Spring Thaw 2018

Just a few pictures of the record-breaking flood  here in Saint John, New Brunswick. The previous record was from 1973 … or so they say. Our little city has really made it to the national news more than ever before.

It’s the mighty Saint John River that’s brimming over . There’s no easy way for the water to get out, as it has to pass through the ‘bottleneck’ called Reversing Rapids. The tides don’t help either.

We are not affected by this in any way. I took these pictures over three days, and it hasn’t peaked yet. There are oodles of drone videos out there, this was just on my way to the local grocery store 🙂.

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smugmug buys flickr

Just read this piece of news an hour ago.

I’ve had my flickr account since 2006 or so, so I have a lot of pictures there. When I signed up, I was clueless about social networking and privacy settings (photography too, for that matter). To me, flickr was just a storage place for photos … so my settings were ‘public’ and I uploaded everything!

Don’t think I realised what it was like until we moved here, 2008, and I started connecting with a few people here. Then I realised they could see everything, and it was quite a job to change them all … I just wanted to crawl in under a rock.

not one post

Was just looking at my dashboard here, and realised I haven’t posted once in 2018 and it’s almost mid April. Even though blogging is on the back-burner, obviously, I won’t let my blog go to waste. I’ve inserted to much energy into it, at times.

My little stationery hobby took over … the pens, the inks and the handwriting … and more importantly, the groups. When you’re not into it, it’s probably unfathomable that there’s so much to talk about, but one post about, for example, an ink, could render two hundred comments or at least in that range.

Life is moving on, seemingly at a slow pace, but not when you look in the rearview mirror … then the weeks just seem to zoom by, even though I don’t do anything in particular. I’ve taken up reading more than I used to. I’ve always read books, but now I started to re-read a bunch of novels I read in my teenage years. I was probably overly ambitious, because I remember I was thirteen when I read ‘The Great Gatsby’ … in English, for example. I realise I was too young to fully absorb it, particularly not in a foreign language. Same thing with Hemingway’s ‘A Farewell to Arms’. Now I’ve read them again, with great pleasure, and many other books too.

IMG_0931I feel very blessed to have both the time and the means to pursue my little hobbies. I combine them too: I read all the books on my phone … either in the Kindle app or the library app, so I can easily highlight quotations or passages that really speak to me. Later I write them down in my commonplace book, plus everything else I find on the web that I feel is worthy of a second thought.

turn the leaf …

It won’t be long now, before we turn the leaf and enter 2018. Sounds like a good number. At my age, New Year’s Eve doesn’t mean anything else but watching the ball fall on CNN. At least we won’t have to see Kathy Griffin this time — I was never a huge fan, I found her annoying and that’s just my personal opinion.

I’ve bought a new calendar/planner for next year. I don’t have anything to plan except a few visits to the dentist in one year, but I like to write anyway. The planner is called Hobonichi and comes from Japan. Apart from the actual calendar, there is a number of pages in the end … you can make up lists and all sorts of things … it’s all in Japanese! The reason for buying a calendar in Japanese is the paper quality but I won’t go into that here and now as it is of no interest to anybody … it has to do with fountain pens and ink.

X4+qFgcHRRS+PB10BOjESwIn any event; I was curious about what those pages said, and posted a question in one of my fountain pen groups on Facebook. There are people from all over the world, naturally, and many from Japan or of Japanese descent. Shot some pictures of those pages and quickly got them translated. Fine, but what was more interesting and surprising [to me, I had no idea] was this:

With the Google Translate app you can get translations by scanning a photo on your phone! Just by dragging your finger over the text you wanted it to translate, it all appears before you!

Apparently I can still get excited about those little wonders of new technology.

no colder weather

It’s October 25 and we have 22ºC (71ºF for those of you in the U.S.), but with the, so called, humidex, it feels like 27ºC. The rain is coming down in sheets … real downpours. We actually had a couple of forest fires, so this might be a good thing. Nothing like out west, but still.

The apartment across the hall from us is vacant being renovated … new paint, flooring and even a new stove. In a building like this they have quite the turnover — the young students move often and the senior citizens might move into a home or … elsewhere. The guys that do the painting always leave the door ajar when they finish in the afternoon — this has happened many times before — so I grabbed my camera and went in to take come pictures, as the late afternoon light was good.

They have a spectacular view there, on the other side of the building — they can see straight out to sea. Anyway; ours might be more … entertaining 🙂 Always something going on here — firetrucks and ambulances.

DSC_2215This is Fort Howe — the outlook spot of Saint John [click for better viewing]. Our building is taller, so I was actually looking down on it. Was aiming for the gull who was sitting on top of the monument, but he took off 🙂 There are almost always a few cars lined up there … they go up there to just sit and gaze for a while, in peace and quiet, I guess … just as we do. To the left in the picture you can see a small portion of the mighty Saint John River, on its way out to sea, under the Harbour Bridge. I love this little city, in case you’d missed that LOL.

DSC_2220My fascination with fountain pens and handwriting is still alive and kicking. In many ways I think it’s very much thanks to the online community it’s still so much fun. It even involves a little bit of photography! The shots some people take of nibs and pens are just … wow! In my Instagram feed I see so many marvellous shots. I used to have two Instagram accounts — one for ‘ordinary stuff’ and one for the pen community. That didn’t work in the long run. My old account got hopelessly neglected, so I merged them to @her.nibs. Now I’m probably boring my old Instagram friends to death, as I’m taking part in a daily handwriting challenge, but I’m trying hard to throw in other things too. It’s a very small niche of an interest, but still there are 20,000+ members in one of the Facebook groups. One could get hundreds of comments on a post about blue ink, for example 🙂 … quite amazing.





culture vulture

A friend and I visited our province’s capital, Fredericton last Sunday. My friend — who has a ‘slight’ obsession with Henry David Thoreau [to put it mildly] — wanted to visit a photo exhibition; «24 trees at Walden Pond».  She wanted to go this particular Sunday, as the photographer was going to be there, himself, and she knows him. I tugged along for the outing, the photos, to visit the Beaverbrook Gallery and see the painting by Salvador Dali, Santiago El Grande. Not sure why I really wanted that … just because I knew they had it there so I could say that I’d seen it.

We started out with lunch as soon as we got there. Had a scrumptious meal and talked about fountain pens and ink. Then we moseyed over to the gallery, which as more or less next door to the restaurant. Now, it turned out they had the grand opening of a new wing, so there were line-ups … very crowded … but we got in fairly quick anyway, since it was free. The grand opening, with speeches and all that, took place in the  very room where the tree photos were hung, so we didn’t see much of them, but we had a great experience anyway. They had a group of indigenous people there that put on a fabulous show … dances … drums … chanting. They were telling a story about the Saint John River and the river itself was flowing right outside the windows.

My friend got a chat with the photographer so all in all it turned out to be a great day. She’s going down to Walden Pond on Friday for some project she’s working on, so she’ll get to see those trees in real live instead.


What happened to email?

When I left Sweden, my job, my friends and everything in 2004 we all said we’d keep in touch. We were talking about how easy we had it nowadays, with the Internet, email … the instantaneousness of it all, as compared to «snail mail».  In the beginning, I did have a lot of mail in my inbox … we wrote back and forth, and it was fun. Eventually, that petered out — life moves on, on both sides of the Atlantic — that’s only natural, and has nothing to do with the subject line of this post.

What I’m talking about is how the phones have taken over the whole scene of communication. People rather send a text message about something that earlier would have been sent as an email. It intrigues me a little, why many prefer to tap away on that little screen instead of a proper keyboard. Maybe it’s just me — I’ve typed my whole adult life, so that might be part of it. Typing on a regular keyboard comes much more natural to me than the little screen with auto-correct and where my fingers feel like sausages.

Make no mistake; I’m happy people text me 🙂 … it’s not that — I’m eternally grateful people want to keep in touch with me, regardless of medium — I’m just curious about how they can tap away such long messages or perhaps they no longer have a home computer. I have the great privilege of having both an iPhone and a Mac … I get my text messages on the computer too, so when I see it’ll be a lengthier conversation I move over to my desk.  How people can text and drive at the same time totally baffles me.

We live in a time of change (just as we always did), and it’s the same with landline phones. Back home, hardly anyone of my friends has a landline anymore, and if they do, they never pick up because of the telemarketing.

I just wanted to reflect a little on email, because every morning when I check my inbox, there are only newsletters and updates. On the other hand, I get ‘real’ letters in our mailbox and I write letters by hand, but that’s a whole different story.