After a stressful morning on Tuesday my husband suggested that I drive to Hamilton to spend some time with the family. I had originally planned to go there on Thursday but my father’s CAT scan appointment came through and it turned out to be on the same day. On the weekend we didn’t see Gaelan, Brendan or Winnie because Gaelan came down with a stomach flu.
I was in desperate need of some ‘Winnie’ time so I quickly fed the neighbour’s cat (a story for another time), put the car seat back in the car (in case we decided to drive somewhere in Hamilton) and headed out for the highway.
Just before I reached the onramp for the QEW I remembered that I had left the dog outside and forgot to lock the front door. Back I went.
Eventually I did get to Hamilton and spent the day playing games and reading to Winnie. While I was there I noticed that the sun was trying to come out and it seemed to warm up. After much coaxing we finally convinced Winnie to go for a walk to the playground at Dundurn Castle.
We spent about an hour there and then we had a hard time convincing Winnie it was time to go home.
….celebrating a day early makes for a nice restful Easter Sunday
On Saturday I got up early to put the turkey in the oven. I made the stuffing the night before so that saved me some time and I hid a few eggs before I retired for the evening. Despite all the advanced prep work I still found myself working right up till the moment the first of my kids arrived but I must admit that it was considerably less stressful than other years. I did manage to get the table set and hide all the Easter eggs.
My daughter and daughter-in-law took over the egg decorating job and my husband started up the BBQ where he cooked all the vegetables.
Our granddaughter and her parents and other grandmother were the last to arrive and little Winnie didn’t waste any time looking for the treats that the Easter Bunny hid around the house.
After dinner most of us decided we needed to get some fresh air and walk off some of the calories that we had consumed. Our son-in-law made us some wonderful cocktails to start the meal, Gaelan prepared a delicious cheesy cauliflower bake and Andrea and Josie made a decadent chocolate panna cotta for dessert. On top of the turkey and the rice stuffing I also made gluten free spring pasta salad. Luckily the rain had stopped so we headed to the park and continued to the playground a few blocks over.
I hope all of you had as wonderful day as I did. Happy Easter everyone!
Christmas Day this year was a very relaxed day. We opted to forgo the turkey dinner and order in Chinese food. After a bit of a lie in I convinced my father to go for a walk with me through the neighbourhood and check out the decorations. We donned our Santa hats and off we went.
Our daughter and daughter-in-law arrived later in the afternoon and we opened more presents. Everybody was on board with Chinese food, especially my father, and we ordered for a pick-up. I don’t know if you’re aware but Chinese food restaurants are very busy on Christmas Day. Eating at home was less hectic than eating out and much cheaper.
After dinner clean-up was very easy. We packed up the leftovers and gave some to all the parties present. All of us had another meal the next day.
Later the girls and I dressed warmly and took the dogs for a walk and checked out the lights around the neighbourhood.
….no White Christmas this year and no snow in site
For some the prospect of no snow this winter would be heavenly but for others like me it would be disappointing. Others just want snow for Christmas and then it can be snowless for the rest of the winter but for many, winter in Canada wouldn’t be winter without a good snowfall or two or three. Those people include skiers, snow boarders, chalet owners and of course children who dream of a snow day when the schools are closed (a rare occurrence in this neck of the woods).
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were both clear and cold with no snow in site. On the upside there was no wind and it was very comfortable for walking. I convinced my father to dress warmly and get outside for a walk through the neighbourhood on Christmas morning. We donned our Santa hats until my Dad decided his wasn’t warm enough and we took a leisurely walk along Lakeshore Drive and up Ninth Street, which my father fondly calls Santa Alley.
It was fun greeting other walkers with a Merry Christmas and stopping here and there to take a few shots of peoples’ decorations. Here are some of the sites we shared together that morning.
Right now it’s 4 degrees Celsius (39 degrees Fahrenheit) and the high on Saturday is going up to 9 degrees Celsius (48 degrees Fahrenheit). As for snow there’s none in sight until January 6 and then it is only snow showers.
Down the hill from Highgate Cemetery we were directed to look for a pub that came highly recommended. Unfortunately when we got there the pub was being completely renovated and wasn’t open for business. We didn’t have to walk far before we found another place with a lovely patio. It was a little chilly to be sitting outside so we opted to go inside The Vine. Only one other table was occupied but the bartender greeted us and directed us to a table for four and handed us menus.
Normally an empty pub doesn’t bode well for good service or food but in this case it was completely the opposite. Our waiter was delightful and the food was delicious.
After a pint of larger or cider and a few sharing plates we headed off towards Camden Market.
With hundreds of stalls selling clothing, crafts, and food, Camden Market is one of Europe’s largest markets. It is divided into different markets. We started in the Camden Lock Market which is on the street level and next to the locks. There were lots of food vendors here and a variety of stalls selling anything from books, music and flowers to vintage clothes.
At first glance I thought the market was actually quite small but then we walked through a hole in the brick wall and we experienced a whole new world. There are literally hundreds of vendors in the Stables Market.
The Stables Market is located in historic former stables and the Grade II horse hospital which served the horses pulling Pickford’s distribution vans and barges along the canal. Many of the stalls and shops are set in large arches in railway viaducts.
It is very easy to get lost in this place. If you like this kind of market give yourself a couple of hours to really see this place and check out all the vendors.