Category: Not America

There is life and it exists, outside America. Duh.

Shona’s Run

Super news from my fleet-of-foot Phillips relatives, Greg and niece, Shona, in Kingston … “This morning, after exactly three months of training, Shona ran the Thousand Islands Parkway Half Marathon (21.1 km). I ran beside her as coach and moral support while Karen played chauffeur, cheering section, and chief photographer. “The weather was reasonably good:…

British Columbia Tour, Part two

I forgot to post the rest of our photos from our trip to Canada, so if anyone is interested, here they are. After we left Jasper, we took the Skeena train (two days) through Prince George and stayed overnight there, (Hi uncle Lloyd and Aunt Jackie!) then on to Prince Rupert. There we picked up…

The Company of Songbirds

Something in the new birdseed has songbirds clamoring at the brass cage around my feeder. Wild songbirds– sparrows, chickadees, blackbirds, nuthatches, purple finches, tufted titmice, cardinals– they have come to visit me at my back window. When my family was here these past weeks, it made me tired. Feet on the floors above, the water…

Roadtrip, Alberta and British Columbia, 2008

Colin and I travel a lot, but usually in fits and starts. The last long, proper holiday we took was to Egypt. This time around Colin took me, along with my parents, on a tour of western Alberta and British Columbia, his homeland. Below is a slideshow of the images of the first half of…

Iowa in 2008: The Future is Already Here

All my friends at The Warrington in England who didn’t know what or where Iowa is (“sounds familiar though”) are getting their quat-annual reminder today as my fair home state makes front page news internationally, including three front pages in the Guardian, The Independent and below the fold featuring McCain in the Tory Times. As…

Where to Eat in Maida Vale whilst waiting for Gordon Ramsay and Holdings to get the Warrington Sorted

Or… Hello, lovely Idlewild, so long dodgy Truscott Arms… Somewhere between the time Gordon Ramsay circled the Warrington last autumn in his 4×4 and this week’s first big test match at Lord’s, the Ruby Group of London has SOMEHOW managed to buy, close, gut, decorate, and re-open the council-housing hangout Truscott Arms on Shirland Road…

What the pub did for me

At a pub, I learned the English are hard to get to know. But once you know them, it’s hard to let them go. And they don’t let go easy. They are like old dogs. Completely faithful. But they probably won’t leap up when you come in. In a pub I learned how beautiful cigarette…

Maida Vale is our Local

If you must leave someplace, you should leave it sad to go. After we left our Randolph Avenue flat, we were desperate to stay in Maida Vale. It isn’t the best place in London, just as any single person isn’t the best person in the world. No. Just like a person,

Treading Water at the Warrington

God, it’s gorgeous right now in Maida Vale… I just glanced down Clifton Gardens one afternoon and, suddenly, every tree is in leaf and the air is full of the smell of hyacinths in bloom. Ahhh, spring… a time for freshness, renewal, of kicking open doors, shaking out rugs, polishing windowpanes, letting in the light.…

Ben’s Thai London… Now Dang!

For those still looking for Maida Vale’s favourite Thai restaurant, Ben’s Thai, formerly of the Warrington Hotel, don’t worry, it hasn’t gone far. Under the new name, Dang at Ben’s Thai, Dang and her clan have moved above another pub, the Robert Browning, on Clifton Road. This gritty old man’s boozer, situated on a properly…

Gordon versus the Empire

Bill Buford’s recent article on Gordon Ramsay’s slog in the U.S. (“The Taming of the Chef: Can Gordon Ramsay make it here?” April, 3, 2007 ) has me thinking again about the sins and virtues of the Ramsay Holdings pub venture, and the exhausting drive my darling head chef is taking into my homeland. I…

Anyone Seen Ben’s Thai???

Despite the fact that Ben’s Thai in the Warrington closed JANUARY 31, and Ramsay Holdings have owned all of the Warrington Hotel since October 31, 2006, many guests are still caught unawares, wandering up the stairs of the saloon bar for that reliable local Thai in Maida Vale. If you are one of the many…

In Love with the Warrington

It’s a good time to be sentimental about the Warrington. After all, the bar staff hasn’t changed much. The regulars like Bill and Tony and Stan are still propping up their ends of the bar. It’s smoky and that one ceiling fan always looks like it is ready to fly off and shoot across the…

Warrington Days

It’s been three months since Gordon Ramsay Holdings took over the Warrington Hotel and everyone still seems to be on pins and needles about the changeover. Last night was packed to the gills with regulars, neighbors and new friends, everyone trying to catch hold of a piece of what they fear might be lost as…