The World Around Us

What happened in the past month or so?

Country: Canada by Lisette


The past few weeks have been extremely hectic for both of us. We’ve been to the family cottage with friends and our new-found love – Silly, the puppy – and got Kaleidoscope Consulting ’s online presence scaled up with appropriate branding.



The cottage was our chance to sleep, cook and barbeque and just hang out. We were obsessed with the world-famous pumpkin pies of British heritage. No, we did not bake a pumpkin with apples, spices, and sugar. We civilized weekend-cottagers were lazy and went into town searching for the best pumpkin-pie maker.

When I was younger, I never ate pumpkin. It’s not a popular vegetable in the Netherlands and has been imported there only in the past few years. We certainly didn’t celebrate Halloween (though we did have our own “trick or treat” game on St. Martin’s Day on November 11 th ) and don’t bake vegetables in our pies. Yet in the past few years I have come to love the taste of pumpkin pie and using pumpkin as a vegetable, for example to make soups.

A couple of days before driving up to the cottage a friend of ours left for a 2-week work / holiday in Europe. Marlowe and I had agreed to take care of Elizabeth’s 14-month old dog named Silly.

13-10-05-Cottage18W Silly
Silly soon became the center of our attention. We checked if she ate well, if she pined for Elizabeth, if she skipped during walking. You see, some dogs skip when they are happy. And Silly is one of those. We soon learned she preferred it if we both walked her and would skip along the sidewalk when we did.

As she stayed longer with us (she had been with us before), she became bolder and more playful. And looked at us with stars in her eyes when she thought we’d give her a treat. During the weekend, one of our friends said suddenly “you’ve become a real pet-parent, Lis” and -shocked- I thought she had it all wrong. Thirty minutes later I realized I was still bringing Silly up about every five minutes. 🙂

13-10-05-Cottage15W Fall coloured walks
The cottage is at a beautiful lake and set in a trail-covered forest. Naturally we wanted to check out some trails and enjoy the autumn colours.

Unfortunately, this area has not been GPS-mapped or signed well, the reason why we walked in a few circles last time. This time we thought we had a better understanding of the area and confidently set out for a 2-hour walk.

About 90 minutes in, Marlowe thought he had found a short cut. We tried out the path and soon realized it was dwindling and kinda… disappearing. We backtracked a little and guessed that as long as we walked in the right direction, we’d hit the lake and the trail. We got to the lake, but not yet the trail.

[This is Marlowe’s version: Marlowe was a great navigator, fearlessly leading our expedition through one peril after another without the slightest fear or hesitation. We were all impressed by his rugged outdoorsiness.]

13-10-03-Silly2W About an hour into this, we found ourselves in the jungle-like backyard of a couple that lives here year-round. They kindly pointed us in the right direction and off we went again. I was so happy to be back at the cottage that all I wanted was to relax and brush Silly (all knots and tangled with tiny twigs). Silly too was tired!

And then it was time for a fire. All weekend Tulan had been eager to start a campfire. She and Marlowe kept it going for a long time, while I just chilled out with a glass of wine.


Classical Music

A week afterwards, we had the chance to listen to a beautiful concert in Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church downtown. The concert was a combination of violin and piano, organized by Moshe Hammer and a Dutch pianist Paul Komen. All I can say is WOW!

If you’d like to know more about Moshe, please watch and listen to this video . Paul is the artistic director of the Peter the Great festival and Summer Academy in Groningen, the Netherlands.

And of course, last week was my Convocation.

13-10-18-Convocation-twopix Convocation Ceremony

The last big October event was the ceremony at Ryerson University to celebrate my graduation. I figured this would be a great “Canadianization” moment as an immigrant and asked Marlowe to come. Though I wish to continue learning, on the job and at university, it is also nice to have a little breather after receiving my Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Management Certificate.

All in all it has been a busy month with Kaleidoscope Consulting shaping further with appropriate branding (thanks Yes Creative !), cottaging and Silly-sitting.