Friday, 18 May 2018

Victoria Day ... and what's this - a Levidrome - "Regal Lager" from Phillips Brewing in Victoria ...




Canada has a holiday this weekend, celebrated for Queen Victoria's birthday (24 May 1819) ... here's the first white wedding dress ... what will the new Royal bride's be like ...
 
Queen Victoria 1847
by Franz Xaver Winterhalter


The BBQ was taken down in a horse box, cleaned up and brought back for our first evening outdoors at the top farm - not the dairy farm down below ...






BBQ moving via horse trailer

... just lovely to be out of doors ... I'm somewhat surprised at the rate of growth ... I know we are 3 deg latitude further south from England ... 




Red Maple



... but the rate of spurt is almost like Durban, South Africa - with those extra bright colours ... the rhododendrons are so 'blousy' and the wonderful red maple ... ah just delightful to see ...





There'll be lots of these tomorrow


There'll be a carriage meet up here after the wedding, i.e. our morning! ... and then the weekend will settle in ... farming, being family and perhaps clearing the pool out ...



Wisteria curtains



The family with small kids will be over from the mainland - so lots of farm visits and generally running around here - creating havoc!




I did meet up with the granddaughter of
the family ... in Victoria - we went to
Nautical Nellies - should have been 'Wellies'
as the weather was foul!  She chose this:
crab, shrimp, mango and avo stack - me too
wishes I had! but mine was delicious ...
so another visit due!
Remember that word 'Levidrome',  the term coined by one young Victoria lad, Levi, ... well the local craft brewery has brewed some Regal Lager an "imperial beer"  ... the owner has young kids himself ...methinks he followed the motto of his brewery'swebsite ...



Inspiration through Fermentation


Regal Lager





Looks good - medieval knight going into
battle ... I wonder if Levi had an input into
the label's design


... and produced this delightful sounding 'levidromic' beer ... Regal Lager ... refreshing, but full-bodied with subtle hop notes ... available for a one-off run ... probably through May ...






Haylage ready for storage
- one crop in for the farmer ... another has to be ready soon,
it grows so quickly ...




So this holiday weekend ... we'll all be enjoying some inspiration along perhaps with some Regal Lager brewed craftily from an idea by a clever 7 year old lad - who had this new word submitted for inclusion into the Oxford English Dictionary ... well done Levi: see my L for Levidrome post ...


Happy weekend to one and all ...

Phillips Beer's introduction to Levidrome Regal Lager!


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Trans Canada - Trains, Trail and Highway ...




This is to tie in with National Train Day in the States, which Amtrak discontinued but people remember ... and will at least start my transport tour re Canada to tie in with this year's A - Z ...


Amtrak's National Train Day for the USA
The three Trans-Canada land routes as titled ... would, over the years, weave lines of communication across the lands dominated by forest, tundra and mountain ranges ...


1869 the American's 'last spike' celebration


... linking the many towns and cities that have sprung up as the country came into the grip of western civilisation ...





Canadian National Rail System - east to west and south
(there are many other routes now)




Historian George Stanley wrote "Bonds of steel as well as of sentiment were needed to hold the new Confederation together.  Without railways there would be and could be no Canada".





Train Cars in the Museum at
St John's Newfoundland

A condition of the Constitution Act, 1867 was that an Intercolonial Railway be built to the Pacific.  With this promise, British Columbia, in 1871, was lured into Confederation.




A Canadian National Railway's caboose


The proposed line - 1,600 km (1,000 miles) longer than the first US transcontinental - represented an enormous expenditure for a nation of three and a half million people. 




Kinsol Trestle - more
on this historic wooden
railway trestle anon

Construction began in 1880 with the last spike being driven on 7th November 1885.  The Confederation was tamed and sewn together ...


An idea of the National Recreation Trail
across British Columbia


Starting in 1992, the Coast to Coast National Recreation Trail would commemorate 125 years of Canada ... 15,000 km (9320 miles) of paths, tracks, routes  ...





Logo for Trans Canada Highway in Alberta looking
west towards the Rockies


... this system now has new spurs and loops ... I've been to the Kinsol Trestle not quite at the western tip, while the Trans Canada Highway inconveniently divides the farm ... I live above the working farm - so getting there entails a drive ... I'm not one for jumping the barrier!





This is the Trans Canada Trail Pavilion,
Fredericton, New Brunswick
The Trans Canada Highway - this has 7,821 km (4860 miles) of roadway from Victoria, Vancouver Island to St John's, Newfoundland and Labrador ... there is a northern route from Haida Gwaii - the islands mentioned in myA-Z.




Winter route down to Trans-Canada Highway


Right to where we should be today - celebrating what was set up to be National Train Day ... marking the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the US.



A brief overview of the three main land routes across Canada - trail, rail or road ... you takes your pick as which is the most suitable ... or you could fly high ...

The first post of my A-Z on Canada - A is for Arctic Winter Games 

Linking to Dan Antion - of No Facilities blog - blame him

for 'co-ercing' me to join in!!: his National Train Day post.

Further information can be obtained here from the Canadian Encyclopedia ... 

The Canadian National Railways

The Canadian Pacific Railway 

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

A - Z Reflections post 2018 ... Aspects from a British 'gal' in Canada ...




Once again being part of a group of Bloggers who participated in the A-Z Challenge ... I started in 2011, as I was unable to participate in the first one - and have always enjoyed them - participating in 7 out of 9 ...



A big thanks to Lee who started us off on this yearly challenge and to all the co-hosts over the years who have kept us A-Z zinging happily along since 2010 ... 


My thoughts from last year apply (don't like: G+, just ticking seen comment) - and I won't go into them ... there seemed to be fewer participants this year ... but still with excellent subjects/ themes ...


Tide out - Cowichan Bay estuary


I probably got as many comments as last year ... page views about 100+, comments 30 - 40+, - interestingly in 2015 - page views were about 1,000 ... anyway last year comments were in the 50s range, but with 450+ page views = fascinating ...... but I'm very satisfied and it hasn't seemed so frenetic.


Buttery cups


I've always complied to the basics ... being there, commenting, replying to comments on my blog ... adjusting to others' way of doing things - each platform is slightly different, as too everyone's approach ... and I accept there'll be differences = we are all unique.




A handful of daisies



The original listings with the request that each day we visit five new people - those above us in the list ... opened my door to so many wonderful people, with their blogs - some still do the A-Z, others visit and say hi ... but all have remained friends ...  and to me that seems the most satisfying way to participate.  It is way too complicated now ...




Taddly poles!! - actually we got a tiny
embryonic frog ... sadly he passed away


Also tying in to one genre - to me defeats the exercise - we're here to meet new bloggers, and to learn about different subjects - even if we're hooked in our own worlds ... gosh have I expanded my knowledge since I started blogging.


I just got on with posting ... this year I was writing as the Challenge progressed ... and after thinking that I'd chosen  a dull theme - too schoolish - I managed to teach myself loads of interesting things about Canada, and thus (thankfully!) engaged you ...




As requested there will be follow up posts ... almost certainly in the A-Z format ... six letters (perhaps 4/5) to a post ... so each one will be relatively long, but tied in to A-Z challenge posts ...



There will be individual posts about different subjects - eg totems, and Emily Carr, the artist and writer ... and I expect others I come across ... so it looks like Canada is going to feature for a while.




My aim each year has been the same ... give everyone who visits interesting and educative content ... which leads to connecting and becoming friends across the blogosphere.



Dogwood

The advantage is - blogging friends offer so much to learn about - I love the various range of subjects we get to see and appreciate ... I find FB and Twitter too ephemeral ...





Having changed continents I had something different to write up about ... and if things are equal I'll do a more local section next year ... as I learn about this part of Canada and the farming life.


Bloggers with interesting (very summarised) themes ... linked to their 'A' post ...


Nila of Madly in Verse - and her Africana ... brilliant posts about an area of the world I love to learn about ... music, poetry, literature - all excellently put together ...

Bob Scotney - rivers of England ... so English ... so home!  He does stamps too ... 

Deborah Weber - abecedarium manifesto of wonders, curiosities, and delights - which she summarised in her Reflections post ... so have linked to that ..


Kim Blades - is going into hibernation ... so she's asked I leave her link off ... (it was poetry, Africa, flora and fauna)

Sarah Zama - Weimar Republic ... excellent exposition on the changes occurring in Germany from the late 1800s to WW2




Denise on Pablo Picasso ... wonderful reads about his life ... 

Susan - Garden of Eden blog ... about Lilith (Adam's first wife) and Eve ... 


Claire Noland - maps in literature ... fascinating!

Sue Bursztynski - on Australian children's authors ... an introduction for many of us ... 

JZ - A Reluctant Bitch ... as she says: There will still be rambles, rants, and anecdotes but instead of being purely random, the words that anchor the posts will all, somehow, some way..., have something to do with food.

Sherry - did gardens around the world ... as well as writing books, playing the violin and probably teaching too ... 

Suzanne Blazier did mood movies ... wonderful choices ...

Lynda Deitz - Short and Sweet Reasons Why You Need an Editor ... 'A'  is for all the best books have been edited!



Wisteria




Apologies ... I'm sure I've missed out a few bloggers whose posts I enjoyed ...




... but I will definitely be back for the 10th anniversary year ... to make it eight of ten ...

Thanks for all your visits and comments - lovely to have them ... and see you around ... thanks again organisers ... 

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Monday, 30 April 2018

We are the World Blogfest ... # 13 - South Africans leading the way to help power Africa ...




I spotted this article ... how 'Clean Coal could help power Africa' - South Africa is leading the way ... Witswaterand (Ridge of White Waters) University in Jo'burg has a Sustainable Coal Research Group ....

c/o Daily Maverick
c/o Clean Coal is the Way Forward

Professor Rosemary Falcon (see article) together with chemical engineer Dr Nandi Malumbazo from Wits, Dr Samson Bada from Nigeria, along with Dr Jacob Masiala from the Congo are working on ways to get the lights on in Africa and keep the air clean.


The Professor can tell where coal comes from ... each continent and country will have a different recipe of minerals and fossil matter ... 


Southern Africa: The mustard colour is where coal is found ...
the other colours denote other type of rocks.
NB these rocks were deposited in a vast inland lake
or sea ... when Africa was part of Gondwana land
See Wiki

... South African coal was formed at the end of an ice age burning longer and at a high temperature - while the coal in North America came from hot steamy swamps and burns rapidly.


South African coal burns so hot that it would melt a European industrial boiler ... that made me sit up and think ...


... the challenge, which these academics are addressing, is to get the coal to a stage at the mine to be appropriate for its subsequent use, or build equipment and plants designed for each coal type ...


Africa's use of coal is growing rapidly as demand for energy grows ... and this research aims to produce 'clean coal' from the mine ... i.e. taking away the bits that will not help the burn, but leave fewer fumes, more heat and a better burn ...


I just found the article so interesting ... with all the talk being against coal ... their research seems like a positive way forward for Africa - but very possibly for other countries around the world.


Wits have proved that clean coal is not only possible, but among the cheapest ways to generate electricity on a continent where more than half the population of 1.24 billion Africans live without power ...


...  yet they have the same aspirations as every person in the Western World, China and Russia ... they should have electricity on tap ... to run their lives, as well as to power water, cities, factories, mines, schools and hospitals ...


... electricity is just not an ethical issue, it's the key to security and growth ... both in Africa and other parts of the world ... something we need to encourage Wits' work ...

We are the World ...
in darkness, be light






... and what an appropriate post for our maxim for this monthly blogfest that we participate in #WATWB

We are the World - In Darkness, Be Light

I'm linking to my U for Union Bay post in the A-Z as it features the development of coal on Vancouver Island ...

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Story

Z is for Zunoqua ...




Zunoqua of the Cat Village ... an art work by Emily Carr, see K for Klee Wyck post ...

 
Emily Carr's
'Zunoqua of the Cat Village'
... Emily became 'bewitched' by D'Sonoqua and searched out this "Wild Woman of the Woods" ... usually finding her in the dead bole of a tall full cedar ... this D'Sonoqua ... alive as the depth and charm of the whole forest ...


Emily writes: 


'There we were D'Sonoqua, the cats and I - the woman who only a few moments ago had forced herself to come behind the houses in trembling fear of the "wild woman of the woods" - wild in the sense that forest-creatures are wild - shy, untouchable.'


c/o World Atlas


Emily had sat down to sketch ... when 'cats galore' came out of the trees ... purring furiously while rubbing and going on about her feet ...



This ends my rather eclectic take on things Canada ...



While Emily's Zunoqua inspired zee end and my Z post ... from Aspects by a British 'girl' in Canada ... 





Vancouver Art Gallery: Modernism and Late Totems (1927 - 1932) give some detailed information on Emily's work during this time.


Klee Wyck ("Laughing One") as Emily was known by the Native people: I wrote about in my K post ...


Zee end ... I do have quite a lot more relative to my A-Z posts to put up at some stage ... so may do a 'zummary post' in due course ...


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Y is for Yukon ...




You might have guessed I'd be doing Yukon for the 'Y' post ... and yes once again I'm learning ... 

Map of Yukon from Wiki




Its name comes from the Gwich'in word Yu-kun-ah meaning "white water river" - referencing the glacial runoff in the Yukon River. 




The river rises in British Columbia, runs through the Yukon and out into the Bering Sea.  It is the fifth-longest river in North America, with about a third running through the Yukon; and is 3,185 km /1,980 miles long ...



Municipalities of Yukon - with the river
running through Whitehorse, and on to Dawson

 The Yukon is the smallest and westernmost of Canada's three federal territories ... and is 'sort of triangular' in shape ... bordering the Arctic Ocean to the north, Alaska to the west, Northern Territories to the east and British Columbia to the south ... it does not have a boundary with the Pacific.





Chilcoot Pass - c 1898
Geographically, as you might expect, it is a subarctic plateau interspersed by mountains ... the Arctic coastal plain has a tundra climate.


Historically though it is indelibly associated with the Klondike Gold Rush.



Showing route through from Skagway
up to the Klondike


Before we get there ... in other words long before the arrival of Europeans, central and southern Yukon was populated by First Nations people, as the area escaped glaciation. 



Archaeological sites for example those in the Old Crow basin, north of the Arctic Circle, place the arrival of humans at least as early as 10,000 BCE and possibly much earlier.



The volcanic eruption of Mount Churchill in approximately 800AD, in what is now Alaska, blanketed the southern Yukon with a layer of ash ... which apparently can still be seen along the Klondike Highway ... and which forms part of the oral tradition of the First Nations peoples in Yukon and further south in Canada.


 
Skookum Jim - worked as a
packer on the Chilcoot Pass
Coastal and inland First Nations had extensive trading networks ... European incursions only began in the 1700s/ early 1800s with the fur trade, followed by missionaries.  Then the Gold Rush ...





Downtown Whitehorse

The 'new' capital (1953) of Whitehorse has 70% of Yukon's  population living in it ... (25,085: year c 2016) ... its name deriving from the rapids resembling a horse's mane.




Dawson, the previous capital, was at the centre of the Klondike Gold Rush, and surprisingly for a short period was the largest city north of Seattle and west of Winnipeg.

Diamond Tooth Gergies - Gambling Hall
which will give you the experience!


It lies in traditional Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in territory being named after Canadian government geologist Dr GM Dawson.




Most of the 'gold rushing miners' travelled up via what I term as the Glacier Bay fjord area and Skagway ... though there was a secondary sea route around Alaska ...


Sea Route for prospectors, and various
entourages
The Gold Rush only lasted a couple of years (1897 - 1899) ... it was estimated that a migration of about 100,000 prospectors battled through ... just over a century later the population is about 1,375 ...


... yet Dawson City is still a gold mining centre ... but the main activity now is tourism, based on the area's colourful past and historical importance.


There's a lot more interesting history ... so there will be another Y for Yukon post at some stage ... as it'll be good to have it linked here ...


That is Y for Yukon ... from Aspects by a British 'girl' in Canada ...

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories