About Me

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If who we are is what we do, then like most people, I am a mixed bag of personas. Writer, bookworm, friend, are what first come to mind. Equally apt would be potty mouth, dog walker, Guinness drinker, swimmer, storyteller, political animal, baker and proud Canadian. Mostly though, I consider myself simply insanely lucky to have a small posse of near and dear ones who put up with me and my curvy, creative, curly haired, opinionated self. I started this blog several years ago with the idea to challenge myself in a myriad of ways. Years in, despite the sporadic entries, I still like to muse about the absurdity of life, what inspires surprises and angers me, books and other entertainments, my menagerie, my travels and any other notion buzzing round in my head.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Life itself is the proper binge

I’m borrowing this quote from Julia Child, inspired by her on many fronts this week.

Monday night I saw a screening of the movie Julie and Julia, based on the book by Julie Powell about a young woman who sets herself the challenge to cook her way through all 524 recipes of Julia Child's classic cookbook “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”. I giggled my way through this book a few years ago when it came out, so I was curious to see how the movie would compare. Happily, they expanded the book’s premise for the movie to include a secondary story based on Julia’s book "My Life in France". In the movie, Meryl Streep is her usual brilliant self capturing the essence of Julia, neatly bedecked in 1950s and 60s style. Amy Adams plays doe eyed, young woman searching for herself nicely, and the movie works on many levels.

Coincidentally, I have had my own reasons to channel my inner Julia this week, as I’ve been prepping for a mini dinner party given for a few new friends. I don’t entertain as much as I used to, so my stress level increased slightly as the date drew closer. Things went off without a hitch and everyone enjoyed themselves. Murphy was his usual adorable self and, sitting back at one point last night surveying the room, I felt quite happy and content. With much laughter and a little philosophizing, wine flowing, a tasty veggie meal in tummies, and the beautifully decorated carrot cake (thank you George Brown’s Culinary School baking and cake decorating classes for the know-how), it was a very relaxed and delightful evening.

I like the notion of binging on life. Julia certainly seemed to have figured that out. With each “Bon Appetit” salute was an encouragement to enjoy, soak it up, to savour. What better way to live life than with an “all in” approach. For me, with an extra long holiday weekend opening up before me and relatively few obligations, I have every intention of going on a life bender, doing just what makes me most content. With my dishes already done from last night’s party (shocking eh?) and the sunshine trying hard to come out and play, there’s a big city out there to explore, movies to get to, friends to connect with and some wonderfully blissful quality time to be spent with the hammock in the backyard, glass of red wine to hand and book to get lost in!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ideal Details

I cannot walk through the suburbs in the solitude of the night without thinking that the night pleases us because it suppresses idle details, just as our memory does. (Jorge Luis Borges)

This Borges quote seems to sum up how I feel now when I am asked about my seemingly long ago trip to Europe. How is it that three glorious weeks of sun, sightseeing, sangria, reading, roaming, revelry and Guinness could seem so very long ago? Travel always has its few annoyances. A long wait for trains or sunburned shoulders, sleep deprivation or kinks in my neck and any other such idle details all dim from memory as what I recall are the wonderfully colourful mosaics, the hospitality of the Catalan folks we met, the tapas, the sangria, the Roman frescos and modern art of Miro, the smell of the ocean, and the beauty of Gaudi’s masterpieces.

I’ve been organizing my pictures from Spain and post a few of my favourites images here. Barcelona and Sitges were magnificent. Both places I’d happily visit again. I especially enjoyed Sitges. Quiet, quaint, cobbled stoned with pristine beaches and genteel folks. I was in heaven there.

Nowhere near the quiet and "new to me" feeling, but every bit as enjoyable was my week in Ireland. There is a reason why they call Clare "the Banner County". It has everything one could want: the beach at Lahinch, the jaw dropping Cliffs of Moher, castles and cows and lush green hills broken only by ancient stone walls carving roads into the countryside. Better than the spectacular scenery was of course the delight it was to spend so much time with my friends. When not at a wedding or pub sharing pints over a session, it was gabs at the kitchen table well into the early morning hours, catching up, philosophizing, reminiscing and planning our next big adventure. Is there truly any better way to share time?

Since arriving home in July, I’ve dove straight into a feverishly paced work schedule and what with one thing or another, blogging has been fairly far down the list. Happily, writing has not been. My time in Spain inspired me wonderfully and I’ve been penning a Catalan inspired tale. So surprised was I today to realize just how fast July is scooting by! As this is has been the first day in a while where I have had absolutely nothing to do, here I am catching up in blogdom.

The idleness of the day has given me time to think about my recent travels. I can close my eyes and smell the rain of Ireland easily enough. I can even imagine the heat of the sand on the beach in Sitges. I returned home enriched from my adventure having celebrated with those dear to me a big day in their lives, having shared giggles with my sisters and wandered on my own a few days, quite content to read and make the most of some creative time. I tend to come away reborn a bit after a good break. So on this my first real day off since my trip some weeks ago, I can revel in the memories of Spain and Ireland that my pictures evoke. Idle details and all, to me the entire experience was ideal.