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...a glimpse into life on Vancouver Island, needle felting, photography, food, gardening, etcetera...etcetera
"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Friday, November 5, 2010

Another day at the beach...

On the east side of the Island, where my folks live, there's a little town called Sydney.
Apparently it has the most book stores per capita in Canada.
But when Norene and I went out there it was to scrounge for buried treasure.
First a scramble down the rocks and under the pier...
At one time the railroad pulled right up to the shore to meet ships coming in and I guess, like most people back in the day, you didn't think twice to dump garbage overboard.
There was no plastic back then, so glass, pottery and metal was chucked.
This is one of those beaches full of mostly broken things, but once in a while you might get lucky and find a bottle intact.
Today was not our lucky day but we still brought home a bag of bits and bobs for later projects.
Knowing Norene, mosaic artist extraordinaire, she's already using her treasure on new projects for her upcoming studio tour...have a look here if you're in the Victoria area in November. 
(She is listed under the guest artists)
Unbeknownst to me was that little piece of rose coloured glass on the upper left hand side.
I picked it up for the colour and then found out that it's quite rare in the beach glass world!
The fog rolled in on us but weather never deters a collector!!
So next time you're on a rocky beach with a bit of history...
Dive in...
you never know what you're going to find...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

song for Friday...did you ever want to run away?...

For a few years, I hung around with a circus of sorts.
The Flying Karamazov Brothers.
My boyfriend, at the time, was the roadie-juggler stand in-Karamazov cousin and was on the road with them for years.
 I was lucky enough to be part of this world and even went on the road with them for a bit.
They were jugglers, primarily but in their 'off' time they did a travelling show which included clowns, fire eaters, gymnasts, sword swallower's, trapeze artists and many more forms of circus performers.
Wednesday night on PBS they have begun a series all about the circus (funny enough called "Circus") and it's brought back some great memories of these short, but incredible times.
I still juggle once and a while and always dream of being a trapeze artist or a tight rope walker.
I did some circus vaulting on horses as a kid but never big enough to work the Big Top.
This show has left me feeling nostalgic after watching the first part of this series, so I thought I'd post this beautiful song in honor of the circus world.
Have a great weekend all...go make some popcorn and juggle a few balls around!!

Monday, November 1, 2010


I have an assignment this week.
Looking after my mom and dads place
...and their birds
...and their dogs
...and their rabbit.
Benjie( don't worry...he did not explode...he has a feather disorder)

Keiko and Raffi
Gemma...she gives me the evil eye all the time...
Ochi...a hairless Chinese Crested.. born with hair
Summer...faster than a speeding bullet!
Last but not least...Suki.
So as you can see I've got my hands full.
The great thing about being here for 4 days, is that I'll be going places and seeing things that are usually over an hour away from home. I don't get to hang out on this side of the Island much so there will be stories to tell and pictures to show.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Walking amongst history...

Ever since we moved to Victoria, as a teen, I have always loved certain places 
and go back to them over and over.
Ross Bay Cemetery is one of those.
I especially love it in the fall.
I think because it reminds me of woolen sweaters 
and walking for hours
and then making my way home to something warm and tasty for supper.
It's also home to this big old copper beech tree.
I imagine it was planted around 150 years ago and trees like that, well, they get my vote for staying power.
Especially here in one of the most stormy places on the lower Island.
The cemetery runs along the sea in the neighborhood of Fairfield.
Here in its early days...
They have put up a wall and a bit of a breaker to help the land from eroding.
In 1900, a large part of the cemetery (along with a number of Chinese and Japanese graves) washed away.
Ross Bay has many historical graves.
Some are famous for the people...
Like Emily Carr...
People have taken to leaving her pencils, pens, paint brushes and bit of colored cloth...
The Old Cemeteries Society has erected this stone with one of her poems...
This fellow, Billy Barker, started the gold rush in B.C when he found a nugget the size of a golf ball...
He had a town named after him (Barkerville, of course) and it's a really amazing living museum in the Interior.
This man was the first Black policeman in Victoria...
Some graves are famous just for their looks...
And then some I just found interesting and beautiful...
Some graves are sinking back into the earth as wooden coffins have rotted.
The Old Cemeteries Society has taken to restoring these by removing the earth and structure and back filling with new earth and repairing any broken stones... 
Unfortunately there has been much more damage done by vandals than by the wind and rain.
Broken angels, large crosses knocked down, pieces of monuments stolen.
When I was a kid we were taught, in the good old Roman Catholic guilt way, that if you did any desecrating of graves or such, you would be haunted for the rest of your lives...
Not such a bad idea.
This Stone lady has an interesting story...
 St. Clare is on the plot for the order of Roman Catholic nuns known as "the Poor Clares". They are a cloistered order and their convent stood for many years in Oak Bay.
Centuries ago, when Sister Clare was unable to attend Midnight Mass, 
she experienced the miracle of being able to see the mass in a vision on the blank wall of her room.
Soon after television was developed, she was named the Patron Saint of Television. 
Who thought?!
Maybe next time your kids won't turn off the telly, you can scare them with some story about 
St. Clare...
As Norene and I walked around, we wondered how people choose their loved ones headstones.
Then She came up with the brilliant idea of making her own!
Since she's such a gifted mosaic artist, I'm sure hers would be the life of the party in any cemetery!
We really liked this one that looked as if we were invited to tea or perhaps a glass of wine...
Coming up on Remembrance Day, making note of all the soldiers brought home...
It's places like this where you really get a sense of the fact that everyone has a story.
A life lead. Loved and lost.
Not forgotten.
A peaceful place to spend some time.