Tiddley-Bits tea

Tiddley-Bits tea

Thursday, 26 September 2013

{quotable thursdays/dedication to a good cat}

Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.
George Eliot 

Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened.
Anatole France 

It is with a sad heart that I write to announce the death of my dear cat:
Samundar Clark: 13 August 1992-23 September 2013
At 21 years old, this loving cat lived a life most humans would be envious of. Samundar (meaning the sea in Hindi, appropriate for a blue Siamese cat who sailed the seas) travelled widely and lived in numerous houses, from Victoria to Montreal & Ottawa, and Vermont to LA, not to mention a large portion of her life spent aboard boats sailing the coastal waterways of BC. She was a kind, gentle cat, a mother of numerous litters, a friend & furry companion. She was a good cat after all. She will be greatly missed.

On an autumn day in October 1992, 21 years ago, my Dad and my 10-year-old self, drove up in the Landrover to pick our new little kitten up. We had just come back from a year sailing around the world, and I was trying to get my bearings at school. It was a year where girls were mean to each other and I found it hard to relate to my age group after spending a year on a sailing ship with 30 people aged 18-25 years old. My sister was on ‘rat patrol’ or what we called her duty of looking at the paper every day to see if there were any Siamese cats for sale (‘rat’ being a name adopted for all cats in my family after my parents’ first Siamese cat who had sailed around the world with them on their honeymoon, fell into the water and looked like a drowned rat, inheriting the nickname of rat).

One day my sis put down the paper with a big red circle around an advert—blue point kittens for sale—and there were a couple of females! I had a pro-d day, so my Dad & I drove up to this funny cat breeder’s house, and we picked out our little Samundar (aka lambs, wools, miss lambs, lamben, woolsy, lambsey).
 She was so tiny and I held her tight all the way home. Little did I realise how integral to my life she would be—the little sister I never had. Growing up on boats and travelling the world, ‘home’ for me was about the people around me. This little cat came to symbolise ‘home’ for me. She was a constant as I moved from childhood to adulthood, and she will be in my heart until the day that I die.

After 21 years on this earth, it was time for her to go. But there is grief in her departure, and yet, I will have so many memories of her. Indeed, my memories of childhood are inevitably bound up with memories of her. Farewell Samundar—may you rest in peace and may you shine down from Heaven, looking out for me in the next 21 years, and the 21 after that.
If you'd like to see more of miss lambs, I've written on her here & here, on her 21st b-dayhere.

{rest now in eternal slumber dear, dear cat}

Saturday, 21 September 2013

{tasty morsels}

My first post under the new category of 'tasty morsels.' I mentioned I was going to do this--try out lovely restaurants in London & blog about it. Let me preface my post by saying I'm not a food-writer & not really a foodie. But I do like good food. I might be able to talk about a painting, but food is another thing. So you'll have to bear with me, and prepare yourself for a very plebeian way of talking about food.
The idea is to follow the 35 recommended restaurants by Easy Living.
So #1: The Modern Pantry
A wonderful little spot in Clerkenwell/Farringdon (which is in itself a fantastic little area of Central London).
The Modern Pantry is exactly that- like a country kitchen, but sleeker, & with incredibly delicious food (or as they state on their website: 'Together, these two words embody The Modern Pantry's philosophy: the desire to please and excite the palate by fusing everyday cooking with modern ingredients). The menu changes day to day so that you know what you're getting is super fresh (view a sample menu here). They also do afternoon tea. The combinations are often kind of strange, at first glance, but are wonderful when the food arrives. The pairing of interesting foods--such as blueberries with duck--is done to perfection. Instead of too many contrasting flavours, or too many strong flavours, it's done in a subtle way.
So, my friend  Mel & I decided to try it on a Tuesday after work. We got there early (around 530-ish). We didn't make reservations  (when I tried to book online that morning, the only reso they had was for 830) but we decided to go anyway. When we arrived, they were all booked up except for 2 spare tables. So voila, we plunked ourselves down & enjoyed...
{I love the grey & white decor}

{lovely etched marble tables}

{the day's menu}


{my dish: lamb marinated in a cumin lemon yoghurt, aubergine & other delightful things!}

{Mel's dish: duck with blueberry salsa (which was not really a salsa, and very delicious)}

{lovely company}

{*amazing* dessert: chocolate & liquorice delice, with a tamarillo}

{au revoir}
fantastic food!
stay tuned for the next post on tasty morsels,

Thursday, 19 September 2013

{quotable thursdays}

Sorry readers, too much work at the moment to write a proper blog. Things are a bit manic & busy, & I simply don't have enough time...
on that note:
Time brings all things to pass.

painted cuckoo clock
{cuckoo for time!}
stay tuned though, because I have my first blog on restaurant dining in London coming soon!

Sunday, 15 September 2013

{musings from the little red book--signage above the bed}

I'm not going to lie. I'm feeling swamped. overwhelmed actually. But what are Sundays for but to take a break from everyday stress & do something that we enjoy. So, here's a little musing from the little red book in action:

I've always loved the look of writing/signage above the bed. and you know that I've always loved antlers (see my blog on antlers here). So I've combined a gorgeous silver antler with the word sogno (meaning dream in Italian):

Some inspiration from the internet:
A Country Cottage Chic Home | Brunch at Saks
{blackboard & 'wish'}
{we are so good together}
{very regal}
silhouette chalkboard headboard, awesome lamp
{gorgeous silhouette}

{I particularly like this idea of a family name (esp since my sis married a Smith!)}

For more bedroom inspiration, see my pinterest board.
xo & sleep tight!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

{quotable thursdays}

A is for Autumn by Paperless Post
{paperless post}
My goodness does it feel like autumn here--this week has been chilly, and mizzy & rainy & windy! But it is rather cosy, and I'm looking forward to autumnal walks & all those things! This autumn is going to also be insanely busy. So, I apologise in advance for possibly my absence here. I've got a number of conferences/talks, some away (Portugal & Germany)...& a lot of responsibility at work... but c'est la vie. Already I feel like there are not enough hours in the day to get it all done! But, one must take breaks here & there--in a few weeks I'm celebrating my cousin Choo's B-day--always fun times--& then hosting a little Canadian Thanksgiving dinner for my Canadian friends here in the UK...

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.
-George Eliot

#bird #autumn #tree #fall
{autumn bird}
Apple Votive DIY: Perfect for Fall {Tutorial}
{candle apples}
The Terrier and Lobster: "Tweed Comes Out to Play!": Victoria Lee by Chris Craymer for Glamour UK November 2012
{let the tweeds come out!}
Dallas Shaw Blog
{& more tweeds}
Basket and wellington boots in woods: Foraging
{autumn walks}

So despite the rain & the stress, there's a crispness in the air & exciting times ahead...

Friday, 6 September 2013

{trip back to BC}

I had a wonderful time back in Canada--spent some quality time with my sister and her family. I then headed over to Victoria to get my boxes shipped. My parents were involved in the Classic Boat Festival (my Dad was a Judge) so, I managed to see a lot of familiar faces from my years growing up on the SALTS' boats.
Great fun but too short, and now I'm in the midst of loads of work to catch up on and prepare for the academic year...
Some pics from my trip:
{East Van welcome}

{watched my nephew at Hockey tryouts}

{visit to historic Fort Langley}

{my nephew having a seat in the old homesteader cabins}

{building a house}

{Mum & Dad in Sidney}

{classic boat festival}

{Pacific Swiftthe boat I sailed around the world three times on (my Mum was the model for the figure head)}

{me & my Mum enjoying tea at the Bengal Lounge}

{trip on BC ferries with views of Mt. Baker--beautiful BC!}
boxes will take some time to arrive--a few months perhaps--but I'll be sure to post pics when all my stuff is here (although I'm getting anxious about finding room for it all!)

Thursday, 5 September 2013

{quotable thursdays}

I'm back!
I had a fantastic trip back to BC and now I'm gearing up for a very busy autumn. I'll post photos soon of my trip but back to the weekly ritual of quotable thursdays:
Be present.
{be all there!}
We are a society that no longer lives in the moment. You look around on the train and everyone is on their mobile texting, emailing or checking facebook to see what other people are doing somewhere else. You sit down in a restaurant and watch people not speaking to the person in front of them or savouring their wine, but instead answering their phone to speak to someone somewhere else. Our retirement plans and our banks tell us to prepare for the future, so we don't enjoy the present but worry about the future.
{get off that phone!}
It's the reason why I decided to try to unplug as much as I could when I went home. I didn't want to be anywhere else but present visiting my family. I'm a planner, so I need to take my own advice and try to live more in the present and BE ALL THERE. it's not always easy to do.
Why, even our smart, witty heroine Miss Eliza Bennett was worrying about finding Mr. Wickham at the Netherfield Ball instead of talking to the man right in front of her eyes--Mr. Darcy! Slighting Mr. Darcy is hardly excusable!! and we know, that often when we are not living in the moment, but looking for somebody else, we miss the opportunity of meeting mr. perfect because we are worried about mr. not good enough! I think one of the rudest and inexcusable acts of social blundering is when you're at a social event and the person you're talking to is obviously looking around the room for something better to do.
Netherfield Ball
{Netherfield Ball}
When I was at a wedding in Greece recently I met an amazing woman who genuinely was so interested in talking to everybody-young & old. She made you feel like you were special and she was ALL THERE when she was talking to you. I admire that greatly. 
I love people who get into things....really get into things and totally live in the moment. They laugh hard, they're often quirky, but they enjoy, & they are also loads of fun to be around. It's largely about confidence and being comfortable in your own skin...
The Terrier and Lobster: Clarks Ad Campaign by Chris Craymer in Somerset, England
{be there not somewhere else}
On that note, I attended the Courtauld anniversary party last night at the Tate Britian and I was with some fantastic people (two I met that evening, and one, an old friend). They were jolly good company and I was happy to be with some decent people who enjoyed the evening, were happy to get on the dance floor, when it wasn't crowded yet, & simply lived in the moment.
so wherever you are, be all there.