Thursday, April 28, 2011

SkyWatch Friday - Goodnight sun

Beautiful evenings this week.  Beautiful skies.

Have a lovely weekend, and happy SkyWatching.
To see more skies from around the world, click here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

That Wedding ...

Every news channel, newspaper and magazine is currently dedicated to a little wedding occurring in Old London Town on Friday.
The frenzied Republicans are having a field day denouncing the whole thing.  The loony Royalists are showing off their collections of tat to anyone who will listen.  The news channels will be smothered in "and-reporting-live-from-Buckingham Palace" accounts of every glance of eyelash, satin shoe, horse-drawn carriage or over-dressed celebrity.
I have no strong opinions for or against the Family, but my day-off coincides with the wedding - so I shall set my PVR to start recording at 4am and I will wander downstairs at a more civilized hour, and then raise a toast to the happy couple with my morning cuppa - and I truly wish them well.  They are going to need it.

I can then fast-forward through all the adverts to the best bits - which for me will be the location.
(With thanks to the English Heritage website for this photo)

From afar, I shall look forward to aerial shots of Londonengland and cast a wistful eye over the majesty of the 1000-year old Westminster Abbey, the backdrop of a lively and colourful city with some stunning architecture - and sit smiling at all the thousands of mad, joyful people getting ready for a right Royal knees-up.
All the naysayers can bugger off just for one day while I wave my metaphorical flag.

Monday, April 25, 2011

My World Tuesday - Dogs and Puddles

When the snow melts, large puddles appear.  
Reflections of fences in the still and still-freezing water.
Honey's eyes light up with sheer delight.  
Time to go for a quick dip.  The muddier, the better.
Smudge calls out to his mates 
- let's play fetch ... right over here.
And after a ball-chasing run-around session, 
all sensible dogs should dip their toes...
and grab a quick drink.

See what you humans are missing?

See what everyone else is up to.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Harry Potter Skies

In June 2010, Harry Potter decided to up-sticks from the cupboard under the stairs, 
and took up residence in Orlando, Florida.
The Islands of Adventure (Universal) Theme Park has dedicated a large corner to Harry's world - and very well done it is too.  
Charmingly designed, but packed with tourists.  
It's a real "don your elbow pads" kind of day.
Under stunningly clear and warm blue skies with temperatures in the mid 80's, Harry's world of faux-snow peaked roofs are wonky and stylish.

I could do with some faux-snow here too
- none of that real stuff for me!

Happy Sky Watch Friday - and watch out for those Muggles.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Repetitive Snow Syndrome?

Ahhh, the Scenic Sunday meme - lovely.

A weekly opportunity to post 
some colourful and inspiring photos.

Er - no!
Snow.  Again.  Did you check the calendar?  It's Mid-April.  
Ok, so maybe not so unusual, but it's boring I tell ya!
I am wearing the face of a very unamused woman right now.

It's no good, I'm sorry - go click on another blog for your 
Scenic colour and inspiration - hee hee.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

SkyWatch Friday - Wintery evenings

Despite it's best efforts at Spring, 
Alberta is not quite there yet 
- as another dump of snow last night testifies!
However, this week the occasional blues have been welcome, and hint of some warmth yet to materialize.
and the cloudy sunsets have been pretty.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Welcome blasts of colour

(Photos from Florida again, sorry!) :
Most people probably don't pay much attention to the epic scale of the landscaping in the all the Disney parks, etc, when they trawl around acres of entertainment, 
from rollercoaster to ice-cream to water slide.

Me?  Well, I was entranced.  
 Colour, and style, and use of shape and foliage - heaven!

Epcot had got in on the action, with a flower festival.
For those who like some frivolous fun with flowers and plants, scroll on ....
Lady and the Tramp. 
Snow White and a few of the dwarves.
Sleeping Beauty

All good fun.

Scenic Sunday - We are melting

A few weeks ago I showed you some pictures of the frozen Bow River.
The seemingly never-ending winter had taken it's toll, 
and for the first time in many a year, it had become ice-packed with overlapping layers, causing an ice-jam 
and a few anxious headaches for the locals.
We are now in early April and all is well.
The river has been melting and flowing fast, but you can still see great walls of ice at the riverside which continue to break off in huge chunks.
Some of them are still five and six foot thick.
If you look really carefully across the sparkling water, two geese have come for a quick wash and brush up, and a honking session.

Now, I just long for the return of green, grassy banks, wild flowers to bloom again and some fluttering butterflies to complete the scene.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

12 Facts about Florida

This is a serious post and at no point are there any sweeping generalizations, glib observations or flippant comments.  Maybe.  If you are researching a trip to Florida, I'm your woman.  Search no more.  Here are 12 Facts about an Orlando-based holiday, told from a slightly winter-stir-crazy Albertan point of view.
FACT: Florida is always gorgeous and warm and sunny and everyone is always happy happy happy because of this.  
FACT: It never rains in Florida.  
Except for when they have terrific thunder storms and tornado warnings - and lightening shows that would rival any Disney fireworks display - with accompanying torrential 14-hour downpours, almost enough to set sail in your Arc.  The storms were large scale and slightly showy-offy to be honest.  But apart from that, it never rains.  
FACT: Long trousers are surplus to requirements.  
This is obviously because, as previously mentioned, it is always gorgeous and warm and sunny and it never rains.  Shorts are the suit de jour.  Toes breathe a sigh of relief in their flip-flops and shoulders and cleavage blush (or is that burn?) in strappy tops.  Ahhhh.

FACT: Florida is full of new and shiny cars.  There is no dirt, or rain, or snow or grit.
That every other vehicle on the road has been rented from Orlando Airport and no cars are over 12 months old may have something to do with this observation, but I prefer to view everyone as a proud and happy, shiny-vehicle owner. 

FACT:  Florida highways eat tyres.  
The beautifully smooth and pothole-less highways are littered with shredded rubber.  What are these guys doing?  I have never seen so many broken down and punctured cars sitting sadly at the side of the road.  I deduce it is the heat.  Or someone has been secretly firing nail guns from the sidelines.
FACT: Swimming pools are essential to life.

FACT: Florida is full of people from somewhere else.  
No-one is actually born in Florida.  Ever.  
The only creatures born in Florida are dolphins and killer whales who are "successfully" bred in captivity.  This creates enormous conflict in your author, who appreciates the educational efforts to enhance learning about them, but is overwhelmed by the slick commerciality of keeping these gorgeous creatures performing for their supper.  It brought tears to my eyes. 
FACT: Orlando is the land of make-believe.  
And shopping.  
And giant 6-foot Mice and Princesses.  And even Harry Potter has moved here now.
Reality is just a figment of your imagination.

FACT: Disney put glitter in the tarmac on the I-4.  
Truly, that road really sparkles.  This may be something to do with the composition of the heat-resistant black top or it could just be another sparkly Disney take-over bid.  
FACT: You can grow absolutely any plant or tree you want in Florida.  
It is green and lush and palm trees grow like weeds.  For a green-fingered and garden-loving displaced Brit living in frozen or parched Alberta - well, it just sticks in your throat really.  You lucky buggers. 
FACT: Olive Garden was invented just for me.
Salad and bread sticks anyone?  Yummo!
FACT: You cannot just visit one time.
It is a worm-hole of fun and warmth and escapism that sucks in us holiday-makers by the thousand, and leaves us wanting more.  Slick and commercial don't go halfway to explaining the allure of this peninsula.
There must be something in the air.  It makes you feel like a super-hero.