Posted by: Valerie | July 20, 2010

Hot times in the capital


Oh my! I’d forgotten! Probably the last children’s birthday party I gave/attended was for the father of the current celebrant. Of course I am referring to Deklin’s first birthday party last Saturday. Chaos – but in a good way of course!

 Joe and I travelled up to Ottawa the day before the big event and fed our neglected appetite for big city sophistication. It was hot, hot, hot but we managed a trip to the Byward Market and an elegant lunch at Lapointe’s classy fish restaurant, followed by a visit to Zone, Canada’s best home shop which has the most gorgeous stuff. We came staggering out with bulky parcels. Lovely website too. Take a look.  Then off to the Glebe to see if we’d missed anything good. Ottawa is at its very best at the height of summer and the three major waterways means lots of beautifully groomed waterfront to enjoy whether is by way of a drive, bike ride or a stroll or jog. Me jog? Don’t think so! 

For my friends who don't know the city

I have actually lived in Ottawa longer than I have anywhere else. I clock in at 24 years. Dundee, Scotland 20  years, London, 2 years and later 3 years, the North-east of England 2 years plus 7 years and to top it off, 7 years here in Bancroft with Joe. Now I have never, ever lived in any housee longer than seven years so maybe it’s time for a move. Joe and I talk about it from time to time  usually when we have just had a tiring gardening session or worse still, snow shovelling episode.

Saturday was party day. James and Angela and friend Kris seem to be working hard for at least a couple of days to prepare for the event. A new above-ground swimming pool was purchased and installed, presents were bought and wrapped, food prepared and a couple of runs to the beer store were necessary for the adult attendees. In fact there were more adults than children at the do. Deklin’s three grandpas were present, Joe being an honorary Grandpa. Yes, that means John the ex was there with his wife. Everyone was civilized towards each other. Grandma Mary Dee is also divorced so there was all sorts of potential for things to get hot and steamy but only the weather performed that role. Imagine the scene if all the kids were playing happily and all the grandparents were at each others’ throats! Didn’t happen.

 The cake – the cake was huge and gooey with rainbow colours of icing. Deklin had never had cake before but he made a very good stab at it, getting right in there and squeezing it so that the icing squirted nicely before applying it to his mouth, cheeks, nose, chin and hair. I believe that he still had orange icing in his hair when he finally fell asleep around nine pm. Presents were great but of course ribbon and wrapping paper were even more fun.


Jamie (I still call him that and I noticed that his father does too, even though he elected to be called James at about the age of five) is still very close to his old friends which is nice to see. Of course, not having moved away from his home base makes that more likely. His brother and sister both lost touch with friends when they left for University but of course found new ones along the way. The advent of Facebook has changed that and I’m sure that all of us who use it have reconnected with almost-forgotten distant friends.

Our trip to the city ended with a visit to the Ottawa Farmers’ Market to buy some yak sausages  from amazing Rosemary. Yum, yum yak!

 We have had a frustrating couple of days as Joe lost the keys to his “shop” and the lawn tractor which was on the same keyring. Bad news as the lawn was beginning to resemble a meadow. Joe does not like losing things and we both spent a lot of time hunting high and low – in the house, in the shop, and all over the ground in between. No success. Eventually Joe ordered a new key, then discovered that his son, Stephen, who lives in Toronto, has our spare. Stephen agreed to send it by courier. Today Joe phoned a repair man in the village of Coe Hill and found that he had a key that would fit so away he drove, with tires a-squealing, to make the100 km round-trip. Triumph! So off he went to mow his meadow – a hot and sticky business that required an immediate shower when he finished. Guess what! Yes, you’ve got it – he found the lost keys in the pocket of a pair of pants. He has been very quiet since then so I can’t work out whether he’s pleased or not.

 So now my mission – should I choose to accept it – is to get out there with the whipper-snipper (or nipple-whipper! Ouch!) and trim the edges. I do love our yard but really it is – BIG!

 Ring update – I’ve got it and it’s lovely.

Old diamonds and a new sapphire


  1. Lovely memories of Deklin’s first birthday gig and your trip to Ottawa.
    We spend lots of time looking for things too. Chiefly the batteries for Jack’s hearing aid which is no bigger than my baby toenail. We drop things.

    Your ring is gorgeous and will give you a lift, I am sure, as new jewels do! Such an interesting blog.
    All those moves. Wow. I seem only to move in ten year increments.

    • Hunting for hearing aid batteries is a challenge I understand but I’d accept the challenge if Joe would only accept the fact that he’s getting deaf. It is now at the stage when the volume he needs to hear the TV is painful to me. He has earphones which fix the problem if only he would wear them. They apparently scratch his head. Grrr!

  2. Great re-cap of fabulous events!
    Our sons are true friends and adorable Deklin benefits from the joy they create together. What FUN growning up with solid male role models! He’s a fortunate little guy.
    OHHH…the pleasure you derive from being a proud grandmother – enjoy the ride.
    Love your newest & most fabulous BLING!

    • Thanks Lori, for all the kind words. It’s great to get some feedback from my “readers”. Sometimes I wonder why my boring old everyday life would be of interest to anyone but I get lots of hits so I guess it is. Anway, I enjoy writing.

  3. I couldn’t find my house keys one day (I often let myself in and out through the garage with the opener so I don’t need keys) and wracked my brain trying to remember where I had last seen them. I had them in my hand, to let myself back in through the front door, and I had been coming from somewhere, where I had picked up garbage. I checked the bottom of the green garbage bag liner of the large trash can in the garage and they were there! What a shock, especially only one day before garbage day. Good thing I found them, otherwise they would have gone out with the garbage and it would have always been a mystery as to where they had gone.

    • I think I once chucked a lovely turquoise ring that I bought in AZ out with the garbage. Good thing you found the keys though. It would have driven me insane not knowing where they had gone.

  4. I like your photos, you have a good eye for photos.

    • Thanks for taking an interest and your kind comment. I must say that your paintings are very interesting. I do understand the concept of synaesthenia and days of the week and some numbers have always had colours for me too.

      I will certainly visit your webpage from time to time. Shall I post a link on my Facebook page?

      You are so fortunate to live in Taos – I’ve always wanted to go there but the nearest I have been is Arizona. I live in rural Ontario, Canada.

  5. Come and visit me again and we can have a trip to Taos and Santa Fe–only a seven hour drive.

    • I’ll be right there!

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