Sunday, December 9, 2007

Christmas Past 1940

You are cordially invited to look in on my personal recollections as a child in war time. Sixty new illustrated pages featuring the movies I saw that year and the "literature" I read. Those were days of ascending peculiarity! Your comments and help in remembering these long ago days would be appreciated. Visit Click link number 1 at right!

Have a Merry Christmas!

Rodney C. Mackay

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Picton Castle Tragedy Continues

Ruth and I see the Picton Castle daily when she has been in port, and she has not moved from her berth since arriving home in May, 2007. As our home overlooks her Lunenburg port of call, we have an unusual advantage in taking pictures of her from an elevated place (our second storey Lunenburg Bump.

The two of us have collected a very large number of photos of her over the past years and will post some of them if there is an interest? A number of these are already online (click link to home website ar right), with Rod's personal musings about the loss of Laura Gainey from her deck during a North Atlantic storm.

Rod is quite busy just now, so you will have to e-mail him if you want to see more pictures of this craft!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Father Christmas at Mahone Bay

A modern embodiment of Father Christmas greets well-wishers on Main Street. This town has less than half the population of Lunenburg but totally outdoes the larger centre when it comes to co-operative projects meant to draw out-side visitors to the town.

In addition to this living breathing representative of his kind, this Father Christmas was supplemented with seventy life-sized replicas representing the reincarnate Saint Nicholas, whose feast day is still remembered in some places on the fifth day of December. Old Saint Nick is a Teutonic Yule-tide character and a natural for Christmas promotion in Lunenburg County which was settled by German protestants in the mid eighteenth century.

Franky, the Lunenburg Christkindlmarkt or "Christ Child's Market" was more of a local food fair, and did not seem to attract hordes of visitors from outside the immediate area. That is unfortunate: From the lack of decoration on the part of nearby businesses on Lincoln and Montague Streets it may be suspected that the local merchants were ot entirely enthusiastic about this solidly amateur effort!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Waiting For Santa at a Lunenburg Wharf

In our seaport town Santa Claus comes to land on a scallop dragger abd is transported by firetruck to Santa's village at the Christkindlmarkt

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Strange Season


A supernatural hag of Gaelic popular belief, supposed to have come from Lochlann (loch land, or Norway) carrying a creel full of earth and rocks withwhich she constructed Alba. Some of the contents of her wicker-basket,accidentally fell to the west creating the Western Isles. She was described as one-eyed like the Fomors, and carried a staff which perpetually shed snow and could generate lightning. She was called the "Geamir" or game-keeper as she was the ultimate goddess in charge of the
deer, sheep, and goats of Scotland. Called in English, "The Winter Hag", her special season was "geamhradh", which the Anglo-Saxons named winter. Her domain was the Scottish highlands between Ben Cruachan in Lorn and Ben Nevis in Lochaber, and from there to the remotest islands of the Western Sea. The mate of the Cailleach is given as the Bodach, and she was a shapechanger often appearing as a gigantic Grey Mare, which stepped from mountain top to mountaintop. In winter, she jealously guarded her icy control of the land unleashing her sharks-winds and the wolf-kind against the people of Scotland as her powers declined after February. Finally at the Beltane, she "threw her hammer (symbolizing thunder and lightning and storm) under the mistletoe" and was shape-changed into the Samh, or Morrigan, the youthful mistress of the "samradh" or summer. The Scottish equivalent of the god Odin, having charge like him, of the winter winds and heading the Unsely Host, which rides through the Yule-tide season picking up the spirits of those "nach maireann" (lacking divine fire, no longer alive).

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Here's the rub

The ceiling of that Anglican Church mentioned below "shows how the sky would have appeared at sunset to a viewer at the latitude of Lunenburg who was facing east on December 24 — Christmas Eve — two millennia ago."

This fact was discovered by science journalist Dan Falk a one time resident of Nova Scotia now living in Toronto. The full story can be found on

The Night Sky At The Nativity, Lunenburg, N.S.

This tiny insert photo of St. John's Anglican Church in Lunenburg was taken late Christmas Eve, 2000 A.D. In the early morning hours of November 1, 2001, Lunenburg firefighters responded to what would be their 23rd, and final call on one of the most hectic Halloween nights in the town’s history.

This one involved St. John’s Anglican Church, a hallowed hall of worship in the town for nearly 250 years and one of Canada’s National Historic Sites. It was almost totally destroyed and required $5.6 to restore.

The larger photo is a part of the rotunda in the eastern part of the church. This ceiling was originally painted in 1900 and fixed with gold-leaf stars as seen above. Thing is, the pattern of stars in not random but coincides with astronomical fact!