A Province by the Sea

Harry Holman over at Sailstrait recounts fascinating stories and histories of ships, voyages, and harbours on our Island. He also collects postcards and displays them as well as the histories of the places they depict and the companies that produced them.

This week he posted a series of black and white, as well as coloured, cards originally created for publication in the Canadian Government Railway Guide to Summer Provinces by the Sea.

Sadly the railway is no more – though much of the track beds now make up the Confederation Trail – and things are still very much up in the air as to what will be allowed in the way of tourist traffic this coming summer.

However that doesn’t stop us from enjoying the photos that enticed visitors to come to the Island back in 1906. Much has changed and much remains the same.


Valentine and Sons (later Valentine-Black) was the largest publisher of postcards in Canada. Between 1905 and 1964 when they ceased business, they issued more than 12,000 postcards. Of these, over 140 were of different Prince Edward Island scenes and the Valentine cards document the Island over almost sixty years.

Fortune Harbour, image # 100,925

In the earliest years Valentine had a unique arrangement which saw them produce a series of view cards co-labeled with the Intercolonial and Prince Edward Island Railway. Although both lines were operated by the Government of Canada they each maintained a somewhat  independent identity. The Intercolonial was very active in the promotion of tourist travel and a number of guidebooks touted travel to the area served by the government lines.

Cover of Summer Provinces by the Sea

These guidebooks were well written and well-illustrated. The most well-known was Summer Provinces by the Sea which contained…

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Fighting the Snowfall and the Loneliness of the Soul

For some reason this photograph and the comment from the photographer moved me.

It was in 1964, on a winter night. I walked along Nevsky Prospekt and at the intersection with the Griboyedov Canal, I saw a street sweeper, who despite the heavy snowfall, swept in front of a building. I asked her, ′′ Why are you doing this? Wasting your time. Why don’t you wait until after the storm. The snow will just cover it again!” And she calmly replied: ′′ Let it, I’ll remove it again! I live alone – it is better to work than sit alone at home!”

I ran home for the camera and shot the whole role of film. Only one shot turned out to be clear. I consider it the best shot of my life. I called it “Night Cleaning”.

A deserted street, blowing snow. And a little woman fighting the snowfall and the loneliness in her soul.

Yuri Shchennikov – Photographer

Many thanks to my FB friend Luke for sharing this and allowing me to use. I could find out nothing about the photographer at least not under his transliterated name.

The word for March 28th is:
Loneliness /ˈlōnlēnəs/: [noun]
1.1 Sadness because one has no friends or company.
1.2 (of a place) (of a place) the quality of being unfrequented and remote; isolation.
1580s, “condition of being solitary,” from lonely + -ness. Meaning “feeling of being dejected from want of companionship or sympathy” is from 1814.

Lunedi Lunacy

It’s hard to believe that The Kids in the Hall first hit the airwaves over 30 years ago! Not surprisingly much of their comedy still holds up today.

Fran and Gordon were always two of my favourites – as always the best comedy is based on real life written big!

The word for March 22nd is:
Alien /ˈālēən/: [1. noun 2. adjective]
1.1 A foreigner, especially one who is not a naturalized citizen of the country where they are living.
1.2 A hypothetical or fictional being from another world.
1.3 A plant or animal species originally introduced from another country and later naturalized.
2.1 Belonging to a foreign country or nation.
2.2 A hypothetical or fictional being from another world.
2.3 A plant or animal species originally introduced from another country and later naturalized.
Middle English: via Old French from Latin alienus ‘belonging to another’, from alius ‘other’.
It’s use in the sense of 1.1 appears for the first time in an Act of the English Parliament in the early 1500s. It is not a term used here in Canada – the legal term is “foreign national”.

Lunedi Lunacy

It’s every second Monday so that means “MEME TIME”!!!!!!”

It could be worse – the cab company in Rome had Rufus Wainwright singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow on a loop! Think about it!

A Jewish mother! Or Irish, or Polish, or Italian – oh what the hell it’s just a “mom” thing.

I believe this joke began “A slug slithered into a bar….”

That one’s for all my cat loving friends.

“Married in white, sailors’ delight ….” as Sue Ann Nivens use to say.

A complete sentence? – Did you see what I did there?

Making a joyful sound unto the …..

And I’ll just leave this one here for your consideration:

The word for October 19th is:
Sentence /ˈsen(t)əns/: [1. noun 2. verb]
1.1. A set of words that is complete in itself, typically containing a subject and predicate, conveying a statement, question, exclamation, or command, and consisting of a main clause and sometimes one or more subordinate clauses.
1.2 The punishment assigned to a defendant found guilty by a court, or fixed by law for a particular offence.
2. Declare the punishment decided for (an offender).
Middle English (in the senses ‘way of thinking, opinion’, ‘court’s declaration of punishment’, and ‘gist (of a piece of writing’)): via Old French from Latin sententia ‘opinion’, from sentire ‘feel, be of the opinion’.
So a sentence is only an “opinion” – well tell that to the Judge!