The Levee Tradition

New Year's Day levees are very special events that you may never have attended; you might not even realize they exist.  On New Year's Day the general public is invited to drop by and say hello to officials like the mayor, the heads of the military,  church leaders  and the Lieutenant Governor.  These are feel-good events that…Read More

That’s a Wrap

How was Christmas?  Did you get what you need?  We '70s types know you can't always get what you want. Whatever you got, how was the wrapping?  Some folks make present wrapping a work of art.  Around our tree we are careful unwrappers and favourite papers get saved and used again next year and the year…Read More

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!

I sense that many people are fond of Christmas trees. On Twitter they posted pictures of their decorated trees at the first of the month and I remember last year trees lingered far into January. Folks from other cultures must be charmed when they observe our ritual of bringing a tree inside and decorating it with treasured ornaments. The…Read More

“A Liberal Quantity of CANDY”

If you are not following Small History NS ( @smallhistory ) on Twitter you are missing out on a treat. Everyday there are stories that appeared in old newspapers from around the province. It is run by an academic researcher who shares some of the lovely stuff she spends all day reading but can't use directly in…Read More

Skating the Egg

Any day now the skating Oval on the Commons will open for the season. I'm not a skater but this facility appears to be a great success. We have dropped by a couple of times and there is a great vibe with young and old gliding together. Surprise! I have a couple of snapshots of vintage…Read More

Wrap Up

I'm not much of a gambler, never bought a lottery ticket, you won't find me in with the VLTs in Gus'.  But this time of year we do buy boxes of clementines  which feels like a crap shoot.  Will the bottom layer be soft and fuzzy?  Will the fruit be tasteless or dried out?  Clementines are…Read More

You’re Bound for Pleasure

In our hampers of Christmas paraphernalia there are some late 19th century cards that demonstrate the concept of generational humour. I assume they were hilarious in their time but today it takes some unpacking to get the point. There is just enough depth to the collection to suggest several themes (we are always looking for patterns). Most of the cards…Read More

With Every Christmas Card I Write

We are beginning to excavate the wicker picnic hampers stuffed with memories of Christmases past. Uncovered was this little collection of Christmas card survivals - I'll let you judge if they deserved to live another season. Christmas cards were once a bigger deal (mail was a bigger deal). These paper labels were distributed by the Post Office in the…Read More

Explosion Memories

In three years it will be the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion. Recently I came across a packet of material that accompanied an exhibit for the 60th anniversary. Got me thinking, in not a very orderly fashion, about my evolving understanding of the event. When I grew up in Halifax in the 50s it's…Read More