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I’ve been going through my photos from the last two years, thinking about creating posts for this blog. I discovered a folder with photos of some of the food I created during our first lockdown in the Spring of 2020. It was fun to remember all the cooking and baking, virtual meals with friends, and searching for new recipes. My friend Sue and I even created a facebook group called Shut-In Foodies, which is still going strong!

Eggs, Eggs, Eggs

Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, and the meal we most often eat out. As I still aspire to have a bed and breakfast some day, I dedicated the lockdown to practicing the perfect preparation of eggs. (At first I thought the lockdown would be all about perfecting sourdough bread, but I kept killing my starter!)

Clockwise starting top left: eggs baked in phyllo with roasted potatoes, open-faced fried egg sandwiches; fried egg over left-over over risotto with chives from our window-sill garden; fried egg over rice with two salsas, guacamole and kefir cheese; eggs benedict with blender hollandaise and pesto on homemade English muffins; simple scrambled eggs and cheese on homemade English muffin with baby arugula from the window-sill garden.

Too Many Baked Treats

Still trying to shed a few of these pounds…

Left to right: first ever lattice-top pie (I can’t remember the filling, but looks like some frangipane bubbling up through the pastry!); clafoutis aux cerises; compost cake (a basic cake with whatever fresh fruit you have hanging about!).

Fresh Ideas For Dinner

I find it too easy to get into a rut with dinner ideas, so it was a great time to experiment and go back to a few favourites that I don’t make often.

Clockwise starting at top left: mung bean curry; miso ramen soup with fried marinated tofu; spanikopita with tomato feta salad and lemon roast potatoes; veggie roast dinner with Yorkshire puddings and mushroom gravy; quinoa pilaf with grilled apricots; pesto linguine with tomato salad and homemade slow rise bread.

Tea for Two

I cannot resist a cuppa and all the delicious possibilities which may accompany a lovely brew. I am still working on my scone techniques (mine never rise very high, no matter how carefully I follow the recipes I try!), but I have mastered making luscious, decadent clotted cream. We had one or two virtual tea parties during lockdown as well!

Clockwise from top: Cream tea for two with warm fruit scones and homemade clotted cream; preparing for a virtual tea party (cream and ready-to-bake scones were porch-dropped to our friends on the other side of the screen); and a more casual tea with home-made chocolate chip cookies.

Welcome blessed spring – new life and new possibilities! The cherry blossom season is beginning to wind down on the west coast of Canada. The slightest breeze sends a shower of petals swirling through the air. We feel fortunate to have a predominance of ornamental cherry and plum trees in our neighbourhood.

How can it be almost two years since I have written anything here? Well, the last year I can understand. What was there to write about through a global pandemic that wasn’t the same fear, stress and worry we have all been feeling? The year before that is harder to explain and has a hold on me still. And really, it’s so minor in the big scheme of things. I am healthy, I have a nice home, great family and friends, enough income. Possibly it’s the old stereotype about middle age – What’s left? Will I have enough time? Will there be opportunities to fulfill my dreams? Do I have anything to say and share?

Then I remember the reason I started this blog, as a journal of appreciation and beauty. And there is so much to appreciate, always. Beauty and adventure are my true goals. I have to believe the details will fall into place.

So for now, I leave you with some cherry blossoms which are bursting all around this little city on Canada’s west coast. And as always, thank you for reading!

Bells in hues of blue, purple, pink and white, along with the native camas, have created carpets of purple around the city for the last few weeks. Spring is so filled with colour! These photos were all taken in Beacon Hill Park.

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Cherry blossom season is just finishing; endless pinks replaced by the bright greens of spring foliage. The blooms were abundant and fragrant, as usual, but before long they had become a carpet of delicate petals and are then gone for another year.

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A long stand of trees on Richardson Street in Fairfield held me captive for an intoxicating 20 minutes admiring their beauty.

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Downtown Victoria has many varieties of ornamental cherry and plum trees, blooming from mid February through to late April. Those in Chinatown are especially beautiful.

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For the month I was in the UK, I was determined to fulfill all the art perks which had been promised to my Indiegogo backers – those which could be produced with pen and watercolour paint. The engravings, which had to wait until I was home, are almost ready to send to the patrons who requested them. I will post those next.

Finding inspiration for these pieces was not hard. Beautiful architecture, lovely nature, vibrant colour, and gorgeous vistas were all around; my heart was so full.

Hopefully these all made it to their recipients.

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At the very end of my UK adventure last autumn, I spent three last days in London. I didn’t expect to love London as much as I did; and I didn’t even see one tenth of the city. There is so much more to explore and I can’t wait to go back!

I left lovely Rye tearful, and began missing it even as I boarded the train. A quick ride brought me into the gorgeous St. Pancras Station.

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I checked in at Victoria and Edmund’s beautiful house in Hammersmith, where the adventure began a month earlier. I stayed in The Pink Room for these last few nights, and – just like at the beginning of the trip – enjoyed exceptional hospitality. Back onto the tube and on a mission: to find the Fortnum and Mason store. I hopped off at the Green Park station and made my way a couple of blocks to this beautiful department store, filled with delights for all the senses.

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Since I was so close, I walked through Green Park to see Buckingham Palace. Impressive and majestic, but so many people!

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The next day I walked around Chelsea in the morning, heading over the Albert Bridge, and spending a bit of time walking along the Thames in Battersea Park. Back over the bridge and a lovely snack at Gail’s.

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The afternoon was devoted to the Victoria and Albert Museum. I was completely overwhelmed by the extent of the collections. So much so, that I had a little panic attack and had to calm myself with a cream tea!

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The last day I spent exploring Camden with lovely friend I hadn’t seen in many years. Dinner with dear people was the best end to a remarkable trip.

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I will be back in the UK as soon as possible. My heart remained and I must go collect it!

 

 

As many people do, I love to photograph doorways, door knockers, and other architectural details. Here are a few lovely doors in Rye, East Sussex.

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Still dreaming about Rye, and the lovely place I stayed for three nights, Jeake’s House. It took about five minutes to walk to cobbled Mermaid Street from the train station. I was welcomed warmly and shown to my pretty room. Jeake’s House is perfectly situated for easy walking around Rye. It’s just around the corner from Lamb House, and close to St Mary’s Church and Rye Castle/Ypres Tower.

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The house is beautifully appointed and my stay included a delicious, hearty breakfast each morning in the gorgeous dining room.

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I am looking forward to my next trip to the UK and Rye, and would certainly stay at Jeake’s House again.

This is one of my favourite photo series from my trip: some of the lovely details of Rye, East Sussex. You will notice that more blogging time will be dedicated to Rye than any other place I visited (Chipping Campden in Gloucestershire is a close second!). There are three more posts in the cue after this one! Not a day goes by that I don’t think of this town!

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