Friday, September 15, 2017

Five Things Friday, Halfway through September. . .

 1. This climbing rose, which I suspect might be New Dawn,  began the season well, but then suffered a very persistent campaign by aphids, which not surprisingly resulted in an affliction of powdery mildew. Mid-summer, I got fed up, and I chopped it right back. I mean. . . WAY back. And then it started sending up healthy green shoots, and we picked up a few "environmentally safe" pesticides, and  this happened! It looks as if we'll have roses through at least the end of September, if not longer. . ..

2. And although this photo was taken almost a month ago, it's representative of so very many moments, almost daily, when I look over at this glass wall and thrill again at the light. We've been in the condo for just over a year now, and these last few months of very noisy, very dusty construction just across the lane have been tough, particularly with windows and doors open because of the summer heat. But that's settling down now, and the construction is less aggravating as they close in the building and move indoors (within the next two months, we hope). And I still love the light here. Good news, eh?

3. Out for a walk in the neighbourhood a few weeks ago, I glimpsed this building down a block or so, and was somehow drawn towards it.  That sign says it's the home of the Vancouver Welsh Society, and standing in front of it, I could sense my inner 11-year-old stirring, trying to remember the words she'd recited from the stage inside, for the annual Welsh Eisteddfod Festival. We'd had a Welsh elocution teacher at my school for a couple of years, until she and her husband and two young daughter moved away. I competed in a monologue class or two (something from Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest) and given a speech, in another class, on racism in Canada.

I'm sure any passers-by must have wondered what that grey-haired woman was muttering to herself in front of this handsome brick edifice. . . . And why was she smiling. . . .

 4. This is just to say I may have fallen down the Rabbit Hole labeled Pens and Inks. Fountain pens, that is, of which I still only own three, one of which I don't love and only use rarely. I did buy two new dip pens yesterday (and nibs for them, of course), so that I don't have to wait for the fountain pens to be empty should I want to write a card in a new colour. And so far, I only have four colours, one of which was only purchased yesterday (Red Velvet, if you're curious).

But this lovely is very, very tempting. A friend of my daughter's, a lovely young woman who's not only fallen down the rabbit hole but may have built her own little warren, brought a big box of her pens and inks over for me to test out. What an afternoon that was -- Rosé wine, and the delectable French pastries she brought, and a big box of wonderful writing accoutrements. Preschoolers couldn't have opened new boxes of Playmobil with any more glee than that with which I greeted the stationery goodies (oh, and she brought some fabulous samples of paper as well -- yummy!

 5. Let me wind up here, this Friday, with another photo from the walk on which I discovered that architectural blast from my past -- this is a back lane in a residential neighbourhood nearby. I can't help but marvel at how it seems worlds away from our back lane or, even more, from the mural-filled, very gritty, very urban back lane I showed you in Wednesday's post. . . .
This photo looks like something I could have photographed on our island, blackberries and all.

Now I have to run. I'm doing some before-school baby-sitting just down the road, and I'm needed there by 6:45. Not even time to edit properly. . . . Comments, etc. ... . .

28 comments:

  1. I'm so happy to hear that your urban life seems so nice,full of pleasant environment,events (ok,some temporary disturbance,too) and surprises
    Your terrace garden is really a gem
    Children's friends could be full of surprises,too :-). It must have been a wonderful afternoon and,noticing the label,I can't wait to indulge in some Schreibtinte and stationery shops in Vienna
    Dottoressa

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    1. Yes, lots to be thankful for here.
      You'll have to let us know about the shopping in Vienna -- I haven't been there yet, but look forward to visiting someday.

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  2. What a green post . Healthy green rosebud ( no greenfly) . Lovely green sunlight through your glass wall . Pretty green canopy over the door of that fine house . Wild greenery in the back lane . Green ink .
    Wendy in York

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    1. I never realized that until you pointed it out -- the post is very green, isn't it?!

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  3. Shwmai (that's about all the Welsh I know) - I guessed that you or Pater must have had some link with Wales by your choice of names for your children. Or maybe you have no link but membership of the Welsh Society was de rigeur and you and Pater just liked the names...

    Those pens...

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    1. The Welsh names started accidentally, but it does turn out that his paternal great-grandparents came here from Wales for coal-mining work. Whether they were actually Welsh, though, is veiled by time. . . Seems doubtful. Nor do we have membership in the Welsh Society, but one of the parents (that elocution teacher) did, I suppose, so I had a few glimpses in. Lovely to see that it's still active.

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  4. A pretty collection of five today. I'm drooling over the thought of luxurious pens and thick paper. What a lovely rabbit hole to fall into.

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    1. Right?!
      Although I'm tried to avoid any kind of collector fever here in the condo's smaller space. . . but pens and ink don't take up too much room ;-)

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  5. I am so glad you still like the light!

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  6. Oh the peaceful light; the solitary rose. Thank you for them-solace personified.
    Beautifully soothing on yet another shocking day in London. I am a tough Yankee by birth and nature,but have felt ever, ever so vulnerable today.
    A in London

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    1. I can scarcely imagine. I'm glad you found some little solace here. Take care.

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  7. Oh that Rose is gorgeous and cutting roses hard is a way to reinvigorate their growth. Well worth it when they respond with healthy foliage and blooms.
    The candy box of inks and pens sounds thrilling!
    I used to write using a peacock blue ink in a pedestrian Schaefer pen and loved writing letters and cards. I now use a rolling ball pen for those jobs but you've got me thinking that I may need to up my game!

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    1. I love how resilient roses are -- there's definitely a learning curve to growing them in containers on a rooftop. . .
      Was the Schaefer a fountain pen? I suspect you have a lovely script and that peacock blue sounds yummy. . .

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  8. Your terrace is truly a wonderful space. You've done so well with creating a verdant little oasis there. I second your hope that the construction moves indoors soon.

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    1. Thanks, Sue. It was fun showing it to you and Lisa. . .

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  9. I love back lanes and alleys, whether urban or rural. There's a sense of some secret about to be revealed. And their lack of polish seem more true to real life than the scrubbed facades we present at the front door.

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    1. It's true, isn't it? There's also a wild-ness there that the city works hard to eradicate, but that resonates with us, I think. . .

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  10. It's interesting how we can "green up" the space that we have. I'm staying in a 19th century Brooklyn brownstone right now. My back bedroom looks over such different small backyards. Some tidy, some green, some scruffy. It's life!

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    1. I'm so happy you popped in -- I love picturing that temporary home you're enjoying. . . Life, lively, green, yes!

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  11. Five lovely things...the light coming through the plants...swoon.

    I've loved back lanes since childhood. Full of secrets!

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    1. I'm so glad that I'm wired to get so much joy from light as it filters through green or hits a patch of blue. . . you too, right?
      As for back lanes, yes, full of secrets, and they really evoke the childhood you mention. We used to play baseball in ours with the neighbour kids after supper, if there was enough daylight left...

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  12. We like to walk the alleys when ever we get the chance.....they have a quality all their own, no matter where. Thanks for sharing yours.

    ceci

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    1. They really do. Walking them can bring a sense of trespass, a hint of danger, but also a feeling of exploration, even of belonging to a new landscape in the teeniest way just by taking those steps off the designated sidewalks...

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  13. What a lovely rose! And the light through your window wall must be a daily joy. My personal bunny warren has two corridors: needlework (plus needlework charts so numerous I will never live long enough to stitch them, sigh), and fountain pens/inks. Welcome to the rabbit hole! R&K's Alt-Goldgrün is a beautiful choice! -Linda

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  14. Short on time and words this morning but I've enjoyed reading this post so much I just had to comment. Also you've set me thinking about writing with a fountain pen again ... taken me back to days when each letter was neatly formed rather than a rushed scribble as it sometimes seems now :)
    Love that you constantly seem to find joy on your patio ...
    Have a good week Frances.
    Rosie

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  15. I did not know that an old German family business sells its products on the other side of the globe. How fascinating. And "Alt-Goldgrün" is a wonderful name for a colour. It evokes images of leaves filtering the sunlight (cf. photo nr. 2)and enchanted forests inhabited by gnomes in green hats and fairies with golden wings.

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  16. I love the balcony garden. We are working towards down sizing. Not sure when though. That will mean a much smaller garden.

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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