Category Keeping Up Appearances

Christmas flowers

At Thanksgiving I told Lady I wasn’t getting a Christmas tree.  [gasp; maternal gears start churning]  Then I told her my plan to get Christmasy flowers instead.  [whew] So that’s what I did today.  Got up before dawn (which, let’s be honest, means about 8:00am in London in December), caught the bus to the Columbia […]

Fall clean-up

Nothing like a little yard work to keep the home-going blues away for a little while longer. (Also? I love my leaf vacuum.)

There may be a reason you haven’t seen pumpkins used as vases before

Cute and whimsical for a seasonal arrangement? Yes. Good at being a vase? I’ll let you be the judge: After only five days I discovered that the pumpkin had melted into a mushy, moldy, leaking mess. I salvaged what I could….

Who needs a place to stay in Seattle?

It’s official:  Seattle’s hottest AirBnB property has just gone live and is open for business.  I mean, if I’m not going to stay there, why shouldn’t you?  You just have to promise you’ll let me back in when I move back from London. Here’s the listing.  It’s perfect for weekend get-aways, longer-term corporate arrangements, and […]


When you’ve just moved in and don’t have dishes, bed linens or toilet paper, the first thing to get is a jar of lilies and a mobile.

Fire and fury

My landlady’s definition of a proper clean and my definition of a proper clean are not the same. I had her clean the flat twice before I moved in, and while the second attempt was a much more valiant effort, the bathroom still wasn’t habitable.  Because mildew. Even after two allegedly “professional” cleans there was […]

An awkward first Friday

First Friday in London, I’ve got this world-class city at my fingertips and what do I do?  Umm, well . . . At about 7:00pm, I pulled my head out of my work emails and realized that despite the glorious sunlight still streaming over the city (we’re farther north than Calgary, so the days are […]