Category Archives: friends

how do you say…

Waiting to board one of the three flights I have today.

This trip back will not be as fun as the journey here. Sadly, Hamburg didn’t have direct flights to Vancouver.

Yesterday was a fairly low-key day. Spent some time wandering the main city centre, and shops. Visited the historic part of Hamburg, the town hall was really stunning. I was curious how damaged the city was from WW2. Nobody I asked seemed to know, so I’ll have to research it.

While out walking in the day, I stumbled across the same exact purple chair I saw at the V&A Museum in London. Well, technically the shop the manufactures it, but still how strange!

In the evening we went back to the pub, and listened to more great music and I met a few more of Anna’s friends – also music lovers. Fantastic conversation, and at one point we were borrowing scrap pieces of paper/napkins and writing out a list of artists, unknown to each other. So now I have a list of German bands to check out and I left a few audiophiles in Hamburg with a giant list of Canadian indie rock artists. Wonderful way to cap off the trip.

Oh, and Anna got me to wear lipstick (it didn’t last too long), and here’s a video I shot where I was trying to get her to translate the warning labels on the cigarette pack, and she gets a bit lost in translation…


Filed under friends, holidays

and the days blur into one

I have a couple of pieces of writing I’d like to post, which have been written over the past few days, but thinking I’ll hold off on doing so until I return home. They are a bit heavier in nature, and well, I still have more pictures to spam you with.

Time spent in London was not filled with tourist attractions (which was a nice break), instead there was just lots of wandering and catching up with friends. I went into the cosiest pub ever on Friday night with my friend Janette – it had an Alice in Wonderland vibe – each room you entered into had a smaller door until finally you exited into a twinkle-lit beer garden (what the Brits call a patio). And they had about 50 kinds of cider. Ah, how I will miss those selections.

We went to the theatre on Saturday to see One Man, Two Gunvors, which was hilarious. Honestly, my face hurt from laughing so much. After the show we went to a retro diner and got to sit in an old BBC radio booth, where you flipped the “On Air” switch when you were ready to order. It was here I learned that European lemonade is carbonated (tastes exactly like 7-Up). In hindsight, this makes a lot more sense, because when I lived in Newcastle I knew a lot of people who drank beer and lemonade (which I thought disgusting)…still not sold on beer and “7-Up” but I understand the combination a bit better. And of course because I can’t have it, I’ve been craving North American lemonade. I tried the UK’s “natural lemonade” it was lemon juice with ice. It gave me blue steel face for about 3 hours.

The rest of my visit in England was spent catching up with Ali. We had a lovely time wandering through Hyde Park and up to Covent Garden for dinner. We were sad to learn that the rowboats we had intended to rent were about £40 per half hour. Outrageous! Although perhaps it was for the best. How do you think I’d fair on a rowboat?

On Monday we took in the Natural History Museum and V&A and had a pub lunch and chatted outside on the patio until hopping in a black cab and heading to the airport.

I’m only in Hamburg for one more day, and I’m actually looking forward to heading home. I am tired, although I’m having fun, I miss my bed.

I did have a great night out last night, which was needed to take my mind of the real grown up stuff happening in my real non travel life at the moment. Turns out I can understand and even speak (!) German so much easier than French. So much. I’ve been told I pronounce my “U’s” wonderfully, and I have been amazed how much I am able to pick up from gestures alone. Last night at the pub I only needed a tiny bit of translation. My friend Anna’s local pub is great. She’s friends with the owner and as she’s a regular, got to choose the music. It was already good to behind with.

The best part of the night was when a table of young British boys came in and soon started yelling about football – the owner turns to me and says (in German) – “Watch this – I’m going to put on Oasis and I will sell at least 3 pints of (insert name of English beer I can’t recall).” I was able to understand obviously, “Oasis”, the point to the table, and the beer. Hilarious, as it worked! Felt like a true High Fidelity moment. We’re going back tonight, I’ll have to take more pictures, it’s a cool place.

Okay, picture spam. Trying out a new feature with WordPress – let me know what you think of the thumbnail to slideshow pictures. The street art picture with the cassette has “push” written on it, which I loved.


Filed under friends, holidays

in the radio’s hot sun

I’m back home after my week away, and I ended the trip off with a very full weekend in Phoenix, visiting a good friend.

Sadly, I didn’t take as many photographs as I thought I would. I’ll blame the heat and all the walking we did. Here are a few though.

First stop upon arrival, Uranus Recording studios. This was a sign I just liked out front. I wish I had taken a photograph of the bathroom – every artist who records there leaves a message on the wall. But I was distracted by all the shiny objects.

Craziness in the art store. Unfortunately, this cool little art shop is closing. I loved this mural on the wall.

Normally, the food porn picture is taken before the meal, but this shows you how much we enjoyed it. Chakra 4 Herb & Tea House in Phoenix. The best tomato and avocado humus I have ever had! I can’t even recall the other kinds, because that one was so good. Served with pita and raw veg.

Comic-Con was taking place over the weekend in Phoenix, so when we were out Friday night we saw some great costumes, and some unidentifiable ones. Perfect night for wandering, and for having dinner next to a window, for people watching.

Phoenix and the surroundings areas had some wonderful street art. However, I saw most of it whilst we were driving, so didn’t snap any photos. Here’s one from downtown though. Once I stopped to take it, two other people did. The power of suggestion.

We also made it to the Musical Instrument Museum (or The MIM), which was truly overwhelming. Instruments from nearly every country in the world. It was also a great lesson in geography. I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t more interpretation to go along with the instruments, and that the only piece from Canada was the fiddle.

It was a wonderful end to a brilliant week off. Many thanks to my host.

It also made me realize how far away the closest people in my life are. I only get to see my parents once or twice a year. On my birthday, I was lucky enough to chat over Skype with a few friends overseas and in Toronto, but when technology causes a fuss, you understand it’s not so easy to just nip around the corner for a cuppa as it once was.

I also think that is one of the reasons I didn’t take so many photographs on this trip. I was less concerned about capturing the moment and just focused on being in it.

Twas a whirlwind ride in the desert, and I look forward to next time.


Filed under food and such, friends, geekery, holidays, honeybees


Just finishing uploading this weeks podcast for your listening pleasure. Stream or Download.

Looking forward to this weekend as Barbara is visiting the coast and not only do we have plans to see The Magnetic Fields, but there will be some wandering and thrift store shopping with some other friends as well. I’m hoping cake too. Because, well, why not.

Thinking this is one of the better responses I’ve seen to the Kony 2012 campaign. Also if you haven’t already, go over to Visible Children and read some facts about Invisible Children.

Realising I might have an addiction to Draw Something. Also spin class.

Reading my second book on the Kindle. I’m finding I read books much quicker than I do with a tangible copy. Strange, isn’t? Still nothing will replace a real book.

Wondering, what’s your favourite word as of late?

Currently…you are?


Filed under friends, music, podcasting, stuff and things, words

speaking in tongues

I am so glad that I have this archive of posts to remind me of my life.

I had a conversation last week with one of my friends from Germany, whom I met while I was living in England. She’s one of my musical soul mates. We never have a conversation without a lost in translation moment, yet it’s one of the things that makes the friendship tick. She makes me look at language so specifically, what every syllable means, how words interact with each other, and most notably how sarcasm does not always translate.  We have the greatest talks about lyrics as well, coming at a song from such different perspectives. I knew I had transcribed a few into posts here, and I was able to look them up without too much fuss, which brought a smile to my eye.

I’ve been thinking about visiting her for quite some time, as she lives in the same village as many of my other German friends from Newcastle. It’s hard to plan holidays in my current situation, but I think my travel goal for 2012 will be to visit there, which is just outside of Berlin. Knowing that I have a couch to crash on that I can pay for in mix tapes really helps. One must never underestimate the power of a mix – true currency with some friends.

Plus, I like having a travel goal. Even if it is a bit unattainable.

Do you have any summer goals?

I’m going to try to write more, and go out dancing at least twice.

It’s been too long.


Filed under friends, honeybees, music, travel, words

there’s rain in tokyo

This is pretty much my view most days.

Hard to complain about a little drizzle, eh. I went out for a walk this morning and just kind of stood for a bit looking at the mountains. They are so peaceful from a distance, especially with the water.

I do love it here, but the east has been on my mind, seeing as it’s Thanksgiving and all. I will be partaking in festivities with an old friend and her extended family. I can’t remember the last time I had Thanksgiving with my family. Probably my fist year of university. I took the 10 hour train trip from Kingston and vowed then never again for a 3 day break. I now save up time and take a longer break in December.

Since then it’s been enjoyable to be invited into other peoples homes, or make my own dinner with friends. Less arguing. Although I guess it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a little bit of vocal disagreement. It’s just more amusing when it’s not your family.

Have any humourous holiday stories to share?


Filed under family, food and such, friends, holidays

today i loved…

the sound of leaves crunching under my feet

dancing in the kitchen, listening to s.cooke whilst baking

finding a honey crisp apple the size of two of my fists together

hearing random whistling in the market from strangers

neon felt

valencia peanut butter on rye crackers

that my decision to move flats was the right one

a conversation that lasted into the early hours of the morning with an old friend. pondering life is much more fun with someone who calls you on your shit, but who also lets you dream

lately…you’ve loved?


Filed under friends, honeybees, life