April 4, 2020

I love to support local businesses even when they are located in Victoria BC which of course is not local to me but to you it may be!!

Smoking Lily

Trish Tacoma and her co-founder, Julie Higginson, launched the business in 1996 in a four-square-metre storefront in Victoria’s Old Town. In those days, the founders sewed their products themselves in a spare bedroom in Ms. Tacoma’s home in Esquimalt. They’d bring their wares to town by bicycle, pedalling across the city’s historic blue bridge.

Trish owes her own love of sewing to her mother, who raised seven children on her own after her husband, a milkman, died. “To make the dollar stretch, she made all of our clothes,” said Trish, the second youngest in her family. As a tribute to both her parents, she named her second Victoria clothing store the Milkman’s Daughter.

I was curious about the name and it seems it was inspired by Trish’s ex when he got annoyed at a smoker and extinguished the cigarette in a calla lily.

I discovered Smoking Lily in this Globe and Mail article when Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, wore a dress with a periodic table print. “Social scientists who study fashion diplomacy believe Dr. Hinshaw is sending coded messages. Trust science. Shop local. Women can be powerful and stylish. Come for the crisis update, stay for the style. Indeed, Toronto’s Chief Medical Officer, Eileen de Villa, is now known for her scientific prowess and sleek scarves. Someone launched a Twitter account dedicated to her scarves.”



Smoking Lily has zero waste items made from studio leftover bits. They say, “We can’t stand the thought of throwing any scrap of fabric in the landfill so we find creative uses for every piece. We’re always coming up with new things!”

Waste not, want not is what I hear in my head from my own mother.

What are underlovelies?!

My new favourite underwear! No elastic to pinch or give out, soft bamboo/cotton/lyrca combination, good coverage (but waaay cuter than granny pants) and they come in excellent, ever-changing, colour and print combinations! I asked if they had any bicycle patterns to choose from and of course they did!!

These undies are one of the first items they made with their pretty studio bits, so the colour and print combinations are always different. They send you an email to let you know what’s available before they ship. And it’s FREE SHIPPING!

t o u c h i n g fabric

The Hungry Ghosts


I’ve found it challenging to read anything more than 140 characters since the Pandemic closed our borders. A few days ago I finally felt like reading and found The Hungry Ghosts first edition on my shelf. I’m not sure why it caught my eye. But once I opened the book and read the first line, I was hooked.

“On the day I turned thirteen, my grandmother, with whom my mother, my sister and I lived by then, invited me to go for a drive after school.”

I don’t know when I’ll see my son again as he lives in Vancouver so I wanted / needed to escape my thoughts and live with this family in Sri Lanka where I’ve never been.

Shyam Selvadurai is an acclaimed novelist and this novel was published exactly seven years ago on April 2, 2013.

Shyam and I went to York University together and he wrote in my copy, “Hope the York bits ring true.”

You bet he is on point with life at York University in the 1980s!

This beautiful edition is a compliment to Shyam’s writing which is insightful, enchanting and compelling. The texture of the book jacket and the paper quality are as rich as the spices used in Shivan’s mother’s curry.

What about the title.

In Sri Lankan myth, a person who dies may be reborn a “hungry ghost” - a ghost with a large stomach that can never be filled through its tiny mouth - if he has desired too much during his life. It is the duty of the living to free the dead who are doomed to this fate by transferring karma from their own good deeds.

t o u c h i n g books

Mother and Child


Twenty-four years and three months ago.

t o u c h i n g


Human Race by Julian Taylor

created by robertson mcclure