Category Archives: Uncategorized

Escape to Capri

Am just back from a wonderful week down on the Amalfi Coast, with jaunts to Capri, Pompeii and Naples with my lovely Canadian friends Craig and JP. Landing in Naples, I dashed across town on the airport bus to the port (good value) where I met up with them, and we hopped straight onto the ferry to the island of Capri. The sky was blue, the sun was warm, and, it being September, the holiday crowds had thinned. They had booked us a fantastic Air BnB villa in nestled against the hills, with a fantastic view of the town. Once the day trippers caught the last ferry back to Naples at 7pm, the alleyways and town square quietened down, and we enjoyed an evening walk past the tempting shops until the delicious smells wafting from the E’Divino Restaurant beckoned us through their door.

The next day we got up early to explore the island, fortified by frequent stops for frothy cappucinos and lemon granita.











Mood Boards

I spent the day yesterday making mood boards for a client’s new flat. Fabrics, paint, stone and wood samples and magazine pictures I’d been collecting for two weeks spread out around me on the floor (the largest working surface in my flat).



I cut and pasted and selected and rejected…looking up at the sky through my window every now and then…


…getting up to go out onto the balcony when I heard the chug of a canal boat…


…or the splash of oars slapping into the water.


And, by the end of the day, they were all done. Ten rooms, ten boards. It didn’t feel like work at all.


A Dabble with Dye

In between running back and forth (twice!) on buses to get a spare set of keys cut for the new flat, helping my new flatmate Tangogirl unpack 85 boxes, and cleaning every surface of the flat, not to mention biting all my fingernails to the quick as Vanman and Laughing Boy attempted to fit my 3-seater sofa up some awkward stairs and an even more awkward hallway into the living room (they did it by the skin of their teeth!), Tangogirl asked me to dye her hair a deep, rich red. As you do. So I put on me marigolds…


…whipped up the formula…


…painted it on a bit at a time until it was all done…


…and, ta da!


Not bad at all if I do say so myself.

Jamjarjude’s Birthday, Part 2

…so my sister Jamjarjude and I finished up our muffins in Chemainus and headed down the highway back to Nanaimo to look for further adventures to celebrate her birthday. I spotted a sign to a bison ranch so we turned off the road and followed the cryptic signs until we looped back onto the highway. Blurgh. We tried again, turning down another road. Still no bison ranch. But, we did find the sign for Wildplay


and, JJJ, spurred on to cock a snook at death-defying danger, pulled the car into the parking lot and said: “It’s my birthday. I want to go zip lining and you’re coming too.”


Well, I never ever dreamed I’d be zip lining when I woke up that morning, and I am a coward…no, let me rephrase that, I am a lily-livered, shivering mass of cowardice when faced with anything remotely daredevilly. “Time to push the envelope,” JJJ said. “Get out of your comfort zone. Throw caution to the wind,” forcing me to call “Uncle!” if only to stop the barrage of cliches.

So, lucre was paid and we were harnessed up…


…and watched our intrepid guides Brian and Brock “starts with a B and ends with a rock” demonstrate the correct position…


which JJJ perfected on the first go (she being a natural athlete).


I managed to swing around a bit but managed to get to the end of the practice zip line in one piece. Then we were off to the first platform…


…and my knees started to knock as JJJ intrepidly launched herself off the platform and over a gaping gully thousands of kilometres below us (I may be exaggerating a tad, but we were bloody high off the ground).



So, I did it. I launched myself out into the unknown. All started well enough, but my feet started to drift to the right and my body to the left and suddenly I was backwards. Merde. I shifted and twisted and managed to move myself back to the straight position just before I reached the platform. Well done me.

We did it again, Judy the natural zip liner, and me corkscrewing through the air until all the twisting and turning slowed me down and I hung there on the zip line stuck over the yawning abyss below me (I may be exaggerating again, bear with me). Brock called over to me from the platform to grab the black break cord, which I very happily did, and he hooked himself onto the zip line and shimmied down to me, hooked his feet around me, and pulled me to the platform. Hey, that wasn’t so bad. A great way to meet guys!

JJJ was rolling her eyes. “Oh, Age! Always the drama queen!” Then we High Five’d and our zip lining adventure adventure was over. Off the bucket list. Check.

It was time to add Ralphie to the birthday mix so we drove home and picked her up…


…and headed off for a walk in the Beban Kinsmen Participark in Nanaimo where we saw a bear’s face in a tree…


…berries ripening…


…and the turks cap lilies…


…and I admired the stand of trees in the forest.


After this reflective interlude we headed over to the driving range for a quick flutter.



We dropped Ralphie back home and JJJ hmmmed and hawed and said, “Get in the car.” So, it being her birthday I did. And the next thing I knew we were…

judy! 192

at . I loved the day-glo laces in our bowling shoes.


I am a candidate for the world’s worst bowler, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun! There I was, bopping to Boy George while JJJ showed me how it was done.


Okay, so I tried…


…but it wasn’t enough to beat the birthday girl.


We’d worked up an appetite (again!), so we headed to Smokin’ George’s for they’re renowned BBQ ribs…

judy! 193

judy! 195

…which got two thumbs up for the hungry girls.

judy! 196

Which we topped off with the delicious pistachio ice cream we’d bought at Riso’s Restaurant in Lantzville the day before.


Then it was off to a walk with Ralphie across the street on the trails of Linley Valley to work off some of them tasty ribs…


We saw a deer across the pond…IMG-20130609-00494

…and geese…

judy! 075

…and stumbled upon a beaver lodge.

judy! 078

…with beaver trees nearby.

judy! 081

judy! 090

Jamjarjude’s birthday drew to an end. I think I need a year to recover.