28 Nov 2017

Hidden Palace Opera in Venice

Of all the places we visited in Italy, we were most unsure about Venice. With the gondolas, the serenading, the much-photographed pigeon squares, we worried that we knew too much about the city, that the endless onslaught of we tourists would have robbed the city of its natural charm. We

19 Sep 2017

Ho Chi Minh City

This month, we were delighted to visit the HCMC atelier of Vietnamese designer, Trinh Hoang Dieu. With shoes off and the evening lights dimmed, we crept lightly around the room. The Dieu dresses have a modern elegance that is rooted clearly in Vietnamese tradition. I spent a little too much time ogling

17 Sep 2017

Tokyo Disney

Tokyo is a fascinating mix of the past and the future – from ancient Buddhist temples to hotels staffed entirely by robots. With its special wards, prefectures, subprefectures and massive population, we short-term visitors cannot claim to understand Tokyo. We can wander, wide-eyed, through the vibrant sub-cultures, admiring the creative fashion, art and food and seeing

20 Aug 2017

Gabriola Street Art Festival

Salty the aristocratic dog was over it, but the rest of the crowd was merrily wandering between artist stalls at the Gabriola Street Art Festival. There were jewellers, painters, sculptors, glass-artists, sign-makers, face painters, giant bubble makers and clothiers. The Street Art Festival runs beside the Gabriola Theatre Festival, which this year includes One

18 Aug 2017

Shoes, Glorious Shoes

For whom do you think the 19th Century shoes below were crafted? a. an assassin b. a chesnut crusher c. a dominatrix d. a palace lawn aerator These horror film shoes are on display at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto. That’s right: an entire museum filled with shoes. Couture shoes,

13 Aug 2017

Copenhagen + HCA

Hans Christian Andersen – creator of The Ugly Duckling, Little Mermaid, The Emperor’s New Clothes, Thumbelina, The Snow Queen, inspiration for Frozen – is the pride of Denmark. He was born 1805 in Odense to a washerwoman mother and a shoemaker dad. Andersen died on August 4th, 1875 in Copenhagen.

08 Aug 2017

Stockholm Selfies

Stockholm is such a photogenic city, it’s not surprising to see people taking selfies at every turn. It’s fitting that Sweden’s National Museum, headquartered in Stockholm, has curated Selfies. Now and Then from its collection. A selfie, they argue, is a natural descendent of the self-portrait. Artists, like Rembrandt, painted

06 Aug 2017

Beautiful Leikanger

As we traveled around Norway, we were thrilled to discover the most beautiful little fjord-side town: Leikanger. With its population of just over 2,000, Leikanger is nestled beside Norway’s famous Sognefjorden, the third longest fjord in the world. As you walk along the quiet lane-like roads, you’ll see white houses and abundant fruit

16 Jul 2017

London Calling

With its resilience of spirit, historic charms and cultural vibrancy, London is still teeming with visitors, eager to experience as much as they can in the allotted days. The rigorously trained cabbies take shortcuts that actually work. One friendly chap was fresh from congratulating a friend who had finally passed

21 May 2017

Sunny Island Markets

The sun is out, the people of BC are on the move and island artisans, chefs and potion-makers are greeting them at markets all over the province. Saturday of the May Long Weekend was opening day for the Gabriola Island Market. 2017 brings an enthusiastic group with lots of Gabriola favourites along