Life at the cottage on the beach continues. This morning with our friends we went to Summerside, pol 12,000. it is the second largest town west of Charlottetown. The drive to Summerside is fairly easy and the views are pleasant. We went to Holman’s for the ice cream, lovely place in the old mansion of the Holman Dept store magnates built in 1857.
Today is another great day, so enjoyable. Nice meals, good friends and peace and quiet, what more can you ask for.
So we are into the weekend now and the weather was suppose to be rainy and it was overnight but this morning it all cleared and we got lots of sunshine and light wind. Tomorrow more of the same and so it goes. So relaxing here, really do not want to go back to the craziness of the village but puppies are surely missing us. We have visitors arriving here at the beach on Monday for our second week.
While enjoying the peace and quiet I have been reading 2 books, the first one by Konstantin Kisin, An immigrant’s love letter to the West, is a warning of what can happen if we go to far with the Woke Agenda and all that this implies. In Canada, it has disturbed the peace we enjoy with constant Virtue signaling PM Justin Trudeau who this week fell on his face twice with two important visitors, one being the Chancellor of Germany who came to get help and Trudeau had nothing to offer despite the fact we have lots to offer in terms of energy, the other was the Sec.Gen. of NATO, Stoltenberg who reminded him again that Canada was not pulling its weight on contribution to NATO. Trudeau went on and on on climate change. There are signs that he may be thinking of retiring, which would be a good thing.
The other book, by Louisa Lim is entitled Indelible City, this is a history of Hong Kong from ancient times to British Colony to now just an ordinary city in the Communist dictatorship of China. I remember Hong Kong before 1997 and how nice it was, returned in 2006 and it was so disappointing and changed for the worse, no longer vibrant or international. Can you imagine what would happen to Taiwan if the Communist got their hands on that island. In her book it is obvious that Margaret Thatcher sacrificed Hong Kong to save trade with China. What is sad is how the Hong Kong people were never consulted on any of it and simply traded off as a commodity.
Took more pictures of the area for your enjoyment. Lots of great panoramic views all over.
The weather has been typical of this time of the year, after the 15 August everyone knows that we are slowly but surely going into fall season despite the fact that Summer is not yet over. We have had to return to Charlottetown for urgent matters, it is only 45 minutes away on quiet roads but nonetheless we had to. In the next few days friends are arriving from Ottawa to stay with us here at French River and other friends are coming to visit us at the beach.
Last night we went to North Rustico to the Watermark Theatre to see the play Drawer Boy by Michael Healey. This play premiere in Toronto in 1999. It has won several awards as a play and we really enjoyed it a lot. North Rustico is only about 20 minutes from French River and we go through Cavendish which is a tourists trap at this time of the year. North Rustico is a fishing village which features many good seafood restaurants. In Winter most people have places in Florida, so the area is very quiet until the fishing/lobster season starts again around end of April.
We drove back to French River and the rural roads are pitch black at night. You need your high beams all along, luckily there is no traffic but you have to be very careful and can’t drive fast or no more than 50Km.
Today late afternoon at the beach, there are no jelly fish this year, none at all. On the other hand, for the first time on the North Shore where we are, sharks and great white sharks have been sighted. Climate change and warming waters are pushing them north along the seacoast.
Well we arrived at our rented cottage on Cape Road in French River and the weather was hot and glorious. The view is perfect from dawn to sunset and so quiet, a luxury this quiet and peace. Left Charlottetown just in time, learned this morning that on our street about a block away there was a botched attempt at a contract killing, hit and run style, the police caught the guy red handed, a drunk Ontarian. Then apparently someone was spraying people with bear spray in the area of the pubs. Not surprised the tourist crowd is getting rowdier by the Season and no amount of complaining to the Mayor or the Chief of Police will achieve anything, you just get ignored.
The drive out of town was fast as always down HWY 2 to Kensington and to the right to Cape Road. This area is the actual birthplace of author Lucy Maude Montgomery and you can visit the house in which she was born, it’s very small but cute and her grandparents home and farm where she grew up. Mother died when she was just a few months old and father left for Western Canada, so grandparents took care of her.
French river is an actual port for fishers who got out to sea for lobster and also an area for mussel farming.
Love walking the beach here, it is very quiet, you meet neighbours who live around the area. Very few tourists, nothing here to attract them. Farms also, milk cows, beef, hay, potatoes. Lots of very old protestant churches 1760 era, mostly presbyterians and anglicans.
The Exhibit Van Gogh 360 made it to Charlottetown PEI. It is housed in the Convention/ballroom of the Delta Hotel. The number 360 refers to degrees because this exhibit is a projections on walls and floor of the paintings of Van Gogh, giving the spectator the impression of being inside the painting, part of it.
A very nice introduction to Van Gogh and his life is given at the beginning, so the spectator knows more on the artist and his background. Van Gogh suffered from the same rejection so many painters and sculptors of the time faced. Think of Monet, Rodin, Gaugin etc… all working in a society on the cusp of huge societal changes and facing a blunt refusal by art critics to accept them. Many were Impressionists the term itself was coined as a mocking all these artists and was then recuperated by said artists as a badge of honour. Though many faced poverty and difficult lives today they are all seen as great artists.
Poor Vincent he was a fragile human and suffered from what is today defined as a bi-polar condition. Then no modern treatment was available and he suffered in silence, his doctor prescribed Digitalis which did not help at all, until the day at 37 when he shot himself. I knew that Van Gogh was at one point an evangelical preacher ministering to the poor, he had a deep social conscience, his younger brother Theo, an art dealer, would all his life help out Vincent. In death Van Gogh became appreciated for his art work, how sad.
Once you do the introduction room, you move into the great room to see this projection of his work to music, which was extremely well mounted, very relaxing to watch and entertaining.
Here are some pictures, I took. Do remember that the pictures are giant projections.
It has been a hot week again and lots of sunshine, I was at the farmer’s market past Saturday and it was extremely busy, I have not seen it this busy since 2019. Parking was chaotic, lots of tourists from other provinces who park here and there like they have never seen a parking lot. Being Mid-August now there is lots of vegetables and flowers on offer. It is very nice to see all the variety and the lower prices given the abundance. Lots of nice garden tomatoes that actually taste sweet and full of flavour. One farmer had fresh sage, it looked like velvet, she uses bunches of it in her kitchen as a fragrance and for cooking of course. I really love going to the market, it is staffed by real farmers who have working farms, they are known and have a reputation to uphold. Same for the butchers, like Larkin or the coffee bar who buys and roasts all his coffee. Bakers also offer a range of European breads, pastries, cakes and then the mustard lady Sabine who is German, she makes an incredible number of mustards at her home in Murray Harbour. There is also a group of caterers who prepare home made dishes for foodies and they are very popular, all of them have a chef who is well known like Gallant’s seafood or Makena with her Kenyan dishes. All are very small operations and you may have to wait about 10 min for your food but it is a pleasant chatty atmosphere.
What is also nice about the Farmer’s Market is bumping into all kinds of people you know. People are relaxed and there is a good vibe about the place. Of course it is always better to go very early around 8am it gets super busy by noon time and then closes at 2pm.
I have been to other markets, Montreal has a very well known one, Jean Talon Market, it has a solid reputation with Chefs from great restaurants for the freshness of what is on offer. Toronto also has a great market. Ottawa used to have a good market unfortunately some 20 years ago it all went south and now you have maybe 4 farmers and the rest are people who buy from grocers and sell on the street. It is a problem and the atmosphere is very tourist trap like.
However the best markets with the freshest produce was in Rome in our neighbourhood. Opened early and closed by 2pm. Incredible quality in all products.
Must start thinking about what to take to the cottage in 8 days. It will be very relaxed, we are at the beach after all. Nice neighbours in French River waiting for us. We are also booked for next year. We like the place.
I also followed the Trump search of his home and how very sad this is for the USA. To think that a former head of State would take with him sensitive secret documents, some of them with nuclear secrets, to do what exactly? To sell them off to the Chinese or the Russians? Trump must not be allowed to escape justice, he is not above the law, being an ex-president does not give you special rights. I am also dismayed by the GOP for being partisan and forgetting about the good of the country and siding with Trump on this matter.
As a Canadian looking at this from afar, I worry for what might happen, listening to PBS NewsHour on Friday and the comments by Capehart and Brooks, this is really scary. Will politicians wake-up and realize the danger or continue to play games thinking that it is not that serious. There is also the fringe fanatics or lunatics who support Trump and there has to be a crackdown on such people. Sometimes extreme measures are required to protect the greater good of the Nation, half measures and wishful thinking simply will not do.
Not that we do not have our own problems in Canada with partisan politics and protests from the extreme-right, we do. We are at risk, in a divisive way. Reading on the French Civil War of 1789, many politicians at the time thought that you could turn on the violence and turn it off when suitable. Is this what we are seeing now in the USA and elsewhere? Once the flood of violence is turned on it is nearly impossible to stop it and turn it off. In France the revolution ate its children, same in Russia, same in China, it is always the same. The fear now seems to be that if Trump is arrested riots may erupt, this is where leaders must crack down hard on rioters. Napoleon said has much and he put an end to the riots of the revolution by using cannons on the crowds in Paris. He mused that if Louis XVI had done the same he would still be king.
Today is the 15 August, Ferragosto which was created by Emperor Augustus, the month is named after him. He designated 1 August as a holiday to celebrate the end of the harvest, so everyone could rejoice and enjoy a holiday, feast and games. Then it was called the The Catholic Church changed the date to 15 August for the feast of the Assumption of Mary to Heaven. It remains the date of the start of vacation all over Italy and in other catholic countries in Europe. Life comes to a standstill as everyone goes to the mountains or the beach for several weeks. I loved that time in Rome and we too went on vacation to Pesaro on the Adriatic to the Rossini Festival, it is his home town.
Central square on the Adriatic in Pesaro, lovely place at any time of day.
Well another goal reached, I was at my doctor this week and talking about my weight loss, feeling so much better after shedding 24 pounds. This is a big amount for any human. I am on a roll and want to see if I can lose a little more. My nutritionist warned me that it might be a little more difficult as the body fights it. I would like to be around 168 lbs. not difficult since it is only 3 lbs. more. My nutritionist who is 25 yrs old named Austin obtained his degree in the field of wellness, nutrition and physiotherapy, he is excited for me.
The heat has broken after 9 days of hot sunshine in the 30C plus the humidity. Now we have returned to PEI weather with 23C in the day time and 15C at night. It’s not cold, no but cooler and more pleasant. The farmers are happy because we now have rain and it helps the crops. The Lobster Fall fishing Season has started and will end in October, only re-starting again in late April.
We are going to the cottage in 9 days at French River, in the New London area. We also reserved for next year this week, if you don’t reserve now, a year in advance, you will never find what you want. It is a tight market and the demand is very high for cottages all over the Island. Ours being by a very quiet beach on a dead end road surrounded by fields, woods, sand dunes and marsh land is great. Nice restaurants minutes from the cottage and sights to see. Walking along the red cliffs between New London Light house and Tryon Light house is also easy and relaxing. What love most is how quiet it is, the noise is the surf, birds of all kinds and the rustling of the wind. You really do not need anything more.
The food in the area is mostly seafood, mussels, oysters, clams, lobsters, scallops, some fish, halibut and haddock. I think that should do us fine and we also have the BBQ on the deck, something I really like.
I have quite a few books to read now. I am reading on Women in Greek Mythology as they are represented in the most earliest plays from 600 BC. Yes the Greeks invented plays and theatre, not as we know it today. Their theatre originally had a chorus and one actor, always male for all roles, women did not appear on stage. On the slopes of the Acropolis in Athens you can see the remains of the oldest theatre in the Western World originally with 17,000 seats, the theatre of Dyonisus Eleuthereus where the plays of Sophocles, Euripides, Aeschylus, and Aristophanes were first performed.
The Book is entitled Pandora’s Jar by Natalie Haynes, the author takes us through all the women of greek history and how they are portrayed, from Pandora to Phaedra, Medea, Helen, etc. The author also explains how Greek society viewed itself, it was the original patriarchy and women were largely kept at home and rarely seen in public. The Greek plays based on myths and the religion of the time presents the complex character of these women and of the gods. The stories are violent and full of atrocious acts by those women as we know them, the story line is twisted and the gods and goddesses always have a large part to play. Very educational and instructive.
The second book I am reading is Stalin’s Library by Geoffrey Roberts. It is the story of Stalin’s vast library and how he accumulated all 25,000 books during his lifetime from the earliest age to his death in 1952. Like Mao in China, Stalin who was his mentor, read everything and annotated the text he read. The author explains what drove this complex and paranoid man to read so much, his thirst for knowledge and understanding based on his own fanatical views of the triumph of Marxism.
The following book is by the first Egyptian (arab) writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, Naguib Mahfouz. The book is entitled On Literature and Philosophy. Mahfouz lived from 1911 to 2006. In his lifetime he saw old Egyptian society become the beacon of the Arab world in art and culture but also in politics and the development of the ideas of modern society through socialism and secularism. With the overthrow of the Ottoman dynasty in Turkey by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1921, ideas of modernity then swept the old colonies of the Arab world.
Egypt being the most populous country of the region and with the humiliation of British occupation, a weak monarchy tied to ultra-conservative ideas, many Egyptian politicians openly presented a model of a modern Egyptian society based on science, education and secularism. King Farouk was forced into exiled and the army took over, unfortunately not realizing the hopes and aspirations of the people. This is what Mahfouz wrote about not only in his many novels but also in other writings presented in this book.
I was fortunate to have lived in Egypt in 1989 to 1991 and observe Egyptian society.
I have other books to read, 4 which I have not started yet, but they promise to be equally interesting.
Well today more development in Berlin on the final touches of the Berlin Palace.
Above the main gate Portal III, the second and last bronze inscription in Latin was hoisted and installed. It refers to the expansion of the Palace at the time of the proclamation of the new Kingdom of Prussia by its Prince Elector Frederick I. He was truly a prince of the baroque age in everything he did, his reign saw the promotion of the Arts and Culture in a lavish display. The political ideology of European Princes was to promote themselves by protecting and promoting the work of the best artists, painters, musicians, artisans, dancers, etc. Every Prince worth their salt pursue this line of politics in a rivalry with other Princes. The Baroque age or the age of Princes starts around 1550 and will end around 1740.
However there was a limit, you could do it as long as you did not make waves against more powerful princes like the Holy Roman Emperor in 1700 this was Charles VI of Austria and Hungary. The Emperor did not agree with the creation of this new Kingdom, but he did not protest too much as long as the Prince of Prussia did not try to expand his territory. The Title Prince Elector refers to the fact that the Emperor was elected by other Princes forming a league with them. There was jockeying for this title, it referred to Charlemagne who created the position and to his Crown. Austria will hold the title for a long time until Napoleon forces the issue and the title is abolished around 1810.
Here are some photos of today as the final tablet is put up. Latin and French had become the language of the powerful and educated.
Here are some photos to allow you to compare what was left of the Palace in 1945 and today in the final stage of reconstruction.
The title refers to Low German spoken in Northern Germany and a common language amongst the merchant of the Hanseatic League in the 15th century. It is still spoken amongst the Mennonite in Canada and elsewhere. It is not the common German language of today. Tomorrow two tablets are being installed over the main Portal of the Palace in Berlin. When I first saw them I tried to read them but could not understand the phraseology or wording.
So I looked up in various dictionary trying to find an explanation and fell on Low German. The text refers to a decree by Friedrich II, Prince Elector of Brandenburg who lived between 1413-1471 and ruled over the State of Brandenburg where Berlin is located. He had the first castle built in 1443 on the site of the current Palace. The Bronze depiction below the inscription shows him with the corner stone of the edifice.
The second bronze tablet is dedicated to Fridericus I who lived between 1657-1713 as the first King of Prussia who remodelled the palace and made it into a royal residence. This first King of Prussia was the grandfather of Frederick II the Great who was born on the second floor of the palace in 1712 and would die at Sans Souci in 1786. The Palace was heavily damaged in 1944 and the ruins were blown up by the communist in 1958 to make way for a parking lot for buses.
All the work on this building was financed by public donations.
Telling the stories of the history of the port of Charlottetown and the marine heritage of Northumberland Strait on Canada's East Coast. Winner of the Heritage Award from the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation and a Heritage Preservation Award from the City of Charlottetown