I can walk by tourist crap without a second glance. Fridge magnets, plastic fans, and I Heart T-shirts don’t do it for me.
But, give me a story. Throw in a bit of history, polish it with the patina of time and romance. Tell me something is rare and I’m reaching for my credit card.
There’s a small vineyard in Mazzorbo, Venice.
The sales presentation is flawless; crisp white linen and crystal wine glasses. The story is exquisite; a grape thought lost to history, a wine the Venetian Doges drank. The wine bottles themselves are works of art, the glass made in Murano, and the label wrought from paper-thin gold leaf.
Did I mention the bottles are numbered by hand, and the wine comes in the cutest little wood crate?
Was I aware I was being taken in by a fantastic sales pitch? Vaguely, but— Wine the Doges drank!
Was the wine even good?
You’re asking the wrong person. I don’t like wine.
On a Sunday, two weeks ago, eight hundred people took part in a rare moment of hope at the U.S.-Mexico border. Two groups of singers, one in San Diego, one in Tijuana, raised their voices as one. In Spanish, and in English, they sang The Beatles song, With a Little Help From my Friends , across the barbed wire between them.
Choir! Choir! Choir! a Toronto-based choral group staged the cross-border performance, teaching the song’s arrangements to audience participants.
Will this binational sing-a-long make a difference?
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I’m not always on the best of terms with my Google Home speaker. My television remote isn’t exactly my best friend either. I’m not even going to mention my frustrating relationship with Android Auto.
I’m beginning to think it isn’t them…it’s me.
Despite my dismal track record with all things tech, I’ve become seduced by—a mug. A magical mug that keeps my coffee hot no matter how slowly I drink it.
Fortunately for me, this thing is as easy to use as a toaster. Plug it in, charge it up, and you’ll never have to wince at tea gone too cool again. Never have to traipse over to the microwave to zap your coffee back to an acceptable temperature.
I find myself living in a house with a lot of built-in display space. Previous residences having been heavy on bare walls and light on decorative touches, this is the first time I’ve had to sooth empty shelves and glass fronted cabinets crying out to be filled.
In response to the uncomfortably naked shelves, I set about rounding up various trinkets that had been hidden in cupboards and closets for so long I was surprised to see them.
A vase here, a photo album there, and me being me, a couple of stuffed animals and I was done. Bits and pieces of a life laid out before me. A pastiche of family, and trips, and time.
Each object holds a memory, a story. Most of them G-rated except for one small glass dish, edged in blue. Entirely unexceptional unless, like me, you happen to remember the hour preceding its purchase 🙂
One item though, doesn’t have a story.
I don’t know where it came from or when. It was just always there, a doorstop in my parent’s house. I look at it now and I wonder…
Built in 1915, Vancouver’s Heritage Hall has watched over Main Street for more than a century.
A landmark building known for its clock tower and red tile roof, this example of Beaux Arts Classicism was originally home to Postal Station C, but these days she sees more wedding cake than mail as the newly married pose for pictures on her red marble staircase.
The staircase isn’t the only feature that has survived the years. Lurking in the basement men’s room is an oddity that comes as quite a surprise to male guests—a twin urinal.
The double-sided design of the urinal forces strangers to stand opposite each other while nature takes its course. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” reported one of the wedding guests. “You’re standing next to someone you’ve never met and you have to look him in the eyes.”
In his post, How Not to Kill Time, Hugh got me to thinking about our perception of time and how that changes with…well, time.
Hugh uses the analogy of a toilet roll, the nearer you get to the end, the quicker it runs out. With more years behind me than in front of me, I find that to be true. Summer afternoons that used to last forever are a blur now. Days bleed into each other until I find myself asking Google for the date because I’ve lost track of what month it is.
I spent my youth wishing time would move faster, waiting for the next holiday or birthday. I wanted to kick time into high gear when my kids were little, longing to be me again and not mom.
Now, when my kids have kids of their own and I can see my end date looming on the horizon, I want to slow time down. I want to stop it altogether. So many lives I haven’t lived while I was busy living mine. So many things I haven’t done …
I can’t stop time, of course. None of us can. The best we can do is treasure the moments. Sunshine on water, or trickling through the leaves of a tree. A hand holding yours. Shared laughter. A smile.
I’m way too lazy to have a dog. I like my creature comforts and they don’t include early morning winter walks with four legged pals. We won’t even talk about the filling that little bag part of the tour—no, thanks.
My daughter’s dog though, love him. All the furry hugs I want and no little bags 🙂
The best thing about dogs? Totally non-judgmental. All those personal quirks, the ones that make the people in your life crazy? Your dog doesn’t care. He likes you anyway.
As sad as it is to see a whiskered face watching from the window as you leave the house, I don’t think pets have to accompany their owners everywhere. Gary Mullins of Halifax, N.S. is much nicer than I am; he takes his beagle, Frankie on bike rides around town—in a backpack.
Take a city crosswalk, add a little black paint, and what do you have?
Depends who you ask.
Halifax municipal officials call it vandalism. Doug Carleton, the artist who created a 3D crosswalk in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia calls it art.
For several weeks, in the early morning when no one was around, Doug added shadows to the white lines of a crosswalk, making it appear to levitate above the ground. For Doug, it was a safety issue. Not only did the 3D crosswalk appear to levitate two feet above the ground, it “popped” when someone walked across it, encouraging drivers to slow down.
Or it did, until the city washed the paint away.
Doug’s crosswalk didn’t survive long enough to gather any safety statistics. I don’t know if it would have had any effect on Dartmouth driving habits. I do know it looked freaking brilliant 🙂