Sunday, November 20, 2011

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mo's on Queen

Ad for Movember, a campaign that takes place all November where men grow moustaches and campaign to raise awareness about men's health and to raise funds for prostate cancer research.




Should you wish to donate/contribute, here's the website http://ca.movember.com.  Every cent counts!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

From Lisbon to Carmona, with love - An Intro



Portugal was my Philippines. You could read this previous post to understand the reference, but I can also spare you the extra effort and say that, like the Philippines, Portugal was a country that was never in my list of places to see. In my mind, it was too similar to Spain, which is also too similar to home.  It also seemed sort of out of the way, with only Spain (where I had been to on a few occasions already) nearby. 

Like the Philippines, it was pure chance that took me there: good friends were celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary in a small town in Andalusia (Carmona), and our very tight budget notwithstanding, how could we possibly say no to such a symbolic celebration, where friends from all over the world would congregate in sleepy Carmona?  And, funny enough, the cheapest way to Carmona was to fly not to Spain, but to Portugal. It was destiny shaped by economics. 

Finally, like the Philippines, Portugal surprised me, marvelled me, and romanced me.  I look at my photos now, and I still find myself with eyes wide open in amazement at all we saw, did and experienced.  And let's not forget to mention a friend who I had met in Beijing by luck, and who once again by luck was back in Portugal, ready to show us how a warm welcome is properly done. What at first seemed too many days (or at least plenty of) in Portugal, soon turned into barely enough to scratch the surface of the beauty, culture and richness of a country that had just not entered my mental travel map before. 



Ah, yes, and Andalusia?  Andalusia was fantabulous. In fact, like Portugal, it piled surprise after surprise on my unsuspecting self.   And the encounter with Al-Andalus after all my travelling in Muslim countries was eye-opening and, more importantly, that much more rewarding thanks to all the accumulated experience.

Yet, that being said, our friends' anniversary celebrations topped it all. We found ourselves immersed, deeply so, in a true celebration of love, happiness, friendship, sincerity and sharing. I want to be like my friends. Period. 

Portugal, Andalusia, MM, A&N, thank you all for a trip full of meaning, surprises, lessons, and love, a trip so rich it even needed an introduction and will probably give me material for many posts.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ég elskar Ísland

If you weren't at El Mocambo tonight, you missed an unbelievably amazing concert by Sigrún Stella, For a Minor Reflection (my absolute favourite by far) and Of Monsters and Men (of which you might have heard of already). Thanks Toronto for the opportunity to see them live!

a taste of Iceland

Sweets, Japanese-inspired art by Icelandic-Canadian artists, and a fantastic documentary on Iceland's Airwaves Festival, at El Mocambo. To be followed later tonight by a concert by Icelandic groups!



Saturday, November 12, 2011

one last, yellow walk in the Don Valley

All red leaves ate gone, most others too, except the yellow ones. There were some beautiful pockets of yellow everywhere, but this is most probably the last chance to see leaves before they all fall off.
















Sunday, November 06, 2011

digital art @ ROM

You may or may not like David Hockney's art. But what's special is that, to create art, you can very well just use an iPad or similar, portable tablet, with virtual brushes, colours, materials...



Saturday, November 05, 2011

Día de Muertos

"Day of the Dead", a Mexican tradition starkly different from Halloween, at the Harbourfront Centre. Come grab a pan de muerto, some salsas, and look at ofrendas (offers to the dead).







Friday, November 04, 2011

Jules Bistrot

Lemon Drop Martini: hmmm... it really depends on your taste. The sour lemon and sugar combination was too much for me. BUT the vegetarian sandwich (w/o mayo) and salad was REALLY GOOD. Another good restaurant that can give vegans a tasty dinner.