Sunday, 11 December 2011

Birthday and trimming the tree

December by Hans Thoma

Well we had a good birthday for W. surprised him with a special cake of orange spice with a white cream icing in a Laura Ashley design. The cake was made by Thimble Cakes of Bank street in Ottawa, they specialize in cakes that are gluten free, lactose or nut free for people who have allergies but still like their cake. The design they have for the cakes are beautiful and make for a unique presentation. It was my contribution to a lovely dinner at old friends on Parkdale, a nice bottle of Moët et Chandon, some nice wines and many other delicacies. Our friend R contributed as always his own artistic place settings for each guests. I have a whole collection of dinner parties place settings R has provided through these many years.
Wonderful gluten free cake

The cake was so good everyone had 3 helpings. See their website, the staff are also most helpful, we had a sit down chat about the sort of cake I wanted. Their website

W also received many messages of good wishes from friends. Now he can enjoy fully senior citizen discounts.
Birthday bouquet homage from Scrim's my favourite florist in Ottawa since 1976.

Many years ago when I was in Jordan, I would fly to Canada for Christmas and the flight usually stopped in London. I used the stop over to shop for baby Stilton which W, likes especially. The first time I went to get one I was not prepared for the size of the cheese, it is the size of a baby, I paused for a moment when the shop attendant asked me if I wanted the whole thing, I thought W had played a trick on me, so I did my King Solomon and took only half with me to Canada, a smelly baby indeed.
 I remember one year, a colleague suggested we go see about wines and spirits at one of London's great wine stores, Berry Brothers and Rudd at 3 St-James Street. I love London in December, there is such an atmosphere in the City. We did find some great wines which I brought with me to Canada. That Christmas we were going to Niagara-on-the-Lake for the Holiday period, staying then at the old Oban Inn, prior to the great fire.

Last night we put up the Christmas tree, pre-lit, this way no grand schemings on lights and were they should go etc.. One of the time honoured tradition is to polish the Sterling Silver Xmas tree balls all 30 of them. Starting with the first one marked 1979, our first Xmas together. This was the year Neiman Marcus of Dallas introduced this item to their catalogue, we stopped at the year 2009. Mostly because we thought we had enough for the tree. What is most fun about those silver balls is that each one has a special memory, of a city or a place we were living in the world at the time. I was looking at 1987 Mexico City, 1998 Warsaw, 2007 Rome, so many happy memories.
''It was Katmandu in the Spring, well you see as I said to LaBouBou as he was then.....

The weather is definitely cold now at -6C and the Rideau canal is partially frozen, still no snow but we are told that after the 15 Dec it is likely that we will have some snow at least for Christmas. I only wish for an elegant covering of white, no need for masses of it, a delicate blanket, I hope Mother Nature is listening.

Polishing those famous N&M sterling silver balls
Dachshund God guarding the balls and Christmas tree 2011


  1. You know the Christmas song about your dogs?
    "Daschund through the snow
    In a one horse open sleigh
    O'er the fields we go


  2. what lovely christmas things! Thank you for sharing them.