Monthly Archives: March 2008

This weekend had good bones

1. Old House in Burnaby 2. Yew Restaurant Four Seasons Vancouver

3. Holt Renfrew Nars Counter

1. I am easily romanced by a great MLS picture promising bay windows and a hint of character. Ever since we bought our condo in October (our clean, modern condo with floor to ceiling windows but not a sight-line out of any of them), I have been looking for a place with good bones. This is what you can buy in Vancouver (well, Burnaby, but basically straddling Boundary Rd.) for $624, 500. It’s not much. This picture is actually far too generous. According to the Realtor, a family with two children lived here for the past 5 years and the father, a pilot, is staying in the house until it sells, at which time he will join his family in Vernon. What you can’t see here is important (I wonder which one of the kids tore all the doors off of the kitchen cupboards and why anyone thought it would be a good idea to lay laminate down over carpet). Oh, and the “mortgage helper” was designed with a very short helper in mind. About 5 foot to be exact. The search continues…

2. There’s nothing like an hour at a good hotel lounge to give you that far away feeling. This weekend, we mini-vacationed at Yew, the new bar and restaurant at the Four Seasons hotel connected to Pacific Centre. I had a clean French Pinot Gris and Ash had a Red Stripe from Jamaica. We did feel a bit grubby in our running shoes – especially when a family apparently sponsored by Burberry came through – but this was our cabana (bar stools) and we didn’t care.

3. Charlotte, of the Nars counter at Holt Renfrew, is a genius. I suggest you find her and do to your face whatever she tells you to do. I guarantee it will look better.

Lights out for Earth Day

Paris apartment
I must power down for Earth Day, so this will be my only post today.

 Ash and I are trying to go the extra mile. We’ve been sitting here all morning with the fireplace off and we’re freezing. Little white clouds of breath escape from Ashleah’s duvet cocoon. Coffees are getting cold too fast.

 I’m reminded of the apartment we rented in the Marais, and how on our second day there, we got back to the apartment to find a little pink note slipped under the door. No one had paid the electricity bill for months. We lit the candelabra and got warm with a bottle of beaujolais in the dark.

Outside, an excavator is eating the back half of a house for breakfast. It’s a house that no one has loved for a very long time. Seems it’s light out all around today. See you tomorrow.

Collage Journal #2

collage journal Mar25

Some Wednesdays, usually around our second glass of champagne, we like to play maps. World maps on our laptops, city maps in the back of travel books, printed maps used as placemats for dinner. By the third glass, we’ve posted everything we own on craigslist. That’s how we lost the coffee table for $20. Spontaneous fundraising for our first glass of champagne at the Ritz in Paris.

Some of our map games, however, have had very different results. Two weeks on a caldera in Santorini. Two hours in the caves of Veuve Cliqout. Late night walks in Deep Cove. That’s what makes the game so fun. Once in while, it’s not a game.  

But it’s dangerous for me to see the world as just “a field full of exits,” instead of looking for entrances. It’s dangerous to go shopping when what I really want is a Joni Mitchell song and an adventure. 

phpXemcCaSpanish love
Codorniu Reserva Raventos Cava Brut ($19.95, 750 mL)
Fruity, fresh and a little bitter from the herbal tea and floral touches. But most refreshing is the price. Especially if the night moves you to pour over maps and toast to the real Spain. You will need to save.

– Anthrolpologie Jeans

– A book that makes the perfect champagne tray

– “A field full of exits,” from Ondaatje’s Divisadero

More Grace

Grace in Window

I love this window on Maple Street & 10th in Vancouver. Its just a block from work, and I walk past it often on my way to La Petite France for Illy coffee and lunch. The window with its pretty chairs and white balls of twine always makes me stop. It must be a designer’s office, but I’ve never seen anyone in there, which makes it easy to believe (as I have many times) that it’s a secret message just for me.

Pale sunlight,
pale the wall.

Love moves away.
The light changes.

I need more grace
than I thought.

– Rumi

I first read that last line in 2004 as part of my horoscope in the Westender. It was a difficult year to say the least. But reading that line, I felt a sudden relief in surrendering to the need for more grace. Even more grace than I thought.

Today, I am full of love and full of light. Nonetheless, I like to practice my grace mantra where I can. And when better than Champagne Wednesday?

Ash is bringing home the bubbly, so I will let you know what we have. Oh, and let me know if anyone out there is joining us. And if so, cheers.

Look for a collage journal tomorrow.


La Petite France – 2655 Arbutus Street, Vancouver, BC

The Going-to-Work Song

Paul Costello Photo

Ash and I have a song we like to sing it the morning. It goes like this: “Going-to-work, crrrh crrh crrrh.”

The “crrh crrhh” sounds really need a live performance in order to get the full effect…but the general idea is one of friction, resistance, denial, fingers slipping off the cliff of our lovely weekend.

This photograph from Paul Costello pretty much sums it up.

In fact, has anyone seen Ashleah?

The issue is this: I want to be a writer. All those private conversations I’ve had with myself, filed away into so many journals – I am ready to consider them. More importantly, I am ready to act on them. I think this blog is a good start. And hopefully, where words live, readers will come. It’s hard to believe how many of you have stopped by already. Thank you.

Inspiration is such an electric thing. Even the going-to-work song had a little more spring this morning. If you are looking for some, try her and her.

Ok, back to work!

Enjoy your day. Wherever you are. Tomorrow is Wednesday…


Le lounge lézard

Little Lulu by Liza Hirst

This pretty much captures how I plan to spend my day today.

It’s a painting by the talented Liza Hirst of Dordogne, France as mentioned here in one of my favourite design blogs by Anna Spiro. I share her love of paperweights, flowers and anything French.

pretty desk scape by anna spiro


Anna Spiro Card

I bought my very first paperweight at Les Puces (the fleas) in Paris and I so wish I had bought one or 2 more. Right now, it sits on my desk at work, but as soon I find the perfect old table for a desk in our second bedroom, I plan to grow my collection. And, since a trip to Paris is not in my immediate future, I’ve been spending my time at an equally enchanting flea market – etsy.

Here are some paperweights I have my eye on. I just can’t decide which one to buy…

PaperweightJane Austin PaperweightFlower paperweightParis Paperweight

Etsy Finds: 1) Bacio2003 $33; 2) Chini $20; 3) Botanicraft $24; 4) PaperFlowers $10