Sunday, 27 November 2011

The week that was

Well this week we had the first snow fall in Ottawa, strange how on this one day everyone has instant amnesia and forgets how to drive. Puppies Nicky and Nora being from Rome had never seen the stuff and there was much panic. Will made a little movie of it on his site.
 Nora and Nicky on their morning rest, such a hard life. Notice the little Dachshund statue next to the chair.

Nora in the snow at 06:45am by the Rideau Canal, what is this stuff ?

The Saga of Bus #96 which crosses Ottawa continues to be reported on CBC Morning Show. According to news report or if news report are to be believe it has to be the most unpleasant bus route in the National Capital Region, nasty stuff all around. You really want to get your SUV and go drive instead of taking public transport. If you want action take number 96 it is high in drama, not to mention the occasional fist fights and bad language, parental warning advise but again its the kids who are causing all the trouble.

The saga of the singing bus driver also continues, 12 passengers complained over a period of time that the poor fellow did not know how to hold a tune, but then 300 passengers thought it was nice to hear him sing. Our good Mayor Jim Watson from his chauffeured driven limousine told him to shut up and drive the bus. So the passengers in a show of bravado decided to board the now silent singing driver's  bus and sing in defiance of the Mayor's dictat. You have to wonder in what other Capital of the world would such events occur, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Moscow, Rome, Copenhagen, NO only in Ottawa, a city where eccentric behaviour is encouraged.

We also celebrated our 34th Anniversary this week and the retirement of a colleague after 35 years in La Carrière. We went to the Café of the National Arts Centre a solid standard, the food is excellent and the service good.
Dinner at the Café of the NAC.

Yesterday our local daily The Citizen had a full front page dedicated to IKEA, the new store, the mystique, the legend. A new giant store is opening shortly, you will be able to enjoy Swedish meatballs and a panoramic view of Highway 417. Some places have things like StoneHenge we have IKEA. I am aslo starting to think that the Editorial board of the Citizen have shares in IKEA they have given that store alone tons of free publicity, I wonder why. Maybe the Ottawa Citizen is run by a bunch of Swedes passing themselves off as innocent Ottawa valley folks.

We also bought a new Xmas tree this week a somewhat shorter version from the previous version. We went to several stores, compared prices, number of tips and lights, etc... our dear friend B came with me and from my cell phone would rally the info to Monsieur at home who played Nero and gave the thumbs up or down to whatever tree we thought might suit us.

I went to the auctioneer's today, Maclean on Laperriere to see how our various items were selling, well we did good and I was happy with the results. Lots of people and fast action. They also had a area full of 54mm lead soldiers, all good makes at very low prices. I just could not help myself and had to stop to look and bought a few.

Tonight we are returning to Grill 41 at the Lord Elgin Hotel, will see how they do this time around,  I will review the restaurant afterwards.

The weather so far in Ottawa is very much like that of Warsaw, grey skies, a bit of rain and temperatures around 8C. I would not mind at all if it continued like this all winter. Tonight the temperature climbed to 13C for the end of November this is exceptional and me think WONDERFUL!!!!!

W has a big birthday coming up in a week's time and I will follow Chinese Tradition and serve him a big bowl of Gluten free Noodles in chicken broth for breakfast on his Birthday, it is called Longevity noodles, we will also wish him 10,000 more birthdays. 

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Le Jour du Souvenir 11 novembre 2011

I read today in the newspaper that Remembrance Day was a forgotten holiday. I do hope this is not true, many things can be forgotten but not that day. Too many young, brave and often scared Canadian soldiers made great sacrifices for all of us. We should not forget what they did in the First World War 1914-1918, the Second World War 1939-1945, the Korean War or during all those Peace missions around the world and more recently in Afghanistan. They secured our future and I am proud of them and grateful.
Friday 11 November at 11 am we shall remember them.

Prince of Wales laying a commemorative wreath.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

A private evening with Angela Hewitt

Last night we went to the National Arts Centre in Ottawa to hear Angela Hewitt play Ravel. I have liked her for so many years and with Alicia Della Rocha she is one of my favourite pianist. After the concert she had arranged for a small group of people to meet in the restaurant of the NAC for dessert, many of the people present have known her since childhood. She came and greeted everyone in a very personal and friendly manner. Not only is she a great artist, she has wonderful people skills. One could be excused for being tongue tied meeting someone like her, but she put everyone at ease by speaking in the most friendly way as if we had known her for years. Angela Hewitt has a house in Ottawa but she also lives in Trasimeno, Umbria, Italy where every year in June she organizes a Music Festival with other great artists. This coming year in June, Anne Sophie Von Otter will be part of the Festival program. This Music Festival also includes now concerts in the towns of Gubbio and Perugia.

I was thrilled to meet Angela Hewitt and be able to speak to her over dessert as an old friend, I thanked her for her talent and the many hours of pleasure she has given me listening to her wonderful piano playing.