Thursday, September 30, 2010

From Russia with Love

Dear Willow,

I am so sorry that I won't be able to be at the ball today. I was intent on inviting Omar Sharif (Yuri Zhivago) as my guest, and he insisted that I travel to Russia to meet him and accompany him on the long voyage back to "Willow Manor".

I had chosen the dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in "Love In The Afternoon", but alas,

Upon my arrival in Moscow, "Yuri" informed me that we would be terribly delayed due to unforeseen snow storms! Yes, my dear, at this time of year!!!

Imagine my shock at arriving at the good doctor's country home and finding it quite an ice palace. This is NOT what I had envisaged for your party!

It was obvious to me from the get-go that it would take more than a few good White Russians to thaw out this scene!

At least my date is trying to be oh so gallant in providing me with warmth and charm. Under the circumstances, these "woolly" Russian socks will have to do, although it totally ruins the look I was so trying to pull off.

Russian Borscht

Wistfully, I was imagining all the delicacies you'd be serving at this time, but due to our lack of resources, we were lucky to be able to cobble together enough ingredients to make a traditional and sparkling dish. I was pleased that the colour of this dish matched my socks!

White Russian Cocktail

2 fluid ounces Kahlua
1 fluid ounce vodka
1 fluid ounce cream or milk

I must admit that things are starting to get a bit warmer here in the countryside and with the help of a few 'White Russians' ahem....Yuri is now "Darling Yuri".

Always the charmer, my date has changed into his party togs and things now have the potential of becoming positively steamy! He's pulled out his Balalaika

Sweet Willow, how I wished I could have been at the party with the good doctor, who, as you know, is also a poet. I would have requested that he read to all your guests. As it is now, he is reading to ME. By candlelight. It's snowing, we're in Russia in a country house..this is just like being in a dream!

"Winter Night"
Snow on snow the blizzard blew,
All frontiers enswirling.
A candle on the table stood -
A tallow candle burning.

Boris Pasternak

All at once we are jostled from our all night reverie by the crew who tell us that there is a break in the weather and that if we move quickly, we can make the next train and get out of the country.

In the light of day, "Darling Yuri" clad in his rough overcoat is Yuri with the balalaika embedded under his arm and whisking us off in the sleigh once again.

Oh my dear Willow. Look what I spotted a woman wearing on the train! I shall bring you back yet another Zhivago hat ...the least I can do for being so late to the ball.

We are ever so sorry to have been so detained. Hopefully we will be there in time to join you all for brunch! In the meantime, our glasses are raised to you all at the Willow Manor Ball.
Ваше здоровье! To your health!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Let's put it all together now....

We've watched her dance her way through Austria and know that she certainly has the rhythm in her feet. Now for her new trick. It's always good to have your Grandma Sue visiting. She puts barrettes in your hair and you learn how to clap!

And of course, the musical accompaniment. Love that the label says
"Daddy Said"!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Worth the while

Now that Netflix is finally in Canada I can keep up with all my US friends' recommendations.

I joined on the One-DVD-a-month-plan, which ends up being cheaper than Rogers...AND most importantly, I can get obscure titles which are not available elsewhere. The DVD's are delivered in the mail and returned the same way. So far the process has been wonderful.

I love foreign films and sub-titled movies and this program really fills the bill. I had read "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" by Muriel Barbery and was delighted to know that there is a french film "Le Hérisson". The musical score is by Gabriel Yared who is also a movie music guru of sorts, having done the scores to many popular releases.

I found the movie adorable, for it's quirkiness and wonderful character study. I think my artsy friends who enjoy journaling, photography, and drawing will all find something intriguing in this one.

My Current Zip List:

An Angel at My Table (1990)
Temple Grandin (2010)
Villa Amalia (2009)
Mao's Last Dancer (2010)
Love Me If You Dare (Jeu d'enfants) (2004)
I Am Love (Io sono l'amore) (2010)
The Statement (2004)
Letters to Juliet

Any other recommendations?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Magical Traditions

The Mystery

The Sparkle of it all!

The Brightest of Smiles!

The Fantastic Colours

The Tastes

The Family and the Stories

Dancing lessons for the upcoming celebrations

The Bride-to-be

The JOY!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Did you ever see....

I've heard the term 'Mango Lassi' before, but never really knew what they tasted like. Basically it's a mango delicious. This non-alcoholic drink is great with spicy Indian food.

Mango Lassi Recipe

There are tons of recipes for this and I think they will all turn out much like the one we had, you can use honey instead of sugar, but according to the bartender... ICE is a MUST! It is also quite permissible to use canned mangoes...who knew.

I have to add this music, because every time I say "Lassi" it just makes me think of this silly little ditty homophone, which happened to be one of my very favourite elementary school songs. In those days uninhibited 5 and 6 year old kids really hammed it up to this one!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The night before....

There were so many festivities leading up to this magnificent event that it began to feel a bit like the anticipation of Christmas! This was one of my favourite parts. A true art, no two hands are the same.

There is evidence that mehndi as a ceremonial art form originated in ancient India.

Henna paste is usually applied on the skin using a plastic cone or a paint brush, but sometimes a small metal-tipped jacquard bottle used for silk painting (a jac bottle) is employed. The painted area is then wrapped with tissue, plastic, or medical tape to lock in body heat, creating a more intense colour on the skin. The wrap is worn three to six hours, or sometimes overnight and then removed. When first removed, the henna design is pale to dark orange in colour and gradually darkens through oxidation, over the course of 24 to 72 hours. The final colour is reddish brown and can last anywhere from one to three weeks depending on the quality and type of henna paste applied, as well as where it was applied on the body (thicker skin stains darker and longer than thin skin).

Mother and Sister of the Groom

Intricate patterns of mehndi are typically applied to brides before wedding ceremonies.
One of The Bride's Hands...

The Groom's name is interwoven in the design and is only revealed on the wedding day. It was a little tricky eating with all the wet henna on our hands, but of course we persevered! :)

Explanation: Wikepedia
Photos: Mine

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My Favourite Thing

This just in from Brussels, Belgium. Still on the Sound of Music Theme....a little Sunday smile from Zoë! (And...Jane..and Michael, and the cats..Pi and Finnegan) who are about to have their lives changed forever as the crawling commences!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Series of note

Recently discovered. Lark Rise to Candleford. A wonderful BBC production of which I will try and find the entire series.

This story just lulls me. I love the characters and the time period. I shall try and find the entire series, but for now, check out your local PBS station. I've taped many shows and hope it never ends! I'm hooked. I want Alf to marry Minnie!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

While on the theme.....

While the Toronto Film Festival brought all of these "players" to town, I can't wait to see this latest Woody Allen film. Always a bit quirky, I've been more into his later works than his earlier offerings. Barcelona! (Vicky Cristina)

Antonio Banderas :)

New York Times Article

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Someone walks this way?

Anyone in the mood for a little ghost story?

Not sure why this picture turned out so oddly??? Look closely....don't you see waves of energy here?

Wonder if she walked this way?

So. Anyone booking into Room 3327???? Not I.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Catch a Wave

Now that the 'New Year' is kicking in, the cake is gone and classes are in session, I have to get back into the gym. The diet begins!

My favourite workouts are Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. I hope to be there in earnest next week. I did get to one session last week and of course the music makes the class. This is one of my "faves" and just perfect for my first essay...

"What I did on my summer vacation"
Put this music on and you're there.

Thanks Dev!

Wanna' share an apple lady?

Sittin' on top of the world

Great spot for a wedding - or a quick respite to burning feet on hot sand!

A splendid place to slip into and change into our swim costumes!

Oooh la la...isn't she a grand old lady??

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Cake Day

First of all you have to pull up a chair. A perfect chair.

Candles are perfect at any time of day.

Anyone for a cup of tea?

Let's dim the lights at sundown. Fresh Figs.

The perfect cheeses for Merlot.

AHHHHHH the Merlot!

AND the Cake....make a wish. I did...Got it!

Virgo's are always being accused of being perfectionists. I'm so glad!