Life Update – January 2023

Coastal hike and a mysterious “moon door”

Hello and thanks for returning to read! Despite my rare posts, this blog has been going for 12 years now and I will stay the course.

I’ll backtrack to my last update. Our grown child has been living with us since the end of 2020. They’d been working two part-time jobs and saving for school. In September, Link began a two-year course in web development (coding) that seems like an excellent fit for their temperament and interests. They have moved away from the idea of art as a career and embraced their analytical side. The first term is finished and all is going very well. I can certainly see them making a career of it.

In September, Rom and I embarked on a project, to listen to records from the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. We both started to listen to rock and pop music on our own (apart from our family’s tastes) around 1978. Before that I listened to teen/bubblegum music since I was “that age”.

Rom and I started by listening to all 32 albums that were in the book from the year 1978. We listened to the same albums in the same order, but on our own, and then got together twice a week to discuss them in detail. We read the reviews in the book and sometimes did some extra research. There is also a podcast we can follow along. My top picks for 1978 were the debut albums by X-Ray Spex and The Cars. And the Funkadelic album was a delight. It was my first time ever listening to an album by Willie Nelson – I surely would not have chosen it myself! It’s been fun to hear new albums and to revisit old ones. We have now progressed to 1979!

We had to cancel the stargazing trip we planned because of overcast weather, so we got away later in the Fall to “Keji” National Park for some short guided hikes and nature photography. We walked through a stand of 300-year-old hemlock trees, which will all die in the next few decades because of an insect invasion. I learned that in our area, old growth forest is defined as 100-140 years old with no recent disturbances. My parents’ property has a stand of hemlocks over 70 years old and it could be much older; the ecosystem looks much the same as the old growth forest.

Hurricane Fiona came through but caused no damage. Power was knocked out for 18 hours but we got off lightly. The roots of a tree in our yard started to pull up but the tree didn’t fall; we had to get it cut down later. That’s 2 of our 4 trees lost to storms in recent years!

A highlight for September was going to the cinema to see Moonage Daydream. It was a montage of David Bowie interviews, performance clips, photos and artsy bits. It was uncritical and was approved by his estate (much like Bohemian Rhapsody, the Queen movie) – and we loved it. Later we went to see this year’s Elvis movie featuring Austin Butler. Highly recommended! It gives a close-up look at what the Elvis phenomenon really looked and felt like at the time. At various points in the movie, Elvis walks into rooms where Little Richard, Mahalia Jackson, and other musicians are playing. (He covered the songs of many African American artists). I loved those scenes!

Folk painter Maude Lewis’s home

In October, I recertified in first aid, CPR and defibrillator (through my workplace). On the more fun side, Rom and I finally went to see the permanent Maude Lewis exhibit at the local art gallery – which includes her actual, tiny house.

My sister and I took a workshop in acrylic paint pouring techniques, and I hope to try it again on my own. A few weeks later we attended another workshop where we made light-up Christmas signs from a kit. It felt good to do hands-on activities.

Peggy’s Cove in November

In November, we had a special day out for my parents’ 60th anniversary at Peggy’s Cove, a much-photographed tourist attraction, but we were there in the off season!

This year’s tree

Besides trying to make crafts, I bought some too, at the annual Seaside Christmas – an event at which about 25 seaside businesses have craft sales, teas and treats; and you drive to as many as you like. My sister and our friend and I managed 11. December was lovely – our family attended a production of The Nutcracker for the first time in 22 years (!) and we enjoyed it tremendously. We always listen to the music from The Nutcracker when we trim the Christmas tree. In recent years, salted caramels have been added to the tradition (they fit right in with the Land of Sweets).

I had 12 days off at the end of the year, my longest break since the Fall of 2019! So I am feeling very ready to face the year ahead. I hope you are all well & will tell me what you’ve been doing.

Happy 2023!


  1. The workshop in acrylic paint pouring techniques sounds like fun! All the best for 2023! 🙂

  2. Hi Dar, I subscribed to your blog but didn’t receive notification of this post and the next post so I’m re-subscribing and hoping it will work. Congrats on your 12 years of blogging! I’m 6 years in 🙂 The ancient hemlock trees are beautiful. So sad to hear they’ll all die by insect invasion. I visited a Maud Lewis Replica house built by her former neighbour and met him in-person when I was in NS last September. Well done with your music, movies and crafts. Have a fabulous February!

    • Hi Natalie, Something must be up. I checked my subscribers list and you are not on it! I manually added your email just now. I’m not sure if you’ll receive a notification – let me know! I hope you have a good month, too.

      • Thank you, Dar, for your manual entry. I haven’t received any notification. I’ll check in from time to time for your new post if I don’t get the email notification.

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