Sunday, October 26, 2008


Ever since we bought our home in Lockeport (2002) and apparently a few years before that date, there have been nebulous plans to build a look-off for tourists (and locals too I guess) on our street which is high above the harbour and looks out toward our Provincially Registered Streetscape of 5 Locke historic homes on the east end of the harbour.

Our next door neighbour, Shirley, offered to put a bench across the street from her house 10 years ago for the use of visitors but the town told her that they were going to build a look-off themselves.

The tender was finally called about a month ago and this week the weeds, bushes etc. across the street were hacked down (the view is even more lovely now!). A bull dozer sits there expectantly awaiting Monday so hopefully the work will proceed quickly now. It would be nice if they thought to cut down all the Japanese knotweed ( the bamboo stuff) that conceals the view farther along the street and hides the tennis courts.

The board walk along the back harbour is also being extended 600 feet around the bend by the Beach Centre - part of the same tender. This will make the walking tour of town safer and more pleasant.

A Different Way of Life

Fall is glorious in Lockeport - great colours, lots of crisp clear days and reasonably warm - at least compared to Ottawa. The weather makes you want to go for walks in the woods and there are lots of very nice walking trails in this area of Nova Scotia to enjoy.

The problem is that this is also HUNTING season. Right now duck, moose and bow-and-arrow deer hunting, followed by regular deer hunting. And almost every male here - and many a woman - hunts. Fishing boats are tied up while owners hunt. (At least they actually are hunting for food to eat - not just pleasure).

This of course makes it incredibly stupid to go for walks in the woods or close to the shore (where there are ducks). So I'll learn to enjoy the Fall colours from the car. And walk around town and on the town beaches.


Eating our way through the Fall!

As this is our first time to stay in Lockeport more or less all year, we don't really know what to expect as the Fall and Winter progress.

So far, we are finding ourselves very busy - there have been some excellent performances at the Osprey in Shelburne and there seem to be community events, dinners and breakfasts galore at which to socialize. On Thanksgiving weekend, there were breakfasts at the Sandy Point and the Lockeport Legion on Saturday and Sunday (low cholesterol stuff like bacon, sausage, eggs, pancakes, beans, hash browns, toast and butter, coffee and cream). On the Tuesday, we attended a birthday party for a new friend and neighbour, Phoebe, who along with her husband Bill bought Ringers' house behind us. The party was at The Parrot's Pins and included sweet and sour haddock and a 4-layer lemon cake - a lovely meal as usual from Keith and Shelley.

On that Wednesday, we had a delicious seafood chowder dinner at Fred and Barbara's (and got a copy of her new cookbook - "Lockeport from Our Kitchen Window" - which is a fund-raiser for the Ragged Island Historical Society). The other guests were Rupert and Betty - a very nice evening filled with lots of interesting stories and discussion. As usual. we learned a lot of interesting history about the Lockeport area listening to long-time residents reminisce.

We had to feed ourselves for a couple of days, but then last Saturday we attended the Anglican parish bazaar at the Firehall to help Barbara and Fred with cookbook sales. After the auction started, we all took off together in Fred's car for a drive down the coast to Baccaro - enjoying the Fall colours that were left and the more open views along the coast. Afterwards, we returned to Fred's place to have terrific lobster rolls and LOTS of wine - a tough life but someone has to do it.

On Monday, was the event of the month - our wonderful plumber, Jerry Hemeon, moved back from Alberta and installed our kitchen sink, faucets and dishwasher - thank you Jerry!

We were also fed a bit on Monday - we went out to Herschel and Marian's to pick up the stands for our rug hooking display (which is currently showing at the McKay Library in Shelburne until November 1st) and to say good-bye for the winter as they returned to White Plains on Tuesday. Marian fed us a snack and gave us a couple of bags of green tomatoes from her huge garden. I made a green tomato pie on Friday which was delicious.

Now we are into community dinner mode - Thursday was a corned beef and cabbage dinner in Sable River, yesterday was ham, scalloped potatoes, beans and brown bread in Little Harbour. Also yesterday, at lunch time, I was in Sable River for the A.G.M. of the Women's Fishnet, which of course meant more food - sandwiches, squares, cookies etc. Wayne was in Shelburne playing 2 hockey games in the 55+ games followed by a "snack" of pizza, fried chicken and Pepsi. After the Little Harbour dinner, we drove out to Hemeon's Head enjoying the lovely weather and views and then returned to Lockeport in time to attend a wedding reception for our mayor, Darian Huskilson, and his bride Jenny who were married in Florida on Tuesday. More food - including lobster dip. A nice event for the entire town - probably 150 people showed up to wish the happy couple well.

Today, we have a creamed lobster supper in Sandy Point - tomorrow dinner guests here.

Remarkably, I haven't gained any weight yet. Of course I haven't lost any either.

27 Years

Last week we buried our old friend Tigger. He had been with us for over 17 years - he was almost 18 years old, coming to us as a stray of about 6-7 months old. He was the last of 4 remarkable cats that had been part of our family since Bob was a baby.

The first 2 were Annie (Anniversary) acquired from an ad on our wedding anniversary in November 1981 and Bonou (Minou), a gift from a woman with whom I worked at Indian and Northern Affairs in Terrasses de la Chaudiere in Hull. Chris was in grade 2 French Immersion and the cat in the primary reader series was Minou - thus our French cat had a French name - only little brothers couldn't say Minou so she became Bonou.

These 2 girls were constant companions although they really didn't like each other very much - Minou was outgoing and a friendly, in-your-face cat.
Annie was very reserved and stand-offish until the latter part of her life.

When Dan got his first paper route, one of his customers gave him a black kitten as a tip - this cat became Sammy Dumper (a traditional family cat name). He was immediately very unpopular with the older female cats who by this time were about 6 1/2 years old. Dumps had a great personality, a regal profile, and was always getting himself injured in some way or another.
Last of all came Tigger - he adopted us - perhaps noticing all the cats that lived at our house, in September 1991 he began to sit on our back steps in hopes of being fed - within a few weeks he had moved inside and joined the family.

Dumps and Tiggs became great friends and allies against the old girls - although Bonou was clearly the top cat, chasing any offenders away from food dishes when she felt it was her dinner time.
We lost the old girls at 18 1/2 in May 2000 - Minou went first and then Annie missed her old friend so much that she was gone too within about 2 weeks.

The black boys were with us for trips to Nova Scotia in the summer - we lost Dumps for 4 days the first time we brought them down - he went outside and disappeared. We wandered around town calling him, posted signs, answered phone calls but no luck. Wayne put in two cat doors and 4 days later the clever cat found them, came into the house in the middle of the night and appeared on top of me in bed as if to say "get up and feed me".

Dumps became very ill in the fall of 2004 and then there was just Tiggs left. He was very lonely and became a very cuddly cat in his old age. He even tolerated all the kisses, pats and hugs with which our grandson Will showered him.

We miss them all - a great set of pets who were all with us for remarkably long times. Goodbye, Tiggs - R.I.P. - I hope you are with your friends again.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Postscript to Hurricane Kyle

Crescent Beach is thoroughly covered in kelp and other seaweed brought ashore by the strong tides.

Not Just Desserts

Saturday night was the annual fundraiser for the Nautilus music series. This event started several years ago and is of the format of 2 local musicians (usually amateurs) performing classical music with an intermission dessert party with tea, coffee and donated desserts.

This year the performers were Marian Specter and Malcolm Bruce, both pianists. They performed an entire show of duets - a Mozart Sonata, an assortment of canon etudes and a couple of more modern tango pieces. As well, Marian did a running commentary about the composers and the works as well as teaching the audience about canons. Lisa Buchanan put in a brief appearance to lead the audience in a few rounds ("Row, Row, Row Your Boat" and "Amazing Grace") to get us into the canon mood.

The desserts offered were wonderful - donations from the chefs at Charlotte Lane and Lothar's plus many more provided by music lovers in the area. There were about 20 desserts with 90% of them chocolate - hard to choose! But very tasty!

There was a canon based quiz for a prize of a gift certificate to the Osprey - I actually got the answer correct but so did lots of other people so I didn't win the draw from the correct answer sheets. At least the winner was someone I know - the husband of one of my fellow hookers who is also the carpenter who built the display stands for our rug show. So a deserving guy.

All in all a very good evening of entertainment.