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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Well yesterday saw the last cruise ship of the season arrive and depart. The Oceania Riviera closed off what has been a record cruise ship season. A total of 87 ships disgorged 128,000 passengers and 55,000 crew members onto our ruddy shores. Our location and daily walks with Nicky and Nora meant that I met many of those visitors, often for long chats. The three top questions have been: Are you from here? What brought you here? What are winters like here? And the general opinions of their visit has been very positive. People seem to greatly enjoy their time spent on the Island.
But according to archivist and historian Harry Holman that wasn’t the case with at least one 19th century traveller. On his always informative blog Sailstrait Mr Holman reveals the Honourable Lady Brassey’s rather candid views on the Island and its denizens on her visit in October of 1872.
A left click on this illustration from Anna Brassey’s 1878 best-seller A Voyage in the Sunbeam, our Home on the Ocean for Eleven Months will take you to her entry from that earlier voyage and entry on her visit to Charlottetown.
Mr Holman tells me he has over 50 accounts of visits to Charlottetown and Prince Edward Island before 1900. He hopes to gather them together and publish them as a book. I’m very much looking forward to reading it.
November 5th is Love Your Red Hair Day – so gingers of the world get loving!
Reading a bit on the life of Albert Edward Saxe-Cobourg and Gotha (Edward VII) one can only imagine the field day the tabloids would have with him in this day and age. Though there were gossip magazines galore in Victorian England they tended to be chary in their handling of royal “affairs”. If Royal scandals surfaced – and scandals there were, I mean did you know he had mistresses???? Including the grandmother of Camillla… well enough said about that – it was in the Welsh, colonial and U.S. press seldom in the English newspapers or journals.
A few weeks ago in Sailstrait, his rich historic site on Island things nautical, Harry Holman told us about the American presses’ reporting on Albert Edward’s visit to Prince Edward Island in 1860. And though they were respectful to the Prince of Wales they were decidedly less so to our fair isle. This past week, to balance the scales, he told us about the visit as reported by the a far more circumspect British chroniclers of the age.
“Thy grandsire’s name distinguishes this isle; We love thy mother’s sway, and court her smile.”
Banner hanging in the ballroom of the Colonial Building, Charlottetown 1860.
A recent posting on this site featured American accounts of the 1860 visit of the Prince of Wales to Charlottetown and highlighted, perhaps unfairly, the carnival-like atmosphere, overcrowding and drunkenness which the journalists from the States chose to make a centerpiece of their reporting. For the Americans, the Prince’s visit was a unique experience and their florid accounts strained to find moments of interest in what was oftentimes a repetition of the rounds of addresses, salutes, dinners and balls which would characterize the events across two nations as the Prince travelled to Canada and the United States.
Prince of Wales receiving addresses at Colonial Building 1860. London Illustrated News
For the English media, royal appearances were less of a one time event and more…
A recent look at the tabloids – oh come on you all read the headlines at the supermarket and you know it!!!!! – suggests a rather unhealthy obsession with our Canadian (Britian has some claim to them too) Royal Family. The details of suspected peccedillos, fusses and feuds amongst various members of the House of Windsor-Mountbatten seem to fascinate us lower classes as we tug at our forelocks and cry “Will they not leave poor Princess Megan alone?” Most totally unaware that she will never be “Princess” and isn’t exactly “poor” on any level.
But this obsession with British Royalty is nothing new for members of the fifth estate and their readers, particularly our American cousins. In 1860 Queen Victoria’s eldest son Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales visited the British Colonies and it appears that almost every breath he took was recorded by journalists and breathlessly read by their subscribers.
In his, always fascinating, blog Sailstait PEI historian, archivist and writer Harry Holman recounts the heady days in August 1860 when the visit to our Island by HRH was the news not only locally but internationally. Fine proof that the obsession with our Royal Family is nothing new.
March 29 is the 88th day of the year and a piano has 88 keys so naturally today is International Piano Day.
It was not a pretty sight and the correspondent for the New York Tribune made it the centrepiece of his reporting of the event. And what an event it was. The biggest thing to hit Charlottetown in its history. The first visit ever of a member of the Royal Family. Today it has become commonplace as every decade one or more Royals cycle through the province. It was not always so.
View of Royal Fleet at Charlotte Town 1860. From Journal of the Progress of the HRH Prince of Wales through British North America and his Visit to the United States. 1860.
When H.R.H. Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, the eldest son of Queen Victoria, came to North America it was a major event wherever he visited. Not only did he visit the British Colonies, still four years away from becoming a nation, but he also travelled to the United…
Telling the stories of the history of the port of Charlottetown and the marine heritage of Northumberland Strait on Canada's East Coast. Winner of the Heritage Award from the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation and a Heritage Preservation Award from the City of Charlottetown