Digging up the Earth

Jenny's UK ramblings.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

We got married! Again!

Hey everyone,

Christian and I enjoyed our final wedding celebration this past weekend in London. We both had a great time. We had all of Christian's family and friends (and a few friends and family of mine) to a beautiful pub/restaurant in our neighbourhood, for champagne, a big lunch, and some speeches and good times.

Christian's Oncle Bernard attempts to put his nametag on his head

Jenny Leslie giving her toast to the bride, in which she blows my cover and tells all about my Chilliwack roots....
Christian's oldest friend Dustin came from Halifax. Here he is, telling stories about a much younger, nerdier, but ahead-of-his-time Christian...

Christian's mum is French, so we had a great representation of French relatives, as well as Christian's English family. I attempted to give a toast in French but didn't make it past "Merci pour le...erm...umm..." before I had to switch.

12 hours later, we were still going strong (or at least my family was, anyway!)...

...ending with (slightly drunken) burgers later that night at Ed's diner.

Thanks again to all of you who made these celebrations so special!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Who says Canadian culture is boring?

The Andersen Project was one of the coolest plays I've ever seen. It's a one- man play-within-a-play-within-an-opera-within-a-Hans Christian Andersen-story, with the most amazing sets and music and energy....it's difficult to explain but was one of those transformative theatre-going experiences where you completely lose yourself in the story and "feeling" of it all.

This play has taken London by storm a bit. Even the crustiest old critics are raving about it. It was written and directed and performed by Quebec director/actor/filmmaker and all-round avant garde dude Robert Lepage. The hard-to-impress London audience was blown away. I was proud to be a Canadian.

In a spooky cooincidence, we happened to see Gillian Andersen at the Andersen Project. We even "accidentally" followed her into the parkade to make sure she was who we thought she was. I think we freaked Agent Scully out a bit. But she and her pals seemed as buzzed about the show as we were.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

"Real" British food...

The Tyee has been running a series of columns called Living on the Hundred Mile Diet for about 8 months now. It's written by a Vancouver couple, both writers, who are trying to eat nothing but food grown within 100 miles of the Lower Mainland for a year. It's not that outrageous of a proposition when you think about it - but perhaps not so easy in practice.

I went to a farmers' market in London today based on the same principles - everything for sale came from within 100 miles of the M25, a massive ringroad/noose/superhighway that circles around London (if you're feeling particularly bored, check out London Orbital - a bizarreo book where Iain Sinclair WALKS around the entire thing...hands down, the weirdest book I've ever read - but I digress)

Anyway, it was interesting to see what there *really* is to eat this time of year from within 100 miles of London. Behold:

A bit of this:

One of this guy's fish - (better act quick - only two left!!)

Some of these (mmmmm):

A few choice game birds:

And my personal fave:

There were several surreal conversations along the way, including a farmer from Kent trying desperately to introduce the chilli pepper to the British palate, and a Kosovar family with a fledgeling Buffalo cheese operation. The lowly parsnip was loving his moment in the sun:

In the meantime, any tips on how to deal with the pheasant in our fridge would be greatly appreciated.

(*note to readers: soon I will have job and such random blogging posts and adventures in cookery will likely cease - indulge me, please*)

Friday, February 03, 2006


I bet this guy feels really, really crappy:

Man trips and destroys priceless vases

A museum visitor tripped on his shoelace, stumbled down a stairway and destroyed a set of priceless 300-year-old Chinese vases.

The three vases, dating from the late 17th or early 18th century, had stood on a windowsill at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge for at least 40 years.

The museum refused to name the visitor, who was unhurt, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Steve Baxter, another visitor, who saw the accident, said: "We watched the man fall as if in slow motion. He landed in the middle of the vases and they splintered into a million pieces.

"He was still sitting there stunned when staff appeared. Everyone stood around in silence, as if in shock. Then the man started talking. He kept pointing to his shoelace and saying: "There it is; that's the culprit.""

Duncan Robinson, the director of the museum, said: "It is a nightmare you are always afraid of in a museum. I have been here for 40 years and now that nightmare has happened."

The vases, from the Qing dynasty, were donated to the museum in 1948.