Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Trumpeters, Trombones and Tadpoles ...




Life here is eclectic and I live in a pull-me -push-me life-style ... not at all sure what will happen next ... but it makes for interesting memoir (in due course).
Collage of sights in Victoria



I've seen a few films ... they pop up in venues I'd expect as well as well as put on by various societies or organisations.  I do recommend Three Bill Boards in Ebbing, Missouri - it kept me engaged ... yet has still got me thinking about various aspects of life - well worth seeing.  I have another I want to write about.




Thank goodness I haven't been on the freezing east coast, or for that matter over in Siberian Europe - though I suspect the vagaries of weather will catch me next year!  Spring is springing ...


Victoria waterfront by
Edward Richardson (1864)
Things are sorting themselves out - I finally have a desk ... and so can sort my life out a little ... and hope to get a better computer sometime soon - I'm surviving, but it's not that easy.  A strong compartmentalising character resides here ... and even I am battling!


Life on 'our' farm - clearing the trees
I was briefly in Victoria last week and saw the cherry trees blossoming and must get back to spend time down there: the waterfront, which we only drove past, looks stunning ... and to see an Emily Carr exhibition at the Art Gallery.  Little Smart car and I will set out next week sometime!!


I hope also to get up the island a little way purely for research purposes ... so that's on my list for next week.


Trumpeters in full flight -
winter time

So to my 'T's ... Trumpeters - these large migratory swans, re-introduced to increase the near extinct populations of the 1930s, have been trumpeting away - they love the Comox Valley here on the Island and over on the lower mainland.


Seeing various skeins of Swans trumpeting over the farm is a delight ... perhaps not so for the farmers ... though I haven't heard ours complain - I must check.



As stated!
Trombones - bet you don't know what those are?  Took me by surprise ... as I sat looking at some paperclips I'd bought ... they were labelled 'trombones' - which is the French word.  I rather like that ... and if I find more ... I'll be increasing my French a telescopic (slide mechanism) bit ...


Frogs various

Now to Tadpoles ... the swimming pool cover is full of rain-water ... which is fine ... but now I'm told and have already heard the tadpoles come out to play ... and turn into froggies ... I can see I'll be hearing a croaking cacophony for a few weeks!



...  I hope those Tailless amphibians will enjoy lots of tasty little 'itos' - in other words mosquitoes! - and I won't get too bitten: some hope!



Some of the farming family ... 


Things are starting to come to life in the garden ... the trees are being pruned - with the hope for some better fruit, as they are fairly ancient ... some of the big trees, which died, are being dug out - so there's always activity up here ...


... the cows, I hear 'talking' occasionally - but  they enjoy their farmland in the valley below.  Suppers are delicious ... and the bar-b-qs are tantalising near!


FIL to the farmer!  My 'willing' helper!


Thankfully ... the FIL from the farm is fairly handy and helps me sort some fairly irritating challenges out ... and will fix up some mosquito screens for me ... 


... actually he's a handy-man par excellence ... has spent his life working with machinery et al.  His grand-daughter is following in her father's and grandfathers' (both) footsteps.






Chowder at the Bay
Grandson has just gone off to Swaziland with the school on an educational charity volunteer trip ... so it's been good to see their itinerary ... and though he's of an age of not saying much ... I hope to get some Africa feed-back on his return!



Down the road - Cowichan Bay


Well that's me for now ... life has its moments here ... but there's lots of opportunities - so I just need to absorb when I need to, and come back to life shortly after ... so now to get on with a few things and prepare fully for the A-Z ...




Couldn't resist these guys - now I
can see why paperclips so easily
'translate' to trombones - even
plastic ones ... good practice tools


Thanks for visiting and being so supportive ... I'm away from the Tadpoling, Trumpeting Trombones ... which I won't even attempt to translate into French in this bi-lingual country ...


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

51 comments:

bazza said...

Hi Hilary. I'm sure life must be difficult when one is transported thousands of miles away but this post begins to give a real feel of life is like for you. Your positive attitude will stand you in good stead I think.
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s deviant-from-the-norm Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Rhodesia said...

Loved this post. Sounds like you are having a great time. Spring is sort of around the corner here but we have had so much rain that we cannot get out and garden, it is just mud. Also strong winds that I find I cannot work in as my eyes water too much.

Really like that you have a friendly farmer to help you out, sounds a lot like me when I first moved to France and I was on my own with Nigel working in the UK. Sure the son will love Swaziland such a pretty country.

The three T's made me laugh, I would not even of thought of the French word trombones, it would have only been a musical instrument to me, but being plural it definitely is far more likely to be paperclips :-)

Keep well. How long do you expect to be there for. Cheers Diane

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I really do want to see that movie.
Sounds like there are all sorts of adventures on the farm.
Yes, it is really chilly here on the East Coast. We should be eighties by now, but no such temperature in sight.

Anabel Marsh said...

Trombones are paper clips - that WAS a surprise. Everything is looking beautifully bright. Your spring has sprung.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Bazza - yes I am of the resilient, positive clan - but the lady I'm with is from the same clan ... yet the difference is very obvious - so there's a gene split somewhere ... thankfully the farmer son isn't of the same ilk ... and we get on as family kin should.

@ Diane - thanks ... there is a lot going on - some I could definitely do without ... but c'est la vie. The European weather does sound as though it's been dreadful ... but I'm sure your Spring will pop up soon!

Thankfully the farmer is the son from here ... who are so helpful and thoughtful - considering all they've got going on with their own family. Their grandson is on his way now and was looking forward to it - though he's very shy!

Glad the three 'Ts' brought a laugh ... and I was most amused to find that that was the word for paper clips - who'd have thought!

I'm here for 2 years, subject to visa clearance, it cannot be longer and I can't leave while I'm here - emergency withstanding ... so until mid Nov 2019 ... a bit of time to see this part of the country ...

@ Alex - oh good ... I'll be interested to see your review. There's always things going on at the farm ... down and over the highway - it was one piece of land at one stage, with a rural road running through. I gather it's freezing over there, with more to come ... from what I gather ...

@ Anabel - yes ... I was staggered at 'trombone' for paperclips - and I thought it'd provide some amusement. We have had a few absolutely stunning days ... so spring really is on its way I'm glad to say!!

Cheers and thanks for your visits - Hilary

Kay G. said...

Those paper clips? We used to call them "gem" clips here in the South. Goodness me, I just looked it up as to why we did that! Of course, it is somehow tied to England! :-)

Jz said...

oooo, what kind of chowder is that?

Nosy in New England

Liz A. said...

I did know those paper clips are called trombones. There's a pointy kind with a different name as well.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I did like Three Billboards and thought the acting was terrific. I am on the east coast and have gotten hit by those Nor-Easter’s. Lucky you that you have not been bothered by them. They have been brutal.

Joanne said...

You are such a trooper, carry on and keep figuring it all out. Your attitude is perfect -open mind, open heart. Spring shall unfold and lead to wondrous things. Victoria is so beautiful - I could have moved there in a heartbeat. Explore more and report. I look forward to your A to Z and more.
Take good care. Chin up and a cup of tea (or a glass of wine/beer) are well deserved

Botanist said...

Well, I never heard of "trombone" for paperclip, but I can see the reasoning.

However, given that it's the French word it's not surprising it popped up. I've got so used to everything being labeled in French as well as English here I don't give it a thought any more.

Sue Bursztynski said...

What a beautiful place to live! If you have to move so far from home, this is definitely th3 place to be! And those swans... so graceful! We have swans here, black ones but never seen them flying. I have seen them swimming on the sea, of all places!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Kay - yes we call them gem clips in England too ... not sure exactly where or how, or why - but 'trombones' they are!!

@ Jz - it was seafood chowder ... I don't normally do chowder for lunch - but couldn't resist ... I also had the crab melt too ...

@ Liz - I guessed a few people would know 'the trombones' ... not sure I've the energy to go into other paper clip names!

@ Arlene - oh great ... that you agree with me re Three Billboards. Yes I am glad that for the moment I'm on this side of the continent and not over back home in England! I don't like the cold ...

@ Joanne - well it's what I came out for - and it's a necessary stopping point ... I'd have felt awful to return home and leave the family struggling: they may still struggle, but at least it won't be because of what's happening up here ...

Victoria is stunning from what I've seen ... so I look forward to a wander around on my own - in little Smart car, or in the centre once parked.

Don't worry A-Z being thought about ... and yes I don't miss out on the wine ... though obviously have to have my English tea ...

@ Ian - it just struct me when I saw the packet ... and I guessed people would laugh. I too don't look at the French any more - except to realise it's there ...

@ Sue - it is a stunning place to be for this shortish time. The swans don't land here - though do on the farmland below near the lake. I know you've got the wonderful looking black swans in Australia - they can survive in salt water, as well as feed in between times on the arable lands nearby ...

Thanks so much for visiting ... cheers for now - Hilary

Elephant's Child said...

Busy, busy, busy.
Your curiosity and your positive attitude serve you - and us well.
I can't remember the last time I saw tadpoles, and am a little nostalgic about it...

dolorah said...

Ah, I guess the paperclips do resemble "trombones". Clever. I'm glad the weather is decent enough to get out and travel in. Such beautiful sights to see!

Bob Scotney said...

The local heron and two mallard ducks have started checking out my neighbour's very small pond outside my office window. i hope that they do not eat any tadpoles that have survived the ice brought by The Beast from the East.
See you at the A-Z.

Annalisa Crawford said...

You sound like you're settling in quite nicely - the desk is a huge part of that, I imagine! Love the photos and the updates. Yes, the cold weather has been nasty - and returning this weekend, apparently :-(

Pat Hatt said...

Getting the desk set up is a win indeed. Crummy weather still here, hopefully we'll get more spring soon. Never knew paperclips were called that in French.

Mike Goad said...

Two years is quite a long time to visit a country. I hope you are able to enjoy it fully.

Other than passing through from the Vancouver airport to the port for a cruise in 2002 and a two day stay in a cabin near Valemont -- with a bit of local exploration -- in 2001, we haven't spent any significant time in British Columbia in 25 years. Our '93 trip was 2 weeks long, a week in Vancouver and a week on Vancouver Island, 3 days of which were in Victoria before we headed up the island. We really enjoyed it.

Kim Blades said...

Glad to hear you are settling down to life in Canada Hilary. I didn't know swans made a trumpeting sound. I have seen swans but never heard them speak before. Looking foward to your A to Z challenge entries. I am also taking part. Keep well. Kim

Elsie Amata said...

I'm glad you mentioned Three Billboards because I want to see it. I saw that it was available to rent on Amazon and almost rented it last night and then stopped myself. Maybe I'll give it watch this weekend. Thanks for the recommendation!

Elsie

Jacqui Murray said...

What a post, Hilary. You've been busy. Do share a picture of your new writing desk. I always love those.

Trombones--had no idea but I see the relationship to paperclips. Great post--'par excellence'!

Out on the prairie said...

French horns is what those swans remind me of when they talk. Victoria sound real fun, I am just returning from CA

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ EC - I certainly enjoy finding out ... and thankfully I bounce back fairly easily - but am delighted you're enjoying what posts I manage to put up ... I must get out and check for the tadpoles ... will be lots of them!

@ Donna - the 'trombones - paperclips' link was a lucky find: thanks! Gosh I'm so glad the weather is better here ... not quite Spring - though the plants are happily burgeoning forth. The sights I want to get to ...

@ Bob - oh I remember those from my uncle's pond in Horam, Sussex ... I'm sure there are herons here, there are definitely mallards. I'm always amazed at critter life = how it survives winters - especially when they're as cruel as they've been this year ...

@ Annalisa - well getting used to the challenges. When I get the computer then I'll feel easier ... still must get myself sorted with a filing system today! Oh no - are you getting more cold in a few days ... I'm looking at table cloth mountains ... with a fog around too and the mist rising ... it was prettier earlier with the salmon pink sunshine!

@ Pat - well the desk will be great ... now for the rest! Side tables, a computer chair. I'm very glad I'm where the weather is easier. Funny old life about trombones = paperclips ... made me laugh.

@ Mike - yes two years is a decent time ... just really need the owner to up her game a bit - and thus make my life more pleasant ... still I will cope and it's an opportunity and I'm helping the family at a difficult time for them.

Your trip around Vancouver and on the Island will have given you a flavour of what's here ... I still need to look - I'm sure I'll get a chance to do a fair amount.

@ Kim - the trumpeters make an amazing racket as they fly around changing their feeding and resting grounds. Thanks re the A-Z I hope to make it amusing ... and I look forward to seeing your entries ...

@ Elsie - oh that's good - it's worth concentrating when watching ... hope you enjoy it ...

@ Jacqui - well there's things going on - and I must say sometimes I have difficulty keeping up - as I'm not told what's going on almost til it happens ... makes mental planning not easy. My desk is Staples straight and simple ... but I'll sort something out ...

Trombones - it was fun to find that out ... and those plastic trombones match the paperclips don't they ... thanks for the 'par excellence'!

@ Steve - you're probably right re the trumpeting swan noise - French horns ... as I'm in a bi-lingual country. I'm looking forward to seeing a bit more of Victoria ... lucky you to be back from CA ...

Cheers to one and all - a day of cloud covered mountains, lingering fog and rising mist - yet the sun is around ... always a good sign - Hilary

Nilanjana Bose said...

Hi Hilary! You sound like you are gradually settling down...a desk is a comfort zone, you've already got that sorted. The cherry trees must be gorgeous!

Wishing you a great spring and fun prepping for the A-Z! Looking forward to April and before that - 19th.

Best always,
Nila

Anonymous said...

I've only got 75 paperclips so I guess I'm one short of a trombone! Sounds like you are really settling in. Looking forward to your A-Z Reveal next week!

Deborah Barker said...

Hi Hilary, I love the opportunity to peek into your life over there from time to time. I used one of those curtain ring roller as a miniature lawnmower once I recall but never thought of paperclips for a trombone...I see the resemblance now though. You should feature in one of those magazines where they have a section for, "Where I write," I am sure it would be far more interesting than most. Do take care and enjoy your two years away. If you send me an address, I will send you a copy of my book by the way via Amazon. Debbie X

Chatty Crone said...

Hey I am always behind or miss something - I know you moved - but not sure why - to Canada - will you move back home? Who are you with? Sorry but I am behind. sandie

Rhodesia said...

Thanks Hilary for the long answer which has brought me right up to date. Enjoy your 2 years. Cheers Diane

Shannon Lawrence said...

I enjoyed Three Billboards. Just watched it a couple days ago when it came out for rent. Our pool cover is also full of water, so we had to drain it. No tadpoles around here, though. Shame. Enjoy spring!

Guilie Castillo said...

Sounds like you're having quite the adventure, Hilary! So happy for you—though I do understand how difficult it is to adapt and to sort out the little things. 'Trombones' for paper clips... Makes sense once one thinks about it, but I'd never have guessed ;) And that photo of the chowder made my mouth water! Three Billboards is an extraordinary film; glad you got to see it, and that you enjoyed it. Yes, it's quite a source of food for thought. And the acting is beyond belief. Frances McDormand totally deserved that Oscar.

Thanks for the visit over at Quiet Laughter earlier! Hope you get a chance to see Pop Aye, and if you do, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Have a good one!

Fil said...

Lovely to see your post popping up Hilary and that life is settling down a bit. That film looks tantalising from the trailers I've seen - looking forward to seeing it ... and I love the trombones :)
Enjoy the Spring. Fil

troutbirder said...

I do love those majestic Trumpeters. Almost extirpated here in Minnesota they have made and amazing comeback. And our eldest son took up the trombone in sixth grade. I still recall him practicing on our patio till my hunting dog regularly joined in by howling...:)

Sandra Cox said...

As always, a fascinating post, Hilary. Sounds like life is currently filled with ups and downs with fascinating discoveries thrown in.
I loved the info on trombones (paper clips).
I haven't seen a tadpole since I was a tadpole. Grin.
And trumpeting swans....wondrous.
I hope your evening is pleasant and your day filled with joy.
Cheers,

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Nila - between the lines ... the answer is no - but c'est la vie ... get on with it - now for all the desk accessories ... computer, chair, side tables etc ... slow but sure.

Yes the A-Z should be fun ... I hope - I like curiosity!

@ Keith - well I honestly think you need to go out and get the 76th trombone ... then we can all join in! I do enjoy everyone's theme reveals ...

@ Debbie - thanks for the book offer ... that's dealt with via email. I remember those curtain ring rollers - clever idea ... I think if I had to write to form ... it'd not be so interesting. My three 'Ts' just came to me. I'll do my best re taking care ... I'd like to get home!

@ Sandie - thanks for your thoughts ... and I've answered you ... no worries re being behind - it's good of you to ask ...

@ Diane - I wasn't sure what to 'divulge' in the beginning and haven't done that much - but realise the whole palaver of me moving over here suddenly, was a little unanswered ...

@ Shannon - yes Three Billboards was good ... I gather it's up for rent: came out quickly ... lots of tadpoles here! I shall enjoy Spring ...

@ Guilie - well ... yes and no ... 'trombones' are a classic aren't they - love the translation. The chowder was good ... I've been trying not to eat it - this was the first time I succumbed.

Three Billboards is extraordinary ... with lots of food for thought. Frances McDormand certainly deserved her Oscar ...

Should I ever get to see Pop Aye ... then I'll let you know and will keep my eyes open in case it gets up to this part of Vancouver Island.

@ Fil - thanks so much .. I was slow off the mark. I'm settled in - but not exactly sure it's settled down ... still I'm here! Oh good - Three Billboards is excellent ... and yes being musical I can see you'd love trombones! I shall enjoy the Spring ...

@ TB - they are majestic ... we seem to have loads flying over in various skeins. Well perhaps it was fun your son took up the trombone ... and I'm sure your hunting dog enjoyed someone to make noise with!! Howling, trumpeting or not ...

@ Sandra - life is definitely full of ups and downs - but there's usually something else going on. So glad the 'trombones' amused so many ... and I forgot to go out and check out the tadpoles ... the croakers will be out soon enough ... the trumpeting swans are always filling the sky ... thank you re the evening ... I shall have a peaceful one -

Cheers to you all - wonderfully sunny here as the evening draws in - Hilary

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

It all sounds a little hectic and somewhat confusing, Hilary. Hope all is well. You SOUND well! Love your posts.

Emily Bloomquist said...

Thank you for the movie recommendation, Hilary. I have been thinking of seeing the three billboards movie when it comes out on DVD (the only way to see unless I travel to a theater 1 1/2 hours away). Trombones makes perfect sense when I think about it. So nice to hear the garden is beginning to come alive. The swans look amazing and I imagine they sound the same. Hope your A-Z preparations are going well. Mine are slowly taking shape. ~Emily

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Mike - it is muddling for me too! But I am well and we go on ...

@ Emily - that's great ... it's a good film - worth seeing from so many points of view. Thankfully our theatres are very nearby ... so easy to get to ...

Finally it is warming up ... which is bliss - some swans came over in the dark last evening ... and the croaking is increasing in its decibel level!

Cheers to you both - thanks for the visit ... have good weekends - Hilary

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I don't believe I've ever heard swans trumpet. We do hear the Canadian geese when they fly over.

Lynda Dietz said...

I think it's hilarious that paper clips are labeled "trombones." I've never heard of that!

Spring has not yet sprung here in my part of northwestern PA. We still have at least 6" of snow, if not more, on the ground in most areas, and I think we'd be fools to think there's no more coming before the crocuses and daffodils appear.

DMS said...

I am glad you are adjusting to your new home. It sounds like there is a lot of beauty around and lots of very kind (and handy) people. I had no idea paperclips were called trombones in French. They do look similar. :)

Wishing you a lovely spring. I am hoping it comes here soon- but I think they are expecting more snow next week.
~Jess

mail4rosey said...

Life is so full of bumps, isn't it? Hurrah for the sunshine that occurs during those bumps, no matter how pot-hole filled they might be. And hurrah for the rainbows at the end. :)

And yes, I do see how paperclips look like trombones!

Andrea Ostapovitch said...

It is so nice to see that you are enjoying Spring. We just had a huge snowfall, and thought the temperatures are much more mild, it feels like we are in the middle of winter still.

Enjoy your weekend Hilary,
Andrea

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Hi-ya, Hilary. It sounds as though you're still trying to figure things out, but from what I know of you, I'm sure you're going to make the best of it, have some wonderful adventures, and learn all sorts of new things. You've taught me something today... I studied French for five years, and used to be quite fluent in it, but I never knew "trombones" was the French word for paper clips. (I guess it never came up before!)

Those swans are gorgeous. So are your surroundings. You've got this, girl. You're gonna thrive! Cheers!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Diane - I had a look at Canada geese - and they're another bird that migrates up and down ...

@ Lynda - well I had to laugh at trombones! But I loved the plastic ones I found in the image ... oh gosh I am so glad we haven't got snow here - it's on the hills ... but I await to see what comes our way - I just hope Spring!

@ Jess - thanks re the Spring ... it is certainly springing here = and yes handy people ... glad I'm on a farm, with a very handy FIL ... and practical family! The paperclips totally bemused me ... such fun to think about ...

@ Rosey - oh yes ... not so much bumps here - but places where common sense and lack of empathy aren't around much ... I win though!! At times there are definitely rainbows ... thank goodness! It's great to see the amusement my 'trombones' are giving everyone ...

@ Andrea - thank goodness it's springing nicely here - oh gosh more snow: I am grateful I'm on the west coast! It is definitely warmer here - didn't freeze last night ...

@ Susan - yes: hi-ya ... we're progressing and most things are on my side - but I could do without some of the hiccups along the way - maybe spring and summer will help. I've never been good at languages ... but seeing the word 'trombones' made me laugh out loud to myself ... otherwise the looney bin might have been calling!!

I'll be ok - you're right ... just riding the 'thumps' ...

Thanks everyone - must dash - cheers Hilary

A Cuban In London said...

This post has got your positive personality plastered all over it. Thanks.

Greetings from London.

Juliet Batten said...

From trombones to paperclips: what fun facts you keep unearthing, Hilary. Love the title of your post, and the photo of the trumpeting swans - it's amazing to see such big birds in flight.

Sandra Cox said...

Hope your weekend has been wondrous and the remainder of it is as well.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Glad you got a desk. My father was a farmer and he was one of those handyman types. He could do anything, it always seemed. Great people to have around. We get the tadpoles and frog songs here. I couldn't sleep in the summer without it.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ ACIL - thanks ... that perks me up! Good to see you here ..

@ Juliet - it's fun to write about 'T' for things from a different perspective ... those tadpoles are hatching away! I too love trombones for paperclips - that fact will amuse me for years!! I'll be lucky with the birds around here ... lots of interesting ones ...

@ Sandra - we're getting there ... had a book shop yesterday, a St Patrick's Day dinner last night and then family supper tonight ... they're all out setting up things for the horses ...

@ Susan - I'm upset I didn't get a desk earlier. I'd have loved my father to have been a farmer - except he was pretty handy at helping out ... despite being a professional. Do they go on croaking all summer - ah well ... I'll settle in to enjoying them!

Thanks for visiting ... life is Springing slowly ... cheers Hilary

Lynn said...

Life sounds a bit challenging for you - I hope all is well. You are making the best of it, sounds like.

And what a lovely area you are living! Sounds like an adventure, too.