Monday, January 08, 2007

near the end

I have only a week left in Canada. Being back in North America was much easier than I had expected it would be, even in this small town...but I know that when I return to the UK, London will put her claws into me again and I will stay...


One day last week it got all the way up to 10C (50F) in southern Ontario. I see it will be in the mid 50s C in London this week. Well, here winter has returned and it has been snowing for a day and a night now. It is actually blowing snow out there, so I opted to stay home and blog rather than go out with my mother for her hair appointment and to "walk about" with her. "Walk about" is her escape from going stir crazy in her room after she does the housework, and consists of messing about in the shops before going to the gym.


My dad flew in from Calgary to see mum and me for the first time in a year and a half. He was nicer and more civil - warmer, even - than he ever had been since the divorce and we spent a rather happy weekend together, though it was a bit like rubbing our noses in it when he would keep coming up with talk of his "destiny" and his "simplified" life.

We went to the mall, which took all of 15 minutes because it is a small one, then a further 15 minutes in the bookshop where Dad bought 3 things for $66 CDN. Bloody heck, I just looked at the back of my book and see that it is $29.95. *speechless*

Stuff costs a lot of numbers in this country.

It is called Theatre of the Mind: raising the curtain on consciousness by Jay Ingram, a Canadian national bestseller. Dad got that for me, and for himself he got Hyperspace the latest book by Michio Kaku, the fascinating Japanese-American theoretical physicist from California - he is the co-creator of String Theory. (Did anyone see Stephen Greene's documentary about that and the Theory of Everything last year? I blogged about it.) Some of Kaku's documentaries about Time and Parallel Worlds have been on the BBC lately and as soon as I saw his book I raved about him so, as Dad likes that kind of thing too, he got the book. Dad is heavily into sudoku, so he bought a mini set of those...a very expensive shopping trip if you ask me.

We went to Tim Horton's for coffee. You know how Starbucks is popular all over the world, but people still choose to go elsewhere? Well, apologies to any Canadians reading this, but I think Tim's is a mind-control conspiracy. They flock there like it is the only destination on the planet. Must be something the government puts in the double shot coffee or the trans-fat-free donuts.

After that we wanted to see Casino Royale so we could pass judgement on Daniel Craig's Bond and enjoy a bit of 007 action in an Aston Martin. But the only showing was at 9.40PM, and the only thing we could see was Happy Feet. I enjoyed it so much more than I had expected I would. If you don't care about penguins now, you will after that. I just wanted to hug Mumble, and the banter of his amigos was priceless.

For dinner we headed straight to One99 again, where the staff remember my mother and me from the New Year's bash. Dad enjoyed the food. We had starters (premiers) and mains (secondaries), but no room for dessert.

Dad's organic venison tenderloins on a bed of mashed potato, with a giant prawn and a lobster tail and claws, and winter veggies.

His starter was Woolwich goat cheese wrapped in phyllo, with curried squash chutney, sumac syrup and plantain chips.

Mum's seafood platter with scallops, coconut poached giant prawns, a sweet potato stack, and seafood paella.

Her starter was cedar-smoked and maple-cured salmon on confit potatoes, french beans, creme fraiche and candied garlic.

I had the special: Sea bass on a bed of cilantro polenta, white asparagus and green beans.

My starter had been BBQ breast of quail with grilled fennel, pomegranate, scallops, and mango sauce. Mmmmm BBQ quail is the tops!!!

Oh yea, and we had started with an Amuse of 3 goat's cheese and trout balls rolled in black and white sesame seeds...

Seriously, One99 comes up with the most interesting combinations of flavours. I found out they have a weekly streaming video of cooking tips on their website. I've just been there and discovered their specialty coffees and hot chocolates with amaretto and frangelico and Bailey's, etc.

I drank a Cosmopolitan cocktail in a fancy glass, though there was no burnt orange peel in it this time:


I don't want to confuse you all with too many subjects, but I don't have many opportunities for blogging and have to just stick it all down here when I can.

I can't blog about the BBQ that my aunt Eve and uncle Tom did for dinner before taking my dad to the airport because I am waiting for Dad to email the pics from his camera.

Here are a couple of pics outside of town when my cousin Pierre took me to the Dufferin County Museum Archives, which was bigger and more interesting than I had expected. There were three buildings on the ground floor - a railway signal house (you hoist the flag if you want it to stop and pick you up), an Orangemen's meeting house (a society founded on the name of William of Orange, same as the ones in Ireland), and a settler's 3-bedroom log cabin. He knows the curator (who wasn't there) and the manager, Darrel, who was really nice and gave us the grand tour and more, with sneak peeks into the vaults and the offices!

There are endless artefacts related to local history, and donations still coming in from people's attics. From biscuit tins to old fire engines. I learned so many things, like ... well, would you like me to write another post about this in the next few days?

If so, I will save the pics for that, and meantime here are two sunset photos from last week when we were walking around with our coats in our hands:

The view from the front yard.

The firs in the back yard.

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AussieGuyanese said...

Hey Olivia,
just read your post about dinner, its great to see another ex Guyanese Foodie out there who can appreciate that dinner. Lovely pictures

Olivia said...

Hey AussieG - thanks and welcome!
Actually, I am half Guyanese and sorry to say have never been there. My mother left in 1971 and hasn't been back since '74!

Jia Li said...

Nice post there libbs, I'm working on a pinhole camera at the moment.

Anonymous said...

just wrote a comment and lost it... so let me start again.

first, the pics are so beautiful. i love the skies in north america and it's something i dearly miss.

trout balls? hmmm...didn't realize trout had balls. i'm assuming these are some type of crab cakes but w/ trout. ??? white asparagus... is that similar to green - taste wise? never had them. they look a lot meatier though.

the cosmo looks so cosmo! love the glass the best. ummmm, just the thought of one makes my mouth water!

if i were your father, not sure i would have used the word simplistic (if that's the word.. not having the blog in front of me - i forget fast)... that can sting. was he trying to make the point to you and ur mom that he's not interested in a reunion or something?

enjoy the rest of your time. would love to hear about your trip w/ your cousin. sounds wonderful.

Anonymous said...

I so enjoy reading about your food adventures. The pictures make me drool. I always have to be in the middle of eating something before I can read your posts or I'll be starving! :)

The Moody Minstrel said...

Wow...this is all leaving me speechless. That restaurant just doesn't let up, does it?

Apparently neither does that Canadian sky!

If you want to try shopping with lots of numbers, try coming to Japan. When you shop you deal mainly in four or five digits.

Maybe we should take a poll: "Where do you go instead of Starbucks?" Actually, I like Starbucks, and I do go there sometimes, but I prefer Tully's.

Anonymous said...

"organic venison tenderloins on a bed of mashed potato"

Porn! Filthy, Filthy, gorgeous food porn! Yum!


Anonymous said...

hey Liv,
Sorry I haven't visited you in a while. I love the pics.
Have fun in your last week in canada and consider a little side trip to H-town.

Prerona said...

am back from hols
had been home
was awesome
over now
till next year!
happy new year sweetie!

Anonymous said...

Oh my, that meal looks absolutely scrumptuous. Now I'm hungry!!!!

Anonymous said...

Go see Casino Royale - top car....

Tronno is too cold at this time of year - I was there seven years ago to the day and it was the coldest winter in history. Still walked to the car in shirt sleeves though....

Olivia said...

Jia Li - cool, I nearly made one of those once...or did I? Was long ago. What you produce with it will be interesting.


Tooners - I know, the sunsets...!

:) You did make me laugh - next time, Show Original Post. Trout and goat's cheese balls. No, not trout balls literally :P

White asparagus don't have the strong taste or fibrousness of green ones, they are more meaty, watery and crunchy.

About my dad, no I am sure he has no fear of reunion. But he does tend to get stuck on an idea and repeat it...

I will try to write about the Dufferin Museum before I return to London. I fear I have already waited too many days and forgotten a lot.


ML - hehe, glad I could engage your senses so well!
I do love food. Life would be so boring without good food - and music.


Minstrel - no, you're right it doesn't!

Japan seems to be as numbery as Italy - yes I had seen that in one of the late night Japanese language programmes I watched once.

I don't like Starbucks, their flavours are not strong enough. In London, I like Caffe Nero or Carluccio's.


AMP - Yes yes yes, say it again, Pete!


Vanessa - on sweetie you know I can't :(
By the way, Mum and I talked about you this morning - and what a good choice Res Life made when they assigned us. Were your ears burning???


Prerona - ah, nearly came to your blog the other day but am short of catching up time as I am STILL on my hols :)
Happy New Year to you too!


Beenz - Hm...either you have a restaurant near you like that, or you will have to experiment at home. Or just eat vicariously through my foodie blogs :P


Anonyflop - were it not for your "top car" comment, I would not know it was YOU! Will you ever make up a name for yourself?

Hehe, Tronno. They do say it like that and I like to take the mickey.
Can you remember what the temp was?
I saw a boy walking to school in a t-shirt and soon after it started snowing, big wet flakes.