We are in Halifax all atwitter about our departure tonight for Heathrow and Sunday’s return to the Western Front of Flanders and France. In 2005 we shared our maiden voyage to the First World War battlefields with pedaling pals Mary and Mike. This time we’re sharing a van with eight fellow Great War aficionados who will be as keen as ourselves to eat, drink and sleep Canada’s battlefields for ten days or so. On the first visit Canada’s magnificent memorial at Vimy was under restoration, covered in shrouds and scaffolding. Now it is restored in all its original glory. We can hardly wait. Our itinerary includes several stops to accommodate my wish to visit the graves of Cape Breton soldiers not on my radar three years ago.
On the way to Halifax we paused at beautiful Marble Mountain at the west end of the Bras d’Or Lakes to visit cousin Dan Livingstone and tap into another mother lode of ancient family photographs. I never tire of looking for fresh treasure and exult when the effort leads me to new nuggets.
Our hosts in Halifax are sister Kathleen and brother-in-law Jon. Jon is 20 pounds leaner three weeks after open-heart surgery to replace a faulty valve. Those who are acquainted with my excellent bro-in-law will be pleased to hear he is doing well: it is only a matter of days before he’ll be leaping over tall buildings in a single bound.