Archives for posts with tag: market

When travelling, I love checking out the local markets. Some of my strongest memories include trying to buy lettuce and a tomato from farmer’s market in Bosnia, taking pictures of intense old-lady cheesemongers in Paris, and putting various foods on a stick into my mouth at a night market in Cambodia.

So I was pretty excited to discover that Toronto now hosts a flower market that features local growers, sellers, and stylists. 


Sometimes Torontonians need it spelled out for them.


The flower market is pretty hip.


Getting inspired.


Wild fields and country in the city.


I decided to go for it and bought four bunches (for only $20!)

I loved being able to buy flowers- a wonderful perk of not travelling.

I didn’t quite realise exactly how many flowers I’d bought until I tried to figure out where to put them all. It’s a week later and my tiny apartment is still chocked with bright blooms and I’m happy. I try to remember this kind of feeling- the feeling of being home and able to buy myself flowers to liven up my own space- whenever my feet get itchy and my fingers start googling destinations and seat sales.


I could fit the most stems into my sangria pitcher (in which I have never made sangria). On the dining room table (seen here with butter, sugar, and a brick from the beach at Leslie Spit)


This is my only actual vase. In the kitchen.


In a milk-bottle-looking bottle that was bought with orange juice in it in London in maybe 2008 and never re-used until this day. In the kitchen.


In the entrance in a storage jar.


In the bathroom in a jam jar.


In the living room in a balsamic vinegar bottle.

The next flower market will be on September 13th. See you there!


It is quite a travel day to get to Seattle from Port Angeles if you’re cheap and don’t want to pay the $40 for the direct bus. It’s quite a day if you’d rather take the #30 from Port Angeles to Sequim, then the #8 to Port Townsend, the #7 to Poulsbo, and finally the #90 to Bainbridge to then catch the ferry to Seattle.

It’s worth it, though, because you meet people including a guy who also randomly went to the same university in Norwich, UK. And you save $36.

I imagined Seattle grey.

Arriving in Seattle by water.

The windows of the Pacific Northwest Ballet.

The Seattle gasworks, just before I got completely lost.

The troll that lives in Fremont. Not pictured: the three billy goats Gruff who are just down the street.

Downtown Seattle.

Artsy tree at the Olympic Sculpture Garden.

Across the water.

Dude eating his lunch as I creepily take a picture through a window (Pike Place Market)

Stairway in Seattle (with man).

Foutain in the Seattle Center.

Turns out, though, that Seattle is wonderfully colourful.

Pike Place Market with Peter.

There’s a fair!

Also the EMP Museum.

I  caught Dirty Story by John Patrick Shanley at the Intiman Theatre Festival (thanks for the comp, Peter! Sorry you were sick!)- I’m not 100% convinced the play makes sense, but I know it’s really me not totally grasping this level of satire. Fun night out, though, and I managed to find my way and navigate the Seattle bus system.

Also, you cannot bring your gun to the theatre.

The entrance to the beautiful 5th Avenue Theatre.

My friend Peter (who I met at the Toronto Fringe Festival two years ago and who said to let him know if ever I was going to be in Seattle and I remember things, so I ended up crashing  on his comfy couch) and I went to see Rent(flashback!) gun-free.

Rent at the 5th Avenue Theatre- Photo: Mark Kitaoka

I enjoyed seeing Rent, but the more I think about it, the more I think it’s because it made me feel 18 again- it brought me back to the end of the millenium. While the cast really gave it their all (Brandon O’Neill as Collins was exceptional), the pacing was wonky (I appreciated a pause to breathe here and there, but sometimes the action was dropped only to be rushed through later). But this is me pulling at threads (“if you want to destroy my sweater”-type deal) and the whole thing could come apart if I keep going. I truthfully liked seeing this production, though they have the hard task of living up to the original. I miss Mark’s stripped scarf.

On another note, Seattle has the biggest chocolate croissants you’ll ever see. To give you an idea (if you’re from Montreal), it was roughly 4.5 Figaro croissants.

One heck of a chocolate croissant. I could not finish this chocolate croissant.

(sort of continued from my last post)


Stranger things

On Sundays in London, theatres are dark and most people have the day off.  On Sundays, people who live in Birmingham, pretty villages and even Ipswich can more or less easily swing down to London for the afternoon.  So Sundays in London are the perfect time to meet up with old friends at trendy Australian cafés in Clerkenwell, exchange birthday presents from the past 4 years, and bum around Farringdon vintage shops.  Sundays in London are perfect for visiting the insanely crowded and colourful Columbia Flower Market and sitting in an old pub’s back garden, sipping half pints of cider and lime and soda.  And then maybe go home and watch X-Factor and Downton Abbey.

Columbia Flower Market


Bright and early on Monday morning, I boarded the red double-decker bus (I am getting better and better at buses in London and I’m not afraid to boast about that) to the National Theatre, yet again.  The lobby was full of excitable teenagers and, for a second, I thought that maybe I didn’t stand a chance of getting a ticket for that night’s performance of Conor McPherson’s The Veil.  But turned out they were there for a theatre tour and I sauntered up to the box office and got a £12 front row ticket for the play I’d flown across the Atlantic for.  Phew. Sometimes it’s better not to book ahead.

With that out of the way, I skipped all the way to the city for coffee with a friend I met literally 10 years ago when I was backpacking around Scotland on my very first solo trip. Life has zigzagged both of us across the globe and back again since our rainy road trip in search of fairy glades on the Isle of Skye.  But here we were, at the not-so-glamorous Cafe Nero with its nothing to write home about coffee (but good enough to write on this blog about, I guess).  Time, eh?  It goes by.

A new play! Conor McPherson! The National Theatre!

But The Veil.  I’d read a lukewarm review and I had prepared myself.  I tried not to expect another Weir, This Lime Tree Bower or I Went Down (one of the top Irish road-trip-buddy-gangster movies of all time).  I was hoping it wouldn’t be like The Eclipse, which caused sleepless nights even though I only made it through 25 minutes of this terrifying movie (not because it isn’t an excellent film-it is- but I like sleep and I like not to be terrified and I didn’t want to be terrified after this play since I’d have to walk to the tube in the rain in the dark by myself). But I didn’t need to lower my expectations.  I loved The Veil.  It was creepy and beautiful and spooky and hilarious and surprising and heart-wrenching.  I am not exaggerating when I say I laughed, cried, and jumped out of my skin.

Sitting in the front row, with no chance for a tall person sitting in front of me (I’m short, by the way), but next to a man from Los Angeles who was doing exactly the same thing as me (in London for a short time to see plays), I felt totally immersed in the atmosphere.  Cheesy as it sounds, I felt transported.

Ghosts and séances, pretty dresses and nightmares, unrequited love and disquiet souls… And, alright, I’m not going to lie: it was great to see Peter McDonald on stage as a tormented, love-sick, violence-prone, alcohol-soaked man servant.

Even in less than stellar plays (Resurrection Blues, ahem), McDonald is able to serve up all the depth, humour, and humanity you need to sit still and listen.  I won’t gush too much, but let’s just say that after I saw I Went Down (one of the top Irish road-trip-buddy-gangster movies of all time starring Peter McDonald), I may or may not have learned some html to make a silly fansite for him when silly fansites for actors were the norm (oh, back in 1998).  Or are those still around and I’m just old?

If you are in London and are up for a little travel back to misty, magical 19th century Ireland for a good ghost story/love story/family drama/spiritual investigation, don’t miss The Veil. You’ve got until December 11th.

Coming up: a play in a pub, one with real turf, one about selectively mute twins, and one starring Michael Sheen.  Also: cute cafés and getting very lost indeed.