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.

Friday, 16 November 2018


First significant snow of the winter was the sight that greeted me this morning, not really a surprise as it was forecast by the friendly weather lady on the telly....... however, the middle of November is a bit early for the white stuff in my humble opinion.
The view through the front door.... I haven't actually opened it and stepped outside yet.
.... and the view into the back yard. 
 I hope this isn't the start of a severe winter! Thank goodness we put the snow tires on last week.

Update later in the day: I've been finishing a painting, and listening to the classical music radio station, and watching giant snowflakes float to earth.... it's actually magical! Everything is covered in a white fluffy blanket. Snow may make life very inconvenient at times, but it's really beautiful!

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Apple of My Eye

Playing in the sketch book again.
Lots of layers of lacy paper stuck onto the page with matte medium making nice textures..... the edges of some paper placemats leftover from a dinner long ago. Then pics of apples cut out from a grocery flyer. Enhanced with the application of some yellow and green acrylic paint smeared on with a palette knife, then some red ink misted with water to make the ink run, then the red circles printed with a jar lid.... and finally some gold paint sloshed around.
A messy mess but fun to do.

Sunday, 11 November 2018


November 11 2018.
The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
One hundred years since the end of the hostilities known as the First World War.
Back then it was known as the Great War, as nobody imagined that there would soon be another war, even more terrible.
The village of Woolpit in Suffolk, England, is marking the date and honouring the fallen in a unique manner.
Volunteers in the village have been knitting and crocheting more than 5000 red poppies all year with the intention of creating a tribute to the servicemen and women who gave their lives for their country, and also marking one hundred years since the signing of the Armistice in 1918.
The poppies have been attached to a large net and draped on the front of The Institute, the building that houses the small Museum, and also bears a plaque honouring those who paid the ultimate price.

The local paper, the East Anglian Daily Times, can tell you more about the project here. I'm very proud of my cousin Elizabeth who did so much work towards this worthy project, including knitting like mad when I was in Woolpit in the summer. She's wearing the pale blue coat in the first picture in the East Anglian newspaper article.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Under the Sea

Playing around in my sketchbook and having fun with tissue paper and wax crayon rubbings of a fish lino printing plate.

Monday, 5 November 2018


Hallowe'en 2018 has come and gone. The spirits are are rest for another year.
It was a bit damp, and windy, but not really raining and not very cold so our little group of trick-or-treaters went out armed with their Hallowe'en buckets as soon as it was dark enough.
I stayed to answer the door and to give out the goodies. This year we provided goldfish crackers, potato chips and corn chips.... no chocolate. It's too easy to eat the leftover chocolate.

This year we had Iron Man, a robber, and a police officer with us. The police officer kept trying to arrest the robber, who of course resisted, so thank goodness we had the assistance of Iron Man. Always good when you have a SuperHero to call on in times of need.

With three of them out trick-or-treating, the mountain of Hallowe'en loot was pretty large. Mummy made sure that lots of it disappeared very fast and will reappear eventually as school lunch treats.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Happy November!

November starts today!
We've already had the first snowfall here in Southern Ontario, but it's all melted and disappeared now.  Thank goodness! But it will be back sooner than we think.
I needed new snow tires this year, the old ones didn't have much life in them after 8 winters, so my very helpful YoungerSon organised them and now I have spiffy new wheels ready for the winter. No pics, you'll just have to imagine how nice they are.
And I've been painting. I'll post some of the pictures from time to time. Here's the first.