Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario

Share Your World – July 17, 2017

What is your favorite cheese?

” Wensleydale? ” Or so inquires Wallace as he samples moon cheese.

Wensleydale. I’ve never eaten it, and I doubt I ever will unless I can find an emporium that carries goodies from the UK. But I love it anyway, because of Wallace and Gromit.

I first learned of the variety of English cheese from Nick Park’s A Grand Day Out, a wonderfully sweet and funny Claymation. Wallace and Gromit are out of cheese so they build a rocket to take them to the moon, because everyone knows the moon is THE vacation destination for cheese lovers!

Are you left or right-handed?

Right. But presently I am snacking on a slice of blueberry/haskap berry muffin from my left hand and typing with my right. Obviously, I am ambidextrous when it comes to food.

Haskap Berry – click for source and information about the new power food.

Do you prefer exercising your mind or your body? How frequently do you do either?

The fact that I am dealing with high blood pressure is partly due to a long, sedentary winter. That, and a clear preference for non-physical activity. Plus the aforementioned ability to nosh while I type. You should see my keyboard: sesame seeds from the cream cheese bagel, toast crumbs, and an uppercase dab of peanut butter. (I’m kidding – this is poetic licence. However, now and again, I do need to give the keys a good sharp shake over the sink to dislodge the remnants of my meals.)

I try to get out for at least a thirty minute walk every day.

Complete this sentence: Hot days are … 

Hot days are a thing? Not up here, they aren’t. This summer, I have yet to wear shorts. My garden is still limping along. Only the radishes are edible, so far.

The raised bed garden – radishes in the foreground, followed by two slow-growing rows of lettuce, then two more rows of spinach seedlings – re-sown, because the first attempt failed. Beets are hanging in there, but what’s the deal with the crop failure at the edges? Is there something wrong with the soil? Beyond the chives are pitiful peppers that will likely be compost in a couple of weeks. Parsley seedlings, then a blank spot where the cucumbers used to be, followed by peas on the trellis, now in bloom.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful for this Northern Ontario community.

The last two weeks have been full with all manner of stimulating and feeling-full events. I gave the rock talk to about a dozen kids and their parents. That was fun, all the more so since I didn’t prepare a formal script. On behalf of the historical society, Reiner made a presentation to the Township of Coleman. It was deemed newsworthy, so the radio news guy came to the house for an interview.

An English Country Garden in Cobalt

We worked in Vivian’s garden to tidy it up ahead of her family arriving for her memorial. I spent a lovely afternoon with Viv’s daughter Val and we shared laughs and tears.

Friday afternoon, we attended the opening of the new Cobalt Market. I was delighted to see the full parking lot and to hear the chatter and laughter from the arena. We bought some local honey and the aforementioned haskap berries. Friday evening found us at the Miners’ Tavern and this, believe it or not, was the first time Reiner and I went to a pub for a beer. The fundraising event was for Charlie Angus who is running for Federal NDP leadership. He sat with us and we gabbed for a while. Later, when the noise level creeped up, I took a break on the empty patio. Almost instantly, a group of guys came out to smoke. Remember, I don’t normally find myself in a bar on a Friday night. I NEVER find myself striking up conversations with random guys at bars, EVER. But I did.

The next day we joined in a celebration of Vivian’s life at the Classic Theatre. What an honour that was, to bear witness to the outpouring of love. There was music and poetry and art. Her granddaughter staged a fashion-show of sorts, to illustrate via Viv’s closet the different roles Vivian played in her life. One of the musicians was the random quirky guy I met at the tavern the night before and of course, Charlie was there too. It was through Vivian that I met the Angus family in the first place. To close the tribute, we all sang The Cobalt Song. I couldn’t make it through the final stanza. It felt too much like closing the lid.

This week, I reflect on my good fortune to have found a community such as Cobalt.

***   ***   ***

Inspired by Cee’s Share Your World


Categories: Blog Blog Blog

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55 replies

  1. Aw, this is sweet — sounds like you’ve acclimated to Cobalt wonderfully. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, Maggie–I loved this. Especially the part where the guys followed you outside for a ‘smoke.’ Yeah, you still got it! The celebration of life sounds wonderful. Those are so much more touching to me than a regular funeral. I like the way you said it, “The outpouring of love.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh man, it was awkward. I’m out there on the patio, the only one NOT smoking and trying not to overhear conversations. Fortunately, the young man introduced himself, and made it all right.

      The celebration of life was a masterful “production”… it’s not the kind of thing that you look forward to creating, you know what I mean? But what a marvelous afternoon. The family were simply devoted to expressing their love for Vivian and the “production” created itself.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wallace: Won’t you come in? We were just about to have some cheese.

    Wendolene: Oh no, not cheese. Sorry. Brings me out in a rash. Can’t stand the stuff.

    Wallace: [gulp] Not even Wensleydale?

    (From A Close Shave)

    I love Wallace and Gromit. 🙂 There’s a special exhibition about them on in Melbourne right now. Need to make sure I get there.

    Your veggie patch is impressive structurally even if botanically it’s challenging.

    Sounds like it was a lovely and moving tribute.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely. I’d like a memorial like that, not that I’m in a rush mind you. Interesting, I can snack and type at the same time too 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I like the community you have there. How fun to be somewhere that has it going on and you can be part of it. Also, the lack of heat where you are makes me jealous. It’s so humid here right now that I can barely stand it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Ally – I’m still getting used to the idea that on Monday, what I do is considered “newsworthy” and I hear my name on the radio on Tuesday. Then, there’s the fact that I get to hang out with a federal politician at the pub – a federal politician who one day might be the leader of Canada!

      I do not for one millisecond regret leaving the humidex factor down south. I sympathize with you.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I can’t send you any cheese (I’ve never tried it either), but I can send you a link to an article that mentions it:

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your raised bed garden is lovely, if a bit slow in developing. I guess the heat and humidity here is a price we have to pay for early harvest. Parsley is booming, as are tomatoes and peppers. But personally, I am wilting.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wensleydale. That made me chuckle!
    Sounds like a right good week to me! I’m so jealous of your summer temps. I wonder if it’s always like that?
    Haskap are pretty, I’ll have to read about their dietary benefits. But oh, so pretty!
    My radishes have gone insane, and now have about a foot of flowers hanging off of them. I harvested two about the size of my fist, but I still haven’t read the important information on them, so until I need s’more radishes, they lie there, hugening! lol Need I mention I had never planted radish before?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was a good week, all in all, but I’m ready to take it down a notch on the obligations.

      It’s been cooler this year compared to last, but that’s hardly enough data to make general statements, so off I went to the official “Welcome to the Area” guidebook. Average summer temps are 18.9 C and average winter are -15.0 C. (66.0 F and 5.0 F, respectively). I’d expect that you’d be OK with the summers, but the winters? Not so much. (I’m basing this on reading your blog from start to finish – a most enjoyable pastime!)

      LOL about the radishes. Yeah, they be speedy little critters. You can seed them in succession throughout the summer. Even they are acting oddly in our garden. One plant put down a tap root a foot long and as thin as a piece of twine. Others are setting up flowers without setting up roots. There must be an imbalance in the nutrients in the soil or somesuch.


  9. Cool answers to a cool quiz. Wensleydale is cracking cheese. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Nice job with this prompt, Maggie. I especially like “…I am ambidextrous when it comes to food.” We all should be.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Well…lemme see, now…I’m in WisCOWsin, so there is no ‘favorite’ cheese…one might as well ask me which of my children I love more 😀

    But I’ve not heard of Wensleydale cheese. Must be a UK exclusive thing.

    One thing I had to learn when I started eating better was portion control…I never knew that an entire brick of Brick was more than a single serving.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. When grandparents, parents, teens, school kids and pre-schoolers can sit in the same room and laugh as they watch TV together, you have the best in comedy and that is what Wallace and Gromit was.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I made a complete spectacle of myself when I first saw “A Grand Day Out.” I bust a gut laughing, and rather crossed the line, as you sometimes do when something is so very hysterically charming as this was for me.

      Of course, upon repeat viewing, I can’t summon the same reaction. Which is disappointing.

      Oh well. I still love ’em to bits, and completely agree – fun for all ages!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Thanks so much for sharing this week.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I love the way your mind works, telling us your favourite cheese is Wensleydale even though you’ve never eaten it because of Wallace and Gromit. I’m a huge fan of those first Nick Park claymations, especially “The Wrong Trousers”. I even have W & G salt and pepper shakers.

    I bet Cobalt is glad you found it, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I love Wallace and Gromit, but I must admit that I thought Wensleydale cheese was made up… silly me! Your community sounds so embracing. You have embraced it, and it clearly has embraced you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I used to live in a small town, but it was a bedroom community to a large urban center where I spent most of my time working and shopping. It was also a sad little place that was torn by decades old “feuds.” People kept to themselves. Likewise, I kept my distance. Here, sure, like any group, there are “challenging” situations. But for the most part, people are open and welcoming. Plus I’m in a different frame of mind, too, having learned the value of community. Yes, it’s a mutual affection!
      In the Cheese Report – I am sad to say the grocer does not carry anything as exotic as Wensleydale!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Hahaha you’re not missing much with Wensleydale – if you’ve had Cheddar you’ve more or less had it! Loved this post – will have a Wensleydale sandwich at my keyboard in your honour 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  17. As you can see, I’m far behind in reading blog posts after spending several days off the grid – in Northern Ontario. I waved as I drove by Cobalt – twice 🙂

    I LOVE Wallace and Grommit. You gave me a smile just thinking about them. As Claire said above, in my opinion, Wensleydale is just another cheddar. I can find it in my local Loblaw’s.

    However, I was in Thornloe Cheese a few days ago, thinking that it would be SO COOL if you were to walk in. Sadly, you didn’t … even though I waited for you 😉
    I bought a couple of bags of cheese curds … but I am a bit disappointed. They don’t have the requisite squeak to them. It won’t stop me from eating them though!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Nice to find a community like that Maggie! You are fortunate.
    And I remember your post about your friend Viv. Sounds like her memorial was an appropriate tribute to her life. I love the idea of the fashion show to illustrate her life! What a great idea.
    And I wonder if you could purchase your cheese online and have it sent to your home? It’s amazing what you can find out there Maggie! Enjoy your summer up there in the great north.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I remember visiting a Wensleydale cheesery in Yorkshire as a young boy. The cheesemaker was explaining the whole process but I was more interested in a cockroach making its way over the stone floor … until the cheesemaker squashed it flat under a massive size 11 boot! That’s the only thing I remember from the whole holiday!

    Liked by 1 person

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