Saturday, 20 January 2018

The title - forgot again that I need to set the post up - what shall we say: Birthday gone!



Birthday has gone ... I don't feel too much different!  Weather much the same ... grey, as in England - my birthdays in South Africa made a change - summer days ... but at least I'm this time of year (not before Christmas) ... and Spring is making its way forth.



with mirrored selfie!
Beautiful flowers from friends at home ... have been cheering me up all the time.


We've been to a few restaurants - this one three times (I think!) ... stunning waterfront, which I eventually got to see, the other times it's been dark and I've had my back to it.  Another member of the family has her birthday on the 31st ... so Capricorns we are ... 


Surf N Surf




They've a really good range of choices ... which suited us all - at times ... 3 to 89 years old!  Boar burgers, to seafood - lots of ... I had Surf N Surf: sauteed mussels and Pacific tiger prawns, roasted garlic white wine cream sauce - delicious!!









Looking up the Island



This week for lunch (more than I normally eat) I had the seared scallops on braised pork belly, with a smoked caciocavallo cream, topped with arugula.    Together with a roasted garlic Caesar salad ... I skipped the pond on my own ... so the garlic should be ok!!





Caciocavallo cheese - it is a
stretched-curd cheese


I continue on ... things are moving along - but it is challenging!  The little Smart car is available, now the snow has gone ... and I'm tootling around in that - freedom to see different places and get to museums etc.




Back entrance without the snow and Smart car



The Smart car is interesting ... it lurches you forward as you change gear, or you can whack the lever and it goes up or down, and there's some paddle things on the steering wheel - that I haven't explored yet.  So three ways of driving around ... at the moment I'm fairly lazy just letting it do its lurching thing!!




I think I'll get into the art of blogging again fairly soon ... for today - this is it ... bur more on the way ... 

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

71 comments:

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Be careful in the Smart Car. They are one step safer than a motorcycle.

You are going to be enjoying a lot of seafood living there. In the Pacific NW area, it's one of the four food groups.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

It looks like you are eating well and getting around and about. How brave you are to try a smart car. I don’t think I could do it.

Elephant's Child said...

Love your birthday flowers. Our family has several Capricorns too.
Enjoy your tootling round.

Terra said...

Oh that surf and surf sounds delicious. How odd that the car lurches and there is a lever to whack but it is good to have a car available. My post this week is about driverless cars, I guess you could call them smart cars too, ha ha.

Chatty Crone said...

Seems like you are keeping busy there. Do be careful in the smart car - it can be dangerous!

Ann Bennett said...

It sounds as if you have a favored restaurant which shows some settling in. Enjoy your smart car and travels.

Anabel Marsh said...

Excellent, glad you had a good birthday.

Jz said...

I'm sure the cheese is wonderful but I find that photo somewhat unsettling...
;-D

Liz A. said...

Glad to see you're getting out and about. You'll settle in soon enough, I hope :)

John Holton said...

Happy birthday!

Sandra Cox said...

What beautiful flowers. What great friends.
Sounds like you're getting around and exploring. Hope you find all kinds of fascinating spots you love and can't wait to see again.

Kay G. said...

Happy belated birthday! Get out and about as much as possible I say, good for you!

bazza said...

Despite whatever else may be happening it seems that you are eating well Hilary. That can't be bad and that Surf N Surf sound's good to me. Your mobility must be great - there is so much to see there. There is a hotel in Victoria famous for it's afternoon teas. Have you done that. It's worth doing! We also enjoyed a visit to the Parliament building.
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s morally doubtful Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Lynn said...

So many people love you, Hilary, and it's clear why! You are a delight. I am glad you are having a nice time. I see those little cars around Atlanta sometimes.

Sue Bursztynski said...

Sounds like you’ve been having a great time! Happy belated birthday!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You are certainly making the best of your situation. And eating good!

Jo said...

We had a Smart Car when ours was in the garage for a while. It didn't lurch but drove like a regular vehicle.

Envy you your seafood. I miss being near the coast.

Out on the prairie said...

the seafood would be nice to enjoy. Sounds like a fun birthday

Kali Delamagente said...

I need to eat out more often. I love your review of the restaurants. And the smartcar. I need a new car but I'm putting it off until the self-driving versions are more available (I assume that's what a smartcar is). I am looking forward to reading while driving.

Suzanne Furness said...

Happy belated birthday from a fellow Capricorn! I spent the weekend unexpectedly in Dartmoor as a birthday surprise, lots of yummy things to eat there too. Take care on your travels, Hilary.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Diane - the Smart car's fine - I just need to get used to driving it ... I gather it's very safe. I suspect there'll be a fair amount of eating out ... lucky me ...

@ Arleen - yes, there are some super looking places around. The car was here - so I'm just taking advantage of a 2nd car ... fortunately distinctly less traffic than England!

@ EC - aren't the flowers wonderful ... I'm the only Capricorn in my close family, just found another out here ... lots going on at Christmas time. I will enjoy tootling around!

@ Terra - the food is good down in Cowichan Bay. I think it's just the way of the car - and really isn't a problem, just some getting used to. I read your driverless car post ... but I'd rather be driving!!

@ Sandie - there are things happening which keep us occupied. The Smart car is fine - just getting used to it.

@ Ann - it's one of the family's favoured restaurants ... recently re-opened. The Smart car gets me out and about ...

@ Anabel - yes a lovely birthday ... thank you

@ Jz - it was interesting to learn about the Caciocavallo cheese - I'd never heard of it ... so thought I'd mention it - then looking at the Wiki photo - had to include that.

@ Liz - I'm sure things will settle down ... and I can get out a lot more now the weather is settling down ...

@ John - many thanks ...

@ Sandra - the flowers are just wonderful ... love them - and remembrances of very good friends. I'll be finding out more and more now the daylight is extending itself - the sun might appear sometime too!

@ Bazza - can't really complain about the food can I?! I so far have enjoyed the meals I've had there. Yes having the car will make a lot of difference. Those teas are so popular - for some reason I've never been a fan - not sure why - ... but I'm sure we'll go to the hotel at some stage. The Museum and Parliament I want to do too - Victoria I am sure is full of things. Thanks for the recommendations.

@ Lynn - thanks so much ... such generous thoughts. Yes things are slowly sorting themselves out ... there seem to be lots of these little cars around - they were in England too.

@ Sue - there've been some good things happening to keep me amused or bemused! Thank you for the wishes ...

@ Alex - yes I think I'll be able to make the most of my time here ... and eating good too.

@ Jo - I think this particular version has some quirks - not a problem once I get used to it ... just a good description! I love my seafood ...

@ Steve - yes the Seafood is good ... while the birthday was good ... I ate out twice that day!

@ Jacqui - good to see you and thank you for your wishes. The Smart car needs to be driven - it's just a tiny Mercedes Benz type car - but is not autonomous - per Wiki. You'll have to wait, I think, before those become ubiquitous ... I believe?!

@ Suzanne - yes Capricorns we be ... how lovely that you were taken to Dartmoor as a birthday present - lovely area of the west country. I do miss clotted cream!!!

Thanks so much everyone - lovely to see you all ... I'll get myself organised with these posts soon - cheers for now: Hilary

Fil said...

I'm glad you're finally getting around and exploring a bit Hilary - good restaurants nearby makes life a lot more tolerable :) Enjoy being near the sea and have a good week. Fil

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Sounds like you've been eating like royalty! I'm with you on the surf and surf. Even when we go to some steakhouses, I often order the salmon. :)

A Smart car, huh? Better not gain any weight! (Or pass gas...)

Cheers!

diedre Knight said...

Smart cars effect me the same way as glass elevators do - let me off! Trust issues, I guess ;-) I commend your bravery!
Your selections of luncheon fare always sound so mouthwatering - but then you could describe a bowl of cereal as a delicacy ;-) Thanks for the pleasant thoughts.

Rhodesia said...

Sounds like you are settling in well there.

I have friend in Paris who has a smart car. One morning he left his flat to go to work, only to discover that somebody had pinched all four of his wheels during the night!! Hope that is not like to happen where you are :-)

Keep well Diane

Nas said...

Wow, you are settling in a new area? All the best Dear Hilary! Lots of seafood.

Happy belated birthday!

Debby Gies said...

Oh this looks divine Hilary. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and what looks like yummy food. And kudos to you for driving that car. :)

Joanne said...

lurch along and see the sights. Eat well and keep absorbing new surroundings. I'm sure it's tough at times, but nice that friends came through with flowers. And the birthday isn't gone - it's still birthday month!!!

Sherry Ellis said...

Smart cars make me nervous. I don't think they're very smart!

I like the picture of the flowers with your selfie in the mirror. I'm glad you pointed the selfie out, or I may not have noticed. That picture is so nice, it should be a painting!

Empty Nest Insider said...

Hi Hilary! Glad you had a wonderful birthday and the celebration continues with beautiful flowers and lovely lunches! I admire you for being so adventurous in your Smart car. Enjoy!

Julie

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Fil - yes things are picking up ... and getting out and about helps ... Spring is on its way. I love being by the sea - so I'll enjoy the visits and walks by it ...

@ Susan - certainly some of the food has been brilliant ... and that Surf N Surf was/is excellent - I almost always have fish ... and yes I'm sure I'll be eating salmon.

Smart car - it is smart and newish ... so I'll try and be careful! I'm losing weight surprisingly ... the gas query I won't answer!! Rather like ladies perspiring and not sweating ... no comment is easier!!

@ Diedre - strange ... but ok I won't offer you a lift! I gather they're very safe ... I'm not driving one in Los Angeles or perhaps I should say Victoria ... so not too much traffic.

Food - love my food!! Am very happy to describe my dishes ... preferably not cereal!

@ Diane - good to see you ... and hope you're better.

The Paris Smart car - sounds like big city syndrome ... thankfully I'm miles from anywhere here (well almost - as you can see here) - so I think my wheels will stay put ... I sincerely hope so!!

@ Nas - yes, somewhat jumped continents - and for a short time (2 years) I'll be here ... lots of seafood: I hope so ... love my fish and veggies ...

@ Debby - It does look a stunning area doesn't it - lucky me to be here for a while. The car is fine - again very fortunate that there's a 2nd car around ...

@ Joanne - yes, not quite sure why it lurches ... but it does - still 'tis a car to drive. The flowers are gorgeous aren't they - and yes you're right it is birthday month - perhaps I can stretch it on?!

@ Sherry - I gather they're very safe ... and I'm happy - just need getting used to.

Thanks for recognising the selfie with the flowers! Not sure which picture you're referring to - but am happy with the iphone photos ... the waterfront is amazing ...

@ Julie - yes thank you ... another year gone - lots of celebrations to come ... and Spring will be sending bursting buds forth. I've had some good foodie meals. I need to get out and about - the Smart car is wonderful to be here for me to use ... I'm grateful for that.

Thanks for all the lovely comments - the Smart car is fine and very good ... easy to park etc ... so it'll get me out and about easily. Cheers to you all - Hilary

Lynda Dietz said...

That smart car sounds like a hoot! I can almost picture you "tootling" about. Spring will be arriving soon enough, and I think that may help things along.

Rhonda Albom said...

Mmm. The boar burger sounds wonderful. Be careful with that smart car (I wonder how smart it is).

Nilanjana Bose said...

The seafood sounds superb! and you are brave to try a smart car - given what my other 'smart' gadgets do to me, I'd find it difficult to trust any car that calls itself smart :)

Have fun tootling!

Friko said...

Hi Hilary, yes I’m out and about again, starting to, anyway.
Happy belated birthday wishes winging their way to you. At least the food is good. And the Prosecco. All the rest will follow suit, no doubt. It may be an experience, whatever else you have to cope with.
Two years, that’s a long time to be away from ‘Little Britain’ but you may just be glad of it eventually.

All the best and many happy returns, as you say, good for a couple of decades yet. Ursula

Christine Rains said...

I've always wanted to try a boar burger and driving a Smart Car. Happy (belated) birthday! Hope you have a lovely week. :)

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,

Keep taking in the sights, the sounds and the food at the restaurants on Vancouver Island.

Enjoy some nice excursions away. Just remember which side of the road to drive on!

All the best, eh.

Gary x

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lynda - the Smart car is wonderful to have ... and I'll be very happy tootling around. Spring is definitely coming - but still chilly.

@ Rhonda - I do enjoy a boar burger and one day may have one again. The car is fine - it's fun to drive around ...

@ Nila - the seafood will be delicious - oh yes the smart gadgets can be frustrating can't they! The car toddles around fine for me.

@ Ursula - that's good to see you - last year wasn't an easy or happy one for you. Things will sort themselves out here - and there's lots to do and see and it will be an experience that's for sure - already is being one.

Two years is a long time ... yet not so long - the change away is good. Thanks for your wishes and I hope I'm around for a while yet ...

@ Christine - Boar burgers are good - I've had them on occasions in England .. and now will sometime try one here ... though I'm more of a seafood guzzler!

@ Gary - yes the sights come and go - thick rain, mist, wonderful clouds, glorious views ... and excursions, even local ones, I'll be doing ... and I'm on the right now!!

Thanks so much for visiting - delighted to see you and to get your comments - have good weeks - cheers Hilary

cleemckenzie said...

My friend has a Smart Car. He parks it bumper against the curb and still doesn't stick out beyond the parallel-parked cars. The lurching feature is an upgrade and costs more, I'm told.

What I'd like to know is how you always have mouth-watering dishes to tempt me? That Surf N Surf sent me to the refrigerator. How disappointed I was to find a linguine left-over.

Another birthday wish from the U.S. Beautiful flowers.

debi o'neille said...

My dad was a Capricorn. Good sign.
And the food you've been enjoying looks scrumptious!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

You were in my neck of the woods, I'd recognize those trees and that ocean anywhere. Sadly that I am so far away. I'm glad you came for a visit, Hilary. I love your photos. Looking forward to more.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

It sounds like you had a delicious birthday! I love seafood!

Hopefully, the snow will hold off so you can enjoy your car. :)

Kelly Steel said...

Happy belated birthday Hilary! And enjoy your new surroundings!

troutbirder said...

ok ok. I got it. You got a "smart" car but my 4 year old pick up truck (lorry) with its computer run systems is already way smarter than me. It already locks the doors and other things without my permission and I don't know how to stop it! Very discouraging...:(

Karen Lange said...

Sounds like your birthday was delightful! Love the flowers, and the dishes look divine. Take all he time you need to settle in, no need to hurry or stress. Enjoy your week! :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lee - that's what I'd love to do with the Smart car - park it bumper towards the curb ... and it certainly wouldn't stick out further than most of the cars here. I've found it doesn't lurch so much if I accelerate faster - just there's no need, if there's no other traffic around ... but perhaps I should get a move on!!

Well we must have similar taste in food ... and I love my seafoods ... sorry about your linguine left-overs!

The flowers are gorgeous aren't they - I'm just managing to keep them going ... they'll need revamping tomorrow.

@ Joylene - I'm over here now for probably 2 years ... but if you're in Mexico - then you are too far away - unless you're here later on in the year.

@ Sharon - oh yes two birthday meals - the first was a salad style one, then the main one in the evening. I think we're probably over the worst of the snow - but the sun will melt it off more easily as February comes around ...

@ Kelly - thanks so much ... and I'm sure I'll enjoy the scenery out here ...

@ Troutbirder - it just needs a smart 'gal' to drive it! Yes this thing does similar ... though I do have heated seats - yet the Smart 'gal' has to work out how they happen! I think I'd rather go back a few years too ... my old 18 year old Mercedes car in the UK was fine ...

@ Karen - thank you ... we had a good time and life has been full of 'funnies' but as you say take my time ..

Cheers to you all - thanks for the visits and comments - have good weeks - Hilary

Shannon Lawrence said...

I'm craving seafood so much right now. Looks good!

Misha Gericke said...

Both my mom and I are Capricorns. The seafood looks amazing. :-)

Tammy Theriault said...

I didn't realize this until I paid more attention but you are only a few hours north of me! I'm in WA and can see Vancouver from the western parts of our island :)

Becca said...

Those flowers look stunning! Smart cars still worry me. Nothing can replace a thinking human.

Patsy said...

You've made me hungry! And you're absolutely right that spring is on the way. The earliest bulbs are already in bloom and the most optimistic birds are singing in sunny spells. Soon there will be more.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Shannon - the food around here seems all to be good!

@ Misha - ah ha = more Capricorns ... and seafood for the 'old goats' = us!!

@ Tammy - I did wonder if I was up the road from you (so to speak) with you on your island ... guess you can't quite see us ... The Geography of the area is very interesting and I've yet to get to grips with it - lots of islands ... and I see a mix of connections: bridges and/or ferries.

@ Becca - the flowers have really been cheering me up. Smart cars are fine and very safe - just look tiny: also these rely on a human to drive them!!

@ Patsy - food, glorious food - and soon fresh veggies. Spring is springing here - slowly with lots of rain and snow around still ...but the bulbs are coming up, I've yet to see blooms ... though the birds are out and when the sun is out (seems a rarity here!) they are loving it ...

Thanks so much everyone for your visits ... from another gloomy very wet day - still at least it's not snow at this level ... cheers Hilary

DMS said...

The flowers are lovely!

Your lunch sounds so tasty. I am always happy when I can have a view of the water. Glad you were able to enjoy the view this time.

The smart car sounds interesting. I have never been in one. I think it is great that you are getting out and about and exploring.

That cheese!

Have a wonderful week!
~Jess

beste barki said...

Happy Birthday Hilary!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Happy Birthday!

Hope that the clouds give way to some sunshine soon. Good to hear that you're going out and about and doing some exploring...and eating well!

Murees Dupé said...

It always takes me a while to get back into blogging. The foods look and sound good. It sounds like you're enjoying yourself a bit more now. Keep well.

Susan Scott said...

Glad to hear about your buzzing around Hilary - sounds like you're having a grand old time! Food sounds rather different to English food .. :)

Elsie Amata said...

I love the flowers! How wonderful to be thought of :)

Such a fantastic view. It's one of my favorite things living on the coast. Getting to eat while looking out over the ocean. Gorgeous, even on an overcast day.

Have a beachy week!
Elsie

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jess - the flowers are still wonderful ... and yes that view for the lunch is just incredible ... I'll get down there quite often to wander around - it looks so gorgeous. I'm lucky the Smart car is here as a 2nd one ... so I'll take full advantage .... oh and the balls of cheese - it's an interesting one!

@ Beste - thanks ... good to see you ...

@ Elizabeth - so do I - the sun is lovely when it deigns to visit us ... but things are starting to happen too - so life is taking me on.

@ Murees - thank you ... things are happening here in the house and that's making life easier.

@ Susan - yes a little buzzing around: lots more when the gloom disappears! The food is a little different - but perhaps not much ... it is very tasty though.

@ Elsie - the flowers are wonderful aren't they. The views from the various bays will be amazing - and yes being able to see the sea while quietly dining or lunching is always good ...

Thanks so much for your visits and cheering me on into my eighth decade ... I feel so much younger! Take care and all the best - Hilary

Deborah Barker said...

Beautiful flowers and that Smart Car must be a godsend. Hope you are back in the blogging world soon. I too must find time to post and read! :-) X

Romance Reader said...

Wow! Such heavenly food! Happy belated birthday!

Deniz Bevan said...

My friend used to praise her Smart car because even though it was tiny it could handle Montreal winters pretty well!
Love hearing about your restaurant adventures. And that cheese looks so interesting. I'd love to taste some!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Debbie - the flowers are lovely and I'm enjoying the last of them; the Smart car will be a real godsend, already is. I need to be gearing myself up for more blogging etc ...

@ Nas - yes the food was delicious and will be when I get there again ...

@ Deniz - I think the Smart car will be brilliant ... in the winter I was advised not to use it ... but perhaps because of the depth of the snow up here on the farm.

The Caciocavallo cheese originates in Italy down in the south east ... not quite in the toe of Italy ... but is known as "horse cheese" ... and seems to be an Apennine cheese (one of the stretch-cured cheeses)... you'll probably get some in Geneva.


Thanks so much and now I might do a post on the Caciocavallo ... as it's a fascinating cheese - lovely to read all your comments - cheers for now, Hilary

H.R. Sinclair, Southpaw said...

This post made me hungry. :)

Mark Noce said...

Hope you had a happy birthday:) As for those smart cars, I think they're still working on getting the "smart" into them:)

Madeleine Sara said...

Love those birthday flowers. our post sounds like you're having fun. I've never been in a smart car. I do like the Fiat Uno as they look like cars that need mothering!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Holly - yes when I think of the food around these coves - I get quite hungry!!

@ Mark - it was a lovely time thank you. I obviously must do a post on the Smart car ... but also must get used to all the instruments ...

@ Madeleine - the flowers were superb weren't they... and yes things are happening. First time I've tried a Smart car ... the Fiat Uno I've never been in ... and I can see the reasoning behind your saying the Uno would need mothering ... fun idea - 'cept if it really does need nurturing ... then it wouldn't suit me!!

Cheers to three of you - thanks for visiting ... Hilary

Emily Bloomquist said...

Interesting looking cheese. Love the mirrored selfie. Adjusting to a new country is never an easy thing to do and I've only done it once. As you familiarize yourself with your new surroundings and the Smart car becomes like a second skin, well by then spring will arrive and you will have blooming flowers all around.

Actually, Hilary, I'm not sure when Spring arrives for you. We had daffodils blooming in March in San Francisco so hopefully it is somewhere around the same time for you. (In Minnesota we had to wait for April or May.) Anyway, thanks for sharing with us.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Emily - the cheese does look interesting .. that's why I might do a separate post on it. Glad you enjoyed the mirrored selfie ... I suddenly realised there I was with 'mes fleurs'!

I'm sure I'll get used to things ... but I'm driving two cars ... so that makes life interesting too ... and Spring will be here soon - I was down at the water today and the aconites were in bud ... and yes flowers will abound.

I'm going to be checking the seasons as they arrive here ... I'd better get out and take a photo of the snowdrops coming up to get a date set for 2018 .. we'll then see when 2019 comes around ...

Thanks, adjusting is taking its time - not for me ... t'others ... I just hope it eases. Cheers and thanks for all the visits - Hilary

Sara C. Snider said...

Hey, Hilary, Happy Birthday (Belated)! I see you're in Canada now, which sounds exciting, but an adjustment, I'm sure. Glad you're finding good food to eat. Now you just need a decent car. A lurching Smart Car doesn't sound too smart to me (never driven one) but rather a little bit scary. Best of luck to you in your new adventure!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sara - thanks for those wishes. Yes the adjustment is a challenge - but only because of my mother's cousin. The car is actually fine - just me taking the mickey out of it ... as I'm driving slowly (relatively) - it was my fault ... the Smart car is great. Good to see you = cheers Hilary