Friday, August 14, 2015

Summer in the City II ... Brought To You By the Letter "B"


Yep, summer is almost over... only a couple of weeks left. Akkk. And we waited so long for it to get here! But I know that, come the third week of August, we' ll feel fall in the air. 

Hubby and I have been spending this summer at home. Except for a camping trip or two. Summer in the city... almost. Almost in the city, I mean. And we have been busy, with a capital "B."

"B" is for biking. The Tour de France is over, but we're still biking. Two or three times a week. We're spoiled for choice as far as great biking routes go. Lots of biking trails in the city. And further out, south of us, lots of country roads that have more scope for scenic views. I love a beautiful field and a barn.


fields near North Gower


One day this week we cycled in pretty strong winds, just ahead of a storm. With dark clouds coming in, we'd be lucky to beat the rain. But I still stopped for a picture.


Biking near North Gower

Hubby shuttled... waiting for me. Patiently, at first. This is him, on his third lap, shouting ..."Come on, Suz!"

Hubby waiting for me, biking near North Gower

Then he pedaled past, turned, and whipped on by me. Oops. Better pack the camera away and hurry if I want to catch a wheel. I hate pedaling in the wind... so I need my "domestique" to help me out. 

Trying to catch a wheel

"B" also means biking past the nests of really big birds. This picture was shot on the route that takes us along the Rideau River down to the locks at Burritts Rapids. I posted a picture of this nest earlier in the summer when the osprey was sitting on the nest and her mate perched on a telephone line nearby. We're pretty sure we saw two chicks in the nest this time. 

Osprey's nest, Rideau River Road

Hubby always laughs when I stop to take pictures like this, given my rather fraught relationship with birds in general. I wrote a post about this last year called Beset By Spring. Birds and me... we don't get on.

Osprey's nest, Rideau River Road

This past week, unusually for me, "B" was for baking. I don't normally bake. But I love this cookbook by Jillian Michaels. She has some really great muffin recipes. So sometimes I go on a "baking jag," as my step-father used to say. A spree where I bake lots and freeze most of it. 

Favourite cookbook

I made a batch of my favourite blueberry banana muffins from Jillian's book. And a batch of pumpkin cranberry. Yum. And for good measure, I made two batches of pesto sauce for the freezer. Hubby planted pots of parsley and basil for me, just for this purpose. 

Favourite cookbook

"B" is for buddies too, especially in the summer. As in having a fun evening out with these two buddies. Many of my friends are still teaching and, while we schedule dinners out at other times of the year, it's easier in the summer when they aren't working. I've known these two girls... they'll always be 'girls' to me... since they were new teachers. We worked together as fellow English teachers, then fellow English department heads, then I retired and they both went on to become administrators. So proud of them. We had a great evening with good food and wine, and lots of laughter, and talk about school, and travel, and fashion... naturally. 



Kristin Krista


"B" is for books. Of course. On miserable, rainy days like this, there's nothing better than to put the kettle on and curl up with a good book.
Friday's rainstorm

This is what I'm reading now. Alan Bradley's latest book just came in for me at the library. I've loved all of the books in his Flavia de Luce mystery series. Flavia, the young scientist cum detective, reminds me a bit of Cecil, the thirteen year old narrator in Rumer Godden's The Greengage Summer. So clever and perceptive, so precocious, so exasperating, and yet so vulnerable. I have great hopes for this sixth book in Bradley's series. And I'm still reading Tish Jett's Forever Chic. I've read her blog A Femme d'un Certain Age for years. And I'm really enjoying her book... taking notes, in fact.


So that's it, really. Biking (sometimes near big birds), baking (surprisingly), enjoying time with buddies, reading good books...oh, and blogging, of course. Can't forget that. 

And ...speaking of words that begin with "B." Because Hubby and I live in the nation's capital... and this is a federal election year. And because the writ was dropped so early... giving us an eleven week campaign instead of the usual five week average. We must gird our loins, and prepare ourselves for the onslaught of 'bull.' Not the actual bovine creatures that Hubby and I see in the fields as we bike past. Not that kind of bull. The other kind. 

Parliament Hill

Now as we used to say when I was a kid... I have to "boot it." We've a wedding to attend tomorrow, and I have no idea if Hubby's suit still fits him. In true jock fashion, he never wears his one good suit. Last time was to my niece's wedding in December 2012, and since he's been so extra careful about diet and fitness since his heart surgery, I've a funny feeling the pants will fall right off him. And then I have to pack, since the next day I am heading out east to spend ten days with my mum. Busy, busy.

What are you up to, by the way?





15 comments:

  1. I am jealous of that rain you had, here in California we are desperate for some! Your biking looks like fun, I just got back from my evening leisurely bike ride. Have fun at the wedding.!

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    1. Thanks, Angelina. Hope you get rain soon.

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  2. Well , I've just downloaded Flavia no 1 to my kindle for less than a pound , thanks for that . Hope we get to see you in your wedding finery with hubby holding his trousers up . Enjoy the day & the trip to your mum
    Wendy in York

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    1. I read your comment earlier this morning and I'm still laughing about Hubby "holding up his trousers." Actually they fit much better than we thought they would. He was relieved..no need to shop for a new suit! Hope you like the Flavia books, Wendy.

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  3. Hi Susan, I thoroughly enjoyed Tish's book, and I have a recommendation for another style book which I think is just as good. It's called 'What to Wear for the Rest of Your Life' by Kim Johnson Gross (she did a whole series of books on chic style a few years ago). It's specifically for the over-50s, I think, and it is very good indeed - it also talks about body changes and how to deal with them in a chic way. I see that Amazon only has it at full price, but it was a bargain bin find for me.

    We are gearing up for a road trip down east as well! Next Friday we'll be on our way to Halifax and Cape Breton, via stops in Edmunston and Saint Andrews. Since it's a road trip, I'll be packing EVERYTHING!! :0) Safe journey for your own trip, have a great time with your mum.

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    1. Thanks for the recommendation, Patricia. Hope you have a great trip as well. Love all those places. Especially Saint Andrews. My niece is the events co-ordinator at The Algonquin Hotel. When she got the job, I told her I was jealous that she would be living in Saint Andrews. Just wondering though...why Edmunston?

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    2. Oh, that's just where we stop for the night!

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  4. I love the Flavia books as well. I haven't had much chance to bike this summer, since we have had so much extreme heat and humidity. Tomorrow I'm taking a free indoor cycling class. We'll see ...

    I seriously envy your short election campaign season. It's forever here, and just gets longer every time. Ugh.

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    1. I hear you. There is so much electioneering leading up to the election down your way...that the actual election must be almost anticlimactic. Indoor cycling...is that like spinning or on bikes that move?

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  5. I should catch up with Flavia! I think the last one I read was perhaps the 4th or 5th. They're such fun! As is your post -- you have so much going on and really seem to be making the most of your retirement. I'm starting to feel the shape of mine more clearly as all my colleagues are back preparing for the beginning of term right now.
    Wish we could relieve you of some of that rain. . . Never ever thought I'd say that, here on what has always been the Wet Coast.

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    1. Finding the 'shape of our retirement' is a bit like crafting a great course outline... for this semester of our lives. Don't you think?

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  6. Well you have been b b busy! I'm curious now have never read any Flavia books. I like the sound of them, will have to track them down. Hope you enjoy the wedding and your visit to your mum. Definitely hints of Autumn in the air here but still hopeful that summer weather will prevail a little longer Iris

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    1. Hope you like the books, Iris. Certainly summer here in N.B. with temperatures of +31 c this week.

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  7. The views of your cycling routes and from your house look beautiful .... even in the rain! It must be lovely to look out onto the river and see the view changing through the seasons. Have a wonderful time with your mum. I m back home now and facing mountains of washing .. Such fun :) so I m off for a coffee and an early walk. Best to start the day in a positive way!
    Rosie

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  8. Finally, a fashion blogger over 40! I'm 53, living in Vancouver BC and I love following fashion bloggers. I stumbled across yours via another one. You have a great sense of fashion and I love your looks. Thanks a bunch

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All comments, ideas, commiserations, questions, complaints... are most welcome.