Surfing the Sea

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Nova Scotians on Bonfire Night (2019) — Nov 5, 2019

Nova Scotians on Bonfire Night (2019)

Nova Scotian Bonfire Night
Nova Scotian Bonfire Night

Bring out the fireworks and sparklers – it’s Bonfire Night again! 🎆🎇

In case you didn’t know, Bonfire Night – AKA Guy Fawkes Night – is an annual celebration held every 5th of November in the United Kingdom and some other Commonwealth territories. It commemorates the day Guy Fawkes and his gang of conspirators failed to bomb the Houses of Parliament in London in 1605, in an attempt to assassinate King James I of England. (I go into more detail on the origins of Bonfire Night in this post.)

With Canada being part of the Commonwealth, a leftover from the days of the British Empire, I was surprised to see that – with the exception of Newfoundland – Bonfire Night is almost relatively unknown across the Atlantic. While it’s not really about them or their parliament, I had wrongly assumed that it was a shared celebration across the Commonwealth, as they are all tied to Britain.

But geography doesn’t really matter, as some of the cast of A Nova Scotian Way of Life (ANSWOL) have come together for a fireworks show of their own. The fireworks were drawn with glitter pens, giving the impression that they’re “popping” out of the night sky. Westville and Parrsboro even have sparklers sizzling away while the bonfire burns bright. This is also Truro and Yarmouth’s first Bonfire Night as a married couple (it feels like it was their wedding just yesterday!)

If you’re having a bonfire or a fireworks display of your own, or are going to a public one, safety is always important. Why not see these safety tips?

http://www.bonfire-night-safety.co.uk/

Remember, remember the 5th of November – and to protect and enjoy yourself!

🎆🎇

fireworks

Nova Scotians in Halloween Costumes (2019) — Oct 31, 2019

Nova Scotians in Halloween Costumes (2019)

Nova Scotians in Halloween Costumes
Nova Scotians in Halloween Costumes

It’s that time of the year again! The whole cast of A Nova Scotian Way of Life (ANSWOL) is getting into the spooky mood with their Halloween costumes.

Everyone wears a costume that has something to do with their hometown, with the exception of a few who are just wearing ordinary clothes because I either couldn’t think up a costume for them, or they don’t celebrate Halloween for whatever reason. (Maybe it’s too scary for them?)

If you’re familiar with Nova Scotia, or live there, some of the costumes will be pretty obvious to you. For example, Lunenburg is the Bluenose II, a famous sailing boat built as a replica of the original Bluenose, which was a several-time winner of the America’s Cup in the 1920s and 30s. Oak Island is a pirate, owing to an everlasting legend that a secret stash of pirate treasure has been buried there, on which a popular reality TV series is now based. Berwick and Oxford are an apple and a blueberry respectively, owing to their hometowns’ natural abundance of these fruits. (Berwick’s apple costume even has some worms wriggling through it for extra spookiness!) Others are just for fun, like Hantsport and Stewiacke’s wizard and devil costumes, James River’s beaver costume (because his last name is Beaverton), and Pugwash as Captain Pugwash (get it?) 🤣

If you don’t celebrate Halloween, just have a great day. If you do, though, have a Happy Halloween, and may it be filled with lots of treats, not tricks!

🎃👻🍭🍬🍫

Happy Halloween 2019
Happy Halloween 2019
Truro and Yarmouth’s Wedding Party (2019) — Jul 16, 2019

Truro and Yarmouth’s Wedding Party (2019)

Truro & Yarmouth's Wedding Party
Truro & Yarmouth’s Wedding Party

The ceremony’s been held. The rings and vows have been exchanged. The marriage’s been made official. Now for the fun part – party time! 🥳🎉🎊🍾

Taking place a few hours after the wedding itself, the guests and the happy couple have moved off the beach into a large private garden, filled with hydrangeas, wisteria and roses. Now they can really let themselves go with dancing, drinking, eating and more dancing. Providing the entertainment are the Cape Breton fiddling trio – Judique, Campbell and Lime Hill – and Mabou.

In keeping with Pride, there’s a distinctive rainbow theme to Truro and Yarmouth’s wedding. The banner decorating the arch is dyed in the myriad colours of the rainbow, as are the balloons which sway in the gentle midsummer breeze. The arch is again adorned with lilac cascades of wisteria, and the Nova Scotia and Pride flags, just as it was at the actual ceremony. The wedding cake has tiny wax figures of the happy couple on its crown, and was baked by Pictou (seen here carrying a tray of burgers) in rainbow shades. 🌈🍰

Some guests who didn’t appear in the previous drawing are here – Lunenburg, Halifax, Eskasoni and North Preston among them. (This was so I could sprinkle in a little more diversity.) Unfortunately for Pictou, some unwanted guests seem to have gatecrashed the party – and they seem to be enjoying the music. Kemptville, Kentville’s father, can’t seem to stop crying tears of joy either. (He’s been crying since that morning!)

When I had sketched this in my sketchbook, I had originally planned for the party to be held inside, like in a community hall. But with the wonderfully warm summer weather, I changed it so it would be outside instead, so everyone won’t deprive themselves of some much-needed Vitamin D while they enjoy Truro and Yarmouth’s happy day. ☀️

A new chapter has begun in Truro and Yarmouth’s lives, and they’re sure to remember it for many years to come. May their marriage be a long and joyful one. 👬❤️️🧡💛💚💙💜

Truro and Yarmouth’s Wedding (2019) — Jun 25, 2019

Truro and Yarmouth’s Wedding (2019)

Truro and Yarmouth's Wedding
The Wedding of Truro & Yarmouth

It’s finally arrived… the day Truro and Yarmouth are officially declared husband and husband! 👨‍❤️‍👨

Just as planned, the wedding takes place on the beach, just like that one episode of Steven Universe. The red carpet has been rolled out along the shore to make the happy couple feel like celebrities. The wedding arch is decorated in rainbow-hued flowers for Pride, as well as the Nova Scotia provincial and gay pride flags, and lilac fronds of wisteria, looking like a purple waterfall.

This takes place immediately after the actual ceremony; the rings have been put on, the vows been said, and the marriage made official. Wolfville (in the lavender suit) acted as the priest for the ceremony, reading out the newlyweds’ vows and even doing the momentous deed of pronouncing them both husbands. (Despite not really being part of the clergy himself.)

A huge crowd gathers to receive the newlyweds on their special day, all dressed in their Sunday best. While many are rightfully elated at Truro and Yarmouth finally tying the knot, a very tiny minority aren’t. New Glasgow is especially jealous, as he always seems to fall in and out of love but has never got this far enough. Antigonish and Arisaig are also in their usual grump mode, with nothing ever seeming to make them happy. But you just can’t please some people. One of the onlookers – Kemptville, the father of Kentville – even appears to be crying, but those are tears of joy, not of sadness. Nevertheless, his son still comforts him. For everybody, not just the happy couple themselves, this is a day to remember for years to come.

Congratulations Truro and Yarmouth on your wedding, and may the rest of your lives be spent in wedded bliss!

👨‍❤️‍💋‍👨💍💒🏳️‍🌈🌈

Father’s Day 2019 — Jun 16, 2019

Father’s Day 2019

Father’s Day Card 2019
Father’s Day Card 2019

In celebration of fathers and father figures everywhere, I’ve made this special card starring some of my favourite fatherly characters. Fathers are often absent in popular media, but I’m working to reverse that trend.

The first father-and-son are Stellarton and Pictou, giving each other a good hug. I previously made another card starring these two for last Father’s Day. Stellarton is probably the most eminent father figure in all my works, being with Pictou since his birth and even his conception (as seen in my novel Once Upon a Time in Canada).

Second are Harold ‘Hal’ MacKinnon and his son Sydney ‘Syd’, my personifications of Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island. The reason I made Cape Breton the son of Nova Scotia is because, though it may be connected to the mainland by a bridge, Cape Breton has developed its own unique culture from its strong Celtic roots. I like to think of it as a province within a province. Syd also has red hair just like his father and his grandfather Scotland, but he doesn’t have the bushy ginger beard and sideburns like his dad.

The last father-and-son of the day are Kemptville and his son Kentville. They both have extremely similar-sounding names, which can cause confusion and even embarrassment for Kentville, who always has to rush to correct the mistake. Unlike the other fathers and sons here, Kentville is more of the caretaker, as Kemptville is rather weak physically and emotionally due to his old age. He always has to learn to be around his father when he has his breakdowns, but Kemptville also acts as a dispenser of elder’s wisdom for his son, like all good fathers are.

For dads everywhere, Happy Father’s Day!

👨‍👨‍👦👨‍👨‍👦‍👦👨‍👨‍👧👨‍👨‍👧‍👦👨‍👨‍👧‍👧

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