A Bit of Sharing

It’s been a while since I shared a few of the posts or pictures that have delighted me over the past month. So here are a few things for your consideration.

Shod for Shrove

It seems that Epiphany was only yesterday and already we’re coming up to Shrove Tuesday. The events and parades have been going on apace in New Orleans leading up to Mardi Gras and Friday past the Krewe of the Muses celebrated their 20th year with Jennifer Coolidge as Honorary Muse riding in the big Shoe float. And once again my beloved Cecilia – Nicky and Nora’s godmother by-the-way – was the recipient of one of their treasured throws.

She can now add it to her growing collection which I highlighted last year.

To Charlottetown …. by canoe!!

Over at SailStrait local historian Harry Holman traces an 1908 journey from New York City to Charlottetown by Elizabeth Ogden and her husband Henry Wise Wood. And yes as the sub-title suggested they did it by canoe!

A click on the photo below will take you to their story.

Photo from Sailing Obsession.

Envy #1

My blog buddy Mitchell lives where I wish I could live about now – away from the cold. Along the beach front in his neighbourhood – yes the lucky %^#$@¥ has a beach front – he often comes across the work of a gentleman named Paul Blane who creates some wonderful sand sculptures. A left click on the photo Mitchell took of the sunrise on the (spurt… grumble… wail) beach will take you to his photo essay on Mr Blane’s latest work.

Obviously the good clergy are preparing for Lent. And Mitchel you know I didn’t mean that name I called you – I plan to give up being envious for Lent! A vow that will probably only last until you next photo essay!

Envy #2

A bit closer to home in an attempt to ward off the deep freeze chill of the Canadian West my blog buddy Debra went in search of a quilt. She finally commissioned one and I’m afraid that sin of envy was rearing its ugly head again. It’s a real beauty.

The word for February 23 is:
Canoe /kəˈno͞o/ /kəˈnu/: [noun or verb]
Noun: A narrow, keelless boat with pointed ends, propelled by a paddle or paddles.
Verb: Travel in or paddle a canoe.
Mid 16th century from Spanish canoa which Columbus took from the Arawak canaoua.

Where Is Your Bethlehem?

My blog buddy Mitchell post a wonderful series of pictures from the crèches or belén in his town of Fuengirola that brought back memories of the presepe we saw in cities, towns and homes throughout Italy during our four Christmases there.

At the centre of each one was the familiar Nativity scene but what surrounded it seldom resembled the landscape around Bethlehem familiar from Christmas cards. The Holy Family were encircled by the traditional Shepherds, Magi and Angels but set in panoramas that mirrored the surrounding neighbourhood. Castello Sant’Angelo loomed in the background at Santa Maria in Via, in Napoli a plume of smoke from Vesuvius oversaw the birth of Christ, in Piazza Sant’Eustachio the filigree tower of Sant’Ivo peeked over the rooftops. The birth of Jesus is happening, not in a distant exotic place, but in the midst of the people who are celebrating the Feast Day.

As well as the link to Mitchell’s photos – the belén created by the children is a true delight – I thought I would reblog a post from those days in Rome. It is only a fragment of what would have been a larger scene but looking at it today gave me a sense of delight and brought back great memories.

Willy Or Won't He

Its no secret that I have a fondness for Napoli and things Napolitani – even though the first visit there was a bit unsettling, the second time I came away from the city enchanted and wanting to go back. And another well documented fact is my love of presepe and there is nowhere in the world quite like Napoli for these incredible minature scenes. Divina, the restaurant we went to New Year’s Eve in Madrid had the most wonderful presepe at one end of the dining room that was immediately identifiable as the work of Napolitani craftsmen.

As is this remarkable little tableau that was in the window of a small cafe on a side street off Piazza Fiume near our house. It is obviously meant to be only one element in a larger presepio. (Remember that a left click will open a larger version of the photos in…

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Sharing

Looking back I realized it has been a long, long while since I’ve shared anything other than my thoughts with both my faithful readers. Back in the day I’d link up to posts on other blogs and scatter random pictures around. Well Christmastide is a time of sharing and there has been much in Blog Land that’s caught my often unfocused interest.

As to the random photos they are of a visit we made to the Rembrandt House Museum during our stay in Amsterdam in September.

My blog buddy Mitchell’s spouse was complaining about the cold in Málaga when they did a tour of the Christmas lights this past week. Apparently it was a frigid 15c (59f) and poor San Geraldo was freezing. As the temperature here was -15c I had little sympathy for them and even less when I saw Mitchell’s photos of the magnificent light displays.

A left lick on Mitchell’s lead shot on his beautiful photo essay will take you to the full display plus a video. It’s magical.

This brought back memories of our New Year’s in Madrid back in 2010. They certainly know spectacular illumination in Spain.

A few times in the past month or so the Mainland has been cut off from the Island when the winds have been high and the Confederation Bridge has been closed. It can cause problems but nothing like what early Islanders encountered back in the days before the “fixed link” when winters pretty much froze the Northumberland Straits. Over at SailStait historian Harry Holman posted a report from 1876 when a crossing of the nine mile gap took from Sunday to Wednesday with the odd dunking in the process.

A left click on this ice boat pictured in Frank Leslie’s Popular Monthly August 1887 to read the tale of Going With The Floe 1876.

This happens to coincide with the announcement of an increase on the toll to cross to the Mainland. It’s going up by .75¢ for a two-axled vehicle, .25¢ for motorcycles and bicycles, and should you wish to walk across the 12.9 km (8 mile) span there is no increase. It remains a mere $4.50.

A student’s cubicle – Rembrandt taught upwards of 50 young painters during his career. He charged his pupils a hefty premium of 100 guilders per year, and sold their works for his benefit. Terms were anywhere from two to seven years depending on the teacher and the abilities of the student.

In a break with a forty-year tradition I did not polish my balls this year. I let Laurent do it! (Oh grow up! Honestly are you still in grade school?) Laurent wrote all about the preparations for Christmastide at the Beaulieu-Hobbs manse.

A left click will take you to Larry Muffin’s account of, amongst other things, ball polishing.

December 13th is Christmas Jumper Day – for those not familiar with the word “jumper” means “sweater” in the United Kingdom. It actually derives from the French jupe – which the French may want back come the new year.

Mercoledi Musicale

snowsnowsnow
The view out our bedroom window last night around 2300.  The Canal still hasn’t frozen over enough for skating but winter is definitely here.

 

Last evening the sound of the back-up signal on a snowplow led me to the window for a moment or two – just to see what progress was being made on clearing some of the blowing snow that was piling up. The winter that we had managed to avoid so successfully for so long has come, as we knew in our hearts it would. The mere thought of plowing out through the drifts this morning had me shivering.  So as diversion from the icy blasts and to drive the cruel winter away I stop over to see what was happening at Mitchell’s place in Spain.  And not only was Mitchell moving he was going for a country walk – visually and musically – and that frost edged scene out the window and those first bars of the winter blues were driven out of my mind.

His musical selection reminded me of another moment in the Sondheim at 80 celebration at London’s Royal Albert Hall back in 2010:  the finale to the first part of Sunday in the Park with George. It is a performance charged with emotion and beauty but I find it is still difficult to beat the original performance in 1986.  That blend of Stephen Sondheim‘s music as performed by Mandy Patinkin, Bernadette Peters, and company and James Lapine‘s staging is a combination that brings together vocally and visually Georges Seurat‘s painting:  it is one of the great moments of musical theatre.

So to get away from the winter I thought I’d imagine it was Sunday and take a stroll on La Grande Jatte.

 

On this day in 1833: During the First Anglo-Afghan War Dr. William Brydon, the sole survivor of an army of 4,500 men and 12,000 camp followers, reaches the safety of a garrison in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.

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