It seems that life is slowly returning to normal, with the VAXPASS that you have to show to enter any public place, people feel more secure and the last dregs of those who had not are now getting vaccinated. The government in PEI and in other provinces have clamped down on all government workers and health workers not vaccinated yet. Those who refuse will loose their jobs and will not be able to claim benefits.
On other fronts, I have re-started working at Government House for the Lieutenant Governor, it has been 6 years now and Her Honour always has lots to talk to me about. She is getting more visitors and the restrictions have been lifted. Again PEI is very different from the rest of Canada when it comes to Covid 19. None of the mismanagement we have seen elsewhere. Alberta is still a basket case, just plain horrible and Northern British Columbia is not much better, high rates of mortality and infections.
This weekend is Marathon weekend in PEI. The weather is still nice, today was suppose to be rainy, we got sunshine instead. Love living on an Island the winds change the weather constantly. No I am not running, are you kidding? One does not run.
Also the medical society has published the following about Pumpkin Spice. So if you are a doctor please beg your patients to drop it.
In a matter of a few hours we went from muggy and 27C to cold, rainy and 15C with high cold winds. Now it is suppose to rain for a week, but it is not rain but a drizzle with wind.
Today Sunday I was hoping for some Sun and dry weather, 2 people I knew were getting married and you need good weather not rain. Today was a nice day if a tad cool at 12C definitely fall weather now. Fashions changed overnight and sweaters have come out. We will still have some good warm days but Fall is on the way.
Today we went for lunch in the countryside at friends who live part of the year on Orwell Bay. We met their new little schnauzer Lucy only 5 months old. It was so nice to be out of town for the day.
Orwell Bay at low tide, the island is all sand and red sandstone. There is a lot of annual erosion every winter and the shore line use to be a good 40 feet further into the bay than today and this erosion is just in 50 years.
On the way we stopped at Mackenzie which is a farm off Highway 1. Lots of wonderful vegetables, got great tomatoes and some beets, their corn on the cob is buttery super good, blueberries, and two big pots of Mums yellow and red. Better to buy flowers at the farm, the price is 50% less than at the grocery store. I noticed that they were also starting to display a variety of pumpkins and squash of all size and types. I will go back in 2 weeks to get a pumpkin and will probably pay only a few dollars, again instead of the high prices of the grocery chain.
THIS is only a first sample of what will be on offer for September and October. The really big pumpkins are coming later. I am looking for a good 20 lbs pumpkin with a nice shape. The also have the little ones perfect for an arrangements on the table.
This week we are having visitors from Ottawa, our first visitors this year. Old colleagues from my days in the Foreign Service, we met in Cairo in 1989.
Wednesday we will take them out to dinner at The Dunes Gallery at Brackley Point, the gardens are beautiful and their restaurant is truly great, an excellent chef works the kitchen and the menu is imaginative. Next day both Nick and Nora will be going to Kensington to the groomer. Then on Saturday it’s the Club’s Annual Golf Tournament. I will be on the golf cart passing along adult refreshments and sandwiches. After that I return to the club to grill 60 steaks on our BBQ. It will be fun and I am looking forward to it.
Last week tragedy struck at the Federal Dock where the Coast Guard usually docks when on town and where HMCS Charlottetown docks on annual visit. Usually a lot of amateur fishermen cast their lines into the Hillsborough river, apparently its a good spot for fishing. However one of them fell into the water, a drop of 25 feet and the current is very treacherous and swift, the poor fellow drown in front a crowd, it all happened so fast and because of the current no one dared jump in. Only the police with their speed boat can intervene.
This week the weather promises more rain and cold weather. Will see has it can all change quickly.
I will finish by mentioning that the famous Canadian Schooner the Bluenose II which is usually in the port of Halifax came to visit PEI stopping in various coastal towns. The Bluenose is celebrating 100 years, it replaced the original Bluenose which won many speed records and is featured on our 10 cent coin. A beautiful ship.
On this beautiful Sunday, took a drive to Point Prim to see the 1845 Lighthouse still in operation as it marks for ships the entrance to the bay of Hillsborough into Port Charlottetown. We usually go to Point Prim every Summer but we did not this year instead going to New London/French river where another lighthouse is located.
This old map shows Point Prim that long extended point of ground at the tip of if since 1845 is the Lighthouse built by private interests and the Colonial Government of the Ile Saint Jean (John) as PEI was then known. The channel for ships sailing in is very narrow though it appears as a wide bay of water the reality is it quite shallow and full of rocks and sand bars. More lighthouses at the narrow entrance again to direct ships. Interesting to watch lakers and barges including cruise ships follow carefully that path.
A beautiful area with lots of trees and farmland all around. Many beautiful farm homes with vast gardens. Point Prim is about 30 minutes from Charlottetown on Hwy 1.
All the lighthouses are now automated and all maintained by the Canadian Coast Guard. In Winter the Ice breakers of the Canadian Coast Guard will open the way for the fuel ships coming to PEI, all fuel is imported since the Island being a sand bar has no natural ressources.
It stands 60 feet (18 metres) tall and is built of brick covered with wood cladding and painted white.
There is also a nice restaurant only open in the Summer time and very rustic. The seafood is great and it is worth going but you need a reservation, they have about 25 seats. The Chowder House sign is also fun, it is made of sliced US licence plates, apparently American tourists are happy to give up their car plates, you can see NY plates, Michigan, Mississipi,
In the distance is the entrance into the Hillsborough river and the port of Charlottetown.
PEI Red sandstone not very good against sea storms. To protect the lighthouse from the waves the Government of Canada imported shipments of granite rock from the Mainland and built a barrier all around the area.
Lots of pine trees everywhere along the coast. They seem to do well as a species.
Looking towards the coast of Nova Scotia around 2:30pm, very quiet, deserted area. Just nice to sit quietly by the sea. The silver colour of the water is blinding.
I also love to drive by this house on the way to the Point, the tree is always decorated with these colourful buoys. This is the road on Mount Buchanan leading to Point Prim. Note there is NO Mount, it is just a fanciful figure of speech in PEI.
This is the view from the road across the street from the Buoy Tree. The land belongs to this family and they have cottages for rent on the coast facing the Strait of Northumberland and the view across the water is Nova Scotia in the general area of Seafoam and Cape John.
and back at home with our Fall flowers and pumpkins.
Well this weekend we celebrate Thanksgiving, despite the Pandemic and numbers of sick people surging in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta and a new and developing situation in New Brunswick, we can be thankful in Canada for so many good things we enjoy. First and foremost everyone has access for FREE to Healthcare, Covid 19 tests are Free and easily accessible. You need healthcare it is available and you have no worries about it. Even the Seasonal Flu Shot are FREE. When you have your health, you got it all.
Here in PEI we have no COVID and anyone who has been sick total 61 have stayed at home and have received help and follow-up from Health PEI. No deaths and no hospitalizations.
We live in a peaceful and stable country, the Government of Canada has numerous programs for help and support financially anyone who needs help during the Pandemic. This is more than we can say if looking at other countries where people are left to fend for themselves.
We live in a nice house, we have friends and a good social life. We have our two puppies who are demanding but we love them, hey their Dachshunds, what do you expect.
So we have a lot to be thankful for and appreciative of our blessings in this life.
Well we got our FLU shot, it can be administered by pharmicists, nurses at the clinics, doctors. It’s FREE and anyone over 65 yrs of age gets a super boost shot. The Government is really encouraging everyone to get their shot and it is so easy, it takes all of 15 minutes, no waiting. What I call civilized!
I also went to Mackenzie Farm across the river from Charlottetown, it is one of many farms selling fresh vegetables and pumpkins usually you can buy a small one for $2 and the big ones are $4. I also bought other produce, its fun and we have had a lot of really nice cool days with sunshine.
We still only have 3 cases of Covid 19 in PEI, all from travellers who came back from other parts of Canada and who isolated upon return, the Health Dept and our Health Chief Dr Morrison is in daily contact with them.
Pretty lucky when you think of Quebec with 1400 new cases today alone, Ontario with 600. Alberta is not doing much better. Canada’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Tam says that some parts of Canada are in un-chartered waters and things could get really bad meaning that hospital system could be overwhelmed, Quebec is almost at that point in the Montreal region. Most cases are under 40 yrs of age and young people who a few months ago were laughing at the pandemic are now coughing. What is most disturbing in Quebec with a population of 8 million people, is the popularity of QAnon amongst certain segment of the population and the conspiracy theories. Anti-mask demonstrations in Montreal attracting 10,000 people when in the rest of Canada such demonstrations would attract at most 200. There is also in Quebec City the phenomenon of Radio poubelles (garbage) stations with their shock Jock hosts, one such station is CHOI-X who has for a long time promoted every nut job and conspiracy theory on the air. It got so bad 2 weeks ago that Mayor Regis LaBeaume pulled all City publicity from the station after CHOI-X refused again to air public health messages on Covid19, the owners stating it was propaganda. Now many other private sponsors have pulled their publicity. So the owners of CHOI -X are suing City of Quebec for diffamation instead of simply airing the public health messages. It shows a sad side of society and this anything goes attitude, selfish and self-centered, pampered society.
New Brunswick which has the border with Quebec unto the Maritime region has closed its border to prevent Quebecers coming in. As for the border with the USA it remains closed until 1 November but it is not likely to re-open before 2021 or until the USA has a firm control on the pandemic.
In other news: Thanksgiving weekend is coming, Monday 12 October being Thanksgiving. We had thought of doing a different menu this year for our Annual T-giving luncheon, but turkeys are on sale and I got a nice one, 12 lbs for $20. I think we will start with smoked Salmon and shrimp, for dessert, Monsieur Will is going to make is roasted bread and Irish whiskey ice cream and a bread pudding. It will be a small affair this year, we celebrate on Sunday.
Taking a lot of walks around the neighbourhood, in the last 3 years owners and developers have slowly but surely gentrified old Charlottetown. Many of the old homes built around 1820-1880 period are being renovated usually for $1 to 2 Million dollar budget. The area which is 9 city blocks by 6 city blocks is saturated with 825 Air B&B mostly illegal or under the radar., though this year many have been converted to long term rental. Several Bed and Breakfasts have also changed hands and bought by Chinese investors who cater mostly to Mainland Chinese tourists. This year was bad, no tourists and many businesses restaurants, bars, hotels are really struggling if not dying out right. Some hotels downtown and in the suburbs have closed until May 2021. It is going to be tough for the service/hospitality industry. If the cruise ships do not return in May 2021, and borders are still closed, PEI will have to think of a Plan B for tourism. The so called Atlantic bubble did not produce the economic results businesses were counting on. The Atlantic region in Canada has a total population of 2.5 million people spread over 4 provinces. It is not a wealthy area, the average income is about $40,000 per family or less, many are Seasonally employed. So the whole service industry sector needs out of province visitors, PEI alone gets one million visitors between May and October in a normal year. It does not affect us living here in retirement but I can see how anyone who is working now is worried. It seems however that dentists/doctors, our 2 plastic surgeons, our 2 psychiatrists, pharmacists are busier than ever.
I have been posting a lot on Instagram and enjoy this new medium much more than Facebook.
Here is our Nora enjoying the deck this morning.
Here they are Nora in the background and Nick, waiting for their dinner, it’s the look dachshunds are known for, where is my dinner!!!!!
Love this view of the Hillsborough river from the boarwalk looking towards the opening to the Strait of Northumberland and Nova Scotia coast beyond. On the right is Rocky Point and Port LaJoye the original French fort. On the left is Keppoch (pronounced Keppick) both are affluent out of town areas.
Well according to our local weather guy, who by the way is always wrong about the weather, we were promised a Tsunami-Hurricane Weather bomb with this Teddy thing, what was it again? Oh yes some rain and a little wind. Not impressed with CBC PEI weather Jay Scotland.
Tomorrow I give a short talk on Canada’s role in the Middle East and specifically on Palestine and Israel. I did spend 8 years in the region and worked on those issues so … I will give them an historical perspective starting with Moses and the Promise Land to today, sort of a world wind tour of the situation and how Canada is saving the day.
I like a lot of people have been suffering from anxiety and sleeping poorly, this Covid thingy is not helping at all, I have suffered from anxiety all my life but I just find now that with age it is getting worse. My doctor is going to recommend some medication to help alleviate the symtoms.
I am going on a diet because this idleness is not helping my waist line and Mr Will is a very good cook and he has been baking and cooking days on end. I will have to bring out my Italian diet that I followed successfully in Rome. Not difficult to follow simply requires some discipline on portions and some exercise, no I do not have to join a gym.
I wonder did I buy to many pumpkins for this year’s Oktoberfest? I was just going to buy one or two for the porch, I may have gotten over zealous in my shopping.
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.
With the arrival of Autumn, days are noticeably shorter and the weather cooler, so it is time to look at wardrobes and make a switch to Fall-Winter clothing. I cleaned up my wardrobe, gave away what I no longer wear. I also cleaned my library and made four boxes of books to give to the Ottawa Library, not to worry I still have books for 45 boxes. What I want to do next is go through all the dish ware and glasses, a lot of it we have not used in years, best to sell it or give it away. I also reorganized my 50 mm lead soldiers and packaged all those I no longer wanted on display. It is a long task to box them up and put them away, that alone took 2 days.
I bought a big pumpkin for $5 dollars which I believe was a bargain. Next the small garden on the balcony will need cleaning out and put away for winter. But that can wait until after Thanksgiving on 11 October. This year we will share the preparation of the meal with friends, much easier that way and a lot less stressful.
We got our Voters cards from Elections Canada, so we are registered to Vote in the Federal Election come 19 October. We have to also bring photo I.D. with proof of home address, like a Driver’s Licence. A wind of panic is now blowing in Canada, this very long campaign has people frazzled and politicians making desperate promises for a vote. What is assured now is a Minority Government but who will win is not certain, all 3 major parties are tied at 29 or 30% which is far to close to call. This is truly depressing, it looks like the issue is about a piece of tissue, a veil worn by some Muslim Women. With all our problems you would think that there are more pressing problems facing us but no, oh no, it’s all about Muslims women who wear a head covering. It does not help to point out that Muslims in Canada represent just 1% of the population of 36 million and are no threat to any of us. Hysteria is the order of the day and Mr. Harper is doing a fine job of it. Someone said in the 1950’s it was the Communists now it’s the Muslims, how true. Canada has turned into a version of the book 1984.
As for the refugee crisis Mr. Harper calls them Bogus refugee, that is the only way he refers to anyone claiming to be a refugee, you are bogus, a free loader. What is interesting is how this line of attack has woken up the sleeping beasts of ignorance, racism and xenophobia. Someone pointed out that in the past you had the Tavern drunk who would rant about this or that, but you could always ignore that guy sitting at the end of the bar. Now he is on the Internet and trolls around with his petty insults and outrageous opinions, not so easy to ignore and in the meantime infects others into thinking it’s Ok to be hateful. All the while saying he is a supporter of Stephen Harper and the CPC. I have not heard the Conservatives or Harper contradict or distance themselves from such statements. The other day I was looking at Jeb Bush’s platform for the US Presidency and realized it was the same as Stephen Harper in Canada, scary stuff. What strange times we live in who needs excitement.
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