Saturday, August 23, 2008

Hello Out There!

At last night's Artisan Evening, I discovered that David (sitting at our table) reads my blog - he was showing it to others at the table on his cellphone. He is the third person I've heard of in the last week that had stumbled across it when doing Google searches for Lockeport or one of the events on which I have commented.

We ran into Bevan last week outside the pharmacy and he reported that he enjoyed reading it . Then on Thursday we went to Fred's for a little golf and wine and cheese and he told me friends of his had been reading it (he has been mentioned) and he wanted to know how to access it.

So this post is to welcome all of you that I didn't (or still don't) know about - I hope it gives you a taste of life here in our lovely little town and area. I hope you don't get too bored when I digress into renovations and family junk.

Artisan Evening

Last night was the second annual Artisans' Evening at the Crescent Beach Centre. This event is a fund raiser for the CAP programme (computer access and training for those who otherwise couldn't afford it).

For the second year it was organized by Robin Atwood. A job well done again.

There were refreshments (tea, lemonade, cake, sandwiches), entertainment (Judi Cleveland) and all those who purchased tickets won a donated piece of original art by Nova Scotia craftsmen - many of them local. I received one of Judi's pen and ink sketches and Wayne won a mounted sunset photo of Crescent Beach by Peter Farrell. I would have loved to have won Donna Crosby's place mats which matched our new dining room paint accent colour but she assured me she had more of them so I intend to go and purchase some next week. They will also mix well with the placemats which Kris bought from Donna for me several years ago. (I guess that's part of the purpose of an Artisan Evening - good publicity for the artists)


When we first purchased our place in Lockeport our backyard was a very private place - across the back is Mac's garage, there are trees along the south side and the north side had the back of the pharmacy and bank, the Seacaps building (where the seniors met) and houses with fenced yards.

Unfortunately, the Seacaps building was not in good shape and after a couple of years was condemned and torn down. This left a spot which soon became a parking lot for those going to the post office and put our backyard on display to all - everyone knew when Wayne was cutting grass or chopping things down.

This week the town erected a spanking new wooden shed beside the pharmacy. I think it is to be used for storage of many items currently dumped out at Roods Head Park, but whatever its intended use I think it's lovely. It doesn't fill up all the space that the Seacaps building did but it does restore much of our backyard privacy.


Shelburne Writers' Festival

Last weekend was the first annual Shelburne Writers' Festival, organized by the Osprey Arts Centre and held in a variety of venues around Shelburne.

I had never attended a writers' festival before, although I had heard about some excellent ones in England from my friend Susie who is always open to new and interesting experiences and never reluctant to travel somewhere to try something new. So I decided I would participate at least a little and volunteered to do whatever might be needed done.

The programme covered 4 days and included book signings, an original play, readings by authors, a dramatic reading of a 100 year old book about canoeing and fishing in Shelburne County and an Open Mic session with criticism available from writers involved in the Festival.

My involvement was on Sunday - the last day of the Festival. I was to shepherd one of the writers, Stephanie Domet, who was acting as host of the various sessions all weekend. The Sunday sessions were to be held at 5 different venues - alas extremely windy conditions resulted in the outdoor sessions being moved to the Muir-Cox Warehouse Museum so I had little to do in seeing Stephanie got from place to place. I did a small amount of prep work for the snacks offered in the afternoon but that was really all that needed doing. However I could concentrate on enjoying myself which I did - thoroughly.

The first author was E. Alex Pierce (Cindy's sister) who read from her poem which is a work commissioned by the Shelburne County Arts Coucil. It is a work, almost a memoir, depicting growing up on the South Shore. The language and description were very evocative of childhood memories. It was a moving reading - Alex having both a theatre background and a current university teaching position really knows how to project her emotions with her voice.

Following Alex, Don Hannah read from 2 of his works - first a scene from a play depicting a conversation in the trenches of France during WWI and then a passage from his book "Ragged Islands". The writings were vastly different but both excellent entertainment. The book tells the story of a woman at the end of her life taking an imagined journey (walking with her dog) back to Ragged Islands (Lockeport) where she had lived most of her life.

For a change of pace, the readings switched to non-fiction. The author was Marq de Villiers who has produced 13 books to-date. He had read a passage from his book which is a history of the Blue-Nose schooner on Saturday and reprised a small section of that reading about navigational skills of sailors. This was as a contrast and comparison to a reading he then did from his book "Timbuktu" about the Tuareg navigating across the Sahara Desert. He also read from a book - A Dangerous World - about the many natural disasters our world experiences continually.

We proceeded to the Osprey to hear Peter Healey's dramatization of sections of the Tent Dwellers - educational and hilarious. Lee Keating then spoke about more modern experiences in canoeing in the Tobeatic Wilderness and read a few passages from his own book about canoeing.

Last on the agenda was an Open Mic session at the Yacht Club (with free pizza) for aspiring (and some published) authors.

A wonderful, enriching event - thank you to Darcy Rhyno and Susan Hoover for organizing it all! The impact of hearing an author read his own work is stunning - all the correct nuances and emphases and background explanations made even non-fiction entertaining. I hope this event is repeated annually.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Progress (sort of)

So far, this has been like all the other summers since 2002 for me, except that Wayne hasn't had to go back to Ottawa for work several times. Consequently, "we" (royal "we") are getting more work done on our renovations than "we" usually do. Whether it's progress is debatable when I look in the kitchen and see bare walls, pipes sticking through the floor, and a lone range. Most of the cupboards went to the dump already, the old drawers are stacked around the dining room holding cutlery etc and the rest of the excellent wood from them is waiting its turn to try and help bring up the level of the north end of the kitchen floor (which is about 2" below the south end). This of course is necessary so that when we do, hopefully, get new cupboards, they will be somewhat level - no hope of that right now!

Our lovely new wood stove arrived today and is sitting majestically on its new hearth - now we need the mason to come down from Bridgewater and cap our chimney and install the stove. The load of wood hasn't arrived yet so it's sort of a moot point right now anyway.