Friday, 17 November 2017

Cottage Life

I dream of a country cottage close to the sea.  It may not be thatched, but it would be perfect in a village location.  It would have a pretty garden filled with cottage garden plants ~ hollyhocks and roses amongst them.  

I may not have achieved my dream yet, but I can enjoy my English cottage in miniature.  There is a handy postbox just outside the gate too, so I will be able to post my letters and sit in the garden and watch the world go by.  

Thursday, 16 November 2017


English Robins are a favourite of mine.  I make the distinction between them and their North American cousins (though I'm not sure that they are even related) because, to me, they are the essence of Christmas.  I have several (as yet unopened) cross stitch kits which feature robins, but I decided to make this small bookmark first.

I actually stitched it during the summer, but I thought that I would wait and share it at a more appropriate time.  Just perfect for my Christmas reading.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Seeing Double

My latest knitting project is severely testing my patience.  I’m knitting a sheep scarf which is worked in the double knitting technique.

I won’t go into the technical details of working the chart, but will tell you that I’m working both sides together and I have to try to remember which colours go where.  This is supposed to be a Christmas gift for my nephew, but there is a long way to go and not much time...

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Air Force Heritage Park

I have passed this park many times, but it took me a while to actually go down with the camera on a recent sunny day and take some photos.  It is on the site of the former RCAF Base Summerside.

This base was constructed during the Second World War, between 1940-1941and became a training school for pilots and later, for navigators.

The base was renamed in 1968 and called Canadian Forces Base Summerside.  The Voodoo CF-101 was an all-weather interceptor aircraft, which was based in Atlantic Canada between 1962 and 1984.

In 1968, CFB Summerside became the base of 413 Transport and Rescue Squadron, with responsibility for the east coast of Canada.

The 880 Maritime Reconnaissance Squadron and the 420 Air Reserve Squadron moved to Summerside in 1981.  The Canadair Argus CP-107 was a reconnaissance anti-submarine bomber, which operated from 1957 to 1981.

The Grumann CP-121 Tracker was another anti-submarine aircraft which was based at Summerside.  In the history of this base, many other aircraft operated from here, including Lancasters.

 The flag of the Royal Canadian Air Force. 

The memorial to the bravery of the Search and Rescue Squadron. 

 It is an interesting park, which is beautifully maintained, and a fitting tribute to all who have served.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Dawn's Early Light

I must say that the sunrises have been fairly spectacular recently.  The change in the weather to these first days of winter has resulted in magnificent colours.

I was mesmerized by the dawn last week and paused to enjoy the display.

The sun slowly appeared in the east and the sky underwent a transformation.

I wasn’t feeling brave enough to venture outdoors in order to capture the moment, as it was -3 C at the time.

So my apologies about the reflection on some of these photos, which were taken through our living room window.  I think that a little bit of glare isn’t too high a price to pay for the beauty of the surroundings.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Thought For The Day - Part Two

Photo: CBC News
When you go home, tell them of us and say, for their tomorrow, we gave our today.

John Maxwell Edmonds

Saturday, 11 November 2017

For The Fallen

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.  
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning;
We will remember them.

Laurence Binyon
For The Fallen

Yesterday was the hundredth anniversary of the end of the Battle of Passchendaele, in which 16,000 Canadian troops were killed or wounded.
We carry the torch and honour their sacrifice.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Preserving Autumn

After our recent trip to the orchard, I searched online for a method of storing apples for later use.

I came across this post by Mennonite Girls Can Cook.  They recommend peeling and slicing the apples before placing them in a bowl of salted water.  Once they are all prepared, they are drained and then laid out on trays for the freezer.

Once froaen, they can be bagged and stored in the freezer until required.  The preparation went smoothly, with no evidence of browning.  

Now we can look forward to apple treats in the dark days of winter.  

Thursday, 9 November 2017

In The Garden

We had the bird bath outside and in position for quite a while before we had any visitors.  This little sparrow seemed to be enjoying it though.  It is quite deep for small birds, so we added a strategic rock close to the centre and they seem to like it.  The water level had gone down a bit too, which probably helped.  The sparrow was able to hop off the rock, splash about and then hop back on.  

It always makes me smile when I watch them enjoying a bath - they are like small children, as there is lots of splashing!

Elsewhere in the garden, we planted our first shrub.  There is little evidence that there has ever been anything planted in this garden, even though the house is 50 years' old.  We chose to plant Ilex 'Blue Prince'.  We would have added a princess, but they were out of stock, so it is on our list for next year.

 As the woman at the garden centre said when I spoke to her on the phone, 'We have a few boys, but we are out of girls!'

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

To The Orchard

Not long after we moved here, I discovered that there is a local orchard where the public can go and pick apples in season.  I made a mental note to add this to our 'things to do' after we talked to the woman at the fruit stand about the varieties they grow and when they are available to pick.  I was excited to learn that they grow my favourite eating apple, Cox's Orange Pippins, and Mr Candytuft's favourite, Golden Russets.

Like many things these days, the planned trip was postponed until the end of the month and we finally made it there on the last day of public picking.  We got directions and headed off to pick Golden Russets.  

At first, it seemed like the trees had all been picked over and there wasn't much fruit, but we found that if we walked further along the row of trees, there were still lots of apples.

We soon had quite a collection from these trees, though the upper boughs were laden, as they were completely out of reach (the public can only pick at ground level).

The yellow-gold foliage shimmered in the sunlight.

Sadly, there were no Cox's to pick.  It seems that they only have four trees and they were finished.  We were directed to the Cortland apple trees, after being informed that they are good for eating and also for baking.

These ruby red apples stood out in sharp contrast to the orange-gold foliage.  Many windfalls lay beneath the trees and the air was heady with the aroma of apples.

I don't think that I had ever tried Cortlands before, but they are less crisp than a Cox's and not as tart.

The orchard supplied the little red carts for harvesting, which certainly made the job easier and we quickly filled the bushel baskets.

On the way out of the orchard, we stopped for this photo opportunity.  The trees along the drive were dotted with similar characters, including a unicorn but, as the drive was narrow, I didn't have a chance to take any other photos.

Once home, I set to work and baked an apple crumble, which was delicious, as evidenced by the fact that it wasn't around long enough to take a photo!

Tuesday, 7 November 2017


I posted about this knitting project some time ago, but never managed to finish this post and it sat in my draft posts for ages.  The knitting is done and the final process in completing my shawl involved blocking, a process of washing the wool, then pinning it out to the right size and allowing it to dry.

I had the idea of taking a photo of my shawl down on the boardwalk, but the day that we took these photos was extremely windy.  Instead of an ‘on location’ photo shoot, it turned into a battle to hang onto the shawl and to keep my hair out of my eyes.  So much for knitting model glamour!

Monday, 6 November 2017

Chocolate Meringue Pie

Last week was Hallowe’en.  We don’t really celebrate it, but we do participate to the extent that we buy some sweet treats for callers.  Thankfully, there weren’t that many of them (around 20) and it was all over by 7.30.  

In fact, it started with the doorbell ringing, followed by loud hammering until I opened it, to find two ‘trick or treaters’ who just stood there holding their bags out - this before it was even dark - it was 5.20.  I suppose that they wanted to beat the rush and get the best pickings.  What concerned me the most is that these young boys (who looked about 8 or 9) appeared to be unaccompanied and were visiting the houses of complete strangers.  What were the parents thinking?  Did they even know that their offspring were walking the streets?

Anyway, it seemed only fitting that they shouldn’t be the only ones enjoying some chocolate at Hallowe’en, so I saved the good chocolate for us and baked a chocolate meringue pie with Green and Black’s 70% dark chocolate.  It was absolutely delicious.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Thought For The Day - Part One

‘Perhaps, the beginning is to say that nice things are going to happen
Until you make them happen.’

Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Secret Garden

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Friendship Park

A chance remark about a park in town led us to discover this little gem.

We were there just before the strong winds and rain brought down many of the leaves and berries.

The last colours of autumn were still visible on the trees,  The path offered shelter from some fairly strong winds.

We found a bird table and saw evidence of seed left to feed them.

The canopy looked glorious in the sunshine.

We saw less wildlife than on our usual walks along the boardwalk.

I was glad of the protection from the trees, as it was far too blustery to be on the more exposed path along the shore.  We will likely be back on those windier days, although Mr Candytuft prefers the other route!