Saying Good-bye

This will be my last post from Newfoundland, as I head for Halifax tomorrow. It’s been a grand trip. Today, wanting to the make the most of the final hours here, I got up early and made the trek up to Signal Hill…this time by way of a Parks Canada trail instead of the road. The fog was thick, which meant I couldn’t get a sense of the view, but I was actually glad of that because it allowed me to focus on the things right in front of my nose instead: the gorgeous wildflowers, the large intricate spider webs hanging heavy with dew, and the dozens upon dozens of snails crawling across the trail. In some places I had to pick my way carefully along to avoid stepping on any of these creatures.

This afternoon, Ted and Griffin joined me and others from the conference on a whale watching trip. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any whales, but we did see an amazing iceberg, and hundreds of sea birds.

I ended my day with Ted’s two children while he and Kathryn spent some well deserved time together. I’m very fond of both little ones and I will miss them. I’ll miss the big ones too!


Miss Yukon, Mambo Queen

Cardinal Rule Number 1: when you go to a live theatre performance, never, never, NEVER take a seat right in front of the stage. You’re just asking for trouble. However, after a long day of meetings, with my brain in a bit of a fog, that’s just what I did tonight as a group of us from the conference went to see When Larry Met Sally the Girl From the Bay, a musical comedy put on by Spirit of Newfoundland.

At the time I didn’t think anything of it. It wasn’t until I had devoured my bread and was well into my salad, and the cast of the show was wandering around chatting us up and asking our names, where we were from, etc. that I thought, “Oh oh!” I had seen enough of what goes on with the Frantic Follies to know that they weren’t just idly asking names and that any information shared would later become part of the show.

My fears were confirmed when, a few minutes into the performance, ‘Miss Yukon’ was asked to stand up and take a bow. “OK,” I thought, as I sat down after my best attempt at a theatrical bow. “That was my contribution. Now I can just sit back and enjoy the show.”

I giggled as a female performer sat on the lap of one of my male colleagues. I grinned as another cast member ran her fingers through the hair of a man at my table. But then, the performers started to do the mambo, and I heard, “Miss Yukon….come on up.” That’s how I came to be on stage, looking anything but sultry and sexy as I stumbled through some rudimentary mambo steps. Step, rock, close, pause; step, rock, close, pause. “Hold on to your men, girls. It’s Miss Yukon the Mambo Queen.”

Dear Lord. Or, seeing as how I’m in Newfoundland, should I say, “Jesus, Joseph and Mary!”

Buns of Steel

No need to waste money on the video…just walking around this city, with its steep hills, should be enough to give anyone hard rock buns and thighs!

This morning I made an early start of it. After breakfast, I packed a sandwich and a couple of bottles of water and headed up Signal Hill – UP being the operative word. It was well worth the hike though….amazing views of the city, the harbour and beyond. I think there may have been some whales out there too…at least I saw a boat racing to a site and then it stopped and just sat there. But what with the fog rolling in, I couldn’t be sure.

I stopped at the Battery on the way up, with its narrow windy road and now upscale houses (it used to be the poor part of town). Coincidently, later on in the day I went to The Rooms – a museum, art gallery and archives all in one – and they had an exhibit on The Battery and how it has changed over the years. Really interesting stuff.

Here are a few photos taken from Signal Hill.

Overlooking St. John’s Harbour

The Narrows

Fife and drum band at practice.

Playing Tourist

I’ve just spent the last several hours wandering around the streets of St. John’s. I love this place, and can understand why Newfoundlanders are perpetually homesick when they leave the Rock.

I snooped about in the Gerald Squires Art Gallery, a place that is a home as well as a gallery and has a yoga studio on the top floor. Squires is one of Newfoundland’s gems. Luz, you might be interested to know that he apprenticed with Carl Pappe in Mexico. Anyway, I digress.

I then took myself off for a bite to eat at ‘The Sprout’. Good food, friendly service, and a clever way of dealing with leftovers. They provide a plastic container for a fee of a dollar. Then, I can either return the container and get my loonie back, or I can bring it with me and use it the next time I come. Great idea, and one that will prompt me to take my own container when I eat out at other places too.

Next it was off to the liquor store for a bottle of wine for tonight’s dinner at Ted’s, and a few presents to take back home with me. A relaxing stop at the park to take in the harbour view, and back to the hotel to catch my breath before heading out again.

Potato Blues

To those non-gardeners among you, forgive me, but I am going to use this blog to keep a record of what has grown in my garden this year and how it has done. Keeping track of the good, the bad and the ugly will hopefully lead to an improved garden in future years. The ugly currently is that there seems to be something terribly wrong with my potatoes. While they should be a good six inches high by now, they are barely breaking through the ground. I tested the ph of the soil, and while it is neutral (and potatoes do best in acidic soil) it’s not that far off the mark that they should be behaving this way. Maybe they just need to be neglected, and they’ll get that chance this week as I head off to Newfoundland.

Now for some of the good: my garden ‘yellows’.

Sanctury – Live in Concert

I couldn’t resist posting something from Sanctuary’s performance tonight. I have some short videos too, but blogger isn’t quite ready to handle video yet (they say they’re working on it and it should soon be an available feature), so stills will have to suffice for now.

My New Toy

I have a new toy….Corel Paint Shop. Just look what it can do. First, the original photo:
Now, with a few clicks on my keyboard, look at this:
Or this:

Or this:

Or even this:

The possibilities are endless. Too much fun!