Iron Rich Saint John

pict0027
Recently I wrote about my visit to Saint John, New Brunswick in 1976.  I wandered the streets feeling surprise and delight, discovering the wealth of Victorian architecture constructed in the years after the Great Fire of 1877.  A particular fascination of mine was decorative cast iron and this post will show examples that caught my attention. Hope they attract your… Read More

Learning from Saint John

pict0001
When I grew up in Halifax in the 1950s and 60s we were led to believe that Saint John, New Brunswick was a dark and dreary place that could suck the joy out of you like a Harry Potter dementor. When I finally visited our sister city for a couple of days, in the fall of 1976,… Read More

Tiny Stuff

dsc02425
New Year's is traditionally a time of taking stock and often that includes trying to simplify your life (usually translated as "get rid of stuff'). I support minimalism but also enjoy being surrounded by pockets of visual richness. It occurred to me that one solution might be to just have small stuff that didn't take up much… Read More

Give me a big Hygge

img_0247
Are you aware of the Danish concept of hygge (pronounced 'hooga' or 'hoo-guh')? It is often translated as 'cosy' but then quickly you are told that that is not really accurate. It has to do with the sense of well being you have in a comfortable setting, perhaps sharing a beverage with friends or wearing… Read More

Adaptive Reuse

pict0011
Have you been able to process all the development proposals in Halifax that are trying to sneak into the system before the Centre Plan is finalized? One caught my attention because it was actually proposing to save an old house (and build a whole bunch of apartments behind it). The planners for the project said the… Read More

Visiting the Power of Fundy

1-img_2123
Have you been following the installation of the experimental tidal power turbines? It's taken a while but the giant turbines have been lowered into the fast moving currents of Minas Passage and are producing electricity. Last summer Sheila and I visited a couple of sites associated with this story and have a few snapshots. As… Read More

Greek Key Designs

dsc02028
Do you listen to the spirits? For a while I have been thinking about writing a blog post on the design known as Greek key, but was in no hurry. Then last week while digging in the garden near an old stone wall I turned up a shard of 19th century ceramics with Greek key pattern.… Read More

What if Cogswell ?

dsc00691
Recently we attended the Project Kick-Off event for the Cogswell Street Interchange redevelopment. The redundant, late 1960s interchange represents a colossal failure in planning, so folks are very engaged in getting it right this time around (there will not be a third chance). The good news we were told is "everybody wants it!" You can take… Read More

Celebrating Margaret’s Justice

dsc01808
Last Saturday we attended a very special family christening down on Digby Neck. It was not for some sweet, gurgling babe but celebrated my great great great grandmother, Margaret Davis, who died in 1858, age 94. Actually it was a new ferry that was being christened, named Margaret's Justice in honour of my ancestor. At the… Read More