Monday, October 19, 2015

A little bit British...a Hodge Podge post.

The Humble Bungalow has a bit of a British theme going on....

The British are coming...the British are coming...

In the early days of Victoria 
in the era when I grew up
we had a rather English flavour or "flair" if you like..
our historic association to "the crown"
Victoria was known as
"little bit of Old England"
particularly in Oak Bay...
(where I lived and went to school)
it was often referred to as the community behind "The Tweed Curtain."

Think Tweeds, Burberry, Barbour jackets, wellingtons, brollies, twin sets and pearls.
Old money
MG's, Bentley's, and Austins.
Stiff upper lips
Atco mowers, spades, shovels, gardening trugs.
Horticultural Flower Shows
Babies in smocked cotton sets and hand knitted sweaters.

Victoria has long been known as "The City of Gardens"
we have a thriving gardening community and there are many many garden groups and clubs.
Gardeners are a very dedicated lot and work very hard.
Walking around the city you can see their handy work everywhere.

Last week I stopped to take photos of these gorgeous dahlias in a garden on Hollywood Crescent.

My 5K route winds around the waterfront towards Gonzales Beach and then snakes back towards Dallas Road.

I find photo opportunities at every turn....
even weeds can be pretty.
You can't beat Mother Nature for her amazing pops of colour.

The light on the water changes constantly...

The muted colours here remind me of an artist's work...

This bench beckons...
if I had a coffee in hand I'd probably sit for a spell and observe the ocean.
There are often sightings of otters, seals and occasionally whales.

I am in awe of Kate Atkinson's writing...
I like her mysteries involving Jackson Brodie.
Mt favourite character is still
Louise Penny's Armand Gamache.

Life has taken on a quiet rhythm since retiring...

I'm still thrilled with this Red Kettle.

A good book, a cup of hot tea and a comfy chair in the afternoon.
long scenic walks
playing with the grand children
weekly Mah Jongg class
and bridge games.

Mr. HB got his new English Halls greenhouse!

Next Spring there will be tomatoes, basil, cucumbers and possibly melons hanging out in here.

He surprised me with a gift this past weekend...
he came home and said "close your eyes" 
when I opened them he presented me with this beautiful British Racing Green Haws watering can...
it's quite posh.

My favourite Black Toast Patterned Emma Bridgewater Bowl...
came out of the dishwasher with a chip on the rim.
I don't usually use chipped crockery but I cannot bear to throw it away.

because it's Fall and the nights are getting darker and the temperatures are dipping...

I've been lighting candles...

I'm off to exercise my democratic right and heading off to the Polling Station.
If you are in Canada don't forget to get out and cast your ballot.
It's our duty to VOTE!

Thanks for stopping by...
hope you have a fabulous week!


  1. Hostess it's so true, it's the most English part of Canada where you are, it's so different and you can really see the British influence. I have that watering can and I love it, and the greenhouse is amazing, you're going to have fun with that for sure.
    I've been burning the Amber candle as well, I think it is perfectly suited to autumn.
    I wonder if your line-ups will be long at your polling station? Hopefully not but I'm also hoping for a big turn-out this election. I voted on Thanksgiving weekend at an advanced poll... I'll be up late tonight watching the results! XO
    ps Did you see John Oliver's take on the Canadian election? I was rolling laughing. Here is the link in case you missed it:

    1. Hi Dani and Leslie - that link is hilarious! No one gets away unscathed, except for Elizabeth May, who wasn't even mentioned! We also voted over Thanksgiving - I think the turnout in general is going to be very good this time.

    2. Hi Dani,
      I really enjoyed watching that video! There were no line ups at our polling station at all...I am happy that so many people went out to vote.
      We were excited to see that Justin Trudeau was elected prime minister and it's rather sweet that he grew up at 24 Sussex Drive and will be returning with his wife and family. His Mother, Margaret Sinclair Trudeau must be so proud of him.

  2. We're just getting ready to walk puppy over to vote. Monsieur and I (not puppy). I am burning my Lotus Santal candle as I read my Maisie Dobbs mystery. You might like Maisie as she has her office (sleuthing) in Fitzrovia. Have you read or got your name in for the new LP mystery?
    I'm volunteering at the Writer's Festival this week so I might find some new authors to explore.
    I'm going to visit the link now. Happy week!

    1. I am going to make note of that series of are so kind and thoughtful keeping me informed of new books and authors. Thank you! I do have my name on the reserve list at the library for Louise's new novel.

  3. I'd love to visit your part of Canada! It always looks so beautiful, and the weather so lovely. I love British racing green and will someday nab a Jag in that fabulous color! How exciting about the greenhouse!

    1. Barbie would look great in the passenger seat! If its a convertible Jag you might consider wearing a tweed hat and a Burberry scarf!

  4. Hi Leslie!
    Longtime subscriber but have found myself going back to the beginning and rereading all of your blog posts. I absolutely adore the manner in which you write. I only have one child left at home (a senior in high school) and I feel as if I am finally becoming myself. You have been such an influence on me. I have become much more discerning with my purchases. Quality over quantity! I have purchased my second cashmere sweater and I am actually enjoying the process of daily cleaning, laundry and housekeeping. Thank you so much for helping me, be me!

    1. Oh my...I am impressed! That's a lot of reading...I've done that with other blogs and its a great way to "get to know" the blogger.
      I love that you are "finally becoming yourself!" I love that idea...Bravo!
      Unfortunately I had to donate a cashmere cardigan this Fall as it had a few moth holes in it...I had not put it away for the summer and those greedy little bugs decided it would make a lovely spot to lay their eggs! Cashmere is such a soft and cozy yarn...Lands' End, LL Bean, and Brora have some tempting ones online.

  5. Those dahlias are stunning! Oh, you're going to have such fun with that greenhouse....

  6. Love seeing your scenery pictures. I do not get over to the Dallas Road area enough.
    I too love Kate Atkinson. I am reading Case Histories right now, well not RIGHT now but usually at bed time.
    Love the greenhouse. It is very attractive and a nice size.

  7. What a lovely post today...was wondering where I could obtain a candle like the one you are burning..I bet they smell wonderful!! Love the new greenhouse you and your husband will enjoy it a lot....we have one and they are just so much fun!!

    1. I buy Diptyque candles at Holt Renfrew when we visit Vancouver. I am sure that you can find other sources online...I like to "sniff" the scented candles before I buy them so I like to shop in person. Good luck!

  8. A most enjoyable post...I have never been to Victoria, although often to Vancouver. It sounds lovely, and I know I would adore the gardens. Your Union Jack bag is perfect, and so is that watering can. So stylish!

    1. Thank you Patricia...I loved seeing your post with those beautiful Jacaranda trees and the vibrant and colourful birds that you have in your back garden!

  9. I voted! What a fabulous greenhouse, I can't wait to see what you grow!

  10. The greenhouse is wonderful it puts my very aged wooden one to shame. And, I love your new watering can, it is very elegant.

  11. The greenhouse is wonderful it puts my very aged wooden one to shame. And, I love your new watering can, it is very elegant.

  12. Love your greenhouse and watering can - beautiful. I'm newish to gardening, but I'm enthralled.
    Thank you again for introducing me to David Austin roses too.

    1. Oh you are so welcome Kathy. You know how passionate I am about roses!!
      I hope that you continue to enjoy gardening...its a wonderful hobby.

    2. I've moved into vegetables and fruits. Our whole front yard is now a food garden!

    3. Kathy it will be fun to see what you grow and I am sure that your grand children will enjoy the harvesting of fresh foods.

  13. You live in a truly beautiful place. Positively green with envy over your new greenhouse and watering can!

    1. We are very fortunate to live here...I feel immense gratitude and hope that I never take it for granted.

  14. Hooray for Britain! I so miss it right now. We often go to Blenheim Palace for tea, (£20 for a whole year membership to the palace and grounds). The months I live there I begin to see it as "normal" and when I'm here in Van and look back, it's such a special place. So are the Tudor castle ruins, our 14C village church, the henge is the next door village...oh my gosh, everywhere it's so special and amazing...and everyday at the same time. No wonder everyone has such a love affair with the Old Blighty.

    1. I've never been "across the pond" to visit the UK but hope at some point my husband and I will make the trek. It has such history and the architecture, gardens and historic sites would be such a joy to see. Cream Teas would be right up there on my wish list!
      The Empress Hotel, Butchart Gardens, The White Heather Tea Room all put on a fine tea here in town

  15. I have to confess to being more than a bit envious of that greenhouse! It's wonderful, and you will get so many tomatoes next year you won't know what to do with all of them. I'm sorry your bowl got chipped. It's always so disappointing when that happens. Why is it always the special ones that get broken, and not the everyday run-of-the-mill ones?

    1. If we get a bumper crop of tomatoes and I hope we do...we'll be eating lots and sharing them with family and friends and then I'll be freezing and canning them...I might even need to buy a small chest freezer!

  16. Such an amazing greenhouse. I can't wait to see what comes out of it!

  17. Amazing greenhouse. I wish I had made room for one when we made changes to our garden as here in the North of England our more tender plants need plenty of TLC from the frosts. I don't know if you have access to the Boots PLC website but their Florence Anne range of candles are deliciously perfumed. My favourite is blackcurrant and fig. Lovely all year round.