Monday, June 12, 2017

A Sign of Summer

Regarding the strawberry:
"Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did."
Dr. William Butler, English writer, 17th century

Finally! We have the semblance of summer and a colleague offered delicious evidence: the first local strawberry to arrive in the grocery store. Its sweetness has not been diluted by all the recent rains. Ah, there is much to look forward to.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Vacation Planning

Bizarre travel plans are dancing lessons from God.
Kurt Vonnegut, American author (1922-2007)

Trip planning Three Winos style involves wine, nibbles, a computer connected to a large-screen TV, and a fascinating segment of BBC's Invisible Cities documentary. Planning our Italian sojourn is great fun. Our itinerary is coalescing . . . mainly around wine and gelato. Next up are the Italian classes. The begin at the end of the month and I've been working up my vocabulary. So far I have:
  “Vino rosso”: red wine
  “Vino bianco”: white wine
  “Vino rosato”: rosé wine
  “Vino amabile”: medium-sweet wine
  “Vino dolce”: sweet wine
  “Vino secco”: dry wine
  “Vino abboccato”: semi-dry wine
  “Vino corposo”: full-bodied wine
  “Vino aromatico”: aromatic wine
  “Vino frizzante”: semi-sparkling wine

Stay tuned!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Office with a View

The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.
Kate Chopin, American author (1850-1904) in The Awakening (1899)

Though my office lacks windows, through my door I can look past the cubicles and out onto magnificent masts and water that passes out to the lake and the ocean beyond. The view inspires my imagination to take split-second restorative journeys. What a marvelous window on the world!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Of Seraphim and Cherubim

A song was heard at Christmas
to wake the midnight sky:
a Savior's birth, and peace on earth,
and praise to God on high.
The angels sang at Christmas
with all the hosts above,
and still we sing the newborn King,
his glory and his love.
Timothy Dudley-Smith, English hymnwriter and bishop of the Church of England, in "A song was heard at Christmas" (1978)

Angelic voices soared heavenwards this evening as the Children's Choir presented a carol sing-a-long at Christ's Church Cathedral. I appreciated that they wholly encouraged the less than angelic voices in the audience to join in.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

It's Weather

Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.
Andrew John Herbertson, British geographer (1865-1915)

If you squint, it looks like a snow flurry. I had to look three times and I still couldn't accept that it was rain that glistened on the rink-side tables. I had neglected to look out the office window before heading for the locker room -- why would I need to check on the weather in advance of my second skating lesson? It's December, and we all know that it's cold and that it snows in December. I guess that's the climate of southern Ontario in December. The reality of weather jolted me out of my knitted hat, scarf and mittens. Although a couple of intrepid skaters braved the wet, I simply drank my hot chocolate looking out through the sparkling window -- squinting my eyes.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Friday Night Playtime

My childhood may be over
but that doesn't mean playtime is.

After work, I put on some skates and joined the young'ins on the rink. Boys showed off their prowess with fast swooshes that reminded me of peacocks fanning out their tails. Girlfriends held tight in triplets trying to keep each other upright; and little ones walked pushing a safety cone in front of them across the ice. It all seemed so familiar -- although I used a chair not a safety cone to aid my balance when first on skates on a rink my dad made in the backyard. Good memories as I meandered around the little pond.

Pulling off the skates, I retired to the bar for my Friday whiskey tasting. Tonight Glenfarclas brought Friday to a close. I preferred the younger 10yr old to its fiery 12yr old sibling. Tasting notes on the company's website suggest flavours of Christmas cake, raisin, nutmeg and cloves -- for all of which I could concur -- but also mentioned tobacco and matchbox. I'm sure matchboxes have a scent/flavour but I couldn't conjure it up in my mind and thankfully didn't taste either in my Friday evening drams.

The charcuterie platter included a banana-bourbon jam, which paired divinely with the brie (and the whiskey), so I must do some recipe research to re-create it. Surely now, visions of besotted bananas will skate through my dreams. Sweet dreams!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Lesson 1

A man learns to skate by staggering about and making a fool of himself. Indeed he progresses in all things by resolutely making a fool of himself.
George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright, critic and political activist (1856-1950), in Advice to a Young Critic

Throwing most of my cautious nature aside, I plunged onto the ice this evening for my first skate in about 20 years. My last memory of being on ice was the surreal experience of skating beside the Nile in Cairo. It was almost as warm here with unseasonally high temperatures so I could enjoy a hot chocolate outside before lacing up the skates. Once on the ice, the teacher's first instruction was to fall down: I froze because falling was the last thing that I wanted to do. A friend had written with advice: "Remember to always be relaxed and if you are going down, then DO NOT fight the fall. Enjoy the fall and roll, allowing the entire body to enjoy the ice!!! This will avoid from anything breaking!" Instead of "enjoying the fall", I fought it. I somehow got down rather ungraciously . . . only to have the teacher then instruct us to get up! Suffice it to say that after failing the first two tests, I had no dignity left to worry about so I just had fun. I need to work on my "rocking horses" and my "squiggles" but Chuck Berry singing "the Twist" in the background certainly helped my backwards skating. I'm looking forward to Lesson #2 so stay tuned! :-)