Happy Diwali


My New Backyard Addition

You might recall the small flagstone patio I used to have in my backyard. This summer I pulled out the flagstones to make room for this………….

All that is missing is a backyard bbq party…can’t wait to host one!

One Of My All Time Favourites

I’ve just started reading Robin Sharma the author of ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’ series. One of his recommendation is to find the time to laugh each day just like a child.

During my early teens I grew up on a steady dose of comic books:Walt Disney, Tin Tin, Asterix & Obelix…but enjoying the action on TV is a totally different experience one I never get tired of. Enjoy folks!

Don’t Know Why…….

………………………………..I like these?

Is it because of Jane Austen (one of my favourites)  or the captivating  male voice or the fact that I could not make out any word ..? Bohoo hoo…(This also means that this song is now a challenge and it will keep bugging me until I become more proficient at understanding it).

and then came along this…

Is it the beat, is it the music, is it the folksy nature or….(drum roll please)….. is it the fact that I could make out ‘anta’ meaning ‘you’.… yeahhhhhhh to perseverance!!

So why am I doing this? Remember this post? In 2009, I took on a very ambitious project of learning a couple of international languages. My ultimate goal is to master Mandarin and Arabic, but to ease into the challenge, I chose French and Arabic. Of course it  is now 2011 and I have learnt a few Arabic words, reasonably fluent in written French and yet to master spoken French. But, I am enjoying my journey…!!

Build It And They Will Come!

Remember that famous one-liner from ” Field of Dreams’? Here are some of this year’s visitors to my garden…

My neighbour told me that she saw red-tailed ‘Finches’ enjoying in my garden one evening. When the weather gets better, am planning to camp out there one weekend to get more pictures of these lovely winged-visitors.
Speaking of weather, this week we oscillated between a day time high of 32 degrees followed by a low of 8 degrees. Anyway the backyard umbrellas are all up and pretty soon most of us will be hanging out in our backyards in the evenings and on weekends..

(The blue is mine, sand-colour is my neighbour Joe’s and the green is his son Brendan’s and the maroon is Lydia’s, Joe’s neighbour on the other side).

Wine Lovers: Are You A….

With yesterday’s depressing support for President Obama, I would readily join like minded folks for a glass of wine. And that thought brings me to this article from Huffingtonpost:12 TYPES OF WINE LOVERS: WHICH ONE ARE YOU?

-> Weasel?

Says he’ll bring a great bottle, but always shows up with off-vintage crap claiming his great bottle was corked, or broke, or couldn’t be found — because we all lose track of our greatest bottles of wine.

-> Whiner?

Brings a good bottle of wine, and plenty of whine to go with it. Always checking to see if your bottle measures up to his, you’ll never hear the end of it if the Whiner brings the bottle of the night. In fact, you’ll never hear the end of it anyway.


You almost can’t even get this guy to come out and play. We all know who has the best cellars among us, and the Hoarder has a great cellar primarily because he won’t share anything. Oh sure, he comes out once in a while, but it seems he’s always got the same bottle — and while it was pretty good the first time, by now it’s as stale as a week-old bagel.

->  Whore?

Unlike the Hoarder, the Whore is always up for a good time. Problem is, the Whore is only coming out to take advantage of yours, and other’s, largesse. If they know the Gourmand and Bon Vivant are coming you know it’s gonna be a party!

-> Gourmand?

There’s nothing gourmet about the Gourmand. This gal is into one thing: excess. Sloppy drinker? Probably a Gourmand. Boring bore? Equally probable. One good thing about the Gourmand: she soaks up all the crappy wine that’s left at the end of the night, which also makes her almost bearable.

-> Bon Vivant?

You may not get great wine from this guy, but at least he brings some fun to the table. Always there with a good quip, the Bon vivant enjoys life to the fullest. Unfortunately, he also enjoys wine to the fullest. Your wine, that was supposed to serve 10 people, and is now all in the Bon vivant’s glass’ and did he just give some to his girlfriend? Woah, is that the girlfriend’s girlfriend? Oh yeah. The girlfriend’s girlfriend looks like she could use some. Excuse me for a sec! Did I not tell you about this guy? Great guy.

-> Nixon?

This joker has great wine, and she brings it to your events. Problem is she keeps that bottle close to her, usually hidden behind the table leg at dinner. Of course sometimes that ridiculously good bottle can’t be shared with hungry masses, so there is some justification here!

-> (n) Idiot?

There are really two Idiots: the true idiot, whom we won’t begrudge a blissful life, and the Idiot who proves the old adage “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” These are the people who have been into wine for a year or three, usually with more money than brains. They’ll bring a great bottle to dinner, don’t you worry, but you will have to endure endless comments on things like the structure of the fruit of a wine and how the low-acid grape Chenin Blanc smells of wool because sheep are used in the vineyard to prune the vines. The Idiot should be seated as far away from you as possible.

> (n) “Expert”?

Just as there are two Idiots, there are two Experts. Interestingly enough, the “Expert” is simply an Idiot after an additional few years of learning about wine. An Idiot with an increased knowledge base, but still no clue how to use that knowledge. By this time they’re usually making tons of money and spending it on fancy bottles that they are using to impress either Idiots or other “Experts.” Fortunately for most of us, “Experts” have an uncanny ability to attract other “Experts” so their tastings can turn into new-age validation fests!

> (n) Expert?

There are “Experts,” and then there are Experts. Many Experts are Experts because somebody told them they were Experts. They frequently have additional vowels and consonants following their names like needy little dogs. They will also piss all over you, again like needy little dogs, if you question their cred. Problem is, those letters come after passing a couple of tests. Many are incredibly grueling tests but, as we all know, you can cram for a test and about seven minutes after you’ve taken that test, your head is as empty as a freshly flushed toilet! Of course some of these folks really are experts and their knowledge base can be breathtaking.

-> Stealth?

This is the true expert. She usually brings a very good bottle of wine, something from an out-of-the-way place, or an over-performing off-vintage. She sits there enjoying the company, offering insights and answers during uncomfortable lulls in the conversation. She has tact and grace, is everyone’s friend (at least everyone she wants to be friends with), and wields expertise like an artist wields a brush: creating something cohesive and understandable out of thin air. We like the Stealth; problem is there are only about five of them. Well, let’s say five in each wine community.

-> (n) Amateur?

“Amateur” means one who does it for the love of doing it, as opposed to a professional. Amateurs are the best wine geeks to include in your tasting. They are generous and diverse, knowing that wine is meant to be shared and that a closed bottle has little real value. Amateurs know the true value of wine is the lubrication it offers, and the memories it allows to be created.

Excuse-moi, for not wishing cheers today!