O, zar je uzvodno do kraja?

Covid has stolen so much, Djordje Balasevic being one of the latest acquisitions. His music was the soundtrack to my childhood and I am so happy I was able to see him play live in Zagreb in the eighties and then again in the naughties. Even today, towards the closing hours of a good bike ride, his songs settle into my mind and I know it has been a good day. You will not thank me for it, but I will translate “Remorker”, that private Randoneuring anthem. Better look it up on YouTube though!

”Tugboat” impertinently translated by Yours Truly

The snows arrive.
It is no good, more and more Novembers bother me.
Gently clip me to your hair like a seashell pin,
that’s what I need –
my little shelter under the sky.

Unhook the barges,
aim for the morning and
let that ship slide.
Americans cracked the code for this:
“Take it easy” pretty doll!
A ripe peach splits by the sky.

Dim the lights, ease on the gas,
funny things we fear.
Think someone is looking for us?
Like we don’t exist.

Shift your thoughts to idle,
shake the stars like plums.
And slowly ground the ship
onto those plush banks.

And dream…

Migratory birds in flight.
Small sails flutter on open sky.
That departure of geese always makes me older
– the journey to heaven.
Oh, is it upstream all the way?

And dream…

Film: I Propose We Never See Each Other Again After Tonight

It is time to write out the recipe for another cake! This is not actually my cake, it came from some Swedish cultural society website years ago. Which? I don’t know, the recipe was printed out and verbally translated and adapted for me by my friend Anna. I copied it down in my notebook but it is getting rather ragged so it is high time to digitize it. My apologies for plagiarism, my only defence is that with so many other recipes on the web, the three people that visit are probably not here for the taste of Sweden.

Swedish Strawberry Cake

Sponge cake:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2oo ml sugar
  • 100 ml wheat flour
  • 75 ml potato flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Fillings and decorations:

  • ripe banana mushed with spoonful of sugar
  • frozen strawberries mushed with several spoons of jam
  • whipping cream (beat cream with a few spoonfuls of sugar)
  • fresh strawberries for top off the cake

Grease and sprinkle breadcrumbs in a 26cm diameter form pan. Beat eggs and sugar well. Sift two flours and baking powder together than blend into the egg mixture. Pour the mixture into the pan and bake in the lower part of the oven at 350F for less than 40 minutes. Let the cake cool down then slice into three layers. Banana mixture goes between bottom two layers. On top of the second layer spread strawberries with jam than some whipped cream over it. Put the top layer on then ice the whole cake with whipping cream. Place strawberries on top of the cake like they are little gnomes (this is very important).

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Archive photo – don’t cut the strawberries, I just got a little deconstructive there

Film: The White Tiger

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Kinzel Pond

With Bytowne Theatre closing I am going to make an effort to watch new releases that I might have gone to see at the cinema. Art home instead of art house.

Speaking of staying (close to) home, January was all about exploring nearby places. Have you been to Kinzel Pond? It is beautiful! I have been mountain biking on the paths. I keep getting lost but I hope to learn all the turns by the summer.

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Extra room to fight!

The golf course has been the place to be this winter though. People have made skating mazes on the ponds, climbing structures out of snow and ski jumps in the sand pits. There are a lot of skiers so set tracks are a given. I sometimes wish for machine groomed trail, but that would be just too much!

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Cold, clear, sun filled day

Often, as I ski, I think how much the golf course these days reminds me of Maksimir, the large urban park in my old Zagreb neighbourhood. It is not really anything but it is not nothing either. Some sort of green mirage in the middle of a busy town. The picture above reminds me so much of this one.

Film: The Marriage Story

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Taylor Lake

Apart from getting out to Gatineau Park to ski, I have been able to catch a few concerts/shows at the NAC.

Last year I noticed the ads for a ballet I liked when I was Trevor’s age when it was too late to go and see it. I decided to be more proactive this year and buy tickets in advance. The choice this year was between Nutcracker and Wizard of Oz. While Nutcracker is a classic, I was intrigued by the Wizard being a co-production of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet – the company that we were going to see. Markus was the only kid that showed interest so off to see the Wizard we went. The show was great, we had a blast and Markus even braved a horde of little girls to meet the dancers at the end of the performance.

Nona and I went to see Joshua Bell Performs Mendelssohn with the NAC orchestra. What I love about these concerts is the combination of classics and well known performers and new contemporary compositions.

Last week Chris and I went to a concert in the NAC Casual Friday series. This one featured American composers and a World premiere of a cello concerto written for the principal cellist of the NAC orchestra. It was tonnes of fun, especially since the enthusiasm of the principal cellist and the composer, who sat for a Q&A afterwards, was contagious.

I am really enjoying these little concerts, hope to see more of them.

Film: Little Women

Ha! I will try to sneak in my 2019 film ratings right before the year is over.

I actually made it out to the cinema a few times this year so here are the notable films I saw.

Best comedy: Two Popes

Best documentary: Honeyworld

Best epic: Roma

Best drama: Shoplifters

Best tearjerker: Farewell

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Happy New Year!!!

Film: Where did you go Bernadette

After absence of many years, this October we returned to the Adirondacks.

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We rented a lovely cabin a little away from Lake Placid and enjoyed almost a week of fun and relaxing.

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Our first order of business was hiking. We climbed Porter and Cascade peaks.

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The next day we checked out the Olympic village and hiked to Cobble Lookout.

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We checked out wild animal sanctuary and went rafting in the Ausable Chasm.

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