Have you been to the lovely Westport bakery yet. I posted about this place in the past, but we cannot seem to get enough of their delicious treats. More Ben than me- I guess that makes me healthier.


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Berlin is good for meats

While walking around a shopping centre late at night in Berlin, I stumbled across a Bavarian restaurant which served what was simply called, ‘A plate of meats’.

I became curious – and entered the restaurant.  This is what I found:


Upon finishing the plate of meats, you can still detect some hint of satisfaction in my face. I’m a happy man – that is also struggling somewhat.



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When I went to junior prom I wore a lovely green dress with short sleeves. My mom made it for me- to my exacting specifications. It grazed the knee and was far from ultra-fancy, it was perfect for dancing the night away at the Nicollet Island Pavilion.

I cannot even remember what I wore to my senior prom- I think it could have been a repeat- a black-linen sheath dress from Talbots (of all places) it was simple and a perfect canvas for not one accessory and flats which had a grosgrain bow, I think also from Talbots- this was in the nineties, it was slightly better than a Laura Ashley floral.

It appears prom or formal dress style has expanded in the years since I was shopping. There was an event while we were in Vancouver, here are some of the ‘styles’. I was surprised to see Tom’s and flip flops are considered formal footwear.







While staring (with sunglasses) at this group a fellow starer mentioned she thought it was a quinceanera. We never received a concrete answer so it will remain a mystery, another mystery, why is the corset dress still so popular?


We are still on our healthy eating kick with only a few slight setbacks while on holiday (hello tasty beer and some gluten-centric treats), we could maybe even stop calling it a ‘kick’ as it is  becoming an excellent lifestyle, Ben continues to say ‘he has never felt better’. It has forced us to think of our meals as one, two and three in lieu of the traditional three. This makes it easier when you are facing a bowl of breakfast soup. Which is what we have been eating recently.

This version of roasted red pepper and tomato is perfect hot or cold. We had it hot- the first morning and added poached eggs, some avocado and meat garnish for Ben- in this case bacon and it keeps you going (almost) as long as a hearty bowl of oatmeal.

Loads of other cultures favor soup for breakfast. In Turkey they have a lentil-based variety with tomatoes and bulgar called ezogelin çorbası.

Mexicans favour soup, which shares the name with a famous Puetro Rican boy band- Menudo. The liquid version is concocted using tripe and hominy and served with fresh-made tortillas. I must admit- tripe scares me, but if you are feeling brave- here is a recipe.

I might have to give chagua a try when I am in Colombia this fall. This breakfast treat consists of a freshly poached egg in a milky broth, flavored with coriander (cilantro) and onions.

In Japan, miso soup is also an important part of the first meal of the day, not just the way we sample it in the west- pre-sushi. Although it is tasty then too!

I was not brave enough to give congee a whirl when I spotted it in the breakfast buffet during my past trips to China, but now doing some research, I am not sure what put me off, it is a rice porridge, usually had savory. I think it was some of the strange-to-me looking condiments which were used to flavour this breakfast staple which might have put me off.

I think breakfast soup is the way of the future at least here at our place.

Well I do declare, Scotland has been experiencing a bit of a heat-wave. BBC weather has not identified it, just yet, but in the two years we have lived here, we have never had as many continuous days of warm sunshine as we have had recently.

Edinburghers seem begin to complain about it being too hot at about 23 degrees, so now that temps are soaring at 27 degrees (80 degrees), the complaints are rolling in! I must admit, after seven hot and humid summers in Grenoble, 27 is about right- I think we are just out of practice. To put it in perspective- today it should be 27, tomorrow 20 (68 degrees) – the ability to always sleep under the duvet continues! Love it here!

It also surprises me that for a city which does not experience a large number of days like these recent toasty one, how the women of Edinburgh still manage to accumulate such a wardrobe of skimpy tops and inappropriate for their body-types shorts and skirts. They are out in force.

Needless to say, we are doing our best to take full advantage of this because I fear it will not last (but is is supposed to through the weekend)! So we will be out and about and I will be in my seven-inch inseam shorts- appropriate!









Although we had our list of excuses ready to go, in the end, we did not need any of them. We completed the Vancouver half marathon in just less than two hours.

It was a lovely run, it started sunny and then clouded over. After ‘racing’ in Europe for these past years, I appreciate North America’s early start times (7.30 vs. 10.30), the organization of the races here and the fans.

It was the first long race Ben and I have run together, so it was extra special. We made a pact to run together and even after I hit the wall at 10 miles, he did not leave me. I insisted he go on- a true running martyr!

Which race should we do next?

OH CANADA… Happy Canada Day from Vancouver. We are heading back to Edinburgh today. Maybe we will see some fireworks from above. Enjoy the celebrations.

SUN-FILLED… For those of you who doubt Edinburgh gets sunshine, here is the proof- The Meadows. the lovely park located just behind my work!

We had a fabulous run of ‘warm’ weather recently, but this still means you need an extra layer and you can still curl up under a duvet as you drift off while it is still really light out doors.