Rooting around in my bag of tricks

Happy Friday friends!

You know it’s going to be a good day when you wake up to this kind of magic.

Tonight M and I are going round two with our local movie theatre in an effort to finally see Skyfall. We went last week, but the film was already sold out.

My excitement is palpable (and growing!)

I keep hearing about this electric scene between Javier Bardem and Daniel Craig that makes my tummy feel all a-flutter.

Ahem.

In the mean time, Nymeria is cute-ing up the joint like nobody’s business. Last night she snuggled up next to my legs and slept on my feet, purring up a storm.

I managed to catch her with one of her mice friends:

This also gives my stomach butterflies (for monstrously different reasons, of course.)

In the meantime, fry-up time!

An apple a day.

Arriving home last night the only thing I wanted to do was make something that tasted of autumn deliciousness.

So I baked an apple-blueberry crisp.

I have a few recipes committed to memory, and this one is so easy-peasy that I feel as though I could put it together with my eyes closed.

(What with how zonked I have been for the past couple of days – or, ahem, weeks – this a boon and a half.)

First, start with your ingredients:

Then, don’t take any other photos of putting the crisp together, save this one:

Eat the remainder of your triscuits. While the crisp is in the oven, go see your Little Sister, help her with her math homework, and make plans to take her to the Vancouver Christmas Market in December.

Upon your return home thank your husband for taking the dessert out of the oven. Then turn on the fire, curl up on the couch with your love, and dig in.

Also, a little vanilla ice cream never hurt anyone (or a crisp for that matter.)

Dee-lish.

Prairie Royalty.

Being the good Canadian girl that I am, I pride myself on being a fan of the Tragically Hip.

Gord Downie and his posse make some darn fine music, and as such I was shocked to hear a song of theirs just the other day on CBC that I had never before heard.

Wheat Kings is a beautiful, haunting song.

I am currently doing the thing I always do when I crown a new favourite tune – listening to it over and over again until I cannot stomach hearing it again for at the very least the foreseeable future.

As of today, I am still very much in love with it and I implore you to take a moment and let this magic into your lives:

Werner Herzog.

I’ve written before about Herzog and his films, and the other night M and I watched Happy People: A Year in the Taiga.

This. Guy.

What a film maker.

I cannot say much besides I have no idea how this man has never before won an academy award.

He is a absolute master.

(Also, I really wish he narrated my dreams.)

Happy People is a documentary that looks at the life of the indigenous people of the village Bakhtia at the river Yenisei in the Siberian Taiga.

It is beautiful and smart and touching and inspiring. And it will really make you want to get a husky.

Watch this movie. Please.

So that’s all she wrote you crazy cats.

Joyeux fin de semaine to you all!

Canadian content

Hey beauty cats.

So I realized (aka it was pointed out to me) that I never revealed what it was I bought M for his birthday – especially after all that badgering he managed to withstand leading up to the day.

We ended up having a rocking shindig for him on Sunday night, filled with food, friends, drink, games and general merriment.

(If ever in the future you attend a party at our place I can promise you two things: 1. there will be a TON of tasty eats to be had, because we have the  most fab, most culinary bad-ass friends you can imagine and 2. you will be forced to play the Name Game, because, well, that’s what we do at parties, okay?)

Earlier on in the day, I presented him with this:

The flowers, I should point out, were given to him by our brilliant friend Ms. M, whom, I am so excited to say, has just returned to the West Coast after spending a year and a half in Australia on a working holiday.

She is pretty much the best ever folks.

EVER.

Anywho, Mr. M loves Canadian history – Farley Mowatt, White Fang, North of 60, Pierre Burton – you name it.

So when I saw this hand written, hand illustrated book, I knew I needed to get it for him.

I also fell head over heels in love with his card.

It’s a mouse! Dressed in Elizabethan garb! HOLY MOLY!

Love it.

It’s funny, I don’t think I subscribe to a specific form of nationalism (goodness, I have a hard time using that word in a non-pejorative sense), but sometimes I dig being Canadian so much I feel a little funny.

(Which only serves to make me feel ever MORE Canadian because I understand this as me feeling bad for being too “into” my country. Someone get me a double-double and some timbits STAT.)

I mean, I’ve read enough literature on the invention of borders and passports, and the evolution of national languages and mythology to be wary of buying too much into these institutions and systems.

Heck, I wrote my master’s thesis on Canadian and British immigration policies post-1945.

However, I feel as though this perspective gives me enough wiggle room to take to heart some quintessential Canadiana, while still remaining critical of these norms on a larger scale.

It’s all about balance right?

When we were living in the UK, our flatmate S (we lived in an absolutely bat crap CRAZY old mansion that had been converted into nine apartments and we were living in 300 square feet of madness) asked if we could put together a slide show of some Canadian vistas, because he had always been attracted to our country’s wildnerness.

So over dinner the next night (we had a sweet system in place where one out of three couples that made up our group would cook, so all six of us could rotate cooking and washing duties) M and I shared as many photos of our travels across Canada as possible.

Here are three snaps from the original presentation:

Lunenberg, Nova Scotia.

While I may live on the West Coast (and love it here), much of my heart belongs in the East.

The Maritimes are so beautiful I do not know where to begin to describe them.

Nova Scotia’s beauty is stark, cut out of wild, tempestuous seas, multi-coloured fishing villages, fiddle-driven ceilidhs, and the effervescent, endearing (and enduring) spirit of some of the nicest people you will ever meet.

Lunenberg is situated on the province’s South Shore (seriously, GO THERE) and is located on a peninsula at the western side of Mahone Bay (again, GO THERE). The town is approximately 90 kilometres southwest of Halifax (when you go to Lunenberg, you will fly into this city. STAY THERE for a few days at the very least.)

No more caps, I promise.

North Vancouver/Pender Harbour, BC.

M and I do quite a bit of hiking.

Seriously, in the summer months, gives us our hikers, a mountain, some food and water (and also sunscreen because goodness knows if you’ve seen my skin you’ll understand that I am in fact a vampire) and we are happy.

Two gorgeous trails for views of a lifetime are Mt. Daniel on the Sunshine Coast (GO THERE NOW – sorry!) and Lighthouse park on the North Shore.

Soon, my darlings, it will also be camping weather, and you know what that means…

Onwards!

Whistler, BC.

M is a journeyman carpenter. Five years ago he worked on the Olympic ski jump in the Callaghan Valley (GO THERE) and he took this pic just as the weather began to turn, heading in the tail end of autumn.

All of the pictures he took from his time on the job site are pretty darn spectacular, however there is something about this one that just leaves me with goosebumps, all up and down my arms.

He did also manage to take a few snaps of bears.

And boy do I ever love me a pic of a black bear scouring the grass for some tasty wild flowers to munch, munch away on.

And speaking of which, I’m off to procure some grub myself.

So I ask you friends, what places would you like to share with the world from your own backyard? I’d love to know, even if it’s thousands of miles away from your actual home.