Tuesday, November 11, 2008



Poppies, the symbol of remembrance for fallen soldiers, were very rare in Flanders prior to World War I.
However the anguished earth of Flanders flowed suddenly red with the blood coloured poppy ‘popaver rhoeas’ among the bodies of slain soldiers of World War I .

During the tremendous bombardments of the war the chalk soils of Flanders became very rich in lime from rubble, allowing ‘popaver rhoeas’ to thrive.

Then, when the fields lay quiet and the death and destruction was over, the earth stopped bleeding its red poppies for the dead. The disturbed lime had been quickly absorbed, and so the poppies had disappeared again.

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch, be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

This poem was written by a Canadian - John McCrae, a doctor and teacher, who served in WW1.

One of McCrae's closest friends was killed in the fighting and buried in a makeshift grave with a simple wooden cross. Wild poppies were already beginning to bloom between the crosses marking the many graves. Unable to help his friend or any of the others who had died, John McCrae gave them a voice through his poem. It was the second last poem he was to write.

One of the things I find endearing about McCrae is that he sent his young nieces and nephews letters supposedly written by his horse Bonfire that he took to war and he signed those letters with a hoof print.

In part because of the poem's popularity, the poppy was adopted as the Flower of Remembrance for the war dead of Britain, France, the United States, Canada and other Commonwealth countries.

The Poppy Pin Designed for
The Royal Canadian Legion
Date: November, 1921

According to the Royal Canadian Legion, “The centre of the Lapel Poppy was originally black but was changed to green more than twenty years ago to represent the green fields of France. In 2002, the centre was changed back to black to reflect the actual colours of the Poppies in Flanders a red flower with a black centre. It is intended that the black centre will remain as the standard for the production of all future Poppy material.”


"Each November, millions of poppies blossom in Canada. They blossom on the jackets, dresses and hats of nearly half the Canadian population and they have blossomed over 80 years, since 1921. The poppy is the symbol that individuals use to show that they remember those who were killed in the wars and peacekeeping operations that Canada has been involved"

-The Royal Canadian Legion

Monday, November 3, 2008

Obama To Be President of Canada

Barack Obama wants to be President of Canada?

Barack Obama wants to be President of Canada or Canada wants Barack Obama for its own President and forget the Prime Minister? Or Canada wants Barack Obama for President of the USA (very presumptious of us)? Or Barack Obama wants Vancouver Island to be part of America? I have no idea why we have this billboard in Victoria - maybe someone is just all very excited about the election - I know I am.

Obama & Madonna & Shauna

I know our island dips its toe south of the 49th parallel and I am bully for Obama (I bought the T-Shirt) but what is with the Obama for President Billboard on our town's Canadian highway?

The Annexation Movement of November (but it was in 1864)

We have strict anti billboard signs and there is only one small area where billboards are permitted. And for over 8 months there has been the Obama for President billboard, in fact there were actually 2 Obama billboards up in that limited piece of billboard real estate.

Not since 1864 has Victoria considered a US President for its leader. That was when US Consul Allen Francis, hmmm spied is perhaps too strong a word for it, but he secretively took notes in Victoria and reported back to President Ulyses S. Grant we (Victorians) were ripe for annexation to America. In November 1869 he gathered a petition signed by ...
"...40 prominent businessmen"...The petition is very strongly worded, setting forth with much force and cognency of reason, the isolated and helpless condition of the colony." It seemed a folly to remain united to distant England, when British Columbia is sandwiched between Washington Territory and Alaska (purchased from Russia 2 years earlier).
Annexation of Victoria British Columbia to the USA?

Needless to say Allen Frances miss-read the mood of the Vancouver Island folks and no action was taken by Grant who said that he had "considered the petition with great interest." I think President Grant was just being polite about giving dullsville pretty little Victoria any thought , because after the dizzy Gold Rush days, Victoria had settled back into being the fuddy duddy dull place that it pretty much has always been - hence its nickname "the town of newly wed and the nearly dead".

My Beautiful Neice -The Future President Maizy with President Clinton

We do get a lot of American visitors and a lot of Canadians love Obama (not like the "Bush Is A Moron" blurted out by Canadian politicians years ago) so maybe the billboards are to remind US visitors to elect Obama? I do know it is all very exciting and I look forward to watching the election November 4th. America always seems so much more exciting like Marsha Brady to the Jan Brady of Canada. I mean please let me know, America, if you have any Stephen Dion for Prime Minister billboards in your home town.

* * *

PS. Laurel thanks for your kind comment and interest in seeing the peektures of pumpkin.
nefaeria of http://nefaeriaofetsy.blogspot.com/said...That crow pumpkin turned out NICE! It would be awesome if you posted some peektures of it ;)
Laurel - October 30, 2008 4:59 AM
Here they are...