Sunday, 3 September 2017

September ~ Big Changes and the Food Blog has Launched!!!

A September Day (1935)
George Henry
source Wikiar

When summer's end is nighing
       And skies at evening cloud,
I muse on change and fortune
       And all the feats I vowed
       When I was young and proud.


So here's an end of roaming

       On eves when autumn nighs:
The ear too fondly listens
       For summer's parting sighs,
       And then the heart replies.

Selections from a rather mournful end-of-summer poem by A E Housman but it fits with my mood as the slow summer days slip into the cool evenings of September.  I'm feeling rather nostalgic as autumn will soon be approaching and my life will be changing for a number of reasons. While my job for the last number of years has been amazing, and fulfilling, and interesting, it's time to move on and I'm not quite sure what I want to do. I'm an accounting clerk by trade, as much as I enjoy it, it's not my natural inclination but what is?  What would I really enjoy doing?  Food blogging?  Freelance writing?  Property management?  All these options have popped into my head lately but I think I'll have to wait and see where I'm taken before I know for sure.

The start of the Rockies
heading west ....
© Cleo @ Classical Carousel
As for August happenings, we went for a roadtrip through the Rocky Mountains, past Calgary and eventually ending up in Regina, which took us through three Canadian provinces, British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.  Call me biased, but my favourite part of the trip was the drive through B.C.  Honestly, it's so beautiful and in many places, so untouched.  Except for the summer forest fires, of course, and we actually ended up driving through one near Golden, B.C.  We were stopped on the highway for quite awhile, while helicopters flew overhead, dipping their buckets in the river and dumping them on the fire.  We could actually see a few flames through the trees as we went by.  Yikes!  Rather scary! Our drive through the Rockies was wonderful as their stony peaks stretched to the sky ---- I can imagine how spectacular they are all covered in snow.

Lake Louise, Alberta
© Cleo @ Classical Carousel
We also stopped in two lovely spots in Alberta ---- Lake Louise and Banff.  The scenic beauty of them was breathtaking but so were the number of tourists, although I suppose that's what you'd expect in the height of summer.  Drumheller, Alberta is the site of the Royal Tyrrell Museum, a well-known tourist attraction that has over 130,000 fossils, numerous dinosaur skeletons and replicas of those great beasts. It was fascinating, especially to see the best preserved remains of the largest armoured dinosaur in the world, the Borealopelta markmitchelli which was found in Alberta (here's a Guardian article about him).  He's quite an imposing looking specimen and I wouldn't want to meet him anywhere!

© Cleo @ Classical Carousel
After Calgary, the prairies stretched out endlessly ........ and I mean endlessly ......  I drove for hours and was bored out of my mind.  Endless (ooops, did I say that already) wheat fields, and straight roads and huge bugs that squashed against your windshield and the front of your car, only to have hordes of wasps swarm the car to eat the guts when you stopped.  Sorry to be so graphic but - Ugh!!!  Later I was told I had passed through the Alberta Badlands and they certainly lived up to their name. Saskatchewan was much better, with clusters of trees here and there (but even bigger bugs) and some nice houses tucked into them.  Coming from an area that has mountains and hills and valleys and trees (soooo many trees) and rivers and lakes and the ocean, it was a very different experience.  However, on the way back I enjoyed the scenery, so I obviously became used to the flat prairie landscape.  But lest you think I'm too hard on my provincial neighbours, I'll share a most wonderful trait from the prairies that we lack on the west coast of B.C. ......... friendliness and politeness.  I was shocked to have workers in stores actually acknowledge my existence when I walked in, make eye contact, greet me politely and ask how I was before they very gladly served me.  Gasp!  Where were the stares and the glowers and the resentment that the worker would actually have to move and serve me, and that was only after having to insert oneself in front of them to get their attention?  The Vancouver area needs a severe lesson in customer service.  In any case, the trip, although quick, was fun and interesting and I was glad to be able to see more of Canada than I'd ever seen before.

Oh, and my garden news ....... zucchinis and cucumbers are doing well, a good harvest of blueberries and figs, my potatoes are ready to be dug, my cabbage, collard greens and kale are still growing, and I should have some plums, quince and apples ready soon.  It was a good year for growing!

© Cleo @ Classical Carousel

I was fortunate to get another short island vacation and was finally able to read!  I finished Shadow of the Moon, a wonderful book by M.M. Kaye about the Sepoy rebellion in India in 1857 and the focus of Cirtnecce's wonderful read-along, began to read The Republic, Dead Souls, and Plutarch's Lives.  I've also begun a re-read of The Iliad, which I'm highly enjoying.

As for September, I'm going to be looking into some job opportunities, trying out a gym my friend recommended that has a type of boot camp, and finding another yoga studio because the one I was going to closed down and I am missing my yoga.  I'm also going away on a few trips, one to the island and one to Calgary, so I'm still somewhat of a gad-about.  I also started a course in ancient Greek and I must say, I'm really enjoying it.  It's tough but it's fun to get back to studying and being diligent.

Reading in September?  Well, as much as I'm enjoying my ancient literature, I'd like to add something else to the mix.  What?  Honestly, I'm not entirely sure.  I am going to start reading Crime and Punishment for sure.  Otherwise I have The Last Chronicle of Barset to finish up and I was just reminded about my trek through Zola's The Rougon-Marquart series where I'm on the fifth book, The Dream.  Oh, and Augustine --- I'll continue with his City of God and hopefully make some headway.  So there ---- I have a very unpredictable reading schedule for September.  We'll see where I end up.

And now for the biggest shock of the post, our food blog is actually launched!  Woo hoo! I thought it would never happen at times, but we buckled down, did a big last push and Voilà!  So please check it out at Journey to the Garden and let us know what you think.  Your comments would be most welcome!

A Saskatchewan Sunset
© Cleo @ Classical Carousel


  1. it's grrreat that you got to go places! Mrs. M and i spent a week in Baanf once and it was totally spectacular! we couldn't do all the hiking we wanted to, tho, because of the bears... the rangers are picky about where a person can go... i was in Calgary once for a week and it has nice bike trails on the confluence of the Bow and Elbow rivers - good memories...
    life takes unpredictable turns i know, at least it has in my life, but i'm sure you'll find something that suits you... Ancient Greek! my gosh, i'm impressed! that sounds like a full time job in itself! i'll check out your food blog; it sounds intriguing... and good luck and hope to read your new posts soon... tx,...

    1. We couldn't go where we wanted to either! I wanted to visit Lake Moraine, which is supposedly beautiful, but the parking lot was always full and they wouldn't let you up, it seems no matter what time of the day you arrived there. I'm glad to hear that you had good Canadian memories though ...

      Yes, one must take the unpredictability and see it as an adventure instead of a problem. I'm sure I'll find something. I'm really enjoying the Greek course but it's difficult. Lots of work!

      I'm very excited about the food blog. Can't wait to get some more posts up.

      Take care!

  2. My goodness, your summer sounds full enough for a whole years worth of stuff!

    Hope you find something you can enjoy to work at.

    1. I know .... I exhaust you, don't I ....? ;-) More reading planned for September so even with the two trips, hopefully I'll be staying more stationary.

      Thanks for the wishes!

  3. You have some fun reading on your list: Iliad, Dead Souls, C&P, and more Zola (I must be on book #4???). Totally looking forward to C&P. Do you have a date set to begin?

    And your food blog is beautiful. I'm going to try that watermelon salad. I cannot eat watermelon w/o lime anyway, and I wouldn't mind trying it w/ feta.

    1. When to begin CP? How about Wednesday? I tried today but have been too busy and tomorrow is busy as well. I - must - get - reading - focus! :-)

      Thank you so much! It's a work-in-progress, but I'm happy with it so far. And I'm thrilled about my photos ..... I'm such an amateur photographer but my awesome camera makes them look much better than the person taking the pictures is capable of, lol! I hope you enjoy the recipe! I have even better ones coming up!

    2. This week works for me.

      And great! I found you on Pinterest, which is where I save my recipes (on my secret boards), but yeah, I am always looking for new, healthy recipes to try.

  4. Your post is an exact and absolute opposite of mine! You will miss summer and I rejoice in bidding it goodbye! Look what geographies do to!! Wonderful photos...I agree with Mudpuddle, it is so good to go places and you seem to have an awesome trip! One day I shall visit the beautiful Rocky mountains! I know a change in job is not easy, but after a point, I think change is critical to do something new and just expand our understanding! I too want to try and do something else, but my plans must wait a minimum of another 2 years! What a reading list.....all the best! Yay!! The Food blog is up...I am off to check it out and borrow recipes! Wishing you a wonderful September!

    1. One day come visit me and I shall take you to see the Rocky Mountains! :-) They are certainly beautiful --- we saw some bighorn sheep while driving through them which I forgot to mention in my post.

      Well, if not a new job, I hope you find more free time for yourself soon. We clutter our lives with so many "things" and I wonder if, at the end of it, we'll think they were worth it. Ah, I'm getting too deep now. ;-)

      Thanks for the look-in and the comment on the food blog. Much appreciated, my friend!

  5. I'm so excited about you reading The Dream! I love it :D

    As ever, beautiful pictures :) And your food blog looks fantastic - I wish you the very best with that. I've subscribed and am looking forward to making some of your recipes!

    1. Yes, I must get back to Zola. I enjoy his books so much but somehow he always seems to get pushed to the back of the line.

      Thanks and thanks so much for your support with the food blog. I'm always open to suggestions and critiques. Even though I've had this blog for 4 years, I feel out of my element. But it will all come together eventually! :-)

  6. Your photos and descriptions make me miss the Canadian Rockies! I visited it for the first time a few years ago, and it blew me away with its gorgeousness. Maligne Canyon in Jasper was like something out of a fairytale land. Will definitely visit again in the future.

    I've also started following your food blog (yay for vegetarian!!).

    1. Ah, another place to visit. I finally was able to see Moraine Lake by Lake Louise this past week on my way by (again!) and it was beautiful.

      Thanks for the "follow", Marian! Appreciate it! :-)