Saturday, 30 April 2011

Flea Market Finds

Today was the annual flea market at the church in our old neighbourhood and I was fortunate to have an opportunity to go along and find a few bargains.  Quite honestly, this event has been running for so many years and is so well known that people come from miles around to snap up a bargain, so it is extremely crowded.  With this in mind, I go with two aims: the first, to find any recent paperbacks that I have wanted to read, or those which appeal to me at the time and also to look for fabric bargains, which were sadly in short supply this year.  I did however, find Vintage Knits for only $1.

A set of coasters of the Impressionist period for 50 cents.  Monet's Water Lily Pond from 1897 is one of the more recognisable pictures, but I haven't been able to identify the rest.

A little light reading for the armchair traveller at $2 each.

A pink striped cotton fabric for $2.

And finally, two glass watering bulbs at $3 each.  I was quite impressed with my finds, especially as they cost less than $20 in total.  I'm so glad that I had a chance to go to this annual event as it heralds the arrival of spring (even though it was only 2 C with a ground frost this morning!)

Monday, 25 April 2011

Easter Cupcakes

I fancied trying something different this year, so I decided to bake Easter cupcakes.  The recipe is from Cupcake Magic by Kate Shirazi.

They are covered with a chocolate ganache, which I have never tried before.  It is very rich, containing 200 g of Green and Black's 70% dark chocolate in addition to double cream.  Well, who said we couldn't treat ourselves to something special at Easter?  I made a dozen and put half of them in the freezer, but something tells me that they may not be there for long.

Saturday, 23 April 2011


This isn't quite how I had intended spending this Easter weekend.  After the news two weeks ago, I decided that I needed to get more exercise; mainly to stop my mind dwelling on the stress of my present situation.  Anyway, I resumed aquafit classes, which I used to attend on a regular basis.  It had been a long time since I went to even one class, so maybe going to three classes in eight days was too much, as I strained my back.  Back pain is not new to me, but this strain has made me virtually immobile for the past three days.  In fact, I spent all day yesterday with a book and barely moved off the sofa all afternoon. 

In the absence of spring-like weather, a recent trip to the garden centre found me looking longingly at the Lily of the Valley.  I know that it should be outside, but then I couldn't stick my nose in it on a regular basis to enjoy its scent.  So it was placed in the kitchen where I could really appreciate its fragrance.  My dream is to have a lot of it in my garden, but this is another dream postponed for the present.

Wishing you all a very happy Easter.  May your weekend be filled with many blessings: family, friends and a visit from the Easter bunny!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Easter Delights

This is the sight that greets us every time we walk into our local delicatessen.  In fact, it is even more overwhelming, as it is on both sides of the aisle, as well as a central display, but I could only get one quick photo in this busy store.  There are Easter eggs and bunnies galore! 

Click on the photograph for a better view!

Sunday, 17 April 2011


Feeling in need of some warmth on a cold and wet spring day, I decided to try a recipe for ginger biscuits, which you will find here.  I haven't made them before, but the recipe is really quick and easy.

Soon, the warming scent of spice was filling the kitchen and once out of the oven, the first one didn't even make it as far as the rack before it was grabbed by someone who shall remain nameless (though he claims not to like ginger biscuits!)  They were a runaway success ~ I must remember to double the recipe next time though, as I would like a few of them to reach the biscuit tin!

Thanks to Noreen and Margaret at A Homespun Year for sharing this delicious recipe.

Friday, 15 April 2011

The Floating Forest

I was in the city on Wednesday and I discovered the Floating Forest by Max Streicher, which is part of the Earth Day celebration.  This inflatable forest is made entirely of recycled billboard vinyl and is a memorial to the lost forests which were cleared from many areas of Canada before civilization. 

Like many exhibits in this amazing space, it certainly made me pause to admire this most unusual piece of art, though most people seemed oblivious to its existence as they hurried about their business.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Niagara Falls

Feeling in need of an escape, we went to Niagara Falls on Friday.  Although the day was not exceptionally cold, there was still enough of a bite to the wind that we didn't linger outdoors for too long.  This first photograph shows the American Falls, as the opposite side of the Niagara River is New York State.

Considering how dull the day was, these photographs came out reasonably well.  There is still ice around the Falls: at this time of year, it is not unusual for there to be considerable chunks of ice coming down-river.

I always feel that to get a real impression of the size and majesty of the Falls, it is necessary to view them from below, however, a boat trip in April is not an option.  The last two photographs are of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls, so named because of their shape. 

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Shattered Dreams

It has been almost two days since I received the news, but I still can't quite believe it.  It came at a time of physical and emotional exhaustion.  I had been up working for 23 hours and had less than a total of four hours' sleep in 39 hours.  I was barely functioning when I was summoned to a meeting with my boss. 

I knew what was coming as soon as I walked into the room: the presence of a second person who had never attended any previous meetings was the sign.  There is no easy way to say this: I don't have a job any more. I can't go into detail, but what I can say is that there was a significant lack of support in this huge transition.

I have no idea what happens next.