Even though most Canadians have never been North, really North - Arctic North - we seem to have a certain connection with it. With the images, if not the actual place. It is a part of our consciousness. Those images from The Group of Seven and Inuit artists permeate our being, though I am certain that many of us could not name the artists who have created those images.
That part is not something to be proud of.
In the last two days we have lost two prominent artists, Doris McCarthy and Kananginak Pootoogook. Ms McCarthy was 100 and lived a full and exuberant life by the Scarborough Bluffs (in Toronto). When she retired form teaching at age 62 she had no idea that she still had so much living and creating ahead of her. She travelled throughout Canada and the world, but many of her more recognized paintings were of landscapes and the icebergs of the Arctic. Mr Pootoogook was born in a traditional Inuit hunting camp on Baffin Island 75 years ago, but when he moved to Cape Dorset (Nunavut) in the early 1950s, he became involved in establishing an art collective that showcases Inuit art. He was a sculptor and lithographer and is perhaps most recognized through his prints of wildlife.
So yesterday (and by 'yesterday', I actually mean Monday. I am a slow writer....) was Snow Tire Day. The annual ritual of preparing for the stuff that has already befallen on Alberta and BC (and other points west, not to mention much of Sweden judging by their lovely, wintery scene laden photoblogs). Anyway, even though we had not one inch of snow last year, making Snow Tire Day a reduntant ritual, I decided not to risk it. Besides, I needed new tires anyway, so why not get the heavy duty, practical ones.
By a strange quirk which would be too tedious to explain, but does actually make sense (you'll just have to trust me) my snow tires from last year were stored at a garage an hour and a half away. I had an appointment for 1PM. I gave myself 2 hours, because one never knows with traffic. I was there in 1 hour 10 minutes. Even with a cop hovering on the highway, I made excellent time. And because it was an unseasonably warm 15C I opted for a leisurely stroll along the waterfront to eat my sandwich. That was when I realized my sandwich was still sitting on the counter at home. I am getting so much better at not letting such things put me in a ripping foul temper. I enjoyed the warm weather and found a place to buy something else for lunch.
Then I thought, well, I've come this far, once my tires are on I may as well go another half hour and visit my brother who has just opened up a new store. An antique store. I was really quite excited to see this new venture and see what kind of vendors had rented space.
Now, I am almost glad they are not closer to home, because I would be running out of money. And space for more stuff. I have a thing for buying glass. Especially glasses (of the drinking variety). You could all stop by for a drink at the same time and I would not run out of glasses. And now I have 2 more. I only buy in 2s now, because sets of 6 or more takes up way to much room and I don't actually have that many friends who need matching glasses when they visit.
But really, the thing that caught my eye were these Hand blown door knobs. Danish.
In a most striking and beautiful shade of turquoise. My most favourite colour.
I was their biggest spender that day. Now I just need to find a tumbler that fits.....actually FOUR tumblers that fit.
Well, I am making use of my fancy walking stick I bought last year, at least. My toe is still swollen and very tender. But I have found a sweet spot on my heel where I can put pressure without sending searing pain throughout my foot. It doesn't seem to be broken, but it doesn't really matter - pain is pain. All this means more time spent in cafes, sitting on comfy chairs by the window.... and I don't have a laptop.
Anyway, before all this happened, I took myself off on a house tour to see what I would get if I held the winning ticket for the Princess Margaret Sweepstakes. You can view the house, with a virtual tour and long detailed description of this 3.6 million dollar home that comes furnished by Lynda Reeves (a local designer and editor of House&Home magazine) by visiting helpconquercancer.ca. But, I had to experience the opulence for myself.
It is a large house, modelled on vacation homes in The Hamptons, specifically the one in Something's Gotta Give, which I haven't seen, so the references were lost on me. After seeing the model home in Oakville, I googled the one from the movie and noticed that the Long Island house was much, much brighter. And more casual and cozy.
Nothing is spared. It is a keyless entry (as someone who is always losing her keys, I love this feature - it reads your fingerprints). The kitchen floor is heated, there is an amazing picture window over the sink and tons of storage. Two dishwashers and an industrial 10 burner gas stove with a massive range hood. The stainless steel appliances and cabinets make it look a little less casual in my view, but I like the space. (the steel cabinets are on the other side - to balance out the enormous stove) There are lots of big windows where you can look out on your tiny bit of yard surrounding the house. And the neighbours in their small, single storey 1950 ranch style bungalows. I feel a little sorry for them, having to deal with hundreds of people wandering by to view the house for the past couple of months. And the fact that now they have this totally out of place large (but beautiful) house in their neighbourhood.
The most striking feature I noticed while walking through the living room with the cathedral ceiling and the upstairs corridor that overlooks the same living room was the incredible amount of wasted space. For a 6,500 sq ft home, the rooms were not oversized and there were only three bedrooms (and six washrooms!) but there was still an enormous amount of wasted space. Then again there was also an enormous amount of storage. OMG, the storage! It was everywhere! I like these hinges, which were also predominent on every door.
There was even a dogwashing station in the wide mudroom.