What’s Up

Early Spring in Russia, 1885. Photo: Wikipedia, Creative Commons

Early Spring in Russia, 1885. Photo: Wikipedia, Creative Commons

I don’t post much about what I do from day-to-day, except for round-ups of each month. I will break the pattern by just posting about what’s up!

I am busy planning a trip to Toronto. We’ll be there soon, 5 days/5 nights. This is an annual trip for us now that our kid Link lives there. We’d go more often except for the $$. But we plan each trip like a vacation. Link lives far from downtown with a bunch of roommates, so we’ll be staying downtown in a B&B we haven’t tried before. We over-scheduled ourselves last time, so this trip, we’ll be choosing from:

  • Design Exchange “This Is Not a Toy” modern art toy show
  • Textile Museum kimono display
  • Bata Shoe Museum
  • Impossible choice between seeing the musicals Rent or Hedwig!

As well as lots of good restaurants, cafes and some shopping. I am struggling with my packing list since the temperature forecast is for 8C (although better than our last chilly trip in November).

Work and volunteer jobs are leaving me short on time right now, but in my spare moments I’ve been assembling all of our “regular rotation” vegetarian recipes into an iPad-friendly format that Rom and I can both use. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

I’ve got three books on the go right now:

  • A Thousand Suns by Nahlah Ayed – a chronicle of wartime journalism, for my book club
  • Marzi by Marzena Sawa – a graphic novel about a little girl’s experience of living in Poland, pre-democracy
  • Want Not by Jonathan Miles – a literary novel about consumerism

None of them are from my Reading Down the House list, but I have plenty of time to read one of those before month -end, and some quality reading time coming up on my TO flights. If you’re on Goodreads, I’d love it if you friend me there!

Meanwhile, the Spring thaw has finally arrived and it’s a little less grim! Our aboriginal cultures used to consider the thaw/ice break-up/pre-Spring its own season, and I can understand why. What others call Spring, with leaves and flowers, is some distance away.

My posting and replying will be intermittent for the next two weeks, but I’ll check in when I can. I am looking forward to the getaway!

My crocuses are out about THIS far! Photo: west crete

My crocuses are out about THIS far! Photo: west crete


  1. It’s incredibly that you end up so busy on holidays, given that I have the opposite issue. I often ponder life, and existence, as I don’t know what I want to do, and I get worn out so easily too. Often I get sucked into shopping, but it doesn’t take long to have seen everything (and/or run out of money!). Alas, I don’t mind cultural stuff, but often my feet hurt from all the standing I’m not used to, in museums and galleries…

    That weather does NOT sound like holiday weather to me :p

    • When we travelled to Toronto in November, it was about 2 or 3 degrees and rainy, so this will be an improvement! I like visiting larger cities for the cultural attractions, so I tend to do research and pack in as much as possible. I can get through a work day on autopilot, but not a vacation day! We’ve been to Toronto often enough that I’m feeling less need to shop, but we like to go to record and comic shops. And it is Record Store Day on Saturday! (an international day promoting independent record/music stores)

  2. Choose between Rent & Hedwig?! That is a tough one! Hope you have a great time. 🙂

  3. I would love to go to Toronto, can you feel the envy? Did you really say SHOE museum?

    • I love Toronto and I’m lucky to have visited there lots. They really do have a shoe museum which I haven’t seen yet. Too bad I will miss the “Sneaker Culture” exhibit which starts in a few weeks!

  4. Can’t you be naughty and catch both shows!

  5. Fiona

    Those are hard choices! Given the cost / distance of getting to Toronto, perhaps you could squeeze both musicals in? It would be too difficult to pick between them!

    The recipes-on-iPad idea is fantastic.

    Our aboriginal cultures also recognise about 6 seasons. I try to follow them because the weather in Victoria makes no sense when it’s aligned to European seasons.

    Have a fabulous trip! It seems hard to believe that a year has gone by since the last trip!

    • We probably will see both shows if tix are available! Haven’t been to that theatre yet so will see what the quality is like for the first one. Our 2013 trip was in November and this year’s is April, so they haven’t been a year apart. I’m sure we’ll have fun! looked up “6 seasons” and saw that it was a concept for aboriginal groups in Australia as well. I think the other one for us (besides the thaw, spring, summer, fall and winter) is the late summer/harvest/hunting and preserving time.

      • Fiona

        I see it even says ‘November’ in the post…I must have been off with the pixies! The aboriginal seasons in our part of Australia have an ‘early summer’ and ‘true summer’ (like your spring division.) We are in the start of the ‘Season of Honeybees’ now (the beginning of the cooling of country.)

  6. Love to see the iPad friendly version of vegetarian recipes, if you as happy to share – if it works out, that is.

    Mmm, 8°. It was 17° here today and I felt like my nose was going to drop off. Haven’t got used to the cold yet. We are trying to hold off putting the heating on until May. I think the 17° felt colder than it actually was as the sky has been overcast and there has been on and off showers for days.

    Think I will snuggle up with a book tomorrow.

    • I am hoping that the recipe format will be shareable eventually.

      I can’t imagine a world in which 17 is cold. I just looked up our average temperatures: 15 in May, 20 in June, 19 in September. But I am in favour of snuggling with a book any month of the year.

  7. Hope you have a wonderful visit with your child. Sometimes I think 1/2 the fun of traveling is the planning and anticipation.
    Have you read Liza Dalby’s “East Wind Melts the Ice: A Memoir through the Seasons”? It’s a lovely drifty stroll through the seasons.

  8. Have a wonderful vacation and visit with Link! 2 musicals sounds like the solution to me. Always enjoy your reading suggestions too.

  9. Alice

    Have a safe trip and enjoy your holiday and time with your kid! I hope that spring will reach its way to you earlier than expected!
    We have Easter holiday soon but the weather isn’t so spring-like yet. Have fun!!!

  10. Plan a few warm weather outfits just in case. This weekend in southern Ontario, we had two days where it was 20C in the sun. The girls played outside in their shorts. I did hear that it would be cooler this week, but I am ever hopeful.
    With the snow mostly gone, we are seeing green stuff poking through in the gardens too. It’s about time!

  11. Have a great time with Link (and in Toronto!) We tend to plan about half our days on trips and then mooch on the others!
    I hope the weather is kind to you 🙂

  12. I hope you enjoy Toronto and the family time! 17° sounds delightful. 🙂 We’ve had some beautiful mild weather here lately and I’m soaking it all in!

  13. Lisa

    Pack for all seasons! Tonight and tomorrow will be cold with a mixed bag of weather, from rain to freezing rain to snow. 5-10 cm of snow expected in my area. Boo! Yep, that’s Spring in Ontario, although more like late March’s weather.

    Despite the weather, I’m sure you will still have a great time and visit. Enjoy! I haven’t been to downtown Toronto in years, but I am not really a city girl and too many people overwhelm me easily. Just a visit to the Yorkdale shopping mall in Nov. did me in!

    • I keep checking the weather forecast – it’s showing rain/snow for tonight but 8-12 later with rain on the way. Since we are mainly doing museums, restaurants, and other indoor pursuits, it’s not that important. I like cities and crowds except rude people in the grocery store aisles, or packed tight in a subway car, but I can manage!

  14. Lane

    What fun to visit the big city before all the summer heat! I will pile on and say, see both shows while you are there. I have a chance to get to Toronto for a meeting ( at Four Seasons, no less), but I am just not going to be able to get away to go at the end of the month, although I’d Love to.

    We have an independent record store here that our kids love to frequent so perhaps will hit that this weekend.

    We woke to white ground this AM too– enough already!! It’s melted though in the sun. I will cherish every daffodil this spring. Maybe there are tulips in Toronto?

  15. ang0660

    Hope you have a great visit and the weather was clement. Off to Madrid on Easter Saturday for wedding anniversary trip so am hoping for a bit of warmth there. Look forward to your news on your return. We liked the Beer hall on the Toronto waterfront when we visited last September.

  16. Enjoy your holiday planning, a shoe museum? Hmm, art toys? Enjoy your decision making!

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