Archive for September 14th, 2009


The Spencerville Fair was held this weekend. It is our local fair, the event closest to our home, and was well attended. When we visited on Saturday, the streets were lined with cars and we had to park on the outskirts of town and walk back, although there was also a parking lot with a shuttle bus available a bit farther away. We hadn’t planned it that way, but we happened to arrive just as the Fair Parade was getting underway.


As we reached the parade route, a tractor pulling a mini-zoo of farm animals was just passing by.


Tagged on at the end of the float was a cage with a cat and her kittens. While the kittens were paying no attention to the parade and getting on with their own games, their Mom was watching out the back screen. It wasn’t clear if she was enjoying some people-watching or looking for a way to escape this craziness.


The Shriners were well-represented in the parade. Musical skill level didn’t seem to be a big factor in choosing participants.


An assortment of farm equipment, new and antique, was included in the parade.


This beautiful little pony and its young rider represented the equine division of the Fair.


I loved this pair of regal llamas, dressed for fall.


What would a parade be without a Pipe Band?


The Scouts had a colourful float with many enthusiastic participants.


Including a Zamboni in the Fall Fair Parade seemed like an especially Canadian act.


Historical content was provided by this float reconstruction of the Cardinal swing bridge. Being a relatively new resident in the area, I’m not aware of the story of the bridge.


The Fair’s Queen of Culinary Arts had a seat of honour in this antique car.


Bringing up the rear, was a truck representing the Spencerville Fire Department. Many of the parade participants were tossing out wrapped candy, bubblegum and rockets, to the crowd along the route. I had to out-dash a couple of little kids to snatch up a piece of green bubblegum, which I took with me as the parade ended and we headed into the Fair.


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The Cold Light of Mourning by Elizabeth Duncan. Minotaur Books, 2009.

Penny Brannigan grew up in Nova Scotia, but when she travelled to Wales as a young woman, she fell in love with the country. Now she has lived in the small town of Llanelen, where she has established a successful manicure shop, for 25 years. Her quiet life is jolted, first by the quiet passing of her long-time friend Emma Teasdale, and then by the stir caused by the disappearance of the soon-to-be-wed Meg Wynne Thompson. Penny, who did her nails on the bride’s wedding day, was the last person to see her alive. Or so it seems…

The Cold Light of Mourning is fashioned in the tradition of the country cozy mystery, and was the 2009 winner of the Minotaur/ St. Martin’s Press Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competion. It is the first Canadian entry to win. In addition to Penny, the story introduces her new friend Victoria, who Penny meets at Emma’s funeral, the local constabulary, and the town busybody, Mrs. Lloyd. The scene is set for a series, should Duncan continue with Penny.

The story is a bit transparent. I’m not one to mull over possibilities as I read, but I had guessed who the murderer was before the body had even been discovered. However, Penny is likable and I especially enjoyed the introduction to the Welsh countryside and the town of LLandudno, dubbed “The Queen of the Welsh Resorts“, where Penny and Victoria shop and take a stroll on the famous pier. Duncan’s book is a fun, light read.

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