Happy Victoria Day, Canada

Word Wenches has created a monster. I promise, I won’t be posting this much normally, but having mentioned Victoria Day below, I can’t leave it at that.

I’ve copied this from the tourism site of Victoria, British Columbia, but this is a national holiday, not a local one*.

“Victoria Day is celebrated in Canada on a Monday on or prior to May 24th. It is the official celebration of the birthdays of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II. Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Empress of India, was born on May 24th, 1819. She ascended the throne after the death of her uncle George IV, in 1837, when she was only 18. She ruled until her death in 1901, when her son Edward VII became king of England.

Victoria Day was established as a holiday in Canada West (now Ontario) in 1845, and became a national holiday in 1901. Before Victoria Day became a national holiday, people celebrated Empire Day, beginning in the 1890’s as Victoria approached her Diamond Jubilee in 1897. The City of Victoria celebrates its namesake with an annual Victoria Day parade. The Victoria Day Parade is one of the largest parades in the Pacific Northwest and features floats and marching bands from across British Columbia, Washington and Oregon. Afterwards, family picnics or afternoon teas are common.”

Unfortunately, after a week of glorious weather, it’s absolutely chucking it down here.

*When we came to Canada in 1976, we were living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Just after we’d arrived, the papers were full of plans for Natal Day. Now I was befuddled as to why Halifax should be making such a fuss about a small part of South Africa.

I quote from Wikipedia.
“KwaZulu-Natal, often referred to as “KZN”, is a province of South Africa. Prior to 1994 the territory now known as KwaZulu-Natal was made up of the province of Natal and the Bantustan of KwaZulu. Early on the region was called Natalia and later named the Natal Colony. It is called the garden province and is the home of the Zulu nation. It extends from the borders with Swaziland and Mozambique to the Eastern Cape in the south. Inland it is bound by the Kingdom of Lesotho, and the Free State and Mpumalanga provinces.”
Read the whole article here.

It was, of course, the birthday celebration of Halifax and adjointing Dartmouth. A good time was had by all.

That’s one of the joys of language, isn’t it? Nuance and expectation can change everything.

Jo, who really is going to work now, holiday or no holiday.

Sherrie wields a sharp whip. But that’s why I need an editor. 🙂

I typed bif sky country in the post below, not big sky, and she kindly fixed it for me.

I really am lousy at proofreading. My eye-brain connection just doesn’t do that thing. I do generally get most things right first time, thank heavens, but I’m also deeply grateful for spellcheck, critique friends, and good copy editors. Spellchecking e-mail, however, feels like cheating. (I didn’t say that made sense did I? Are blogs supposed to make sense?)

Is it cheating to spell check a blog? I’m not sure yet. And it wouldn’t have helped if I’d typed bit sky, bib sky, or perhaps even bic sky. Feel free to catch the typos every time I post. I won’t do it deliberately, I promise. But I won’t spellcheck, either.

For all Canadians, happy Victoria day!



Let’s crack some virtual champagne!

It’s exciting to see this get underway. With such great company, this should be fun.

I’m Jo Beverley, an English word wench, though I’ve lived in Canada for decades. I’m just back from a trip to England, visiting friends and relatives and doing research. I love to write and talk about English history.

The thing that always astonishes me about England is that there’s still a lot of open space, even though it’s a densely populated country. What’s more, because anywhere fertile has been intensively farmed for centuries if not millennia, there isn’t that much woodland to obscure views. At times it really is big sky country.

I’ll post pictures now and then, but for now, here is a picture from one of London’s famous parks — Hyde Park.


Jo Beverley

Is it Soup Yet?

When the Word Wenches approached me about the blog project, I asked two questions:  can I wear thigh-high stiletto boots, and can I carry a whip.  The answer was "Yes" to both, and the rest is history!

In real life I’m a freelance editor and writer.  In my fantasy world I get to rub elbows with my favorite authors whose books just happen to occupy a permanent spot on my keeper shelf.  (Can you spell "dream job," boys and girls?)

I’ll be working behind the scenes making sure the blog machine runs smoothly, and even jumping in with a post now and then.  We have some fun things in store for you, so I hope you’ll drop in frequently and join the discussions.  (Admit it–haven’t you always wanted to hang out with a group of wenches?)

Sherrie Holmes, site manager and chief whip yielder