The Weekend

So are you panicking because summer is speeding past? We know the feeling and are trying to do slightly more than wave as the season burns on through. As proof of concept, here is some noticing that happened last weekend.

First thing every morning I take a short stroll in our garden. As the days get shorter the sun is just peeking into our little valley. I try to remember to be present in the moment.

On Friday evening we met friends in town for supper and tried the new Ostrich Club in the Hydrostone Market. A stylish and tasty addition to a district that felt summer lively.

This newish building across the park looked perfect in the twilight and made me take a closer look: well-scaled and detailed, nicely combining commercial with a bit of residential. We could use more of this flavour.

Then we stopped by the condos on Stanley Street that are nearing completion. More proof that densification can look good and not change the character of a neighbourhood. Eight units built on a large vacant lot.

On Saturday we went to the Valley to stay overnight with friends and see the production of Animal Farm at Ross Creek. The audience sat around a bonfire, and the actors trotted and oinked in and out of the shadows. The buildings and landscape at the Arts Centre were dramatic too.

In the “it’s the little things department,” I love seeing copies of the Blomidon Naturalists Society Newsletter, designed and printed by the remarkable Gaspereau Press in Kentville. Collectable for the covers alone.

When we stopped at a farm stand for corn I was charmed by the hand-painted donuts sign and smiling Chef Potato, who appears happy to cook his own kind (backed by a strange, heavily-veined maple leaf).

At the Acadia University Art Gallery, the current exhibit is Maud Lewis: a Life Collected. A good selection of paintings by Nova Scotia’s favourite folk artist were displayed, with memories of the collectors who had acquired the works. An insightful, new way of telling the artist’s story.

And leaving the Beveridge Arts Centre, it was amusing to notice that the fire exit plan looked like a locomotive, with arrows indicating how the engine works. Anyway, that’s what I saw.

Then to Grand Pre for a milkshake and, as always, an admiring glance at the old Irving Station.

We took our tasty treat up the hill to the Covenanter Church (c1811), and wandered in the graveyard. An 1880s cast zinc marker particularly attracted my attention.

Then why not take the old road part of the way home? In Hantport this allowed a quick spin around the large community park. The centrepiece is 1860s Churchill House, one of the best Italianate-style houses in Nova Scotia.

Also noticed the beauty of the baseball diamond. Not something that would normally attract my attention.

A last quick stop was at the cemetery in Mount Denson, where the best discovery was this pair of draped stones.

Then we got on the big road and listened to the audio book of Lincoln in the Bardo, all the way home.


  • This past weekend was also the 40th anniversary for the Clam Harbour Beach Sandcastle Competition. In a scrapbook there is a photo of me walking on the beach at the 3rd competition, in 1981. I had penciled in an expanded horizon on either side of the snapshot, ’cause bigger view.

  • When we stopped at the the Covenanter Church with our milkshakes, there were folks preparing for a wedding ceremony. Reminded us of a wedding we attended there in the 1980s. We happen upon the waiting groomsmen in their black and white costumes, closely observed by a herd of black and white cattle in a neighbouring field. An enduring favourite image.

About the author

Stephen Archibald

It’s Stephen Archibald doing the noticing. I’m a huge fan of Nova Scotia’s material culture and cultural landscapes. Twitter (@Cove17 ) made me realize I could share what attracted my attention (perfect for my very short attention) and I’m gratified when folks enjoy my content. Pleased to meet you on the internet.