Wednesday 30 September 2015

In Which Image Becomes Reality

You know the purple Celtic cable-knit gloves I use for my profile icon? The ones which I confessed are really just an image I swiped from the internet?

Well, look what I found for sale in Prince Edward Island about a week after I met Jim, Ron and Sophie in Halifax! Trust me, the gloves are actually purple even though my damn camera makes them look blue. And yes, I know they're not exactly the same design and style as my profile icon but hey, close enough! Or at least as close as I'm ever likely to find.

In my next post, I'll show you how I'm going to use them in future Bloggin' Buddies Meetups!

Monday 28 September 2015

Bloggin' Buddies Meetup -- Jim, Ron and Sophie

When I was in Halifax in July, I had the great pleasure of meeting up with some long-time bloggin' buddies -- specifically, Jim Cuvelier of Ocean Breezes and his partner Ron Troke of from Sophie's view! My Rare One and I even got to meet their dog Sophie Doodle, who waited patiently in the car while we all enjoyed a lovely lunch at a Greek restaurant.

Jim and Ron are just as nice and fun as they are on their blogs and of course so is Sophie. We had a wonderful time with them -- so much talking and laughter!

You know, blogging anonymously, as I do, has its downside and pitfalls. Alas, I cannot post any of the photos we took that have me in them. And I was so excited about meeting the boys that I got kind of discombobulated and didn't come prepared with a plan of how to take a photo of us that hid or disguised my face.

But will a little thing like that stop me? NO!!

When I got home, I remembered how artists are employed to make a visual record of trial proceedings in our Canadian courts because cameras aren't allowed in courtrooms. Then I realized that method would work just as well in this situation too! So may I present for posterity the artistic record of my Bloggin' Buddies Meetup with Jim, Ron and Sophie --

Bryan and Brandon of A Beer for the Shower very kindly created this awesome digital portrait based on photos I sent them -- and did a bang-up job of capturing everyone's likeness! They even included my purple fingerless gloves! Thanks, B & B, you rock!

Friday 25 September 2015

Shaw Festival

Over the Labour Day weekend, my theatre buddy and I went to the Shaw Festival at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. This annual event is designed to celebrate the plays and legacy of the great Irish playwright, George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950).

We took in two of Shaw's plays. Pygmalion, which of course later served as the inspiration for the musical My Fair Lady, was in this production set in modern-day London rather than in Victorian times. So no more evening clothes and top hat for Professor Higgins -- imagine him instead in shorts, t-shirt and a bicycle helmet! Eliza Doolittle's famous swear word was also updated to more suitably shock a contemporary audience, LOL!

The other Shaw play we attended was You Never Can Tell. Look at that sumptuous set and extravagant costumes! These distractions offset the fact that the play's feminist attitudes (so radical and shocking in Victorian times) are today absolutely mainstream and ho-hum. Nothing outrageous anymore about this play!

The Shaw Festival also stages plays by other playwrights who were contemporaries of Shaw. We went to The Lady from the Sea by Henrik Ibsen. Not surprisingly, it was about an unhappy wife trapped in a stultifying marriage, as were so many of his plays.

And we also went to a very enjoyable and atmospheric Kurt Weill musical cabaret called The Next Whisky Bar. Oh, so many sailors, pimps and prostitutes!

Modern playwrights who deal with themes that were close to Shaw's heart also get staged at the Shaw Festival. We really enjoyed seeing Tony Kushner's play The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures. It was four hours of radical politics, queer sensibilities, lingering religiosity and family dysfunction. Good times!

George Bernard Shaw was most decidedly not a fan of the famous actress Sarah Bernhardt, who figures prominently in Canadian playwright Michel Marc Bouchard's new play The Divine. A 1905 tour appearance in Quebec City brought The Divine Sarah into conflict with the rigid Roman Catholic Church.

The scenes alternate between a Catholic seminary, Bernhardt's dressing room and a shoe factory employing child labour. The seminary is pictured below -- and if that set doesn't strike a chill in your heart, I don't know what will.

All in all, some great plays and an enjoyable visit to one of Canada's pre-eminent theatre festivals!

Wednesday 23 September 2015

Mabon Blessings

Today is the Autumn Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. And you know what that means!

In this season of harvest and reward when the Goddess distributes Her bountiful blessings, may you find yourself to be the apple of Her eye!

[art by Miumi-U]

Monday 21 September 2015

Sail Away, Sail Away with Me

Like most Canuckians, I've spent a lifetime looking at this image on the back of our 10 cent coin. Behold the Bluenose, Canada's most famous ship --

The Bluenose was built in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia in the 1920s as a fishing and racing schooner. During the 1930s, she was the undefeated North American sailing champion. But in 1949, the Bluenose was shipwrecked off Haiti while serving as a freighter in the West Indies. A replica built in 1963 was christened Bluenose II. A couple of years ago, the Bluenose II was completely refurbished, her beauty made new once more.

So guess what was floating at the dock when My Rare One and I were in Lunenburg this summer --

Even with her sails furled, the Bluenose II is an impressive sight.

The public is allowed to go onboard (free of charge) at certain hours each day so of course we took advantage of the opportunity!

It was such a treat to explore this Canadian icon up close and personal. And yes, of course I bought a souvenir t-shirt. It was my patriotic duty.

[First photo from the internet. All other photos © Debra She Who Seeks 2015]

Saturday 19 September 2015

A Special Occasion

Bring on the cake and candles!

Break out the cards!

Cue the excitement!

Okay, try again . . . cue the excitement!

Sheesh, guess I'll just have to do it myself then . . .

That's right -- seven years of blogging today!

Thursday 17 September 2015

And the Creative Blogger Award goes to . . .

Continuing from my previous post, I'm going to give the Creative Blogger Award to two bloggin' buddies who each published a book while I was away on hiatus! Because if that's not creative, I don't know what is. They are available in Kindle and paperback formats from Amazon, if you're interested in having a good read. I can personally attest to their excellence -- both books are well worth your time and money!

(1) Robyn Engel of Life by Chocolate has written a hilarious yet poignant memoir of her misadventures in the land of romance:

As her book blurb explains: She's 4 feet, 8 inches of heartfelt ferocity, and nothing can stop this post-pubescent spitfire from claiming her fairytale -- not jarring tragedy, not penile incompetence, not even the explosive demise of a new marriage. Not until Robyn finds her happily ever after . . . alone.

(2) Mark Noyce of The Rambling Person has produced a great science fiction page-turner that will keep you guessing and intrigued right 'til the end!

As his book blurb summarizes: The year is 2520. Trent Saxon is returning home to Earth from a self imposed isolation in space. He's shot down not long after entering the Milky Way. His ship makes it to the blue planet but his life is lost in the process.

Geoff Avery is guarding the morgue as he does most nights when he hears a sound. He pushes aside his fear and finds Trent alive and well. Geoff quickly learns Trent isn't the someone who will die that easily as he makes a bold claim about his age. A few experiments later and Geoff is convinced.

Follow Trent and Geoff as they embark on an adventure traversing two planets, make friends and enemies, and form a bond that can last several lifetimes as they learn about the past, present and future. Both of the world and of themselves. Why can't Trent die? Was the attack really random? And just what's with that scar on his chest?

Tuesday 15 September 2015

I'm Ba-a-a-ck! Didja Miss Me?

My Rare One and I had a fab time tootling around the Maritimes this summer! Here's an actual unretouched photo of us on a beach in Nova Scotia. We also spent some time in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. I'll be posting about a few of our adventures in due course, as soon as I figure out how to download the damn photos from my new camera.

Right before I went on my blogging hiatus, that wild 'n crazy Australian, Michael D'Agostino of A Life Examined, gave me a Creative Blogger Award -- wasn't that nice of him? I'm posting it a bit late, Michael, but still with heartfelt thanks!

I'm supposed to accompany this award with 5 random facts about myself -- so here's some trivia from my summer vacay:

1. Of all the super meals I ate, the absolutely best one I had was some pan-fried haddock at The Knot Pub in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. I'm not even much of a fish eater so you know it had to be stupendous to impress me that much!

2. Our visit to Halifax, Nova Scotia happened to coincide with that city's Pride Parade! We enjoyed watching all the shenanigans while sitting indoors on comfy couches in Halifax's spectacular new Central Library.

3. We drove over to Prince Edward Island on the Confederation Bridge, a modern Canadian engineering icon. You don't have to pay a fee to cross the bridge and enter PEI but when you leave, you have to pay a toll then. We left the island by ferry but they still shake you down for the bridge toll, of course. There's no escaping the tax man.

4. One of the things we did on PEI was attend a ceilidh! In case you're not up on your Gaelic, a ceilidh (KAY-lee) is a Maritimes song and dance party featuring traditional music. This particular ceilidh had great celtic music, some good ol' timey country music and some amazing Acadian step-dancing. My gawd, it was a high energy performance! We were exhausted just watching it.

5. Every single day that My Rare One and I were in Halifax, we ate a "Killaloe Sunrise" Beavertail pastry. Now I'm home, my pants are tight and I can't figure out why?

My next task is to pass on the Creative Blogger Award to other bloggers -- which I will do in the next post, because this one is getting too long already!

[All photos from the internet]