Public Notice .. Raise the Steeple Dance
Dance until they raise the steeple. Well, maybe not, but there’s a dance for the The Church By the Sea group to raise money for preserving the old Anglican Church in St. Philip’s. It’s an odd story and the headlines just keep getting weirder and weirder. It’s been around eight months since the old church was making some pretty big headlines.
We’ll certainly know who put the steeple back on the church, although we will probably never know who desecrated the structure in the first place.
I don’t really want to take sides here. On one hand I think St. John’s is too conservationist in protecting the views of the harbour and disallowing almost every development proposed in the downtown. On the other hand this view, just twenty minutes outside of town has been desecrated. Now the reasons for the St. Philip’s Chainsaw Massacre are a little cloudy. Was it one of those from the church that wanted more cemetery space? Was it condoned by the rector? We’ll probably never know.
St. Philip's Anglican Church
I quite like the new church. It is a nice structure. They did a good job using the same steeple treatment as the original structure and the colouring is spot on. It’s not quite the same location. A little higher up the hill, but look at the setting of the original. I love the old structure. Well, I loved it more when it was in tact and now I just say “ugh” every time I’m turning onto St. Thomas Line from Dogberry Hill Road. That view should have been preserved before it came to this.
I suppose that a decapitated church isn’t that odd a site in a graveyard. Happy Hallow-e’en St. Philip’s.
Cape Spear Lighthouse
One of my favourite spots around St. John’s. Sure it’s a tourist trap, overly busy for the brief summer and if you’re out on a Friday or Saturday in the afternoon you’re likely to run into some wedding photography, but it’s just such a great piece of coastline and it’s myriad of moods makes it worth wandering out there whatever the weather. Be warned that they don’t plow or sand/salt during winter storms, so take your chances. One of my favourite days was after a storm and wandering around the drifts with no one else around. It does pay to be local.
Easternmost Point .. Cape Spear
A reasonable if maybe a bit full day itinerary would be to hit Signal Hill, then Cora’s downtown for breakfast, Cape Spear, then around through Petty Harbour (a good lunch stop), and off around the Irish Loop to check out Ferryland (minus the picnic, although afternoon tea and desert is an option) and back up through Salmonier, maybe stopping at a restaurant in one of the smaller towns along the way for supper.
I love autumn. The quality of light as the sun gets a bit lower on the horizon, the colors on the trees, the harvest, pumpkins and the slight chill in the air which makes a sweater a welcome hug.
In the places I’ve lived in Canada, autumn is short. The colors fleeting. The chill a not-so-friendly reminder of the long winter to come. In St. Louis, Missouri, autumn lasted for what seemed like months. Picnics in the park in November. Suppers outside in October. Cool nights and warm days with lower humidity.
Of course, Hallowe’en is just around the corner and it’s probably about time I went out and got a pumpkin. Mmmm…pumpkin seeds, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie. What a great fruit. Even if I’d never pick it off a tree and it eat it right there.
Most photographed lighthouse in the world? Maybe. It’s still a groovy spot. The rocks are elephantine and the lighthouse is nice, but what really gets me is the town, the structures within it and the harbour. Weather-worn and Maritime at its best.
Untitled .. Orange
Take a moment to enjoy the rest of the harbour before or after venturing to the lighthouse. It’s worth a few more minutes of your time.
I really like these. They are so rich and the soft outside peanut butter part with the chocolate is just so tasty. A holiday tradition since the key ingredient seems to only be available at Costco and the grocery stores between October and December. I don’t know where this recipe came from originally, but my mom makes them and I make them now too.
1 cup margarine
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
1 cup oatmeal (quick oats)
54 Icy Squares™ (depends on size you make them)
Makes 4 and a half dozen. Right to the half dozen last time I made them.
Mix the margarine, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs and vanilla well. Add in the baking soda, flour and oats and mix well again.
Ready to Go In
Spoon by the tablespoon-full into a small muffin tray, bake at 350F for 10 minutes (do not overcook) then press in an unwrapped icy square in the middle of each and let cool in the pan for 15 minutes before carefully pulling them out to cool on a racks. I keep the icy squares in the freezer right until I take the pan out of the oven. It makes it easier. They still liquefy, but not as bad and start to firm up again quicker. These things freeze great, but they need about an hour to get to a decent eating temperature. Otherwise the Icy Squares™ will be too hard.
Right in the heart of St. John’s is an outport from out by the bays. While it’s undergone some changes and some of the new development is out of character, you can grab a bit of outport without venturing outside the cosmopolitanism that is St. John’s.
Quidi Vidi Sea Sheds
I’m not sure if Quidi Vidi or Petty Harbour would rank higher on my list of must see spots within the area, but it’s definitely not in the waste your time pile. You should walk up past the houses at the end towards The Gut to get the full effect. Otherwise you are missing some great views. You’ll find the Quidi Vidi Brewing Company here and a quick tour and some free samples are a nice treat. I’m partial to the 1892 and the Honey Brown options from the local brewer. Much better than any of the Newfoundland rebrand options from the bigger brewers like Jockey Club, and Black Horse. Odd how a post about an outport turns into a post about beer.
And don’t worry about the weather. I’ve gone in fog, drizzle, winter and sun. To be honest. Sun is the worst weather for this place. It really sinks deep into your psyche when the wind and the fog chill you to the bone.
Lost and Found
One of my favorite times with my nine-month old son is reading stories just before nap time and bedtime. While it would seem to be easy to get tired of the same stories over and over, there are those that I can read again and again and still love them. I’m sure I’ve read some of these a hundred times already.
Dr. Suess's ABC .. How to Catch a Star .. Colors Everywhere
There’s the cute stories like Oliver Jeffer’s How to Catch a Star and Lost and Found which have some really wonderful watercolor artwork to go with them. They are just wonderful books to peruse. There’s the classic stories like The Very Hungry Caterpillar and …What Do You… series illustrated by Eric Carle. There’s good old Dr. Suess. There’s some of the odder ones like Goodnight Moon which seems so simple, but I love it. I love the slow pace you can take reading it. I love that you can continue the story after the last goodnight. “Goodnight hallway, goodnight chair, goodnight owl and goodnight bear…” as I carry my son to his room to lay down for a nap and maybe a quick song before.
Goodnight Moon .. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
I hope I never forget watching my son’s eyes scan the pages as I read, kick his feet against the floor at the exciting parts, rub his eyes as he tires, and lay his head against my chest as Mr. Sandman comes to take him away from me for a little while. Goodnight son. I know you won’t let me read to you forever, but I would if you’d let me.