list

of movies I would recommend people check out:

Pina by Wim Wenders

It came highly recommended by a dear friend of mine and i must say he was dead on with this.

The Sacrifice by Andrei Tarkovsky

A poetic film about the sadness and torture of our human condition – a must see!

Fantastic Mr Fox by Wes Anderson

“Why the cuss didn’t I listen to my lawyer?”

Alone in the Wilderness by Dick Proenneke

I can watch this all day every day. It puts me in a settling state of mind all the time.

photo

All the classics, naturally, by Hitchcock and Woody Allen I am sure are already on most people’s radar.

I’ve had this conversation with myself a million times and I think it all boils down to this. When I watch a movie: I like to be moved and mentally surprised – and sometimes a movie can unveil a sadness that lives somewhere within me.

At the end of the day we all want to be moved and challenged – call it human nature.

Feel free to share something that moves or inspires you…

blasé

Just one of those days…There is nothing worse than feeling mildly depressed and hearing the rain pound heavily on my window.

I think the combination of the two is powerful enough to put me into a deep coma, which I might awake from by having sunlight rays covering my body or seeing kittens walking all over my Kafka books.

Nothing that I do is quite right for my mind frame on days like this and everything seems like a huge burden.

The only thing that makes sense in this case is to retreat back to comfort food – something that I think we have all been conditioned to fall back on.

So here I go re-inventing the wheel, which starts off with my favourite chicken soup recipe.

rubber boots

I wonder who were the committee members of one should not wear rubber boots under any circumstances campaign here in Germany?

It’s pouring outside so naturally I decide to wear my rain boots. As I walk proudly through the streets thinking, ‘ah, my feet will be nice and dry’ I notice people looking at my footwear choice with great disapproval. I catch one lady actually turning around after she had passed me to check out if in fact she saw correctly that I am wearing rubber boots.

Rubber boots are considered a faux pas here in Germany and you will be stared at if you wear them. The only exception to this rule is if you are a kid. Oh, but wait a minute: bizarrely, Uggs are a huge yes..

Here is my perspective on the matter – I will continue to wear my rubber boots when it rains and not risk damaging my leather footwear and/or having cold wet feet.

Come on, you know you want to order a pair…..

rubberboots500x

the dress

August 2013 – I was in a mad panic to find the perfect dress for a wedding I was attending on Vancouver Island. I resorted to the one store I knew would live up to all expectations. Oliver & Lilly’s, a Vancouver based clothing store – newly located at 1575 West 6th Ave. between Fir St. and Granville – I find completely utterly quaint. There is just no other store with the same kind of uniqueness and devotion.

I had a tight timeline from the time I landed to the time I was expected to attend the wedding. Initially, I had ordered the dress online and wanted it shipped before I left Toronto for Vancouver, but the store emailed me to advise that the shipment would not arrive on time. So instead, when I arrived in Vancouver, they opened the store, even though it was closed at the time for renovations. Leighann met me personally there to hand me my dress with a personalized note thanking me for my purchase. I was incredibly thrilled to be part of Oliver & Lilly’s world.

I will forever remain a loyal customer! Here is to you, Oliver & Lilly’s, for being extremely delightful!!

• Visit their store online or in person – you will not be disappointed •

images © Jamie Mann

there has been an addition to our household

No, not a baby.

After pondering and a great deal of searching we found a great low maintenance addition to our house.

Moss!

There was a lovely local outdoor market last weekend right outside our door step which we were walking through. When we neared the plants section it dawned on me that this would be the answer I had been looking for, so I bought two strips of moss.

I used my fast walking pace home only to discover, once I took apart the two strips, an ecosystem with living creatures, and part of the top strip moldy.

Now comes the list of ‘I had no idea’:

  • you can revive moldy moss by putting it in a dark area with water at the bottom. I was excited to see it work after a day!
  • it’s not that easy interacting with moss – if you buy freshly cut moss with earth, which I did, you should watch out for tiny creatures wanting to say hello
  • moss is known for its musty smell – something to get used to
  • you can make art with moss

Moss is ideal, due to its low maintenance, for an art piece. Stay tuned to see what I come up with…

Moss

Before (above) – After (to come)

 

bunch of happy happy animals right in the city

The idea of wild animals being captured in a zoo is by no means something I encourage or promote. I have seen many zoos in my life and I always leave with a sense of discouragement and feeling sorry for the captive animals.

Two weeks ago I visited the zoo right in the city of Koln in Germany. From the time I entered the premise a sense of relief surrounded me. The zoo itself is about 20 hectares, which, to put it into perspective, is about 14 times smaller than the Toronto Zoo. It is extremely clean, the animals are interactive with one another and they mate. As I walked around the different exhibits I saw many babies bouncing around their parents. Below is just one example of a baby elephant alongside the mom and dad, but you can find many more examples.

The idea of zoos is still quite daunting for me but the Kölner Zoo seems to be doing something right…

elefanten-500

building-car-500

building/car

I took this photograph because it not only put a smile on my face, it also captivated me and depicted the particular perfection of working in an architecturally significant glass building – creating and keeping true to one’s pride, which in Germany, is one’s car. I will have both please!