Wednesday, 27 June 2012

wonderful offerings

these past few days our little family has been super lucky.
it started with the arrival of cc's grandma devon, who is staying here at tumbledown for a few weeks. her suitcase was filled with lovely gifts for us all. cc thinks its a magical case as each time its unzipped he finds another tiny truck or story book.

this brown and cream earthenware vase was made by a ceramics student at the nova scotia art school. cc's grandma devon found it for me at the seeds gallery store, where they sell their wares, down by the waterfront. behind the vase is a storage crate, tiled with a sepia picture of cc's great nanna and her dog ship, taken on comberton hill in dorset eighty years ago.
and here is cc opening another lovely package in the wood stove room. the blue paper was filled with clothes sent from his other set of grandparents, who have helped us so very much words truly cannot ever thank them enough.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

mountains and molehills

the gentleman next door has a sheet of tin foil taped to his head. it is molded around a polystyrene cycling helmet that he constantly wears. the tape is secured over the tin and stuck directly to the stubble under his chin. he also wears multiple sweaters at a time, and tapes dustbin bags around his boots. this sounds like a tale, but it is completely true. he shares a house with his ginger ale sipping brother, who I mentioned in april. we talk mostly about the trespassers, who burrow from their home to ours. they say we are making a mountain out of a molehill, whilst sweeping aside the sea of bird seed and mice droppings that cover their floor. so we started to think about moving home, to somewhere without trespassers.

cc's grandma devon is staying at the moment so we have been out walking alot. these wooden homes we passed are on brunswick street. they form a square behind the neat fence and have a shared garden hidden in the middle. the cornflower blue window and door frames and sash windows look lovely.
here is cc mid skip on a cobbled path on black street, on our way home from a park. the north end of halifax has so many wonderful terraces and streets to discover and treasures to find. if only these gentlemen next door would agree to help deter trespassers then we could happily stay.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

tiring days

cc should have fallen asleep ages ago. its almost dark and the streets are temporarily still. despite this cc's humming and tat ta tats on the side of his bed are still filling the house. it seems hard to induce rest on summer nights. though we have spent days chasing butterflies around shrubs in the garden, scrambled around with friends on the common and wandered through the dappled terraces for hours, when it comes to sleep the muggy air is hard to shake off.

this was cc a few days ago, taking a moment to unwind and shelter from the sunshine on his pa's comforting shoulder.
and here is a strange sign for a meat company called brothers that is around the corner from us. there is something about the mammoth sausage shaped sign that is unsettling. and once darkness falls it lights up, so from afar it seems as if there is a canadian sausage soaring under the stars.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

cider song

the sinister happenings and tootings of dollars that take place outside tumbledown are on the rise. sirens disturb the muggy nights and the sound of cider song and tins rattling down the sidewalk made it hard to rest. 
the trespassers are trying to return too with their telling scuttling and scratching. cc is unaware of these disturbances and cc's pa is too relaxed to mind, so I'm filling the dusk with tales from george eliot and making tiled wooden things to sell.

here is an adventurous cc, hiding in some bushes on our morning walk today. he soon abandoned the old coffee cup and sifted through the mud to select two sticks. 
this small wooden stool would make a lovely table for little folk like cc. it was a saturday find from a nearby antiques store. the curved edges and second shelf underneath make it feel special. soon I will measure it up to transform the top with tiles.
and here is my faded copy of silas marner, that was found in a seaside store in dorset, train carried on to hackney and finally shipped out to this sinister street in nova scotia. 

Thursday, 14 June 2012

clem the cowboy

this is clem. his full name is clemens dark junior, named after his pa, clemens senior. clem and his little brother seth, who is tucked up in the cart, live on their grandpas farm. there are six of them living in the wooden house. 
clem suffers from his pa's short temper, and gets headaches when a storm is coming. his family are strict on him. he can't read or write and spends his days turning the turf and pulling tatties. all the while he day dreams about what he'll be when he turns into a gentleman. 

clem has high hopes of hitching on the wagon to town to steal a handsome chestnut horse. he wants to wear a suede waistcoat, to carry a rope lasso and feel the metal of a pistol tucked into his trouser top. he wants to ride the horse across hundreds of miles and to know that wherever they are headed folk will see the dust pass on by and say 'there goes that daring cowboy clem. I sure hope someday to meet him.' clem will miss seth, but he is sure the adventure will be worth it. 

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

his collection

sticks. a simple wooden stick seems to make cc so curious. he collects stout ones from the woodshed corner in the garden, fallen ones from under the trees lining smart terraces and soggy ones from murky ditches.

here is cc's collection from today. a sturdy stick found by the automobile shop on charles street. a fistful of tiny flowers from the commons, and a vintage miniature truck from a nearby secondhand store.
and this is cc with tuesday's stick of the day. maybe we should hang his stick collection together to make a nature mobile, or turn them into a tiny fence for a vegetable patch. though i'm sure if we did cc would soon find another and use it to prod around in the nova scotian mud.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

sifting through

tins of found photographs, newspaper cuttings and torn out pictures traveled with us from hackney to nova scotia. sometimes it seems silly of me to store these around the house, damp from the nova scotian air and hardly looked at. then moments come like today, when cc snoozes, cc's pa is busy mending things, and I can start sifting through tin after tin to unearth some long forgotten pieces.

this lovely picture of an indian girl was taken by frida kahlo sixty years ago. it was torn from an article on the book frida kahlo: photographs of myself and others.
here is a stack of newspaper cuttings still to trawl through, stored in tiled wooden crates in the clementine room.
and cc in his angora hat and rain coat on fuller terrace early this morning. the mossy holes in this tree trunk are home to all sorts of shiny insects to stop him in his tracks.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

a collection

horst p. horst's picture of the beautiful baroness pauline de rothschild peering into an ornate front room.

woodland happiness from the cover of mather shalal hash baz's from a summer to another summer disc.

cc's pa's original peter marlow print of a marked tree, that he saved six months for. together with circus hat.

the wooden and canvas teepee cc hides in, taps his drum in, stores his trucks in and sometimes rests in.

a simple collection of lovely things.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

inside downstairs tumbledown


canadian tire made me anxious when we first moved here. their stores are so huge and cc always disappeared amidst sacks of compost and industrial metal stoves. then we found their decorating desk and made acquaintances with ted, a muscular gentleman who taps out tunes as he tints the paint, and soon we were trekking to and from the store trailing tins and brushes to do-up tumbledown.

here is the freshly painted kitchen. it feels dated with the dented stove and checkered lino, which makes the white walls feel amber. the walls and cabinets were lime green when we moved in. through the kitchen pass is the little dining room which peeks out onto the garden.
the second picture shows the wood room. it was all brown with coffee coloured walls, the timber floor and stacks of logs next to the wood stove. the snowy walls with our collected objects hung up make it feel like a totally different space.  
then through the doorway there is the clementine room. it is at the front of the house and soaks in the sinister tootings on the street outside. cc settles down on the tapestry carpet and hums the morning away. next week we will tackle the upstairs, and make the trek to see ted once more.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

a few dollars more

the move to nova scotia was supposed to mean that cc's pa and I could start to save a few dollars. so far it seems that won't happen.
this morning we found this two toned, compact caravan alone on a derelict site. though its not much bigger than a traditional shed, it has a miniature stove and settee inside, so if needs must we could all squeeze in. cc would love it.
cc's pa took this picture in our nearby superstore a few weekends back. the total we spend on food here is scary. way more than in hackney. cc would not be parted from this strawberry balloon and strutted up and down the aisles with it nodding next to him.