.  I love all flowers.  From the simplest daisies to masses of brightly-coloured bougainvillea, trailing willy-nilly over fences and walls.  From tulips that droop gently over the side of a vase, to window boxes crammed full of cascading geraniums and petunias.  Unassuming garden variety posies.  More exotic varieties, like orchids and calla lilies.  I even like buttercups.

Sometimes all it takes to make me happy are a couple of sunflowers, cheering me on.  Sometimes I crave something much more over the top — like  dozens of the palest of blush-coloured roses, informally ‘plopped’ into an old cut glass bowl my grandmother gave me.  And sometimes I want to play, mixing all kinds of different flowers together, in colours that range from fuchsia to scarlet to burgundy to almost black — shoving the whole bunch of them into a shocking, deep turquoise pottery pitcher.  It all depends on my mood.

But all this talk about flowers has sparked a memory, of a glorious month-long trip I took to India a few years ago.  Talk about flowers!

I could write dozens of stories about that trip (and perhaps I will), but this time I’m confining myself to an experience I had on our last day there.  We were in the Continue reading