Monday, November 30, 2009

November garden

Here are two shots of the garden in front of the community hall down home, which I took on Saturday. So we almost live n the banana belt. I drove back on Saturday afternoon
Last evening I was covenanted into this new-to-me congregation, but no pictures as I was otherwise involved.

Where were you on October 24?
Join us for another kick at the can on December 13 at 3:00 somewhere near you for a candlelight vigil. Our church bells will be rung 350 times.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


I left the camera cable at the office, so that explains the couple of days absence. Here we are at the end of November, and this is the view from the apartment window. It is advertised that we have a private garden behind the apartment. It doesn't mention that the residents have strung up laundry lines from tree to tree. So the picture has some reflection, and the window is not all together clean, but here is the Sunday wash, which an unknown and unmet neighbour has hung up to dry.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

10 pounds

Some things don't change. We may be metric in this country but we diet in pounds and inches. So far I have lost 10 pounds and 6 inches. For those who are concerned about this, there is now less of me to love, but I am more concentrated, and you'll probably have me around for longer.

Hampton alert: I'm heading back home to the Bay Shore for a couple of nights once I've finished work here today.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

letters to Santa

On writing letters to Santa: All letters sent to the North Pole used to end up in the dead letter department in Montreal, Canada. This is because flights to the eastern Arctic, the closest to the North Pole, flew out of the Montreal Airport. Some volunteers at the post office took it upon themselves to send replies to these letters. This took off and is now handled by computers. Letters to Santa get replies. Now the postal codes for Motnreal Island begin with the letter "H". So the "North Pole" was given the postal code: H0H 0H0, alternate letters and digits, in this case a zero. Now in the community Santa Claus Parades there is a postal van and postal employees who collect the letters from the children lined up along the parade route. So here we have all these children wildly jumping up and down excitedly waving their letters. It adds to the fun. Because as we know: he's making a list and checking it twice, and it always helps to get in one's requests.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

more parade

This being Nova Scotia Santa Claus could not possibly arrive in town without the pipers. However, the parade marshall put the red coated band right in behind the western horses. When the pipes started the horses were terrified. The music stropped, the band retreated three floats back, and then the parade moved on with the new arrangement. Western horses do not appreciate the Scottish element. The Clydesdales were unperturbed. They know their own heritage. I wonder if the western horses would have appreciated a country band.

Monday, November 23, 2009

'flu shot

Waiting at the swine 'flu clinic, and it wasn't a long wait. I turned up at the clinic at the shopping mall, was given a number, and then I went off to Tim Horton's to get a cup of tea. When I returned I found my place in line and was ushered into this room. Everyone was given hand cleanser and then a clipboard and pen with the usual questionnaire. By the time I had finished it and drunk my tea, my number was called. It was a quick prick and then we were sent to those chairs you can see on the other side of the room and told to sit for fifteen minutes. After the alloted time filled with good conversation, I was out the door. Piece of cake!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I was heading out for a nice invitation to dinner, but we were all new to Truro, and didn't know about the Santa Claus parade. I was one and three quarter hours late. I went out my front door and found that the street blocked off and the people lined up three or four deep. So I got myself a spot to watch the proceedings.
The parade took an hour to unwind, Every organization and many businesses had floats. There were performing dogs, fake fuzzy bears, clowns, lots of candy being handed out and excited children. The most important person was at the end of the parade in a wagon drawn by "reindeer". They were my absolute favourite.

and, of course, there was:

I suppose that I had better start shopping.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


It's November. This bush grows by the apartment front door. November is brown. Really, though, November is often quite enjoyable in Nova Scotia. It is still warm, often sunny. I have seen fall weather linger into December.
On a different note, Hugh (grandson) and I went to a concert last evening, mostly Hayden with a bit of Mozart. It was his first plunge into classical music and I threw him off the deep end. It worked out swimmingly.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Annapolis Royal street

I was walking along the street in Annapolis Royal, passing the usual eclectic mix, when I relooked at the stone lion. This is so, so typical. There are many Buddhists here, down home in Nova Scotia, with a cross cultural spirituality.

I walked by thinking nothing of it, then I turned back and snapped the photo.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

cheering section

The cheer leading contingent preceded the torch runner by about five minutes, maybe because they were sponsored by a bank and a soft drink conglomerate. Energetic young people ran through the crowd handing out tambourines with the bank's logo, and mini glowing torches. I got one of those, but a young boy near me missed out, so I handed it on to him. Souvenirs need dusting. Vocal cheers work just fine.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Olympic Torch

A bit dim, I admit my camera was not up to it. But the torch passed by the corner of my street, and I was out there cheering it on. This is my second torch. In 1976 I went with my sons to see it run by in the summer, in the daylight. It was about suppertime, so we picked up a bucket of fried chicken and went and sat on the curb. Then it was serious business. This time it is a time for a fun celebration. It is a people party. We have changed, and changed for the better.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

my office

And they expect me to write sermons and they tell me that I can have the office back next week.

So here's the story. There was a serious chemical smell in the office. The culprit seemed to be the carpet, or more likely the underlay. So they thought they would take it up, but the underlay was in good shape and not gassing off. However underneath was another carpet and under that another underlay. This was disintegrating and breaking down. The smell was pretty bad. However this was glued to the floor - so ..... now they are on to the scraping..... The moral is to never lift anything. Who knows what horrors may lurk below!

Monday, November 16, 2009

on being weird

I've found out that I am weird. Lots of friends and family already know that. I do not have much of a background in music, but I enjoy listening. When I listen to music there are colours in my head. I sit back and enjoy the show. I thought everyone experienced this. I never even thought about it. Apparently not, apparently I am weird. What a revelation!
I had heard about this pairing of music with colour on the radio, and that it was not usual and had something to do with neighbouring synapses. So at yesterday's concert I asked the person sitting next to me if she experenced colour, and she is a musician. But no - so much for my funny brain.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Anniversary Sunday - 249th - earliest Presbyterian Church in the country. I've told them to pull out all the stops for next year. Meanwhile there is a light rain and I am in between a celebratory lunch and the anniversary concert. I can, as yet, only post when I am at the office - and tomorrow I am being evicted for the day so they can pull up the carpet. Here is a shot from the choir loft before the people gather. This building was built, I think, in 1911, after the old church was destroyed by fire. It portrays the sense of prosperity and station those old Presbyterians held in the town. Times have changed.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

pancake breakfast

I was the first at the Pancake Breakfast, so my picture was taken as "First Customer". Soon the place filled up. I had stuff to do at the office before heading for a daylong event so I had come fairly early. So ever mindful of the diet and the pot luck lunch to come, I tucked into the pancakes and good conversation. Ministry is a very broadening experience. That is the problem. Oh... I'm the one on the left.

Friday, November 13, 2009


The stately elms all died: Dutch Elm Disease. The town saved the stumps and various people and groups sponsored sculptors. This is Robert Lorne Stanfield, premier of Nova Scotia and leader of the federal Progressive Conservative Party. His family commissioned it and it stands just up the road from, you guessed it, Stanfields.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Remembrance Day

Yesterday marked Remembrance Day. It used to be Armistice Day. This photo was taken the day before. You can see the poppy on the man's jacket. Here it is a statutory holiday and hundreds gather at the cenotaph to mark the 11th hour of the 11th month. These are pictures of after the wreathes were all laid.

I can remember standing holding my grandfather's hand at the town cenotaph. He was in the First World War. He had lots of medals. I was very proud. When the service was over he took me to shake the hand of a very old man, Mr. Otter.  I can remember being told not to forget what my grandfather was saying. He told me to look at the old man's medals because they were from the Riel Rebellion. (1885).  As a teenager I met an old Boer War veteran, and now the Second World War veterans are going, including my parents. Sadly we now have more war dead, and the veterans are far younger than me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

5 lbs!

I've started the diet and have lost 5 pounds! Rejoice with me and, no, I am not showing you the "before" picture. The challenge is that working in the church is a broadening experience. Like I was invited to a lovely luncheon today with three, count them, three different kinds of Nanaimo Bars. I did not do a taste test. I forwent them all. Sacrifice!

Monday, November 9, 2009

voting day

There was frost on the ground today as I set out for the office and the polling station.
We are having a federal by-election. It is not complicated. There were no line ups. I had just moved here, so I was not on the voters list. I presented an ID (my passport) and proof that I lived within the riding (my lease). I was given a ballot. I marked an X with a pencil beside my choice, folded it up and then it went into the ballot box: nothing electronic. The votes will be counted as soon as the polls shut. The first returns should be in less than an hour later. By the end of the evening the winner, our new Member of Parliament, will be declared. So I often wonder how it is that some other countries get it so messed up!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Berlin Wall

This is, I think, the 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Wall. I was in Quebec watching it unfold as I ate my breakfast in front of the television. I wept. Twenty years later I am in Nova Scotia. There is some of the wall a few blocks away from my apartment. So I trotted over before breakfast and took these pictures. The sign is a bit worse for wear, tags have been sprayed, but here it is, what is left. We bring some walls down and we build others up. We are slow learners.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

my day so far ....

Morning found Hugh ailing.
And that left Eileen, so hairbrushing, and we are out the door for art class:

And then I waited in the recreation corridor. This was the view from my chair.

After this interlude Eileen and I went to get the groceries, and then she crashed with the plague. So two down, which means my grandchildren taxiing task is over. Is this the dreaded swine flu? They're not very sick, yet. We'll see.

Friday, November 6, 2009

On to Halifax

I went home over night to check up on the basement swimming pool and the non-functioning sump pump, and then today came through rain and snow to the big city. I am on a borrowed computer and had difficulties uploading today's picture. This evening and tomorrow I am being ferrying grandchildren around to art claess and soccer practice. Their Dad is in the big, big city (Montreal) at a conference. This was our hometown, so he is combining business with family and friends.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

big city

I am heading to the big city for the next couple of days to do my grandparental duties. I am beginning to know every gymnasium and every soccer pitch in Halifax and loving every minute of it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


New gig on Sunday: I was greeted with a corsage to wear during the service. To begin a thirty member plus boys choir burst into Praetorius' "Jubilate Deo" and then following the service I was presented with a lovely bouquet. Now I should ask them what they would have done if I was a man. Perhaps a boutonniere, but the corsage was just about that size anyway. I hope he would have received the bouquet. I'm into gender equality.  Since then I've been working flat out, but hope to return to my house for a day at the end of the week to see if the water in the basement has gone down.
And so we have the glorious and the mundane.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

new gig

I took a photo of my new appointment on Sunday afternoon when the day was mellow. Today, however, it is pouring with rain.
The church is celebrating its 249th anniversary in a couple of weeks. Although this is not the original building it is still a heritage property. So here is the heritage working communication system set up in my office. My assignment, as a consultant, is to bring them into the 21st century intact and, God willing, a new church. .