Walking around the Town

I realised today, walking around our town (Baie-D’Urfé) that we really have come a long way from the northern council housing estate in England that I left for college about 49 years ago … for those who have not yet visited us (do come) here are some fairly typical views of the town about an hour before sunset in late autumn. Important that we don’t take this for granted. In sequence, these pictures are a regular walk we take when we need a half hour leg-stretch.

Click on any thumbnail to see the images in full size.

“Change and decay in all around I see … “

Nearing the end of October and we are gradually putting the garden to bed for the approaching winter. Leaves are being chopped for mulch/compost, dahlia tubers are being lifted, over-wintering pots of lilies have been sunk in a holding bed and shortly the vegetable bed will be dug over and top-dressed with compost. The garlic is already planted.

But even though plants are dyeing back they still have a visual appeal …

Garden redux

After many months of playing the part of a builder’s yard, the garden is finally starting to return to its former shape (not glory yet, but we’ll get there in time). It’s amazing the effect a bit of decent turf – or sod as Canada calls the stuff – and some warm rain can have in July.

A new canvas to paint on.

Yesterday we were talking to our neighbour who commented that our garden is incredibly “English”. We hadn’t planned it that way at all, we just garden the way that feels right to us and which attracts birds and butterflies and keeps the rest of the world out of sight so I guess the Englishness of our style must be inbuilt after all these years … the Canadian style, by contrast, is more minimal upkeep.

(click on any thumbnail to see the image full size)

Building is completed … we can sit back and enjoy it.

24 June (Fete de St-Jean Baptiste … a big day in Quebec)

Finished … well all but for the guttering which will be sorted in a few days. Everything signed off and accepted. Denis and Thomas have done a really superb and careful job.

All we have to do now is to put the garden back to rights. Now that’s going to be a lot of work.

** If anyone is interested in how we got from a snowy lawn a couple of months back to this, we have kept a photo diary of the various stages of construction – you can enjoy it here.

1 2 3 4 5 6

In flower today

Some images of the flowers that have been at their best today …

(Sony A7m2 camera with Canon 100mm macro lens)

Enough of the politics for now …

It’s been an exciting few days what with following closely the outcome of the UK elections (bad) and the Alberta elections (good) to say nothing of being appointed Chair, pro tem, of our town’s environment committee (who knew that retirement followed by stepping down from the board of BPQ would lead me into a close study of the politics of garbage disposal and especially of management of household organic, compostable, waste? Funny old life.)  Anyway – time to step back and take a deep breath so here is the calm, quiet, totally non-political state of the garden just before breakfast today:

(as usual – click a thumbnail to see them full size)


Garden findings

While half the garden is being destroyed and the mechanically surfaced clay is hardening into concrete we need to remind ourselves that good stuff is out there waiting to be found … here are some pictures of today’s “findings” in suddenly arrived mid-twenties temperatures.



A Grand Day Out

The sun shone today and we decided to have a cultural day downtown and visit the Montreal Musée des Beaux Arts (https://www.mbam.qc.ca/en/)to see the wonderful exhibition currently showing there under the title of “Marvels and Mirages of Orientalism: From Spain to Morocco, Benjamin-Constant in His Time” … and well worth the effort it was too. Click here to read about in more detail than I am prepared to type just now.

Followed, of course, by a splendid luncheon in the museum restaurant.

Now – a small rant. Inside the exhibition I took a couple of surreptitious photographs – not of the artwork but to try to capture the atmosphere of the exhibition. One of them I thought had worked rather well and so I posted it on my “other” Facebook page (here) that I keep solely for showing favourite images. That worked so over to my general FB page I went and tried to share the image with my friends there … and blow me down, it was rejected for “Inappropriate content”. It’s the second picture below here and, as you can see, almost coincidentally includes a picture of a dead lady with her clothes off. Actually a pretty famous and valuable lady in déshabillé and nothing to scare the servants and horses with. Eventually I managed to circumvent the computer that was concerned and it is out there for all to see but I was royally ticked off by the FB presumption that my fiends would be corrupted or whatever by seeing this picture of a large room with paintings on the wall.

Whatever – if you live in Montreal go and see the exhibition, it is excellent. If you are just visiting some time we will take you along and buy you lunch. A jewel of the city and apparently the most visited art gallery in Canada bar none.


The Chihuly glass "sun" outside the museum

The Chihuly glass “sun” outside the museum

A bit of inter-gallery atmosphere

A bit of inter-gallery atmosphere

The main entrance to the museum

The main entrance to the museum