April 30th, 2015

As I posted on Facebook, I felt like I was 5 years old.  This was the day I would take the train for the first time or at least the first time that I remember.  I was pretty excited!

I was also excited because I was going to see Eliot participate in The Brush Off, which is a fundraiser for The London Children’s Museum.

So I arrived at the Kingston station and had to wait for about 15 minutes for the train.  It was a beautiful day so I waited outside.  Just like Anne of Green Gables!! LOL Although she was waiting to be picked up, not to get on a train.

The train arrived and you are assigned a car and seat number, sorry for those of you who have taken trains often.. this was new to me.

I had asked for a window seat so I settled in.  Got my touch-pad out, my book and my ear buds.  I was ready to go!!

Soon, the attendant came to check your ticket and I told him it was my first time.  I know, you’re shaking your head.  I was hoping for a free drink.  It didn’t happen.  He said it was his first too!  Ha Ha!  I knew he was kidding.  I asked if I had to go to another car to get a tea or something and he said they would be bringing a cart along shortly.  Hmm, just like the airlines, who knew.

So here is my very expensive but delightful tea that I thoroughly enjoyed.

p1060798I found it quite amazing what you see on a train that you do not see while driving the highways.

As you can see, a LOT of barns and farmers fields.

And then you see what people don’t want you to see or the things people hide behind their houses!

This is not pretty stuff.  Take a look behind your house to see what you have hidden there maybe time to get rid of it?

I took a few pictures (cough, cough). Then I watched some of the Via Rail Entertainment which was good when it was working.  It provided some TV shows, News and Rick Mercer, of course.

I knew we were arriving in Toronto because I saw this.

img_0045I had to switch trains in Toronto which I was a bit anxious about because I only had a few minutes in between but it turned out to be not an issue at all.  I basically got off one train to get on the other which was directly beside.  This one was a bit more crowded so I didn’t get a seat to myself so I couldn’t spread out quite as much.

I arrived in London and our friend Paul picked me up, as I was staying at his house for the night. He was also, kind enough to let me borrow a car while I was there.  That was so nice of him.

I had a tea with Paul then I met up with Eliot and we went to Covent Gardens for a coffee before heading over to The Brush Off.  It was so good to see Eliot.  I haven’t seen him since Christmas. And surprise of all, he had shaved his beard the day before so I got to see even more of him!!!

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He had to arrive quite early to The Brush Off, so I dropped him off at Goodwill Industries and I browsed around the Goodwill store that was just below the event.  I then headed up and got inside and they started the VIP round right away.

p1060836To explain how this works, there are 16 artists and they are provided with a blank canvas, paints, brushes and some tools and they get 30 minutes to create a canvas of beauty.  This year they were also allowed to bring some of their own tools.

Linda is the Auctionista.  She is so great and always wears the best outfits.

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p1060868This was Eliot’s first creation.

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p1060837The VIP round was a warm up for the artists.  After 30 minutes, they take the paintings and blow dry them and then hang them on the walls, clean up the artists table and the next round starts.  At this round, you have to vote for your favorite painting.  The advantage here of course is if you are from London and well known and you’re good, you will probably get voted through.  It goes from 16 to 8.

Eliot did not make it through that round.  The competition is pretty stiff in my opinion and Eliot knows no one there but me!! Next year I need everyone I know to go so he can get through and do some more great art.  You with me??

This is his second painting.

p1060862It then goes down to 4, then 3 then 1.

There were some very interesting paintings.  I really liked these two.  Very different but for some reason they caught my eye.

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The woman who won the last two years did not make it through the first round.  Her paintings are always very similar from year to year.  This was one of hers.

p1060845Then there were some random hamburgers!!!!  Too funny, he had a hamburger on his table to paint from.

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Then there was the balloon lady.  I thought she did a really good job on these.

As you can see, many different talents.

These are the two that purchased Eliot’s paintings.

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This guy wanted Eliot to paint something for his apartment because he currently had his dog pictures on the wall and he was told he needed something not so personal. So asked Eliot to paint three canvases, square, circle and triangle.

The winner this year was Nick De Groot.  Of course a dutch guy. LOL

This is one of his.  They weren’t my favorite but when I realize how he gets to the end product, he is worthy of winning for sure.  He uses a plastic knife to create this.  I don’t think I ever saw a paintbrush in his hand.

p1060869The next morning I met up with Eliot and we went to The Bag Lady for breakfast.  A super retro/vintage restaurant with very good food.

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img_0051The rest of the day was spent doing errands with Eliot since he doesn’t have much chance to do that without a car.  I was happy to help him get around town and get him to places.

We headed back to his apartment, which was super neat and tidy and had a tea then I drove him to work and headed back to Paul and Nadia’s to visit before they drove me to Via for my trip home.

Some photos on my way home.  Not sure what these are? Alien space ships?

p1060877I was looking for palettes,  here are just a few!!

And me.  It is very hard to take a selfie with your camera.

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p1060894Until we meet again.

All Aboard…even though they don’t say that

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