Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Shard

"My New Zealand Woolen Gloves"

Winter Woodland
For today's post we introduce you to the Shard in case you haven't come across it yet. It is a tall, sharp-pointed, triangular building of glass and steel under construction in London England. It will be complete in May and open to the public in June. It will be the tallest building in Europe, but only approximately one third as tall as the tallest in the world. Some more info can be found here as the photos are copyright. It looks quite fascinating, and promises to be the star attraction in London for tourists, along with the Olympics in July. Poor old London Eye!
Frosty Field
Today's pictures are of January in Armstrong from 2008....

Friday, January 13, 2012

Freedom at last!

Bertie our in-house Cockerel
A recent report in the Guardian Weekly tells the story of a hen called "Liberty" who lived in an egg-laying battery, has now been given a new home on an open free-range farm. She can now spread her wings! It is because the EU has banned battery cages as of the first of January. Liberty is supposed to be the very last hen to be released in the UK. When our in-house cockerel "Bertie" read the story he became so excited the noise around here is deafening with all those cock-a-doodle-doos and such. He immediately started packing as he is determined to escape to freedom himself....

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Dreams of Escape

Sketch adapted from a Holland America Line Brochure

Playtime in Penticton


Staying at the Burrowing Owl, Oliver BC

Our Niece Helena dreaming of Florida?
It's all Filip's fault. He's always tempting us with beautiful photographs of exotic far-away resorts. Then also it's that time of year. Christmas holidays are over, and we say "where shall we go next?"  Alan does it in the virtual world of the USA.
Above are a few photos or images to help you with your decision-making process for 2012 Escapes...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

This and That

Flailing through the daily broadsheets, I find a few morsels for our readers. First a little piece for Des, an article which reminded us of her interests:"The arrival of a new puppy has given a boost to Catherine Howard's garden renovation plans".
For us:-today is a remarkable day in history: ( or it could be ): it is the first day of the hearings into the proposed new oil pipeline in Kitimat BC. About 4000 people will try to make their case for or against. It will take until 2013 to complete. You can expect a full report next year....
Then for Alan a bit about how to make orange beer....
Winter View from Athens Creek
For the girls, a new record by Leonard Cohen called Darkness. We just listened to a track called "Show me the Place" which we think is up there with his best.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Pollution is a big topic these days. Look at pictures of smog in Peking for example. But it was worse earlier in history. Julius Caesar banned horse-cart traffic in Rome between dawn and dusk because of congestion, noise, accidents, and manure problems. In the 19th Century, especially with the introduction of railways, the number of horses needed sky-rocketed leading to similar problems in big cities. The stench of manure, urine, and the number of flies must have been horrendous! People had to be hired to sweep the cross walks to keep them clear for pedestrians! No wonder the car took over! But it still needed governments to build smooth roads and other infrastructure to enable the changeover to cars and trucks to take place. Nowadays we need another switchover from gasoline and diesel to electric, to prevent further pollution from damaging the atmosphere. After all, everyone needs clean air. It is a tragedy in some ways that vehicular emissions are invisible.....
At the present time in the US only 2.2% of cars sold are electric....
Old Horse-drawn Hay cutter, Sooke.

Old Horse Wagon, Revelstoke

Three Horse Power, and Donkey Pump for Oil, Alberta.

Horses, Penticton
P.S You can read more about 19th Century pollution here.

Monday, January 9, 2012


Vineyards on the far slope

Orchards by Osoyoos Lake

Farming in this area started in 1907 with the planting of cherry orchards. Since then all kinds of fruit are grown, and many kinds of grapes. Lots of immigrants came from Portugal and India, as well as from other countries. Here are a few photos of farms there in winter, taken yesterday on our exploratory drive.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Summerland Shopping Street; snowing on the hills above...


The Suburban Princess, with the photographer reflected in Penny Lane Window....

Summerland Baptist Church
Edgy Petals and other stores
We went to Summerland shopping yesterday morning. There was a heavy dark gray sky, snow came down from it in the afternoon. I found some of the ladies' shop names interesting. For clothing, there was "The Suburban Princess" and "Sass". For flowers there was the fascinating name" Edgy Petals". And after shopping, a cup of coffee at the "Beanery Cafe", which was quite full.( Both the cup and the cafe!) I like the old-fashioned way of shopping on a street wandering along from place to place, imitated in the big malls I suppose where everything is indoors. Afterwards I drove my sassy suburban princess home for lunch clutching her coloured shopping bags full of treasures.