Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Hanging Out to Dry

I finally got around to printing my linocut Christmas Cards..... usually it's done, and they are in the mail long before this. But we have had postal strikes er... I mean labour interruptions here in Canada so I'm going to use it as my excuse.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Wandering in St Johns

The Anglican Cathedral of St John the Baptist stands at 16 Church Hill in the city of St Johns, Newfoundland. There's a small entrance on Gower Street between Church Hill and Cathedral Street. That's the entrance I used when I went in to look at the inside.

The Cathedral is the mother church of the Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador.
This is the main entrance on Church Hill. And this is where you would go to meet up with the St Johns Haunted Hike.
 As you can see, Cathedral Street is pretty steep.
This parish was founded in 1699. At least six wooden churches have stood on this site, destroyed by accidental fire, military operations or the rigorous Newfoundland weather. And before the churches, the land was used for public hangings up to the 1750s. The first stone church was begun in 1843, but only got as far as the cornerstone being laid. The present Cathedral was begun in 1847. The Nave was built 1847-1850, and served as the whole cathedral for the next 35 years, when the Chancel, Transepts and Sanctuary were added 1880-1885.
The Great Fire of 1892 caused extensive damage to the Cathedral and destroyed most of the town, leaving 11,000 people homeless. The roof timbers ignited causing the roof to collapse, and bringing the walls down with it. The heat melted the lead in all the stained glass windows except one, which can be seen in the Sacristy. The Cathedral was restored 1893-1905.
Looking towards the Cathedral from the back of the Masonic Hall, the red brick building on the right. These photos were taken in July sunshine. I think there would be some snowflakes flying today!

Monday, 3 December 2018

Get Happy!

Found on the wall of a coffee shop in the little town of Schomberg, Ontario.

And some very good advice....

Friday, 30 November 2018


Well, blow me down with a feather, I sold a painting!
The art group that I paint with, AAP Collective, has an exhibition in the front lobby of a local theatre until early January.... I posted about it here.
I don't suppose many people actually shop for art when going to the theatre, but this person did!
And this is what he (or she!) bought.

I am gobsmacked! Totally amazed.

Friday, 23 November 2018

More Shipping

More of the ships in the harbour at St Johns.

ATLANTIC KINGFISHER is an 80m long offshore supply ship built in 2002 by Irving Shipbuilding, Halifax.  Mostly delivering supplies and personnel to the rigs in the White Rose Field. The Pilot boat will escort all shipping in and out of the narrow mouth of the harbour.

MAERSK DISPATCHER is an 90m long offshore supply ship built in 2005 in Chile. Canada and Chile have a free trade agreement, which favours shipbuilding there due to lower labour costs.

TIDEWATER ENABLER is an multifunctional offshore supply ship built in 2010 in Norway. The cost? About $63 million. The vessel features a 100-tonne/2,000-meter subsea crane, can house two working-class ROVs (remotely operated underwater vehicle), has a large deck space of more than 900 square meters, and provides the largest offshore accommodation capacity available.
TIDEWATER ENABLER was in harbour preparing to take part in the recovery of oil from the paper boat MANOLIS L which was leaking oil after it sank in 1985. 
If you want to know more about how the oil was recovered from the wreck of the MANOLIS L, it's here, here and here.

Reflection of the TIDEWATER ENABLER helipad in a nearby office tower.

The harbour at night. There's always something happening out on the water, ships arriving and leaving.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Safe Harbour

I spent a week in my favourite city of St Johns, Newfoundland, in the summer. Where's that, you are asking? Newfoundland is the big island on the east coast of Canada, the most easterly tip of land jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean. Rocks, cliffs, seabirds, fish, boats, icebergs in the spring, friendly people.
St Johns is the largest city on the island, and is the capital city of the Canadian Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. It's one of North America's oldest European settlements with fishermen setting up seasonal camps in the 16th century. It has hilly streets, colourful houses, stunning scenery and a working harbour.

ATLANTIC RAVEN is an offshore supply ship, and has been used ferrying supplies and personnel to the offshore drilling rigs out on the Grand Banks. She is soon to be moved to the west coast of Canada where she will take up a new role as a coast guard emergency towing vessel. She will be repainted in the red and white of Canadian Coastguard vessels.
ATLANTIC RAVEN will join the ATLANTIC EAGLE which is already in Victoria. Built in 1999 in Denmark. All the Atlantic fleet have bird names.
Another of the Atlantic offshore supply ships.  When I first visited St Johns, I could explore the harbour at the water's edge, but now you see high fences keeping the public away from the shipping. Security. Necessary these days.

HMCS St. John's is a Halifax-class frigate that has served in the Canadian Forces and the Royal Canadian Navy since her commissioning in 1996. She is the eleventh of twelve ships in her class which is based on the Canadian Patrol Frigate Project
St. John's serves on Canadian Armed Forces missions protecting Canada's sovereignty in the Atlantic Ocean and enforcing Canadian laws in its territorial sea and exclusive economic zone

St. John's has been deployed on missions throughout the Atlantic Ocean, to the Indian Ocean; specifically the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea on anti-terrorism operations, to the north as far as Grise Fjord and to the Caribbean where she played a role in helping to stop the flow of illicit drugs to North America. She is assigned to Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT) and her home port is in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

MAERSK CUTTER is an offshore anchor handling tug supply vessel (AHTS) based in St Johns. She was built in 2015 in Santiago, Chile and is currently sailing under the flag of Canada. 

Sunday, 18 November 2018


Last week.... before the snow flew... I was invited to pick apples at my friend's huge apple orchards. They had apples to spare. I picked up the grandies after school, and off we went armed with lots of bags.
These apples are called Ambrosia. They are a late apple, maturing in October and early November and this year provided a bumper crop. But the weather forecast was frost and the apples needed to be picked before they froze on the trees.
These trees are about 7 years old. There was no possibility we could pick all those apples, but we did our best. And ate some too along the way.

We managed to fill the back of my car with bags and bags of apples. Most of them went to YoungerSon, some to OlderSon, and a big box full of apples for me. They will keep in the garage as long as the garage temperature doesn't get down to freezing, but I anticipate that the apples will be gone before too long.
I see some apple pies in my future, and, let's not forget, an apple a day keeps the doctor away.