(written by Holly Lee) Sushi Grass in Paradise (a story)

(12) George and Wandy

(12) George and Wandy
It is already early March. As one steps into the much anticipated March break, the weather in Toronto also starts to loosen its freezing grid. A succession of snowstorms created snow piles almost 2 meters tall on the roadsides of the city, and when the snow banks melt, one icy layer upon another, slushy puddles and minor flooding occur everywhere, making it difficult to get across from one street to another. Looking out from the eighteenth floor skyscraper window, there are just two zebra crossings from George and Wandy's condominium to Mr. Bento's home. That's why, on this Wednesday afternoon, when the sun finally breaks out, bright and high above, when the temperature is a good 8 degree celsius, when they have taken enough rest journeying back from their Winter home in Hong Kong, George and Wandy, Mr. Bento's long time friends, decide to drop by his place with their home-made banana walnut cake.

(11) A Dedicated Fan (or Two)

(11) A Dedicated Fan (or Two)
Mrs. Bento continued to read the Blue Journal, which she found MM's attachment to JM quite intriguing, and was wondering what would happen next.

"In fact, I did not forget Joni Mitchell completely after settling in Toronto. After all she is a national treasure (in the past I always thought she was American). I went to her concert (Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan) in Maple Leaf Gardens on October 29, 1998. I remember this so clearly just because I did some research on what I forgot. This one, together with the Ottawa concert, would be her last full performances in Canada.

(10) A Blue Journal

(10) A Blue Journal
This is no ordinary notebook, so thought Mrs. Bento. Every once in a while she'd like to spend more time on the third floor library, touching this and that and hoping to find something out of the ordinary. Here it was a Pierre Belverdere journal, designed in fashionable Montreal. She loved the indigo blue, lightly padded faux leather cover, ran her index finger through the embossed line

(9) A Breakfast Conversation and An Amateur Carpenter

(9) A Breakfast Conversation and An Amateur Carpenter
"They are saying food in Japan have gone so wildly mutated that a new classification of food should enter the 21st century encyclopedia. Look at this one, a fish with beak of a bird!" exclaims Mr. Bento. It is breakfast time and both Mr. and Mrs. Bento are having their standard coffee and toast.

(8) Phoenixes Rising

(8) Phoenixes Rising
As if it was some magical encounter, while turning the pages in the 2010 diary, Mrs. Bento discovered the mentioning of volcanic eruption at Eyjafjallajökull, located in the south coast in Iceland. From 14th to 20th of April that year, ash from the volcanic eruption covered large areas of Northern Europe. About twenty countries closed their airspace to commercial jet traffic and it affected approximately ten million travellers.

(7) Should we go?

(7) Should we go?
Mrs. Bento and Ginger usually take their vacation every year in early or deep Winter. A time when they have fewer guests and can afford to take a week or ten days off. This year Mrs. Bento suggests to visit Venice and its famous Biennale. Ginger has never been to Venice and worries about the sinking, plus the Biennale only begins in May.

(6) Canada Post on strike. Again.

(6) Canada Post on strike. Again.
Mrs. Bento's room guest Yoshiko was expecting a letter she wrote to herself - just to prove the B&B's address was correct, and that the Canadian postal service could really deliver (she'd heard bad things about them). She would then feel comfortable to ask her friends in Japan to write her. She began to feel a little homesick after staying in Toronto for two months to attend a workshop about mindfulness.

(5) A Page in a Diary and an Image from a Funeral

(5) A Page in a Diary and an Image from a Funeral
The diaries in the library are not uniform in size, in fact they vary from B5 size to big and small notebooks. They are also not put in an orderly fashion. A few stand between books of similar height, others are stacked horizontally on top of each other.

(4) The Library Holds More (Than Books)

(4) The Library Holds More (Than Books)
The third floor library has one long and narrow window. On a sunny day, like today, Mrs. Bento is delighted to see a bank of definite light pours in, brightening up the otherwise dimly lit room.

(3) The Skill of Playing Dead

(3) The Skill of Playing Dead
It is almost the second Anniversary of our Bed and Breakfast! For the past year we came across so many interesting people that we wouldn't have met if it wasn't the business. I keep thinking back of certain people who'd made an impression on me. Juan, for example, stayed with us during the last International Film Festival.

(2) The Third Floor Library

(2) The Third Floor Library
Mrs. Bento has a key to a special room on the third floor. It is a small library lined not only with books, but personal archive and memorabilia. Violet, the lady from whom she bought this building two years ago, added a condition in the contract that the 'third floor library' must be kept in its original state until further notice of change.

(1) Bento Family

(1) Bento Family
Saturday morning, cloudy with occasional showers. Mrs. Bento woke up with a headache the minute she thought about changing the clock to Standard Time. That meant she had to deal with every time device in the house - the phones, the oven, the radio with CD player, and all the other gadgets that have a time display on. "Can I just put back myself one hour so I don't have to do all this stuff?".