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...a glimpse into life on Vancouver Island, needle felting, photography, food, gardening, etcetera...etcetera
"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Friday, November 8, 2013

Song for Friday...looking back

I watched a program the other night all about India's Maharajah's obsession
with the Rolls Royce car during the early 20th century.
Some would buy half a dozen at a time, take them out
on tiger hunts, have each one custom made...
It was the age of opulence I guess.
I've never personally been in one but sounds like they were
one sweet ride. Their motto was
"The Best Car in the World".
How can you beat that?
Anyway, throughout the program they played lots
of great old jazz from the 20's and 30's and I was brought
to mind of an album I've been playing a lot myself lately...
Jeff Healey's " Adventures in Jazzland."
Jeff was only 48 when he died and left behind a huge legacy of blues music
but he got into this great genre of old jazz near the end of his life.
Just as at home behind the sheet music of old time swing and jazz as
he was sitting in with BB King.
So a little ditty for your Friday.
Have a great weekend all!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Time to revisit the summer road trip...

The Coast has been hit with a major rain storm and the skies have
opened up and released a deluge of the wet stuff.
It's been coming down all night and still continues this morning so 
I thought I would share some more of our summer road trip across
Canada as an interruption to the damp and the grey.
Now let's see....where we're we....
Oh yes, on the wide open Prairies!
The Prairies are beautiful in the late summer, big wheat fields, gold against the big skies...
...and those sunsets! Wow! you can literally sit for an hour and watch it go down all around you...
 But oft times I thought of the hardships of this landscape, especially in the winter.
This particular little cemetery in the middle of nowhere brought that home
more than most places.
 Many of the dates were from the 1920's and '30's.
Many of them children under 3 years old.
Some were entire families.
There are many abandoned houses in the middle of fields where
maybe it just got to be too much for some people.
We were driving through Saskatchewan early one morning when we saw it...
 Up this dirt road ...there it was...
Remember the rhyme about the crooked man who had a crooked cane
and lived in a crooked house?
This was the place...
Other than using the dramatic filter on some, I did absolutely
nothing to distort these photos...
It seemed as if you stood beside the house and leaned on it, it would have toppled to the ground...
 The wheat fields going about their business growing up around the place...
 We dared not go inside...just gingerly looked through the glassless windows...
Who knows the story of this and many house like it out here...
If those walls could talk...


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Book review...a real page turner

Have you read 'The Book of Negroes' ?
From the moment I picked it up I could barely put it down and 
usually it was because it was getting very late and I had stayed up
way too long just wanting to read "one more page".
I love historical fiction and this book is a fascinating, oft times
brutal and sad account of an African woman recalling
her life as a captured slave.
This book is so well written through the eyes of a woman that I had 
to remind myself that it was indeed written by a man.
Lawrence Hill (singer Dan Hill's brother).
So much about this abomidible time in history that I learned
through this book, makes me both ashamed and proud to be human.
Well worth a read.
Here, a description from Amazon...
Abducted as an 11-year-old child from her village in West Africa and forced to walk for months to the sea in a coffle—a string of slaves— Aminata Diallo is sent to live as a slave in South Carolina. But years later, she forges her way to freedom, serving the British in the Revolutionary War and registering her name in the historic “Book of Negroes.” This book, an actual document, provides a short but immensely revealing record of freed Loyalist slaves who requested permission to leave the US for resettlement in Nova Scotia, only to find that the haven they sought was steeped in an oppression all of its own.
Aminata’s eventual return to Sierra Leone—passing ships carrying thousands of slaves bound for America—is an engrossing account of an obscure but important chapter in history that saw 1,200 former slaves embark on a harrowing back-to-Africa odyssey. Lawrence Hill is a master at transforming the neglected corners of history into brilliant imaginings, as engaging and revealing as only the best historical fiction can be. A sweeping story that transports the reader from a tribal African village to a plantation in the southern United States, from the teeming Halifax docks to the manor houses of London, The Book of Negroes introduces one of the strongest female characters in recent Canadian fiction, one who cuts a swath through a world hostile to her colour and her sex.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Right on schedule...

Someone asked me about a week ago when I thought the first frost would be...
I said around Halloween and sure enough, this morning was a crisp and clear
November morning with the edges of my world rimmed in crystal white...
...and as if on schedule as well, came a fast and furious head cold.
So yesterday, Norene came over to the 'lab'
 (as I have affectionately renamed the studio)
and we got in some felting therapy.
She's been experimenting with making mittens and I've been wanting to try this
for a while so after a day of laying out wisps of roving and much working
the wool with warm soapy hands we both came away with a few nice pairs.
Mine were inspired by some flowery ones I had seen on etsy...
 Little rolls of silk tufts became my winter garden theme...
 Along with some curly welsh locks for added texture...
 A mix of dark purple and black gave them an eggplant colour for the background...
 ...and the inside is a soft, silk merino blend...
 This morning when I went to take Griff for his walk, I was happy they had dried overnight...
 First voyage out into the cold...
Not the best things to wear for taking photos but after taking them off to do so,
putting them back on keeps the fingers warm and toasty.
I love these sunny frosty mornings...
Catching the sun on frost before it warms it up and the sparkles disappear...
No more warm mornings with tea on the porch this year...
The depth of autumn has definitely arrived in glorious fashion.