Holiday 8 - Canada

It's the last part of my holiday - some relaxing family time in Ontario, Canada. My garden visiting will be minimal. I might even do some serious outdoor clothes shopping instead!

Tuesday 26th June

A house piano for me! Yippee! And for Stephen, a donut shop within walking distance. Hmm... Enough said... When we get home there will be general house dieting - certain humans can join Fluff-Fluff the supersized cat and Rusty the dog, who always comes back from the kennels shaped like a coffee table.

 A lovely little dog.

Charlie the Dog

The Hamilton house dog, Charlie, has all the moves. He has the most brilliant begging routine - he can widen those cute brown eyes, making them big and round and oh so irresistible. George the house cat is the floppiest cat I've ever met. He's a long haired Siamese with a chocolate brown face and deep blue eyes, and a rich contralto miaow. Though he has exactly the same body shape, face shape, and colouring as the sheep down the road back home. If I'm not concentrating on the scale of things...

 Hee hee.
Canada Freeway Cars

While I'm in Hamilton I'm going to do some web-work and visit the Hamilton Royal Botanic Gardens. That word 'royal' looks impressive! And I've made a serious piano pledge, which I want to record.

Piano Pledge

  1. I will play my piano twice every day.
  2. I won't ever, ever call it 'piano practice', ever again.
  3. I will buy a tall and sensible lamp so I can see the music better.
  4. I will even memorise my Albeniz.

Thursday 28th June

We've been driving across Ontario on the 403, the 401, and the 402, to visit a friend in Sarnia. It was so nice - I love her lilies! The bridge to the USA, called the Bluewater Bridge, spans the river here, and staring off up the vast watery Lake Huron you'd never know that it wasn't the open sea.

 In her garden in Sarnia.
My Friend's Lilies

Meeting new (and old!) gardening friends on this trip has been really heart-warming. We all do the same things, and I guess we make the same mistakes - and resolutions never to do that again!

'Gardening friends make a big, scary world seem so small and joyful.'
-Moosey Words of Wisdom.

Fellow gardeners are the greatest company, too, and so easy to spend time with. Gardening friends make a big, scary world seem so small and joyful.

I love checking the maps, though seeing my own country, New Zealand, way down there at the bottom of the page is quite alarming - oh dear! We are almost off the map. I wonder if anyone will ever have the courage to visit us in return! Please do!

 Couldn't resist taking this photograph!
Canada Freeway Trucks

Friday 29th June

Today I had the best and worst garden experiences - first the brilliant summer perennial borders in Laking Gardens, then my meeting with gypsy moth caterpillars, busy totally stripping leaves from trees and Wisteria vines in the Hamilton rose gardens. Aargh! The gardening world is full of nasty surprises - like those Darth Vaderish Japanese beetles I saw in Alabama. Please, please, don't cross the seas!

 Stunning yellows, stunning grasses.
Laking Garden Perennials

Saturday 30th June

Well, I am almost home. My Grand Tour is coming to an end - I'm at San Francicso airport, sitting in the lounge looking sentimentally at the swirly designs on the Air New Zealand plane. It won't be long before I hear some New Zealand accents - yippee!

I'm so sorry, San Francisco, but you spooked me - I know you didn't mean to. My thoughts were already further away than you could ever imagined. I wandered past your down-town beggars, one ever four or five paces, and got sick of the no-eye-contact-be-nonchalant rule, so took refuge in a gentile modern Art Gallery where I stared at Chagalls, Miros, and Picassos. What wonderful art! And such a contrast to the street outside!

My Last Oops

I had huge troubles navigating - everything on my map seemed to be in the opposite direction. And then I did the stupidest thing - I found the perfect tour bus, but didn't have enough money, or so I thought. My pockets were full of quarters from a subway change machine, but silly me (minus spectacles) thought they were all 10 cent pieces.

So I gave up, and went back through the beggars to the subway, where my last beggar got lucky - he asked for a few cents and got a huge handful of quarters. Oh well - back to the visa-card sterility of the airport for this tired world traveller. Downtown San Francisco - I'm so sorry! Next time I'll find your Golden Gate Park and Japanese Tea House - I promise!