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February 10, 2010

Things India Knight likes

Writer India Knight has long been included on a list of things I like, but today she has managed to drive me mad with ecstasy via her blog Things I like. Now with Search Button. In particular, her things to read tag, from which I found myself directed to Curious Pages, The Reading Weekend and Missed Connections. Pre-Miffy Bruna— amazing. I now want a beautiful house in Brussels, a giant owl, and to be Tavi. Such a wonderful catalogue of marvelous things. Image from this post— turns out Salinger’s covers weren’t always so enigmatic.

November 10, 2009

Dick Bruna and Miffy

I’ve been a fan of Dick Bruna ever since a trip home from England in 2003, where I was up early mornings due to time change and watched Miffy and Friends on Treehouse. As Miffy is quite popular in England, upon my return I was able to indulge in what has since become a pasttime: purchasing Miffy-branded commercial goods of all kinds. This hobby became very well-practised after I moved to Japan, and consequently, my house is full of glimpses of “that fucking rabbit” (as a friend of a friend once referred to Our Miff). Our recent trip to England yielded more opportunities to Miffy-shop, as we had a layover in Amsterdam (the Land of Miffy). Certainly, I voted with my Euros, and Miffy-Chan won. My friend Paul just sent me a link to this “Dutch Profiles: Dick Bruna” video, presuming I’d like it, and he was correct. And indeed, there is more to Miffy than the shopping, and I think this video makes that quite clear.

March 21, 2008

Remembering Days

The book I’m reading at the moment, which I’m absolutely in love with, contains that quotation, “We do not remember days, we remember moments.” Which I don’t buy actually, and I never have, because like Albert from Behind the Scenes at the Museum, I “collect good days the way other people collected coins or sets of postcards.” I can remember so many glorious ones, right down to very details, and though today wasn’t exactly glorious, it was definitely very fine.

The finest thing about today being happiness arriving in the post the very week I decide to stop looking for it there. And isn’t there something about a surprise package when you’re expecting nothing? The surprise turned out to be from Sayaka (who has a blog, by the way). She’s our friend from Japan, she stayed with us for a few marvelous days last summer, and now she’s seen fit to surprise me with a gift that blends two of my favourite things: tea and Miffy. Indeed, I do miss living in a land where Miffy kitchenware was so easy to to come by, but it’s nice of Sayaka to ease my yearning. How positively splendid.

In other fortune, another friend gave us our wedding present a few weeks ago, nearly three years late but perfectly on time actually, as it was an HBC giftcard, and I have to buy wares for our new apartment. So I spent the early part of this evening buying new towels and bathroom accessories, and it was fun to spend spend spend (though not so fun to carry the bags home). And then I spent two hours with Rebecca, which is some of the best company I know.

The list goes on: that work has been good of late, but that today I left early, we move in a week and a half and a farmer’s market is starting up in our new neighbourhood, our Easter treats from our English Mum and Dad, going home for the weekend to the Canadian ones, that tomorrow we’re doing nothing at all, the stack of good books to be read, the one that I’m reading, that March sunshine, and that all I want at the moment is a cheese sandwich, and in a matter of moments I will have one.

December 28, 2007


This Christmas my bookishness certainly benefited from my proximity to my husband. Or in particular, from my husband’s office’s close proximity to Ben McNally Books, which meant that by listening to me carefully, he was able to satisfy my heart’s desire with remarkable ease. Which was how I came to receive Kate Sutherland’s All In Together Girls and Eleanor Wachtel’s Random Illuminations this year. Stuart is also the reason I am finally going to get my mitts on a copy of The Gathering, as he needed to tack another book on his own online order-via-gift-cards to go postage-free– hurrah! Though I have my dear Bronwyn to thank for delivering me The Uncommon Reader, which is truly a book most extraordinary. From my parents I received George Street Stories, The Annex: Story of a Toronto Neighbourhood, and a gorgeous book of Czech Fairy Tales.

Though of course my heart’s desire can extend beyond books, and some know this very well. Which is how I received a Miffy calendar and Marks and Spencer’s things from my English family. And how I got an elephant tin of tea from the Banff Tea Co. (via my sister). Lots of other lovely things from my friends, family and husband. Oh–and the print by Michael Sowa of flying penguins that I’ve been long long longing for. Am I ever indulged?

Amidst the manic gift receiving, I did manage to give some too, and moreover to have a lovely couple of days with friends and family. I do hope that you experienced something very much the same.

June 24, 2007


We get all celebratory come June, and today is my birthday. I made a project of keeping it quiet this year, which I thought would be somewhat mature of me and worthy of a woman of twenty-eight years. And so this weekend has been easy and sunshine, and full of the things we like best. We’re just back from brunch and are set for bbq tonight. And with all our celebrations, we’ve got a regular shrine going on at our house. A lovely assemblage of cards here, as well as the two splendid flower arrangements which were such a surprise. The tall, gorgeous wild one was courtesy of my sister, and the other in the magnificent vase was from Bronwyn. They’re not normally side by side, and it’s rather glorious to have flowers all around the house. In none floral news, I received so many lovely things (incl. a Miffy umbrella!), but one in particular I’ve got my nose stuck in. Stuart got me A Memoir of Friendship: The Letters Between Carol Shields and Blanche Howard. But then that much goodness is certainly overwhelming, and I have to put it down for a breath every moment or two.

January 14, 2007

It's snowing in Toronto…

… and we’re going out to play!

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