Sunday, September 15, 2019


It’s been, as is often said, as though a switch was thrown, the change from endless sunshine to five days of dark drizzle was sudden and disappointing. But the next week looks decent so there’ll be lots of outdoor time because it’s still nice and warm.
Today’s dawned dark and the ground is soaked, but there’s no rain for the big dog walk this morning.
We had quite the windstorm yesterday. The tarpaulin over my Marijuana plants was flapping like crazy but held up. It’s working well but time will tell if my plants mature without developing mold.
Well I’m excited. The section of lawn I first seeded is now dense and green and gorgeous. And this morning, I’m seeing the first shoots emerging on the much larger second section that I seeded. If it comes up as densely, my yard is going to look immensely satisfying to me.
Yesterday was a day of idleness. I’ve naught to report except the following story about the sweet, sweet taste of vindication.
My friend Beth and I are overjoyed by the exposure of a truly nasty man and former colleague of us both—a theatre director named Bob Baker. I did a play called North Shore Live  with him and Beth did Owl and the Pussycatwith him. We both came out of the experience absolutely loathing both Baker and his partner, Tom, who was an actor in both shows.
I had an idea for a small show to showcase the incredible talents of my friend, Nicola Cavendish. She liked my scenario and suggested the actor, Tom Wood, to be her co-star. Tom’s partner Bob Baker signed on to direct. It was the first original production of the theatre I’d built and ran. It was also the first time I’d produced a professional show or drafted a scenario.
To make a long, wonderful story short, our very technically complex and demanding show got a rave review in Variety Newspaper, published in New York and suddenly we had a huge, huge hit on our hands. But when I went to negotiate our play’s future (a national tour), Bob and Tom (not Nicky) hired a lawyer and claimed ownership of our play.
Ultimately my employer won one third of the rights to the play based on my contributions. That’s how it should have been, but the betrayal of people I thought were friends and to whom I’d given a tremendous opportunity and showcase was soul destroying for me.
Well… That was then (the early 1980s). This is now; here is a newly released announcement from Canadian Actors’ Equity, the union of professional actors, dancers and stage managers: “Bob Baker has been expelled from Equity. ‘Equity is firm in its resolve to ensure the safety of its members in the workplace. There is no place for toxic workplaces; bullying, personal or sexual harassment in Equity workspaces.’” 
Both Beth and I feel vindicated. We both spoke about Bob to Marhsa Lederman of the Globe yesterday and it felt good to know a serially abusive theatre director is being exposed for what he is. It’s been a long, long, long time coming. Here’s a link to the resultant article.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

A Good Time

Thursday, I didn’t have a spa all day that day because of the endless rain. Consequently, when I got into the tub early yesterday morning, the world felt right and good again. I love that spa and being warm all over when outdoors. Plus: Although rain was predicted, it didn’t rain all day 
Sheba and I headed off to the dog-walking group after my spa. Her foot seems fine! After that, I dropped her off at home and went into the village to shop for last minute supplies and then came home to finish the salad, cook the beet pasta—using beets from my garden by the way—and to clean up. And, I had another spa. 
My guests came at 6:00 and at first, I could’t speak. It didn’t take long for me to relax, though. And I felt fine  once I opened the Veuve and put out potato chips. (I love chips with champagne!) I had a small fire lit, more for coziness than heat, and left some windows open so that we had the nice fresh fragrant forest air as well.
The dinner went superbly as far as I can tell. The salad was a terrific hit. (It was Yotam  Ottolenghi’s recipe and Judith has all his cookbooks.) And the Garlic, Spinach and Cheddar pie was a hit too—especially, silently, with me. I’d never made it before, so I was happy and pleasantly surprised. And no one gave a dam about the melted crust. This is Gabriola!
And they were very gracious about the tart and I’m glad. These people have been very welcoming; we’ve been walking three times a week together, for a year-and-a-half. 
And I was glad I did so much prep on Thursday because I was calm and relaxed all day. 
As for today: No landscaping, no baking, no cooking, no people—nothing! That’s my plan. I’ll definitely do some seeding and I may tidy up the shed so I can start working on the palettes and finish the pathway. Otherwise I’ll be eating left overs and chillin’ all day.

Friday, September 13, 2019

The Grass Grows!

These are another stunning dozen eggs from my neighbour. 
And look at how the grass is coming in! The green section was planted Sept. 5th.
The wooden garden wharf looks better now that is's flush with the lawn.
Garlic, Spinach and Cheddar pie (with melted sides).
Tarte Tatin.

t rained all day Friday, so I lit a small fire and decided I’d make caramelized garlic, spinach and Cheddar tart with a braided edge. 
It was a lot of work. I used a new method to make the pastry and let it chill for two hours while I caramelized the entire three heads of garlic.  Then I lined the pie pan, braided the pastry around the edge and blind baked the shell, let the crust cool, washed it in egg and baked it some more to dry it out. 
The pastry had too much butter in it and melted down the sides of the pan. Sigh. But I carried on. I layered the crust with spinach and cheese and then the egg mixture and finally the garlic in its delicious smelling sauce. God I hope it tastes good; in the end it looked reasonable. I’ll serve four pieces with the braid and save the rest for myself.
All that for one dish! Late in the afternoon, I made the salad: It was labour intensive too because I used the recipe of a hero: Yotam Ottolenghi. I shelled and baked nuts, diced all the ingredients and stored them for today and made his delicious mayonnaise (its like none other I’ve ever tasted). And in the evening I made a Tarte Tatin (my best yet), so I was cooking and baking all day. Why do I do this?
Today I’ll finish making the salad, make the beet pasta, the broccoli, the whipped cream and clean and tidy the house. Phew!
It’s a meal, in a way, for me. My guests don’t know that it’s my way of celebrating the (virtual) end of the landscaping. (I doubt I’ll do Section Two this year.) They’re coming at 6:00 and I have a nice big bottle of Veuve Clicquot to start.
Sheba chilled most of the day away. She was still limping a little and licking her foot, so I’m glad we had a quiet day. And today she’s showing no signs of any trouble at all on the foot. Thank goodness.
Consider this: In the USA, a few teens have had their lungs damaged by vape pens and so the administration is moving remarkably quickly to take legal action against them. And, miraculously, the Attorney’s General of fifty states are pursuing the Sackler, the makers of Oxycotin. But they absolutely refuse to deal with guns. What a fucked up country!
It’s not raining yet but it my later today; there are big patches of unexpected blue sky this morning.  I'm glad the new lawns will get a break from endless rain.  The good thing about today is that all the heavy lifting in the kitchen is done, so I won’t be exhausted tonight.