Last week, the insomniac took a break from packing and flew to Vancouver to attend Salmagundi's fortieth birthday celebration. Vancouver was shrouded in fog for much of the three-day visit. Which Was Also Awesome. Here is her attempt to capture a few artistic fog shots, aptly entitled “Things in Fog”.
|Sylvia Hotel ... in fog.|
|Pacific Ocean ... in fog.|
|Ornamental Grasses ... in fog.|
|Canada Geese ... in fog.|
|Granville Street Bridge ... in fog.|
|Gazebo ... in fog.|
|Bizarre Sunlight Effect ... in fog.|
|Large Leaves ... in fog. |
Not that you can tell from this picture.
Knowing how much the insomniac dislikes having to walk into a party by herself, Mme. Polaire agreed to accompany her, as she has been shopping at Salmagundi since she was an infant. She arrived at the hotel in the morning, dropping off bags and suitcases full of clothes, makeup and accessories suitable for the party's theme, which was Flapper Day of the Dead, and for which the insomniac had absolutely nothing to wear. Before leaving the hotel for a bit of shopping, Mme. Polaire presented the insomniac with an abundance of goodies; the insomniac again making out like a bandit and Mme. Polaire ending up with one lilac petticoat. Although she put it on under the eyeball dress she was wearing, and it did look pretty terrific.
|Obviously, the chocolate bar never made it|
to the photo shoot again this time ...
We went to Dressew, where the insomniac (who has been so very, very good since January and hasn't bought any new fabric due to the whole downsizing thing) finally caved and purchased six metres of 100% thick black cotton jersey, which had to be forced into a carry-on bag and stuffed in the overhead bin on the return flight. To date, the bag is still sitting in the closet, as it has not yet been determined whether it should accompany the insomniac to the rental and be made into something suitable for wearing during long moonlit walks in the Spooky Forest, or whether it should just be put into storage with the rest of the fabric.
We stopped in at Salmagundi later in the afternoon for a quick look before returning to the hotel to ready ourselves for the party. And because the insomniac has been so very, very good and hasn't purchased
|All safely packed away in their storage box. Short-lived enjoyment.|
Since she was obviously on a roll this trip and felt the need to accumulate just a teensy bit more, and as a sort of reward for having done so well with the downsizing, she also purchased one last item; not quite small enough to cram into the overhead bin on the aircraft but requiring truck shipping to Calgary, where it will arrive at the Gothic Mansion just in time to be hustled onto another truck and sent away to the storage facility for six months. Makes perfect sense, doesn't it?
Mme. Polaire kindly did the insomniac's hair and makeup for the party, but unfortunately NONE of the pictures turned out. Isn't that right, Mme. Polaire? NOT ONE SINGLE PICTURE TURNED OUT. She looks amazing though, doesn't she?
|Mme. Polaire in the lobby of the Sylvia ...|
|Very Flapper ...|
|Very Día de los Muertos ...|
|Anne, the Proprietress, lighting the birthday candles ...|
|As with all good parties, it eventually spilled out into the street ...|
The insomniac returned to Calgary Friday afternoon, threw everything from her suitcase onto the floor, chucked in some clean clothes, and headed off to Banff an hour later with her family. As the cake pans have already been packed away, we decided to celebrate our birthdays, all of which occur during October and November, at the Fairmount Banff Springs Hotel. We hadn't been there since they quit offering that really good deal in the slow season for three days, two nights, plus the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet.
And although this is not the insomniac's picture of the hotel (which is glaringly obvious because it's such a good picture, and also because in order to get this shot you'd have to walk halfway up a mountain), this is probably what it would have looked like by Sunday afternoon - after the blizzard.
|It would have been the perfect hotel for The Shining ...|
We stopped at the Trading Post in Banff to visit the merman ...
|Seeing him just never gets old ...|
|The Legend of the Merman ...|
The primary reason for staying at the Banff Springs was to celebrate birthdays (unlike Salmagundi, it is NOT the insomniac's 40th), but also provided much-needed inspiration to try to get back on track with her decorating plans for the Little Gothic Cottage, which started out with visions of crudely plastered white-washed walls, dark timbers and minimal furnishings, but keeps reverting back to dark wallpapers, tin ceilings and other Victorian overabundance. White walls? Minimal furnishings? You're not fooling anyone, insomniac ...
|Mount Stephen Hall|
|We need us one of these ...|
|We also need these chairs ...|
|This suit of armour ...|
|And that owl.|
Minimal does not come easily to the insomniac ...
And now that the all-too-brief holiday is over and one has returned to her seemingly endless packing (due to her having not yet embraced a minimalist lifestyle), life in the Gothic Mansion is back to what passes for normal these days. Because there was no Hallowe'en decorating this year, the insomniac thought to share pictures of last year's decorations - taken the day after Hallowe'en and a hard frost. That cheap imitation spiderweb looks much better after a good frost, doesn't it?
|The House Gargoyle is now in the Spooky Forest. |
Buried somewhere under all that snow ...
This year, even though the veranda is bare and empty of Hallowe'en decor, there are plenty of toys and candy waiting inside. And hopefully our six faithful trick-or-treater's will make one last trip down that dark alley and long unlit driveway to the Gothic Mansion, so we can say a proper farewell.
|Excuse our bubble-wrapped mess ...|
|Happy Hallowe'en everyone!|
Until next time, the insomniac wishes you nights of blissful sleep filled with pleasant dreams. Goodnight, my pretties.