Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Coldest place in the world today

Coldest Place today was......

South Pole -38C

Calgary -35C

That's right, we were the second coldest place in the world, and we live here because???????????????????????????????????????????????????????

My kids still think their hometown is the greatest place on earth, I am having second thoughts and dreaming of the sun and warmth.

Good news is tomorrow is supposed to be a balmy -13, shorts and T-Shirts anyone?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

What I am Thankful for

Reflections of Falling Leaves at Thanksgiving

I am thankful for the beauty and serenity around my neighbourhood, where I can walk alone or with my dog or with friends.

I am thankful for my many dear friends, for sharing stories, laughter and a bottle of wine with them and sometimes crying with them

I am thankful for my loving family, for the dreams we share, and the lessons we teach each other; for the clutter that reminds me we are human, and the dust that means we are busy living.

I am thankful for life, having lost two dear friends this year, it reminds me how precious it is and that we need to appreciate every day as if it were a gift.

I am thankful for good health, having family members who are recovering from illness.

Here is baby Jason so peaceful!

Older brother Justin enjoyed running through the leaves

The colours were amazing

The day was quiet and calm

We felt so glad to enjoy the scenery

The trees were like a cathedral around us

Hi Justin - he waved and said hi to each passer by and every puppydog

But he enjoyed the leaves most of all

There were very few people

Almost had the park to ourselves

The reflections in the water were stunning

The shapes the reflections formed were cool

There was also plenty of birds, grasshoppers and a few ducks

Even the clouds are reflected in this picture

It was a glorious fall day

October in Calgary so far has been better than the summer

I even turned the heat off and the air conditioning back on

This walk was so lovely we went back again today

Though there were a few more people

It was still a memorable walk

Justin brought a bucket today to collect leaves

And him and his daddy made little tree ghosts and pumpkins filled with leaves for Halloween

I bought some too and then realized I barely have any leaves in my yard

Is it stealing to take some from a neighbours yard?

I mean you'd be doing them a favour, they were just leaving them there anyway.........jejeje

I am thankful for many things, Happy Thanksgiving! Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Remembering Ibiza

Sometime in the late 1970's while we were living on the lovely island of Ibiza, my sister and I were invited to a pool and curry party at a lovely villa that was previously owned by the Bee Gees (Brothers Gibb) who frequented the island.  I was thrilled to find a link to it, what a blast from the past!

I still remember the very long wooden table filled with an endless variety of toppings for the curry.  Of course the Bee Gees music was probably playing as they had many big hits in the late 70's Staying Alive, Massachussetts, Night Fever etc. 

Was very excited to find this link. Some Bee Gees music to set the mood for back in the day. Imagine all night dancing and walking home with the sunrise with a group of great friends, having breakfast in a beach bar and starting it all over again the next day......

1983 Mom and I outside a trendy bar on Cala Des Moro Beach, called Cafe del Mar, San Antonio, Ibiza
An interesting write up about this bar, (I still have one of the cassettes from their now famous music).
Some pictures from the interior

Outside our Villa in San Antonio, Ibiza

1982 Some of the local ex pats and entertainers at an End of Season Party, (I am in the middle with my eyes closed)
San Antonio Ibiza

I enjoyed this write up about Ibiza, thought it captured the story of this unique island somewhat, and there are many Ibiza stories I could write from our time there, this speaks a little about it.  This island always drew people back once you have spent time there, it is impossible not to go back. I was fortunate to spend my summers there in my teen years and winters in the Canary Islands. Still have many friends and fond memories from this time that I remember, many still live there.

Why the stars love Ibiza By Stephen Armstrong, Mail on Sunday

Last updated at 15:20 16 August 2004

Kylie: among Ibiza's many celebrity fans

Say Ibiza and most people think of all-night clubbing or drunken Brits fighting and vomiting in the streets. But away from the tourist hot spots is an island of beautiful scenery and one that has been a magnet for celebrities for decades.

During the seven days I was there, P Diddy's yacht was berthed in Ibiza Town harbour and Kylie Minogue was rumoured to be catching some rays in the hills in the north. And these were only the ones I heard about.

Most celebrities head out to Ibiza quite simply because the locals don't gossip about them or tell pushy journalists like me where anyone is staying.

In the Fifties, the island was a haven for Hollywood stars. Errol Flynn was a regular in Ibiza Town, dodging sex scandals back home. He would berth his yacht Zaca along the waterfront and come ashore with an entourage including Prince Bertil of Switzerland, uncle of today's Spanish King Juan Carlos.

They would drink in Casa Pepe, a little bar in the fishermen's quarter, eat at the Royalty Hotel in Santa Eulalia and party in the Mar Blau nightclub behind Ibiza Town. Sadly, only the Royalty survives today, but I found it did a mean chicken salad.

Elizabeth Taylor and Ursula Andress were also regular visitors throughout the Fifties. Andress even bought a house on the island.

London's acting aristocracy soon got to know about Ibiza's relaxed anonymity, too. First came Robert Stevens, Maggie Smith and Charlie Kay. They were soon followed by Diana Rigg and John Mills.

Then Robin Maugham took a place outside Santa Eulalia, near American matinee idol Sal Mineo's house, and he was soon joined by Leslie Phillips, Nigel Davenport and Terry-Thomas. When Laurence Olivier arrived in 1965, it secured Ibiza's reputation as the most fashionable place in Europe.

I was disappointed to find the showbiz set's favoured haunts around Santa Eulalia are now less champagne and caviar, more egg and chips.

The site of Diana Rigg's villa where she sunbathed naked is a grim modern suburb. Terry-Thomas's old house is an upmarket rural hotel, with a small working farm, run by his son Cushan, who's happy to chat to fans of his dad.

Susan Elliot, Denholm's widow, is the last of this era, however, living alone in their purpose-built villa and is unhappy to speak about Denholm's last days on the island battling AIDS.

These days, the real glamour is around Ibiza Town or at Pike's Hotel. Pike's owner - Tony Pike - was a typical backpacking Aussie, who fell in love with an English girl he met while visiting Ibiza. They settled down on the island and built a hotel.

Almost as soon as it was finished, a music industry type called Andrew Napier Bell came scouting for a video location. Bell loved Tony's hotel and decided to film the whole thing there. His band was an up-and-coming British duo called Wham! and the video was for their single Club Tropicana.

Suddenly everyone started coming to stay and the foyer is now draped in photos of the famous, all giving old Tony Pike a great big hug for the camera. There's Freddie Mercury, Kylie, Sade, Naomi Campbell, Jon Bon Jovi, Grace Jones, Jean-Claude Van Damme - all grinning by the pool, or in the bar.

Tony Pike started running through his favourite guests. George Michael - 'when he stays here he comes alone and gets a cab to Amnesia to go dancing'. Joan Baez - 'one night she led a kind of conga line round the pool, everyone just dancing to her voice'. Julio Iglesias - 'always does his exercises round the pool'. Kylie - 'lovely girl. But she doesn't get on well with women, except for my wife'. Freddie Mercury - 'the most incredible bloke I've ever met. The first time ever he sang Barcelona it was in my bar and he had his 41st birthday party in my hotel. When I asked him what the budget was he said, 'Budget? Do leave off Pike. I want the works and I want it to be remembered for years to come'.'

I had toyed with staying at Pike's, but decided to opt for the peace of a villa. The only question was, where should I stay if I wanted that celebrity feeling? In the north, between Sant Joan and the hippie beach Benirras, you'll find the supermodel villas. Elle MacPherson, Linda Evangelista and Jade Jagger have places up there and the rest of the fashionista crowd rent nearby. Feeling unsure if I could cope with bumping into Kate Moss in the local shop, I opted for the south.

Cala D'Hort and Sant Josep are dotted with music industry villas. Noel Gallagher recently bought Mike Oldfield's old place, while DJs Pete Tong and Eric Morillo are nearer San Rafael - handy for the superclubs Privilege and Amnesia. It helps to live near the factory gate, I guess.

Many villas on Ibiza are converted farmhouses, ranging from the ultra-luxurious with pool and view of the airport to my smaller, three-bedroom Casa Suner - still with a pool, naturally.

Casa Suner was ideally placed for the airport, Ibiza Town and my favourite beach - Cala D'Hort. I spent most of last year on the island researching a book on the history of the people who came here - from Romans looking for a good time to today's celebrities.

Cala D'Hort is a great place to get away from the bustle of a summer season. It is a beautiful, quiet, sandy bay with two great fish restaurants. Sadly, the beach isn't ideal for those who want to star-spot. The jet set favour the secluded, hideaway beaches in the north of the island or, if they're feeling decadent, Las Salinas Beach or Playa d'en Bossa.

Playa d'en Bossa is a full-on, headsdown, get-out-of-the-way-if-you're-not-here-for-fun, party beach. Home to the beach bar Bora Bora, at the height of the summer it's almost a 24-hour open-air disco.

Las Salinas is more sedate - but only just. Walking from the car park brings you out on to the sand near the Jockey Club beach bar.

Head to the right and you're in family territory. Head to the left, towards the thumping beats from the libidinous Sa Trinxa bar and you might as well be heading to Bora Bora, where costumes reveal more than they conceal.

The Jockey Club mediates between the two with chill-out music playing at a respectable volume. Celebrities, of course, always turn left.

On Ibiza there are more high-quality restaurants than you can shake a chicken wing at. Sa Capella, out by San Antonio, is very music industry, Bambuddha Grove, in the north of the island, serves an eclectic mix of Thai and modern European to glamorous Eurotrash.

KM5, towards the airport, is the discreet choice of the A-list and Can Costa in Ibiza Town serves mainly club workers and locals, offering excellent food at low prices.

Of course, you're going to have to try one of the nightclubs. Don't let age worry you. One of the regulars at Pacha is 65. He's left over from the Seventies when most of the big-name clubs were built. At that time, the Velvet Underground's Nico, Pink Floyd, Romy Schneider, Terence Stamp, Roman Polanski, Bob Dylan, Goldie Hawn, Nina van Pallandt and Niki Lauda had all bought houses on Ibiza, as had the Bee Gees and Roger Taylor of Queen.

At Pacha the manager, a Liverpool lad called Danny Whittle, told me that last year U2, Mariah Carey, Puff Daddy and Mick Jagger had all graced his dancefloor. Elle MacPherson loves to pop in for a boogie and, like George Michael at Amnesia, always travels without her minders.

Robbie Williams prefers Manumission at Privilege but does tend to arrive with his entourage, which isn't very Ibizan.

Indeed, I popped into Space, the daytime nightclub (if you can say that) and found myself pushed aside by Puff Daddy/P Diddy's entourage as his minders forced a route across the crowded dancefloor for Mr Diddy and a blonde who looked an awful lot like Lady Victoria Hervey.

No one was terribly impressed. Apparently there's a contract between those seeking sanctuary on the island and those who live there - be nice and they'll be nice in return.

This makes Ibiza one of the last places on Earth where the famous can genuinely live like everyone else.

Or look at it another way, I thought, as I stood by my pool looking down on to Ibiza Town's magnificent Renaissance Walls, trying to decide where to have dinner and whether I might take in a late night drink at a fashionable nightclub - it's a place where everyone can live like they're famous.

Stephen Armstrong's book The White Island - 2,000 Years of Pleasure In Ibiza is published by Bantam Press at £10.99.

Print this article

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/holidaytypeshub/article-592469/Why-stars-love-Ibiza.html#ixzz0ydffyEPV

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A listen down memory lane with Roger Hodgson

The Voice of Supertramp  - Listening to them in the car brought back memories of being a teenager in Spain in the 1970's/80's  - my sister and I both listened to a lot of Supertramp! These are just some links of him solo in different concerts, some with an orchestra, great especially Give A Little Bit.

School http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CskW6DD8MGA&feature=related
Long Way Home http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtIBl131BIM&feature=related
The logical Song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcX1qA1Etc8&feature=related
Give a little bit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1Uicc-6I-M&NR=1

Sunday, August 8, 2010

2010 BC Holidays
On Wednesday July 28th we started on our annual drive to BC.  Leaving Calgary we started through the picturesque Rockies past Kananaskis Country and Canmore past Banff.

For the first night we stopped in Sicamouse at the Best Western and had a lovely time in the pool, hot tub and free breakfast the next morning with waffles etc.  While we were there we had ice cream at the Dutchman Dairy, fior tasty Ice Cream on a farm where the kids could pet the cows, see a camel and a donkey.

The next day we arrived in Vancouver at the Tswassen Ferry we bumped into Gail and Donna returning from their trip to the UK and Tenerife - they were only a few lanes away from us.

Eric drove much of the way, and was very excited about it!

Tigger is Jessies special friend in the back seat.

Jessica, Aunty Gail and Eric at the ferry

Our first stop was at Michelle and Dick's in Sidney where we had a lovely visit with our cousins

Jessie and Cousin Danielle

With my sister Michelle
Eric, Cousin Stephen and Uncle Dickie

Eric and cousin Stephen
Some of the Deerfolk that Dickie makes
More Deerfolk

Dickie's latest Grape Trelis

Michelle and Dickie's rambling garden

Dickie's outdoor Garden Beer Lounge

More relaxing garden

There are Veggie patches, Berrie Patches, rose bushes, there are many lovely areas to see

How many cousins does it take to put up a tent?

Some flowers in the garden

Cousin Bevin with Jessica and cousin Stephen

On Saturday we went to Parksville for the Show and Shine Car show that David likes to be in and there was a sandcastle competition, we had a lovely day at Rathtrevor beach with Uncle John and made our own sand castles

While David, John and Eric played golf, Jessie and I walked to Rathtrevor beach

Jessie did some handstands

Will need to get the final shots from Uncle John because the project was incomplete at this point.

Milk shakes and our favourite legendary burgers at the Whitespot in Parksville/Qualicum YUMMY!

The next day David headed back to Calgary on the 6:20am ferry and we headed to Sproat Lake

Our family has had this spot on Sproat Lake outside Port Alberni since the early 1960's when my grandparents purchased the property with a 2 bedroom cabin there.  My sister and I spent many childhood summers here with friends and family and I learned to swim and dive right off of this warf.  My uncle eventually built this house here and now we visit with my kids, so it has been a wonderful family vacation spot for generations.

Every August long weekend, my Uncle hosts a gathering of his university chums and cousins, now with their wives, and their grown up kids, again this has been a tradition now for a couple of generations, they come in tents, campers and some stay in the house.  When we arrived, some of them were still there and so we had a visit and a cold one on the dock.

Al took Don and then Eric out on the hobie cat

The kids had their first swim as soon as they got there

Getting the "diaper" on Eric for the hobie cat sail

Off they go!

Good wind so they go off across the lake

Uncle Al took us on some boat rides and the kids went skiing around the lake

Al took us to a neat pebble beach area with great views of the lake and mountains

Despite many large homes built along the water these days, there are still many natural untouched areas and small islands

Some of the guys jumped off of this rock into the lake below, it was quite high up

Al parked the boat on this little pebble beach

Al and the kids climbed up the rocks and took some pictures of the view

On the way back Al went very fast!

The kids wanted to go waterskiing

Jess went first

and went around the lake for a while

The next day after more skiing Jess also went out on the hobie cat

Our last day we returned to Sidney to say cheerio to Aunty Mich and Uncle Dickie and the cousins and then stopped our last night in Kamloops with our friends Toni and Troy and their girls Diara and Kayla.

Stopped at Cathedral Grove and admired the big trees

The kids cooled off in the pool while Toni and I enjoyed some wine and caught up on the past year, it was Troys birthday so Diara had made him cupcakes and cookies.

Pippa and Cooper entertained us, they were cute!

Great holiday but too short, can't wait till the next one!