It’s time to update your rolodexes my friends, we now live in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia! YAYYYY! The land of crows and cabbage, eagles, sea shells, lobsters and lighthouses. It is just, grand. GRAND! GRAAANNNND!
Sorry I have no idea why Im saying it like that.
It is though, really, really nice to be out here. We are hunkering down for the winter in a small village by the ocean. CB’s Nan has been super wicked awesome to let us stay in the house in which she spends her summers. Usually its battened down for the winter and she moves into a cute apartment in the city, so theres less driving through bad weather. We are about 45 minutes outside of Sydney, BUT you don’t have to take a ferry to get to the big grocery store so that feels like Ultra Convenience after living on Fogo. Not to knock Fogo, that has a place in my heart forever. But I don’t miss the ferry…. yeah.. no.. Nahhhhh
Anyway, we have been on this island, for about 9 days now. We haven’t been out visiting very much yet, just hanging with CB’s nan. Still trying to get life into order. Learn how to not be such feral animals. Re-integrate into society. EATING ALL THE FOOD!!!!
Okay so… I maybe cried in the grocery store. I maybe, possibly, stood in the veggie aisle, clutching cabbages to my chest and weeping openly. It was not the most sauve of moments, I was just overwhelmed by the greenery around me. CB looked startled, but rubbed my back and helped me put my new cabbage friends in the cart. Sometimes in Newfoundland the only fresh veg coming in during the winter were cabbages, and they were very expensive, and not even nice. They werent even NICE CABAGGES, DAMN IT! And these were so, so beautiful…. and it was just nice to have beautiful vegetables again, I didn’t realize how important that actually was to me til tears burbled up all over my unsuspecting face. I understand why its hard to get fresh veg all the way to bloody subarctic islands in the middle of nowhere, but gosh. Humans deserve better, humans deserve at least a decent cabbage. It was nice to have a crispy green leaf. I made sauerkraut! !!
Anyway, I’ll tell you more of our travels, and show you some pictures we took on a walk the other day.
First of all, may I draw your attention to the green green mossy grass and summer running shoes? THIS IS CANADA IN DECEMBER! Its been so beautiful here every day. 10 degrees, sunny, mild. So, so so, so nice. Im really glad Obama finally passed that global warming initiative, I’m really enjoying the warm weather. Or at least I think thats what the News was saying.. ha ha politics.
We moved everything from Fogo to here in our Buick, only taking anything that fit inside it, no trailer or moving van. We don’t own much so it wasn’t that crazy but we got rid off/gave away over half of our possessions. We gave away the bed, appliances, and things most people would consider to be the valuable things and stuffed every square inch of the Buick with our records, art prints, old cameras, oil paints, books, books, books, collections and plastic gnomes..Thats Gnorman. He lives outside here now, and seems to be enjoying himself.
It felt good to go through every object and ask ourselves wether or not we loved or needed it. From t-shirts down to the box of random electronics cords we have been lugging around for years. It was like metamucil, for our souls.
Look!! Caribou moss grows here too! We can’t escape it! One of the first things we did was go for a walk and start mentally cataloguing the wild plants that grow here. Some of the same as Newfoundland, but many, many more. And more poisonous plants and berries, for sure. Tons of mushrooms! One of the most abundant plants around the house here seems to be gigantic stalks of Angelica. We had tea with one of the neighbours, and he told us that residents of Gabarus are hateful towards it because its so invasive, thriving in the damp, loamy soil. The French colonizers brought it over eons ago for herbal medicine. Every part of the plant can be used, the root in liqueurs, the flower steeped in an herbal tea and the stalk candied bright green.
This is a marshberry, or foxberry.. either way, it popped like a crunchy balloon in my mouth and was pleasantly sweet. Along the edge of the path was a secret spot FULL of huuuge juicy sweet fat cranberries. They were the size of grapes. Because they had been sitting in the cold unpicked for so long they were so sweet. I sat down in the dirt like a bear and picked half a grocery bag full of the best ones. I could have spend all afternoon there. Soon Ill make some cranberry sauce from them for Christmas.
We were walking in someone’s backyard, the couple lives in a large octagonal house up the hill. He invited us in for some tea and we were talking for about 2 hours about life in Cape Breton. It was nice. In his backyard is the Gabarus Lighthouse:
The ground is all muddied around it because it was very recently moved back from the edge of the cliff. It would very soon crumble away into the ocean if a few people didnt raise money to have it moved back. Its one of the last working lighthouses in Nova Scotia.
This is what it would have looked like, if they let it fall in.
Lots of shifting of the landscape around Gabarus has happened lately. Thats the remains of a long concrete pier that was around when CB played here as a little jerkbutt.
Not sure what it is about this picture, but it looks to me like Monet painted it. Maybe its the colours, or the way the scrubby bushes resemble brush strokes.
Canada geese going to bed out on the water. They are so lazy, they should be in Mexico or somewhere by now. Get going, lazy gooses! GET OUT OF HERE! SHOO!
Pretty blue rocks
This beautiful old sage green house is down in the village, and is a post office. It has to be the most beautiful post office in Canada.
The bend of the road going down towards the fishing boats, the end of our walk.
Heading back home as the sun goes down, all pink and blue. That house out there CB calls “the pink house” and during high tide it gets flooded out and its little finger peninsula becomes a tiny island. Best place to have a house ever. Its been there forever apparently, defiant against nature, daring the ocean to knock it over.
Its been a week and we have already made some new friends, started eating healthier, and are now trying to remember how to relax. We have tried to switch our internal clocks back to normal so we stop going to bed at 8pm and waking up at 4am like 100% dorks, sitting in the dark waiting for the sun to come up. I feel like a different person as the stress is slowly leaving my body, replaced by proper sleep and healthy food. This move feels medicinal. I like it here.