there is something so comforting about radio four. as familiar as the smell of coffee and cigarettes or freshly mown grass. since we moved to nova scotia the station's british beeps and monotone sounds mean even more. so we tune in through the internet, and on calm days the dry laughter from just a minute, or the theme to desert island discs, fills mabel's rooms as if we were back in our terraced hackney flat.
this morning cc woke before dawn to the sound of thundering rain. we switched on this charming episode while sharing toast, then pulled on his boots and navy coat, ready to set off for a morning walk.
some pine cones collected outside mabel, together with old photographs of cc and his pa, stored in the wooden recipe box.
cc's thursday lunch of avocado, toasted cheese soldiers and a cup of soya milk.
and the little mister testing out the muddy puddles on our street this morning.
these days are sleepy ones. no matter how much rest night brings, it somehow never seems enough. cc's pa is off work until tomorrow so it has been wonderful to snooze on the settee while him and cc are outside together in the yard. the tck tck sound of digging and cc's constant natterings waft in through the back door. today is our eighth wedding anniversary. we toasted it with two cups of smokey tea and chicken sandwiches around the kitchen table. cc cheered as we promised to take him to nevada one day and show him where his mama and dadda wed.
.cc's vintage, slightly mismatched, handsome brogues
.stacks of handmade tiles created during my nights at the turnstile pottery co-op.
.cc and his pa by a lovely old home at peggy's cove yesterday.
cc's pa rented an automobile this week and drove us to america to stay with his family. the thunder storms and brutal winds made us lose our way a little, taking us to dead-ends and down stoney, dark tracks. cc snoozed his way through customs and awoke so delighted when we finally arrived, calling 'grandma grandpa grandma grandpa' non-stop during our four day stay.
cc's grandpa turned soft toys and socks into talking hand puppets, and made cc laugh 'til his dimples showed. his grandma read him endless storybooks and helped teach him many new words. cc's pa drove us all around the area, through indian nature reserves, to the seaside, and then today all the way back home. tuning in to jimmy dean's big bad john on the radio, his pa hummed away as cc continued to chant 'grandma grandpa' right up to mabel's front door.
.cc and his pa beside an old waterfront building in the rain this morning in downtown eastport.
.twirling around in his soft angora hat, before sharing a cinnamon bun in the town bakery.
.reading grandma's dr seuss storybook on the way to the beach.
this handsome, tan coloured parcel, all tied up with string, arrived on our doorstep at teatime. the type written note came addressed to cc, who twirled in circles as we untied the paper, announcing 'boook boook'.
the where the wild things are storybook inside was a beautiful and original edition from the sixties that had been carefully saved by these two gentlemen, who so kindly sent it onto cc. thank you to the finest englishman and frenchman in london town, you made cc's day.
there is a gentleman who is always a shade of gray. whose nose is constantly hidden in a folded newspaper. sometimes, when the morning has passed, he takes a snooze in his armchair. customers seem sparse, so maybe that is why his manner seems short. the sunday assistant is no happier though, as she focuses on rolling tobacco or studying her text messages. neither one seems to want to talk about the collection of printed matter that fills their small store.
it would be lovely to take over that space. to transform it into a cavern for storytelling and a selection of carefully curated books. a space that nova scotia would treasure.
.two sugar biscuits and two saturday finds at the last word bookstore. a biography of muhammad ali, and salvador by the remarkable joan didion.
.teepee adventures for cc. he never tires of hiding inside it or chasing his pa all around it.
.some goodnight stars from this lovely book, and the antique signature of a previous mabel owner from eighty years ago.
taking time to sit down inside a cafe is a treat. and not something that happens often with cc in tow.
though yesterday, after our morning walk, the smell of coffee and baked bread tempted us in to this family run cafe at the end of our street.
the wooden booths, storybooks and crayons mean cc is content to sit here.
a seasonal pumpkin muffin was bought for him. a milky coffee for me. and we took home a loaf of their handmade kamut bread to make wonderful toast.
cc made acquaintances with a french tattooed gentleman sat behind us. attempted to share his muffin with a little brown eyed girl named lucy. then cuddled the dalmatian sat on the front step on our way out.
it might be an extravagance to stop out for coffee so near mabel, but it was a lovely morning and handsome cc made the perfect date.
mabel's master bedroom is cc's own space.
tucked away at the back of the house, far from the motorcars and hustle on the street. he still sleeps in his wooden, drop side cot, that nestles in the corner. the storybooks and toys he treasures so much are stored in his room too, together with handwritten notes sent to him and sepia images of his ancestors.
.a blackboard painted onto his bedroom wall. framed in silver paint and topped with special cuttings and miniature bunting made by friends last christmas.
.cuttings include a note from cc's grandpa, some of his artworks, and copies of pinhole photographs by the talented wolf howard.
.a new bowler hat and moustache for cc's great grandpa george.
.his reading corner stacked with well thumbed tales. the wooden bookshelves were in the basement when we moved in. the rocking chair came from cc's grandparents in devon.
(cc's pa took him out for a sunday stroll for me to clean mabel. these pictures were taken before they returned. two moments later his little space was filled with mud and mayhem again, as all little misters rooms should be...)
today is labor day here in canada, and in america too.
the streets were quiet as many folk were away and all the stores were closed.
sadly cc's pa still had to work, so for us it was a typical monday.
cc rode on his pa's shoulders downtown where we bade him farewell at his studios.
in the shade of a willow tree in the park, cc and I settled down to read his treasured 'a balloon for a blunderbuss' storybook.
then he dug for worms with his wooden train and I thumbed through the first memories issue of the lovely vestoj magazine.
the afternoon was filled with home repairs, spray painting a blackboard wall for cc, and cutting out fragile sepia ancestors for a future collage.
cc's words of the moment are topp topp, moos - for moose, and cuds cuds - for when the little mister is in need of a cuddle.