my new hat

Fancy, eh?

I can only hope that JJ doesnae thieve it from me. 

Heh heh.

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hot town, summer in the city

Well, we’re into the dog days of August here and it’s not even August yet!  Sigh.

However, there is one thing that keeps my spirits up when everyone is frazzled, grumbling, pushing and shoving in the downtown streets trying to get as soon as possible into their air conditioned office.

Yup, you guessed it – flowers!

As you can see, here in Toronto they grow them to match the fire hydrants!  Well, sometimes they do, anyway.  Other times, no – but they’re still pretty, eh?

This, I think, is my favourite colour ever.  Hot coral flowers!!

But then I see more of this lovely buttercup yellow…

…but then I see loveliness like this and I start getting very, very confused.

It’s sensory overload, really…

I can’t decide which pink I like better, the one above, or this one:

… and then there is the glorious red of these (poisonous, I think, though) berries!

And I would be remiss if I didn’t show you some of my favourites – the humble sunflowers!

I also loved this little carpet of flowers here…

…which look like this closer up!

Now, you know I love vibrant colours, but even white looks good at this time of year…

And I guess that we have the blasted heat to thank for all of this fabulous bounty.  So, I’ll just have to suck it up and get used to it.

And anyway, at least it still gets cooler in the evenings…

This tree, by the way, was at least six feet away from the lamppost last year.  I find it fascinating how the leaves gravitate toward the light.  In this weather, I must confess that I prefer the dark.  Oh well.  Good thing I live next to a forest and all!

A very happy and colourful Tuesday to you!

stampeding into shamelessness

I’m well and truly off the wagon now, folks. Yup. Yesterday, I made yet another trip to one of the local Houses of Worship – on the pretext that I needed one of these:

For some reason I keep losing these. This is probably my fourth this year. I’m sure that one of these days I’m going to bump accidentally into a secret portal in my apartment and be faced with a whole pile of single socks, good wooden coat hangers (as opposed to crap wire ones from the dry cleaners’) and knitting needle measuring ruler thingies, all pointing and laughing at me.

So, of course I decided today that I was in huge need for one of these $3 thingamabobs. But did I go back to Romni, which is just down the street from my workplace? Hell, no.

Why not? Well, I felt the need to take a 25 minute walk (each way) in 30C/150C with the humidex (don’t know what that is in Fahrenheit, but “damn hot” will about cover it), that’s why.

It certainly wasn’t because Lettuce Knit (quite a hike away from my office, in the Kensington Market) is the only yarn shop in the city that carried Blue Moon Fiber Arts yarn. No sirree Bob. Nope.

OK – so now you know the truth. I am a big fat liar.

But, really, how could I resist!

Oh – and while I was there I had to pick up a lonely little skein of Bobby Blue (as in “No Sirree Bob”, I guess!) Malabrigo laceweight as well:

But I don’t feel so bad about this – because Amy told me: “Malabrigo doesn’t count”. I’m a very gullible person, and I do hope that she has not led me down the garden path toward bankruptcy….

What makes me feel a bit better about all of this is that I’m apparently not the only one who’s getting up to hijinks this week, apparently – and mine are far cheaper than some. You see, this week the Calgary Stampede is taking place. Now, I’ve never been to Calgary but if you have ever lived in Canada and watched any news programme during the month of July, you’ll know all about this WestFest, where all the oil millionaires/billionaires, politicians and other high rollers turn up to watch some rodeo and eat some high-priced beef.

Now, according to CTV News the other evening, that’s not all these guys do. They actually had a segment on the late news discussing how some of these guys also come to gamble and pick up women. They even quoted a pro female saying it was by far the most lucrative week of the year.

I think they did, anyway. You see, I cannot find this story anywhere on their website – I do remember seeing it though, if only because it really really hurts to spit Vex alcopop out your nose when you start laughing with your mouth full. JJ confirms that this was on.

But instead, all I could find on the CTV website was this: Calgary drops suits for Stetsons during Stampede.

More like “drops trou”, no?!

I mean, really – let’s face it, these prime ministers must get up to all sorts of nonsense when they’re on the road – and especially when they get to dress up in cowboy drag. Why else would Pierre Trudeau have been showing his stuff there, for example?

Now, as for Jean Chretien, I’m not so sure:

Now, I must say that I really like his wife’s cowboy boots – in fact, I want them. But what was up with those puddlejumper jeans, Jean?!? Did the Prime Minsterial budget not extend to a pair of jeans that actually fit, or did you spend it all on the 10 gallon hat?!?

And then there’s always my favourite, the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, our current fearless leader who allows Geo. Bush to address him as though they’re hanging out on a street corner somewhere (I mean, really. “Yo, Harper“??? WTF???? When he pulled this stunt a few years back with Tony Blair, the British were reportedly offended. And, to my view, the British were right.) and simply giggles and blushes smiles. I’m not so sure, however, that it’s wild women he’s after…

I mean, first he poses for this cheesecake photo back in 2005:

Is that lipstick he’s wearing?!? I mean, really. Doesn’t he look as though he just stepped off the cover of a Village People LP?

So, then he hid I was not able to find any photos of Harper at the Stampede in 2006 – but this is what he turned up in in 2007:

So, what’s up with the pink shirt?? Well, apparently he said it was to show support for fundraising efforts for breast cancer. Well, that’s heartwarming and all, Steve – but if you really cared about people who suffer from breast cancer (or cancer of any kind, for that matter), you wouldn’t be doing your bit to destroy universal health care as we know it. But I’m ranting digressing now.

Suffice it to say that, sported by an arch-convervative like Harper, the colour pink speaks volumes. But this year, his image consultants have he’s decided to go butch:

Now, I haven’t been in a women’s bar for a while now – but the last time I went to one, this was pretty much the uniform.

So, Steve, I’ll be waiting with baited breath to see what cute little outfit you come up with for next year’s Stampede! How about something like this, for example?

Fetching, isn’t it?

Happy Wednesday!

reward for PayDay forbearance!!!

No, no – I did not rush out and buy something else. Instead, I got a lovely surprise in the mail today – the latest package from my Year of Lace 2008 subscription! And lovely it is indeed!

However, since some people have still not gotten their kits in the mail, I feel obligated to put up a spoiler warning…

… and also to engage in a wee digression (that’s today’s excuse, anyway). So, bear with me for a minute or so.

I know it will be very, very difficult to believe this – but on occasion I do get accused of having a rather narrow outlook on certain things. I can be prone to rather myopic behaviour sometimes, as it were (not to mention “obsessive”, but that’s a topic for another digression). It is a trait that serves me well in my vaunted profession of top notch hard working lawyer …

JJ: Ah, go oan, sell me a bridge, would ye, lassie?!?!?! D’ye actually think your blog readers will believe ye tae be hard-workin’?!?

KB: Um… er… (searching for witty response, then muttering) Ah, shurrup, wuid ye?

JJ: Ah telt ye, stop makin’ fun of the way ah talk.

And so on, and so forth.

Man, a digression within a digression. I’m really firing on all cylinders today!

… but it can tend to be a rather unlikeable quality, or so I’m told.

However, I intend to demonstrate to you that tunnel vision can sometimes be a beautiful thing indeed. The other day I took these photos of a field…

Isn’t that pretty? Let’s zoom in just a wee bit more, shall we?

But in fact, I just lied to you above (and yes, yes, I know – lying is another unlikeable quality in a person. However, I’m Greek. It’s genetic. I can’t help it. Really.) when I told you that these were pictures of a field. It is actually a photo of the garbage depository area of my building.

See? Far better, in this example, to take the narrow view, don’t you think?

Well, enough of that… time to show off my latest yarn acquisition!

First, a wonderful pattern by Joan Schrouder!

Blueberries!!!

And – my first ever skein of Lorna’s Laces laceweight (half silk, half wool):

I suspect it won’t be my last, though… look how soft it is!

And the yarn even comes with its own free shawl pattern…!

But now I’m torn!! Should I make the fan shawl, or Joan’s creation with the Lorna’s?

Help!

Oh – I forgot – I still have this radiant Claudia’s Handpaints in the stash…

I think the fan pattern would look very flash in this colour – perhaps I could call it “Daedalus“?

Yes!  Yes!

Oh – but another dilemma.  What to do with my other fabulous blueberry coloured yarn?!

And no, none of you can have it.  Sorry.

Hmm – I guess tunnel vision is not my only unattractive quality.  Apparently I need to work on generosity as well.

Sigh.

Wishing you a wonderful, wonderful weekend – and a happy 4th of July to my American friends.  The Tenant Advocates and I will be raising several glasses to you this evening…

castles, Toronto and Spring – oh my!

After all my moaning about Snow Madness this past winter, I am happy to report that spring seems finally to have arrived in Toronto!

Of course, the weeds were the first greenery to make themselves known, even pushing through concrete:

And until very recently, the cold finger of Winter was still more evident in the forest than the lovely leaves of Spring…

…but finally the spring greenery is emerging more clearly!

Now, because this is a part of Canada in which spring takes a while to appear, some flowers are slower to emerge than others.
But these budding tulips make me happy – they make me think of dancing arabesque ladies of the mystical East.
And funnily enough, just down the street there are fully-fledged tulips!
In fact, the road to the Castle is strewn with flowers.
There are also lots of other lovely spring colours there:
… as well as another sign that Winter is ever so slowly giving way to Spring:
The colours are overwhelming at this time of year after all that grey bleakness.

But don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining! (for once in my life, anyway).

I don’t even care that it is grey and damp outside when I see lovely blooms all around!


And even lovely cherry trees!

So, today I’m very happy. To top it off, it is that all-hallowed of holidays, PayDay. So, doubtless there will be more photos of Nature’s lovely colours as depicted through yarn on display here tomorrow.

Happy Wednesday!

**************

KB pix pics! (coming soon…)

Well, you may have noticed that I have an odd predilection with photos from the Globe and Mail, the PMO, and other fine publications. I’m going to try this page as a repository for some of them which don’t fit neatly anywhere else, with funny captions as appropriate. Examples:

“Now, now, Mr. Carnival… I told you I don’t do that on the first date. And not on the second, either…”

“$#&*$&*##($$##%#)(*)! There goes the whole part I had to frog last night… AGAIN!!!”

Stay tuned…