Beach Hill bulletin about the board

The bulletin board at Woodbine and Gerrard was getting some attention when I passed by today.


Nigel was revisiting his handiwork after two years, refitting the rather handsome sign with new doors, windows and stainless steel hardware.

Multiple coats of fresh paint were also applied. Nigel is a good neighbour, contributing time and skill to sprucing up our Upper Gerrard commercial strip.


Wow! Ben would have been 97

Ben ViccariPublicist Sandy Zwyer wrote and reminded me that today was the birthday of our old friend Ben Vicarri. He was, among many other things, past president of the Canadian Ethnic Media Association. Sandy was Ben’s producer when he did commentaries for OMNI TV. Ben died in 2010.

Ben was the biggest Canada-booster I ever met. He came here from England after WWII and loved the fact that his new country celebrated its birthday one day before his own. He always combined the two events and he and his wife Anne dressed in red and white to host parties at their penthouse apartment in the Annex.

BTW, Sandy is currently publicizing “Dine Her“. She was kind enough to get us into the dress rehearsal when the show was in Toronto and we had a great time. Recommended, if you can get to participate.

The Best: Fresh, homemade bread

andja's-breadDanica arrived home safe and sound from Windsor, bringing with her one of the loaves that Andja makes from scratch, six at a time.

The loaf arrived in one piece, but not for long. Reasoning that it was never going to be fresher, I sliced off two pieces immediately and had them with some very good marmalade. Perfection.
Thank you, Andja, and thanks for taking such good care of the two of us for our visit.

Harper’s last Canada Day as PM

If we use our votes well, we can make Harper go away this October.

The amateur performance below is too long, but that’s because Harper’s rap sheet is so long. Aboriginals, Muslims and Maritimers, Scientists and Statisticians might be expected to protest against the Conservatives, but it’s nice to see Church People that want them gone, too.

As for the ages of most in the choir, they have life experience and they go to the polls.


We want you gone (gone, gone)
You and your pawn (pawn, pawns)
No more con (con, cons)
Time to move on (on, on)
Get out of town (town, town )
Don’t want you round (round, round)
Harperman, it’s time for you to go

Budapest can’t open on Canada Day

The kitchen is so close to finished, it could have been creating meals within hours, but the gas man never showed to hook up the line.


Without a stove, there’s no way Lorie and Edit can open, of course. When will the Prince of Tradesmen make his appearance? Who knows? Maybe later this week.

The liquor licence will take a while, too. The notice says people have until July 26th to challenge the application. That’s very unlikely, but how long will the bureaucracy take to issue the licence after July 26th? Another question mark.


An early Helen Andersen oil discovered


“Annabelle” by Helen Andersen  — Early 1960s, Oil on canvas

A keen-eyed shopper (whose name I won’t reveal until I have permission) found “Annabelle” in a Victoria thrift store. The purchaser has been in touch and sent a snapshot for me to see. I worked on that photo a bit to even out the lighting and Photoshopped the canvas into a simple frame.

We don’t have dimensions yet and a better photograph will be taken, but this is enough for identification. There was even a faint “Andy” signature (still visible) under the later signature Helen added. She “updated” her signature on many pieces.

My sister Joni remembers “Annabelle” as having been painted when our family lived on College Highroad in Vancouver’s UBC area. Helen must have kept it in her personal collection until her death in 1995. When her husband died in 2005, quite a few pieces were dispersed to parts unknown. It’s amazing that “Annabelle” has survived all these years. Researching the artist, the new owner found Helen’s website and got in touch with me.

I’m sure there will be more to this story.


The Pantry Project

pantry-racksOK, they won’t look like much to you, but they represent quite a few messy hours of my life and they should bring some joy to Danica.

These wire racks will soon be filled with cans and packages, stored handily on the tiny landing at the top of our basement stairs.

I first installed them over 20 years ago and the idea was swiped by an observant neighbour, so it has an accepted history as a good use of dead space.

Twenty years! It was definitely time to repaint, patch and put in new baseboards.

A new door goes on next. I had cut a cat hole into the old one. It has been there as a Spunky Mae Memorial for a decade, but it’s time to move on.

Our long, wet, fragrant Spring


I’m happy that I can’t photograph the beautiful scents of blossoms. We get too many of our sensations through screens these days, and they are pale imitations of reality.

For all the moaning about this year’s cool, rainy weather, one benefit stands out. The city streets are permeated with floral scents of blooms that seem to love the conditions. Haven’t they lasted longer and made more perfume this year?

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