Friday, June 9, 2017

Take me to your leader.

Every Spring they walk amongst us, while we unknowing humans pass them by without a second glance.

Can YOU see them ?

They gather in clusters, chatting amongst themselves and striving to look innocuous.

If you look their way they pretend to be looking elsewhere.

Sometimes you may catch a couple of them covertly making plans.  

Finally a brave emissary steps forward, 

and politely presents their terms for our peaceful surrender.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Sunday's adventure with Kelly ...

Last Sunday found Kelly and I joining up with a stalwart group of Scotian Hiker fans on one of his marvellous hikes; this one to Polly's Cove.

The Polly's Cove trailhead is about 2 km down the road from the much more famous Peggy's Cove.

Kelly in her marvellous Killer Whale knit hat.

There was a bit more rock scrambling that my knees like; so with each groan-inducing leg-lift I reminded myself  "move it or lose it".

Kelly leading the way

Kelly through an metal "eye" in a rock.

It was lovely to sit and eat our packed lunches on sunny rocks by the sea.

This is the life !

There seems to be much debate about the origins of these foundations; whatever they are they add an element of mystery to the walk.

After our walk Kelly and I headed back to Peggy's Cove.  

Somehow I'd always thought the lighthouse would be bigger than that.  😉

The Harbour in Peggy's Cove is almost as famous as the lighthouse itself.

Located across the road from the Cove's Information building and parking lot is a feature that should be better known, but often goes unnoticed by visitors to Peggy's Cove.  It  is a 30 m (100 ft)  granite outcropping that over the period of  years beginning in the late 1970's was carved as a monument to Nova Scotia fishermen by local artist William de Garthe.   

deGarthe was in his 70's when he began this sculpture after seeing the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.  The work was 80% finished when deGarthe died in 1983.

The figures are grouped in three sections from left to right -- Grace, Bounty and Work.  Work shows the fishermen hauling nets, pulling a dory and catching fish.  In the centre section along with the bounty of the sea a figure can be seen carrying a basket; it is the legendary  "Peggy", the sole-survivor of a shipwreck who made the cove her home. On the left is a guardian angel who watches over a fisherman and his family.

In the white box is a silhouette of the artist and his wife.

I think it is fitting the Mr. deGarthe's ashes are interred in the wall.


BTW for Kelly's take on our outing please check out her blog posts  ... yep I said posts.  Not to be outdone she created TWO posts about our outing.  Here is her second post.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

People. People who need people ...

As Barbra Streisand sang many years ago: "People.   People who need people, are the luckiest people in the World."

I am therefore by definitions of this song, a very lucky girl.

My trip to England was all about connecting with family; and what a wonderful family it is !


I toured country roads near Bury St. Edmunds with Gordon and Theresa seeking out places where our ancestors lived and died.   

Theresa had packed a delicious picnic lunch which we ate while staring at pastoral fields and after tramping about we even managed to make it to a pub.  Ya gotta go to a pub; right ?

Theresa, my cousin Gordon and me

In London, Dave took me on a wander around a marvellous park created on re-claimed land.

A living shelter

Observation ports to look out at the bird life 

Later we joined nephew Andrew for dinner.

In Bath I visited the Bath Postal Museum which Aunt Audrey and Uncle Harold founded back in 1979.

                                  Audrey posing with a cutout of Uncle Harold
                               directing visitors down the stairs to the Museum
Yes.  It's a "Pigeongramme" !

Evenings were spent poring over a dizzying array of family photos.

From Bath, Mike and Sylvie drove us to visit a magnificent castle in Wales.  We crossed a bridge and probably drove a mere 5 km into Wales; but still I can say that I visited Wales.

Since we were in the area we dropped in on older brother Rob and his wife Pippa in Bristol and they treated us to a genuine English tea complete with delicious scones.   


And I mustn't forget to mention the marvellous day we had visiting Frank and the gardens and greenhouses he maintains.


Fascinating fence walls.  

Frank inspecting the seedlings in one of the greenhouses.

After exploring the grounds we headed to nearby The Connie's Tea Room for lunch.

I've only been back two weeks and miss all these marvellous people already.   

And you wanna know a secret ?

I'm already planning a trip back there next Spring !    Do you blame me ?

P.S.   Would you believe there are two people still missing from this post ?  Apologies to Josie and Kae.  Still looking for photos of us  ...

Friday, March 24, 2017

Distilled memories.

Just ten days since my return from England and I am already missing the place and at the same time am trying to sort out everything I did.

In my previous post I included everything I did in London in one lump as if I had done it all at the same time, rather than at the beginning and the end of my trip.  In other words, I took liberties.

Perhaps I should post everything in the order it happened...London, Bath, Bristol, Wales, Exmouth, London, Bury St. Edmunds then back to London, but I get tired just thinking about doing it that way.

OK let me try the thematic approach.  Why did I go to England in the first place ?  (You ask.)

This trip was all about family.  My mom and dad have both been gone almost ten years, though I must confess that mom is showing up in my mirror many mornings on a rather alarming basis.  I felt a deep need to reinforce connection with my English roots.

Though I went to visit the family that I already know and love --  the Swindells and Butchers -- I also went to learn about family roots and surprisingly, meet new  family.

Louise, me, and her marvellous daughter, Phoebe 
Louise and I belonged to a FaceBook genealogy group that was devoted to researching the Tupman side of my family tree.

I still recall the day when the moderator of the group pointed out that Louise and I were related as our grandfathers were brothers.  And so it began ... 

That's my grandfather, Bertie James standing in back and Louise's grandfather Stanley George on the right.

Somehow we went from very occasional FaceBook chats and comments to me saying:  "Hey, I'm coming to England.  Can I stay at your house?"  and that basically was that.

Except that these "total strangers" put me up in a wonderful hotel overlooking the mouth of the River Exe !

The tide on its way out.
Palm trees.
 Together we sought out houses where family once lived.

Primrose Cottage with the thatched roof -- and it's for sale.
Hartley Cottage where our Great Great Grandfather Edward George Tupman lived -- and it too was for sale !

and we visited church yards.  Dear Louise even brought flowers to place on graves. 

Louise and her son visited the graves of her parents.

Later she and Kieran and I set out to see if we could find more Tupman headstones.

And we did.

And we learned that Ruth and Kate lived at Primrose Cottage !

We found several headstones but it wasn't always easy to read them.  I wish I'd taken blank newsprint and charcoal for making rubbings so I could read things more easily.

We didn't just explore church yards; we walked the hills,

and ate meals in,

Louise prepared a wonderful dinner

 and ate meals out.

And pretty much bonded in three days.

Can you believe I'm already dreaming about what I'd do on my next visit.