Thursday, August 28, 2014

Summertime and the Scraping is Easy

    Ah yes, it is that time of year again, when I pick up the scraper and  renew my Sisyphean task of woman versus the elements  This old beach house has withstood countless hurricanes and tenants.  I wish it had more fortitude against salty air.  This winter must have been particularly vicious as the the paint flakes practically leapt off the porch railing when they saw me coming.
   One of the amusing aspects of tenants is what they leave behind.  Yesterday I found an issue of "Garden & Gun" magazine, which claims
to be "the soul of the South".  Interesting in so very many ways.  (It put me in mind of a store I once saw that sold 'clams and computers'.) I don't know which tenant left the magazine, but it is fun to speculate.
   I have always believed this house has a soul.  I imagine all it has witnessed, and realize I don't know the half of it.  Inadvertently, I discovered a man online who told me he had danced in my kitchen many years ago.  (He was a friend of one of the tenants.)  I'm glad this house has brought joy to so many, but I can't help feeling it's been cheating on me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Oh, Canada

    I've been away.  Unlike last year's endurance death trek through the London Museums, this was relatively relaxed, no alarm clocks going off at O-Dark Thirty.  We went to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. (The weather was the same as London in May, daily rain and cold.)  I was there for the photographs, source material for my paintings.  In nine days we logged 2400 kilometers.  My husband was the soul of patience.  We would be hurtling along a pockmarked road,when I would scream, "stop!" then, "back up", "no, a little bit forward."  Like I said, I was there for the photos.
     The Maritimes are flat out gorgeous, even in the rain.  The people are relaxed , the beaches rocky.  We went in search of old fishing villages.  (A word to Canadian Tourism,  don't say you've "restored a 200 year old fishing village" and then paint the shacks with neon colors.)  The guidebooks proved unreliable, promising heart shaped rocks and historic villages.  We took many leaps of faith looking for authentic maritime scenes.   Avoiding tourists, we opted to take the road less traveled up the southern shore to Cape Breton.  (There is a good reason it is less traveled.)  The guidebook touted  Guysborough was a must-see.  We headed off on what the map indicated was a real road.  It was in fact, a logging trail, 40 kilometers of dirt and ruts.  And Guysborough was a bust.
    Lodging was hit or miss.  The Broadwater Inn in Beddeck was run by a true raconteur.  He sent us to a place not mentioned in the guides that proved to be our favorite spot. My husband booked a room in Charlottetown based on Trip Advisor's four stars.  More a Victorian crypt than an inn, our room had old dolls on the massive furniture, Sunday-best hats hanging from the wall, and a hand holding a glove on the dresser.  Two diminutive pillows and sheets from before thread-count was born, left me to curse Trip Advisor.
    But as I said, the Maritimes are gorgeous, the pace is slow and the people warm.
    Oh, and as you will see in the upper left corner, as promised, there is a heart shaped rock.