Iron Rich Saint John

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

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

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

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

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

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

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