Friday, 29 February 2008

Does Anyone Remember Carnate Buffing Cream?

Years ago, I used to use a product called Nailoid Carnate Buffing Cream. It gave my nails an amazing shine and was a natural way to achieve polished fingernails without the polish. As someone who seems to be constantly washing my hands, nail polish does not stay on for long and I wanted my nails to look nice without having to worry about chipped polish.

I recently went in search of this product here and no-one had heard of it. I tried online and discovered that it is now called Nailoid Results Carnate Buffing Polish. It is still made in England and I thought that it would be easy to obtain. How wrong can I be?

I found it on a couple of U.S. sites ~ one does not ship to Canada and the other charges a phenomenal amount for shipping; obviously designed to avoid the hassle of shipping across the border ~ so much for the free trade agreement.

Then I decided to ask my Aunt in the U.K. to get me some and mail it ~ she could not find anyone who had even heard of it and was eventually told that the company concerned (Boots) hadn't stocked it in years. So if it is still been manufactured, where on earth are they selling it?

Am I the only person who has ever used this product?

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Thrifting With A Christmas Theme

Yes, I know that it is the end of February, although with our Extreme Cold Weather Alert, it does not feel like spring is only three weeks away.

I had to go to Staples for office supplies this afternoon and it was the perfect excuse to visit my favourite thrift store. I saw the little poinsettia jug before Christmas, but put it back on the shelf ~ obviously, I was intended to buy it because it was sitting there and this time I decided to buy it. There was no price on it, so when I asked, I was pleasantly surprised that it was 99 cents. I am certain that it was priced higher than this before.


My other purchase was a Christmas bowl. The photo gives no indication of the size, but it is quite a large mixing bowl. I probably won't use it for cooking ~ I'll find some goodies to put in it later in the year. This cost $4.99, so it didn't break the bank.

I was glad to get home again, as the wind was biting and today's high temperature was -10 C with a wind chill of -17 C. This morning it was -27 C, so I was quite literally bundled up to the eyeballs. In these temperatures exposed skin will freeze in minutes.

Snow is expected tomorrow, but at least it will bring relief from those temperatures. We know that it has been cold when freezing point feels like a mild day!

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Life In The Freezer

It seems like there is no end to winter this year. No wonder everyone is so tired of the snow and the cold weather. Today, we are experiencing life in the freezer again with a wind chill of -22 C and it is going to be worse tomorrow with -27 C wind chill.....brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

I went out earlier (I had little choice, as I had an appointment) and I had to wait five minutes for my ride home and I felt like I was going to freeze. Now I know how those penguins feel when you see them standing on the ice with their beaks tucked down!

I thought that I would show you this cake which I made earlier in the month. It started out as a chocolate cake with chocolate chips, then had white frosting added and Cadbury's Mini Eggs to finish ~ is Easter really approaching? It feels more like Christmas!

Monday, 25 February 2008

Girl With A Pearl Earring

I finished reading Girl With A Pearl Earring yesterday. This is one of those books that I have intended to read for a long time, but never quite got around to, but I am so glad that I did in the end.

It tells the story of 16 year-old Griet, who goes to work as a maid for the Vermeer family in 17th Century Holland. This young woman inspires one of Vermeer's most celebrated paintings and the descriptions of the portraits and of life of that period are rich and beautifully written.

I found it hard to get into this novel, more because I had other distractions rather than because of the way it is written ~ I started it twice because when I picked it up the second time, I could barely remember a word that I had read. I am so glad that I persevered and would encourage you to read it if like me, you are new to Tracy Chevalier's work.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Cookie Comfort

I called my Mum this morning and we had a chat about the latest news, including our news from earlier this week. She told me that she had received the card I sent her, which is actually a Mother's Day card, as this falls next weekend in the U.K. I haven't seen Mum in almost three years and I can't believe how the time has passed. I came off the phone feeling upset that I can't be there to spoil her on her special day and can't even give her an assurance that I will be able to visit this year.



So after a stressful week, I was in need of some comfort. I decided to do some baking this afternoon and made Honey Oat Biscuits from a recipe that I saw at The Homely Year ~ thank you ladies, they are delicious!






After this, I decided to make my favourite Chocolate Chip Cookies. I use the Be-Ro recipe, which I have been making for years, which I have just discovered is now online! I had no idea that Be-Ro had embraced today's technology.


The kitchen was soon filled with the scent of baking and it was a real home comfort ~ just what I needed.

Notes From Nova Scotia ~ Part Five

Well, we made it! We arrived in Dingwall, Nova Scotia on the northern tip of Cape Breton Island at 4.30 pm on the Friday; five days and 2,400 km/1490 miles from leaving home. We stayed at Beach View Cottage which is on a sheltered bay and overlooks the best beach that I have ever set foot on. It was absolutely fabulous and when we went down there, we had it almost to ourselves ~ only 6 people on it, including the two of us!

The beach is surrounded by mountainous forests and on the bay side, there are little pools of warm seawater to paddle in: the water on the Atlantic side is COLD!

Hummingbirds visited our window every day as they came to feed at the feeders. They are amazing little birds and it was the first time that I had ever seen them. I sat quietly by the window and watched them when they hovered.

We also had a resident bald eagle nearby and got up early each morning to catch a glimpse of it. After three days, we finally spotted it in a tree across the bay and watched it for almost an hour. For those of you who are unsure what a bald eagle looks like, it is the national emblem of the United States.


Now we could say that the eagle had landed!

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Feeling Like The Rug Is Being Pulled From Under My Feet

A letter arrived this afternoon from the City Planning Department informing us of a planning application to demolish our building and build a seniors' retirement residence. To say that it came out of the blue is an understatement. Forgive me, but I need to vent my feelings.

Is it unreasonable to expect that our management office or indeed the owners of the building might have seen fit to inform us of this decision? Apparently that is expecting too much. I called the local Councillor's office and spoke to a very pleasant lady who knew about the application ~ more than I did! She told me that the landlords had informed the city council that the residents are aware of their plans. She was somewhat surprised to hear that I live here and have heard nothing and nor have my neighbours.

Whilst it is hardly a surprise that there is a plan to demolish the property ~ we saw them surveying the lot about eighteen months ago, but no-one would tell us why they were doing so ~ it has left me feeling like the rug is being pulled from under my feet.

I have been told that even if the neighbours object and the city council turn down the plan, there is a very real possibility that the provincial government could overrule the decision, as happened in another neighbourhood planning application within recent weeks.

The Cazalets

posted on Saturday 16th February 2008

The Cazalets was originally shown on PBS and I have been searching for a copy for months. After a failed attempt to buy a copy on e-Bay ~ the shipper declined to ship to Canada ~ I managed to buy one via Amazon. Tonight, I am planning an evening of nostalgia, as I love period dramas; especially from this era.

The stories of Elizabeth Jane Howard were turned into this series by the BBC. It follows the lives of the Cazalet family whose story begins in 1937 as the clouds of war are forming. It is such a wonderful production that if you have not seen it, I would encourage you to do so. The cast are so talented and their characters so believeable that it is not long before the viewer is immersed in their story and at the outbreak of World War II their lives are changed forever.

1 Comment

Two Responses to “The Cazalets”
on Monday 18th February 2008 at 1:15 pm1 Heidi
Hi Marie! I remember when this was on the BBC but I did not watch it as it was on too late in the evening. I am not a night owl needless to say. How fun that you were able to find it finally on Amazon. Enjoy watching it! Are you all organized for you next trade show?
Hugs ~Heidi

on Wednesday 20th February 2008 at 7.21pm
Yes it was on the BBC and I didn't watch it either but I do have a great feeling of nostagia towards these old TV shows. Obviously I'm not the only one as the Beeb is now doing a series called "The Cult of Sunday Night" apparently this week it was about "POldark", which I loved, sadly I missed it as we don't have BBC3 or 4 or whatever but I'm sure it will come to terristrial soon.

Notes From Nova Scotia ~ Part Four

posted on Saturday 16th February 2008

We left Lunenburg the following morning and headed for Halifax. We followed the Lighthouse Trail to Peggy’s Cove and the famous lighthouse. We had our first breath of the Atlantic air as we clambered over the rocky shore and stared across the stealy-blue ocean towards the far horizon. It was wet and windy, but worth the visit.


I mailed postcards at the lighthouse post office and told the recipients to look out for the lighthouse frank when they received them.

We reached Halifax in the afternoon only to find that the bed and breakfast that I had pre-booked did not live up to our expectations. We referred to it as Bates’ Motel: it had a spooky landlord who appeared and disappeared without a sound and we never met the landlady! We stayed one night and couldn’t wait to leave the next day: we had booked for two nights; but beat a hasty retreat and booked ourselves into an hotel for the second night.

During our stay in Halifax we visited Pier 21 which is now a museum and tells the story of millions of immigrants who landed in Canada here between 1929 and 1971.

Halifax is one of the prettiest cities that I have ever visited. It sits on the second largest natural harbour in the world and has a beautiful and historic waterfront. The city was established by the British in 1749 and it is pedestrian-friendly, which was a relief after so many days on the road.

Another Winter Storm!

posted on Tuesday 12th February 2008

As if we haven’t seen enough snow this winter, we are now in the grip of another winter storm. It started this morning, with huge flakes, then stopped. We heaved a huge sigh of relief and then it started again about an hour ago ~ we are expecting about another 10 cm overnight.

I have been quite remiss in posting about an award that I received from Tracy at Pink Purl. She nominated me for the Wonderful Women of the Web Award last week. Thank you Tracy! I only wish that I could work out how to add this to my sidebar ~ I haven’t put any of my awards on there since I moved my blog.


I hardly seem to have a minute to sit down and write posts and I have not managed to get round to visit everyone recently. I think that time is only going to become more precious as I try to get ready for my big trade show next month. I also have a show this week, so I had best go and pack my stock, as I have to do a set-up tomorrow.

2 Comments

2 Responses to “Another Winter Storm!”
on Wednesday 13th February 2008 at 8:06 am1 Heidi
Oh my! More snow? You must have so much by now. I hope you can safely be out and about in it too?
You sound very busy and I know that is great for you. Just remember to sit down each day and take some time to relax and be with yourself. That is so important. Even just 15 minutes of time will reflect in your soul.
Hugs ~Heidi

on Thursday 14th February 2008 at 8:30 am2 Tracy
Hope you’re staying warm and cozy in what with all the snow! You are most welcome for the award–you are one wonderful blogger! :o) Hope your show goes terrific! Happy Valentine’s Day, my friend ((HUGS))

Notes From Nova Scotia ~ Part Three

posted on Friday 8th February 2008

Tuesday dawned to reveal a foggy harbour. After breakfast at the famous Reggie’s Restaurant, we headed to the ferry. We were to cross the Bay of Fundy on the Princess of Acadia, which we had both been looking forward to, but it did not look like we were destined to see much this day.

The Bay of Fundy is famous for the hightest tides in the world, which reach 16 m (53 ft) at the head of the Bay. This creates a tidal bore, due to the funnel-shaped Bay.

Taking the ferry saved us a drive of 582 kilometres and approximately 7 hours by road. The crossing would take us to Digby, Nova Scotia. We departed more or less on time, but soon slowed down once in open water because of poor visibility. Our vessel was sounding her fog horn every couple of minutes and on deck, it was damp and cold. We had not really expected to need our waterproofs and fleece jackets, but we did today.

We arrived safely in Digby and drove across to Lunenburg: a UNESCO World Heritage site which was established in 1753. We were booked to stay at 1826 Maplebird House, which proved to be a delightful bed and breakfast overlooking the harbour.

4 Comments

4 Responses to “Notes From Nova Scotia ~ Part Three”
on Saturday 9th February 2008 at 6:28 am1 Heidi
This trip sounds really exciting. I love the look of the B&B. I think a great place to lay your head with charming hosts makes all the difference when you are away from home.
Hugs ~Heidi
on Sunday 10th February 2008 at 5:25 pm2 Mia
Sound like a lovely trip, and a stay at that cute B&B must be wonderful. But there seemed to be quite a bit of for on the bay, so it must have been a good feeling to have made it to the other side.

on Monday 11th February 2008 at 11:38 am3 Tracy
That B & B is so lovely! How beautiful it looks there! And where you are it still looks like you’re having more winter than we are over here in Norway–LOL! Happy week, my friend ((HUGS))

on Monday 11th February 2008 at 4:02 pm4 cd&m
Looks like a great place to stay.

Another Blast of Winter

posted on Thursday 7th February 2008

We awoke to a second heavy snowfall this morning with a further 30 cm of snow falling overnight. There is in the region of 50 cm on the ground now. Most people are digging themselves out of their homes and driveways, but it does look pretty when the sun is shining.

We ventured out for a walk and took some more photographs of the neighbourhood. As you can see, the trees are weighed down with the snow.

The yellow posts mark the edge of the kerbs so that the plough drivers know where to plough. The snow on the gardens looks like frosting ~ so pretty with the sun shining on it.

Fire hydrants in Canada and the United States are above ground and this yellow one has been painted to look like a dog’s face ~ isn’t it cute! The owners of this garden had cleared a space around the hydrant so that it is visible in the event of an emergency.

A street scene with a plough at rest ~ most drivers are on the road around the clock and I heard this morning that there are more than 1,600 ploughs cleaning up the city’s streets.

Despite the weather, life goes on much as normal ~ people walk their dogs; clean the snow off their driveways and make their way to school and work. It was a beautiful morning to be out in the neighbourhood ~ I hope that you have enjoyed these winter scenes.

6 Comments

6 Responses to “Another Blast of Winter”
on Thursday 7th February 2008 at 8:33 pm1 Lynda
Wasn’t that a lot of snow?? Our street still hasn’t been plowed! I love that fire hydrant! You’re so brave to venture out to take photos, Marie! ~ hugs, Lynda xoxo

on Friday 8th February 2008 at 3:34 am2 jamjar
I was confused at first, but then realised I had come to your new blog. I am with wordpress and have found it pretty straight forward with few of the problems that I found with blogger. I love your snowy photos, what amazing weather you are having, hope you are all keeping warm and toasty.

on Friday 8th February 2008 at 3:42 am3 Marion
Hi Marie…. What a glorious winter wonderland scene your neighbourhood looks. Goodness! you are still very much in the icy grip of winter aren’t you….. It does look beautiful, I like it like this…. its when it gets to that dirty slushy stage it becomes unpleasant.
Congratulations on your move to ‘Wordpress’, your blog is looking good. Hope you are finding it easier to manage.
Keep warm Marie and have a good weekend. Love - Marion x

on Friday 8th February 2008 at 3:43 am4 Heidi
My but you do have a lot of snow! It is like the old~fashioned winters I remember as a girl. The snow would start in November and finally go around March. There is something very special how the sounds when there has been a snowfall. The world is muffled and everything sounds softer. I can now hear that special crunch of the snow under your feet when you walk around to take some photos. Thanks for sharing as I have to enjoy the snowfall through you!
Hugs ~Heidi

on Saturday 9th February 2008 at 2:10 pm5 Priscilla
My My, Ihave never seen that much snow, where I live it has only ever had real deep snow about 4 times and it was no where near as deep as that…… It must make a beautiful sight, although it makes me wonder how everyone magages to get about! Thanks for sharing these photos
Priscilla x

on Sunday 10th February 2008 at 5:23 pm6 Mia
Wow, so much snow! But it looks lovely, I must say, even though I feel quite ready for spring, seeing that our winter has really been a wet and miserable one (we do usually get quite a bit of snow, but not this year, it seems).

Nature Study

posted on Wednesday 6th February 2008

We had another winter storm overnight and a fresh snowfall on top of the snow that fell last Friday. It certainly looks like a winter wonderland this morning. Although it is not sunny, I thought that it was too good an opportunity to miss, so I went out to take some photos of the beautiful trees and gardens under their blanket of snow.

Can you see the fir cone in amongst the branches? The snow is quite wet, so it clings to the trees.

It is quite mild and the forecast is for freezing rain later, then further snowfall tonight, so it will be interesting to see how long it remains. For now, I am content to admire it from indoors.

3 Comments

3 Responses to “Nature Study”
on Wednesday 6th February 2008 at 12:41 pm1 Heidi
Hi Marie! I have to catch back up with your blog tomorrow but wanted to say hello. I have my quilt group coming and don’t have much time today on the computer. I love these photos! How pretty freshly fallen snow is! We have no hope of any as our temperatures are still far too high. They said it will feel like spring this weekend with it reaching 10C and higher. Oh well, our bulbs are going to be blooming soon.
Hugs ~Heidi

on Thursday 7th February 2008 at 3:08 am2 Sasha
What gorgeous photos… such a beautiful part of the world that you live in! I am a lurker, who has resolved to come out and comment on my favourite blogs… so here I am!

on Friday 8th February 2008 at 3:46 am3 Marion
Stunning pictures Marie, you have captured Mother Nature’s winter beauty so perfectly here. Marion

Secondhand Chic

posted on Tuesday 5th February 2008

I recently read an interesting article about buying secondhand and I thought about this book which has been sitting on my bookshelf for a long time. I enjoy thrifting and shopping at consignment stores and I don’t have any qualms about doing so. After all, if people are willing to dispose of their perfectly good items, I might just as well benefit from this.

Christa Weil writes about the many different places to buy secondhand and one thing that the book taught me is to look with my hands as well as my eyes. By learning to feel the quality of fabrics, it is easy to pick out the cashmere sweater from the cheaper alternatives.

Yesterday afternoon, I did a spot of thrifting and yes, I found a cashmere sweater ~ unfortunately, it was not my size, so I put it back on the rack for someone else to find. I did however, come across this sweet little top which will be perfect for the summer.


The embroidery is so pretty and delicate and the fabric is soft and lightweight. I am now on the look-out for some replacement 8 mm buttons for the back, as one is missing (I need eight). Does anyone know of a good source for buttons?



2 Responses to “Secondhand Chic”
on Wednesday 6th February 2008 at 5:46 am1 Tracy
Fun book! And LOVE that top–that pale yellow-green is lovely. Ebay is a great place to look for vintage buttons if you’re looking for vintage. Happy Day ((HUGS))

on Friday 8th February 2008 at 4:00 am2 Marion
Dear Marie….. When I read your request for buttons I was sure I could help you…. I knew I had quite a number of oval shaped (27), ivory coloured ones in my button tin. However, on checking, I find that unfortunately they are too big. What a pity.
What about looking in a charity shop, you may well find a cheap blouse with suitable buttons you could use. Good hunting. Luv - Marion

Notes From Nova Scotia ~ Part Two

posted on Saturday 2nd February 2008


It was Monday morning and we were in Edmundston, New Brunswick, but at first, I could not even remember the name of the place. We packed up and made an early start with St John, New Brunswick in our sights. We had to be there by evening, as we had a reservation on the Tuesday morning ferry.

The drive from Edmundston was beautiful, following the River Valley Scenic Drive south through the province. We stopped at Grand Falls for breakfast and then had a walk to see the Falls which were most impressive; with a force of water sufficient to generate hydro-electric power from the churning, fast-flowing river. It was a hot morning, but much less humid than at home.


We continued on following the Saint John River, glimpsing spectacular vistas through the forests of mixed deciduous and coniferous trees. The forests stretched to the far horizons in all directions. At points along our route, the trees would open up to the huge expanse of the river.


We had a stop at Florenceville, the ‘french fry capital of Canada’ (home of McCain’s factory and potato country). At least here, english seemed to be their first language, which made communicating much easier. South of Florenceville is Hartland, the site of the longest covered bridge and a national historic site.

We reached Saint John in the mid-afternoon. The city is right on the waterfront which forms part of the Bay of Fundy, famous for the highest tides in the world. This historic city was first settled by the British in the 1730s and the remains of Fort Howe can be seen guarding the city.
We went out for dinner, our first proper meal since Sunday lunchtime. We visited Billy’s Seafood Restaurant and enjoyed an excellent meal of fresh haddock, followed by some amazing desserts. A meal had never tasted so good.


3 Comments

3 Responses to “Notes from Nova Scotia ~ Part Two”
on Sunday 3rd February 2008 at 2:50 pm1 Mia
Hello Marie! You have moved! I will change the link in my blog. I have also enjoyed your recent posts, your photos from Yorkshire are beautiful (it is one of the places I really would love to visit).

on Monday 4th February 2008 at 7:59 am2 Tracy
Wonderful photos…and such great armchair travel! Lovely posts of late, Marie! Happy Day ((HUGS))

on Monday 4th February 2008 at 6:43 pm3 yolanda
I love this photo. It looks to be quite beautiful there.

Candlemas

posted on Saturday 2nd February 2008

Candlemas is a celebration of the middle of winter and the return of the sun. It falls at the half-way point between the winter solstice (the shortest day) and the spring equinox. The pre-Christian celebration was a festival of light. This day is also known as Imbolc and is an ancient Celtic festival which celebrates the transformation of winter into spring.

In the Christian church, Candlemas marks the purification of Mary forty days after giving birth and the presentation of Jesus at the Temple, where she was told that he would be a ‘light unto the world’. As with other Christian festivals, some elements are drawn from paganism and Candlemas marks the day when traditionally, the church’s supply of candles were blessed for the year.

Blessed be the earth, and all who dwell upon it.We give thanks for the season now departing from us,For the blessings it has bestowed upon us,And upon those with whom we share this world.

Blessed be the new season.We pray that it will be a time filled with peace,With abundance, with prosperity,With wisdom,With love.

Blessed be all who share this feast.Let us now prepare for the time aheadBy opening our hearts, and our minds, and our spirits.

Blessed be.

Traditonal blessing for celebrating the end of winter

Notes From Nova Scotia ~ Part One

posted on Wednesday 30th January 2008

I have a desire to write at the moment, so I thought that I would share some adventures from a trip to Nova Scotia. This first journey was undertaken on 2005 and the following is an account taken from e-mails sent at the time. I should explain that I had never travelled such a huge distance by car, so I was a little apprehensive about spending days travelling across this vast country which is Canada. I have taken a little artistic licence here in the title of my post, as it actually covers the journey to Nova Scotia, as well as the time we spent there. I hope that you enjoy my Notes From Nova Scotia.

We departed Toronto at 4.30am on Sunday, heading east towards the rising sun. It was a relief to finally be on our way after weeks of anticipation and to escape the sweltering heat and humidity of the city. When we were packing the car on Saturday afternoon, the humidex hit 44C.

The 401 eastbound was virtually deserted and we maintained a comfortable pace, as I was driving. Soon after dawn, we changed drivers and I was settling down for a nap when Paul shouted “Look, a moose” and there she was standing right next to the roadside waiting to cross. Thank goodness that she did not charge out in front of us or the consequesnces could have been disasterous.

The endless miles rolled on across the rolling countryside of Ontario. As we approached Montreal, the scenery changed to the gently rounded mountains of the Laurentians, which form the northern end of the Appalachians. We crossed the vast expanse of the St Lawrence River at Montreal to the south shore. The journey thus far had taken six hours. We continued on for another two hours towards Quebec City and then south from Riviere-du-Loop. At around 1pm, we found a picnic stop for lunch and dined well on food that I had prepared for our journey.

We were now in the heart of french-speaking Quebec and it seemed strange listening to the language, which seems to bear little resemblance to french. It is not uncommon to find people who speak no english, as we discovered when we stopped for fuel.

It was with relief that we reached Edmundston, New Brunswick, almost exactly 12 hours and 1100 kilometres after leaving Toronto. It had been a long drive and there was still a long way to go, but that was for tomorrow.

2 Comments

2 Responses to “Notes From Nova Scotia ~ Part One”
on Thursday 31st January 2008 at 10:41 am1 Tracy
Lovely reminiscenses, Marie! I would love to see Nova Scotia one day! ((HUGS))

on Saturday 2nd February 2008 at 10:45 am2 Britt-Arnhild
I always love to read travel stories

Sailing Away From Winter: a comment from the author

posted on Wednesday 30th January 2008

Well, I had a pleasant surprise this afternoon when I received an e-mail from Don about the book review that I posted last time. He had read it and has posted it on his blog and linked back to mine.

Sailing Away From Winter

posted on Tuesday 29th January 2008

I found the perfect book for a spot of armchair travelling. Sailing Away From Winter is about the cruising adventures of a Canadian couple, Silver Donald Cameron and his wife, Marjorie Simmins. They live in Nova Scotia, in the village of D’Escousse on Cape Breton Island. In 2004, they set sail south from Nova Scotia to the Bahamas in their 33′ Norwegian motor-sailer Magnus; with their loyal and faithful dog, Leo the Wonder Whippet.

Now you may be wondering who would ever call their son Silver, so perhaps I should explain! Donald Cameron is such a common name in the Maritimes that when Don settled on Cape Breton, he came to be known as Silver Donald because of the colour of his hair!

Leo is a Wonder Whippet because at the start of this tale, he is thirteen with congestive heart failure and arthritis. Despite his health problems, he takes to the cruising life and is always eager to explore new ports and meet new people. He sounds like such a sweet dog. Over the course of his journey he finds a new exuberance and zest for life.

The book is a delightful tale of the pleasures and traumas of undertaking a voyage of more than 3,000 nautical miles on a journey that lasted 236 days; at the end of which they reached Little Harbour on Great Abaco Island and spent the evening at Pete’s Pub, which is a palm-thatched bar on the beach.

It is also about the people Don and Marjorie meet on their journey and the strong and lasting bonds of friendship that are formed. There is a special bond between those who venture into the great unknown and overcome their fears, especially amongst those who venture offshore and across the open ocean.

To quote a passage from Don’s book:

“The morning dawned bright and still, already warm. The wooded shores lay dark against the clear blue sky, the water crystal-green below the boat and turquoise in the distance. A couple of sleek dolphins browsed easily among the anchored boats, their foreheads rising as they breathed, their dorsal fins slicing the water, mammals like ourselves, symbols of elegant adaptation at the interface of sea and air. A light wind ruffled the water.”

If I close my eyes, I can smell the ocean and feel the warmth of the sun on my face. I can feel the gentle swaying of the boat at anchor and enjoy the silence of the early morning. How I wish I was there! One day, perhaps.

1 Comment

One Response to “Sailing Away From Winter”
edit this on Wednesday 30th January 2008 at 9:19 am1 Tracy
This sounds like a fantastic read–a real adventure! Thanks for the tip, Marie. I’ll be adding this one to my reading list for sure. :o) Happy Day ((HUGS))

How Do You Like Your Scones?


posted on Monday 28th January 2008


As I write this post, the aroma of freshly baked scones is wafting from the kitchen. I decided that a little treat was called for this afternoon, as I am sitting here attempting to plan for One of a Kind, which is only seven weeks away!

I am having my scones with butter: all melted and delicious when spread on them almost straight from the oven and I wondered ~ how do you like yours?

2 Comments »

2 Responses to “How Do You Like Your Scones?”
on Tuesday 29th January 2008 at 3:42 am1 Heidi
Oh yes! I also prefer them straight from the oven and have a great recipe for them. I also like to use lemon curd and whipped cream on them. Jos prefers them with strawberry jam and whipped cream. We cannot buy clotted cream here and I recently found a recipe to make mock clotted cream which I want to give a try. Can you buy clotted cream in Canada? Oh you are making me want to jump across the channel and go visit England!
Hugs ~Heidi


on Tuesday 29th January 2008 at 8:19 am2 Isobel
Definetly with butter! Scones with butter in a weekend morning is pure heaven! x

A Secret Garden

Imagine walking through a doorway and being greeted by this view. I often dream of a secret garden, especially a walled garden which conjures up images of a warm and sunny place to spend my days. I think that I have some romantic notion of rediscovering a hidden garden as in the story The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. How magical it would be to find such a place and slowly bring it back to life.


In my dreams, I would have a rose garden and a herb garden to impart wonderful fragrances everywhere I walked. I may even add a chamomile lawn so that when I walk across it, the aroma of chamomile greets me. A quiet corner with a comfortable place to sit would be essential as would a summerhouse ~ a place to spend lazy afternoons.


Do you ever dream of such a place?


5 Comments

5 Responses to “A Secret Garden”
on Monday 28th January 2008 at 7:14 am1 Tracy
OH, yes, I have such dreams all the time! I dream of one day transforming our garden into the stuff of dreams…I can see it in my mind. :o) Happy dreaming, my friend…((HUGS))


on Monday 28th January 2008 at 7:58 am2 Felicia
Thats a wonderful book and a fabulous notion


on Monday 28th January 2008 at 1:17 pm3 Priscilla
Oh My, you describe what I think of on a regular basis…….. I also love the secret garden and the films, I wish I lived in a house with a large old garden with hidden gates and sections of roses, statues, wildlife…….. ornate benches to enjoy an amazing book. As a child I used to have a friend who’s house I used to play at, she had a huge garden and an orchard full of apple, plum trees! She had a little wood built wendy house that we played in, there was a pond, she had chickens and lots of garden figures…………I think that is the closest thing I have ever been to a secret garden………
Have you read another books with gardens as a theme? I would be really interested…….
Enjoy dreaming and you are not alone
Priscilla x


on Tuesday 29th January 2008 at 3:51 am4 Heidi
I have been trying to achieve that effect here in the city. I cannot take away the fact that we live on top of each other here. I cannot take away the fact that the noise from children is always there each and every day. Still I have tried to create a secret garden of our own. We had a beautiful iron gate made and now the garden is looking really good. I am anxious for the weather to change and start making a few changes in the planting. I am not happy with a few things that seem to have seen better days. I do love that people say they are amazed when they come through the gate as you cannot tell what is behind it from the street even as little as the gardens are here. It makes it lots of fun. I am living in great anticipation of my wisteria bursting into bloom…..
Do you have a large garden now? I would love to see it when it awakens from its winter sleep.
I just love the book The Secret Garden. What a sweet story. I often think about Mary as I am trying to nurse a plant back to health. Some plants need her special touch.
Hugs ~Heidi


on Thursday 31st January 2008 at 7:31 pm5 Lisa
I love dreaming of secret gardens, a special place to spend some quiet time to reflect on my day. Little by little we are transforming our yard into that inspirational garden. I enjoy the feeling when my gardens sleep for the winter, but look forward to the stirring of the sprouts in the spring.
Sweet Dreams!Lisa

Parceval Hall and the Yorkshire Dales

posted on Tuesday 22nd January 2008

I’ve been feeling a little homesick for the past few days, so I was browsing through my photo albums and I decided to do a post about Yorkshire. I have some beautiful views, so I may decide to post about it on a more regular basis.

Parceval Hall which is located near Appletreewick in the Yorkshire Dales. This is such a beautiful place and so peaceful. In summer there is a profusion of old-fashioned roses in the rose garden, but this last visit that I made was in the month of September when there was less to see in the way of flowers.

The Hall is reached via a narrow winding country lane, but it is definitely worth the drive. The walk up from the parking area reveals the Hall in its beautiful setting surrounded by the hills of the Dales.

There are 16 acres of woodland on the estate and a pretty woodland path that winds up the hill and overlooks these views. Outside the Hall itself, there is a waterlily pond with this tranquil scene and sculpture.

I hope that you have enjoyed this tour of Parceval Hall and that you will join me again for further Yorkshire adventures. I have now completed my move to WordPress and it has gone smoothly. I am only relocating Dreaming of Wild Roses at this time: my business blog is remaining on Blogger until I decide whether I settle in here. If you currently link to my old home, please update your link. Thank you!
4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Parceval Hall and the Yorkshire Dales”
on Wednesday 23rd January 2008 at 8:14 am1 Tracy
Looking forward to going to your lovely Yorkshire again soon, Marie! It looks lovely there…And I like your new look here at Wordpress! Happy Day ((HUGS))

on Wednesday 23rd January 2008 at 10:52 am2 Heidi
Oh Marie, this is so beautiful! I have never heard of Parceval Hall but will have to try and go see it one day. The scene is just so typical Yorkshire. Yorkshire is heaven on earth! How often are you able to get back home to England?
The new blog page looks lovely. I will be interested to hear how you compare Wordpress to Blogger after you have been here a while. I will be running out of space and will be switching then as I think it is silly to have to pay and if I understand it correctly, you do then.
Hugs ~Heidi

on Wednesday 23rd January 2008 at 5:28 pm3 Lynda
I can see why you feel homesick, Marie! It looks so beautiful!
So you decided to switch to Wordpress afterall! Let me know what you think of it … I don’t seem to have as many issues with Blogger as you did but Wordpress has a few features that I really like … especially the ability to reply to comments!
~ hugs, Lynda xo

on Friday 25th January 2008 at 2:53 pm4 Priscilla
Hi marie, Thank you for sharing pictures of yorkshire, I have family that live in north yorkshire, although I dont see them very often, it is a lovely ride to see them although I have never done any real sight seeing……I look forward to more posts form you!
Priscilla x