Tag Archives: Anniversary

The People’s Princess…

I wonder if other girls my age are feeling it this week…
The sadness.
The picked-the-scab-off of it all.

She was our Elvis, our Marilyn, our JFK.

Taken from us shockingly, without warning.

I was always fascinated by the Royal Family.
Just over a week before my mother died, I saw the Queen Mum. She was on her way to the Queen’s Plate at Woodbine and I was leaving the hospital, and walking towards the bus stop. I noticed that the road had been shut down, and walked up to one of the police officers at the curb and asked what was going on. He pointed and said “that”, just as the Royal motorcade drove up.
They came to a stop right in front of us, and the window was down, and there she was, the Queen Mum.

I curtsied, bowed, and saluted all at the same time like a spastic idiot.
She waved her tiny hand and grinned that famous grin, and the drove off.

Weeks later, I stayed up all night and watched the Royal Wedding.
It was 2 weeks and a day after losing my mother.
It was my escape from reality.  The magic of a fairy tale in the flesh. A “Happily ever after” come to life.
I clipped every newspaper article and photo from every paper and taped them to my wall.
(this was long before the internet)

I followed her life. The ups and downs. The happiness and the heartaches.  I related to her in an odd way. Like her, my “fairy tale” ended in disillusion and divorce. But she was moving on, and coming into her own. Doing so much good in the world, and looking like she was finally going to be happy.

Then, 20 years ago tonight, I was watching tv when the news broke that she had been in a car crash. Again, before the internet, the only information was via the news, and by now every station was now carrying the breaking news live.

Then they said it. “Princess Diana is dead”

I sat in the dark, reeling from those words. How? Why?

So cruel were the parallels to my own life.

She was 36. William and Harry were 15 and 12 respectively. The exact ages of my own mother and my brother and I when she passed.
I instantly ached for the young Princes knowing how their lives were now forever changed.

I watched the news coverage all night. While we were winding down on this side of the world, Britain was just awaking to the news. I remember not really knowing what to “do”, feeling so lost. Connected but alone.

I headed to the Princess of Wales theatre downtown and added flowers to the already growing tributes here in Toronto.

I spare I thought for her and the boys each year, but this year, 20yrs on, with the boys speaking out, (I was about the same age as they are now when I too started to deal with the effect my own loss had on me) and the numerous tributes and documentaries on tv, everything  feels raw again. Right under the surface.

RIP Princess… I hope that where ever you ended up you found a happily ever after…


Happy 20th “Food & Drink” !

Every couple of months, without fail, I sit down with a glass of wine, put my feet up, and giddily tear away the clear plastic wrap to reveal the treasure inside; a glossy, delicious, book of eye candy known as “Food&Drink” magazine.

For those of you that aren’t familiar, this is a free, yes, you heard me, FREE magazine provided by the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario). It’s pages filled with glossy photos of delicious recipes, each issue features specific ingredients in themed layouts, usually pared up with specific alcoholic offerings; it’s main purpose after all is to advertise and encourage the purchase of said alcohol which is available at the LCBO.

Published six times a year; Winter (Jan), Spring (Mar), Early Summer (May), Summer (July), Autumn (Sept), and the most coveted issue, Holiday (Nov), what started out 20 years ago as a 32 page pamphlet, has grown into the most read magazine in the province, with a per-issue print run of 505,000 (English) & 22,000 (French), and a readership of over 2 million.


This month’s issue, the 20th anniversary issue, is a love letter. A love letter to itself, a love letter to Ontario, a love letter to local restaurants, and products, and chef’s, most of whom were featured at some point in the magazine over the last two decades.  But most importantly, it is a love letter to us, the readers. A look back at how things have changed. A revisiting of some of the most popular recipes over the years. And a peek behind the scenes at how the magazine came to be and how it is put together for all of us to enjoy season after season.

After reading it through, cover to cover, smiling and drooling simultaneously, I went over to my bookshelf to see just how far back my own collection goes. 2000! I personally have over a decade’s worth of issues. Amazing. Some are dog-eared, many with sticky notes or bookmarks place holding a favorite recipe, mostly the aforementioned Holiday issues, which tend to be the thickest issues, providing the most decadent recipes.

I love introducing the magazine to out of province and out of country visitors. They are usually gobsmacked by the quality of not only the magazine itself, but also the content. For a while, many years ago, I actually shipped copies of the magazine to a friend in the U.S.
Now the LCBO itself provides that service (mind you, you’ll have to pay for it if you live outside of Ontario)
From the LCBO website: http://hellolcbo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/253

  • Canadian Subscriptions: 1 year (six issues) for $33.90 (CDN funds)
  • US Subscriptions: 1 year (six issues) for $45 (CDN funds)
  • International Subscriptions: 1 year (6 issues) : please contact us at foodanddrink@lcbo.com  for pricing in your area.
    Note: Gift Subscriptions are based on the mailing address of the recipient (e.g. Canadian customer giving a gift subscription to a person with a US address must pay the US subscription price.)

Looking to complete your own collection? You can do that too! Back issues are available all the way back to 1993. Of course you’ll notice after a quick glance that the Holiday issues are all sold out.

As a public service I will let you know now that the final issue of 2013, the Holiday Issue, is due in stores Nov 6th, coinciding with another event well known to Ontario, or more specifically Toronto residents, the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo (Nov 14-17). I highly recommend you put both of those dates into your calendar.