Weekend before last, we had something called Festival of Sails here in Saint John. There were twelve [or eighteen, now I’m not sure] tall ships in the harbour. The started arriving 10AM on Friday morning and I knew this. The programme for that weekend’s activities had been posted in the newspaper and all over Facebook.

So, a few minutes before 10 o’clock I took the car and drove up on the hill, to the look-out point. We live right behind this hill so it took less than a minute. I don’t know whether I live in a dream world, under a rock or what, but I just thought this would be easy … just drive up, shoot a few pictures and be done with it.

As soon as I’d driven up a little bit I realised something was going on, because there were cars parked on that narrow road leading up to the top. When I got to the first ‘plateau’, I was going to just forget about the whole thing and just get out of there. Literally everyone had apparently the same idea as myself, with the only difference they were there early — they were sitting on blankets  with picnic baskets on the lawn … they were milling about, elbow to elbow.

I left the car, with the engine running, walked a few metres away from it and shot a few random shots and left.

IMG_5079The weather was atrocious most of that weekend, but I saw so many, gorgeous photos of these ships online, on Facebook. This is one of I copied from the webcam.

I went downtown on the Saturday for a different reason, the rain was pouring down so hard, but there were people out anyway … lots of people. Some rain won’t put Saint Johners off from taking part in an event like this 🙂

Two ships hung around two more days … they were going overseas and needed to do some stuff before they left, so I took a few iPhone photos of them. One was Lord Nelson of the U.K. and the other Wylde Swan of the Netherlands.




it’s a shame about the weather

Tomorrow is Canada Day. It’s also Canada’s 150th birthday. Naturally, oodles of festivities are planned for this, and we, here in the Maritime provinces, will get three days of RAIN. The bad stuff has already moved in — the fog is pretty dense this morning. My husband’s son and girlfriend had planned to visit us … to go camping with their new tent trailer, but how much fun is that in pouring rain?! The visit has been postponed.

Yesterday, I was talking with my friend back home — the one who came to visit last summer — about how we, with age, seem to get more comfortable in our own skin, so to speak. I’ve thought about it from time to time, but it’s never been as evident as during my last trip to Sweden:

There are two, big department stores in Stockholm. One is old and very posh … comparable to, perhaps Harrod’s in London, U.K. or rather … Fortnum & Mason. The name is NK [Nordiska Kompaniet]. Over the years, when I’ve gone there, I’ve always had little bouts with some kind of inferiority complex. The people working there [mainly women] seemed to be so ‘perfect’ with their clothes and make-up … I felt like something the cat dragged in. I thought they looked snooty (probably all nice, sweet people). Three years ago, when I was there, I basically walked in and out again.

This time, though … I seemed to have forgotten all about it! Didn’t have that feeling at all! I was there several times, browsed around, drooled in their porcelain department and also, of course in their fountain pen store.

Either, this comes with age, or I’ve must have gotten really far, working with my own ‘soul searching’. I’ve always been of the persuasion that I’m no better than anybody else, but, I’m no worse either. I guess that finally sunk in 🙂 The person in the pen store there was so nice, and we had discussions about fountain pens … nothing could have been farther from my thoughts than feeling inferior.

DSC_1853Having said all that; here’s a picture of my latest acquisition. A Pelikan Tortoiseshell with a bottle of Edelstein Smoky Quartz. I have other Pelikans, but this has the classical Pelikan striped body. Luckily, the ink was thrown in as a gift [that’s expensive stuff], because honestly I don’t know what to think about the colour. It’s brown. Okay, it matches the pen, but that’s only visible to me. I’ll keep it for private use … not letter writing 🙂




Ideally, I would like to merge my ‘new’ interest for handwriting and fountain pens into this blog without boring my readers to death. When an old blog, all of a sudden, takes on a completely different direction … usually, you lose! My blog didn’t have a direction so it shouldn’t be that much of a problem, right?! 🙂

I don’t know what it was like, back in the days when the use of fountain pens and ink was common, but I don’t think the supply of ink colours was what it is today. It’s literally endless.

The poppy is one of my favourite flowers … if not The Favourite … so I was drawn to this notebook by Rhodia, labelled as «Poppy Red» and I paired it with a ‘poppy red’ ink. Luckily they come in small bottles like the one in the picture — how often would one use red ink for writing anyway?! I use it only in my notebook … not letters.

Sometimes [ahem … quite often!] I ‘force’ my husband to try out new pens and look at various shades of this or that ink colour. He’s the only one around … (cat McDuff couldn’t care less). He complies, but then starts to read some Latin to me, from Cicero’s writings, just because I’m as interested in that as he is in inks LOL.

poppy_mugsPoppies don’t grow naturally around here and I hope that I’ll, one day, will get the opportunity to be in a field of poppies somewhere.

Every weekday, we have Coronation Street on TV here. I don’t follow it, but sometimes the TV is just on, and I see them using a gorgeous poppy mug when they drink tea [which they do pretty much all the time]. This is my current collection. I have some dinner plates too.

quick note — all-in-one

As I mentioned in previous post, I’ve merged the blogs I had into one. I must have been overly ambitious, thinking I could have two.

As I did so, you may or may not, have received email notifications … what WordPress calls «pingbacks». I didn’t think of that before I made the move. I should have, as I’ve done this before. I’m sorry about that.

It’s all set now, I’ve made most of the adjustments and here is a picture of one of my best fountain pen inks 😁.



Lately, I’ve felt a bit of that «blogging feeling» coming back … that it would be fun to write something online again, as opposed to staring at a mind numbing Facebook feed. I’d spread myself out too much here in WordPress and that irked me — I wanted to merge them all into one, otherwise I lose focus. As I was pondering this, I went out into the kitchen to start supper, turned the radio on, and the song that came out of it was Colder Weather with Zac Brown Band. I took that as a sign I should return to my original domain, and friendly WordPress has now transferred my followers.

So, without you even knowing, you’ve now become a follower of 🙂. I’ll post every now and then, just like I did before.

DSC_1837I haven’t taken many photos, but yesterday I brought my camera with me to the park. For the first time in my life, I got to see a turtle, up close and personal. It’s not a free turtle … it’s kept in captivity there, and I was told she’s about twenty years old.

Last week, I got back from a two-week-trip to my native Sweden. I spent the whole time in my hometown, except the last day and a half, in Stockholm. Seeing the corner of one of the biggest department stores there, cordoned off, covered with tarps, after the terrorist attack broke my heart. As I was walking around downtown Stockholm, this video came to mind every now and then [watch the last seconds closely]:

Now … I won’t end this on such a sad note. I had a great trip, and the last night in Stockholm I went out to dinner with a friend I hadn’t seen in thirty years. Lots of catching up to do there … many laughs and memories. Speaking of catching up — I’ll do my best in catching up with your blogs and get back into the swing of things.


Question: How do you insert HTML in the new editor? I can’t find it …

automatic translation

Okay, so I look a lot at fountain pens online … Amazon and elsewhere. That’s my one-year-old-hobby, in case you’d missed that — fountain pens 🙂 .

Sometimes, in Amazon I notice the vendors must have used Google Translate, or something similar, to describe the item in question. Most of the time it’s at least understandable and sometimes even hilarious.

DSC_1682One case that sticks out in my memory is the fountain pen Pilot Stella 90s. It said something like ‘the nib is small but pretty and cheerful, close to the skin (!) … its glow was like the stars in the night sky’ et cetera … sounded really poetic. That nib is the one in my picture, by the way. Stella is one of my best writers.

I took that photo yesterday with out little point & shoot Canon camera. It’s still going strong — it’s been about ten years, at least, since we bought it. On my upcoming trip, I won’t lug the heavy DSLR camera across the Atlantic. I’m tired of that and I’m going to travel super light this time. Each time I’ve been home … towards the end of the stay, I’ve always realised I’d packed a lot of stuff I never used. So I’ll only use a carry-on suitcase I bought in Costco and my over-sized handbag. My little computer will go in the latter.

It will feel liberating, not having to wait at that conveyor belt, nervously looking at all the black suitcases emerging from underneath the flaps. Flying used to be a pleasure I anticipated with joy — now it’s just something I have to endure in order to get from A to B.

But now … I lost my train of thought here … the Google Translate! I wonder how many people that actually believe in the stuff?! That they type in a sentence in their own language and get a correct translation?! That’s kind of scary, if they do that! I can imagine a lot of misunderstandings! I use it occasionally for words, but I don’t take it for granted it’s right — when it doesn’t make any sense, I have to look for other sources. Swedish, Danish and Norwegian are very close [especially when reading], but make no mistake — there are many ‘false friends’. «Rolig» in Swedish means something fun or comical, whereas in Danish/Norwegian it’s peaceful and serene 🙂 Danish is more difficult for me than Norwegian, and spoken Danish I don’t understand at all … only the occasional word.

sign of life

Many times I’ve been wanting to write something, but just couldn’t come up with anything. How things change! I, who used to write every day for quite some time last year. I seem to have lost my knack for writing just about anything. In any event, the blog is alive and will stay that way too. Don’t think I’ll renew the custom domain, though. It’s a waste of money at this point in time.

DSC_1594Not many pictures have been taken either, but we got a visit by the wood duck in the pond so that was a high point in the bleak, early spring. It’s been three years since we had a wood duck there. They’re spectacular.

A friend of mine here … her husband is an avid photographer … had said to her he wanted to go to the park to see whether there were any ‘foreign ducks’ in the pond 🙂

In the end of this month I’ll be going on a trip to my native Sweden. It’s been three years since last time. Will visit my hometown, and the last couple of days in Stockholm.

I haven’t been here in WordPress for quite some time, and I notice a few, minor new features. It sure took them a long time to release the default theme for 2017! In late April, I think! I’ve applied it here now — I quite like it.