Market Day Saturday Saint-Flour

Good morning cat !......

I have a habit of doing various jobs then stumbling upon markets just as they are packing up.

After finding out from the office of Tourisme how to get to Clermont-Ferrand from here next Wednesday, I stumbled upon the market packing up. One day I’d love to take photos of faces, and baguettes, but it’s hard without a telephoto lens. You get caught!

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A goose, a turkey and a mouse of lamb

Saint-Flour, France


Interesting Facts:

- In France, a big man and a little man in clunky boots and overalls with reflective patches on them who ring the doorbell (which you didn’t know you had) loudly at some ungodly hour of the morning have come to do the annual water meter reading. This may not be obvious to you.

- What may not be an ungodly hour in the morning to water meter readers in France may indeed be an ungodly hour in the morning to tourists/visitors who have been enjoying reading late into the night and then sleeping in.

- Water meter readers speak a lot of French very quickly.

- When water meter readers are confronted with somebody who doesn’t appear to speak French, they speak even more French, even more quickly. It is possibly different French.

- When that fails, they try Latin. “Aqua!?...”

- Just let them in.

- The bit of the human brain that contains French wakes up about 20 minutes after the rest of it, i.e. 10 minutes after water meter readers have left.

- The bit of the human brain that contains Latin goes back to bed.



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In the evenings, next to the Hotel at the Place d’Armes in Saint-Flour, I’ve been hearing the exciting and evocative clanging of cowbells close by. It is not, as I discovered when I sat at a different table with a different view, a bit of local colour, agriculture or music. It is the shopkeeper rolling a rack of cowbells-for-purchase-by-tourists over the stone footpath into his shop at closing time.



A good walk from Saint-Flour takes you down out of the upper village and along the river.


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Beside the river there’s a farm where I could see sturdy pale cattle grazing and could hear their real cowbells clanging. A rooster was crowing in reply to each clang.

At the same time, as almost everywhere, technology wasn’t far away.




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Walking back, you can see the wisdom of perching your town on top of a cliff...by the time your attackers reach you, they’re pooped and want to take a shower.


If you order un café (a coffee) in the lower town before you start the long climb back up the hill, you get an espresso with a little tablet of chocolate. You can also ask for a caraffe of water (free). Very reviving. I don’t normally like coffee but so far here it’s been smooth and delicious and I can see why people enjoy it.



Dinner here is generally served after 7 or 7:30 pm. Tonight I walked the streets to fill in time and discovered corners I hadn’t noticed before,


then had a delicious meal of mouse of lamb (“souris” -turned out to be lamb shanks) and a most delicious mashed potato melded with cheese, and some rosé.






The view was absolutely breathtaking as the evening light changed.



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I found a beautiful curled hook as I began my walk today, which started me collecting curves (and a triangle or two).


......(These tiles are identical to those used by the Romans, which are on display in the Museum)

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I also came across some new neighbours...



saw French road kill...


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...and the cat.





Tonight I’m going to bed early!

How to look like you speak French...

Kitchen table, rue Sorel, Saint-Flour, Cantal, France


Last night, in the extremely comfortable bed, I read and went to sleep late, what a luxury, then slept and woke up late. Ditto.

View from the bed if your eyes are open

Breakfast was natural yoghurt (as found in nature, I guess), and a cup of tea made with water boiled on the little gas stove and steeped in a lemon yellow teapot, while I hung my washing on a rack in the sitting room window (The bathroom is underneath the kitchen, the kitchen is underneath the bedroom, the bedroom is underneath the sitting room, the sitting room is underneath the second bedroom, which is connected to the ankle bone...). The little washing machine did a lovely job last night, but whereas the instructions suggested hanging washing OUT of the window, I was a bit shy and hung my knickers and jeans on the rack on the INSIDE of the opened window. Call me a spoilsport, but I didn’t really want my underwear to feature in tourist photos of quaint Saint-Flour washing hanging out of quaint upper floor windows.

Incidentally, there are lots of tourists here, but just about all of them are French. Here are some photos of quaint upper floor windows which a tourist might take...............

My evening meal last night ended up looking at me (trout) while I tried to eavesdrop on my neighbours to improve my francais, only to have relatively rare Pommie (British) tourists at the next table. Serves me right. The view from the restaurant in the Hotel d’Europe was fantastic- countryside a sleep-tossed bedspread of hills and fields, villages and tufts of woodlands.

Today I needed people. I began the day (at noon) by sitting at the Hotel de Ville with a glass of Rose so I could access the internet there. A delightful little dog said bonjour.
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”Puce” likes having her derriere scratched and it makes her dance with her hind legs...”Puce” means “Flea”. I mentioned that I used to be a vet and her owners asked if she looked in good health. She’s overweight, but what could I say?...Yes, she looks in fine health....But she’s too fat, they said...What could I say? I don’t think they thought I was much of a vet.

I visited two museums and attached myself to a group in the Cathedral where the commentary and occasional banter between the dashing young male guide and fascinated middle-aged women was all in French. What a marvellous way to learn a language.
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Apparently a lot of VERY interesting and amazing things have happened during its history, and can be seen in its architecture (including the asymmetry of the front), but I’m not entirely clear what they were.

I brought with me a bunch of books (I take after my daughters...not much clothing but a stack of books) including a visual dictionary which is ridiculously heavy, and a delightful book which I’d recommend if you are ever going to France, or have ever been to France, or have ever heard of France. It is called “Pardon My French” by Charles Timoney. In it he tells of all the things he would like to have known before he made the move from the UK to the country of Napoleon and Champagne and Parisian drivers.

He warns that when you sit down in a restaurant, the waiter will immediately ask if you’d like an apero- a drink. If you ask for water, as I did yesterday, he warns that the waiter will, as quick as a flash, ask whether you want it sparkling or still (gazeous ou non-gazeous) completely ignoring the possibility that you might want free tap water. Which was exactly what happened last night, and do you think I could remember how to ask for tap water in time? Before I could get my act together (“un caraffe de l’eau” is the answer ) he had slapped a Vittel mineral water and glass onto the table and had whisked off the lid. Damn!!!! Too quick....but I’ll be ready next time.

Charles also tells us that you can order a half (demi) baguette (baguette) in your boulangerie (bakery) if there’s only one of you to eat it, as whatever you can’t manage to eat if you get a whole baguette will be as hard as a rock the next day. So tonight I did just that, and it worked. Nobody batted an eye. I felt like a local.

The fruit and vegetable shop and chocolaterie are tempting............................................ ...........


and the cafe/bookshop where you can sip coffee ( but not decaffeinated = “deca”) or tea and browse through the books is very comfortable (cafe/librarie)





How to look like you speak French:

A lot of French sounds are made with the lips pursed forwards (reminiscent of wine-tasting) , even though the sound itself is made somewhere in the back of the throat, like halfway through a yawn. So, tuck the local paper under your arm, purse your lips slightly, tilt your head a bit to the right, add a mildly sardonic smile, shrug the shoulder on the same side while spreading the hands palms forwards, and you will have had a completely intelligible conversation. Today I managed to not buy some meat, to not buy a skirt, and to not wait for the next tour all in perfect French while barely uttering a sound. So far I have only tilted my head to the right, the consequence of having a slightly pinched nerve, so I make no guarantees about tilting to the left. (It is much as in India where a little wobble of the head immediately breaks down the barriers, indicating that neither party is flummoxed by what is being negotiated and all will be sorted out, however the wobble is to the left and to the right so covers both directions)

If uttering a greeting, start at a relatively high pitch, and singsong your way down. BONjour madam flows downwards in three or four steps. If you are being friendly, or if you’re a shopkeeper with high hopes for this particular customer, it’s four steps down; if a bit pushy or making a point (that skirt is obviously not your size), the “madam” is all on one note, a good hike below the “bonjour”.

Note: To sound even more authentic, blow slightly over your back teeth while talking, much like a balloon slowly deflating. “Oui” (“yes”) becomes more like “wheee”. It works a treat. “Merci” ( Thank you) trails off at the end with a little gust of wind. Particularly useful for seeming authentic if “Oui” and “Merci” are the only words in your vocabulary.

The two museums nearby contain paintings, crockery, coins, swords, jewellery, musical instruments, bonnets, icons, flints, furniture, and much more. It is always poignant to see objects which have outlived their owners. These, by centuries. At home I have a pair of scissors on which is inscribed, “Not to be removed from the Rectory”. They belonged to my mother’s father who was a minister in the Church. He is gone now, as is she, and all of the people to whom the scissors belonged, and all of the people who might have borrowed them. And the rectory. But in my hand I can hold those very scissors, still asking to be returned.

Here the oldest artefacts are from the first century A.D. And they are all local.

Apparently, as soon as people figured out how to forge iron, they made jewellery in order to be more beautiful, and swords and arrows and axes in order to kill each other. The earliest gun had beautiful decorative bone inlay...clearly not owned by someone who expected to get shot.

There were two bows- one a crossbow which needed a winch to pull it into firing position, the other used to make music on a five stringed instrument. I wonder which came first?


Little toy wild boar to give to your hunter friends.




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And here’s the cat again, and some joyful “silverbeet” from the Tangled Garden in Nova Scotia because I left it out of the photos before.


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Little House in France, Saint-Flour

Kitchen table, Rue Sorel, Saint-Flour, Cantal, France

...........”My” little house- built about the time of the Revolution between the buttresses of a church...


The setting...................the market...................Trash and treasure here includes busts of Beethoven, Limoge vases, statuettes of Romulus and Remus.............................the shops..........................the neighbours......................................


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I believe that when what you expect doesn’t happen, then something new can happen instead. Lots of new stuff happened since I left Nova Scotia!

Half way across the Atlantic realised that I hadn’t filled the rental car with gas before returning it and that I’d probably paid a bomb because of it. Today I found the key to my room at Canning still in my Jeans pocket! Oops.

Several people I know hate Heathrow Airport (near London), but I actually enjoyed it. Flying over London : red rooves and nicely behaved parallel and right angled roads and town-houses with neighbours side-by-side-by-side, meandering brown River Thames , London Eye (which I haven’t figured out yet) , bridges, parks, the odd palace.

At the airport I had to get to Terminal 5 and I had to take a TRAIN to get there! It was free, not hard to get to, a nuisance not being able to continue with the trolley my bags were stacked on, but a hoot as we were warned to “Hang On!!!” before it lurched hysterically into motion. The trip took 4 minutes, according to the (necessarily) short film that was played to us, in which a very friendly and nicely dressed young man who seemed truly chuffed about the train we were on, suggested we check the safety procedures on the card in the pocket on the seat in front of us then showed us a quick Creature Comforts video. There was hardly time enough to read the card let alone have an emergency.

Once at Terminal 5 I managed to grab a seat and lie down for a bit of sleep while I waited to find out what gate the flight to Paris would leave from.

B25...it would take 10 minutes to get to A gates, 15 to B gates, 20 to C gates. And the gates were only announced 40 minutes before the flight was due to take off...so off I dashed...to discover it would require a lift and a train to get to the gate! No film, but we arrived with lots of time to spare.

I had managed a meal and enjoyed hearing the British accents all around- it felt like I was in The Bill, or Dr Who.

Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport looked relatively shabby after the flashily upgraded Heathrow and aspiring flashily upgraded Halifax. Luggage collected, I looked for the Navette (shuttle) promised on the Hotel internet site. I got to practise my French quite a bit as I discovered there was no such thing. I would learn that the shuttle only takes people TO the airport. Bus into the Gare de Lyon (Rail Station) where I haphazardly made my way to the Hotel by an unintentionally circuitous route (as my French improves, the distances when I follow directions will shorten)- smaller backpack on my back, one wheeled backpack and one suitcase rolling along behind...my computer’s teeth were rattling...over picturesque cobblestones...with a few updated directions sought along the way. The shuttle would have known where to go!

Small, claustrophobic, functional hotel room. Dinner at a sidewalk cafe sipping Semillon. Two Semillons! (Do two Semillons make one Llon?)

Next day back to Gare de Lyon to catch my train south. I didn’t quite understand directions at first but found the platform and train and my seat. I felt utterly happy and comfortable. Until the two charming women pointed out that I was in their seat. Right seat, right car, right day, wrong month! My ticket had been issued for September instead of August!!!!

Found le Conducteur who eventually found me a new seat, The silver lining, it was facing forward and the original seat had been facing backwards...but for an extra 15 Euros!

We reached Claremont-Ferrand (I LOVED the countryside and villages and wonderful fairytale houses along the way) where the rest of the journey would be completed by bus, but by the time I discovered where the bus left from, I’d missed it. No matter, my ticket was re-issued for a train AND bus later that day.

I learned how to get Madeleines (special French pastry) from a vending machine, how to get money from a teller machine enclosed in a locked glass booth, how to Compost (stamp) a rail ticket (I have no idea why), how to discuss tipping and Australia with a man at the next table (Australia is a rich country, non? Interesting question...) and how to use an automatic toilet: First you surreptitiously watch for as long as it takes to have watched enough others figure it out to have some idea what to do.
Next, you approach the booth cautiously, and insert 50 centimes. You are allowed in, do whatever you need to do (even with all of your bags squeezed and stacked in with you), then turn around (even with all of your bags squeezed and stacked in with you)(if you’re a girl, boys are probably already facing the right way) and insert your hands into a cubby-hole into which water flows to wash them (the French are always on about “Wash your hands”) then, miraculously you aren’t electrocuted with your luggage as hot air now issues with Boeing gusto from the cubby-hole and with which you dry your hands. The interior of the booth is all metal. A sign tells you that you have 15 minutes maximum. And if one were to exceed that time? Once you exit and close the door behind you, there’s an almighty swooshing and churning and sucking as the booth hoses itself out. Presumably, after 15 minutes, it hoses itself out whether you’re still in there or not.

The train I had been waiting for arrived. I was to change to the bus at Massiac. Halfway there, we were told that the train would now terminate (it always worries me when they say that...) and there was now a bus to take me to my bus. The longer this journey went on, the smaller segments it was breaking into and the more vehicles I was requiring.

The flat cultivated countryside with patchwork fields and dotted higglety-pigglety villages had changed into rolling hills as the first bus headed south. My bag had been pushed by other bags into some nether regions and I wondered at one point if the driver actually believed me that it was there when it was time to change to the “car” (bus) to Saint-Flour. This final (I hoped) bus chugged and climbed up the highway to the highest village in France, Saint-Flour, where umbrellas were once made.

I asked if I could get a taxi from the now defunct rail station bus terminal to the upper city where my little house is...and the driver said he’d take me there! Once at the Ville Haute (Upper city) he showed me where to go on my little map, so with a “Merci”, off I trundled, my various wheels bumping over the picturesque cobblestones again, several confusions and back-tracking, then there it was, in front of me! Little window boxes full of geraniums, and a baguette and bottle of red wine on the table!

Today, all in French, I wandered, ate at a restaurant, didn’t buy a little marble head of a cow, had a tiny delicious coffee and connected to the internet, bought the local paper and carried it under my arm, eavesdropped on conversations and chatted slightly with two women commenting on the infantile behaviour of the young lad on the noisy dirt-bike racing around the narrow streets. I also believe I now know how to get a new SIM card for my phone and prepaid credit for when I hire a car and need to be prepared for emergencies. At least, that’s what I believe...it WAS in French...time for an evening meal.

Ah, bonjour France!..................................................................

Tangled Garden

Halifax International Airport

It’s 6:05 pm - five hours before I have to board my flight to London.

I drove my rental car around as much as I could to fill in time today,
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but in the end decided to return it ........ and hang out at the airport. I had the GPS on for company, like a slightly obsessive companion wanting to catch a flight and telling me in a good-humoured but insistent manner how to get back to the airport at every turn. I deviated in various interesting directions. Even following road signs, I ended up in a field of corn; when the grass on the track was more prominent than the track, I decided it was time to do a twelve-point turn.

Dairy farms, red barns, muscley beef cattle grazing, white plastic shrouded round bales like so many fat peppermints, and a surprising cafe on a deserted elbow.

I stopped at a lovely spot called the Tangled Garden.............................................................Self portrait in a garden


Wicker edging to the kitchen gardens


reminded me of the same woven edging surrounding hidden herb gardens in a monastary in southern France which I visited last year with my niece.



So, farewell to Canada, and onwards I venture. The big question: Will security let my almost empty toothpaste tube through?

Produce, pups and packing for Paris

Canning, Nova Scotia, Canada


I’m about to pack up for my journey to Paris tomorrow.

Today I drove into Wolfville where, appropriately enough, there seemed to be dogs everywhere I turned visiting the Farmers Market.


FARMERS MARKET




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SUPERMARKET





Incidentally, I mentioned to a friend that the main problem I had when driving here wasn’t keeping on the right hand side of the road, but remembering not to drive too far with the handbrake on. She asked, wasn’t there a little light telling me it was on?

Not that I’d noticed...

Well, I solved it. A little sign kept lighting up ...”Traction On”. Well, to me, traction is a good thing. Of course I wanted traction. Who wouldn’t want traction? Why did the car feel it had to point out that its traction was on? I mean, if its traction was off, wouldn’t it just stand there with its wheels spinning?

OK, so Traction means handbrake. OK.

Juggling cockatoos

Canning, Nova Scotia, Canada


Today I tried to get ahead with some work, including illustrating a piece teaching kids how to juggle, using “hand A” and “hand B”, “ball 1” and “ball 2” and “point X” , all demonstrated by a cockatoo and a pygmy possum.

I took my computer and graphics tablet with me to a local cafe which I hadn’t tried before. It is gorgeous,

and is half restaurant and half art shop. I may get some paints and a little artist’s notebook tomorrow...

.......reminiscent of a shop in Annapolis Royal which is half bookshop and half leatherwear!

I had forgotten to bring my stylus to the cafe which I needed in order to be able to use the graphics tablet to do drawings, so left my computer on the table and dashed back to the B&B. Wouldn’t do that in many places! I hadn’t paid for my coffee yet but I guess they trusted me to come back...I hadn’t been able to find the stylus I’d been using earlier in the kitchen at the B&B (the only place I can get an internet connection) so had to use my spare. Later I searched for the original in my handbag
and under the bed...it was behind the bookcase. Phew!!!!

Annapolis Valley from the Look Off






Self portraits...Gallery...Cafe

Sculptures, Tips and Chowders

Mostly I worked today - I had a deadline to meet for two cartoons which I had suddenly remembered yesterday afternoon. It was lovely working while swinging in the seat on the front verandah. Yes, I made the deadline.




I drove into Wolfville which is a lovely old university town. I managed to find a parking space where I wouldn’t have to parallel park. I wonder if I can do this whole trip avoiding parallel parking on the right? I always seem to be crooked when I park here. Even if there’s nobody for miles. Also, the horizon in Nova Scotia is generally on a tilt. It’s quite interesting...it isn’t noticeable until you look at my photos and in them the horizon definitely tilts down to the right...Bay of Fundy tidal effect I suspect.
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For lunch I had seafood chowder at a Nova Scotian Irish Pub. It tasted great, even after I found the hair in it. I mentioned the hair to my waitress when she came to take the bowl away, saying that I don’t expect to die from it so not to worry, but I thought they’d like to figure our how it got there. She asked me to describe the hair (male, about six foot two, sunglasses, grey tracksuit with a logo on the back, slight limp...have I read too many detective novels?) Can’t say I had paid too much attention to it, and it was covered with chowder so was pretty well white, but I guess was about this long, and originally dark.





She brought the bill and only charged me half. Nice. Although I tipped her according to the whole amount .

I HATE tipping. I get the bill, and if I’m paying by credit card I take it to the till where I hope that they’ll take a signature rather than needing a PIN which I forgot to remember, and where various employees stand breathing down my neck as I try to figure out, in front of them, how much the wretched 15% tip should be (making sure not to include tax in the amount 15% of which the tip should be) and how much that is when you add it to the total. Sometimes my brain does a complete freeze.

I wish the service industries paid adequate wages so that people didn’t depend upon me being able to do multiplication (or division - I’m a bit hazy). Silly that you, the waitress, get paid more if somebody orders lobster than if they order haddock. You still have to carry one plate.

Sculpture

Ontario............................................................................................Nova Scotia
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Life, Pillows and Home

Canning, Nova Scotia, Canada

B&Bs are great for meeting really interesting people and having scintillating breakfast conversation. Yesterday’s conversation...Hurricane Katrina and why and how and the construction of dykes here around Canning (!!! a lot of this land has been reclaimed by dykes made of sod built up over the centuries) and levies there (New Orleans) and what has happened since; distributing aid money to various countries; building schools in northern India and Nepal; food banks and poverty in Nova Scotia.

Today’s conversation - making big life changes; finding a man; strong women in their fifties; strong women in their fifties making those big life changes and looking for those men.

There are four main ways to find a man...but she forgot the first...what if that’s the one that works? Like forgetting the punchline of a joke...What if somebody doesn’t want to buy the most expensive tickets to a baseball game or pretend to have a 1966 blue Mustang for sale? What if she gets the man but he’s always away at baseball games in his 1966 blue Mustang?

My thoughts about life- coming to know that we have a little toolkit that will have the appropriate gear to deal with whatever comes up, so we learn that we don’t need to control and predict and be prepared for every eventuality because whatever happens, we’ll be able to find what we need to deal with it at the time.

I had a great clown teacher who couldn’t live by the most profound thing I learned from him- that if what you expect and plan for doesn’t happen, something new will happen that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. You can embrace the new and step into it like an stumbled-upon secret garden, or be completely unable to see it because your focus is backwards on the thing that didn’t happen.

When I arrived in Canning, the room I’d booked wasn’t available for the first night so I was upgraded to one with a BIGGER bed. It had six pillows.
I have never seen a bed with six pillows before.
In respect for my hosts, I diligently did my very best but had an extremely difficult time trying to use all of them during the course of the night as I can only handle one pillow at a time. I’ve now been moved to a room with four pillows and am getting 33.3% more sleep.

I met up with some friends and joined them for supper at their friends’ house. The chap used to make chairs so I sneaked a photo of his handiwork.He now makes wine and radio-controlled model aircraft (he’s with a group with their own little radio-controlled airport), and has restored a 100 year old pool table with real ivory balls and the original leather pockets. The surface is green baize material (see MANY Agatha Christie books and descriptions of doors)(now I know what she meant) over slabs of slate. Did you know that? I’m glad I didn’t as I stood in the workshop underneath the timber floor that’s supporting its monstrous weight.

Speaking of radio-controlled- I’m reminded of how bemused I was when I first heard of electronic whiteboards- what could it POSSIBLY be electronic about a whiteboard? Like electronic soap, or seat cushions...now I wonder about the chap integrating his skills and creating radio-controlled chairs...

Today I went to Hall’s Harbour
The sand on the beach is of a roughish nature

I visited a little house for sale, built in 1825. Absolutely enchanting, and I loved it,
but is it the home I’m looking for...what is“home”?...




I’m now working in the dining room of the Inn because the elderly house here doesn’t believe in wireless internet and so it makes sure that the signal drops out if I step across the doorsill of my sweet suite. Never mind...

Time to think up some cartoons for sending tomorrow...

My GPS and me...

I took three driving lessons in Ottawa a couple of weeks ago to prepare me for driving a manual transmission car on an unusual side of the road in France. The lessons paid off ("At no time did I fear for my life" were the parting words of my instructor...) as I've hired a car here in Nova Scotia and am loving it. I'm also loving confusing my GPS (which turns out to be all it's good for here). The Australian chap whose voice I started out with gets a bit annoyed at times but is generally better natured than the British woman I tried for a bit- she was taking it far too seriously. The Aussie bloke has attempted a bit of payback for me not taking turns he's suggesting by trying to run me into a quarry and across fields, and the car beeped at me in a baldly rude fashion when I tried to stop it from being alarmed that I was opening the boot...but all in all we're keeping each other amused.

Halfway 'round the world

A bit of a gap since my last entry but I’m up and running again. I was planning for and then setting out on a trip around the world and am writing from a B&B in Canning, Nova Scotia, on the east coast of Canada.
So far travelling with my graphics tablet (4 x 6 Intuos 3) and laptop is working well, except PainterX still doesn’t like running on the latest Mac operating system.

The story so far...

I said good bye to my house

then flew to Vancouver for a good sleep.

I had week in Toronto with my brother where the gardens were beautiful,


I fell in love with a bicycle (but couldn’t fit it in my bag)
and raccoons visited in the middle of the night.



The next week I was in a B&B in Ottawa and had a chance to speak French with my hostess. Their garden on the river was delightful.


I love visiting the Ottawa Byward Market- I once worked in a butcher shop there for a month- there was sawdust on the floor.

This bear was dancing between some buildings.





The sentry outside Canada’s Governor General’s house is always eye catching and a bit exciting to me.


I took the walk I used to take summer and winter with the dogs when I was growing up in Ottawa.




Next thing I knew I was in Annapolis Royal in Nova Scotia, looking across the river to tiny wooden houses and a little white church.


I explored along the Annapolis River and found a small stark house, completely isolated on a hill overlooking the Bay of Fundy where the world’s biggest tides put on a show twice every day. As I watched, a finger of dense fog rolled in across the bay. At Annapolis Royal you can see the only Tidal Power Generator in North America.


The host at my B&B is a chef and the ingredients for the beautiful meals he prepares are mostly from their Mr McGregor “organically grown” garden.


Blueberries were ripening and delicious!!!



Did I mention the tides are big?...


Houses here are generally timber, usually white or pale yellow or blue with white trim, and the older ones have elaborate timber decoration. When doing a search for real estate, one criterion you can use is “Houses greater than 100 years old” and there are still lots to look at. Annapolis Royal is 403 years old.




The various little harbours are fascinating and it would be interesting to be around at the time of day when they’re working to get a glimpse into a way of life centuries old. I keep finding the curves and colours and textures arresting.





I explored backroads...




dined in a Harbourville cafe

had fun teasing my GPS as I meandered through the Annapolis Valley countryside (“Re-calculating...re-calculating...”)



and had a wonderful time chatting with the artists who were involved with “Paint the Town” in Annapolis Royal over this past weekend.



I love colour!


In the evening paintings were noisily silently auctioned and following tension mounting to the six o’clock deadline people queued to pay for their “wins”.


Time for me to vacate the B&B
(Croft House- beautiful)

and wave good bye.







Tonight I write from Canning. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.