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Life goes on

on Tuesday, 01 July 2014.

OUR MANTRA, articulated in the very first issue, is that we celebrate what we have, as opposed to bemoaning the offensive “have not” label inflicted upon us by others elsewhere who are deluded into equating happiness with the acquisition of “stuff.”

International study after study concludes that a high quality of life, and therefore the personal happiness and fulfillment every human being seeks, is not related to personal wealth, but community. Americans, for instance, with the world’s largest economy, are notoriously unhappy people.

Veteran New Brunswick writer, journalism professor and friend, Philip Lee focuses in on this very topic in this issue with an intriguing essay about our quality of life—“found in a deep understanding of community.”

With a cheeky subtext, “Life is hell in a have-not province,” it chronicles small things we all take for granted that, accumulatively, sustain the inordinately high quality of life we here enjoy.

With the passage of time nothing stays quite the same

on Thursday, 01 May 2014.

WE WERE OBLIGED, in late March, to eulogize our Food Editor Emeritus, and dear friend, Marie Nightingale. It was a thoroughly painful assignment. Marie (reluctantly) retired when she was 80 and died at her home in Halifax, age 85.

Knowing that traditional wholesome cooking and baking would form an important element of our editorial content and, of course, knowing Marie’s work and reputation, she was the first writer we approached in our pre-launch planning for this publication. She was 72 years of age at the time and enthusiastically agreed.

Change is unavoidable: but let’s do it carefully

on Monday, 20 October 2014.

THIS MAY MARKS our 14th anniversary of publishing a high quality, paid circulation magazine in a tough industry in a tough market, and sometimes in tough economic conditions.

We’ve joked that we should have called it “Bumblebee” magazine—because conventional aerodynamics suggest that, on paper at least, bumblebees should not be able to generate enough lift to fly.

On paper, we should not have been able to generate the necessary critical mass in a market as small as this one to remain off the ground very long either. 

“Atlantic Canadians have a deep attachment to their home communities, notably their rural roots” ~ Pollster Don Mills

on Wednesday, 01 January 2014.

WE HEARD A neat story the other day about friends who had been obliged to move from Atlantic Canada to Ottawa several years ago. In their new home, the kids (teenagers) decided to surprise their busy mother with some cooking. Halfway through the exercise they discovered they needed butter and had none—so they did what they considered normal and went next door and asked if they could borrow half a pound of butter.

They were treated with suspicion and turned away.

A small thing on the one hand, but highly significant on the other.

Yet another reason for feeling superior

on Friday, 01 November 2013.

IT’S MORE than interesting that old home remedies, steeped in tradition and folklore, are proving their worth. We now know why cod liver oil is beneficial: oily, cold water fish has been scientifically accepted as “brain food” because of the influence of its omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Carrots, with beta-carotene, are, in fact, beneficial to eyesight. But how did people know of these benefits centuries ago?

There’s a new one that should be of interest to us here—living by the sea is significantly beneficial for your health. Again, as long as 300 years ago people afflicted with various ailments were sent to the seaside to convalesce. 

A recent British study has revealed a multitude of reasons.

The close relationship between community and social harmony

on Sunday, 01 September 2013.

WE ENJOYED the privilege last winter of touring South Island, New Zealand. It’s an incredibly beautiful, uncrowded country and we found great similarities with Atlantic Canadian sociology.

We DID NOT see:

A single street person or beggar;

A single example of spiked haircuts, or “goth” outfits complete with chains and mandatory scowls;

A single display of discourtesy;

A single example of public drunkenness;

A single person crossing the street with eyes and attention firmly fixed on a mobile device;

A single young person using a mobile device whilst ignoring adult company;

A single example of extreme speed on the highway;

A single egg yolk that was not orange, from a free-range chicken.

A single big box store

Has Tatamagouche found the secret to eternal life?

on Monday, 01 July 2013.

ON THE MAP, it’s just another dot by the sea.

On the ground, it’s just another unremarkable one-street village.

At its core, it has heart and soul and character and vitality to spare.

Socially and economically, it works.

This ain’t no quaint fishing village either, and there is no fish plant—and there is no mill, no factory and no call centre. There’s no idyllic sandy beach, no provincial or federal park, no famous landmarks or iconic tourist traps—not even a lighthouse, no resorts (former Timmy’s mogul Ron Joyce’s ultra high-end golf destination Fox Harb’r, complete with its own jet-capable airstrip, is just down the road—but really, it’s mainly a self-contained operation.)

 

“Time passes slowly and fades away”- Bob Dylan

on Wednesday, 01 May 2013.

WE HAVE A fun piece inside this issue on water witching, or divining. It’s a bit of a hoot, really. But at the same time, it raises a question related to folklore and customs and the activities associated with traditional rural life here.

How long, for instance, may we expect there to be people around who can find an underground seam of water using a forked willow twig or some such device? 

Is there a friendly, fascinating place in your vacation plans?

on Friday, 01 March 2013.

January 2013: As we unloaded suitcases from our rent-a-car into yet another

overnight stop in a stunning location on the other side of the planet, we hailed a

“good morning” to an elderly gentleman outside the next cottage.

“Where ya from?” he countered.

“Canada,” we said. “You?”

“New Yak,” he responded in a familiar twang. “What part of Canada?”

“East Coast,” we said. “We’re neighbours.”

 

The worsening litterpig liability

on Tuesday, 01 January 2013.

IT’S A PRETTY safe bet these days that we have several times more discarded coffee cups than people. Litter is an unintended consequence of our increasingly convenience-oriented, disposable culture. 

Discarded cigarette butts constitute a surprisingly large proportion of litter, and about 20 per cent of them end up in rivers, lakes, streams and oceans. The toxins filtered out of the tobacco are then shared with fish and other marine organisms.  

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