This photo is taken from the Canadian Space Station in outer-space, I have never seen a photo like this, it’s captivating. The Island surrounded by the Gulf of St-Lawrence and the mainland of Canada.
In the last few days the weather has returned to normal for the Season, finally. Though I do enjoy the nice warmer than usual weather, it was a bit worrisome because it is so out of the usual.
Sunday was another crisp sunny day and we went to the Craft Fair at the Homestead of Sir Andrew MacPhail. I always enjoy going to the homestead in Orwell, the house is lovely dating from 1830 surrounded by a large wooded area. Driving up to the house through a narrow unpaved road bordered by poplars and other trees I am reminded of Leo Tolstoy’s Estate Yasnaya Polyana.
The house is beautiful in a peaceful setting and you feel that Sir Andrew and his family still live here. His daughter Dorothy lived at the house until 1962. The food is always good prepared in the small kitchen of the house, we had tea and lunch at the house on separate visits.
Sunday was a day to look at and buy some local crafts. In the long glassed-in veranda, the first vendors were a couple, Sabina and Michael Schonknecht formerly from Dresden in Saxony, they now live in Murray Harbour North and make jams, pickled fruits, breads and also sell chickens. They had for sale amongst other things, Dresdner Stollen which to me is one of the symbols of the Advent and Christmas Season.
There was also many other things to look at from natural pine bows and books and beautiful wool blankets made by MacAusland Wollen Mills in Bloomfield. Will bought a small water colour by Mel Giddings of Murray Harbour. We also bought a home made Christmas pudding by Jim Culbert, who uses his grandmother’s recipe. It is a big pudding, we had a sample taste it was very good. So we do not have to worry now that item is out of the way for Christmas. This year, as we rotate menus each year, will be Roast Beef, other years it has been Rack of Lamb or Roast Goose.
We had tea a biscuit and a cup of turkey vegetable soup made on the premises by the chef, it was very good, everything they serve comes from the farm of the homestead.
Our pudding maker Jim Culbert is also a furniture restored and upholsterer and he owns a B&B in Vernon Bridge, it is just off the main road and called Green Gay Bulls B&B not to be confused with Anne of Green Gables in Cavendish. Ken Gallant who is Jim’s partner told us a funny story of a Chinese family who arrived unannounced at their B&B one day wanting to visit the house. Jim and Ken were surprised and did not understand why they wanted to visit but were ever so eager to see it all. The house is very beautiful and full of wonderful furniture and accent pieces, all belonging to Jim’s family, the grounds around the house are also lovely. At the end of the visit their visitor thanked them and gave them some money for the visit. Jim and Ken still did not know what to make of it but suddenly one of the visitors made the reference to Anne and the penny dropped, they thought they were at the home of Anne Shirley. Jim did not have the heart to tell them otherwise, their english was a little faulty.
With the departure of the tourists we have the island back to ourselves and the fun begins. Many think that there is nothing to do here in PEI after the Summer Season and the last cruise ship leaves. This year thanks to climate change, the Summer was dry and warm and the month of October was unseasonably sunny and warm, we broke a lot of records with high temperatures up to 30C on some days when it should have been around 15C. No one is really complaining, warmer weather is always more pleasant.
The number of Food festivals, Art evenings, events of all kinds all around the Island will keep you busy during the Winter months until Spring and the return of the tourists. If California has the swallows of Capistrano we in PEI have the tourists of Crapaud. So you have to plan your activities and time during these coming months so as not to be overwhelmed. This is not including the many invitations to parties and dinners from friends and neighbours. In the past 7 days we had 5 events to attend plus all the regular daily activities around the house and with our dogs. We are currently planning our After Christmas activities, we decided that this year we will have a party on 6 January or La Fête des Rois, this is a period after the rush and before February.
Last night we went to a Fashion Show fundraiser called Santa’s Angel, a Fundraiser providing some Xmas cheer to children who would otherwise do without. Fundraising at this time of the year is a big activity on PEI, many families are poor, so you will have food drives, last year the CBC-PEI the National broadcaster on the Island provided donated turkeys to a large number of families. Same goes for warm clothing and other supplies, reminding us that poverty is an issue in Canada despite all the social programs we have.
Here is a Blake Caissie creation presented during the Fashion show, Blake has a lot of talent and it was a really beautiful dress for the Season.
Here are all the dresses for this Xmas Season Fashion Show, all created by people who had the imagination and time to come up with a design. All in good fun, very colourful.
So to return to the topic of activities and other things to do, yes there is a lot. This Sunday there is a craft fair and Tea at the Homestead of Sir Andrew MacPhail who is one of the luminaries of PEI. His family home is beautiful and located in Orwell just 20 minutes from us. Hoping the weather will be pleasant for a drive out. I read recently his famous book The Master’s wife published after his death in 1938. MacPhail is seen with Lucy Maud Montgomery and Milton Acorn the People’s Poet, as a man of ideas and a writer documenting his life period.
The weather last night was quite chilly and the wind fierce and cold, we were at the Convention Centre which looks out on the Hillsborough river and the opening to the Strait, it started to snow at one point, just swirling drifting snow. Looks like the mild weather is over. There were wind advisory and restrictions on the Sea bridge all day. The sea can be very impressive.
This morning is 11 November and so the Remembrance ceremony took place as usual at the Cenotaph in front of Province House and the cannons were positioned in our backyard at the bottom of Great George Street, remember all this takes place within 3 city blocks so you can hear it all. The dogs were jumpy as they fired an 11 gun salute. The house shook and then the marching bands of the PEI Regiment on a bright sunny windy day at -1C.
Mr Nicky went to the groomer this week and he looks really good with his big moustache à la Kaiser Bill.
Here is Miss Eleonora or Nora for her friends just sitting by the door. Next week is her turn at the grooming salon.
Finally Will found a recipe for 2 types of Apple Pie with a Four year Old Sharp Cheddar pie crust, it smells divine. I married him all those decades ago not for the family fortune but for his cooking skills which is an important asset for any French person like myself. La Cuisine toujours la Cuisine!
Well we are almost at the end of October and the weather here on PEI is so warm we are busting all manner of records. Everyone is happy with the warm weather 22C today and 24C tomorrow and with the humidex around 30C. It should normally be no more than 12 to 15 C in day time. You see the problem, well most people don’t and I somewhat feel like the passengers on the Titanic, oh look more ice for the bar.
Talking of cruise ships, the Disney ship made its first inaugural visit to Charlottetown PEI yesterday. Hundreds of people lined up the shore to see it arrive at 07:30am. It is a beautiful ship and has the look of the old ocean liners. The two chimney stacks have the Mickey Mouse Logo on them. If was somewhat cloudy and foggy for the arrival but within an hour the sky cleared, blue with loads of sunshine.
It was quite the event here in town. We had some 50 + ships this past Summer but this one was special for many people.
The departure at 5pm was no less dramatic, the tradition is for the captain of the ship to blow the horn of the ship 3 times as they depart, in a way to say goodbye to the Port of call. The Disney ship horn plays If you wish upon a star, it could be heard all over the downtown area, it put a smile on the face of a lot of people.
This photo was taken as the ship exited the harbour before turning left and out unto the Strait.
Today I took the car in for servicing and had the winter tires put on, I felt silly about it, the weather being so warm. The forecast for the Maritimes is for an abnormally mild winter this year with next to no snow. In Central Canada heavier snow than normal and in the West extremely cold weather.
The new US Ambassador has arrived in Ottawa and she is a horse breeder from Kentucky, a personal friend of Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, 3 times married gold digger who gave millions to Trump and also supported Marco Rubio. Her husband is into coal, her name Kelly Craft, I am not impressed with her at all. She is only here because she gave mucho dollars to Trump. Her speech when she presented her Credentials was full of idiotic statements, i.e. I believe both side of Science in the climate change theories, for and against. or this gem, Canada is the best country in the world, strange thing to say coming from a foreign ambassador. She also believes that both sides are right on NAFTA. She did not mention lollipops and unicorns but I am sure she loves them also.
The census is also out and it shows that most immigrants to Canada come from the Philippines, India and China. They now represent 22% of the make-up of the country. It is predicted that by 2030 immigrants would represent 33% of the total population. Toronto is no longer the magnet it once was, having been replaced by cities like Calgary and Edmonton in Alberta. A reflection of simple economics and changing job markets moving West.
What is interesting is that China use to be no. 1 just a few years ago now has fallen into third place and will probably continue to fall.
PEI has had an enormous population growth due to immigration and is leading all the Maritime provinces in this field. The population of the Island in the last 3 years has gone from 145,000 to 152,000 today. Quebec attracts mostly Africans and Muslims immigrants, interesting to note that Quebec unlike all other 9 Canadian provinces, chooses its own immigrants and selects French speaking candidates. Unfortunately the general population is not very open to immigration and is very poorly informed on how the process works, failing to understand that it’s own provincial government has set up this process now since 1962.
The rest of the week looks quiet, a visit to a friend in Belle River and a lunch on Sunday.
We are having a beautiful Fall Season with temperatures well above normal. I heard this week that Winter in the Maritimes this year should be warmer than normal and snow levels well below normal. Given that we have an Atlantic weather pattern this may mean more rain and fog and temperatures like those of Continental Europe in the 0 to +5 C. range, which is easy to take.
The cruise season is coming to an end this week on Friday. The Disney Ship is coming into port for the very first time and its arrival had been expected for some time. With the end of the cruise season usually most tourist related businesses close and quite a few have already closed. Some restaurants who cater usually to tourists will try remaining open until Xmas time. The whole idea now for some years has been to extend the tourism season to 9 months instead of the usual 4 months. In the long run many business owners would like to have a year round season with activities etc. But for this to happen we will need more direct flights to Charlottetown airport all year round. At the moment Halifax which is only 20 minutes away by air or 3 hours by car is an international hub, Montreal and Toronto are the other two major airports but in Winter flights to those two cities are cut down severely which creates a problem for our growing population and our link to the rest of the planet.
The cruise liner leaving as seen from the park behind our house.
Talking of which, PEI has now reached a total population of 152,000 people, with 49% of the entire population of the Island living in the greater Metropolitan area of Charlottetown, this according to statistics recently published. I had no idea I lived in what can be described as a Metro City area. Our population is still a majority of over +55 years old and growing. But then again in Canada the population is aging rapidly despite high level of immigration, which it turns out is not the solution to the aging demographic.
No 2 West street is for sale at $1.2 million, it is a Georgian style house and property on the water.
View from West street, Fanningbank the Official Residence of the Lieutenant Governor since 1834.
The City last night was very quiet, no cars in the street and almost no one about. It is a luxury to have this sort of quiet. The cold I had all last week is finally over, a lot of coughing, lack of sleep and discomfort.
I am also attending this Fall, courses at the Seniors College which is a program offered by Holland College. One course is on French painting in the period of 1830 to 1871, a troubled period in France and in Europe marked by emerging social movements due to the transformation of society in general with the industrial revolution. France is going through one Royalist regime to another and finally a return of the imperial regime with Napoleon III the nephew of the great Napoleon. How does painting and painters express themselves in this age.
Here the cruise ship turns to exit the harbour and enter the Strait before turning Westward.
The other course is given by the Head of the History dept at the University of PEI. Dr Ed MacDonald gives superb lectures and they are highly informative and entertaining. There is a lot of history to PEI and its Capital Charlottetown founded in 1765 by the British. The old city is drawn like a Roman Military Camp and it has kept to this day the original plan. There is a lot of history in Charlottetown, a lot more than I suspected, it is complex and there are many actors. If Charlottetown at one time in the history of Canada occupied the 11th rank in terms of large cities in our country with Confederation it has been pushed to the margins and is now around 130th in the ranking. In 1867 with Ottawa as the new Capital of the Dominion everything shifts from the Atlantic to central Canada and Montreal becomes the Metropolis and big shipping port some 1000 km away.
This week our new Lieutenant Governor took Office, she was sworn in at Tignish which is an old Acadian settlement dating back to 1799. This is a first on the Island, since all Governors have always been sworn in at Charlottetown. She is from Tighish which is on the Western tip of PEI about 2 hours by car from Charlottetown. The PEI Regiment also has a new Commander, Colonel Moriarty. Someone pointed out to me that when Antoinette Perry was named Lieutenant Governor, the first thing that came to mind was the person who gave her name to the Tony Awards, but that Antoinette Perry died in 1946 in NYC.
This week is also busy, we are having a visitor who is coming to look at houses as she is moving to PEI from Toronto. I also made an appointment to have the car serviced for the Winter, I always like to have this done before the rush.
Life in Charlottetown is never dull, small town like Mayberry but lots to do. This week we had invitations from every night of the week and people to meet in the day time.
First there was pumpkins to be bought at 0.99 cents to $5.00 for a giant one requiring two strong men to lift into the car trunk, a bargain. It comes from a Farm just minutes away from our home across the Hillsborough river.
We also had Farm Day on Queen Street which is the main street of Charlottetown running from the river’s edge up North to the far suburbs some 5 Km away. The Farm Day was held in the old town core between Water street and Grafton Street.
Lots of farmers present most of whom can be found at the Farmers Market on the weekend. I bought some fresh flowers.
We were invited by the owners of Dunes at Brackley Beach to their annual Fall party which takes place at their home, a very modern construction which blends in perfectly with the surrounding area by the sea. Here is a photo looking out unto the gardens towards the sea. The garden is part of their Art Gallery and restaurant and features Asian sculptures most from Indonesia. A very beautiful and unique place. http://www.dunesgallery.com
While we were on the rooftop a full moon appeared, at first as it was rising it was orange and then turned yellow.
We also went to a housewarming party in Saint Catherines PEI our neighbour Kendra made the cake, it was so good, Kendra is an excellent pastry chef. The cake had real flakes of gold on it.
Leaving the house, because it is in the country side the only light was a half moon, I made a left turn instead of a right turn on the road to lead me back to the highway and suddenly I was on his red dirt road in a dense forest, I thought am I lost, I could not recognize anything. However as is often the case in PEI rural roads they lead you back to the main road, suddenly I was on the highway near Bonshaw.
We are still having cruise ships visiting Charlottetown until 28 October. Today we had 2 one docked at the pier and the other out on the river.
I am so glad we did not buy a Palazzo on the Gran Canal in Venice, living here is the same feeling, look at this one turning around in front of my window. They are closer than they look.
They turn around a lot faster than you might think. This is a Princess cruise ship. All cruise companies visit us.
Finally today was Thanksgiving Sunday so here is our table, do notice the open window, it was quite warm around 22C which for the 8 October is not seasonal at all. But I am not complaining.
The turkey was perfect and so good, Just enough left over for a casserole or a few sandwiches. We also had 2 pies, one Buttermilk pie and the other a Gala apple and PEI Cranberry mix.
Well another year has past and Thanksgiving in upon us, time to look back not just at the year but life in general and take stock of what we have. So many have so little, I have been fortunate in so many ways, with my family, friends and life in general, living here on this beautiful Island of PEI.
May you all have blessings in your life, best wishes for Thanksgiving.
PEI is a very scenic place, here are some images of the Island and what you see.
This is the scene in early morning as the cruise ships come by my window to dock at the end of our street. The last cruise coming into port is on 28 October. A little like living on the grand Canal in Venice, here it’s the Hillsborough River.
What would PEI be without the big black crows imperiously watching over us, noisy brats that they are.
Berlin Stories, Poetry & etc. by M.P. Powers
Tutto iniziò con Memorie di Adriano ..sulle strade dell'Impero Romano, tra foto, storia e racconti! It all began with Memoirs of Hadrian .. on the roads of the Roman Empire among photos, history and stories!
poems, stories and essays about life's passions
To live is to battle with trolls in the vaults of heart and brain. To write; this is to sit in judgment over one's Self. Henrik Ibsen
Transport design, transport architecture, and transport's influence on art and culture. Publishing weekly at 1700 UK time
Expressions of male masculinity, sensuality, and sexuality.
Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin
"There is no Frigate like a Book to take us lands away..." Emily Dickinson
(you know the rest)
The Early Postcards of Prince Edward Island
Married But Secretly Gay
A Resource on the Best in Fish and Shellfish
Visit with painter and photographer Terrill Welch
The adventures of a Press Gallery journalist
Walking blogger exploring London's hidden gems, sights and history!
A Historic England Blog
Landscapes and more by impressionist painter Terrill Welch
prince edward island's artist run centre
Remembering that life is a comedy and the world is a small town.
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
Collections of Fine & Decorative Art & World Class Exhibitions
Explore Your City's Heritage
Stories in words and pictures
So Many Years of Experience But Still Making Mistakes!
two guys making out & trying to make it
backroads, excerpts, photography
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”/Let us go and make our visit.
Reflections on Canadian Culture From Below the Border
Procrastination is the sincerest form of optimism
I aim to bring delight to others by sharing my creative endeavours
A mix of corporate and private life experiences
Join me as we wind back the time in Ottawa.