Archives for posts with tag: winter

Happy New Year!

I find it hard to fathom that any year could have been stranger than 2020, but then there was 2021. In spite of it all, I continue to seek out beauty in the mundane as well as in the ethereal and extraordinary. I thrive in the comfort of it, in the smallest miracles that abound.

On the third of January, the morning brought an extremely vivid double rainbow over our beloved neighbourhood. Two days later we celebrated 12th Night with a cranberry orange cake decorated with a marzipan persimmon which was as delicious as it was beautiful. A lovely shop near us brings in a spectacular display of marzipan fruits especially for the festive season from an artisan in Italy.

Spring can come very early in this part of the world. Snowdrops, then crocus and daffodils are usually seen by January and February. Some newly cut branches we found on a boulevard brought the spring inside for us in early February, just in time for a reminder on February 13 that it was still winter. Valentine’s Day is always a good excuse to bake, not that I ever need an excuse!

On the grey days of March I made time for cozy cups of tea and making things. Fair days were for walking among the daffodils. The famous Victoria flower baskets begin to appear in March, and in March and April the ornamental cherry and plum trees bloom in waves throughout the city, their heady fragrance filling me with delight (making up for my itchy eyes!).

In anticipation of Easter, the bakeries fill with seasonal delights and I seek out all the versions of hot cross buns I can find. More and more cherry blossoms appear and the days are brighter.

By May the trees have been adorned with every shade of green. In June I created a birthday tea party for a lovely friend, complete with tiny sandwiches, scones, a tropical-inspired Victoria Sandwich Cake and other sweet treats. We also began picking up our local organic produce CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) from Littlest Acre Farm at Moss Street Market. Every Saturday until the end of October was like Christmas as we brought home a mystery bag of the most beautiful fresh veggies and fruit.

I took a long walk today and noticed that the temperatures on the Canadian west coast are just beginning to turn towards spring, which is lovely. I look forward to the blossoms, but autumn and winter are my most favourite seasons.

Autumn in 2017 had many highlights. A dear cousin was visiting Victoria with family and friends and we all went to Pagliacci’s for great food and live music.

Pagiacci's with live music.

There was fun with an international flare to be had right in our beloved neighbourhood of Chinatown.


All Hallow’s Eve was spooky and filled with scary surprises around the city. We had a blast with tricks and treats visiting friends in Oak Bay.


In late November we spent two days in Vancouver for a tiny vacation and rendezvous with my sister and Randy. Day one we enjoyed the festive lights of the big city, ate at the always-delicious Bao Bei, and were mesmerized under the Grand Chapiteau for Cirque du Soleil’s show Kurios.


Day two, more wandering before a delicious dinner at Vij’s, then off to the last ferry home.


Victoria, so pretty with festive lights, window displays, and a very impressive “Whoville” gingerbread village at The Empress Hotel.


I catered dessert for a private Holiday party, and saw an impressive Santa and Mrs Claus at a local diner!


Christmas arrived with lots of treats (including Glerup slippers), and tissue paper and gift bag fun for the cats.


And the best gift of all, snow for Christmas Eve and Day!




For the last few years, we have hosted a group of friends for Christmas dinner. My favourite part of preparing for these events has been designing a display for the dinner table. We rarely use our large table for dining, as it is also GJ’s workspace, so it takes a special event to clear it off. This year, I chose a snowy woodland theme. I made five little trees with Sculpy low-fire clay, painted them white, and sprinkled the wet paint liberally with fine glitter. These were placed over battery-powered tea lights, and arranged with other candles and various curios we have collected. I cut some holly leaves from wool felt, and needle felted the berries, then combined these with sprigs of cedar to create napkin rings. I also decorated a trunk in the living room with cut glass dishes to hold pre-dinner snacks. The dinner was delicious, as was the table, if I do say so myself!








We have had some magnificent west-coast weather happening lately; from spring-like days of chirping birds and blooming flowers, to threatening skies and torrential rain storms. Here are some photos of an 8 am sky from a few days ago. It was mesmerizing! The views are of James Bay near Fisherman’s Wharf, and out of the harbour across the straight towards the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.





We have been having some beautiful days this month, almost verging on spring. Last week, while I was running errands as the sun was setting, I took some photos of the sky around the downtown Victoria area. Today it’s sunny again, just lovely!





I’ve been taking lots of early morning walks with a friend lately. Afterwards, we usually end up at the new Fol Epi location on Yates Street. They have very nice, perfectly brewed tea, and the coffee is good too.


Toast made from the bakery’s organic wood oven bread is available weekdays, and comes with maple cinnamon butter, or butter and house-made current jam.


The last little bit of Festive decor with early morning light.


View from the window seats, onto bustling Yates Street, Victoria BC.

Our clear, crisp, sun-filled January days continue. We’ve been enjoying our walks in brisk air and with frost all around. Here are some pictures from yesterday morning along the West Song Walkway…





What a glorious day for the annual New Year’s Day Breakwater Walk. This was our second year attending this delightful walk with a group of perfectly lovely people, headed by Julian, our New Year’s Day hero, who roused us to take on this brisk day and revel in its beauty. Happy New Year to all!








Yesterday, we visited the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. They have a small but beautiful garden where I sat for a few minutes enjoying the late afternoon light. The garden includes a Meiji era Shinto shrine.




This morning, just behind our apartment building, a tree was filled with Cedar Waxwings. Such pretty birds!