Stylocycle’s Blog

Week-end in the city
July 25, 2010, 8:21 pm
Filed under: around town

It rained this week.

This understatement fails to capture he great torrential rivers of rain that came down.

I didn’t have time to check it out, but my mum called to tell me that on Friday there was video of folks canoeing down Guelph Street in Kitchener. So yeah: it really, really rained.

Some of the rain pooled in what used to be the egress point from the root cellar, and eventually made its way in under the old door. I guess that’s going to have to be bricked up lest we have such a torrential rain again.

Anyway, I’m allergic to mould, and it’s been a really wet summer, so Dear spouse spent the wk-end in the root cellar, washing down walls, removing cabinets that had soaked the water up into them, and spraying the walls with a fungicide to kill the mould. I spent the week-end stripping 60+ years worth of paint from the main stairs and took it right down to the walnut boards. Eventually we will refinish the stairs in a traditional, natural stain, dark treat with white risers. It may take a few *years* before we do it because I don’t want to get rid of the stair runner while the teenager is still in the house (it softens his step in mid-night wanderings).
So: we gardened, and I wrote (not enough — have to finish a chapter today); we did home maintenance, and Dear Spouse helped the neighbours put a new roof on their garage…

We are exhausted, and have had no time to go biking at all.



Photos — This was Barcelona.
July 19, 2010, 3:55 pm
Filed under: Get outta town!

Magic Fountains at the Pla├ža Espanya

Look, Driver! There are dads playing football with their kids in this residential area with the wildly winding streets. Slow down!

C'mon kids! Let's go to the beach! (complemenary bikes for hotel guests in Sitjes)

Ancient wall, ancient sea.

I have terrace envy.

The two of us with a friend on our own terrace in Barcelona.

Gaud├ş, you are both a madman and a genius.

poached egg, caulifower foam, crisped and deep-fried garlic... tapas from thr 20th wedding anniversary dinner.

Freshly squeezed tomatoes make for the world's most wonderful Bloody Marys

Catching up
July 16, 2010, 9:11 pm
Filed under: commute by bike, Get outta town!

So… Barcelona was lovely… so lovely that Dear Spouse has been converted to the merits of Spain, or, more precisely: to the merits of Catalunya. The weather was fantastic, so we were out and about in the city every day… and the best way to see is city is on foot (which means that sadly I’ve biked in very few cities that I’ve visited as a tourist). We ate well, and cheaply, our apartment was lovely and convenient, and we had good company in his colleagues from the conference he was attending. We managed two day trips, one to Montserrat, and one to Sitjes. I’d wanted to see Sitjes on my last trip to Barcelona in 2007, but hadn’t had the chance. I’m very glad we took the trip this time. Sitjes is situated about 20k down the coast from Barcelona, but its hills slope more immediately into the sea than those of Barcelona, and so the town is all very much more compact. One exits from the central train and is at the beach in a matter of minutes. One of the guide books in our apartment said on the issue of whether going to Sitjes is worth the effort: “Do not try to convince yourself that the beaches in Barcelona are pretty; they are not. Go to Sitjes.” So we went, and yes, the beauty of Sitjes’ coastline is remarkable. Barcelona’s seafront charm is all about the quality of the restaurants and nightclubs (for beautiful people to get fleeced in), but not about a more organic charm.

Loads of people are cycling around Barcelona these days and the Bicing programme seemed much busier and more well-established than on my last trip. We did wish on a few times that the bicing programme wasn’t only for residents of the city. It would be nice, as a visitor, to be able to bike to places for dinner in the evening, or, as in our case, to a conference site.

I’ve been madly busy these past 10 days since getting home because it’s registration time at school, but I’ve still managed to go to the little farmer’s market that sets up on Thursday afternoons in Uptown Waterloo Square. Rainbow chard and scapes! Hoorah! Also managed a week-end out of town, in central Ontario’s cottage country where I did very little for two days. I did learn to perfect the Bramble cocktail (gin, lemon juice, blackberry liqueur, simple syrup, shaken over ice….mmmmmmm), and spent a fair amount of time in the water, went on long walks with my friend and her dog… I can’t complain.

All of this slowing down on week-ends means, however, that my weeks are way busier. I may have to go back to working on week-ends more in order to maintain my sense that each day is manageable.

Meanwhile, I ran across a link today that my cycling community friends may find interesting: