In which an anecdote from PEI History is revealed.

Two of the blogs I follow are the work of  a self-described “archivist, historian and small boat sailor” here on Prince Edward Island.  A phrase that, to my mind, inadequately describes his encyclopedic knowledge and research into the history of our Island home.  His recently created Sailpost traces the history of the Island through the humble postcard – those once ubiquitous picture cards that assured our family  and friends that we wished they were here.  And his Sailstrait, now in it’s 6th year, is a fascinating history of Charlottetown Harbour, as well as yachting and boating on the Island.

We tend to forget that there was a time when the towns and villages around the Island were not as connected as we are now.  There were no railway lines (they are now long gone and have become Confederation Trail, a wonderful 470 km hiking and biking trail that crisscrosses the island) and the road system could be charitably described as primitive.  Water was often the only way to get from place to place but even then it was easier to get to Halifax, Montreal or Boston than it was to Souris.  However there was the occasional excursion to far away places with strange sounding names like Murray Harbour.  This week on Sailstrait there is a delightful newspaper report on such an excursion on the in August, 1865.

A left click on the photograph of the Princess of Wales in Charlottetown Harbour will take you to this peek back into a different time and travel – and how could you resist any article that begins:  As the bottles were emptied and the hearts and hearts and minds of gentlemen expanded……

“As the bottles were emptied the hearts and minds of the gentlemen expanded…” An 1865 Excursion to the East.
                                                                                                Photograph courtesy: Sailstrait

Would that journalists today had the flair and command of language of this anonymous reporter (possibly publisher John Ross himself?) from Ross’s Weekly.

On this day in 1783: Laki, a volcano in Iceland, begins an eight-month eruption which kills over 9,000 people and starts a seven-year famine.

New Canadian Stamp

Another reason to celebrate Canada.

Larry Muffin At Home

Canada Post unveiled today a new stamp to show that in Canada we have marriage equality and this is enshrined in our Constitution.


The stamp is in both of Canada’s Official languages, French and English and is shaped like a Maple Leaf with the Rainbow Flag and the Words Canada 150 to mark the Anniversary of Confederation 1867-2017.

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An Interlude on Quiet

One of the many advantages of living abroad for extended periods of time is that your paths cross with people who, there’s a good chance, you would have never met otherwise. A case in point is Jane (Deane) Babb, who we met while living in Poland back in the late 1990s. Jane was visiting Warsaw from Dublin and we had dinner with her and our friend John Babb on one or two occasions.

As with many of our acquaintances from foreign postings we don’t hear from the Babbs often but when we do it’s always good to catch up on families, careers and events. A recent catch-up came from John in the way of a link to an essay that Jane wrote recently for Quiet Revolution, an interesting website devoted to interludes of quiet.

And in her essay Jane writes – perhaps surprisingly given the stereotypical view of the Irish – of the power of quiet and silence in Ireland’s writing and mythology.  My recent trip to Ireland has led me to reexamine the Táin Bó Cúailnge – oddly in the Thomas Kinsella  translation that Jane recommended back in 1998 and I still have on my bookshelf – as well as many of the myths as recorded by Mary Haney,  Lady Gregory and others.  Amongst the violence – and my but my people were a violent people – there are always those grace notes of quiet and contemplation.

A left click on the rondelle (The Tale of the Twelve Wild Geese) will take you to Jane’s thoughts that I wanted to share with you.


On this day in 1929: Popeye the Sailor Man, a cartoon character created by E. C. Segar, first appears in the Thimble Theatre comic strip.


Often in the past I have shared links to blog entries along with photos that I’ve taken at various places.  Sadly many of the blogs that I once shared have gone the way of all flesh – no that’s not the right word but you know what I mean.  However as I mentioned in a previous post my old (only in the sense of I’ve known her for a long time) blog buddy Elizabeth and her husband Kirk have added a blog/website to record some of their extensive research into history – family and general, good and bad.   I found the following posting fascinating and suggest giving it a read.  Just right click on the picture below to read the rest of


The 64th Canadian Tulip Festival

This past weekend was the opening of the annual Tulip Festival here in Ottawa.  Some one million bulbs have been planted in beds along the Rideau Canal and in various sights throughout the city.   A brief story of the story behind the event and our close relationship with the Netherlands can be found here.  I hope to get a few shots to share for what will be possibly our last chance to see the glorious and colourful display.

And to start off and continue the tradition of photos shared here’s a few shots of a field of miniature tulips that were planted along the banks of the Rideau Canal near the house. Wisely as the temperature dipped to almost freezing (where’s you global warming now, Moses, where’s your global warming now* – said in an Edward G. Robinson voice) the tiny blooms stayed tightly closed.



Even they were shivering. But as a friend said the other day the cooler weather will make the tulips last longer.

On this day in 1975: Junko Tabei becomes the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

Tales the Belle Tells

I first met Elizabeth when I received an e-mail back in November of 2007 asking if she could use a photo from a silly posting I had done early in the month featuring  unusual wine labels.  In those days she had a Flickr page of random silliness and a blog of a more personal and serious, though never humourless, nature on the go. She and I became blog buddies and eventually Facebook friends.  Love Elizabeth included beautiful and heart-tearing poetry, remarkable photographs and engaging personal story telling.   On one occasion she melded the three into something that touched our home and those of so many of our friends for which I will always be grateful.

She hasn’t blogged for a while because, being Elizabeth, she has been engaged in a project with her husband Kirk that started as the story of her great great great Grandfather.  But again being Elizabeth it has taken on a life beyond its original intent. However there is no point in my  trying to explain any of this as she has created a new blog that says its all.  I’ve added it to my own blog roll as I intend to follow all the Tangled Histories they have uncovered and discovered.  You might wish to take a look and do the same.  A left click on the picture from the blog header will take you to “stories of settlers and the unsettled, enslavers and enslaved, family lost and found in the Cherokee homeland”.

On this day in 1828: Initial issue of the Cherokee Phoenix is the first periodical to use the Cherokee syllabary invented by Sequoyah.