Ottawa – GGFG Annual Ceremonial Review

One of my favourite moments during my weekend stay in Ottawa was attending the Governor General’s Foot Guards (GGFG) Annual Ceremonial Review (ACR) with my friend Lesley and her son Chris at the Cartier Square Drill Hall.

The Drill Hall is a beautiful piece of architecture itself and, in addition to being home base for the GGFGs and the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa, also houses a museum:

The GGFGs (12 to 19-year-old cadets) are sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa. Check out their site here, including lots of great photos from the ACR:

Three battalions marched into the hall, followed by a flag ceremony (which included my pal Chris, aka Private Wallace) and inspection by Reviewing Officer, Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel J.L. Adams, CMM, CD. We were treated to some demos as well: emergency field response to an injured cadet and the GGFG drill team (including Private Wallace), which was really sharp. This group is tight and a prime example of the excellence that the GGFG strives for. Awards and promotions were handed out, and several cadets aged out (19 is “retirement” age for cadets); Private Chris Wallace had been promoted to Corporal earlier in the week and will be replacing his single stripe with a double stripe soon. Check out the GGFG Facebook public page here:  And here’s their Flickr site:

Cadets are a youth program, fostering physical fitness, self-confidence, leadership and community involvement. For more info on the Canadian cadet program, check out this link:

Congrats to all the cadets who were promoted, as well as those who aged out – all the best with your future endeavours. Here are some pics I took at the ACR.

Drill Hall interior – GGFG insignia
Drill Hall interior – stained glass coat of arms above the entrance
GGFG ACR – flag ceremony
GGFG ACR – drill team demo
GGFG ACR – emergency field response demo
GGFG ACR – Private Wallace (promoted to Corporal) & mom Lesley

How I first learned about sex

When I was about seven, I asked my mum where babies came from. Mum having been a nurse and all, plus me being the oldest of four kids, I knew we came out of her belly (and even had the opportunity to listen in with her stethoscope when she was pregnant with my sibs) – plus, duh, that baby bump is pretty hard to miss, especially on a woman as tiny as my mum. But I wanted to know how the heck they got in there. During our initial chat, she gave me this whole spiel about the flower which, while very interesting from a botanical perspective – and even quite poetic and lyrical – was confusing as all hell.

For about a year, I thought I was a Chrysanthemum. So I went back and asked her how all that flower stuff worked with people – only to be shocked and appalled at what people did to make babies. He puts what where?!

Here’s the book she used – complete with illustrated diagrams – good for a laugh, especially when my British friend Cecilia reads it aloud: The Story of Life by Ellis W. Whiting.

Dancing, dancing & more dancing

While trying to come up with the headline for today’s post, I realized that all the stuff I have to tell you about involves dancing in some way, shape or form.

Friday night: Chic Productions’ annual spring women’s dance at the Palais Royale ( Spice Up Your Spring, featuring DJ Roxanne and Spice Girls tribute band WANNABE ( Big, big fun in a beautiful, historic venue. DJ Roxanne spun a nice mix of slow and fast songs, from Bieber and Michael to a two-pack of Adele ballads to dance music of all flavours. WANNABE was gorgeous – performing a set of fave Spice Girls tunes, then hanging out with the folks afterwards. Nice work, ladies!

Saturday night was my pal Kerri’s 50th birthday at The Sultan’s Tent ( It’s one of those places in Toronto I’ve heard so many good things about, but never been – and what a beautiful restaurant venue! You are literally transported to another place in this opulent Moroccan restaurant. The four-course dinner menu is delicious (I had the olives and maftoul to start, braised lamb for my main and the Moroccan treats for dessert, along with a lovely Long Flats Shiraz with dinner and mint tea to finish). And the best part – aside from the decor – was the belly dancing.









After dinner, we went downstairs to Berber Lounge ( for a final round of drinks. Again, gorgeous space – and we had a quiet corner section near the bar, so we were able to chat and relax as we continued the celebration. A great evening of friends, food and fun.

This afternoon, I went to see Damsels in Distress, a witty, charming and insightful film by writer/director Whit Stillman. A fine young cast – and I love the smart, Austenesque dialogue from our group of college gals out to civilize the barbaric hordes of frat boys, as well as look after students who are depressed and suicidal. And the most powerful weapon in their arsenal is – you guessed it – dance. Tap dancing, and the creation of a new ballroom dance craze, are featured as the gang ventures to rise above the daily stresses of campus life and romance. Smart, quirky fun, with an excellent cast and a gorgeous campus. Check it out:

All in all, a big fun weekend. And now, on to some Sunday night t.v.


Truer words… Thanks to thoughts on theatre.

Thoughts on Theatre

This playwright’s keen eye and unique voice has given us classics such as Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth. His wisdom on the human experience is second to none.

“There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.”

– Thornton Wilder

Image Source

You may also enjoy:

View original post


Nightwood Theatre’s FemCab 2012 – strong, proud women inspire & entertain

I had not been to Nightwood Theatre’s annual FemCab (Feminist Cabaret) for many years – and I was so glad I went last night.

The Brigantine Room at the Harbourfront Centre was packed – with additional seating set up to accommodate the demand for tickets, the audience full of women of all ages, orientations and ethnicities. And my pal Lizzie Violet was there with me to share in the inspirational, entertaining, enraging and touching evening of women’s voices.

FemCab 2012’s amazing line-up included stand-up comic host Elvira Kurt (, who not only gave us some laughs and introduced the featured artists, but did an amazing job with the interview segments of the show. And I want her vest. DJ Cozmic Cat ( spun the digital sounds for an evening that featured musicians, politicians, activists, actors and singers – like the audience, a diverse group of women (and one man). The evening opened with RAW (Raging Asian Women performing on taiko drums – powerful, beautiful and moving.

We heard from Toronto City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam ( and NDP MP Olivia Chow (, both positive, hopeful and passionate women who want to create environments of equality, security, sustainability and prosperity for Toronto and Canada. Activist Anna Willats ( spoke on confronting the abuse of power – particularly regarding our system of policing – as well as violence against women, and encouraging/educating community engagement and leadership.

We enjoyed singers Evalyn Parry (, Suba Sankaran ( and Rosina Kazi (, poetry by Motion (, a hilarious short film on panty liners for thongs by Dayna McLeod (, a comedic/dramatic personal monologue by Shoshana Sperling ( and an excerpt of Little. Miss. Everything. by Lisa Pijuan-Nomura ( Artistic expression in response to socially imposed ideals of beauty/femininity, rage against injustice, stories of everyday life/experience (both hilarious and heartbreaking), and moving sounds and voices.

And while the women who comprised FemCab’s 2012 line-up represent a range of disciplines and personal experiences, what they all had in common was their strength, pride, sass and ability to inspire.

FemCab was a one-night only event, but fear not, Nightwood has more to come this season. And look out for FemCab 2013.

For more info on Nightwood Theatre and its upcoming productions, check out their website:


And speaking of the wise and talented Kat Leonard – she’s playing at Graffiti’s Tumultuous Tuesdays tomorrow night. 🙂



Ah… a quiet Sunday all to myself to catch up with me and plan the rest of my life again.  I crack open my new CD, Florence & The Machine, which fuses magnificently with the blissful sound of coffee percolating.  It’s 12:30pm when I wake up.  It’s never too late for a good morning and it’s never too late for a happy childhood!  I sit in my comfy chair gazing out the front window, watching glitter fall from the sky.  I breathe deeply, inhaling the optimistic scent of a fireside candle, nestle in and reflect on how I want to spend the rest of my life.  What is most important to me?  What is the least my being needs to subsist joyfully?

I pick to belly laugh. I had an explosive time over dinner with friends last night. When we get together it is non-stop fast and funny.  It…

View original post 354 more words

I’m ba-ack!

Hey all – after a delayed flight back from Phoenix yesterday afternoon, I finally made it back to T.O. late last night. Just wanted to say hey – and will have lots to tell about my Arizona adventures.

In the meantime, here are a few sneak peek/teaser bits: