This is indeed a land of paradox on many fronts

Let’s talk size….

UK has a population of around 60 million but Norway which is almost twice as large in area has less than 5 million and most of those are concentrated in the Country’s largest cities, Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim  and Stavinger. That’s a lot of unoccupied land

they have one of the highest living standards in the western world AND the highest cost of living

They have a healthy social infrastructure that includes free schooling; excellent child care and medical services yet most of the commercial retailer close at 5pm throughout the week, close for lunch and don’t open on Sundays!!

It’s like going back 40 years to the innocent hazy lazy days without internet and a million TV channels.

The quality living of the 70’s with all the benefits of the 21st century!
They have high earnings yet alcohol is so expensive that many Norwegians nurse one or two drinks only during a night out.

A Starbucks Americano will cost you approximately Can$12

A mediocre bottle of wine $70

A local brew $15

A small non descript beer will cost you around $12

But hey you’re not expected to tip

Hotels on the other hand can be excellent value as – for instance – somewhere like The Clarion Collection Hotel chain includes breakfast, afternoon snacks, coffee and a buffet supper included inthe price thud saving an unsuspecting traveller the need to re mortgage their house back home to “eat out”

It’s the land of the midnight sun and 3am picnics and long dark polar nights that go on as long as 3 months above latitude 70
They speak English like native Brits – quite often with a British regional accent yet their transport system ticket machines, map and signage is virtually unfathomable unless you have a helpful Norwegian to hand.

For instance – the trains are beautiful, well maintained, smooth and efficient, you could eat your lunch off the floor they are that clean!

BUT there are no maps on the platforms so if you did manage to purchase a ticket good luck with working out which platform you need. Worse is when you find that you could’ve gotten away without paying that $30 ticket to travel 2 stops. There are no ticket collection barriers or machines and often the conductor who collects and issues tickets on the train doesn’t make an appearance!

Home to some of the most beautiful landscape on the planet Norway is  the motherland of cross country skiing. We saw hordes of perfect Norwegian specimens riding several hours on the train only to alight at stations where whiteout situations prevailed.; where essentially there was NOTHING TO SEE. Where the weather was so bad you couldn’t even see the station signage. Yet heavily togged up skiers with tents and huge backpacks de-trained and trudged off, disappearing into the cloying and inhospitable whiteness.
It has the largest most northernmost city in the world (Tromso) which should – by dint of it’s geographical  position so near (relatively) to the North Pole – be unthinkingly uninhabitable, but the scores of ports and hamlets beading the fjorded coastline of Norway’s shores are lapped by the warm waters of the Gulf Stream ensuring ice free passage for fishing, ferries and trawlers. So Tromso – the Arctic Capital – has a thriving and robust healthcare industry, a massive university offering arctic studies (duh) and medical disciplines, fishing / oh and still no commercial ventures open on a Sunday!!

If you want a direct answer, ask a direct question; we found that whilst the Norwegians are welcoming and friendly they need to be asked a well thought out direct question and then the floodgates will open in terms if the information you get back.

WHEN:  The appearance of the Northern lights wanes around the end of March and puffins abound during May/June so if you come in the shoulder season of April expect off season rates, smaller tours and fabulous scenery whatever the weather. Oh and less turbulent seas when for instance you cross large “bodies of water” to teach the Lofoten Islands. You can expect rain – hugging the Atlantic  and despite the presence of the Gilf stream Norway has a maritime climate.

HOW: Take the HURTIGRUTEN Ferry; billed as the most beautiful journey in the world (I tend to agree), many Norwegians  consider it a “right of passage” to “ride” the “Hurtigruten” up to the northern most Russian border town of Kirkenes. (Pronounced Chirkenes) and back again, taking 7 days to go north and 6 days to go back south. It stops at around 72 ports (on the round trip) and passengers have the opportunity to take tours and trips at about 12 of these stops. We travelled/cruised northbound only (wishing we’d also returned with the ship) on the beautiful Trollesfjord  – one of the newer offerings of the fleet. beautifully decorated in a jaunty nautical style and (of course) spotlessly clean) with neat cabins (underfloor heating in the cabin washroom – yay). Posh suites were available but we intended to spend virtually no time in our cabin so figured what was the point.

There is No traditional. “Cruise” entertainment on board although I never got to open a single page of the 3 books I’d brought with me!

Between spending too much time hanging over the sides at tiny ports watching the people and items going on and off the ship; eating ( the food is divine), fizzing in the on- deck  hot-tub watching the ever changing scenery; going  to info sessions, talks, documentaries and demonstrations; ; going to the gym and sauna (both with floor to ceiling view of coastline) and going excursions I had no time whatsoever for reading. I literally didn’t want to miss a moment of this glorious trip.

Anybody travelling to Norway to take the Hurtigruten ferry I would recommend several days in Oslo first to take in the amazing world-class museums including the Vikkng Ship Museum; The Kontiki Museum; The Fram, The Edvard Munch Museum, the Resistance Museum ; the Norwegian Folk Museum ; the Nobel Peace Prize Building; Radhuset ( the Art Deco City hall monolith that dominates the waterfront) and the Akerhaus Fort.

You can then take a “Norway in a Nutshell ” train tour over the the mountains to Bergen where the ferries embark. You can book this online at the NSB site.

To be honest, whilst Bergen is a stunningly beautiful city rich in history – it’s famous photogenic Hanseatic buildings line the wharf – you don’t  really need more than a night and a whole day to visit – go up the funicular for stupendous views of the several simultaneous weather systems sweeping the sprawling metropolis – so much bigger than the small heritage core would suggest!. Visit the Rosenkrans tower (check  limited opening times for entrance); and explore the medieval lane ways between the old Hanseatic community buildings – leaving a few hours to visit the Hanseatic Museum.

Have fun



 Over and Out


Tailor-made Toronto – Girls morning out (Eating)

Iphone summer 2012 177Butter Avenue 2 - Copy (2)

Spending the day with girl friends, sisters or Mum?
Whilst some of the following are definitely male-friendly there is a girl bias so leave the chaps behind this time…..

For summer mornings; delicious breakfast/melt-in-your mouth breakfast croissants, pastries and espresso at Nadege on Queen street West adjacent to Trinity Bellwoods park. Sun drenched summer patio on the side.

Stratus at the top of the Toronto Athletic Club – 36 floors up with an up-front and personal view of the CN Tower and the Lake shoreline. Open for breakfast only Monday – Friday

A Bluegrass brunch at the Dakota Tavern!

Sunday brunch in the Harry Potter gothic atmosphere of The Hart House Gallery Grill –

On Queen Street East at “Bonjour Brioche” the best French breakfast pastries – zesty lemon twisty croissants is a speciality you won’t find anywhere else – this is also a summer patio cafe.

Sunday brunch in the Lee Chin Crystal at C5 in the ROM – now headed up by TV Chef Corbin Tomaski (who used to be at Holts and who amingst other tv credits hosted “Dinner Party Wars” with Anthea Turner).

A Bluegrass brunch at the Dakota Tavern!

A little further out and combined with a wonderful walk in the wetlands conservation area that is the Brickworks, visit Cafe Belong for delicious feather-light buttery breakfast biscuits bursting with sausage,eggs and bacon – more filling than biscuit.
Worth the tedious queuing at the weekends!

The Grenadier Cafe in High Park does a damn good breakfast and has a huge patio for the summer and you can make your day out about walks in High Park, Toronto’s largest park – lots of trails, a zoo, allotments area, fishing, Shakespeare in the Park venue.

“ELEVENSES” break (anytime)

Google Curbside Bliss mobile cupcakes for the MOST divine cupcakes in town. Seriously find out where they are parking for he morning and plan your trip around them – best cupcakes in town
Cupcakes at Dlish on Queen street west.
Prairie girl on King Street East.
The Cupcake Shoppe on Yonge north of Eglinton – claims to be Toronto’s first cupcake speciality shop – 28 but free varieties with 11 rotating flavours served daily.

Crema coffee
This burgeoning coffee chain uses some type of whizzy highly pressurized milk- frothing technology to concentrate the size of the bubbles in the cappuccino cream. I am so addicted to the macchiatos/lemon and ginger scones/lemon poppyseed scones/ cheese and bacon breakfast corn bread/coconut macaroons etcetera, etcetera that I make detours to fit a visit into my days!

French pastries and wicked espresso at Jules or Thurbors on Mount Pleasant or La Cigogne on The Danforth or Bayview.

Thuet on King West – mouthwatering croissants in shabby chic loft store.

At the point where the Lawrence/Yonge pish-posh shops virtually run out “Butter Avenue”- just south of Loblaws – has attracted rave reviews from foodie and city papers since it opened at the back end of 2011.
This sort of patisserie shop has been a long time coming to the area. It boasts a simple minimalist desgign – teeny tiny round tables, Philip Stark style white cafe chairs, a stunning stand-alone window display comprising a huge conical tree of macaroons – the cafe’s speciality. Great espresso reasonably priced and “special” tarts and macaroons sparingly displayed for maximum visual impact can be purchased.

Spend a morning in “The Distillery” heritage area:
Have a cup of thick Spicy Chocolate plus lots of other naughty chocolate creations at Soma and watch them make their chocolate through glass walls through to the kitchen.
Balzacs coffee also have a beguiling and unusual space here. Just expensive and slow but the tables spill onto the cobblestones in the summer making it a wonderful place to toast in the sun and people watch. Plenty of shi shi boutiques and Galleries in this area too.

The Art Cafe is one of the nicest of the cafes lining the street opposite the AGO as they serve a huge array of sweet and savoury crepesin the midst of its tiny art gallery, oh AND a great espresso – During summer one of those darling patios that pop up in the city in the shape of a couple of tables outside in the “secret garden” shady courtyard; also a couple of seats on the entrance patio that seem to be positioned so as to capture any sun going.

The best most eclectic boutique Shopping on Queen Street West including vintage and one-off unique designer spaces.

Coming up next “Girls Afternoon Out” yep more eating up be done!

Tailor-made Toronto – Girls Afternoon Out (Eating)

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So continuing along the eating theme of the last blog – Tailor- made Toronto -Girls morning Out
We move to Lunches:
The following have been my go to spots
over the last few years

Osgoode Hall – Mainly the lunch domain of barristers and lawyers, the refectory in Osgoode Hall – just off Queen and University serves up a stupendous 3 course lunch. great value. Tel: 4169473300 for reservations. Opens again after Labour day.
“Holts Restaurant” (not the basement cafe) – amidst the indulgence and excess that is Holt Renfrew, is a little oasis of normality; great value huge equisitely rendered tartines (open faced sandwiches); imaginative cocktails and the best attentive service you’ll get anywhere in this store.
A little further out at the Don Valley Brickworks is “Cafe Belong”
Wonderful homey comfort food served in the most interesting environmental project in town.
“The Red Tea Box” on
Queen street west – Gorgeously feminine tea room winter or summer (on terrace) crazy pretty individual cakes – almost to beautiful to eat – light as feather sponge and cream fillings in wildly yummy flavours and iced to perfection. Also imaginative sweet and savoury Bento boxes, sandwiches and soups.
This is not a place to be rushing through – the service pace should be your guide. Tel: 416 203 3882

“Madeleine’s Cherry Pie & Icecream”
Book the very pretty parlour for an elegant “party” tea – best meringues ever. Quirky surroundings full of bits and bobs to feast your eyes on.

“Campbell House” – on Queen street west – heritage house / tours and lunch (check website)

High tea at the Windsor Arms
The library room at The Royal Fairmont
“The King Edward”
“The Four seasons”
Or for crepes on Lawrence north of Yonge, “T-buds” which serves a million tea varieties and afternoon tea in an unassuming corner location off Yonge Great service and incredibly good value for money (pot of tea, complimentary almond biscotti and a delicious savoury scone for around 5 bucks). It also hosts tea tasting sessions in its substantial premises and does a very delicate looking afternoon tea most weekday afternoons (you need to book these).

“MoRoCo Chocolate” on Yorkville Avenue for chocolate based high tea –

“Montgomery’s” Inn at the weekends – a city heritage property (old rooming Inn) which serves home-made baked goodies in a sweet little tea room with a wood fire! Excellent shortbread and oatcakes – selections depend upon who’s baking that day!



Tofino Time

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“Half the pace and twice the excitement”- runs the slogan of Tofino’s local rag
Not sure about the excitement especially as this is the off-peak – or “storm” season, but definitely half the pace – thank God

If you need a complete break from the world at a place literally at the end of the road, Tofino fits the bill

A tiny little Hamlet on Clayoquot Sound at the tip of a headland on the edge of the world, Tofino has remained virtually unchanged during the thirty year span we’ve been visiting it. Indeed it has only a permanent population of around 1800 consisting of the descendants of the core settlers of the 60’s and 70’s, the hippies and the draft dodgers, plus a handful of the itinerant native population – the Tla-o-qui-aht and the Nuu-chah-nulth tribe upon whose traditional territory Tofino has emerged

It is the adopted home of the famous Canadian artist Roy Henry Vickers, who still has an exquisite gallery in the town.
The Paddlers Inn on the inlet shore had been serving up espresso with paddling gear and books on the side for around 25 years.
Inn at Tough City still prospers and now has a sushi bar on-site.
“The Loaf” bakery where the best cakes and bread are coaxed into yumminess by an eclectic bunch of youngsters and a backtrack of equally edgy music. So laid back and “out there” is the atmosphere that one gets the impression these kids are simply marking time and making some money till the outdoor season proper begins again………..
This is after all surf-dude heaven especially during the winter.
In the summer, kayaking , canoeing salmon fishing, cycling and hiking take over with a hefty sprinkling of whale watching and float-planing.

Beachcombing the spectacular swathes of roller washed sand beaches is rewarding all year round. This stretch of the Pacific coast at the point where the limitless surf hits the beach shelf is almost permanently bathed in a band of mist; an ethereal layer of moisture hovering between the sea and the sky which when photographed filters light to produce the most hauntingly beautiful images you could imagine.

You have quite a choice of headland/beachside accommodation at any time of year with excellent rates during storm-watching season – November to May
We stayed in the spectacularly beautiful Middle Beach Lodge which we picked after researching several similarly positioned resorts.

Perched high up on one of the headlands overlooking Middle Beach just off the Pacific Rim Provincial Park, this Lodge appealed primarily because its presence was virtually imperceptible from arial photos unlike many if its more onvious beachside counterparts.
A mile of private beach, two lodges and twenty self contained cabins the lodge has been designed with the utmost respect for the pristine environment it inhabits . Designed to invite the outside in, the heavy timbered West Coast buildings of Lodge at the Headlands provide an impressive demonstration of highly original ways to recycle of old, high quality lumber. Core feature elements which include flooring, ceiling beams, tables, lamps, beds, reception desks, kitchen cabinetry all evolved from wood salvaged from old buildings in Victoria that were slated for demolition or redevelopment (notable Victoria landmarks such as the Ogden Point Ice Plant in Victoria Harbour).

One of the really quirky features is the sliding cabin bathroom doors in each unit and the Lodge main entrance doors – which were rescued from the P&O liner Rajputana

With no television in the main lounge; an enormous roaring log fire competes for attention with the incredible 3 aspect view and the huge overstuffed sofas and massive armchairs designed for slumping.

On-site dining is available – it’s regularity depending upon the season – for instance during storm season, a set 3 course meal was available 3 times a week. A sumptuous crab feast with mind blowing berry crumble for afters – with second helpings of both courses for the “gourmands” – where do you ever get offered seconds!!!
Thursday night was home- made cookie night – diet to the wind; I must have eaten my body weight in these warm gooey delights. Go great with several martinis! Couldn’t care less whether better half beat me at dominos after that….

The beds are incredible – leave your balcony door open to be lulled to sleep by the crashing pacific.

If the idea of utter tranquility (a word not normally associated with my life) is your idea of heaven, an off-peak visit ( or even a summer one) will incredibly not break the bank
Huge value for money with a hearty buffet breakfast included.
Take a peek at the website

Over and out

The Goderich Celtich Roots Festival – A Taste of Europe besides Lake Huron

There cannot be another musical genre as rich and culturally diverse as the “Celtic Folk Tradition”. Though in reality the term signifies a romantic ideal threading together the music of the Irish and Scottish along with the music of Brittany, Wales, Cornwall and the Isle of Man through the migrating patterns of these people to the US and Canada (particularly Quebec, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island). The more commercially popular brand of Celtic music or Celtic fusion originated in the 1960’s with bands such as “Fairport Convention”, “Steeleye Span” and “Pentangle” followed later in the 1970’s by “Clannad” with “Enya” who made a small fortune through the genre. Who can forget the celtic folk-punk of “The Pogues” in the 80’s. There is still an argument for distinguishing English folk as distinct from Celtic although I can’t tell the difference as the music of artists such as the very talented and under-rated Jim Morey have the same chord changes and “minor key” cadences as much of what I heard at the Celtic Roots Festival in Goderich this weekend.
Every country defined by the umbrella of celtic music – as mentioned above were represented at the festival which started small 19 years ago and has grown to the extent where a good proportion of the acts had come directly from Ireland and Scotland.
And so I found myself going home in the car grasping my dog-eared programme and reflecting upon the feeling that I have been wrenched from the blissful alternate reality of the last 3 days, cocooned in the Festival grounds of Lions Harbour Park punctuated by a two-night stay in the quaint and historic “Inn at Port Albert” and leaving the actual cordoned off festival campus for the occasional drink and snack at “The Park House” pub (but still within feet of “the Greetings” stage at the entrance); that way we managed to maintain the visual and oral connection with the festival even when we’d “left”.
Having listened to “The Village” via GalaxieFm in the car all the way up (to get us with the vibe) we listened to the cd’s we’d bought from our top four bands all the way home too – hoping that the production on the cd’s was half as good as the live acts. Having unnaturally immersed in “all things celtic” this weekend, including costumes/dance and craft, I’m virtually speaking wit an Irish lilt.
We’d never attended this festival before, so the set-up was a complete mystery to us and if we are lucky enough to visit again next year there are a couple of things I would do differently.:
* The Festival runs from opening ceremonies on the Friday evening at around 5.45pm all the way to 11ish on the Sunday night. Many of the artists have been tutoring workshops all week at The Celtic Music College in Goderich. We didn’t leave from Toronto until the Friday evening and so we missed that evening’s performance – not the end of the world as most of the performers play on every day of the festival and the bands also “divide and conquer” the side stages so you might get individual performers from several bands in a line-up at say the smaller “Greetings” Stage and the “Water” stage either performing individually or as a hastily formed and largely unrehearsed collaboration! We also had to leave around 6pm on the Sunday night and so again missed some of the closing acts (although by now we had seen all of the acts perform in any case), but still……………………
* A portable chair is an absolute must (preferably with leg risers and cup holders). Other guests at “The Inn at Port Albert” had told us to set up our chairs at the Main Stage 1 when we arrived and simply leave the chair there whilst attending other stage perfomances (6 in all including the Dance stage and the Story-Telling tent) as most of these had some sort of seating (its called grass). It’s not even necessary to cart your own water bottles around as water fountains are all over; food is not a rip- off and as I said above the pub is over the fence. Also plenty of washrooms and shade cover as the entire festival is under the trees in the Park which overlooks Lake
So just a run around performers in my typical superficial and subjective style:
First act we caught upon arrival was in the Main Stage 2 (covered and with seats – hurrah) was Frantically Atlantic; Whilst this husband and wife team were both obviously talented performers, her style was so the polar opposite of what I thought the Festival was going to deliver! Think Pam Ayres crossed with children’s storytime complete with cheesy grin and wide “we know what’s coming next” eyes given to winking to whomever was unfortunate enough to make eye contact – we gave this about 15 minutes of our time – probably not fair but not our thing! plus other acts going on all over.
Went over to the Water Stage in a sort of shaded spinney area and got back into the celtic groove with a trio called Runa. If I were to be asked to close my eyes and describe what a female folk-singer should look like – then Shannon Lambert-Ryan would be the ideal personified. The lead vocalist, she was an ethereal wisp of a woman; teeny tiny build, long “Gone with the Wind” hair, bare feet, floaty dress and a voice like heaven. She was backed by a particularly charismatic percusionist called Cheryl Prashker and Irish guitarist Fionan de Barra (love all these names).
Moving back to the Main Stage 2, the “Galaxie Rising Stars Showcase” competition was on. Galaxie supports emerging Canadian music talent through this programme and was offering $3000 in awards to the winner of this afternoon’s competition.
First up HAWP – a large vibrant and energetic mix of fiddle, flute, and Irish dance ply their trade on-stage. Loved the vocal rounds and the contrapuntal flute and fiddle play-offs.
Then Pierre Shryer trio whom we’d seen before up at Rossport overlooking Lake Superior whilst on out Trans Canada gig…. As a child growing up in Quebec, my late father, ever the home-movies buff – used Canadian jig and reel folk music as backing track. When Pierre and his band perform their trademark brand of folk with the busy fiddle playingand board percussion ( foot stamping) it feels more french than the celtic style that I love), but i threw me back to my childhood – always a pleasure.
Colette Cheverie (Prince Edward Island). Now this was more like it: think Sandy Denny vocals of “Fairport Convention” (if you can). Searing immigrant folk ballads full of pathos – story telling in a crystal clear pure voice that rung out through the whole venue. Again my archeotypical vision of a female singer – too thin and waif-like for comfort. Her accompanist, a cute “David Essex” look-alike much under-rated as someone she had brought along to the festival to accomparnhy her. We didn’t find out much about him and he said “nary a word” We had to buy her cd –
FYI “Colette – No to repeating “the Fish and The Bird” as your feature number on every occasion” ( about 6 times around the various stages). Fine as part of a 30 minute set but as the only number during a perfomers “sideline stage act -started to feel like you couldn’t come up with anything else to sing with your accompianist.
Vertige – Jesus! what an exhuberent layer cake of Quebecois reels, dynamic dancing, board percussion, enormous enthusiasm, joie de vivre (thanks to the the un-named button accordian player and band spokesperson) and on yer face chutzpah. The fiddle player of this band – again unamed – was truly truly talented. I watched her closely in an unpractised impromptu performance on a sideline stage with her band’s Pianist Martine Billette (the band’s founder and given to playing – yuk, gag, waltzes whenever the stage was hers!!!) The harp player gave her music to the pianist and asked if our anonymous fiddler could join in as and when. She simply lean’t over and read the music up-side down, no fuss, no cheesy facial expressions, no nonsence and performed the music as she read feeling her way through it. a contrast to many of the other line-up solo performers who when put in this position by a fellow artist, simply chose not to join in…………
Then we came to sister Cassie and Maggie MacDonald (Halifax)
Introduced by the dribbling “MC” as the “darlings of the festival” – yes they were all red headed Irish cuteness and youth, and obviously very talented – NB – bras are a useful addition to your wardrobe when you are Irish “river” dancing – They won – go figure – Any way not my style of music
So the competition over – we needed a cool drink and (as mentioned above) within eyeshot and earshot of the stage/s. During which time we caught a line-up with Paul MacKenna of The Paul McKenna Band and a brilliant young Irish raconteur and bouzouki player – Daoiri Farrell – one quarter of an Irish band called “Solid Clarity”.
First to Paul McKenna – sorry Paul – looks can be deceiving; as a lineup artist on the side stages he looked bore and disinterested, barely joined in with the other artists and had NO charisma at all. Whilst he did have an incredible voice and an obvious talent for musical arrangement, when he played his solo performance numbers – the earth didn’t move for me – until that is, later in the evening, when he joined his band on main stage 1 as part of the headlining perfomance bands. After the “MC” had built the band’s future conquering of the celtic folk universe to iconic proportions – I was ready for the let-down…..
As soon as they hit the stage, he and his fellow band members – one from Scotland; one from Philadelphia and another from N. Carolina – became a conduit for a fantastic rousing permance of intelligent, political and pitch perfect immigrant folk. It seems that Paul Mckenna prefers to let the music do the talking and I agree with the MC, the band IS going places.. There went anothr $20 on a dvd (which I have been playing all week so the music – unlike many genres of music bought in haste during a particularly lovely holiday or trip – aka Balinese Barong music ) this music does complement day to day living/driving Toronto style…
And my all time favourite of the festival for us even though we didn’t see him with his band was Daoiri Farrell
A slim, pale slip of a “lad”, there was nothing slim or pale about his performance – he did joke about being a plumber – which is exactly what you could imagine him to be had you not been lucky enough to catch him playing. Just him, with or without his bouzouki, his goosebump inducing singing literally “hung” over the venue and the Lake itself – his voice filtering trhough the trees, the traffic and the general hibbub of the festival itself was even clearly audible across and down the road where the car was parked . With his boy-next-door appeal, stories, audience participation technique (you didn’t NOT join in when asked) and tendancy to make the odd mistake or two (many of his songs have many verses) he blew both of us away. Couldn’t get any of his music as he’d sold out that morning! is the place to visit for furthering our appreciation of his art.
Okay -so of course many more wirthwhile performances including
stuff on the Dancing stage which rocked as a little break from the gigs; and the Storytelling tent was worth dropping in on from time to time. You’ll have to go see for yourself
The Inn at Port Albert

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The Leaning Tower of Pisa has 296 steps to reach the top. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2010. If those were steps, it would have climbed the Leaning Tower of Pisa 4 times

In 2010, there were 40 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 146 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 56mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Michael Caine IS Harry Brown


From William Morris to CabbageTown




The Michael Bublé “Party” at the Air Canada Centre August 2010


Terracotta Warriors – Royal Ontario Museum