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Friday, 29 August 2014

Summery


When we were young and worry free, time seemed to stand still, a year seems to last ten times as long. When we get a little older, things settled. Never questioning the routine, we dutifully fulfill our roles as daughters, sons, and students. Yet, once again time seems to stand still from another perspective. As I look back , amount of tasks we accomplished and the whirl wind of events that unfolded seemed to stretch out each day, lengthening each minute to its full capacity. 

Sometimes I feel exhausted. But when one wise friend reminded me " you are doing what you love", I gratefully agreed. 


In June our family gathered in Toronto from around the globe to bid Grandma farewell. It was an expected death, as she had outlived what the doctor predicted. 
Out of my four grandparents, she is the one that I knew best. Being raised by a caring father who owns a farm, she has plenty of fresh produce and dairy to eat in a time of famine. She was then married to grandpa who loved and respected her dearly and together they raised seven children. Grandma loved glamorous and the bustling lifestyle. She was like a little child that anticipate a festival all year long. Although she has a temper, she actually cares for people very much. When her health still permits she would spend long hours in the kitchen preparing complicated dishes for her family. My favourite is  蝦籽柚皮。 Like most Chinese, she is better with acting with love than saying it out loud. I can't wait to reunite with her in paradise. 


I always like to plan things so that I don't get completely lost.  Even with the most meticulous planning things do not always go as planned. It so happened that I entered the wrong hotel address in my GPS, but with accidental lost came accidental gains. I discovered during the traffic jam, the beautiful boutiques along Queens street in downtown Toronto.  My curious sister, Cherie rolled down the car window and exclaimed " of course only antique things are beautiful" My whole family turned around to look at the five years old senior. It amazes me that she and I has such similar preferences, and that she has acquired a sense of beauty at such a tender age. I remembered when I was five, my rule of thumb is that anything red is beautiful :) 



When I think of Toronto, I will immediately think of visiting my beloved Dolce~  This time was no different, it is so comforting to hold the small cream coloured fluff ball in my arm. Seeing how she lives a comfortable life in the care of auntie Lillian puts me at ease. 


I also had the pleasure of visiting the distillery district with my future Europe trip mates Elsa , Matthew and Owen. Although I have been to Toronto many times, I have never travelled much besides eating dim sum and buying groceries. Thank you cousin Lorita for your tasteful recommendation :) 


Back in Vancouver, we were all busy with the July District Convention campaign. This year we have our own Cantonese convention. So the brothers and sisters needed to work extra hard to prepare this spiritual feast. The quality was not sacrificed because of quantity. Once more Jehovah deeply blessed our efforts. Auntie Andrea kindly organized a relaxing camp trip after the convention, allowing us some well deserved down time. I don't know how she juggled organizing the trip along with preparing for her parts in the convention. She never fails to impress. 


The highlight of my camp trip is seeing Aphrodite. the baby lama. She was helping with marketing the lama wool scarf in the farmer market place. We were blessed with amazing friends, everyone was very eager to help and cook. Our chef Rosa made sure we were well fed with daikon pudding, steam egg plates with olives, chicken soup with barley and organic carrots.... just to name a few. 

Also a big shout out to our cool friends David, Andy, Danny, Damon, Evan, and Joseph from New York ~ Thank you for all your generosity and for giving us a tour of Lynn Valley :) Ordering five dozens of shanghai dumpling all at once was definitely my first and hopefully my last ~ witnessing the love of the worldwide brother hood at work, is a privilege enjoyed only by Jehovah Witnesses. 


Recently I am totally mesmerized by this amazing women Mimi Thorisson. When I got a chance at my kitchen, I tried two of her recipes, the vanilla meringue with peach and cream and Tian Tartlet; needless to say, both were ultra simple and tasted so heavenly ~~ 



Thank you so much for reading and sharing my Summer ~~ 

Friday, 15 August 2014

Elsa & Matthew


It all sprang from a casual trip in Toronto. My fellow photographer friend Owen, invited this lovely couple Matthew and Elsa to join us in a walk around Distillery District. It was a relaxing day, visiting my beloved dog Dolce, hoping in and out of vintage stores, and of course shooting as usual. When our SD cards are full, we reluctantly left for  dinner. While cleaning off our last plate, foie gras on waffle with raspberry compote, Elsa bubbly announced that they are flying into Vancouver for their seventh anniversary photo. I was thrilled, but thinking to myself that this spur of the moment will quickly evaporate. So I was pleasantly surprised when she told me that their tickets are booked.  


It is such a blessing to shoot couples who are not only gorgeous,  know how to pose, but super easy going as well ~ The artistic Elsa suggested that our shooting location be at Granville Island. It is very well chosen indeed, lined with vibrant stores, bustling market place and near the water front, it is no wonder local artists gravitates toward this place. 


The freshness of the produces really stirs our appetite. Seeing locally grown vegetables and fruits bring so much joy to me. In this time, finding the healthy ingredients seems ridiculously difficult. Matthew bought a Macadamia nut tart which he shared. Although I find it a bit sweet, the sugar really provided me a surge of energy. 


Maybe working in such a beautiful environment contributes to friendly staffs. The charming Granville Island Hat Store graciously permits us to use their store as a backdrop ~  Single light bulbs hang down from the ceiling irregularly. Wooden ladder casually lean against the shelves. The piano just begged to be played~ It is not hard to fall in love here :)


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