The House of Augustus (Domus Augusti) was the home of Rome’s first emperor and was located on the most sacred area of the Palatine next to the Temple of Apollo. In fact, the house must have stood above the Lupercal, the sacred cave where, according to legend, the twin founders of Rome were suckled by […]
On this day in 1952 Vincent Massey became the first born Canadian to be named Governor General of Canada, a function which had always been held in the past by a member of the Royal Family or British Aristocracy.
His predecessor had been Viscount Alexander of Tunis, the Government of Canada had since 1919 pursue a policy of independence and wanted to put an end to the tradition of British governors since Canada was no longer a colony since 1867. The Prime Minister informed London that the next Governor General would be a distinguished Canadian.
Vincent Massey was chosen, he came from a wealthy family whose business in the Farm Equipment Massey Harris and then Massey Ferguson was well known. He had been the first Canadian High Commissioner (Ambassador) to London, we did not have a High Commission in London prior to 1931 we had an agent who represented the interest of Canada. Massey was a published author, an Art Collector, he bequeathed his collection to the National Gallery of Canada. During the Second World War in London he would entertain Canadian troops on weekend at his country estate outside London and one rule was that you could drink in the salon and dining room but never in your room, gentlemen don’t drink in bedrooms and a soldier could not do it either. He was a stickler for details and protocol. The troops love him for it.
Massey was what was then called an Imperial Canadian, he had a vision of the Dominion of Canada within the Empire and he promoted all things Canadian. His brother was Raymond Massey the actor.
After the end of his five year term as Governor General he was succeeded by General George Vanier, a first World War hero. Shortly the Prime Minister should be announcing who will succeed the current Governor General David Johnston whose extended term is now expiring.
Vincent Massey, wearing his uniform of Governor General of Canada
When I lived in Rome the house of Livia was not open to the public and was still under archeological study. I was able to see the house of Augustus next door and that was very impressive. This is certainly a highlight of any visit to Rome. More details of her house in Capena such as the dining room can be seen at the Massimo Museum by the Termini train station in Rome. All very well preserved.
The House of Livia (domus Liviae) is a building complex on the Palatine Hill, ancient Rome’s most desirable location. It was built in the first half of the first century BC and belonged to the empress Livia, the third wife of Emperor Augustus. It stood next to the House of Augustus (domus Octaviani) alongside a complex of buildings conceived for the ideological propaganda of the emperor’s power and image. The house marks the transition between the 2nd and the 3rd architectural style of the Pompeian wall painting.
First excavated in 1839, the house has been attributed to Livia on the basis of the name IVLIA AVG[VSTA] stamped on a lead pipe on display on the left-hand wall of the tablinum. The two-storey house, built around a central atrium, was decorated with advanced “Second Pompeian Style” wall paintings, reflecting the sophisticated taste of wealthy…
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Since we arrived on PEI in May 2016 I was looking for something for our house that would show where we lived. The Receiver Coffee shop at 128 Richmond street features various artists and recently they had large photo prints by Jared Doyle. instagram.com look for ivoryorphan.
I was taken with his photos, how beautiful they are and how they speak of PEI. Jared takes great care in the composition and strikes a mood with the light in each photo.
Jared is an interesting fellow, he is a photographer and also a barber’s apprentice at the famous Humble Barber 119 Kent Street, the barber salon in town. http://charlottetown.humblebarber.com/services/
Not to mention that he is a barman at UpStreet, a busy fellow indeed. A man of talent.
Laurent and Jared Doyle at Receiver Coffee with his print of downtown Charlottetown, shot taken from the roof of the Holman Hotel. More of his work on the wall behind. Photo taken by Tristan Gray. Jared signed the print and dated it, it was taken in Dec 2016.
While he was signing it, he wrote Brackley Beach instead of Charlottetown, he corrected it. But I want to keep it that way as it makes it original.
February marks the Eight Birthday of Nicholas and Eleonora of Capena. They were born a week apart so they are not related on a very nice farm owned by a well known veterinarian and his wife.
The puppies moved to Rome and grew up there before coming to Canada with us. They have had a life of luxury and ease but of course being Dachshunds they don’t know this or imagine this is how it is usually.
Here they are in the guest bedroom facing South in our home, Nora is on the right of the picture. This picture was taken a few years ago in Rome.
They are both healthy and happy, wishing them many more years of happiness.
Happy Birthday Nicky and Nora.
We did an extensive tour of Ireland in September 2016, here is a list of great restaurants in Dublin.
Amuse Restaurant, Dawson St
Assassination Custard, Kevin St Lwr [NEW]
Bastible, South Circular Road
Brother Hubbard, Capel St
The Cake Café, Camden St
Chameleon Restaurant, Temple Bar
Chapter One, Parnell Square
Craft, Harold’s Cross [NEW]
Dunne & Crescenzi, South Frederick St
Ely Winebar, Ely Place
L’Ecrivain, Lwr Baggot St
Etto, Merrion Row
Fish Shop, Smithfield
Forest Avenue, Sussex Terrace (pictured)
Forest & Marcy, Leeson St Upper [NEW]
The Fumbally, Dublin 8
The Greenhouse, Dawson St
Hang Dai, Camden St [NEW]
Heron and Grey, Blackrock [NEW]
L. Mulligan Grocers, Stoneybatter
Luna, Drury St
Osteria Lucio, Clanwilliam Tce
Pickle Restaurant, Camden St [NEW]
Piglet Wine Bar, Temple Bar [NEW]
Restaurant Forty One, Stephen’s Green
The Winding Stair, Ormonde Quay
The McKennas’ annual 100 Best Restaurants List was first published in The Sunday Times. for more info see guides.ie or @McKennasGuides on Twitter.
There are many good pubs and great restaurants throughout Ireland in Galway, Cork, Belfast, etc.. Cuisine is inventive and different with a certain flair.
Today is Islander Day, what is this public holiday about, no one seems to know for sure, though everything is closed and it’s a day to spend at home relaxing or doing some fun activity. Since everything is closed you cannot shop or do much which would involve a consumer activity, so reading, a craft activity, sports of all kinds is what most people will do.
In Canada each Province has what is called a public holiday or Family day, the concept being to give people a day off in February which is also Carnaval time in cities like Quebec, Ottawa, Charlottetown, etc. We are in that calendar period after the Christmas Holiday period and not yet at Easter which is the next big holiday. So in February you get a break.
Last year for Islander day, we were here in Charlottetown. We had decided to come to PEI to see what life was like in Winter on the Island, we were still living in Ottawa at this time last year. We were seriously thinking of moving to PEI but wanted to make sure that this is what we wanted to do and there was enough activity on the Island to make it worth our while.
Well it was a busy February one year ago, we started looking for somewhere to rent in Old Charlottetown, not at easy as one might think, lots of rent and at very reasonable prices but if you want something more like the big city style apartments, it is not so easy to find. Also real estate agents are not that helpful, most will try to sell you a house in the process, but we were not in a buying mood. With the help of friends we did find exactly what we wanted and moving in in May, some 10 months ago.
So last year Islander day was wet, foggy and with next to no snow at all. It made for a dreary day, so we went to the Pub to drink, because that is what you do on such days.
Speaking of which, many pubs have live music with some pretty good if not professional musicians like Richard Wood or in this case Ian Sherwood, with this song, The short end of the stick.
Today I see that we are 5 weeks away from Spring and 8 weeks away from Easter. Mardi Gras is Tuesday 28 February. So no wonder that while doing errands yesterday it struck me that all the shops are promoting Spring and Easter, it’s just around the corner, so let’s get the little consumers into a frenzy of buying stuff. We just had 3 big storms in 7 days and the amount of snow is impressive though now the weather is quite mild and it is melting fast. Across the street from our home is a skating rink, very simple affair the snow on top was patted down and the city sent a team to water the surface 3 times a day for a week, in no time at all the icy surface was ready for skating. Quite a few parents bring their children to skate, I am impressed with the children some as young as 5 years old and very good at skating and practicing their hockey skills. I don’t remember my being that good at that age. Children do have an ability to learn fast and notice the small things where adults are often slow.
Children fall while skating and parents encourage them to pick themselves up, once the child is back on its feet every one cheers, positive re-enforcement.
Our Christmas Cactus has finally bloomed. It is not a cactus as such though it is called that, more of a succulent plant.
Cleaning and preparing the ice surface for the skating rink across the street. To think that before 1989 this was as rail yard for trains and locomotives. Today it is a park and gateway to the city for Cruise ships.
Today on the ice.
Canada and the European Union ratified a Free Trade Agreement today opening our markets to the EU countries, free movement of people and goods, etc. I could not be happier with this turn of events. Many years ago as a young diplomat I was involved with NAFTA and explaining to business people how it would work for them and how to use the new agreement. Later in Mexico same thing with the establishment of free trade zones in the North of the country and Canada’s participation in it. It’s all good and that is what I took away from it, the naysayers are uninformed or have their own fantasy agenda.
Canada needs to diversify our trade and this is an excellent and big step forward. It is crucial in these turbulent, chaotic times with our trade partner in the USA that we diversify. Next will probably be a free trade agreement with China but that is in the future.
The EU-Canada or CETA deal will drop barriers between the EU’s economy of half a billion people and Canada’s 35 million. Trade between the two sides amounts to more than 60 billion euros ($63 billion) a year, and the EU expects the so-called CETA deal to boost this by 20 per cent by removing almost all tariffs.
Very good news, it took 7 years of negotiations for this to happen. PM Justin Trudeau is off to address the European Parliament in Strasbourg on this treaty ratification and then off to Berlin to see Chancellor Angela Merkel with whom he shares much in common and speak with top business leaders.
On the 15 February 1965 our Nobel Laureate Prime Minister Lester B.Pearson presented to Parliament and to Canadians the new Canadian National Flag. Pearson had promised that we would have a distinctive flag reflecting who we were as Canadians.
Today 52 years later we celebrate our Canadian Flag!
The colours Red and White represent the two founding people of Canada, the English and the French. The Maple Leaf is an old Canadian symbol which goes back centuries.