Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Leaving Nova Scotia


My husband sits at the entrance to beautiful Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia.
I'm watching The Last Station in the hotel room and boy, what GREAT acting, such a nuanced view of marriage and love and the scenes with Christopher Plummer and Helen Mirren are so, well, deeply layered, I guess that's the word.
James McAvoy is, also, one of my favorite young actors.
Modern travelling, computers, cells, and tv to feel 'at home'... it's bizarre. And this time we Googled the directions to the hotel in Fredericton, and cut and paste it into email. So no need to ask computers how to get there and be misdirected.
I feel good, I guess that's what a vacation is for. My head is clear.
There's no way to seque this into Tighsolas, well, except that these people LOVED to travel and took advantage of vast family connections to do so.
In return they harboured visitors, usually at great expense of energy. The Nicholsons had no maid.
They took car trips (but not that far) and mostly train trips.
In 1913, two men endeavored a cross Canada trip. The first ever in a car. There were a lot of firsts in the era.
The Nicholsons seldom stayed in hotels.. Although there was a exception in 1908, when Margaret and Norman visited Quebec City to see the 1908 Celebrations there, with the Prince of Wales.
I write about it in Flo in the City, my novel in progress about a girl coming of age in the pivotal 1908-1913 era.
The Queen of England was just in Canada, in Halifax (before we arrived) and in Ottawa the day before we left (Canada Day) and in Toronto.
My friends told me how in England they saw the Queen close up when her limo happened to stop right in front of them. I didn't want to spoil the story, but I have a similar one. In 198something, I was visiting Toronto and just happened to stop in the middle of the street in front of Union Station to rest my arms (I was carrying two suitcases) when her limo stopped right in front of me too. Two feet or so. (I guess the driver's instructions were to stop right there, so he did, despite the fact a young woman was standing in the middle of the intersection. It was right at the end of her what's it called, cortege. I saw Her Majesty waving with a far away look in her eyes (I joke to people that I am sure she was day dreaming about a young Albert Finney. I think that's funny as Albert Finney played working class guys) and then her limo sped away.
These same friends, last night, showed we a Twitter Tweet that pretends to be Queen E. It's funny. Queen_UK
Many many people, I guess, have a "I saw the Queen of England" story. I'm not the only one. Still, it's one of my better stories.