Saturday, December 10, 2011

Our Greek Orthodox Church

Maria and the Fire Extinguisher. Maria is from Crete, and welcomed us at the door.

Good Old St Nicholas, Patron Saint of Christmas.

Demonstration of the Incense by Christ's Tomb

The Altar

The Bake Sale in the Basement

Hanne, Paris, and Ellen outside the Penticton Greek Orthodox Church
We visited our local Greek Orthodox Church today for the first time courtesy of our good friends Paris and Ellen. Paris is Greek and seemed to know everyone there. The occasion was the Annual Christmas Bake Sale and we bought several special treats like Greek bread, baklava, bougatsa, spinach pie etc. A kind lady showed us round the Church and demonstrated the burning of incense, and explained Christ's tomb and the men-only altar sanctuary. We met St. Nicholas who was preparing himself once again for the Christmas Season....

Friday, December 9, 2011

The English We Use.

I was thinking this morning how similar reading is to walking in the woods. We have a head full of words, grammar, spelling and punctuation, and as we go along the pages, if everything fits with what is in our head, it is like smooth walking. But if something different comes up we stumble a bit, just like tripping over a tree root in the woods. Today for me it was a new word. The word was "Fluvage". I have come to the conclusion that this is a word made up by Mike Roberts on his weather forecast broadcast on TV. It isn't in the dictionary!
Time for Coffee with Friends

Time for Snowboarding

Time to go home

The Road Home (All photos from Apex Mountain)
We can also trip and stumble on "wrong" grammar or "wrong" spelling. In the local stores they have started this as a means of getting your attention. For example they are now using "z" instead of "s" for plurals. They also invent new words. e.g. "bogo" means "buy one get one". Nowadays there is supposed to be a consensus on correct English, not like centuries ago when one spelt a word as one wished, even differently each time it was used. I hope this doesn't come back again. I think they tried it for a while in schools. Then they called it "phonetic spelling" !
We hope your reading today is all smooth walking in the woods! Or should I be saying "smooth sailing"?

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Gerhardt Richter's painting of the perfect candle in 1982 led to the subject for this post. Incidentally, Paul Moody and Robin Turner's recently completed book called "The Search for the Perfect Pub" would solve the problem of what to give Alan for Christmas this year: this is addressed to those searching for such a gift.
More Christmas Cards

Christmas Shops in Armstrong

The old Railway Station

House in the Trees
Candles started in China apparently around 200BC. They were used as clocks at one point. The chimes occurred when a metal ball fell out of the candle into a sort of bell dish. Nowadays some people still use them for a calendar in Advent. We realize that about 6% of house fires are started by candles, so this year we bought some new ones, still made out of wax and having real wick, but lit by a flickering electric light inside. They also emit a pleasant very mild vanilla perfume. So with today's weather in the Lake District in UK, we are recommending you cosy up with a few candles and stay indoors! No rock climbing today!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Talking One's Way Through One's Day.

View over Frosty Kaleden in December.

Orchard Park Shopping Mall in Kelowna, with Ogopogo
Digital Painting
Shopping for Christmas
I am extremely skeptical and also highly amused by technology's latest predictions for our future. Latest news is that voice commands will rule. No more remote buttons to operate, mice to click, or tablets to swipe, touch or press at. Can you imagine the scene in the living room in front of the TV? Everyone watching will be shouting at the machine their own favorite channel! In the old days, He who had the Remote ruled! It is already causing hilarity in the public space when folk call out instructions to their personal secretary ( Siri ) on their mobile phones. How about in the office when they all talk to their computers at once and the other computers overhear? Talk about the chattering generation. They haven't heard anything yet! Not to mention waving one's hands about to switch Windows on the PC or turn the light on in the living room.....

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


"Merry Christmas"! Here comes your card!

Picking up the card at the mailbox

The local stable. Maybe there is a crib inside?
The School is soon to be closed for the holidays....

Whilst others may be busy protesting, striking, demonstrating, occupying, suicide bombing, smashing up their Ferraris, or complaining about this and that, we are preparing for Christmas. It is time for sending cards, so here are a few of ours in the form of photos. My daughter in New Zealand is busy painting her whole house, with the help of a friend and her brother, in time for Christmas. "There is over there the sound of the slap of brush on wall and the whiff of turps in the air". That should be a nice Christmas gift for her husband who is away on business! We hope your preparations are proceeding as well!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Oliver Visit

Field and Clouds near Vaseux Lake

Old Barn near Vaseux Lake
Digital Rendering

Getting Ready for Morning Service, St John's Oliver

Upper Oliver, Just outside the Church.
We had a fine day for our visit to Oliver yesterday. Hanne found me another old barn, the sun was warm, so the day was complete!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Almost Christmas

Serious business, singing!

The School Choir

Digital Rendering of a local barn.
Yesterday we walked on the KVR Trail at Kaleden, then came home and Hanne put the Christmas decorations up, and in the afternoon we enjoyed a concert of carols sung by the children's choir from the school next door, afterwards had tea and sang Danish Folk Songs with our friend Gertrude from Jylland, and today Hanne put the tree up and lit the Advent Wreath candles. I helped: I plugged the Christmas Lights in and turned them on.
Christmas "Julenisser" partying outside our front door
 Around here, "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!" as the song goes....