Saturday, 31 October 2015

You couldn't make it up, part II...'the chosen ones'

Back in France after a not great end to a brilliant holiday in Canada. You'll recall the bad start we got off to, well, end not much better. Trip from downtown Toronto to airport a breeze, subway to end of the line (Kipling) then the '192 Airport Rocket' (love the name) to the airport ($3.00). There in plenty of time,3 hours before flight, so checked in old fashioned way. On doing so weren't allocated seat numbers, man at desk said that this wasn't a problem as, as soon as we saw someone at the departure gate we should approach them and our seats would be allocated. After messing about on their 'free to use ipads for everyone' at our gate eventually someone appeared, Pauline went up to get seat numbers along with some fellow travellers but was told an announcement would be made and sure enough it was: "Passengers with GTE on their tickets (around 20+ of us it seemed) would be called up by their 'family' name." Now when people with names beginning with R then W then P were being called I knew they were not doing it alphabetically so patience was required but that soon ran out! They started to load the plane, Zone 1,Zone 2, while calling out 'family names' in between times...but not ours! When ours wasn't called as the last lot were being loaded we went up to the desk to be told that they had 'oversold' the flight and we were apparently the people to be 'bumped' from the flight. There was one seat if one of us wanted to go alone!!!!.They did offer us $800.00 each if we would wait and go via Frankfurt or London but by now we just wanted to get home.While remaining calm and letting them know we were unhappy with this they had asked as to confirm what our luggage looked like,so as not to put it on the plane without us. Then things took a turn, apparently another passenger had a problem with his passport or something so he couldn't fly so they could take this point I asked them to make sure our bags were back on..."don't worry that's already happening" we were told. Anyway guess what? of our bags failed to arrive apparently it wanted more time in Toronto! Still,we weren't as bad as the young honeymoon couple who only had the new wife's bag and were only in Paris for one night before heading to Turkey...good luck with that!
Maybe we should have taken the money...incidentally one of our previous guests from Le Bourg we had met up with in Canada had asked us who we were flying with and when we told him Air Canada he informed us glibly that their motto is 'We aren't happy until you're unhappy' mmm.
Not a great end to the trip (TGV from Paris also 30 minute) late but being picked up at the train station by friends Mike and Liz and then giving a lovely meal made all the difference -good to be back.

Friday, 30 October 2015


We visited Niagara-on-the-Lake when we stayed at Niagara Falls, a place I never knew existed until we came to Canada. It sits on the opposite side of lake Ontario from Toronto and it is a popular shopping destination for visitors to the 'Falls'

Its pretty streets were very busy,even in October must be a nightmare in summer...wouldn't have thought the locals would enjoy the invasion although it's what probably pays for their big houses!

Definitely a pretty place but prices too rich for our pockets.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Something for the weekend...brocantes Sunday 1st November

Richelieu market hall

Brocantes / vide greniers Sunday 1st November

Up to 50 stalls ** 50 to 100 stalls *** 100 to 200 stalls ****More than 200 stalls    ? Unknown

RICHELIEU -  Brocante **

SAINT PIERRE DES CORPS -  Brocante vide-grenier ****

VERETZ  Brocante et vide-greniers **

Kleinburg...or Cleanburg

When we visited the 'McMichael Canadian Art Collection' art gallery in Kleinburg we went into town for a light lunch at the 'Cookie crumble'.Walking along main street was like walking along a film set from the 1950's with everything spick and span.

The local dentistry had obviously to be brilliant white,

100 years of service.not many shops can say that today.


Wednesday, 28 October 2015

A walk around Newmarket park...and meeting old friends

On Monday Pauline and I went for a walk around the park that borders Newmarket and took in more Autumn colours. In the evening Miki had organised dinner where we had a 'Le Bourg' reunion with three couples who had stayed at the house over the years, plus friends. It was a great evening and interesting as the couples were all meeting each other for the first time, They did all have one thing in common they had all enjoyed staying in Barrou and sampling the Loire Valley and France.

Forgot to take photo of us all...too busy enjoying ourselves!

Canadian culture...

We were invited up to Newmarket, north west of Toronto by our host Miki and when we were up there we visited the 'McMichael Canadian Art Collection' an art gallery in nearby Kleinburg a pretty little Ontario town. The gallery is the result of very generous benefactors Signe and Robert McMichael  who were great admirers and collectors of the paintings by Canada's 'Group of Seven' landscape artists.

The gallery building itself  was their former home which was donated along with their art collection to the province of Ontario in 1965.

On the day we chose to visit we had the added bonus of a display / sale of local artist's work in the reception area of the gallery

The gallery is spread our through the rooms of this former home...

Landscapes obviously were heavily featured, many by the 'group of Seven' artists plus additional works by other artists,some of which I liked...

                                and some I didn't, like this one (above) entitled 'Spring in green'

I preferred  this one I've called 'Autumn in gold' which I took through one of the gallery's windows!

Pauline liked this one entitled'Solsitice de'Hiver'.

I loved the building itself.

There is a section dedicated to aboriginal art...

which included the longest bench I've ever seen.

Plus bizarrely a very Michael Jackson-like mask!- it was actually entitled 'Mischievous man'