Thursday, April 19, 2018

April in Paris

Yep, here we are again -- this is our third time renting this apartment in Paris!
Our hosts left this little greeting on their blackboard for us to find when we arrived. Very welcoming!
We left behind Toronto's ice fields to find that it is already Spring in Paris. The sun is shining, the air is warm. We went for a stroll in our neighbourhood to try and shake off some of our jet lag. That's me on the right in the picture,
and that's John (above) walking through the Place des Vosges
 and sure enough as the song says the chestnut candles are in full bloom.
The temperature reached 28 degrees today. The wisteria peeking over this hedge is rushing into flower.
On Rue Saint-Antoine the pink cherry blossoms
stand out against the elegant white buildings.
Tulips and classic spring flowers brighten curbsides
and parterre gardens.
All the trees along the Seine embankments are coming into leaf
and the Square Barye park on the Île Saint-Louis is lush with colour.
We stopped into our beloved Au Petit Fer à Cheval in the Marais for a vin rouge du mois (red wine of the month) and a bière biologique (organic beer) and they brought us complimentary cubes of quiche. Jet lag has never felt so good.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Vintage Facebook Clickbait

One morning in 2014 I was looking at Facebook and found myself wondering about the hand-drawn nostrils in this tiny advertisement. Looked like someone had used a magic marker.
I clicked on the ad for a closer look at the picture and of course I was taken somewhere I didn't want to be. But there was no larger version of the picture. I had taken the bait.
I started taking photographs of the ads that caught my attention rather than clicking on them.
in 2014 I wondered what they were up to with these Retirement Calculator images. I didn't connect them to my own 2014 retirement planning. 
"Weird food" ads are still popular. Also shocking cures -- sometimes based on a weird tip, sometimes on an ancient secret. Often from a local mom.
This tip is unusual in that it is not a weird tip -- just a plain old tip.
"Discover how to earn a CEO Salary"
I did click on this one or a similar one and I watched an infomercial. Never did learn about those 2 foods.
Queasy-making photo of a fat fighter. Do you wonder what the heck it is?
Here are two sexually exploitive ads. Something conventional from Maxim.
Something more aggressive from Tinychat. The you instead of your in "Katie went to you page" strikes a note as does the casually illiterate "12 new viewed on you". When I saw this on my Facebook page I was appalled.
Will the "what happened next" meme be with us for all time?
Vintage clickbait -- "What She Did Next..."
"What happens after it gets rescued..."
I liked these two grinning faces together, but I didn't join them with a click. I felt so warned off. When will we three click again?

Now the "what happened next" thing is used to attract custom to other online content like this nice YouTube video. I've included this so we could end with something pleasant.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

A Wedding in Vaughan

John and I were pleased yesterday to be invited to celebrate the wedding of my great-niece Heather to her long-time boyfriend, Jonathan.
We travelled up to Vaughan for the occasion on the new TTC line. We arrived just before the ceremony started. The bride's brother Eric read a short passage from the Gospels supported by his cousin, Julie, of the wedding party.
Bridesmaids in teal look on
as the Heather and Jonathan exchange vows.
Jonathan is in every way a gentleman.
Matron of Honour and Best Man witness the signing of the book. That's the Bride's Father in the foreground.
Bride's mother in blue with her brother, Brian Jr and his family. Cocktail hour for the grownups
and playtime for the kids.
The banquet hall was sumptuously decorated.
with lots of space in the centre for dancing. Great DJs!
As guests were seating themselves the official photographer arranged some small group portraits with the newlyweds. Here with the family of Heather's aunt and uncle, Jennifer and James.
Time for the bride and groom to have the First Dance.
Let the party begin!
John and I were seated next to my great-nephew who is also my namesake (William) and is well on his way to becoming an accomplished artist. Here he's trying John's technique of drawing a portrait without looking at the paper. Almost impossible not to glance down but the results always have an interesting energy.
Thus we amused ourselves until it was time for the speeches. Christine, Mother of the bride.
The groom dances with his lovely mother.
The bride and groom took turns reading a speech from her phone
then cut the cake.
After dinner a light dessert -- cake, ice cream and cheesecake. Nice!
My nephew Craig drove us to Highway 407, one of Vaughan's new TTC stations. We were home in an hour. So nice to connect once again with my family. Don't see enough of them!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Joan Mitchell: Returned, 1975

Bill and I were looking at the Mitchell/Riopelle: Nothing in Moderation exhibition at the AGO. Mitchell's Returned (Canada series), from 1975, stopped us in our tracks.
What a beautiful painting! Unusually calm for her work. And those warm, creamy pastels!
We had a slow, careful look at each of the four panels.
So gorgeous. Suggesting alternatively landscape and still life.
The wall text says that these panels represent her "memory" of the Canadian landscape.
What a nice idea -- to paint a memory!
Wall text also says that Mitchell gave this painting to her partner, Riopelle, and that for some reason he gave it back to her. Wonder what the story is on that? Going to have to find a good biography.