Monday, February 22, 2010

C'mon, admit it - you've got one too

I'm talking about the kitchen drawer. You know - THE kitchen drawer.

It's where all the miscellaneous crap ends up ... you can admit it now - you know exactly what I'm talking about, you slovenly old goat.

Well, here's mine - nothing like airing your dirty laundry to the world, all in the pursuit of cheap entertainment. I have no pride. Go on - have a good nosey.

Every few months I open this sliding embarrassment and just sigh. (Well, obviously, I open it up more frequently than that, but I can usually blank out our awkward relationship and I just ignore it). I do try to keep it tidy and respectable, honest. It just defeats me. Every time.

I rummage in vain for something I just know should be in there. It's a timewarp-vortex-cum-hellhole that steals random items and puts new ones in their place, it allows other items to breed willy-nilly and it refuses to give up a chosen product when asked. And I even ask politely. No, OK, that was a lie. I swear and throw, shuffle and bang, with no respect or consideration for the contents if truth be told.

This strange timewarp-vortex breeds single gloves, blunt scissors and used-up rolls of sticky tape. Dog leads go in, and dog collars come out. Four passports enter and three are released from it's dirty, seedy grip.

Empty spectacle cases, near-empty glue bottles and tiny hairbands inhabit the corners - lurking, lost and forgotten.
A lone lightbulb which lost it's way en route to the light bulb box in one of the other kitchen drawers, waits expectantly at the entrance. I hear it's mournful, lonely cry in the wee small hours. "Why me?" it sobs.

Doggie poo bags galore, ribbons and stickers, little lapel pins and mis-treated but not quite ready for destruction old watches. Children's temporary tattoos and those little but oh-so-useful packets of tissues, which would be so handy if only you had been able to find them when you packed your backpack for that walk - you know, the one when the kids got a nosebleed. Darn - now where did I put them?

Go on - have another good look - I would place a bet that something YOU have mislaid is actually in MY drawer. Just shout and I'll see what I can do!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Scenic Sunday - East and West

As another day draws to a close, I stand half way down a winding road and look behind me to the East.

The moon has already made a statement - large and bright.

And as I turn and face West towards the mountains, the sun bids us goodnight.

It's hard to believe these pictures were taken about a minute apart.

Quite different skies.

For more Scenic Sunday pictures from around the world, click here.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Shivers down my spine

There's a little old sporting event kicking off in Vancouver this weekend - I don't know if you've heard about it? Despite gold medals and amazing personal endeavours - I'm sorry, but the highlight of the whole thing will be kd lang's version of "Halleluja" at the opening ceremony last night.

It's a long time since I've been made to sit upright and lean forward towards a tv screen. Bloody amazing.

I can't find a (good) Olympic version on YouTube yet, but give it 24 hours and it will be there.

In the meantime, here is her version from 2005 - and it's almost as good anyway.

Enjoy ...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

My World Tuesday ... Down by the Riverside

The Bow River runs through Cochrane, Alberta - not quite frozen over, despite it's best efforts.

The waters rush past in a hurry to flow eastwards to Calgary and head out the other side. I'm not sure why though. If they only knew their fate 30km down river. It's an iceberg traffic jam down there!

The goods trains trundle by. Layers and layers of sheets of ice overlap each other and line the banks.
We humans can only guess where the actual land ends and the ice starts. I wasn't about to test the limits.

Jagged layers point skywards making for interesting shapes and opaque turquoises.

The waters look like one massive slushy or slurpee drink - I wouldn't fancy dipping my straw into this one though.

For more My World Tuesday pictures, click here

Scenic Sunday - Snowflakes in bloom

Today is a winter wonderland .... more so than usual.

Today is really foggy. What's unusual about that? Well, we just don't really get fog here. It's rarely damp enough. But this week we have had three really foggy days - real "pea soupers".

But today the fog is accompanied by some absolutely stunning shapes - fluffy car aerials, quilted fencing and beautiful silhouettes of diamond-white trees.

We had a clear (relatively warm) day yesterday, you know, -2 degrees kinda warm - then the temperatures plummeted and the fog set in early evening and rapidly added a crispy, frosty shell to every surface.

Sometime overnight, it must have snowed - a light flaky snow which then stuck to all that frost.

Fences were so fluffy with layers of glistening snowflakes, you could barely see through them. Now that's the kind of screening I would prefer around my back garden.

The spikey but oh-so-fragile outlines of each flake were clearly visible on every single outdoor item. Yes - I know it is the 7th February, and yes, those are my Christmas lights still up. A mixture of laziness, apathy, cold temperatures and I-don't-have-any-good-excuses really are the reasons. Now stop nagging. It looks cool, huh?

It's days like these that the numerous trees on the city streets really earn their place in the urban landscape. The poor things are barely in leaf here for more than 5 or 6 months of the year, then mostly they are twiggy, bare, grey and forgotten.

Today they leapt out and shouted "Look at my gorgeous figure - sleek and elegant - am I not just so pretty?"

Yes - you are.

To see more Scenic Sunday pictures from around the world, please click here.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

RV'ing - Heaven or Hell ?

After dropping off Daughter Number One at her theatre rehearsals, we had three hours to kill in downtown Calgary last Saturday. Spurning the wonderful suggestions of Ikea or Build-A-Bear from Daughter Number Two, we headed into Stampede Park and set about examining the world of Rv'ing.

Here is an archetypal RV - the Winnebago. A huge, glossy affair with swivel leather chairs up front and a veritable feast of essential comforts out the back. These babies are posh.

After entering and exiting several dozen RV's and trailers, I felt like I'd signed up for a step aerobics class. Water, now please, garcon!

They began to blur in my mind into a myriad of beige and faux wood. Some were huge enough to host a visiting party for an Irish wedding, and yet only had one master bedroom. They must be aimed at the more mature buyers, those snow birds that bugger off to Pheonix for 5 months in the winter.

Look at this wee cutie though ....

Now this just made me smile. A designer sleeping pod. Harks back to 1960's British caravanning - but with funky pink go-faster stripes.

Personally, I thought it was a clever design and well, just cute. Strictly a two-person affair. Not sure I could take the sniggers from the other "proper" campers as I waddled down the highway towing this bubble behind me.

From the sublime to the ridiculous - look at this mama - that's bigger and more posh than my kitchen I think - granite counter tops, large fridge-freezer - the works. A cocktail dahling?

Now that is just getting silly - a built in washer and dryer? When you are up at this level of fixtures and fittings, I think a 5-star hotel is calling.

This was the most expensive price-tag I saw - I suspect there are far more pricey items on the market, but my step-aerobics class was coming to an end and I did not have the energy to hunt out any more.

I think this is more my price range!

And no, we are not in the market for a new recreational vehicle. Two hundred bucks on a mini-tent might be our level at this time. Oh - and unlike one in three Albertans, we don't have a truck, nor are we likely to have a truck in my lifetime - so this trailer lark is out.

I might hire an RV one summer just to try it out though.

These exhibitions are always worth a nosey.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Skywatch Friday - Balloon's eye view?

Driving home from work today, I saw two hot air balloons over the city. I couldn't get them both in the same picture from where I was positioned (and no, I don't mean in the front driver's seat!).

That's the Calgary Olympic Park ski jump in the background.

They were racing along at a fair old pace. It didn't appear to be that breezy, but my word, if you were up in that basket, I suspect you might have wanted to fasten a seatbelt.

These are drive-by photos, so excuse the quality.

All organized by a well known realtor company! Clever advertising I guess. But I wouldn't have minded an afternoon up there, watching everyone down here. It was a nice day for it.
When we moved here near Calgary, we bought our house through said realtor company and we were given two tickets for a free hot air balloon ride.

Unfortunately, we could not take kids on the ride, and as we had only just landed in this fair place, we did not know a soul to leave the children with - hence we were not able to take up the offer. Always regretted missing that freebie opportunity.

I think a bird's eye view of the city would have been fascinating.

Actually, I would probably appreciate it more now, rather than after a month or two of arriving, as I know my way around these days!

Have a clear, bright, breezy weekend folks!.

For more Skywatch Friday photos, click here