Cee’s Black and White Photo challenge Transportation Aug 2020

Since I live on Islands, transportation is primarily by water for man and beast. Shots were edited on software to black and white and not all really work in black an white. Shots are from Vancouver island and Hornby Island and one shot of a friend in Kelowna. Ok these are not all public transportation but they are transportation in public. I didn’t take a picture of the 4 sailing ferry wait this morning when I dropped off a foot passenger to the ferry

Why We Should Talk to Strangers More – The Atlantic

So many of us have been raised to see strangers as dangerous and scary. What would happen if we instead saw them as potential sources of comfort and belonging?
— Read on www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2021/08/why-we-should-talk-strangers-more/619642/

This could explain some of the appeal of smaller places like Hornby Island.

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now…


Every morning when I get up see the sky and clouds, I can’t wait to get outside for a walk. I love the panoramas, after living in the city all my adult life. Here is a selection of photos from my walks on Hornby Island (1-12) and Courtenay. Everyday the landscape is different. People on the west coast say “if you don’t like the weather, wait for an hour and it will change”.

All my photos except two were taken with my Iphone 7 or 6. Two were taken on my new Canon Powershot SX 70. Can you tell the difference? I can’t. It’s the last three.

Thanks to https://secondwindleisure.com/photography/sunday-stills-photo-challenge.. join her to do your own #sundaystills post.

My Social Media Experiences

Social media friends & followers

I was curious to put my experiences on social media down on paper as another blogger asked me about posting blogs to different platforms.  I have also reflected on the pros and cons of the social media platforms I use.

Most of my friends are on Facebook so it is my core friend platform. I have followers on other platforms that are strangers to me. Not many of my friends use the other social media platforms apart from Facebook. I have the impression my WordPress blog is mainly viewed by my followers on WordPress or WordPress Reader.

Word press

In the diagram below I show the distribution of friends and followers among social media sites. The arrows show where I post my WordPress blog.  WordPress does not automatically post to a Facebook Page so I selectively post to my facebook page depending on the topic. I stopped the automatic posting to Linkedin as I did not see many Linkedin readers were picking up the WordPress link. I have posted to Facebook Hornby Island occasionally and this generates a lot of viewers when the topic is pertinent. This group is like a Twitter feed and I have blogged about this. My WordPress blog post is automatically posted to my Twitter feed but I have the impression no one on Twitter reads the link.

My perception of friends and followers use of social media

Pros and Cons of Different Social Media Platforms in my experience.

I went on to compare the strengths and weaknesses of the social media I use and have to confess I am a twitterholic.

Platform pros cons
  • Interesting topical posts by experts all over the world.
  • Good way to track social movements.
  • Con pick who to follow
  • Cool get to more followers
  • Easy to post links
  • Too much information (TMI)
  • A lot of repetition
  • Most of my friends are on it
  • Limited personal communication
  • Can choose who to follow
  • Ads
Facebook Group Hornby Island
  • Community, new friends.
  • Peek into lives of people you would not normally meet.
  • Interesting posts by people in the community
  • What’s happening on Hornby.
  • Themes are repetitive.
Word Press
  • Community, new friends
  • Peek into lives of people you would not normally meet.
  • Time consuming to post. Not free if you use some extra functions beyond basic.
  • Photos and art viewing
  • Very little communication.
  • Hard to use
  • Duplication of Facebook
Linked in Business contacts in theory Very little communication

Seniors using the internet

This study explores internet use by seniors in Canada and mirrors my experience. Seniors uptake of social media increased with the onset of COVID-19. This might be considered a positive spinoff. Tech Use by Older Canadians for Health, Wellness and Independence in the Time of COVID-19. oatechsurvey-sep2020-final-1.pdf

The dark side of social media

In lieu of watching the presidential debates I watched a documentary on Netflix about the effects of use of the internet on society called The Social Dilemma. Ex-employees of major social media companies are interviewed and they raise alarms about intense use of social media. A revealing look behind the scenes.

The Hornby Chronicles 2018-2019

I didn’t realize I has so many posts about Hornby Island so here they are all together.  I guess the next project should be a book??

Rocktober Hornby Island

Wildflowers of Hornby Island

Hornby rocks

Merry Christmas from Hornby Island

Hornby Island in pictures

Services around Hornby Island

Vancouver to Hornby -The Kindness of Friends

Facebook as City Hall

Pioneer Annie

My adventure with standup comedy.

A Leap of Faith

Tribune Beach Sylvia Shaw







Transitioning Back to Vancouver

Home # 1 and # 3

Home # 2

Home # 4

I have been surprised at how busy and crowded everything is in Vancouver. The bus is crowded at all hours of the day. My friend tells me the skytrain is even worse. The busses are full of people with strollers and walkers.   No one offers me seat. It’s challenging jumping off the door at the back of the bus. And the traffic is so slow everywhere. It makes more sense to walk down to Cambie and Broadway than take the bus or car. All the cafes and restaurants are full at all hours of the day.  Even the yoga classes are full in the middle of the day.  But enough whining.   I am in my warm and cosy condo after a year and a half of being a nomad on Hornby Island. I moved house there about 10 times. That just got to be too much. Hornby Island is under a lot of rules and regulations and that limit year around rentals by the Islands Trust.   There are some people who ignore the rules and there are some who don’t. Finding a long term rental has been challenging although I was just offered a short term cat sit recently. However my experience last year of 6 weeks of fleas put me off any future cat sitting.   I miss the social connections I made on Hornby. It is so cool to go out everywhere and have people speak to you even if they don’t know you. I am sorry I stayed in Vancouver so long.

artist Maryann Beckwith, Saint John NB

Peaking behind the Bamboo curtain.

Since I came back to Vancouver, I have shifted my teaching English from on line to in person. I have had the opportunity to meet more Chinese students in person. The students are very picky about their tutors so maybe I will have better luck next year.

I had some awesome adventures last year meeting 7 blogging friends from all over Canada and the US in person in Parksville.

I attempted to sell my condo in Vancouver and learned more lessons about real estate in Vancouver.

  1. Do not throw money at the problem.
  2. Do your research about real estate agents
  3. Wait until prices rebound or drop the price.
  4. Buyers are picky these days. No one likes a port-a-potty in the neighbour’s back yard.
  5. There are an increasing number of rules, regulations, licences and fines about rentals at all levels. Which I discovered when the City fined me $ 1000 for not having a business licence to rent out my condo for 4 weeks.

I’ve had time to do some painting and drawing on Hornby and have had my work in a couple of shows which has been fun. I have been inspired by the landscapes and beach combing on Hornby.   I appreciate the feedback from friends and strangers who have enjoyed the photos and commentaries on my blog.

I hope 2020 will be more smooth sailing for everyone especially for my friends sailing around the world. As the Queen says.. “ It was a bumpy year”.

Rocktober Hornby Island

My attention was drawn to a blog series called Walktober. This is my contribution featuring the Rockscapes on Hornby.  The theme is supposed to feature walks with people and so I am adding my blogger walk  (BLOK?) featured by another blogger Retirement Reflections.  Typically October is sunny and cool, my favourite month of the year.  By October things are green again after a brown summer.. and this year very green as result of a lot of rain.  There is an overabundance of apples here which in some cases goes to the deer and the birds.  The geology on Hornby is fascinating with a wide variety of rock formations.

Sandpiper Beach view east to Texada Island

How Blue is the Sky. Tribune Beach

Grassy point

Jelly fish




The quilt as metaphor for life on Hornby

Yesterday I sat the quilt. The person who sits the quilt sells tickets to the quilt lottery. It is such a cool job. I meet people from all over Canada and the US… Whitehorse, Washington, Toronto/Ottawa, Courtenay and Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. The quilt is a beautiful work of art by Hornby Artists. Some of the artists in the community have been contributing blocks to the quilt going back to at least 1980.   The quilt format has moved from traditional patterns to abstract forms and embellishment with embroidery. The quilt is more a piece of fabric art than a quilt.  The theme of the quilt was Activities which is keeping with the Room to Grow building which is the fundraising focus. Each square represents typical Hornby activities.

2019 Activites

Each person’s square captures of bit of their life on Hornby. The story of the quilt is so much richer by knowing who has done which parts. 


This square represents the music played by local musicians at the Community Arts Council and the square is done by Louise McMurray who is the Director of the Community Arts Council.

This square represents Room to Grow Building that will receive the funding from the quilt raffle.IMG_4790Room to Grow Marg Bennett

IMG_4793Polar Bear Swim Helen Onorah

One of the most whimsical squares is the Polar Bear Swim at Grassy Point that I attended as a spectator this year. Someone joked that one of the figures in the quilt square must be me.

The landscape on Hornby is one if its principal attractions, whether it is the sandy beach of Big Tribune, the cliffs of Helliwell Park or the sunsets of Grassy Point.  Other popular activities are mountain biking and birdwatching.. not at the same time, sailing, making music and reading.

Mountain Biking Peggy Kabush
Bird Watching Alpen Kelley
Quilt Show Pippa Moore

At least one person has made a square for the 2019 and the 1980 version… 39 years ago. Here is what the 1980 version looked like. I think this is drawings by children that were translated by quilters. The process of quilting has certainly changed in 39 years, becoming more fabric art than blocks of colour and patterns.  

1980 Children’s Version

And here is the 2020 interpretation in stained glass by Ted Godden.

Your help is needed to replace the gym on Hornby Island.

In Aug 2018 the Hornby Island school burned down. So far the provincial government has not committed to replacing the full size gym that was used for many activities on the Island. There is a meeting on Hornby on June 20 with the School Board so we need to forward as many letters as possible before then.  Are you willing to write letters or emails? A draft letter is attached below. Emails and/or letters can be sent to:

Scott Fraser MLA: scott.fraser.MLA@leg.bc.ca Mail: Scott Fraser, Room 323 Parliament Buildings, Victoria, BC V8V 1X4

Rob Fleming, Minister of Education: educ.minister@gov.bc.ca Mail: Room 124 Parliament Buildings, Victoria, BC V8V 1X4

John Horgan, Premier: Premier@gov.bc.ca Mail: P.O. Box 9041 Stn Prov Govt, Victoria, BC V8W 9E1

Please cc all emails to: HornbySchoolBuild@gmail.com


Dear Minister Fleming, MLA Scott Fraser and Premier John Horgan;

I am writing you to request your support for the replacement of the destroyed gym on Hornby Island with a full sized gym.

Hornby Island community suffered a devastating blow when the school was destroyed by fire in August 2018. I understand the Ministry of Education is the final stages of finalizing funding levels for the new school. The school was relocated to the Community Hall from Sept-Dec and currently functions out of 4 portables. It has come to my attention that the insurance for the gym replacement is only adequate to cover the cost of a gym the quarter of the size of the original full size gym. Hornby is apparently just below the threshold to qualify for full replacement funding. Hornby is a remote island with no alternate community recreation facilities. The existing buildings are often booked with other activities, do not have enough space or are in need of repairs or replacement of equipment. The one facility with some modest fitness equipment has just put out a call for donations of exercise bikes, treadmills etc.

The gym is the center for all in-school sports and after school programming, summer sports activity, emergency preparedness training, toddler and preschool gym, seniors exercise, all ages badminton, teen night, basketball, pickle ball, indoor soccer, tennis, plays and fairs.

There is evidence that people in rural areas have higher BMI compared to urban dwellers which has been a recent trend. (1). Forty percent of the population on Hornby is over 65 and needing regular physical activity all year round including facilities that are handicapped accessible. Regular physical activity helps prevent dementia, (2–5) (6), obesity (7), diabetes(8,9), hypertension, (10) cardiovascular disease(11–13), falls (14), cancer (15) and progression of osteoarthritis. (16) Physical activity also improves pregnancy outcomes (17) and helps maintain social networks. Strong evidence demonstrated that physical activity reduces the risk of fall-related injuries by 32% to 40%, including severe falls requiring medical care or hospitalization. (14). For every increase of 2000 steps per day over baseline, there was an 8% yearly reduction in cardiovascular event rate in individuals with impaired glucose tolerance. (18) In fact, the gym might be even more important for the rest of the population than the school kids. The gym also offered many special events that drew tourists and supported the local economy.

In addition to the gym, a small Natural History Centre was lost. The Centre was an interactive museum that offered learning opportunities for everyone in the community. In addition, it was an important summer tourist attraction that contributed to the sustainability of the economy.

I would appreciate your recommendation to the Ministry of Education for the full replacement of the gym and Natural History Center to their original size and function. The island has done considerable fundraising for a new art center and the appetite for additional fundraising is dwindling.

Your truly

As it turned out.. the school board had already done some scenarios about funding that includes enough sq. ft. to include a full size gym space. The Ministry of Education has a funding envelope that includes funding for emergencies which is going to be used to fund the replacement of the school. Lesson learned: don’t believe everything you hear or read on Facebook.


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  2. Kivimäki M, Luukkonen R, Batty GD, Ferrie JE, Pentti J, Nyberg ST, et al. Body mass index and risk of dementia: Analysis of individual-level data from 1.3 million individuals. Alzheimers Dement [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2019 Jun 17];14(5):601–9. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29169013
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