Friday, 26 December 2008

While we were away......

..... someone said it had snowed on Gabriola.

Surely not?

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

The Bay of Words

It's Christmas Eve in Morecambe Bay. We're miles from home - and further from Gabriola.
As I walk along the bay, I'm reminded of earlier visitors by these words on a memorial......

The Bay of Words
By Lavelle

From dawn to dusk and through the night,
They worked and riddled out of sight.
Far away on distant shores
Men and Women do their chores

Families so very far to see,
Pick cockles for you and me.
A fruitful day as some would say,
We picked cockles on Morecambe Bay.

Such success we trawled for more
On this lovely majestic shore.
Are we illegal? No we’re not!
Travelled Migrants we forgot.

Just how savage life can be?
For each and all including me!
In utter panic we lost our way,
And on the bay we had to stay.

The light went dim, we should have known
Morecambe Bay is now our home
Oh gentle people be so kind
Always keep us in your minds.

We worked so hard to get our pay,
Oh, good lord, what a way!
Cold... Wet... And in the dark, we became the bay.
Remembered as part of the majestic Morecambe Bay.

To end our day and nights too,
On Morecambe Bay so loved by you!
Sunshine come and light the bay,
We won’t see another day.

Look out and you will see
Passing migrants just like me!
Please remember how we fell,
It was just a living hell.

So see the birds up in the sky,
They take our souls and make them fly.
Across the world from when they came,
Sharing in the bay’s great fame.

Remember us with love not fear!
We, like you
Now live here!

17 July 2007

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Wish you were here? Yes!!!

with grateful thanks to the "Flying Shingle" for the seasonal pictures

Winter has arrived on Gabriola, just as folk are rushing round preparing for the Christmas festivities.

For some, the arrival of the first snowfall is a welcome treat - and for others it's a pain in the butt (sometimes literally) and they content themselves to watching the white stuff from behind firmly closed doors, waiting for it all to go away!

Granted, the decision to move to Gabriola was taken in the belief that the Gulf Islands climate would be kinder on our ageing bones than the winter excesses of the prairies, but sitting here in England - looking out of the window at the grey, damp weather - it is good to know that we can expect some "proper" snow when we do move to our new home.

I'm also pleased to see that humour is not lost on the island - and that there must be others out there who, like me, think that shops that fill with Christmas "cheer" around the second week of November are maybe milking the festive season a tad too hard and driving the sceptics among us to switch off until we're forced, kicking and screaming, to admit that maybe others do find Christmas a magical time, or a time for song and praise.

Meanwhile, if some of us want to be HummBugs, then it's clear we'll have to choose our shops carefully, to avoid the stares of yet another crowd of campaigning islanders!

It's been a few years now since we had to dress our kids for school, so it's comforting to know that the Weather Network now provides a schoolday forecast to help hapless parents dress their kids appropriately for the trip to the car (sorry, did I mean school?). How did we oldies survive without this essential service?

Today's advice for parents heading with their kids to Gabriola Elementary offers a prescriptive menu of outer clothing to keep the little souls warm and dry. It's great to see that Mum's only got to prepare one set of clothes today; too often we're presented with the dilemma of a whole different set of clothes needed to bring the kids home in as the weather changes before 3pm. Should you keep a spare set of everything at school? Must you carry a whole new set of clothes back to school this afternoon to comply?? Does this mean you have to take the car??? That's really great for the environment!

At least it's good to know that the sidewalks will be dry. Uhhh - what sidewalks? Does this mean the snow's melted and gone already? Or will Gabriolans be taken by surprise this morning with conditions that only the Weather Network could devise - "wet puddles". Call me ignorant, but where I come from there is no other sort!