I came home from work tonight (at 10pm!) to find this waiting for me.
The card of course was addressed to:
O, my heart.
T’is the last week before the lovely Mr. M and I begin our Christmas hols in earnest. I am so very ready to hang up my hat and to celebrate the end of 2012 in style.
My husband has been sleeping on average three hours a night, and working eighteen hours a day, so I can only imagine how ready he is for a vacation.
I am also trying to figure out how much I can possibly stuff in my carry-on suitcase, because the last thing that I want to do when flying clear across this massive country is check my luggage, as there are just too many ways for it to be lost betwixt here and YHZ.
Canada is great for many things (ex. maple syrup, universal healthcare, Rick Mercer), however there are times when I think living someplace – Switzerland, say – would be so much easier, particularly whilst making travel plans.
See also: cheese and chocolate selection, tennis players, and bank accounts.
This weekend was a mixed bag of Bollywood comedies, cookie making madness, freezing runs, brief snowfalls, open mics, and new episodes of The Hour on Netflix.
Seriously dudes, if you’re not watching this show START NOW.
It’s some of the best television I’ve seen in quite some time.
In the interim, here are some snaps from life here in the madhouse:
Early morning beauty.
Tonight we are off to deck the halls (with boughs of holly) at M’s parents house, and trim their tree with happiness and care.
(Although when I asked him what he was most excited to put on the tree, the madman just kept repeating “turkey.” We shall see how well that turns out. Also, re-read the sentence about him being massively sleep deprived.)
Happy Monday you beauty cats!
May it be oh so merry and bright.
The days are growing shorter, the nights colder, and sometime over the past week, the holiday season seems to have landed here in our fair city.
Arriving at work just the other day I was greeted by boughs and garlands hanging from every (street) corner; New Westminster skytrain station is bedazzled and bedecked with lights of all shapes and sizes; and no matter what coffee shop I patronize, I’m sure to find red cups, and holiday flavoured drinks and snacks.A word to the wise dear readers – avoid anything “marshmallow”. I ordered one of these drinks last week (a toasted marshmallow latte to be specific), and while it was a valiant effort on the part on my barista, espresso and synthetic Jetpuff syrup is not a combination meant for this world.
And as we creep ever closer to December, and all the festivities that automatically come with our twelfth month, you might be asking yourself what kind of gifts you will be purchasing for all your friends and family.
This can be a delicate dance for some. I know for me, this is one of my most favourite parts of the holidays. I get a thrum in my tummy just thinking about the chance I’ll have to find something beautiful and fitting for all the wonderful people in my life.
I want to make sure that whatever it is I end up purchasing is beautiful and interesting and original – something the person may not have previously thought about, or knew even existed.
I love December, and all the razzle-dazzle of the month, because of the time I get to spend with family (this year M and I are flying down east to spend Christmas with my mother and sisters), the outings and parties with good friends, and the quiet time (if only an hour or two!) I get to spend with my husband.
As we creep ever closer to candy canes, tree trimmings, snowmen, and Christmas carols, I am gearing myself up to watch my three favourite holiday movies OF. ALL. TIME.
Now, whilst I understand that there are a number of fab films out there that do well to sum up the holiday spirit, in my humble opinion these three movies will never be beat:
1. Muppets Christmas Carol.
I LOVE this flick.
Michael Caine as Scrooge! Gonzo as Charles Dickens! Rizzo as his ever-hungry side-kick! Ice skating penguins! Singing cabbages! Cheese-less peasant mice!
Normally I’m not even that big a fan of singing in movies, but heck, that rule is thrown out the window with gusto when it comes to Jim Henson and his gang.
How can you not dig that tune?
(Seriously, if you don’t, you will be visited by three ghosts tonight. Get ready for one heck of a ride when the bell strikes one.)
2. Home Alone
Now, this may have quite a lot to do with the fact that I have the sense of humour of a eleven year old boy, but this movie never, ever, fails to crack me up.
Watching Marv and Harry get the absolute crap kicked out of them makes me laugh so hard I cry.
(So I might be a bit of a sadist as well.)
For the past fifteen years I haven’t been able to eat cheese pizza without saying: “A whole cheese pizza just for me!” or thinking that eating two tictacs will ruin my dinner.
Plus: Catherine O’Hara. My comedy goddess and make-believe mum.
3. Love Actually
LOVE IS ACTUALLY ALL AROUND WHEN YOU WATCH THIS MOVIE.
This is M’s an my “official” Christmas movie, and we watch it every year sometime in the lead up to the 25th. We love it. We quote it year-round.
A golden oldie for a golden oldie! Just in cases! WISCONSIN BABES! Dip it in yogurt and cover it in chocolate buttons! Sexy Carl! Hurry up big boy! Arbore…montagno…bello…bella…Frankie Valley…oh shut up…!
I always say that if I were to go back and do more graduate work, I would do it in film studies and I would write my thesis on how this movie is evidence of a perfectly scored film.
Every song works so well in every scene, it’s a bit mind boggling. Nora Jones to dance to! Dido when she find out you’re in love with her! All you need is love at your wedding! Joni Mitchell in the face of infidelity!
So excited! Now I cannot wait even more.
What about you folks? What movies do you like to watch this time of year?
You supply the titles, while I make the popcorn.
This is going to be good.
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.
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!
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…
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.
Up here in the Great White North (GWN) it’s the Victoria day long-weekend. You see, us Canadians have never been able to fully quit the British monarchy, and as such, the Queen’s mug is plastered all over our currency, we get to compete in the Commonwealth games, and we are gifted an extra day off every year, always around this time.
I’m no fan of the English royal family by any stretch, but when it comes to statutory holidays, I’ll take it.
Tomorrow is Mr. M’s birthday and we will be up to many a shenanigan to celebrate this auspicious occasion.
I am so excited to give him his gift, I’ve been asking him almost everyday for a week if he wants to open it early.
(I’m really crap at waiting for others to open their presents. Usually I try to coerce them into doing so immediately after I have purchased the gift. Seriously I am the absolute worst. I don’t know how many times I’ve bullied M into opening things before the actual occasion. In my defense, I’m just going to state that can get really excited, okay?)
This time however, he’s fought back hard, so it will be tomorrow morning that he’ll finally get to see what I got him.
In the meantime, we’ve been out and about all day soaking up the sunshine.
This morning after we completed our compulsory tough mudder training, we glammed ourselves up and walked down to the quay for some brunch time crepes.
Here are a few snaps from the weekend so far:
Late night walks and coffee runs on Friday night.
Trees outside our house.
Brunch time dress.
Brunch time crepes.
Our plans for the rest of the night.
Happy weekend you beauty cats!
I hope you’re smiling wherever you are.