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Posts Tagged ‘London’

I'm going to have to learn the names of these flowers. I just call this 'pink'.

All lilies do not like to bloom at the same time.

Another new lily bloom has appeared. See all my lilies that have bloomed, as of today, here.

All lilies do not bloom at the same time. Some are early bloomers and others are late. This keeps a continuous stream of new blooms appearing for weeks.

The Internet is just so cool. I ordered five more different lilies from Horner Lilies in Thorndale over the Internet. I got the confirmation of my order by e-mail this morning. I didn’t have to burn even a litre of gas. The Internet is green.

(This is not an ad. I just like Horner Lilies.)

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I am not a gardener but I do like beautiful plants, especially if they are not too demanding. And trust me, I have a very low threshold when it comes to demanding plants.

My Asiatics began blooming about two weeks ago.

My Asiatics began blooming two weeks ago.

This is my fourth year living with lilies and so far I can say they are great to have around. They were not too expensive, although one can spend big bucks if you’ve got it to spend; they seem rugged, demanding little in the way of upkeep; and they are beautiful, spectacular in some cases.

These were my first two daylilies to bloom

These were my first two daylilies to bloom

Right now lilies are in bloom here in London, Ontario. This means it is time to visit the lily growers and see first-hand the lilies they grow and sell. I like Horner Lilies northeast of the city, near Thorndale. But I know there are other sources around London. I just like buying from a friendly couple with numerous lily beds filled with plants grown and nurtured with love. That sounds mushy but it’s true.

I find it more satisfying buying from Estelle and Richard Horner than from  a nursery chain. Sorry chains.

Each day that I can I will add an new lily.

Each day that I can I will add an new lily.

Someday I will blog about these gorgeous flowers. They really have an interesting story. For now, I will just post some pictures of my lilies and add to this post everytime a new one comes into bloom.

Cheers,
Rockinon

Oh, for pictures from around London, Ontario, see my other blog, London Daily Photo.

As promised, here are the new lilies as they appear. One could do a fine blog on lilies. These are really interesting flowers with a truly rich history.

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Deer London . . .

I got up before daybreak this morning and discovered wonderful, gorgeous fog blanketing the city. I grabbed my little camera and jumped in the car. I have a few spots that I often drive by and think, “With a little fog, I’d have a picture.”

IMG_6156_Deer_SmlLondon is one large city, at least on a map. In reality, a lot of that land is undeveloped. A few years ago London annexed a big chunk of the surrounding countryside. That is why today there are many areas on the edge of the city where deer can be regularly sighted.

Photo Tip: I don’t have a telephoto lens, which is so important for pictures like this. Limited by my wide angle lens, I framed the deer with the small pond, the trees and the fence. And yes, I did frame the deer, this picture did not just happen. When I spotted the deer, I was down the road in a different location. I moved quickly and quietly to this new vantage point in hopes of getting the picture before the deer bounded off. Work with the equipment you have and not against it.

In a day or two, I will move this photo to my Photography section but for now, enjoy…

Cheers, Rockinon     …for more pictures of London see: London Daily Photo

p.s. Please read the second part of my examination of how the media in general, and The London Free Press in particular, reported (or should I say created) the crystal meth scare of 2005.

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Support the Hyland Cinema

Liz Braun gave this 4 Stars.

Liz Braun gave this 4 Stars.

A little independent film starring Michael Caine, Is Anybody There?, is now playing the Hyland Cinema on Wharncliffe Road in London, Ontario.

I blogged about this film weeks ago and I updated the posting today. Check out the post, see the trailer and read some comments from a couple of reviews and then, if I have peaked your interest, head over to Hyland and enjoy.

Cheers,
Rockinon.

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First: This is my last blog until June 9th. You see, I do have a life.

It’s a weird world when David Gough, the blogger covering environmental concerns for The London Free Press, comes out against a bylaw designed to stop the practice of idling a car for more than a minute.

Gough wrote: “Five minutes makes sense, one minute just seems to be cutting it too close.”

He goes on to argue that dropping his son off at the arena might easily force him to idle his car for more than a minute while his son putzes around undoing his seat belt, turning off his video game and getting his hockey bag from the trunk. Gough says he could see his son costing him money.

Dave, the idea is to turn off your car. It’s easy. It’s fast. It’s green. And, it’s old fashioned.

That’s right, old fashioned. When I was a boy, my father never let his car idle for more than a minute — not even in winter. He had been told by a mechanic that the manual choke made the carburetor fuel mix richer and this could cause a soot-like build-up on the plugs. This dirt, the mechanic said, caused engines to run-on when turned off. Furthermore, the mechanic said the engine oil pump was not efficient when the car was idling. It worked best with the car underway and the engine reving higher.

Four decades ago, my father taught me: If you are stopping for more than a minute, turn off the car. If my dad could do it, we can all do it. And, my dad wasn’t even green.

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The London Food Bank issues a challenge every year, focusing attention on the difficulties faced by those living on assistance when it comes to feeding themselves and their families.

A columnist with the Londoner took the challenge this year and a reporter with The London Free Press rose to the bait last year. I gather from the Free Press article that a couple living on assistance have a food budget of only $240 for a month. They can, I believe, augment their purchases with food from the London Food Bank.

If you’ve been following my blogs, you know that this past month taught me this can be done. But, it would be harder for a needy person to feed themselves and another for $240 than someone like me or like those involved in the Food Bank challenge.

First: one must buy all their food on sale in order to stick to such a tight budget. My menu for each week was built around the best bargains found in the weekly food flyers. And it helps to be a creative cook. There are plenty of food stuffs on sale every week but it takes creativity in the kitchen to blend those into a week’s worth of meals.

Second: one needs access to a car and must live close to most grocery stores. If one has to drive too far to find the bargains, then the cost of driving will negate the savings. Taking the bus in order to shop at a number of stores is out of the question.

At this point many people on assistance are no longer able to take my advice. For one thing, they may not have access to a car. Or they may not be terribly good in the kitchen – lots of people aren’t good in the kitchen. I’m not but I found the Internet an excellent source of recipes. If you’re poor, you may not have the Internet or even a good collection of cookbooks, or, for that matter, all the kitchen stuff that takes the hassel out of cooking for an experienced chef like my wife.

No car, unable to buy the food bargains, possibly no flyers – it depends upon where one lives – and no well equipped kitchen, all these no’s mean it is going to be very hard to put food on the table for only $240 a month.

Third: no waste is allowed. For instance: Broccoli, often on sale, has stems with woody ends, as does asparagus. Save all appropriate vegetable trimmings and make vegetable broth. This will serve as a base for soup.

A slow cooker is an great way to take an inexpensive cut of meat and make it tender. If there is a bone, the slow cooker method makes the meat easily fall free. The bone, with any remaining meat, can be simmered in the vegetable soup base. Again, no waste. Of course, if you are poor, a slow cooker may be another out-of-reach expense.

My wife and I could not have gotten through the month without our slow cooker.

Fourth: When a well known London, Ontario, couple took the challenge in 2008, they complained about the sameness, the repetitiveness, of their meals because of the tight food budget.

Creativity pops up as an answer here, too. For instance, potatoes are amazingly healthy and cheap. Colcannon, made from potatoes and cabbage, is an Irish peasant concoction that is a great addition to the menu. Easy to make, inexpensive, healthy, delicious.

I learned about Colcannon from a young person, with a keen interest in Ireland, who made the dish. In other words, people living on a minimum budget often already know about creativity and are stretching their creativity to its breaking point.

Fifth: If it’s on sale and it’s something you like to eat,  stock up. When pasta went on sale for 99-cents for two pounds, I stocked up. I bought the limit. This is another option not open to those most needing to slash their food budget. They are doing well getting through a month, let alone preparing for the next one.

In the late ’60s I lived for a time in three different communities, each with a food cooperative. To keep the costs down, the members of the co-ops each donated a shift or two of their time each month. The food co-ops were smaller than their chain store counterparts with not as wide a selection of goods – but, the quality was excellent and the members kept the prices in check without resorting to weekly loss leaders.

The London Food Bank is a positive force in the city. It has helped a lot of people, nurtured generosity in the community at large and even encouraged good deeds from big business. If you’ve ever been to the food bank and watched the hardworking volunteers sorting donated goods, you’ve looked through a window into what I recall as the ’60s.

For me, the ’60s were not simply ten years but the ’60s were a moment when the best thinking of some of the best people fell in sync with the best in the world. It didn’t last. It was a fad. I ask you, “Where are those ’60s co-ops today?” Gone.

But the spirit of those co-ops still can be found today. People like Jane Roy and her husband Glen Pearson of the London Food Bank remind me of the amazing activists I knew in the ’60s. These two are two of the best and in keeping with tradition, they coax the best out of the world.

I salute Jane and Glen and their small army of volunteers. They make our world a better place.

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Middletown House, circa 1910, is slated for demolition.

Middletown House, circa 1910, is slated for demolition.

Who would allow beautiful, historic Middletown House, overlooking the Thames River in west London, to sit empty, unmaintained, decaying? Answer: the Province of Ontario. But, they do have a plan, Queen’s Park applied for a demolition permit.

The City of London, concerned about the impending loss of yet another historic property, contacted Culture Minister Aileen Carroll.
The minister was quick to point out the province doesn’t have to comply with rules that otherwise protect heritage buildings from demolition. Ever the politician, Carroll closed her letter by thanking the city for the city’s “continued commitment to preserving Ontario’s heritage.”

This is brilliant stuff. When Carroll leaves her government job she can get work with the Canadian Airfarce or bring back Monty Python’s Flying Circus with a Canadian twist.

For the whole story read Jonathan Sher’s piece in The London Free Press.

And, if you’d like to read another take on Carroll’s work, read some of the posts on Ian’s City Scope Blog. Ian is an editor/columnist at the St. Thomas Times-Journal.

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