Saturday, September 12, 2015

Autumn Memories

Saturday, September 12th, 2015

Oh, a very warm day today, - summer has returned for one final hurrah.  Yesterday she was just around the corner, and so the warmth was  pleasant.  Today I came home from town to find the door handle hot to my touch, and the temperature well above 40 degrees on the porch!!

 I had a wonderful drive to Penticton to finalize my purchase of a hearing aid for my no-hearing-here-ear, - a transmitter that sends hearing from the good ear to the aide in the lazy one  Marvelous!!!!

I no longer have to turn my head and say, sorry, I don't have any hearing in that ear, - now I have hearing in stereo.  Not perfect, but so much better....

We came home along the Green Mountain trail, - narrow and windy but full of memories of the last time Charles and I drove it on September 18th, 2012;  Although it was a little later in the year things have progressed so rapidly since our early spring, and apart from today, and summer's return, we are well into autumn.

The rabbit brush lines the road - glorious golden splendor, - and the aspen and alder leaves quiver and shine like coins in the slight breeze.  I didn't take any pictures, but here are my memory pictures of that lovely last drive we made.....

 The peaceful meandering of this back road and the creek that runs beside it are a far cry from the busy highway it parallels.

deep woods line the pioneer trail that once stretched from Washington 
through to Summerland
and beyond.

The dryness of the current year has robbed this little pond and island
of a lot of its magic

and the greenery that surrounded it and was reflected in the still water
did not have the same appeal

back in the Similkameen

and so appreciative of the chance to take this sweet way home, 
and to stir some happy memories.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015


ABC Wednesday
September 10th, 2015

The letter is I - for Invermere.

Continuing with the cities and towns of British Columbia, let me introduce you to Invermere - an appealing mountain village located part way down the Columbia Valley and close to the Alberta border. And on the edge of beautiful Lake Windermere.  It grew originally as a logging and fur trading economy, but for the last hundred years it has leaned more and more to tourism....

The Columbia Vallely was as traditional hunting and fishing ground used by First Nations people, the Akisqnuk, whose land covers over 8,000- acres of some of the most pictureque land between Fairmont and Windermere.

Rich in resources the First Nation owns and operates two capable water systems and is home to a leased residential subdivision, the Indian Beach Estates, a large Campground, a Forest Compay, a sustainable housing construction program and a Montessori curriculum based Learning Program.

The village of Invermere has grown along with it.  In 1807 David Thompson was the first European to explore this territory when he established a trading post known as Kutenae House.  The first real settlement was known as Copper City, established in 1900, then changed to Canterbury, and once again in 1909 to Invermere (gaelic for mouth of the lake)

Today Invermere is the commercial hub of the Columbia Valley, a thriving community of boutique retail stores, two stunning beaches and a vibrant arts community.

It is situated within the Columbia River Wetlands, North America's largest intact wetland,  and near the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy.

With a temperate semi-arid climate (much like the Similkameen) it has warm summers and cool winters, - well, sometimes cold winters.  Spring arrives earlier here than on the prairies to the east of the Rocky Mountains, which protect Invermere to the west, where Mt. Nelson towers over the community.  It has attracted many Calgarians from adjacent Alberta, who maintain second homes in this lovely spot.

Many things to do in this beautiful village!

The Lake Windermere Whiteway is located along the Columbia Valley and recently won the world record for the longest skating trail |(30 km) .  It has three access points, two of them in Invermere, and is accompanied on the side by a groomed skiing trail.

Hiking in the westlands

Cottaging on the beach

A winter scene which speaks of good skiing in the mountains..

golfing and boating and water skiing
and just a lovely pastoral place to relax

I visited Invermere in April, while staying at Fairmont just down the way.  It was a great experience
and we also travelled to nearby Panorama, a world class skiing resort
high up in the mountains above Invermere which left me quite wide-eyed.....

A few old pictures of Invermere as it was.....

How to get there!

Lots more 'I's here at ABC Wednesday, 
with thanks to Denise and Roger and their intrepid helpers.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Clemence Dane

Sunday, September 6th, 2015

What a gorgeou cool, crisp, sunny day.

Up early, showered and dressed, and after breakfast an hour or so to spare before morning coffee with family on their way to Victoria.

My determination to declutter, always with me, tempted me to put the time to good use and tackle the books on the shelves that line each side of the bed.  Some of them have been there forever, and one in particular drew me in, clasped me close, and whispered in my ear - 'open me - see what delightful memories I hold for you!'

Oh yes.  In the early years of our marriage Charles and I belonged to the Book of the Month Club, and sometime in the 50s The Flower Girls by Clemence Dane was the feature of the month.  I found it absorbing and delightful, and it has remained beside our bed ever since.  Re-read many times, but I must confess not recently.  It stopped me in my tracks as I sat and opened it, read the contents  and the first few pages; wondered about Clemence Dane (Winifred Ashton) and if her books were still available on library shelves,  and if so why I wasn't reading more of her prolific works.

No, - none in the library system.  Try Amazon, and there I found only one used book available, 'Broome Stages'  (which I ordered).  But there is always Google who told me all I needed to know and also made me realize how ephemeral fame is - how transitory our time in the public's favour.

Winifred Ashton chose her nom-de-plume from the Church of St. Clements in London.  She was born Winifred Ashton in Blackheath, Kent, 1888 and died in London in 1965 at the age of 77.  At the age of 16 she had finished her studies and was working in Switzerland as a French tutor, but she stayed only one year and returned to London to enroll in the Slade, studying in London and Germany.

During World War 1 she satisfied a longing to write. and her first Novel 'Regiment of Women' appeared in 1917.  She wrote three novels, but then began to write plays - her first A Bill of Divorcement.  After a film version starring Kathryn Hepburn and Douglas Fairbanks met with great success Clemence Dane turned to writing screenplays, continuing as well to write more novels.

During World War 11 Dane edited The Shelter Book: A Gathering of Tales, Poems, Essays, Notes and Notions...for use in Shelters, Tubes, Basements and Cellars in War-Time.

Here is a video of The Welcoming Land, written by her in the early years of the War, and read by Sir Noel Coward, who, by the way, is said to have modeled his character of Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit after Clemence Dane..

Well, I am going to tuck The Flower Girls away for yet another reading,  and perhaps tomorrow I will find at least one or two books that I am prepared to part with, so I won't be completely discouraged from my de-cluttering project.  

Hopefully Clemence Dane will be rediscovered and become popular among readers again.