We drove from Placentia to the Trinity Bight listening to the Once, a group I love for the soft harmonies and sweet tunes. This is a soft landscape, too, although I guess I say that never having known a Newfoundland winter. But the rocks, the clumps of asters on the roadsides, the sky all blue and feathered with high cloud — well, it’s good for the heart.
Yesterday, driving away from Cape St. Mary’s and the northern gannet colony, we saw a group of people in the graveyard in St. Bride’s. On a sunny slope of ground, they were working together like an image out of a David Blackwood print. Then, half an hour later, we saw a funeral convoy on the highway heading to St. Bride’s. The hearse, the line-up of vehicles in dignified procession, and we knew the grave would be ready. We’d seen the heap of flowers waiting.
We found a great B&B in Placentia, the Rosedale Manor, built in 1893 in the Southcott version of Second Empire style. (John Thomas Southcott introduced the architectural style to Newfoundland in the 1880s, I believe…) Huge claw-footed tub in our bathroom, a pretty patchwork quilt on the bed, a view of the gut (which I think is Canadian gaelic for a small bay), and a delicious breakfast served at the cafe owned by Linda and Philip who also own the Rosedale Manor.
We were lucky enough to see a poster advertising a play at the Arts and Culture Centre in Placentia last night, With Cruel Times in Between, based on the work of Newfoundland poet Al Pittman. It was a delightful production — Theatre Newfoundland Labrador, directed by Sara…h McDonald (sic).
Then we wandered down to Port Rexton on the Bonavista Peninsula where we were lucky enough to find a suite at the Fishers Loft, possibly the nicest and most serene place I’ve ever stayed. The colours are clean and harmonious (like the Once) — butter yellow wooden floors, blues, soft greens, and this is our view:
Pinch me, quick — am I dreaming?