Wednesday, 30 May 2018

A little Canadian Adventure!: Part 1

Shopping in Mahone Bay.  Met the owner, wanted the chairs!

So it was time for another visit to Maritime Canada, and the province of Nova Scotia to visit friends Chris and Colette.  How long since we'd been?  Turned out to be a long time.  Too long, as we both love the province, and the friends aren't bad, either!  So we set off on 13 May, spent the night at a Gatwick hotel, and flew to Halifax - arriving in the afternoon, ready to hire the car and drive on.  From our own side of the Atlantic we had booked a little house in Mahone Bay for 2 nights, and invited them to drive down and stay with us before we went home with them.  We all like Mahone Bay.  Picture postcard town with a certain charm. 


So when you drive up a little dirt road by the river, and find the cottage you booked (1), aren't you excited?  We were!  Lots of oohs! It looks tiny, but this is a three bed house with a full bathroom and a small cloakroom downstairs, and it has two double rooms plus a single.  Plus Kitchen, dining room and living room.

 And the others were with us within about half an hour.  They'd brought food and wine and a few beers, so supper was soon on the table.  The view from the front door (2) was lovely, and the same goes for the view from the sofa (3)  in late afternoon.   How lovely to just sit with a cuppa and see the sun on the birches outside.

 Have a look at the BBQ area, with picnic table and fire pit (4) and then the river itself (5).  Believe it or not, from the house,  we saw blue herons here, fishing from the rocks, and we also saw several eagles doing the same thing!  What a fantastic sight to see a magnificent bird swoop down from the branch he was watching from and get his supper, fresh!



Mahone Bay is famous for it's three wooden churches you see as you drive down into town.  But they appear on every pic and postcard. So I took this with the churches at my back.  Gorgeous, isn't it?
And here is a view just across part of the bay.  Second home?  That little one in the middle would do someone nicely!!

Friday, 11 May 2018

Peacock butterfly (female) seen in the garden this week - early May

Related image

Pretty girl!  I don't recall seeing one of these in the garden before, but every year I spot a "new" (to me) butterfly or moth.  Maybe I am just more aware of them, the more plants I grow for bees and other creatures. 
I had to look it up because although I was familiar with the name of the butterfly, I wasn't familiar with the creature - and I know it was female because the male's marking are the same but brighter.  That was what made me inspect her carefully, because she seemed to be sort of "dulled down" for one so highly coloured.  

Anyway,  there she is in all her glory.  Our garden is in West Dorset about a mile from the coast for anyone interested.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Anne of Green Gables - L M Montgomery (and more!)

Well!  here's Anne Shirley, arriving at Green Gables to live with Marilla and Matthew, brother and sister both over sixty. They had "ordered a boy" to adopt;  to help out on the farm, and Anne is what they got.  What a shock she's going to be for them.  She's an orphan, who never thought she would have a "real" home;  she can't stop talking, she makes up stories, she invents names for the places around her (The local pond becomes The Lake of Shining Waters).  She makes friends, particularly Diana who lives nearby.  She's always in trouble too because she's had no-one to guide her - Marilla "harrumps", and Matthew smiles and gradually Anne settles in to life at Green Gables, doing chores, going to school, making friends. There is joy, laughter and tears too in this tale of a child who is finally loved and who loves back fiercely.

This was going to be a one off as they say these days, but the book was so enjoyed by its readers, the publishers demanded a follow up.  That became Anne of Avonlea, and Anne is now seventeen.  No chance of college for her, she has become the local schoolmistress, and new children are at Green Gables too, for a second cousin of Marilla's has died and there is no-one to take on the six year old twins.  So Davy and Dora come to Avonlea to live with Marilla and Anne.  More adventures ensue, and every page is a delight.

Were these books written for children?  Of course they were - but children of all ages.  I read Anne of Green Gables in my early teens, and now, many years later I came to it afresh and loved it so much I decided to read the whole series which I had never read previously.  Next up will be Anne of the Island  followed by Anne of Windy Willows, Anne's House of Dreams and Anne of Ingleside.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Mrs Mac Suggests - What to read in MAY

Hello!  Well, here in the UK we have a Spring Bank Holiday to come, so people are hoping for good  weather - Spring is very changeable and sunshine cannot be guaranteed!  It could be nice.  Here's hoping.

What are we going to read then, this May month?  Well.... there's a dearth of hedgehogs here now, something that was very common 50 years ago becomes  rarer  every year.  Those little prickly creatures may even go the way of the Dodo.  So when I got a book to review with the tiniest hedgehog on the cover, I thought that it might be just the book for May.  So I'm going to read

A Handful of Happiness - Massimo Vacchetta

(Vacchetta is an Italian vet, and this is the story of his rescue and care of Ninna, a small hedgehog).

Any non-fiction about an animal (although possibly not A Street Cat Called Bob which I feel has been done to death now!), but rescued or not, there is sure to be something out there for you.

Enjoy the sun when it breaks through, my friends. 


Early One Morning - Virginia Baily

I was attracted to this novel purely by the cover (as I suppose this is meant to happen!) and it has very little about the contents on the b...