Monday, January 30, 2012

Home to the heat:
After a very long 30+ hours of traveling, it was back to Melbourne Saturday afternoon to a 30C day, a bit of a shock to say the least. Sunday was even hotter, so Mac, Giselle and I hit the beach, which as you can see they hate NOT.  It's still hot and I am having trouble adjusting, after the not so cold Canadian weather.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

 Farewell Elora

It's hard to believe that 2 months have passed already, and that tomorrow I head back to Melbourne and summer. Not that Canada has really had a winter yet. Everyone keeps saying it's coming, but I don't know about that.
I have had a wonderful time and met some amazing, friendly people. On Sunday, Susan and Mark, over the road neighbours had a get together to say goodbye and give me some lovely reminders of Canada. Thanks guys, it was great.

I will be very sad to leave for many reasons and will always hold fond memories of the wonderful neighbours who took me under their wing and showed me their beautiful part of the world. I am sure Lynn and I will be friends for a long time to come,

Monday, January 23, 2012

Every day the Grand River changes, but still hasn't frozen over. It sparkles under the sunny blue skies and every view is different.

I loved these floating ice crystals

Saturday, January 21, 2012

 After some lovely snow several days ago, the village is again sparkling under blue, sunny skies and being a weekend what better way to spend some time than sliding down Vinegar hill. I think the older generation were having just as much fun as the youngsters

Monday, January 16, 2012

Pet Peeve:
The thing that really annoys me the most both here and the US is the "plus tax"  bit, although that is never written on the price tag you see, or at last that I see and not being used to adding a great whack of tax, I forget it every time. We have our  Goods and Services Tax in Oz, but it is added to the price before things are advertised, so what you see is what you pay, but unfortunately that seems to make too much sense, so here in Nth. America the tax is added at the register, and to tell the truth really gets up my nose. Then add to that in the US and to an extent here, not only do you have to consider "plus tax", but you also have to think of "plus tip", which can be another hefty 15% or so,  and that adds a lot to the "quoted prices".
 Hockley Valley Ski Resort:
Although cold, yesterday was a glorious sunny day, so John and Lynn took me for a drive through the countryside to Orangeville and Hockley Ski Resort. The ski season this year has been almost non existent and only operates with snow making when it is cold enough, which hasn't been all that often. This weekend was one of those times, when the temperature remained well below 0 and snow making was possible. There wasn't a lot of snow or people, but they all seemed to be making the most of what  was there.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

What a great idea:

To go outside Diesel and Stella have been taught to ring the cowbell hanging from the door handle. One belt with a paw or a nose, the bell rings and the well trained door attendant (me) obediently opens to door for the two to go roaring off around  the yard. Mind you they always ring the bell when I am talking on Skype or busy preparing food, anytime I am not paying them attention, but they are not too demanding.
Diesel's trips outside are usually pretty short particularly if it's cold and snowy, but Stella likes to  sneak out toys, bones etc and re-discover them when the snows melts a little. She will spend quite a time out there snuffling around in the snow, chasing squirrels or barking dementedly at Desi next door and rushing up and down along the fence.
To come back inside it's a sharp yip, which gets sharper the longer I ignore it!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Marlene, at Yarnbird
 Whenever I house sit in a cold climate I always seem to end up with some knitting, and true to form, I have been knitting here. I saw a pattern in a book in the pharmacy and asked about buying yarn here in Elora. Joy of joys there is a real old style yarn shop, with an owner, Marlene who knows just what she is talking about and knits herself. I would never have found Yarnbird on my own, as the shop doesn't have a street front window, but once inside it is a knitter's delight and Marlene is a knitter's friend, and happy to chat. With the help of Holly, the shop is warm and welcoming.
So I have been knitting away.
Lynn's Christmas present
 You will find Marlene and Holly in Yarnbird at 22 Mill St W, Elora

Thursday, January 12, 2012

CN Tower
View through the glass floor
A Day in Toronto

After checking the weather forecast for a good day, Lynn & I headed to Toronto on Tuesday. Mind you the weather is SOOO mild at the moment, just about any day is a good day. It's almost Spring like here.
Anyway it was a great day to go, with a mild 5 degrees and sunshine. The MUST visit in Toronto is of course the CN tower, which for many years was the world's tallest, but no longer. Being such a clear day we had a great view out over Toronto and I even managed to coax Lynn to walk a few steps onto the glass floor- it is a long way down

View from the top
 Then it was off to explore a little of the city. We wandered through Chinatown and through to Kensington, a very quirky area with very colourful old houses and a bohemian, market style atmosphere.
 Had a great Chinese vegetarian lunch in Kensington, before heading off to catch a few of the streetcars and head to the St Lawrence market, and Lynn loves a market! I must admit that the food there looked to be great quality. Then it was back on the subway to collect the car and the long journey home in peak hour traffic. Thanks Lynn for yet another great day.
Probably the only Mountie or Moose I will see.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Mail is not delivered to individual houses here but is posted into boxes around the area. This is a small bank of boxes, "ours" has more stands of boxes, I think about 7, so handles the mail for a lot more houses. It means that you have to get yourself to the boxes to collect  your mail. By the look of the tyre tracks at each set of boxes, most people must stop off on the way past in the car, but I wonder about those who don't drive of are ill or just frail or elderly, it must be quite a chore just to collect the mail. Our set of boxes are over 2 blocks away and when there is a lot of snow or the footpaths (if there is a footpath and that's not the case  here in Water Street) are very icy, it often means the mail might go uncollected  for days if at all. I can imagine it also gets a little busy at times with a number of cars  all arriving at once, which I imagine would make it quite unsafe.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

It's a good that Christmas is over and that Poinsettias are cheap, as yet again I have managed to massacre my little bit of Christmas cheer. I have never managed to get one to last past the end of January.
Every day the poor thing looks sadder and a few more leaves wilt and drop,  I guess they go out with the sad Christmas trees for the rubbish collection or into the compost, and next year the nurserymen make a fortune with the new crop.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012


Still -16 degrees out there at 2.30 pm, but so sunny and sparkling that the sled team and I just had to get out there. The snow all crunched underfoot and my nose and cheeks turned a flattering shade of red, but we had fun and got our exercise, it was just magnificent.

 Tim Horton's:
A name every Canadian seems to know, a true Canadian icon. I am tempted to compare it to other well known chains, but that might make me very unpopular with the locals. I am used to Melbourne's great coffee shops tucked away in lane ways and main streets and all individual, and the big chains aren't really my thing.
But here, Tim Horton's is revered.

Started in 1964 by a famous hockey player by the same name as a way of supplementing his income, the coffee and donut (it kills me to spell it like that, it's doughnut) business has turned into one of the most recognised and well loved Canadian franchises, and the Tim Horton's signature is a prominent feature on the Canadian landscape
 The menu is similar to many of the well known food and coffee chains, with the addition of lots of doughnuts and cakes etc, but everyone seems to stop for a Tim Horton's and you see them everywhere.

Monday, January 02, 2012

The Machine:

I swear Richard must have the biggest snowblower on the block, other than the ride on type that is. The "Rolls Royce" of snowblowers maybe?

It was another drive clearing morning this morning, and as you can see I didn't do a particularly good job, but I am getting the hang of it.

I noticed Donalee, the neighbour out with a very compact ladies size blower, and George, over the road with a medium size blower, and then there is this one and me.

Naturally I picked  exactly wrong moment to go out a-blowing, as the wind was a-blowing and the snow was swirling everywhere, add to that the snow being thrown into the air from the blower and I looked a little like a snowman in a red jacket chasing this machine down the drive. (The sun is now shining and not a breath of wind !)  I now know what Nicole meant when she said you have to be careful in which direction you aim the snow chute, ..... all part of the learning curve. At least I can get it going, thanks to a good old power cord and I am learning to control it, sort of.

Big Ambitions:

Typical terrier is Ms. Stella, she might be compact but she never gives up and will have a go at anything. She would make a great sled dog, but tends to deviate from the path if there is a squirrel, another dog, a smell,anything really, but loves the snow and loves to be out in front pulling. Diesel is not quit so keen, but once we are out he has a great time and bounds along on those tiny legs. Lots of snow this morning, so we were cutting a path through the snow - (deeper than this picture), and they had a ball and now of course the sun has come out so we should still be there. Oh well, maybe later. It takes so long for us all to gear up, that the weather has changed by the time we are ready to go!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year

A very soggy wet new year's day here in Elora. The temperature is several degrees above 0, and the rain is steadily coming down and the snow is turning to more brown slush. See I am just as obsessed with the weather as  everyone else!
I don't think we will be walking very far today, just might have to get back to the rowing machine.

I hope you all have a wonderful 2012.