Some say life is no picnic. I say make a picnic part of your life.
Summer isn’t complete without one.
A little history on the subject:
The word “picnic” comes from the French language where it became a popular pastime in France after the Revolution (1789) when royal parks became open to the public for the first time.
The term derives frompique-nique, used to describe a group of people dining in a restaurant who brought their own wine. The concept of a picnic therefore had the connotation of a meal to which everyone contributed something.
Picnic may be based on the verb piquer which means ‘pick’ or ‘peck’ with the rhyming nique meaning “thing of little importance”, or on “pique un niche” meaning “pick a place”, an isolated spot where family or friends could enjoy a meal together.
During the Victorian Age picnics were ways for people to escape the restrictions of etiquette and formality and offered the rare opportunity for young men and women to spend time together in the open air. They could also be quite elaborate since a picnic for twenty people might feature sandwiches, fruit, a selection of cheeses, and a variety of baked food!
It’s finally here! Very Good Friday indeed. Not only a holiday, but the day my 14 day mandatory stay-at-home Covid-19 quarantine finally ends. Of course I’ll still stand my distance when outside, but I can now go for long walks in fresh air. I promise never to take walking along the beach right outside my home for granted ever again.
The past two weeks went pretty smoothly with my two dogs and my boyfriend, all things considered. We kept quarantine quarreling to a minimum although I cannot pretend we didn’t have a few trying moments. Shades of a shot-gun wedding!
For dog walking a good friend of mine who lives around the corner walked Layla as she requires more exercise than Jia Jia. Then she sent me the pictures to prove how much fun they had while I was holed up at home.
Actually to tell you the truth, it wasn’t too bad. Fourteen days goes by fast even when you don’t have any plans. I started getting used to not having any reason to get out of my Pajamas. I started cooking again and getting creative with ingredients. Some of the things I made turned out pretty good considering the ingredient substitutes for some of the meals. Things like using Chinese vegetables for making Mexican, etc. Using vegetable rice to make Risotto and smooth peanut butter to make peanut butter cookies. Crunchy is much better. I cooked a lot and the not having to go out to get groceries myself meant having to be more creative with what I already had in the house.
Luckily the weather has been mostly sunny, so we’ve been able to get some natural Vitamin D by sitting on the upstairs deck. For exercise, moving plants and furniture around have helped to a degree.
But the icing on the cake was taking part in an on-line choreographed dance class from The Dance Lab (a London, England based dance studio) via Zoom. Courtesy of my good friend Masako who lives in London. The lesson was 8:30 pm London time, 12:30 pm Vancouver time.
I joined Brazilian Samba lesson which was lots of fun. Our instructor Brian Dibnah was excellent.
Brian has a good sense of humour too. He went slowly at first with the moves while we watched and then tried to copy bit by bit until it was formed into a dance routine set to music. We could see the other dancers on the split screen gallery view of our computers. Little dancing icons.
Brings social distancing to a new level. We were social distance dancing.
It’s in the air! There’s something about the approaching of Spring that makes us want to make a fresh start. Flowers are beginning to bloom, weather will be warmer, our wardrobe will become lighter and brighter, and we have the urge to clean house. To lighten our load.
Everyone needs a little inspiration now and then! Whether its just to get through the day or to change your outlook in life, make a big decision or start something new.
If you want something you never had, you have to do something you’ve never done. – Thomas Jefferson
The secret of getting ahead is getting started. – Mark Twain
I’m not sure who said this one but it’s so true: Learn to appreciate what you have before time makes you appreciate what you had.
I’ve driven by them countless times yet never took the time until only recently to visit a few of the astonishing Buddhist temples of Vancouver. What a humbling experience, especially after having come from the shopping meccas of the likes of IKEA, COSTCO and Home Depot on a dull and rainy afternoon. I’m not kidding when I say those places gave me a headache, however my mood changed and I immediately felt calmer and more relaxed after stepping inside a much more peaceful environment. Not to mention a whole different world. Here are some photos I took of the impressive Tibetan and Chinese Buddhist temples. I hope you like them.
Thrangu Monastery Canada
Located in Richmond, British Columbia, it is the first traditional Tibetan Monastery in the Pacific Northwest.
The International Buddhist Temple
This truly impressive complex of gardens, ornate buildings, shrines and statues of Buddha is also located in Richmond, B.C. Modeled after Beijing’s Forbidden City in China, the temple showcases elaborate carvings and stonework, beautiful Chinese gardens, and art gallery-quality paintings, works of calligraphy, ceramic murals and sculptures. Totally exquisite! Let’s walk through the garden:
I like this quote: How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours – Wayne Dyer
Meet the Showstoppers: FIVE FABULOUS FEMALES in charge.
This is the first time I’ve attended a creator talk as part of the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF). What was so special about this one is that it was with a panel of five fabulous female powerhouses (names below) responsible for creating and producing some of the current top rated TV shows.
Tim Goodman, chief TV critic from the Hollywood Reporter was asking the questions and it was very inspiring to hear what everyone had to say about the challenges and responsibilities, good and bad, of being a showrunner. From manipulating scripts and mapping out plot lines to what they look for when staffing a writers room, they provided an insider’s peek into the dynamics of working in this competitive industry.
They also talked about what they’re currently watching and what excites them. And they were funny.
Satisfaction and fulfillment are essential to living your best life. You can be satisfied when you meet your own expectations. You cannot please everyone and there will always be someone who is happy with a lot less than what you have.
Words from a wise woman
Being satisfied with what we already have is a magical golden key to being alive in a full, unrestricted, and inspired way.
One of the major obstacles to what is traditionally called enlightenment is resentment, feeling cheated, holding a grudge about who you are, where you are, what you are. This is why we talk so much about making friends with ourselves, because, for some reason or other, we don’t feel that kind of satisfaction in a full and complete way.
Meditation is a process of lightening up, of trusting the basic goodness of what we have and who we are, and of realizing that any wisdom that exists, exists in what we already have. Our wisdom is all mixed up with what we call our neurosis. Our brilliance, our juiciness, our spiciness, is all mixed up with our craziness and our confusion, and therefore it doesn’t do any good to try to get rid of our so-called negative aspects, because in that process we also get rid of our basic wonderfulness.
We can lead our life so as to become more awake to who we are and what we’re doing rather than trying to improve or change or get rid of who we are or what we’re doing. The key is to wake up, to become more alert, more inquisitive and curious about ourselves.