Sunday, March 7, 2021

Tomatoes: Art and not food?


These tomatoes looked wonderful in the store. Big, bright red, a bit of green from the vines still attached. These tomatoes are almost works of art. Hot house grown, carefully nurtured for the perfect look, what else could one ask of a tomato?

Well, not to put too fine a point on this, but how about taste and texture to start. These tomatoes are rock-solid hard. They lack juice and are even missing the distinctive tomato fragrance. 

There was a rumour a few years ago that the latest hot-house tomatoes being grown in southwester Ontario were going to be more like the tomatoes so many of us recall from our youth. Since shipping was no longer a problem, these tomatoes are grown but hours from market, tomatoes able to resist the worst handling imaginable would no longer carry a premium. Breeding for taste would become the dominant driver.

I'm disappointed to inform all that tomato breeders are finding it difficult to dig themselves out of the tomato hell into which they have tumbled. Meanwhile, oddly enough, there are still diced tomatoes in cans and those wily canners seem to know where to go when seeking tasty tomatoes.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Imitation, the sincerest form of flattery


I often read that the suburbs are horrible places. Why? Well, for one thing, there are too many rows of look-alike homes. I cannot speak for all towns and cities but in London the developers try to NOT sell two homes of the same design side-by-side. There may by a number of similar, even very similar, homes in a new development but these are rarely located right beside each other.

But, in older heritage neighbourhoods, building rows of similar looking homes was not only common but it was often the rule. I think these old times builders must have thought that imitation was the sincerest form of flattery.

The row of homes shown are in a very desirable heritage neighbourhood in Stratford, Ontario, about forty-five minutes northeast of London.

Friday, March 5, 2021

People around the world are going stir-crazy


If you go out, wear a mask. If possible, don't go out. Stay in. And millions of folk are staying home, staying in and going quietly stir-crazy. Spring and the promise of getting out gardening is the bright light at the end of the covid-19 tunnel.

My wife has vacuumed all carpets and rugs. She has polished all our wood floors. Our bathrooms are so clean you could  . . . well, you get the idea. At second thought, put that idea out of your mind. 

Heck, the other day she wiped down my bald head and treated it with some fancy lotion. I sparkle.

Today I caught her cleaning our aging toaster. She could smell bread crumbs burning, she said. When she could not knock every crumb loose, she got some blue-striped, plastic straws and made her own unique bread-crumb nozzle.

She got the toaster clean but I'm getting worried. What's next? Spring cannot get here too soon.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Doors are made in London, Ontario


Our front door is worn. The steel is dented, the paint is chipped and a kick plate is missing from the bottom. We need a new door. So, my wife and I went looking.

I was surprised to learn there is a door maker just on the edge of London. The company is located in the county to save on taxes. This is not uncommon.

I'm surprised at how much and how little companies like this know today. When I was a boy, I believe if one needed a door, you bought a door. Today the installers much prefer to install a whole package including the frame and sidelights.

If you'd like the weatherstripping repaired in the future, this request may overtax these installers talents. The company can make doors, steel doors, fiberglass doors or even an old, solid wood exterior door. But don't ask for too much maintenance or repair. Weird.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Fences were once uncommon. No more.

When I was a boy, big fences in residential neighborhoods were exceedingly rare. When I was a teen, the first backyard pools began being installed. If you saw a tall privacy fence, one immediately thought "pool." 

Not today. Fences are now easy, quick and relatively inexpensive to erect. Some people like the look of the light, panels made from a plastic-like material. Others see the stone-wall look, or whatever pattern has been used, as a bit on the tacky side. Me? I like 'em.

The first time I went to Europe, I was surprised by all the big walls around residences. The look has not come to North America, at least not yet. But it may be slowing coming here.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Memories of Summers Past

It is now March 2nd. Come March 21st or thereabouts it will be spring. When one goes for a walk today,  one see the memories of summers past and tries, often without success, to ignore the snow and envision the world green rather than white.

Monday, March 1, 2021

The City Daily Photo group theme today: reflections

London Daily Photo is a blog associated with the City Daily Photo group. This is a global group of blogger posting an image every day from wherever it is that they live. As one would imagine, most of the images share views of the blogger's hometown. The first day of the month is theme day. Today the theme is reflections.