….thanks to Becky B for hosting Walking Squares https://beckybofwinchester.com/2022/11/27/walking-squares-27/
One of my favourite shopping neighbourhoods in Toronto is Bloor West Village. After I dropped my daughter off at her home, just east of this community I drove along Bloor Street and parked on one of the side streets. Even though it was raining I wanted to check out the green grocers and some of the dress stores.
….thanks to Becky B or hosting Walking Squares https://beckybofwinchester.com/2022/11/26/walking-squares-26/
It’s that time of year. The Christmas decorations and lights are popping up, the malls are getting busy and our computers are getting a workout with on-line shopping. After a two year absence, churches are opening their doors for annual Christmas Bazaars and Craft Sales. That’s where my walk took me today…..St. Margaret’s Anglican Church.
….a quick trip to Marshall’s for back to school clothes
Winnie and her Mom are spending the last week of summer with us before heading back to New Brunswick and the beginning of the new school year. Of course this meant that a trip to the store for new clothes was a must. Believe it or not Winnie was a bit hesitant about buying new clothing but once we started trying on outfits, almost everything she tried was on the ‘Buy’ list. Here is what we left the store with.
For what I paid for these 7 outfits plus new running shoes I could have paid the same amount for one outfit at Sherway Gardens. Thank you Marshall’s. We also made a side trip to Staples where her Mom bought her a new book bag and a pen and pencil.
….today was our last full day in London
Tomorrow morning an Uber driver will pick us up at 8:00 am and take us to the Heathrow Airport. All week I wanted to return to Liberty so that I could browse through this amazing but expensive department store.
Today we took the Victoria South train and headed towards Oxford Circus. When we got there I wasn’t disappointed. When you first arrive you are greeted by the most wonderful flower shop attached to the Liberty store.
As you enter the store your senses are accosted by the smell of perfume and the bright colours of the fashion display that is currently featured.
I was hoping to find a nice Liberty scarf for a friend’s birthday but the sticker shock may have sent the feint of heart back onto the street. I proceeded to the elevators and headed for the floor where the Liberty fabrics were on display. I knew that on this floor I would find something that fit into my budget. I wasn’t disappointed.
Kevin was walking around the floor while I went through a bin of fabric ends. When I selected a couple of pieces he assured me there was nothing else to see. When I peaked into the next room I found plenty of things that caught my eye. At the far end of the room there were some cosy chairs so Kevin settled in while I browsed some more. He quickly engaged in conversation with a couple of middle aged American women and I could hear them laughing half way through the store.
After making a few more purchases I picked Kevin up and we made our way to the basement where the men’s wear resides.
One of the things that Kevin has wanted for many years is a Barbour coat. Sure enough they had them there but unfortunately or perhaps fortunately they didn’t have one in his size. I say fortunately because we walked over to Carnaby Street and there was a store devoted to only Barbour clothing for men.
Not only did they have Kevin’s size they also had it in the blue colour that he really wanted, The best part, however, was that it was £90 cheaper than the same coat at Liberty.
We continued to walk through Carnaby Street and throughly enjoyed being tourists.
It was a great way to end our trip. After returning to our flat we started to pack up a few things and brought some of our leftovers over to our daughter-in-law, Azadeh, and we had a couple of new picture books for Sevin. Azadeh made us a wonderful farewell dinner. Unfortunately our son, Brendan had to work late tonight. He will drop by early tomorrow morning before our Uber arrives to take us to the airport.
Good-bye London. We had a great time and hopefully we’ll be back soon.
….November 25, 2021
We rarely go to the mall. Even here in Canada there are Black Friday Sales and we will probably avoid going to any malls and big box stores on Friday. When I have gone to the mall in the last two weeks it has been relatively quiet so I wasn’t uncomfortable going there to window shop. I have to admit that a lot of my shopping is still done on-line. Yesterday my husband had to step into the mall because his eye doctor has her office there. After his appointment he couldn’t wait to leave and he was out of there like his hair was on fire.
I, on the other hand, like to window shop and take in the Christmas decorations. Here are a few lovely trios of gifts some of which I could never afford to buy.
….a great farmers’ market and lovely small town
Last Saturday the forecast wasn’t great for an outing but that didn’t stop hundreds of people from going to the Farmers’ Market in St. Jacob.
We were actually quite surprised how busy the parking lot was and then we were surprised by how many people didn’t wear masks. Coming from Toronto, we are used to wearing masks and seeing the older people in the crowd not wearing them was quite shocking to us.
We met up with friends, who are also from Toronto and walked through the market together. There were a lot of great deals on bulk purchases so we split the cost on some items and shared the bounty. Before leaving the market, Max shared some of the freshly made apple fritters with us. I can see why they were a must have item for him.
Dining in here is still a no go in Ontario but it is about to change for some areas later in the week. After buying a variety of fruits and vegetables and meats we parted ways. Max and Monica returned to Toronto and Kevin and I decided to drive north to the town of St. Jacobs and explore a bit.
St. Jacobs is a popular location for tourists due to its quaint village appearance, retail focus and Mennonite heritage. Waterloo Region is still home to the largest population of Old Order Mennonites in Canada, particularly in the areas around St Jacobs and Elmira.
We did see some Mennonites at the market but not in town. The first place we stopped at was the local craft brewery called Block 3.
I loved this wall of mugs where local customers had their own personal mug for drinking beer. We sampled a few beers but because it was raining and we couldn’t sit outside we purchased a dozen to drink at home.
After loading up the car we started to venture out to the main street but I ended up going alone while Kevin waited in the car. (purely for health reasons). I could have spent a much longer time looking through the stores but I knew that my time was limited so I chose one store in particular to explore.
….after a forced trip to Costco
I needed my winter tires taken off my car. I haven’t driven very much since this isolation started back in March. In fact I filled up just before this started and I was down to a quarter of a tank when I filled up again two days ago. That was 8 weeks between fill-ups.
Anyway I digress. I got an appointment at the Tire Centre at Costco very easily. I booked on-line and took the first appointment available. So on the 13th of May I drove to Costco at 9:30 in the morning. I walked straight into the warehouse past a huge line-up of people waiting to get into the store to shop.
After I dropped off the car I had an hour and a half wait so I decided I might as well join the line and pick up some flowers for the yard. It took about 30 minutes to get inside. Once inside I felt completely safe. There were very few people in the building and the check out was very organized.
An hour is a long time so I ended up buying more than I had planned to but I did only purchase things that I needed or would need shortly.
When I got home I arranged the flowers in the front and back of the house. That blast of instant colour made my trip to Costco all the more worthwhile.
….at times the streets are empty and it’s an eerie feeling
Today, however, was a beautiful sunny day. The dog walkers were all out and mostly they were alone with their pet. A few people that were walking together were clearly couples who were probably cooped up all day together anyway.
Everyone was very respectful of the acceptable distance between people and when someone came down the street in my direction, either I or the other person stepped off the sidewalk and continued walking on the road. Funny how a few months ago this would have seemed anti-social and weird.
Even in the grocery store people go about their business quickly. People seem to know what they need and they spend as little time as possible in the store. In my local grocery store there are no empty shelves and there was a lot of toilet paper today. The cashiers are all separated from the customers by plexiglass shields at the cash and they all wore gloves. There was tape fixed to the floor with six feet between strips and people observed the social distancing rules.
As soon as I got home I washed my hands, something that I’ve always done but now I’m super diligent about it.
The other thing that both my husband and I have started doing again is bake. Today we started the dough for bread that we will bake tomorrow and while I was in the mood I made an almond cake. We had the cake for dessert tonight with some strawberries and cream. Being aware of the Corona 15 (the 15 pounds that many people will gain during this pandemic) we ate only one slice and then I froze the rest for another day.