Saturday, 20 January 2018

Unravelling


There are times when life gets complicated and then it all unravels.  A bit like this knitting.  I made this vintage jacket two years ago and posted about it here.  At the time, I was going through an incredibly stressful period of my life and I think that this was reflected in my knitting, which was far too tight.  Needless to say, I was lazy about knitting a gauge swatch and the garment didn’t come out well.  I threw it in a drawer and left it there until I moved it to make space for something else.  A couple of times, I thought about sending it to the charity shop, but the yarn was beautiful and I didn’t want to part with it.


I was chatting to my Mum last weekend and we talked about knitting and other projects.  I mentioned that I had this jacket and I should do something with it.  The call ended and I decided to stop procrastinating and do so.  Out came the stitch ripper and I took my confidence in both hands and started taking the jacket apart.  The process was hugely satisfying: it felt like I was unravelling all of the stress that went into that knitting and putting the past behind me in the process.

I did fairly well, only accidentally cutting a couple of stitches.  I soon had seven balls of yarn in various sizes, which I then wound into hanks.  For the non-knitters amongst you, I had to do this in order to wash the yarn to remove the kinks - Mr Candytuft described this as ‘decrinklating’.  He’s good at making up words.

It is actually quite a lengthy process as it takes quite a while for hand-washed hanks of yarn to dry, but they did so within a couple of days.  I finally finished winding the yarn back into balls this morning.

I now have a new project on my needles, which I will save for another post.  It is only in the very early stages, but already shows promise.



Friday, 19 January 2018

After The Storm


We woke to another 20-30 cm of snow yesterday.  It already seems like a long winter.


This was our car on the drive.  Just in case you wondered, there are no front number plates here in PEI.
 

Digging out actually wasn’t that difficult because the snow was the light, fluffy (though slightly wet) sort, as opposed to that heavy lead-like stuff we got last time.


The day was extremely overcast, verging on misty, so not ideal for photos.


But it still looked pretty on the trees. 


 This is me, outdoors in waterproof trousers and boots, all ready to start digging.


And finally, the view from our back deck.  I know that it looks pretty, but I would be quite happy if it all melted overnight (not that that is going to happen, as there is more forecast for tomorrow).

Saturday, 13 January 2018

When Life Gives You Lemons...


Just before Christmas, I found Meyer lemons for sale.  As they make the most delicious lemon curd, I bought a bag.  


The taste of lemon curd transports me back to childhood, as my Mum used to give me toast and lemon curd.


This recipe didn’t make much, but it was certainly worth the effort.


Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Winter Drive


Our trip to Cavendish before New Year involved an interesting drive.  Once we left the main highway, we passed through New London and stopped briefly near St John’s Presbyterian Churh.  It is certainly an imposing building.  As it was cold, we didn’t get out of the car for a closer look.


We passed a frozen bay with houses dotted along the shore.


The roads were icy, as I mentioned in my previous post.  Driving in such conditions is challenging, to say the least.


 They were also snow-covered in places.


We were looking for Green Gables, but somehow managed to miss the turning, as it was not well signed. 


Instead, we headed down into North Rustico, with the intention of finding somewhere safe to turn before retracing our steps.
 

We discovered fishermen’s huts adjacent to the shore.


 Neatly stacked lobster pots lined up outside.


One hut stood out with its bright red door and fishing buoy decorations.


This is the fish market.

 

And all of the boats hauled out for the winter.


Back on the highway, I snapped a photo of this church, but I’m not exactly sure where it is.


 Looking out across the ice.
 

And snow-covered fields in a winter landscape.


It was lovely to get out and see something of the countryside, but we were glad to return home to the warm and a cup of Yorkshire Gold.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Our Morning Walk


Thursday morning offered an unexpected opportunity to go for a walk by the harbourfront.  It was minus 2C, so considerably milder than of late, although the wind was still cold.


The harboourfront looks very different in winter.  Last August, I posted about this same walk here.  Now, the harbour is all frozen and ice extends almost around the entire island.  I read in the paper that this is unusual for so early in the winter, but we have been experiencing some extremely cold weather.  


     The lighthouse stands out as the only bit of colour on an otherwise drab landscape.  We pass this about ten minutes into our walk, so it also marks ten minutes to the car on our return.  Although part of the boardwalk is visible in the photo, it does not receive winter maintenance, so we walk on the adjacent path, which is a bicycle route in the summer.



 No one is using the shelter on this day - in milder conditions, it is a popular spot for people to sit and chat, or enjoy their coffee.

 

There are still a few birds about, but they are less visible when it is cold.  We did spot chickadees darting about, but they were too fast for me to capture a photo.

   
The end of the trail and the frozen harbour beyond.  Off to the left (out of the photo), the Confederation Bridge was barely discernible in the distance.

   
 Winter walks are full of black, white and shades of grey, as in the trees by the shoreline.

  
  A frozen stream, where we watched the muskrats playing only a few weeks ago.
   
   
There were footprints in the snow.  Could this have been the muskrats leaving the warmth and safety of their den and looking for food?


Quite a few people are still leaving seed and peanuts out and we saw one grateful squirrel having his fill.

Since drafting this post, the weather has become brutal.  We were out yesterday doing a couple of errands and it was minus 18C with a wind chill of minus 33C.  It is difficult to describe these temperatures to those who have not experienced them.  All that I can tell you is that being outside longer than a minute or two is more than enough!  As the wind chill remains below minus 30 today, we have opted to remain indoors.

Friday, 5 January 2018

Happy New Year


The New Year has arrived and 2018 is underway.  A chocolate log was requested by Mr Candytuft, so I baked this one, though we had probably already had too much dessert over Christmas (I’ve stashed some of this in the freezer for another time).   


The tree has come down and the ornaments put away.  Life isn’t quite back to normal, mainly due to the weather with a major winter storm in the last day and a half.  We’ve been digging out today and it was hard work, as we had heavy, wet snow which felt like shovelling lead weights.  The residue of the storm resulted in winds which were so strong that we could barely stand up outside, due to 100 km/hour gusts.  What with the winds, and the ice underfoot, it made clearing up extremely hazardous.  With the mercury due to plummet tonight, we needed to clear up as much as possible.  

I read today that the Island is almost completely surrounded by ice, which is unusual for this early in the season.  In places it is about 30 cm thick.  It could be a long winter.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year and all the best for 2018.
   

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Green Gables In Winter


When I told people that we were moving to Prince Edward Island, the usual response was, ‘Wasn’t that the setting for Anne of Green Gables?’  Even before we moved here, I had decided that I wanted to see this house, which is known throughout the world as the home of the strong-willed, red-haired orphan girl, who comes to live here with Aunt Marilla.  She may be a fictional character, but she has been a part of people’s childhoods for generations.  This house attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.


When the morning dawned bright and sunny, but still cold, it seemed a good opportunity to go out and do some sightseeing and I suggested that we head to Cavendish and visit Green Gables Heritage Place.  Although the house is closed in winter, the park is still open and I was able to walk in and look around - Mr Candytuft decided to wait in the nice, warm car - it was -11 C and felt like -19 C with the wind chill.


The approach to the house is along a track from the park entrance and I had the place to myself.  There was one other woman taking photos, but she was leaving as I arrived.


Once I left the track, I was wading about in the snow and descended the slope from the front of the house cautiously, as I was unsure of the terrain.


 Past the barn and down the slope to a footbridge, which leads to the Haunted Wood Tail.


The post and beam bridge was topped with snow and bright red berries were visible on bare stems of the shrubs.
 
 

I liked the contrast between the brightness of the berries and the pristine white snow. 


 Retracing my steps across the bridge, I walked back up the slope towards the house.


 I took a few minutes to admire the snow on the trees and the benches of the picnic area.


I love seeing the trees with their dusting of snow, which looks like icing sugar.


 I saw a sign for the Balsam Hollow Trail, but didn’t venture down it, as I was alone and did not want to risk a fall, but also because it was very cold.


Looking at the Parks’ Canada website later, it seems that this leads to a boardwalk and the whole trail is actually less than a kilometre.   When I see signs for trails, I always expect them to be longer, but I imagine that the majority of tourists who visit are not interested in going for a hike!


I turned back towards the house and captured this picture of the house, the snow and the long shadows cast by the trees with the sun low in the sky at this time of year.


 Beyond the house, there are two barns, which form the outer perimeter of the farmyard.


It really was a beautiful day to be out, but I was relieved to be heading back to the warmth of the car and home.  My fingers were going numb with the cold, as I had to remove my gloves in order to use the camera.


My final view of Green Gables Heritage Place as I retraced my steps.  I think it is likely that I will visit again during the season to see what it is like in the spring, but I hope that I can time my visit so that it is quiet and not packed with tourists.




‘Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think.  It’s splendid to find out that there are so many of them in the world.’

Anne of Green Gables
L M Montgomery

This post is dedicated to all Anne of Green Gables fans who read my blog.  If you would like to see more photos, visit this website.