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.

Saturday 30 December 2017

Ice Breaker

We were on our way to the library yesterday when we decided to take a detour down to look at the harbour.  We spotted a ship and drove along to take a closer look.  It was the Canadian Coast Guard vessel Sir William Alexander, which was on ice-breaking duty.

MV Shoveler was requiring assistance to leave the ice-bound harbour.  We were not alone in stopping to see the action, as the car park adjacent to the port quickly filled up with passers-by who stopped to see the show. 

Here is a closer look at the Coast Guard vessel, which is also equipped with a helicopter, which is concealed under cover on the aft deck.

They came alongside the MV Shoveler before turning towards them, moving slowly and clearing the channel. 

We were taking it in turns to get out and take photos, as it was another very cold day, with strong winds coming off the bay. 

We didn’t wait around long enough to see the MV Shoveler leave port, but Mr Candytuft tracked it online as it headed out of the Northumberland Strait and under the Confederation Bridge to open water.

Wednesday 27 December 2017

The View From Here

This was the view from our window on the evening of Boxing Day.  It was a real winter sky: the weather turned cold again and we had snow on Christmas Day, though not as much as expected.
As we head towards New Year, the mercury is going to fall as that cold, arctic air heads in our direction.  It is definitely the weather for staying indoors and keeping warm.

Update: we went out this morning and the temperature was -18 C (bear in mind that this is the temperature of a domestic freezer).  It was extremely cold and windy: factor in the wind chill and the temperature felt like -28 C.

Sunday 24 December 2017

Christmas Eve

It is Christmas Eve.  The candles are lit and the tree lights are glowing.  Darkness falls and all is right with our little corner of the world.

I just love the candle lights in the windows.  They make our home look friendly and welcoming.

The Christmas cake is cut and tastes delicious.  Santa is on his way and should be heading down a chimney near you.

 All that is left is to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

 Peace and joy to all this Christmas time.  

Mince Pies

It wouldn't be Christmas without mince pies.  I remember a few years ago, when it was almost impossible to find mincemeat here.  I managed to buy a jar and set to work in my kitchen.  I used Nigella's pastry recipe and turned out two dozen.

I managed to take a photo before these ones were eaten and then put a few in the freezer before they were all gone.

Saturday 23 December 2017

Iced Christmas Cake

Our cake came out really well and, after weeks of feeding with brandy, it was ready to be iced.

The first stage was covering it in marzipan, which happened four days before I planned to ice it, to give the marzipan time to dry out a little and prevent the snowy white icing discolouring.

Royal icing was added and then the fun could begin.

I opted for a party atmosphere this year, as it feels like a time to celebrate.  After two very difficult years, I'm starting to see light at the end of the tunnel.

And to finish it off, a festive ribbon.  We will enjoy a slice on Christmas Eve, so I've had a couple of days to admire my finished cake, before we start demolishing it.

Friday 22 December 2017

Christmas Love

Christmas is the time to be with the ones you love.  This ornament was a gift from Mr Candytuft a few years ago.

Thursday 21 December 2017

Crafting Christmas

What does your tree say about you?  Mine reflects my interests - a knitting basket, complete with yarn and needles.
The snowman with the rolling pin for my love of baking (although my pastry skills are not perfect).

The mouse chef and gingerbread man, both with rolling pins.
And a collection of knitted sweaters, hats and mittens.

It would be nice to be cosy in one of these sweaters, as it is so cold here this week. 

And New...

I like to add a new ornament to our tree each year.  During the summer, we visited a garden centre and I found this one.  It is the perfect addition and looks sweet with our existing collction.  

Tuesday 19 December 2017

Old Friends...

The best thing about getting all of our Christmas ornaments out is that I discover lots of old favourites, which adorn the tree each year.  The English telephone box adorned with Christmas Robin brings back memories of shopping in York at the National Trust shop.

There are three snowmen - Joy has been my word for 2017, so this one has pride of place on our tree.

The second Christmas Robin atop a pillar box also came from York.

The gingerbread cottage actually came from a Christmas cracker. 

The Love snowman is the second of the trio and (below) the third is Peace.

What more could we wish for this Christmas?  Joy, peace and love.