Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Naramata Storage Blues: Wednesday, July 29th!

A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers. -Robert Quillen, journalist and cartoonist (1887-1948) 

The cafe on the left is a Starbucks. It is the largest coffeehouse company in the world and is based in Seattle, USA. There exists in the world an additional 21,365 Starbucks stores to this one. Not only is the money made from this cafe not kept in the local economy but Starbucks has repeatedly received negative press about its unfair labour policies, bullying fair-trade tactics with farmers in developing countries, tax avoidance, GMO lobbying and many other questionable practises. It serves very little organic coffee, uses non organic milk, a large number of the drinks have very high calorie and sugar levels and for a company that sells over 4 billion disposable cups a year it has a very poor recycling record.

Behemoth and Leviathan
Art: William Blake (1757-1827)
The cafe on the right is the Heartwood Community Cafe. As the name suggests there is more than just coffee brewing going on inside. Their values for a start include phrases such as building solidarity, holding space for marginalised voices to be heard, using arts as a vehicle for change, and creating a queer inclusive space (although to be fair to Starbucks this is one thing they seem quite supportive of). On top of this they serve organic, local, vegan and ethically sourced produce. The money is kept in the local economy and they run lots of events in the evenings for the local community. Just when you think it can’t get better, everyday they offer their ‘Soup for the People’ program which allows people to pay what they can for delicious and healthy soup, with an emphasis on no donation being too small!
Why am I telling you this? Because everyday I walk past these two cafes and everyday I am so saddened to see that the Starbucks is always busier. I do not understand why we continue to support large corporations that abuse their power over small local businesses that genuinely care about the local community they live in. I really struggle to comprehend it. 

I thought perhaps it was the price, but no, while the prices vary depending on what you drink a 12oz latte in Starbucks will costs you $4.15 while the same at Heartwood will cost you $3.75 (plus it’s organic!). So it must come down to comfort in knowing what you are getting and fear of the unknown. I do understand this to an extent but it comes back to what I have written about before, Convenience v Conservation. If we are to see any changes in this world we have to stop choosing the convenient option all the time. Live a little, take a chance, sure you might get a crap coffee from time to time (the Heartwood coffee is actually considerably better than the black water two doors down) but what you are supporting is much bigger than always getting a good coffee.

[Gayle's cousins Pat, Brenda, Pat's husband and Pete and Marlene]
The Heartwood Community Cafe might not be in your area, but I bet there will be something very similar and I bet there will also be a Starbucks. The thing is this doesn’t just relate to coffee shops it relates to all types of businesses from bars and restaurants to mechanics, gyms and clothes stores.  We need to vote with our money and think about what we want to see more of. Do we want to see more local, independent organisations that could be run by you or I or do we want our communities to be clones of each other, selling imported products, run by faceless multinational organisations that leave little money in our local economies? If we all choose to vote with our money we can make a real difference to the world we live in.
Disclaimer: I currently have no affiliation with Heartwood Community Cafe other than occasionally buying my lunch or a coffee there. They had no influence over this blog post other than inspiring me to write about them because of the good work they are doing. Chloe Alexis Dunn Great read, it's a very relevant issue for us in Vancouver, support local, fuck the big chain stores!!!

Thanks for your newsy email. Yes I thought something went wrong with the email I originally sent. We recently returned from Alberta and have been busy with appointments and catching up. We had a terrific time in Alberta particularly for Gayle visiting her cousins and home town and generally reminiscing. We arrived late evening in Calgary and was picked up at the airport by Gayle's brother Pete and his wife. They had flown in from Ottawa earlier in the day and had been spending the day with Gayle and Pete's Aunt, Uncle and cousins, Pat, Brenda and Barb. We went straight to the hotel and started on our short road trip the following day. 

[With Gayle's cousin Joey and husband Kim on their ranch in Red Deer] 

Our first stop was Lethbridge, Gayle's hometown. I was quite impressed with Lethbridge. For some reason I had conjured up a bit of a hick town and was pleasantly surprised to find an attractive town with pretty streets, a fine lake and a lovely Japanese garden. We visited the house that Gayle spent her early years and after a very pleasant day headed to Waterton. Pete could not get any accommodation in Waterton so got a motel in a place called Carsdon a few miles outside of Waterton. Not the most salubrious place and our motel was even less impressive. I should have realized when Pete said the name of the motel was the Pink Flamingo! Fortunately we only stayed there the one night. We spent the day at Waterton park and had a great time. Pete and his wife Marlene are not great walkers, unlike Gayle and I, so Gayle and I managed a nice walk enjoying the magnificent scenery and arranged to meet them for a boat trip on the lake later. The weather was perfect and the lake like glass. 
[Gayle and her brother outside house Their old house in Lethbridge]
The following day we headed for Banff for a couple of days. On the way we stopped at Malign lake for a walk. We also had planned on doing some canoeing on the lake but the rental place closed just as we were about to hire the canoes. While in Banff Gayle and I enjoyed some terrific walks amongst the stunning scenery. Gayle particularly enjoyed seeking out her Mum's old boarding school and Art College. Gayle's mum spent a few happy years boarding in Banff in the 30's when her parents lived in Columbia and it was interesting to read her diary of the time she spent there. It must have been a completely different place in those days. We then spent a day in Lake Loiuse where we did our canoeing after which we headed up the very scenic highway for Jasper, stopping off at the Columbia Ice Fields and skywalk. Very impressive indeed. We spent a day and night in Jasper and then headed to Edmonton for two days to visit with Gayle and Pete's cousins. We had a great visit with them all. One evening the cousins had arranged to hire a old working tram to take us on a trip to the old tram bridge over the Saskatchewan river where we enjoyed cocktails and snacks on board while enjoying the fine views over the river to downtown Edmonton after which we went to a great restaurant for a terrific dinner and more reminiscing. 

[Gayle flirting with a Mountie at Lake Louise!]
The following day we headed off to see another cousin of Gayle's, Joey who lives with her family near Red Deer. Another trip down memory lane for Gayle and Pete including visiting their deceased Aunt and Uncle's (Joey's parents) cabin on Sylvan Lake which Gayle haven't been to since she was a young teen. We also spent a night at Joey's Acreage (ranch to me!) getting to meet her husband Kim and daughter Erin and husband Jacob and their baby girl Malia. Erin was born the same year as Krissy and their birthdays are only 2 days apart! We then travelled down to Calgary for the Stampede and to meet up with my aunt and uncle again and also Brenda (they all live in Calgary). We made arrangements to have lunch in Okotoks with another cousin Linda (Joey's sister) and Linda's daughter Vicky which was great. They have a 600 acre ranch west of Calgary at Black Diamond, although they lost 100 acres during the devastating floods in 2013 when the river changed course. The power of nature eh? 

Calgary was a bit manic due to the Stampede but the weather was great and we did lots of sightseeing as well as spending a day actually at the Stampede. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening grandstand show but left part way through the afternoon rodeo show and wandered around the show ground. The rodeo was not my cup of tea since I do have an issue with animal welfare. After our few days in Calgary, Pete and Marlene headed for the airport to fly to Winnipeg to visit Marlene's sister for a few days before heading back to Ottawa and we departed to a somewhat cooler England. After arriving back in the UK we drove down to Southampton to spend the night with Marnie and headed home the next day.

So glad that you have settled well in Penticton. Quite different from the bustling city of Vancouver I should imagine. Yes if you are planning a trip to France next year let us have the details. If you are going to be around Paris we may be in a position to take the Eurostar over for a few days. We have booked a cruise on the Queen Elizabeth to the Blatics in August and we may be going somewhere with Gudrun and Steve but this has yet to be formed up. They are in Spain for a couple of weeks although I think they are due back today or tomorrow. Gudrun's sister is arriving from the US for a few weeks next week.

Krissy and Mark arrive in Scotland towards the end of August for 'the wedding'. We are meeting them in London on September 2nd and will drive them down to Cornwall. They fly back to Vancouver the same day we fly out to Italy so we will be able to spend the final evening with them in London which will be nice. Glad Corrine arrived home safely from her trip. Have attached a few photos of Gayle's relatives Best regards Derek 

Hi Gayle and Derek! Very pleased to hear that your trip to Calgary and environs went so well. Sounds as if you had a wonderful time visiting with family as well as enjoying some of Canada's most spectacular scenery. Sorry you were not able to swing by and stay with us for a few days/weeks but certainly understand how busy you obviously were! Next year in Paris. Not a bad compromise!!!

The OK Corral is a reference to Okanagan Falls, a small, unincorporated community just south of us by twenty minutes or so, with some fabulous wineries! Friend, Bob, back in Vancouver, suggested the western name for our place! Did you both wear cowboy hats at the Stampede? I understand your feelings about many of the events. I tend to agree with you. Enjoyed all your lovely snaps and seeing some of Gayle's family. Sarge will be jealous of Gayle's new boyfriend!

Up at 5:30 am as the night was deliciously cool so I slept well. Wanted to stitch on at least another 40 km to the ride I did yesterday so after a hearty breakfast of overleft chicken and spuds, I headed out at 9:30 am to get Peach Orchard Road out of the way before day started to heat up. Took a wrong turn going into Summerland so decided to dipsy-doodle my way around some of the residential streets on the flats in that part of the community. Some very attractive homes here so enjoyed sightseeing. Once back in Penticton I took Government and made for OK Falls. Did more dipsy-doodling on the streets near Skaha Lake Park as I needed a few extra km's to give me the distance I'd set for the day's outing. 

However, by the time I was at Mclean Creek Road I decided I might as well go all the way to OK Falls. I had intended to turn around at the base of the hill there but my legs were still feeling strong so I decided I'd do a loop and return via Eastside Road. Since I had been riding into the wind when heading south I assumed I'd have it at my back for final run home. This was not the case and only proves the adage that one will always be cycling into the wind, on any given ride, no matter which direction you cycle, going out or returning! Still, it was grand day, some cloud so not overly warm, and my water bottle and camel pack keep me well hydrated. Stats for ride:


Back to find Lady Mary luxuriating in the back patio, reading, propped up by one of the new, colourful cushions she bought while I was cycling. Must away as we have been invited, by Lynne and Peter, for an early dinner. Peter is off on a business trip tomorrow and doesn't want a particularly late night. As well, need to load last bike box, filled with pictures, still stored in their garage. Take care of each other. Fondestos from Mme Coriandre to you both. Cheers, Patrizzio!

Pics: Moose just before Princeton when I drove back from Vancouver after taking Cora Lee to YVR! Creature from The Black Lagoon and Broom-Hilda; New cushions

Home in plenty of time to enjoy a bit of a snack and a mug of java while continuing to digitate for an hour or so before readying myself for dinner in The Naramata. Simply gorgeous evening, very, very warm, back to the baking temperatures of a few weeks ago. Dom Jugos had the gates of their property open so we drove right to their garage and while Lady Mary and Lurkin' caught up in welcome air-conditioned bliss, Petros and I loaded the last bike-box, stuffed with more pictures we don't have any wall space for, into Titanuim Green, followed by a clutch of clothes I had asked to leave, on hangers, in the guest bedroom, not wanting to deal with these non-essentials while we were first moving in. Items stowed, we repaired to their patio to enjoy the late afternoon sun, along with wine and appetizers, catching up on everyone's busy lives. 

Around 6:00 pm, good friends, Gail and Alan Nixon, fellow Naramatians, arrived. Peter plays duplicate bridge with Gail and since he had cancelled the evening game to have us for dinner he felt they should at least include the Nixons! Gail and Alan have been living here for past three years but until that time were in Vancouver. Since they are both from Ireland, (Cork, for Gail, Belfast for Alan), originally, I thought it highly likely that they would know Lorna and Dave Robinson. Turns out that they are extremely good friends and the Robinsons have visited a number of times, last trip but a few months ago! Alan also knows Matt Garrey, professionally more so than socially, although not quite so well. 

As we continued to chat, Lynne served jumbo prawns, (grilled to poifection by Jugos), so we managed to soak up much of the Township 7 and Pentage Rosé, along with Peter's own splendid self-grown, home-vinted artisnal Riesling, we were plied with. Discovered that the Nixons had lived in Virden for three years, (Alan was in Family Practice at that time.), before moving to Vancouver and Alan had had Jocelyn Godolphin's brother as a patient. Jocelyn's father was the manager of the flour mill there and she was a classmate of Lynne's/Corinne's at Library School. Lynne didn't know about this Virden connection so she now appreciates my inquisition approach!

When dinner was ready, (fabulous bbq'd steaks, corn-on-the-cob and delicious potatoes with Peter's wonderful garlic), we repaired to the dining room and enjoyed the more than delicious meal. Salad, served after the above course was finished, consisted of Peter's own extremely flavourful cherry tomatoes and diced celery with a tangy vinaigrette. The Lighthall's 2008 Laughing Stock Portfolio, their flagship Bordeaux-style blend, and the Nixon's 2012 Perrin Côtes du Rhône helped us relish the food even more. Dessert was a very tasty, gluten-free, apple crumble topped with whipped cream, accompanied by a 2013 Clos du Soleil Saturn, their Late Harvest wine made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc. Haven't had such a wonderful dessert wine since a similar product we discovered in Los Olivos, in the mid-'90's, at Austin Cellars, a winery whose name I could not, for the life of me, recall, initially. Hints of wild asparagus, (latter only), and honey, not cloyingly sweet, with a finishing touch of bitterness. What a divine drop!

Around 10:00 pm we thanked our more than hospitable hosts for the sumptuous fare and congenial company, bade goodnight to one and all and drove home, enjoying the dazzling moon in the inky black cloudless sky. Both of us too, too sleepy to watch even one episode of Homeland so we opted to read, propped up in bed, for half an hour or so, before turning out our respective bed-side lamps.

Hi Patrizio, Particularly enjoyed Cora Lee’s new digs. Look forward to seeing you some time this Fall. Just have the cards ready! The Chuckster

Hi again, One good turn deserves another. A photo of me, Marnie and you know who at Disneyland last month on a travel agent fam trip. My favourite character (besides you). Finally made it to one of the Disney products after 70 years - visiting the happiest place on earth. Now my life is more complete, if that’s possible. Like Paul Lynde says in Bye, Bye, Birdie –“ I’ve a got a wife, 2 swell kids and now this!” (Just in case you don’t know the musical/movie the reference is to Ed Sullivan Show.) Chaz

Hello Chaz The Chuckster! Great snapola from Disneyland! I recognize Marnie but can you please enlighten me as to which of the other two is Goofy! Best wishes from Cora Lee to you both. Fondestos and Cheers, Patrizzio

Fellow bridgers! We’re at the end of another month, so here are the average scores (points per hand) over the seven months in 2015:

                                         END OF MAY                              END OF JULY

Clive                                 163.2  (15 appearances)            150.7 (19)

Winston                           148.8 (7)                                     142.3 (8)

David T                            138.0 (13)                                   136.1 (17)

Robert                             132.9 (17)                                    132.0 (21)

Byron                               134.3 (15)                                   131.0 (17)

David Mc                         130.9 (13)                                   129.4 (14)

Roger                              132.6 (7)                                      124.3 (9)

Patrick                              120.0 (14)                                   120.0 (14)

Scores have been low for the past two months as everyone’s results have decreased – some more than others!

Les, John and Wayne all have 2-3 appearances so statistically too low to count – but all at the top of the rankings! Les 157.5 John 156.0 Wayne 154.4
Detailed spreadsheet attached! 

Hello Lads! Has been pretty hectic over last few months and although I have been monitoring the bridge messages, [Thanks for latest scores, Clive!], I don't seem to have had much time to send along greetings. That being said, I certainly do miss the bridge and the wonderful companionship and trust everyone is well. Please consider a road-trip here!

On the home front, his evening we had been invited, by Lynne and Peter,  for dinner. Wonderful, wonderful gathering and I thought I'd send along a few snaps of The Deserters! All the best to one and all. Bid erratically!! Cheers, Patrizzio!!! 
Pics: Week or so ago, with good friend, Bill Gross, up from Vancouver. He and his wife, Denise, had rented a cabin at Deep Roots Winery, Naramata. Snap was taken on the patio there. Peter and Gail; Corinne and Alan; Cora Lee, melting from the heat, relaxing with her prized spray mister, and a book, in our back yard! 

Sounds like a wonderful time was had by all. Cheers, R.

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