Tag Archives: Canada Day

Oh, What a (Canada) Day We Had!

Just a few photos from our trip to Twillingate. Guys, this town… we were driving around, and I lost count of how many times I said “it’s SO PRETTY!” If you like fishing villages, gorgeous views, an amazing landscape, lighthouses and a whole lotta ocean, this is the town for you. There weren’t any icebergs around on the day we visited, but Twillingate is one of the best places to see them (not to mention the whales and the sea birds). Honestly, if AJ’s next posting can’t get us close to St. John’s, I’d be happy to move here.

Here’s the website, because I ran out of space for all the pictures I wanted to take.

Anyway…

The view from the restaurant where we ate lunch

The view from the restaurant where we ate lunch

A fun wine selection

A fun wine selection

Welcome to Newfoundland, flks. Did I mention that this is near Dildo Run Provincial Park?

Welcome to Newfoundland, folks. Did I mention that this is near Dildo Run Provincial Park?

This lighthouse looks like a chocolate milk bottle. The view from the top is spectacular!

This lighthouse looks like a chocolate milk bottle. The view from the top is spectacular!

That may or may not be Horney Head Cove. Pretty though, ain't it?

That may or may not be Horney Head Cove. Pretty though, ain’t it?

beach treasures

beach treasures

Sleepy cove

Sleepy cove

I thought the abandoned mining equipment was delightfully creepy!

I thought the abandoned mining equipment was delightfully creepy!

Somebody's shed

Somebody’s shed

More urchins than a Charles Dickens novel, I swear!

More urchins than a Charles Dickens novel, I swear.

Sunbeams over town. I wish I could have taken more pictures of the buildings; I do love a place where the houses don't all look the same!

Sunbeams over town. I wish I could have taken more pictures of the buildings; I do love a place where the houses don’t all look the same!

Oh, and here’s the weirdest thing we saw, when we were walking near the boats in the harbour: these things that looked like tentacle-less jellyfish, and they lit up. Rows of light reflecting the sun in rainbow colours. They looked like those cheap fibre-optic toys you buy at the circus, but tasteful. And also alive. We probably spent way too much time looking, but they were amazing! And it always drives me nuts when I can’t put a name to an animal. Closest I’ve come so far in my search is “comb jellyfish.” Any other thoughts? That’s a solid blob of critter there, not tentacles.

DSC07759

see the light-up dots in lines on the right?

This one appeared to be quite deceased (an ex-whatchamacallit, if you will), but you can see the structure

This one appeared to be quite deceased (an ex-whatchamacallit, if you will), but you can see the structure. And its… mouth?

So there you go. Twillingate. And gelatinous blobs. YAY!

I’ll be back…

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Memorial Day

(Not to depress anyone on this lovely and otherwise-celebratory-in-Canada day, but history is important, guys…)

Happy Canada Day! Well, mostly… see, when you live in Newfoundland, July 1 is a bittersweet holiday (and not just because so many people still swear that joining Canada was a mistake– not today’s topic, don’t worry). No, it’s because in Newfoundland, July 1 is also Memorial Day, the day set aside to remember the lives lost at the battle of Beaumont-Hamel, France, on July 1, 1916.

It’s not an insignificant number. The Newfoundland Regiment (then hailing from a tiny dominion of the British empire, not from Canada) was destroyed: more than 650 casualties, most within 15-20 minutes of leaving the trenches. Anywhere you read about the Newfoundland Regiment and this battle, the terms “nearly annihilated,” “almost wiped out” or “decimated” are sure to appear.

War is awesome, isn’t it?

But Great Big Sea tells the story far better than I can. The “Blue Puttees” was the nickname of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment.

(traditional, lyrics courtesy of the b’ys themselves)

RECRUITING SARGEANT*

Two recruiting sergeants came to the CLB,
for the sons of the merchants, to join the Blue Puttees
So all the hands enlisted, five hundred young men
Enlist you Newfoundlanders and come follow me

They crossed the broad Atlantic in the brave Florizel
And on the sands of Suvla, they entered into hell
And on those bloody beaches, the first of them fell
Enlist you Newfoundlanders and come follow me

So it’s over the mountains, and over the sea
Come brave Newfoundlanders and join the Blue Puttees
You’ll fight in Flanders, and at Galipoli
Enlist you Newfoundlanders and come follow me

Then the call came from London, for the last July drive
To the trenches with the regiment, prepare yourselves to die
The roll call next morning, just a handful survived.
Enlist you Newfoundlanders and come follow me

And it’s over the mountains, and over the sea
Come brave Newfoundlanders and join the Blue Puttees
You’ll fight in Flanders, and at Galipoli
Enlist you Newfoundlanders and come follow me

The stone men on Water Street still cry for the day
When the pride of the city went marching away
A thousand men slaughtered, to hear the King say
Enlist you Newfoundlanders and come follow me

And it’s over the mountains, and over the sea
Come brave Newfoundlanders and join the Blue Puttees
You’ll fight in Flanders, and at Galipoli
Enlist you Newfoundlanders and come follow me

So it’s over the mountains, and over the sea
Come brave Newfoundlanders and join the Blue Puttees
You’ll fight in Flanders, and at Galipoli
Enlist you Newfoundlanders and come follow me

Enlist you Newfoundlanders and come follow me

Catchy tune, no?

So today we (whether Newfoundlanders, CFAs like me, or mainlanders in the know) remember these brave men and grieve the loss of life.

…and then we get to go and throw some burgers on the BBQ and watch fireworks for Canada Day. *waves flag*

Fantastic (if old) blog post from Rick Mercer, who is actually from here… here.

More information on the  Royal Newfoundland Regiment here and here, and some good information on Memorial Day and its origins here. This article on the memorial in France has good information on the battle, etc.

*I don’t know they it’s spelled that way on track listings. Thoughts? Guesses? Answers?


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