Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Write ... Edit ... Publish ... Bloghop: Change of Heart ...





Why on earth did she have to have that item to make a meal from … while the others had, to her mind, easier foods … but she had a plan … she would stuff hers ... so far she only had one to use.


A questioning eye ...
what change of heart ... 


Her fellow contestants – what a motley lot they were … uncouth, uncaring, unhelpful … she deserved to win … and she was doing all she could in that direction.  She just had to be careful and so clever.





Hearts make for good eating … and oh boy does she have an interesting one to eat … perhaps she’ll find a couple of smaller ones later on  – but that would take some effort … and set the cat amongst the pigeons giving away more than she intended … her secret had to remain hers …




For now – let’s think about the cooking … but what will she do … grill slices, skewer it whole, stuff the two larger chambers – she couldn’t be bothered to make four stuffings … two would be fine …




… or make a meatloaf … ah mix and hand-mush the finely chopped ingredients together … that would be fun … but would be cooked, or she could make heart-tartare … and then no-one would know what they were eating … and she’d have squelched the heart in her hands …




Dice some onion, celery, mushrooms finely chopped and lightly sautéed … add in salsa verde to flavour one of the stuffings and a few peas to brighten the ruby colour, while the other mix could have chimichurri combined with breadcrumbs … that’d make the heart tasty …


Then the pleasurable bit … massaging and manipulating that heart to clean it up … strip off the fat, all obvious squishy tissue, valves, papillary muscles and tendineae … her fellow opponents would know and appreciate the care she’d taken – but would they guess about Jonas …


Bleeding Heart Yard, London
A body was found here 1646 - torn limb from limb,
but the fresh heart still pumping blood ... 

Stuffed heart – that’s the idea … no need to Change that Heart … but perhaps she could have had a Change of Heart …


They would question her – where was Jonas … well couldn’t they see he was in front of their eyes … now it’s too late for a Change of Heart – her butchery skills had been tested …



The time had come to present the dish to the judges and other contestants … to see what they think … as they sample that heart …


… then she’d better disappear … her disguise and hiding place have been well established … should be a cinch …


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Friday, 10 August 2018

Cherry Point Art – Clearwater Studio and farm …




A visit with a society I’m a temporary member of while I’m out here … took us to a member’s home – where her artist daughter and intrepid husband live …

Fire Lily - centre piece of art in her mother's house


The Times Colonist did a wonderful write up (see link below) on their home looking out towards the lower gulf islands in Satellite Channel …






Cherry Point area on Vancouver Island ... showing
some islands, inlets, ferry routes etc


I was talking to Kmit, the artist, as I do … and she offered to show me round their studio and home – so once again I had a private tour: very lucky me …





From the mother's home looking out to Salt Spring Island



… it’s an extraordinary home – as you can read from the article and from the notes and photos I took that match each other …








Kmit's giant eases ... for the large
art works she creates ... 




I suggested to one of my book club contacts they take visiting Colorado friends to the Gallery … they stayed two hours … I bet they engaged with Kmit and her husband … like–minded souls, I would think …






Blue bottle tree - I gather, they need two more



Anyway enough of my back story … and on with the tour … they are both so talented as you will see from the photos …


Some interesting facts taken from the Times Colonist article – but noted as I was shown round the building:






Butcher's block from recycled Maple


Industrial plant/barn converted to this amazing art, workshop, music space …





Once the building was surveyed … including the upstairs floor being of car deck strength (as in car ferry supports) …






One of Kmit's shire horses




... Kel, Kmit’s husband, conserved and utilised the various woods on the property … fir, maple, … and see article for other innovative places resources were found and put to good use …








Abkhazi Garden as painted by Kmit



The art … Kmit loves horses, particularly shire horses … and plants and gardens – you’ll be getting a post on the Abkhazi Garden shortly … but here’s Kmit’s stunning painting of it …






The barn/art/music studio's kitchen - where they live



Talk about luck at being shown around … and in the article (linked below) I love Kmit’s words ‘We hope never to retire’ … they’ve developed their small property into a self-contained and community friendly farm …




An art work Kmit made while at university ...
one I rather liked





Lots of photos here … and I know you’ll understand why I wanted to share with you all …









The Times Colonist's article - which gives more detail ... if you wish to read ... 

Clearwater Studio ... website here ...

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Monday, 6 August 2018

Blog Sandwich Update 14: Unintended and uninvited Vancouver lunch …




Today is British Columbia Day … and here’s their flag, which I saw at the Belkin Gallery on the BC campus as I wandered towards the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) on my recent short introductory visit to Vancouver.




Salt Spring Island is just off Vancouver Island, where
I am staying; the ferry line from the north is from
Nanaimo; while the straight line is the 49th parrallel


It’s a holiday – but life at the farm doesn’t stop … more updates anon … for now a Vancouver misadventure by me!


I’d set off earlyish (7.00 am) for a 45 minute drive to the Nanaimo ferry … I knew there were two – and assumed that they were in the same place … but no – anyway I walked onto the ferry to Twsawwassen – it was Vancouver way.


Inadvertently it was probably a wise mistake … it was longer, but less hassle … got off the ferry onto a bus, and onto the metro straight to my stop at City Hall.



This was day 2 ... not the best photo - but you can just see
the skyscrapers appearing from the coast, as Vancouver
is built in, around and above various waterways

When I’d booked my room I’d no idea about the layout of Vancouver … but it was the perfect place to stay.  I looked north over the city, not in the maelstrom of tourist/cruise ship life – yet was on the metro, the bus and foot to places I wanted to see or get to.






City Hall - art deco style


I was meeting friends the next day for lunch at a restaurant by City Hall …another post on that!  But that first day I dropped my bag at the B+B, thankful they were open.  Got the bus out to the BC campus …






Then had to walk across the campus to the MOA … it was quite a long walk … lots of building works going on and I’d no idea of the Uni’s layout – just knew I was aiming for Point Grey and the museum.


BC Campus - Rose Garden ... 'ocean' beyond ... 

I was directed towards the Rose Garden … and carried on walking past the Morris and Helen Belkin (contemporary) Art Gallery and various sculptures none of which I could do full justice too: I had a goal and it was late afternoon …









I got to the Rose Garden area and with relief saw a food set up … wandered across – I did notice there were no prices, or much advertising etc – but wasn’t stopped and was longing for a drink and a light snack.





Happily helped myself … a delicious fruit punch, a choice from lots of Mediterranean style dishes … I ‘ladled’ a few salady spoonfuls into my bowl … then looked up to ask how I pay … ah …


It does look good doesn't it ...?
… they looked at me, my eyes wandered along the four of them in the ‘cart’ above … found the boss looking one … he looked at me … I looked at them … ah! … are you part of the film crew?


That answered that problem … but I had a small dish of fodder, some delicious looking punch – none of which could be returned whence it came …




… oooh once again I was embarrassed – they said don’t worry … first I thanked them profusely … and then said I’d pay it forward … still to do that … something will turn up … I moved a distance away from the film area – it was another tv series I gather, but could see no set …


I'm sure architecturally it is interesting ... and when
well lit per media shots ... it looks stunning - but on 'my day' -
it was a little undaunting.  It is built on 'unceded Mesqueam
territory' ... (First Nations land)



I did get to the MOA eventually … nearly running down the Rose Garden steps … and didn’t have much time – still a reason for another visit in due course.  A quick tour around the grounds of the Museum and a very quick whizz through some of the exhibits … then it was closing time: 5.00 pm.






Definitely not my photo!
Back to the bus … where do I get off … I said Broadway – the driver said it’s here … so off I get start to walk – then ask how far to City Hall (the bit I’d forgotten to mention) … someone said about 20 blocks!  By then I was tired and waited for the slow bus … the wait was slow too! 




Vancouver skyline - not by me!

Still … I’d got back to where I recognised and had my bearings … now for supper as I was fair exhausted … but that is for another day … tales of Vancouver and some other places I’ve recently visited to follow …


This is becoming my 3rd age misspent youth … a series of misadventures or perhaps good unintended consequences that can be written up about …


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Friday, 3 August 2018

Blog Sandwich Update 13: Day out in Victoria, Canada …



I had to take the little car for some attention (nothing to do with me) … it needed whatever it was – Mercedes summoned us - I arrived on time … the chap was somewhat amazed – being the English ‘girl’ in a Smart car …
Inner harbour (site of original Fort),
Empress Hotel lit up, Legislature in all
its glory ... 




… some others rocked up, and his comment was 'they’re an hour and a half late'!  People get lost … but this little soul (if I can call myself that?!) had found her way to the outskirts of the industrial area near where Point Ellice house is today (without SatNav).








Victoria 1889

Down I walked, past the Cowichan Tribes store – I called in for a chat and look around, on to Bastion Square, where Hudson’s Bay Company established its trading post, Fort Victoria (1843 – 1858), … I need to have another look around this historical area.




Finns - as it now is
I was ready for something to eat – trouble was ... Finns presented itself: a beautiful redbrick and fieldstone building overlooking the harbour called to me – originally built in 1882 by Roderick Finlayson, as a ship chandlers and provisioners, known today as ‘the father of Victoria’.





Tabasco cocktail sauce and
 grated horseradish



Better than a quick snack … so a good light lunch was had … Oysters with a Caesar salad accompaniment.  No wine – just water!  It was delicious … the view was gorgeous despite having to be indoors as it was a cloudy, chilly Thursday, check out the views on the harbour on their site.





Recent self-portrait: Robert Bateman


Then off to walk along the harbour front to an Art Gallery – the Robert Bateman Centre.   As a child he (now 88) was fascinated by the natural world, sketching and painting wildlife around him.  Travelling and teaching allowed him to focus on art and nature … as well as stimulating youngsters in the great outdoors.






Cardinal in Sumac 1992
(can you see him ... middle left ...?!)



The art in the gallery was a delight to see … he is highly acclaimed today as one of Canada’s great artists and conservationists.  








Dozing Lynx 1987 by Robert Bateman
(apologies it wasn't the Snow Leopard - though I have
that ipic too)



Very different from Emily Carr – though both these artists were influenced by the Group of Seven – Canada’s first national art movement inspired by the Canadian landscape.








Totem Pole in the new extension - Empress Hotel


I wandered back past the legislature, thought about tea at the Empress Hotel … but walked on through, not by – it was packed … and then retraced my steps up town to find little car.






'Farm' - the cannabis bar ... not quite sure of the status
as regulations are in the process of being relaxed


I was fairly desperate for some tea … and hoped to find a cup somewhere – nothing presented itself … I cannot stand fast food outlets (sorry!) … anyway I met a bulk of a man outside a bar …







Descriptions of products available


… he was obviously ‘guarding’ something – but I thought I might be able to get a drink : so asked … he said he didn’t think it was the kind of tea I’d like or perhaps was suitable for me … so I asked what it was: a cannabis bar!






I have no idea what any of these are ... except I was
in that shop!


I went on my way – about three steps … u-turned, retraced … and said ‘do you think they’d mind if I went in for a quick look’ – he said he didn’t think so … and I could take pics as long as no-one featured.







Not the chap!  Just one of the murals on the hoarding
for the Rock Bay project 



Actually the chap I met inside was quite interesting – he’d had mental problems, and mixed with ‘the wrong sort’ … and said that since he’d had some help using cannabis it had calmed him down and he could cope with the depression and challenges.  




Vancouve Island top left, Seattle has that huge
range of fjord like inlets ... Vancouver itself
is about where the title 'Boater's Guide' appears
above the 49th parallel

He mentioned other health issues it appeared to cure – I don’t know … and we were just generalising … I enjoyed my chat … however = no tea!!


On up past murals like the one above … to the car and back home via the dreaded Malahat – it was a fun walk around … stimulating and diverse …



That was another day in the life of this positive blogger …



PS This dozing blogger - just realised that it is a Lynx Dozing ... and not the Snow Leopard = brains went somewhere!!  Sorry commenters, but more importantly - the artist: Robert Bateman.

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Friday, 27 July 2018

We Are the World Blogfest ... # 16 - Justice, Equality and Sustainability ...




Palewell Press - an independent publisher has as its tag line the title of this post ... Justice, Equality and Sustainability ...




So a brief foray to introduce you to them ... an appropriate publisher at this time ... which features narrative poetry on relevant subjects ...




- the land: the future of the British landscape in the wake of investigating the past;

- abuse: being protected from it and injustice;

- authors: who have something important to share;

- refugees: who write or have their story written into books;


The book of poems I bought:
The Soil Never Sleeps


The titles of the publications ... range wide, evocatively and enticingly asking me to tick the 'to buy list', for now a wish list ... I set out a few titles:

Travelling East by Road and Soul by Camilla Reeve ... a longitude journey ...


Travels of a Spider by Camilla Reeve ... on human rights, war, the environment ...

Tutu's Rainbow World - selected poems ...

Three days in Damascus -
a Memoir by Kim Schultz
The Soil Never Sleeps - poetry from the pasturelands of Britain ... which was the publication that I was introduced to when a blogger was referencing that her blog was going into permanent slumber mode … but the soil never does …


Having found Palewell Press ... and seeing their Webpage and services - I am hooked.  I bought the Soil Never Sleeps collection for myself and for the cow farming family out here ... but feel sure you will find publications to draw you in ...


Tiger and Clay - Syria fragments
by Rana Abdulfattah



Camilla has a video introduction on how Palewell Press came into being ... included in the media page ...



Palewell Press - Human Rights Publisher ...not a commercial publisher … there are four categories used on the Welcome to our On-line Bookstore … 




Refugees, Human Rights, Third World …

Climate Change, Environment, Nature …

Mental and Physical Health …

Social and Personal History …

I hope you'll enjoy looking through, but also remember this small independent press ... and at some stage support them ... 

We are the World - In Darkness Be Light


PS I've got some new system bits ... so this is a bit of muddle - I'm scrapping to find my way to doing things easily!!  I hope I can get it sorted soon - techie stuff ... can be troubling!!

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories