Saturday, June 30, 2012

July 1st, 2012
Canada Day

Raising the Flag!!!

Charles, ever resourceful when presented with a crisp new Canadian Flag
 and  part of a flagpole with halyard.........

No cleat or snaps or truck or fancy ornamental ball, but those are mere bagatelle, sure to be found  buried somewhere in a sixty-five year accumulation of treasures.  That would be Charles' treasures, his father's, and some of his grandfather's......

A trip to the resting place of a lot of these treasures (the garage at the house on the hill). where we found lengths of metal tubing which would extend the flagpole to its wanted heights, providing they all fit together.  We will take them all, just to make sure!

We chanced upon the grandson who now lives in our house on the hill and he very kindly offered a helping hand, much to my relief.  I am happy to be a go-fer, and even a swamper,  but sometimes the Boss gets a little terse when I fail to understand what he wants and I was not too familiar with how a flagpole gets raised, or just what he had in mind.

The fellows laid the various bits and pieces out a fitted them together so that they had quite a decent looking
pole on which to attach the Halyard, and this, I think, they poked down the support for the gate to the side garden.  I wasn't there for this part of the operation, having been sent to find snaps to attach the flag. And a metal ring which I think was meant to guide the Halyard as it raised the flag to the top of the pole.

This involved trying to find my embroidering basket where I knew I had a very small set
of metal embroidery rings.
 All in vain, but I did find a silver bangle that I felt might do the trick, and look quite elegant as well.

The bracelet, however, was dismissed disdainfully, and replaced 
with a precious dog collar that probably belonged to Charles' first Border Collie, 
a never to be surpassed sheep dog, faithful and well loved.

There was a bit of measuring and a general scurrying around, looking for snaps with which to attach the flag.

Going over to the hardware store to buy what was needed does not figure in the fun of this adventure....

Eventually the rope (Halyard) was run through the loops on the snaps and the snaps were attached to the flag. even though I had not yet sewn on the tabs which were to make this whole operation neat and tidy.

For now we did not worry about the fancy ornamental top to the flagpole, 
or the cleat to wrap the rope around.

The flag men, satisfied with the morning's work, stopped for a peanut butter sandwich and admired their handiwork.  Our grandson has the makings of a fine Redneck - when needs must the handy
rise to the occasion.....

An eagle circled the sky above us, giving final approval before it drifted off to
 the south-east and down the Valley

A breeze caught the folds of the flag and the maple leaf flew proudly over the roses and delphinium below.

Happy Canada Day and many thanks to David
 and his determined and enthusiastic grandfather....

My apologies for Bloggers random insertion of a white background in text lines.

What are those little men up to!!!!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday, June 29th, 2012

A drive to take the lay of the land, - and the river.

On Sunday the blue skies that had been quite gorgeous in the morning were tenuous in the afternoon, - threatened by large puffy thunderhead type clouds and a few morose fellows hanging around the tops of the mountains.

We hadn't seen what was happening with the river, but the news from the rest of British Columbia talked about lakes topping their basins and rivers escaping their banks;  creeks going mad and frothing down mountainsides and through towns, and the mighty Fraser threatening northern towns and the southern estuary.  Could we escape this great expanse of water spreading over the countryside
and into the cities and villages?   We cross the Red Bridge...

Over to the right the talus slides have a green and cream aura of growth, refreshed by spring rains.
Would you like to have that rock looming over where you live??

We turn back towards Keremeos on the far side of the river.  The water flows swiftly
but orderly, down under the Engineers Single Lane Bridge  that connects the
Rodeo Grounds and the south side ranches with town.

Charles stops at the end of the road and I step out of the SUV to catch a snapshot
of the Similkameen, with stern orders to stay well away from
the edge of the river bank..... and I do!

I point the camera up and down and across the river and note
 the island sandbars that have built up over the years, covered with poplar trees,
not completely covered by the water as they have been in other years at flood time.

We pass the big houses of the city people who have come to retire in this lovely valley,
and the working ranches.

The rock on the far left of the picture  below is Charles'  'measuring rock'
and as we cross the Engineers Bridge we remark how some years it is completely covered,
and  we wonder why this year the valley has not had a recalcitrant river
to deal with  when other parts of the province have been
so sorely tried. 

And are thankful!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

June 28th, 2012

The Memorial to the brave men of Bomber Command, unveiled this day by the Queen
in Green Park, London

The resident Lancaster Pilot with part of his crew (missing from the picture, George and Bob,
the Engineer and the Navigator)

A rather bittersweet day with even yet so many negative comments about the morality of it all underlying this late recognition of courage on the part of these young men who fought the war
when there was no other defensive front.

And the Nazis chose well to place their munitions factories and railway transport centres
under cover of Dresden Shepherdesses so that it would appear Bomber Command was attacking
only civilian citizens in this most romantic of German cities with its connotations of porcelain and delicacy.

Does nobody remember the constant barrage of London over so many months early in the war, 
when they had the upper hand, and the terrible stress and loss of life that Londoners were subjected
 to by the Luftwaffe, night after night after night??  And Coventry...

Anyway, the Lancaster Pilot here does appreciate the Memorial  and the fact that it was funded
solely by private donation;  only sorry that half of his crew are no longer alive.

(you will note that Blogger is being difficult - again!)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

ABC Wednesday
June 27th, 2012

The letter this week is the elusive X

So I have chosen Jan Baptist Xavery to represent the letter X.

He was a sculptor, born in Antwerp on the 30th of March, 1697, the son of  sculptor, Albertus Xavery, who quite probably taught him before Jan Baptist went on to more advanced training.

In 1725 he became a member of the Confrerie Pictura and in the same year he married Maria Christina Robart.  They had two sons, who both became painters.

Jan Baptist Xavery became Court Sculptor to Prince William IV of Orange Nassau,

He died in 1742 at the age of forty-five.

Here are two of his works.   The first is entitled 'Apollo and the Cumaean Sibyl'

and the second is a Relief in the St. Bavochurch in Haarlem

It is always a scramble to find another X word, but if you go here
to ABC Wednesday you will find a great variety.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday, June 25th, 2012

My sidebar is stale!

It has been carrying the same comments, the same pictures, the same labels, the same old same old for probably two years now.  Maybe even more.

It is time to have a change - time to shake my shoulders, roll my eyes and fly a bit.

What is it that I find wise and wonderful right now, this minute?

It seems that it is not only my sidebar that is stale;  it seems that I, myself, have grown old and dry and covered with dust.  I think I have been reading too many blogs by young, vibrant women.  Blogs about Art and Book Clubs, and Style and Dubsteps, and besides that the weather is moody and miserable and it is making my bones ache.  You can tell we are in the middle of a Low Pressure System and I have been wandering too far away from home in Blogland!!!

On the plus side I have been reading Essays from 'The Best American Essays, 2009' edited by Mary Oliver. And in particular an essay by Chris Arthur who expounds the virtues and attraction of the genre of the Essay.  As does Mary Oliver, in her Introduction.

They are 'preaching to the converted' here.  I have always liked  Essays, - both reading them and writing them, - they seem so complete and so 'tight' in their brevity and focus  I am not speaking of the Essay as utilized by schools and Universities where they are used as a way of assessing a student's comprehension and writing skills.  I am speaking of what is called a 'Familiar" essay written on a one-to-one basis  - the writer to the reader.  They may be critical or they may be personal or a combination of both, but they have a warmth to them that keeps one reading and pondering, almost like a conversation.

Chris Arthur is writing about his memories of his childhood home, and in particular about the pillars that guarded the gateway.  He says "I always see Shandon's pillars lit by mellow sunlight.  Even as it warms my recollection, I know this distillate of a hundred perfect summer days cannot be real........while not 'true to life' in the sense of constituting a faithful reproduction of a camera's snapshot, is, at a deeper lever, far more accurate than any photograph could claim to be.  Memory's version captures a truth about the place..........Memory can offer up the richness of imagining where a photograph would only dole out the thin gruel of the visually literal".

I grew up in a city, and do not have the same childhood memories of adventures in large outdoor spaces that he speaks of, but I have heard our children talk about the memories of growing up in the country - the freedom they had to explore, the caves, the waterfalls, the ravines and the small wildlife that inhabited the valley, and I wonder if they always see the days 'lit by mellow sunlight'?.   And I wonder how their memories are coloured by the richness of imagination.

And even though my memories are confined to city spaces one of my most familiar and satisfying is of a shortcut to school through a lane lined with wild roses, and the heady fragrance of that space in June.

What a lovely comfort memory is to us as we reach the 'ancient' years - and I have distracted myself from the task of sprucing up my Sidebar.  But watch, I will be on the lookout for wise words and beautiful images.                                                                                                                          

Chris Arthur has a new book of essays, "On the Shoreline of Knowledge" 
and on his website are these words.

Anyone who can look attentively, think freely and write clearly can be an essayist;
no other qualifications are needed.
Graham Good