Too busy to blog…

So much for a weekly blog! Just so much going on in this area, and of course, I have to be in the thick of it!

Much of my time is taken up with the Newcastle Village and District Historical Society. We have a very vibrant board the last couple of years, and there’s always something happening and I just have to jump right in the middle of it! I will give them a plug… April 10th is Speaker Night (there’s another Speaker Night in October, too, but I’ll tell you about that closer to the date). This spring we will welcome Peter Klose, best known in these parts for his Jungle Cat World. Down through the years Peter was also a member of the Abandon Cemeteries Board, and through that association became aware of a grave stone on the side of the 115 Hwy at Newcastle. It is the grave of Lovel and Aurilla Beach, shown here in the photo. As you can see, they were early settlers, both dying prior to official census – Lovel in 1828 and Aurilla in 1833.

No one seems to know who they were, and it has been like that for many long decades – in fact, nearly two centuries.

Peter Klose decided to find out about them, and after two years of research has come up with their story, which he will present on April 10th.

If any of my readers are close enough to attend this meeting, it is FREE (always nice to find!) and will be held in the Centennial Room at the Newcastle Community Hall (downstairs) – at the four corners of Newcastle Village (for all you out-of-towners who will be attending.) There is free parking and we will have refreshments.

On another note, I have been kept busy with helping design an upcoming event with A Gift of Art, the local art gallery/studio at Newcastle. We have obtained a grant to present a program we are calling “The Living Stories Project.” This will be a joint creative venture between seniors and youth to bring stories, memories and experiences to life through the use of multi-media, so says the brochure I designed for the event. I will be conducting a memoir writing class for eight weeks, helping young and old alike to put to paper, or voice recording, their memories of times gone by; their memories of the people they’ve met along the way; and of course their memories of immigrating here from a far away place and what they experienced at that time, and what they felt at that time. These stories and memories will be taken and plays or improv presented, and hopefully some videos made. If anyone wishes to have their memories put down on paper into a booklet and published, that too is a possibility. This will be a year-long undertaking with Phase 1 – the memoir writing to begin this month, April 17th. If you are interested, please call The Gift of Art.

Ottawa tartan

In between these two endeavours, I’m entering a competition being hosted by Mary Maxim, the yarn folks at Paris, Ontario. There are four classes but I’m entering only one – for some reason there just isn’t time to do enough crocheting to enter all four!! I am making a crocheted afghan – The City of Ottawa Tartan. It is a lovely beige tartan with a bit of brown, a bit of white, a bit of blue and a bit of red – here’s the woven version, but of course, my crocheted version is just a little different…I can’t show you what my version looks like – it’s not done yet. I’ll photograph it and show you what it’s like in a week or two.

One last undertaking – a new book! Yep! I considered retirement…but only for a brief moment. Over the years, each time I have written something other than a history book, I’ve put it away in the proverbial writers’ bottom drawer and that is where quite a collection of work has lived for some long time now. And so, after much deliberation, I am taking these works out of the bottom drawer, dusting them off, and compiling them into a book I’m calling “Longs and Shorts”.

I don’t mind tooting my own horn here, but as I transcribe these stories into a manuscript, I have decided that I am a good writer – or at least I was when these were all written. I have amazed myself, actually. I never knew I was that talented! But this is my own opinion. I guess I will have to await the opinion of others. Not long now, though. I’m transcribing the last story, but it’s the looonnnggg one and I’m not half way through it. I can hardly wait to see what happens in it!

I took out my trusty laptop the other evening – yes, I took a whole evening away from my crochet work – and put a few hours into my novel – re-wrote the first 28 pages – hopefully I will be able to get back to it one of these days – it’s been on again, off again with this thing since 2014. It’ll happen, it’ll happen, believe me, but not anytime soon methinks! I dream about the characters every night – can’t get them out of my mind – but that’s a good thing – as long as they are embedded there I will be able to finish the book – as soon as I lose sight of them I’m doomed.

One last item…this coming weekend is the Annual Spring Home and Garden Show here in Clarington, being held at the Garnet Rickard Centre. I will have a booth there, so any of you who are close enough, please come on over and stop at my booth. I will be speaking there three times this weekend – Friday at 5 p.m. on Companion Planting; Saturday at noon on The Natural Gardener; and Sunday at 3 p.m. Companion Planting again.