Friday, January 20, 2017

Favourite Books of 2016

The Monuments Men, Robert M. Edsel
Art was part of the madness of the Second World War – stealing it, collecting it, trying to retrieve it

City Creatures: Animal Encounters in the Chicago Wilderness, Gavin Van Horn 
Essays, poetry, and art illustrating the many ways in which human and animal lives are connected

Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession, and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California, Frances Dinkelspiel 
The title says it all. It saddens me to see people becoming so obsessed and greedy over something as relatively unimportant as wine

Sixty: The Beginning of the End or the End of the Beginning?, Ian Brown
Ian Brown keeps a diary exploring what it means to be 60 – physically, intellectually, and psychologically

A Year of Marvellous Ways, Sarah Winman
Love and death, old age and grieving – an 89-year-old woman living alone by a Cornish creek (fiction)

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, Phaedra Patrick 
After his wife dies, Arthur Pepper copes by sticking to a very strict routine – until he discovers a charm bracelet that used to belong to his wife and starts to unravel the mystery (fiction)

The Little Paris Bookshop, Nina George 
A whimsical look at mending broken hearts on board a floating bookshop

The Summer Before the War, Helen Simonson 
A snapshot of life before the First World War – so much has changed, so much remains the same

Crossing the River: A Life in Brazil, Amy Ragsdale 
An honest account of a family adapting to a different culture and lifestyle while living in Brazil for a year

The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue des Martyrs, Elaine Sciolini 
An introduction to the people who live and work on the Rue des Martyrs, Paris

Recipes for Love and Murder, Sally Andrew 
From a recipe column to an advice column to solving a murder – life becomes much more lively for Tannie Maria, a middle-aged Afrikaan woman living in a small town

A Bed of Scorpions, Judith Flanders 
A publisher is called in to help solve a murder in a London art gallery

See Also
Three Quirky Book Recommendations
Favourite Books of 2015

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The New Forest: Ships, Ponies, and Very Old Trees

The New Forest was set aside by William the Conqueror as a private hunting reserve over 900 years ago. It is now a national park, although it includes villages, areas that are logged commercially, and is grazed by ponies, cattle, pigs, and deer.

Around 5,000 ponies roam freely in the New Forest, and you’ll find them stopping traffic in the middle of the road or sheltering in a residential driveway. Deer roam the grounds of Burley Manor (above).

The New Forest is a mix of open heathland and forest. It provided timber for Britain’s naval shipbuilding, and there are still some lovely old trees to be visited and admired.

The Knightwood Oak, with a circumference of 7.38 metres, is believed to be 600 years old.

“Ancient oaks may be 400 to 800 years old, while beech can reach 300 to 400 years. The most ancient of all are yews, some of which are thought to be over 1,000 years old. Typically, the oldest trees have a great girth, a hollow trunk and a much reduced crown.”

Buckler’s Hard was a self-contained 18th century shipbuilding village on the Beaulieu River. Two long rows of labourer’s cottage lead to the waterfront where the sailing ships of Nelson’s Navy were built.

Lymington, a Georgian market town, lies on the southern edge of the New Forest. It has a harbour for both pleasure craft and ferries sailing to the Isle of Wight.

I was shown around the New Forest by Daren of Dorset Day Trips. I had never taken a private tour before and was very glad I did. We were able to visit far more places than I could ever have reached by public transit, and Daren directed me to sites that I would not otherwise have found.

He knew where we could see the ancient trees and find donkeys, ponies, and deer. He added in coastal viewpoints and a port at my request. Daren is pleasant and personable and we ended the day with a friendly pint of beer. I’m taking a second tour later this week!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Flavourful Saskatoon, January 16, 2017

Canning Class, Jan. 19 
Learn how to can berry jams and a simple tomato sauce at the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre from 12:30-3:30 pm, Jan. 19.

Workshops at Intuitive Path Superfoods, Jan. 21-22 
This month’s focus at Intuitive Path Superfood workshops is Healthy Digestion:
Jan. 21, 1:30-3 pm – Probiotics 101 & Fermentation
Jan. 22, 2:30-3 pm – Mind-Body-Food
Jan. 22, 3-3:30 pm – Mind-Full

City Centre Food Co-operative Town Hall, Jan. 24
The City Centre Food Co-operative is hosting a town hall to find out more about their community’s retail food needs and to get the community’s help in shaping their Pop-Up Produce Market. The Town Hall is scheduled for 6:45-9 pm, Jan. 24, in the City Park Collegiate library.

Herb Garden Class, Jan. 27 
The Glen at Crossmount is hosting a workshop on growing your own herbs from 1:30-3 pm, Jan. 27.

Taste of Italy Wine Class & Tasting, Jan. 27 
Learn about and taste Italian wines at the Glen at Crossmount, 7-9 pm, Jan. 27.

Britain’s Poshest Restaurant
Take a look behind the scenes at Britain’s poshest restaurant.

Vegetarian Tacos
This sounds like an interesting recipe for making vegetarian tacos with quinoa meat.

Milanese Raisin Bread 
If you love home-baked bread and raisins, you’ll want to try this recipe for Pantramvai that’s half flour, half raisins.

Leakers Bakery
I picked up a variety of bread products from Leakers Bakery at the Christchurch Market last Monday (photos). There has been a bakery at their Bridport, Dorset, location since the 1830s. The on-site ovens were originally coal-fired. They now use the coal pit at the rear of the bakery to store their organic flour.

Flavourful Saskatoon is a weekly Monday feature. I also post articles about food that is good, clean and fair; travel; and books. You may also enjoy EcoFriendly Sask profiling Saskatchewan environmental initiatives and events. 

You can follow Wanderlust and Words on Facebook, Twitter, or by email (top right corner).

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Bournemouth, England

Bournemouth – wide stretches of golden beach as far as the eye can see, a pier with a zipline, restaurants, and amusement park rides.

It would be far too crowded for me in summer, but on a sunny winter day, it’s pure delight.

Bournemouth became a popular holiday destination in the second half of the 19th century, and you can still see some of the lovely old hotels at the top of the cliff. This one even has a funicular so you don't have to climb the hill.

What do you think? Would you like to get married in a beach hut?

The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery is housed in a home that Merton Russel-Cotes designed and built when he retired. It’s a mishmash of styles from Scottish baronial to Tudor to Arabic with tiled walls, a fountain, elaborate doorways, painted panels, and embossed friezes. It’s a must-see. Oh, it’s also an art gallery, if you can stop gaping at the amazing interior design.

Bournemouth town centre still has some lovely old buildings and an arcade.

The Bournemouth Gardens run downhill to the sea with paths, a bandstand, a stream, and flowerbeds.

And absolutely the best way to travel to Bournemouth is on the front seat at the top of a double decker bus.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Flavourful Saskatoon, January 9, 2017

Food & Wine Pairings, Jan. 20 
Saskatoon Co-op Liquor is offering a three-part series on wine and food pairings with the first session on Jan. 20.

Freedom Food, Jan. 26 
Find out how you can participate in addressing food insecurity through Freedom Food boxes and community fridges at D’lish at 7:30 pm, Jan. 26. Bring a food item to swap or donate. There’ll be live music.

Check out the story behind the Martensville Free Pantry.

Cocktail Class, Jan. 26 
Join LB Distillers for instruction and tasting of three cocktails and a tour of the distillery on Jan. 26.

Saskatoon Sourdough
Chef Simon, who offers a wide range of cooking classes in Avalon, is now making and selling sourdough bread. His next bake will be on Jan. 13. Follow Saskatoon Sourdough on Facebook to find out when they’re ready to purchase.

Try Vegan this January
Veganuary is designed to inspire and support people to go vegan for the month of January. The website includes a vegan starter kit, recipes, and an eating-out guide. Tourism Bournemouth promoted the event on Facebook by providing a list of 30 Bournemouth eateries with dedicated vegan options. Wouldn’t it be great to see Tourism Saskatoon doing something similar?

Restaurants are also supporting Veganuary. Prêt à Manger, a British sandwich chain, has nine new vegan options for Veganuary.

Flavourful Saskatoon is a weekly Monday feature. I also post articles about food that is good, clean and fair; travel; and books. You may also enjoy EcoFriendly Sask profiling Saskatchewan environmental initiatives and events. 

You can follow Wanderlust and Words on Facebook, Twitter, or by email (top right corner).

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Cannes, Antibes, and the Cȏte d’Azur

It’s a grey English day – the perfect time to pull up some photos from the south of France.

Cannes is known for its beaches and film festival. I wonder what it’s like to live there when so much of the city centre is devoted to festival crowds and tourists.  The whole coastline is so heavily populated.

I enjoyed walking along La Croisette and watching the people passing by.

This is one of the most pleasant bus terminals I've ever used.

The Marché Forville is an excellent place to pick up fresh fruit and vegetables and cheese.

On a warm, sunny day Ile Ste. Marguerite, just a short boat ride from downtown Cannes, is the perfect place for a picnic and a stroll along the shore.

I took the train to Antibes on a very windy day!