Enjoyed a wonderful weekend away and if you ever have thoughts of staying at Thinkers Lodge in Pugwash, I urge you to follow through on that decision. As the life partner and myself both grew up and then raised our family in a centurion house, we felt very much at home. Nice to be able to bring your own wine, snacks and lunch and it's reasonably priced at $99/night. The memoir writing workshop was wonderful as Marjorie Simmins is both an excellent writer and great teacher. A bonus was that she brought along her (much older) husband, Silver Donald Cameron and he is a funny, charming guy who is writing a book about the murder / lobster feud in Isle Madame where they live (I'll be first in line when that comes out I promise). He most certainly looked and acted much younger than his 81 years. I was amused to find that of the two, he was the technological wizard using foursquare on his smartphone (you know - where you swipe your credit card) to take payment for her books, knew how to e-transfer funds and is responsible for setting up the transcription service Marjorie uses. They've just driven from Vancouver and a cross Canada trip in an RV is quite a journey for a driver of any age. Friday evening was a well attended double reading with a local author Sara Jewell reading from her memoir Field Notes and Marjorie reading from Coastal Lives and The Year of the Horse. I bought both Field Notes and Coastal Lives and they are great! There were interesting people attending the workshop - two who work in film in Halifax (both transplanted through NSCAD from Ontario) and two from Cape Breton who were (as expected) very funny and easy going. An eclectic group with various focuses for the memoirs planned. I think I finally have the structure / motivation to get going on mine. An epiphany was Marjorie's suggestion I use a transcription service, dictating my stories, then edit them when the typed copy is returned. Another 'aha' moment was that for structure I could cycle my original northern time 40 years ago with the present. Maybe I'll finally stop being a memoir groupie and move on.
We shopped at Masstown Market on the way up (for provisions) and the return (for breakfast and fruit, especially the beautiful strawberries for the season's first shortcake) and what a great spot it is:
And to think I remember it from the time it was a farm gate market on the way to my grandmothers in River Phillip. This was long before toll or even divided highways were thought of, but I'm dating myself.
Pugwash is a nice little tourist town, one that I remembered (also Tatamagouche) as day trips in
childhood summers. The shore captain particularly enjoyed watching the lobster boats (it's currently open season in that area) and large cargo ships carrying salt. We visited the Pugwash farmers market on Saturday morning before the workshop where the resident gardener invested in some transplants and I savoured a delicious cinnamon roll. There were lovely crafts, great veggies and wonderful friendly folks. Would sure be a regular destination if I was a member of cottage country on the Northumberland Gulf.
And speaking of summer vacationing, last evening was spent booking some camp sites at Kejimkujik National Park. Since 2017 is Canada's 150th birthday and park entry fees were waived, it's become a popular destination and weekends were all booked up. After a few false starts we were able to select, view and online reserve two sites in Jim Charles for a few week days next month - the benefit of a teacher and nurse shift worker daughter versus weekend only employees. Looking forward to introducing another generation to the camping life and hoping they enjoy it as much as our own brood did at their ages. I spent some time this morning sorting camping accessories as it's been some time since we used them - did you know that Ivory soap ages to a dark brown? Me neither. Now fingers crossed for a decent forecast as we've had wind, fog and rain for the last few days here. Mind you, in summers past we have visited Ross Farm, Annapolis Royal and the Lunenburg Fisheries Museum just to shelter from the weather for the day.
Planning to register the grandson for a week of swimming lessons again this year and considering a cooking class that is being offered for his age group. The Recreation Department brochure provides me as much entertainment as it did a few decades ago. Now, if I could just get my schedule on track to attend one of his ballgames my deja vu summer would be complete.
Since this is the 10th anniversary of the original cruise which my friend and I made where she connected with Super Mario - the gentleman who cruises year round out of Miami on his 100th Royal Caribbean cruise - we have made plans to surprise and show him that she's aged MUCH more gently than he has, according to a publicity photo in an article we found last summer. Having done some research (on one of the cruise bulletin boards) and requesting his whereabouts I ascertained he is cruising on the Enchantment of the Seas for the next year. At present the ship is doing three and four day cruises to Bahamas which allows him two days per week to attend to business at his Bay of Biscayne condo. The itinerary is rather tame with Naussau, Coco Bay (private island) and Key West as the ports of call. But as we discussed, this would allow for more enjoyment of the ship itself if the destinations were familiar to us. We plan to do so called 'back to back' cruises to make it a week and in November discounts of over 60% result in a reasonably priced girls getaway. I am just waiting for my travel partner to let me know which dates work for her as my only stipulation was that I have a chance to settle in from my Greek islands adventure, before leaving again. Got to keep that extended summer gig going.
Well off to get started on an e-book I downloaded from the library called The Other Einstein about Albert's wife. Couldn't resist and the 21 day borrow period has me on task.