Newfoundland Mi’kmaq Family History & Genealogy

If I don’t reply to your query, it is because I have no information. I don’t want to add to the comments with ‘I don’t know’. If you can help answer someone’s question, please post!

The internet is a good place to find out about your family history.  Unfortunately, it ain’t as easy as the tv ads for Ancestry look.  Often those ads with cheerful people clicking on a leaf and finding some fascinating bit of information about their great-granddaddy come on as I’m struggling to figure out whether this Peter is son of this Paul or that Paul.  It’s all I can do to not throw a shoe at the television.

There is a lot of information on the big genealogy websites like and genealogy websites 1775 James Cook map of  And there are lots of other sites with information where you don’t have to pay a membership fee.  Some have vital statistics on them – birth and death records, census information etc.  Others are the product of family researchers.  Below are sites related to Newfoundland Mi’kmaq families that I have found useful.

For non-internet materials:

The Newfoundland Emporium on Broadway in Corner Brook is a great resource. You can find all kinds of treasures, including hard to find Newfoundland books. See my Newfoundland Mi’kmaq Books for more sources.

A word of warning:

Do not rely totally on any one source as the gospel.  Primary records have enough inconsistencies of fact and, with websites, you have the added possibility of error of transcription.  Dates get typed in wrong, names get misspelled.  There’s lots of room for error.  Plus some information is simply inaccurate or conflicts with other sources.  So with primary documents and the internet, be judicious, check and double-check.

Genealogy Websites

* Acadian Genealogy (by Lucie LeBlanc Consentino – many Nfld. west coast families)

* Acadian-Cajun Genealogy & History (click a surname)

* Andersons (Fortune and Burgeo, BOI)

* Ashley Phillips’ Family Tree of Nfld (trees for Boucher, Lucas etc. – links at bottom of page)

* Benoit (by Jasen Benwah, plus other Nf Mi’kmaq fams)

* Desc. of Gabriel BILLARD (marr. Miriam Durnford)

* Desc. of Michel BOUDROT/BOUDREAU Lt. Gen. (1600s Acadie, marr. Michelle Aucoin)

*  Bras d’Or Families (by John Scott, incl. Jesso, Boutilier, & other fams & regions)

* Bras d’Or Indian Village Band Assoc. (Maliseet-Micmac Vital Stats, LeJeune gen, Nfld. Mi’kmaq)

* Chegau – Mi’kmaq Treaty Descendants (Chego, etc. family tree by Donna Marie Launey)

* Chegau Mi’kmaq Family DNA (Donna Marie Launey)

* Chiasson Family

* Desc. of Charles CROCKER (by Elizabeth Sheppard Hewitt)

* Desc. of Daniel’s Harbour (Payne, Brooks, Park families)

* Dauphinee, Jean Joseph  (by Claude Tardif)

* Doucet Family

* (Doucette) Up the Humber to the West: My Métis voyaguers  (2016 blog post by Joanne Doucette. Not a family tree, but a family – and Canadian – history)

* Fayz World (lower right, ‘My Family Tree’ – lots of info!)

* Gallant Family (PEI, by Linda Keefe-Trainor, click ‘tree’)

* Gaudet Genealogy (Mark B. Arsland: France, USA, Canada, NL) Also see his Notes – NL pdf.

* Desc. of Edward GAUDON (Joe Gaudon, Sept. 2000)

* Mi’kmaq Ancestry of Jerry GERRIOR (Gerrior/Girouard and others)

* Desc. of James HALL (NS & NL – click no. link at left for gens)

* Desc. of George & Jane HARVEY (Town of Isle aux Morts)

* Hatcher Families Genealogy Association

* Herridge-Nurse Family History (Matthews, Garnier, Strickland, etc.)

* Kinslow-Billard of Lower Burgeo (Family History Workshop by Sandy Evans. Other families in top menu, but some navigation problems)

* Jesso Family (most Nfld. west coast families)

* Labrador (Southern) Family History (Labrador Cura, by Patty Way) “Site temporarily unavailable” Feb 3/19

* LeBlanc/White (‘Steve’s Genealogy Blog’)

* LeBlanc & MacLean Families (Trish LeBlanc – Rootsweb, link goes to surname list)

* Lefresne-Robinson Family, South Coast of Nfld (Rootsweb, link to surnames)

* Legg Family of Dorset (includes Nfld., Janet’s Family History)

* LeJeunes of Cape Breton & Nfld (by Lark Szick)

* The Ancestry of Henry LeJeune/Young (by Kirk Butt, see note below on BSGGS for this)

* Desc. of Jacques LeJEUNE (Robin K. Young index)

* John Young (LeJeune) of Bras d’Or NS (by Kevin Young)

* Dr. William Litchman (South Coast families, Lushman etc.  Click a Publications title for content. Also see his “every-name index” for Burgeo-LaPoile 1921 census, below.)

* Desc. of George LOMOND (by Sharon Dillon; also Dillon, Knott, Currie)

* Lucas, etc. (Bertha Jeans’ FTM user tree)

* Desc. of John MacISAAC (Codroy, by Glenn Harding, also Wm. Harding family, Saint John)

* Maliseet & Micmac Vital Statistics (NB Church Records – 346 pg PDF so it takes a long time to load)

* Marche Family (see note below on BSGGS for access to this huge family tree)

* Mattie Mitchell Webpage (by Fred Powell)

* Muise Family (by Doris Muise)

* Desc. of Philippe MIUS d’Azy (by Yvon Cyr)

* My Newfoundland Ancestors (by Patricia Monogue Balkcom, many west and south coast families, indexed by name and place)

* Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics (‘accept’ then search)

* O’Connell Family Tree (most Nfld. west coast families)

* Patten Family (by Anne Patten Oliver, south coast families)

acadien flag* PEI Family Lineages (flag by Acadian names)

* Donald J. Perrier of Alberta, Canada

* PEI Genealogical Society

* Pike Family History & Genealogy Resources (by David Pike)

* Rowe of Newfoundland (by M. John Rowe, see Ch. 11 for Reault/Rowe of Bay St. George and Port au Port

* Roy Family, through Marie Aubois (by John R. Nelson)

* Rumbolt, Hann, Lane & Howarth Genealogy Pages (Northern Peninsula, Bay of Islands)

* Jacques St-Pierre’s Family Tree (Doucet, Muise, LeJeune, et al. Hover over “Last Name” at top right for drop down menu of names)

* Saunders/Hynes of Fortune Bay, Griffin Family (‘My Nfld Family Tree’ by Devon Griffin – navigation at lower right)

* Southwest Coast of Newfoundland, Women’s History (by Cape Ray Lightkeepers House, Virtual Museum of Canada. Mini-bios. I found site hard to navigate, but just click around it – interesting)

* Western Newfoundland, and Labrador, Deceased Veterans (Cdn Assoc. of Veterans in UN Peacekeeping, Western NL chapter – family, work and military info.

* Wheeler Descendants (mainly Twillingate area)

* Stephen A. White, Genealogist (LeBlanc and others & Acadien history)

* Ancestors of Wayne Harvey YOUNG (LeJeune & Stone)

For other family trees, genealogical and vital statistics information and sources, go to Bay St. George Genealogical Society.  There is a lot of material in the main site, but for $10 a year, you get to go in the ‘Members Only’ section.  There you find many of the invaluable papers on Newfoundland family history written by Allan Stride among other materials.

NL GenWeb and Newfoundland Grand Banks are also great resources for vital statistics data. Also Find A Grave is great for dates, family connections and sometimes includes obits, photos and other information.

Also see Family History Society of Newfoundland and Labrador. Register for full access to their materials. The society has a quarterly journal The Newfoundland Ancestor.

A wonderful source for information on Burgeo history and families is the 1925 Diary of Burgeo by Joseph Small. Also valuable for those interested in south coast families is Dr. Litchman’s index of the 1921 census for Burgeo-LaPoile, available in Kindle format at Amazon (link below).


Some of these sites are easier than others to navigate around.  I’ve linked to home pages whenever possible so that you can see what’s there.  I’ve used all these sites, so know it is possible to get around if there’s more information there.  If there’s so much information that you don’t know how to find who you’re looking for, try searching with ‘control’ and ‘f’ keys on PCs or ‘command’ and ‘f’ on Macs and type the name or place in the little search box.  At least within the ‘page’, that will find them.

These links are valid as of this publishing date. (Checked & updated May 2019.)  They may change or be removed in future.  They’re not my sites so I apologize in advance if problems develop with them.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Mar. 27/11)

Red Dress Redux

Hayley with the red dress Roy gave herMy “aahh” moment was Hayley opening the gift from Roy when it wasn’t even her birthday.  When Roy fumbled and bumbled his way into the Windass home to leave the present for her, saying it would take him a while to arrange, I’d thought he was going to sprinkle rose petals on her bed, as Anna had suggested to him.  And maybe he did.  What we saw was Hayley, downstairs, opening the box he’d left.  It was a red party dress.

Like Hayley, I almost cried.  And, aside from the romance of it and how difficult it must have been for Roy to go dress shopping, it was absolutely beautiful.  I think, in future, she should choose her wardrobe with his help.  It is a much prettier dress than the red salsa number she chose.

Tony taunting CarlaRobbie, Tony's evil friendIt is great to have Tony Gordon back and just as bad as ever.  I like his prison friend Robbie, even if his smiling open face does conceal just as much evil.  He looked familiar to me, and Corrie Canuck gave the answer.  He is James Fleet and was on The Vicar of Dibley.


Coronation Street: A (cat) star is born!

Wednesday we saw the new title sequence, done in honour of the show’s 50th anniversary and the move to high-New cat for Coronation Street 50th anniversarydefinition.  There’s a new cat, a new rendition of the theme music, new introductory scene shots.  At first, I found the music jarring – more high pitched and ‘thinner’ than my ears like.  According to internet sites from Canada’s viewing time and from last year in UK viewing time, I wasn’t alone.  ‘I hate the new music’ was quite common.

A few posters, however, said it was more like a version that had been used long ago. It was less orchestrated than the version we’ve heard now for years.  I remembered watching old episodes on the 30th anniversary VHS box set, and being surprised by the difference in the music.  And yes, this new version is reminiscent of it.  On Corrie Canuck, a commenter said the main instrument is a trumpet or “more likely a cornet with a mute”.  According to Wikipedia, Eric Spears’ composition was “a cornet piece”.  Knowing nothing about brass instruments, other than I don’t like them much, I don’t know, but this spare ‘reedy’ version grew on me quickly.

2010 Coronation Street title shotThe photo montage still has the roof tops and tiles, but interspersed are street scenes on the set and throughout Manchester.  They’re all in soft focus, which is odd considering the whole thing was done for the crispness of HD. Aside from the soft focus, it’s more like the American soaps when they all changed their opening sequences maybe 15 years ago to street and set scenes as well as shots of people.  On second viewing and listening, I thought ok, this is different but the new elements are attractive. And it kept enough of the history of past openings in it.  The tiles, chimneys, roof lines and, of course, a cat.  By Friday, I decided I like the new sequence a lot.

New cat and former Street cats

We’ve got an orange tabby cat now, jumping off a roof.  A while ago, when I was looking up images of Trevor’s found kittens, I came across the story of the grey and white tabby cat who graced the Frisky, the Coronation Street opening credits catcredits for many years.  I had a special fondness for him because he looked very much like my cat Elsie.  Apparently, I wasn’t alone.  Frisky had a huge fan following.  He was a regular cat from Leeds whose people decided to try him out when Coronation Street was auditioning cats for new credits in 1990.

He became a celebrity but continued to live a normal cat life with his people, not letting fame go to his head.  A few years after his death in 2000, his people put his cremated ashes up auction.  For the price of £700, some lucky person now has the remains of Frisky on their mantelpiece.  The proceeds were donated to a cat rescue group.

black cat in Coronation Street writer creditElsie and I both missed Frisky when they redid the opening, replacing him with the black cat.  Seen only from the distance, this new cat endeared him or herself to Elsie and me by meowing.  Hope the cat got paid more for having one line.

A cat in the title sequence happened by accident in 1976, when a cat just happened to appear as they were filming.  Audiences noticed and liked the cat. So producers have ensured since then that there is always a cat in the opening credits.  Eric Spear’s theme music tells you the show is about to start. The cat tells you you’re where you’re supposed to be.

Snow Day

snow day back yard with dog and snowAll the snow had gone, even the mud had started to dry up. Then bang, last night, a snowstorm. A mixture of rain, freezing rain and snow making big heavy piles of snow on wires, trees and fences. Beautiful. Our backyard late last night. Today, a snow day. At the dog park, only one other person there with his dogs.

Then Pinafore Park, only a few people there. Another man taking Peter Robson statue, Pinafore Park, St. Thomaspictures. Another woman walking her Boxer in his winter coat. A young couple bringing their kids to the playground. They didn’t stay long. The pheasants were toddling around their cozy enclosure, seemingly not aware or caring about the snow outside it.

Stores were pretty empty all day, so a couple store clerks told me. Playground in snow, Pinafore Park, St. ThomasBut Tim Hortons was blocked with people, inside and in the drive-through. It was definitely a doughnut and coffee or hot chocolate day. And definitely a day for playing in the snow.

Caesar Salad

caesar saladYears ago, a friend and I used to go the Newfoundland Hotel’s main dining room, the fancy one, for one thing. Caesar salad. The waiter would come with a trolley filled with the makings and create it at the table. Watching him was part of the joy. He’d expertly crack the egg, beat the mayonnaise, add everything else and then, with a flourish, he’d serve up individual bowls to us. With an “enjoy”, he’d leave the large bowl with us and take his trolley away. Other diners would also watch the performance, just like you do when people are getting dishes flambéed.

“Real” Caesar (for 2-4)

mayonnaise in bowl, ready for lettuceUse a stainless steel bowl or a wooden one that has been “seasoned” with garlic rubbed around the inside. Put one egg yolk* in bowl. Beat yolk vigorously with a wooden spoon (3-5 mins) until it begins to thicken. Slowly drizzle olive oil in yolk while continuing to beat. Use perhaps 1-2 tbsps in total. Egg should thicken to consistency of thin mayonnaise. Add 1 clove pressed garlic**, 1-2 tsp lemon juice (about half a lemon), 1/2 inch anchovy paste and 1-2 tbsp grated parmesan, stir until mixed but not more.

Add washed and dried romaine lettuce*** broken (not cut) into bite-sized pieces. Toss well with dressing, adding another tbsp or so parmesan while tossing. Sprinkle lemon juice on. Croutons, bacon bits, black olives and/or cherry tomatoes may be tossed in. Fresh-ground pepper on top is good

* If you are worried about bacteria from raw egg, you can put the whole egg (in its shell) in boiling water for 1 min. It will not cook the egg but will kill anything harmful.

**If you don’t like garlic, you can leave it out.

*** Use the amount of lettuce that the dressing coats for a good-tasting salad. Too little lettuce and the dressing will be overpowering, too much and the dressing will be inadequate. If you want a very small salad, using only half the egg yolk is better.

“Fake” Caesar (for 2-4)

mayonnaise with lemon juice & anchovy paste in bowlPut 1-2 tbsp store-bought real mayonnaise in a salad bowl (wooden or otherwise). Add anchovy paste and lemon juice as above. Beat mayonnaise with a spoon while drizzling 1 tbsp olive oil slowly into it. Consistency should be thinner than original mayonnaise, but still creamy. Add 1 clove pressed garlic and 1-2 tbsp grated parmesan. Stir until well mixed. Add romaine lettuce etc. as above.

The  “real” Caesar recipe is from me watching someone else make it; the “fake” one is from a magazine. Making real mayonnaise from egg yolk is tricky. It needs strong beating to make it creamy without the yolk and oil separating. High humidity will cause it to not thicken regardless of what you do. However, if you can master the proper wrist action, it is very impressive, and the result is delicious. The “fake” one is much easier, is not affected by weather and is pretty much as good as the real one – although it can’t match the real one as performance art.

These photos are of the “fake” caesar. To see the progression, follow them from bottom up.


Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Mar. 20/11)

Red Hot Hayley

Haley admiring new red dress in cafeHayley, delighted with her dress purchase.  Roy saying “I find it hard to see you in it.”  The hurt you feel when you’re all excited by something and someone you love throws cold water on it.  Hayley was already angry with Roy, and hurt, for his totally ham-handed proposal of marriage.  Then, to perk herself up, she decides to splurge on a fancy red dress, a dress that is totally unlike her.

Haley trying on dress at dance classYes, Roy is right.  But that’s not the point.  I’d go even further and say the dress looks absolutely hideous on her.  At least Roy didn’t say that.  Of course, he didn’t get the chance to see it on her.  Thank goodness:  he might well have said it.

So in this little scene, Hayley is mad about Roy’s reaction to the dress and, by extension, to his perception of her as a woman.  Women’s feelings about their partners’ opinion of their looks can be a minefield at the best of times.  But, of course in Hayley’s case, she also has the legacy of her previous life as Harold to influence her feelings of self-worth.

Usually Roy is very sensitive to her, both as Hayley the woman and as Hayley a transgendered person.  When they originally married, their marriage could only be a civil union, ‘blessing’ type of ceremony.  Now that they can marry in the eyes of the law, he wants to do that.  But he’s thinking only of it as a legal validation of what they already did.  Hayley wants to wear a fancy dress and have a party.

Haley throws dress back in bagSo this dress, her flashy salsa number, stands in for the wedding dress hopes in their fight in the café.  I don’t think Roy is thinking about Harold or whether the red dress would look good on Hayley or not.  He’s only thinking it’s not the sort of thing he’s ever seen her wear, I think.

I hate seeing them fight.  I hate seeing her frustrated by Roy’s problems with speaking of his feelings.  And I hate seeing him frustrated by not being able to tell her how he feels, or at least tell her he doesn’t understand why she’s so upset.  They are such a lovely pair that truly complete each other and make a sum greater than the parts.

Hayley leaning on Anna for emotional and practical Eddie, muttering, while making teasupport is nice to see.  And it’s funny, watching the private eye rolls as either of them talk about their husbands.  When Anna says “just like me and my Eddie” you can see Hayley give a ‘yeah, whatever’ kind of look.  Eddie has had a few good moments since the crisis started.  The best was when Hayley arrived, suitcase in hand, at the Windasses.  While Anna consoled Hayley, saying “you two are meant to be together”, Eddie muttered “like no one else would want either of ye.”  Nasty?  Yes.  Pot and kettle?  Yes again.  But funny?  Oh yes.

Lake Erie, North Shore

A few years ago we went east along Lake Erie, as far as Port Dover. We started in St. Thomas. It took us four days.

Map of Lake Erie, north shore coastline, St. Thomas to Port Dover
St. Thomas to Port Dover, North shore Lake Erie (tap to enlarge)

Coming back, we took larger roads.  It took about an hour but felt like a time travel machine.  My parents used to drive from Belmont, near St. Thomas, to Port Dover of an evening for fish and chips on the beach.

We went first to Port Stanley, planning to spend a couple days there.  But the cabins were full, so we thought well, let’s see what’s further east, say toward Port Burwell.  Stopped at Port Bruce and walked the beach.  Went to Port Burwell, walked the beach and into town.  Had an ice cream cone, and drove on.

We had a map, but basically just looked for the southernmost roads heading east.  Found villages we’d never heard of, places we’d heard of but never knew where they were.  We found Walsingham, where I knew my father’s people had lived but never knew where it was – ‘over that way’ with a vague wave to the east.

Port Rowan, Lake Erie

Port Rowan boat housesPort Rowan, where my dad was born.  Hilly, with big brick houses and little old frame houses.  A row of boat houses way out into the harbour.  Just looking like they’re there for photographers.  A perfect little “olde” downtown with small, independent businesses thriving among the chainstores.

Port Rowan popsicle stick lampA downtown Home Hardware that also sold locally-made items.  “Oh, a local man makes those,” the manager said when he saw me looking at a popsicle stick table lamp.  It was sitting among the commercially-made lamps and light fixtures.  We bought it.

Nearby, inland St. Williams, with a huge antique store and new Mennonite furniture showroom.  Must get business from all over the region – not enough people in St. Williams to furnish that many houses.

Turkey Point, beach town

Turkey Point, a summer playground for party weekends.  But in September they were gone, leaving only a few people to enjoy the broad silky sand beach.  Since being there, I’ve learned that my father’s mother’s people were the first white settlers there.  Apparently, there’s a plaque marking the site where in 1794 Frederick Motel in Turkey PointMabee was buried beside his house, in a hollowed out log.  The first white burial of the first white man in Turkey Point.  I didn’t know that at the time we were there – just as well, we’d have had to tack on at least another 2 days to cover that.

Port Ryerse, a tiny village with a big past.  Now a small collection of quaint old houses and a wonderful used bookstore that rambles its way through one of these big old houses.  A historical plaque at the end of the road, in the woods bordering the lake cliff, depicting the town’s history as a port for transporting timber and coal across the lake to Ohio.

Port Dover, Friday 13th town

The Dover Rose, old fishing vessel at Port Dover on Lake EriePulling into Port Dover late afternoon – bright lights, big city!  Beachfront stores sleepy after the summer onslaught.  Wanting to roll up the awnings and pack up the flipflops and Harley Davidson emblazoned stuffed animals.  Wanting to hibernate until the hogs come back to town next Friday the 13th.  We looked at the harbour, the commercial vessels tied up, some for the season, some forever. Stayed the night, and ate fish and chips.

Next day, on to Fort Erie?  Quite a drive, at our present pace.  Would take near a week.  Nah, let’s go home and pick up the dog.  Almost dark, so no sightseeing.  To Simcoe.  Stay the night?  Doesn’t feel part of this trip – we know where it is on the map.  Some new cross-country back roads.  Can’t really see anything though, just placenames and road numbers on the signs.  “Oh, that’s where you turn for Langton, that’s where Judy used to live,” “well, look at that – Mabee’s Corners up there, I wonder if that’s where Grandma came from.”  Headlights tracking family history.

'Gold Coast' banner map Lake Erie realty

Lake Erie family places

Ten years later, knowing more family history, I want to do that trip again.  Now I would know to stop in Houghton, Middleton, and many more villages that we passed through that trip.  Placenames that pop up over and over in the family records of the Angers, Mabees and Burwells.  I would look for graveyards, farms and crossroads.  It will be fun, with a map and a mission.  This trip was with a map and whimsy – not looking for anything and therefore just happy to see what was found.

The ‘banner map’ at bottom is from the website of Gold Coast Real Estate, thanks.  For more information Amazon link for Ron Brown Lake Erie bookon this area,  check out The Lake Erie Shore (click image for Amazon). It’s by  Ron Brown who’s written loads of books about the history of Ontario.

My cousin sent me this link to a song “Beautiful Port Dover” by Tia McGraff with photos by Earl Hartlen.  Both song and photos are beautiful.  Yes, there’s Friday 13th H-D photos, also a lot of the land, lake and fishing boats (my favourite is one called “Frisky” – nice name for a boat, I think).

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Mar. 13/11)

Baby Tigers

A few weeks ago, we had the grown-up tigresses going at it.  Rita and Audrey over Lewis and Alf and many years Becky in prisons visitors' roomof shared history.  This Wednesday it was the baby tigers. Tracy and Becky, well-matched fighters from the younger generation.  The difference between the two pairs is that Audrey and Rita are friends.  Somehow I can’t see a friendship between Tracy and Becky ever developing.  Audrey, Rita and Becky are all decent human beings who may have disagreements with others and who speak their minds.  Tracy is not.

But watching the two of them eyeing each other across the Becky tackles Tracy - baby tigersvisitor table in the prison!  I could see them as tigers, backs arched, circling warily, keeping back far enough to avoid the other’s claws but trying to get in close enough to land a good wallop with claws out.  Tracy plays the game better.  She baited Becky enough to make her lose guard dragging Becky from visitors' roomcontrol.  I wondered if the guards would just haul Becky straight into a cell, and maybe she, Tracy and Gail would all end up as roomies.

I confess that I don’t much like Tracy – the character, not just her despicable actions.  Ever since she’s been thoroughly bad, I’ve found her a bit over the top.  She’s more like an American soap villainess to me than a Corrie Street one.  Always scheming, always nasty – not a lot of layers to her character.  She serves a dramatic purpose – stirring the pot – but usually there’s more complexity to Corrie Street characters.  Becky, for example, was comparable to Tracy when she first came on the show – straight out mean.  But she’s changed: we see her good Tracey telling Becky what she wantsside, her vulnerable side and her volatile street-tough side.  Tracy is, well, nasty and scheming.  I’ve come to dread her returns because I find her out of sync with the rest of the Street.

One-dimensional characters appear on Coronation Street, but aren’t usually long-term.  Even Theresa showed other sides of her personality and I felt quite bad when she left, for once keeping her head high and showing some pride.

Becky listens to what Tracy wants - tigers staringHowever, despite my caveat about Tracy, I enjoyed watching her and Becky square off.  Becky is a match for her in all ways and that humanizes Tracy’s character.  Having Becky recognize Tracy’s games and match them makes Tracy’s conniving more believable.  Pairing two equals somehow adds to the credibility of the performance.  At least it did in this little scene, when I was holding my breath wondering which cat was going to draw blood first.



Several years ago, I bought a two-year old car from a newspaper ad.  When I took it for a test drive, I couldn’t believe how clean and nice the inside was.  It was like a brand-new car.  The young woman selling it was also very neat and tidy.  She seemed like the sort that kept a car immaculate.

German Shepherd in back seat of car - cleanI had a very large German Shepherd who shed like crazy and liked to get muddy.  And, dog or no dog, I’ve never had a car that stayed clean for more than two days.  During our test drive, I started apologizing to the seller.  I told her about the dog, who was not with me, and that the car would not stay clean.  She said “oh, I usually have a mess in the car too.  Don’t worry about that.”  I thought sure, your mess would consist of one empty coffee cup carefully placed in the cup holder and maybe an empty water bottle rolling around.  My dear, you don’t know a messy car!

I bought the car and assured her that I would put proper covers on all the seats and floor so the dog didn’t mess them up.  I wanted to tell her that, if I were her, I wouldn’t sell the car to me.  She just took my cheque and wished me well.

I had the car for a long time.  It was always a mess.  I learned there was something called car detailing.  My in-laws did it with a van they were trying to sell.  The van came back looking brand-new.  I was impressed but it didn’t look that much different to me.  Their vehicles were always clean and like new inside anyway.

Then my husband and I borrowed my mother-in-law’s car for a trip to the States.  Our dog went with us – another German Shepherd who shed a lot and got sick on the trip.  Two weeks in the vehicle with dog hair, dog food, dog medicine, fast-food crumbs and wrappers, coffee spills, smoke.   My husband said it will clean up, don’t worry.  I thought we’ll have to buy an identical car and swap them and never ever let her see this one again.

Back home, we took it to a detailer.  I thought for what cleaning that car would cost we probably would be better off buying another one.  Next day, we picked it up.  It was like a brand-new car.  And it cost less than $200.  Before we gave the car back to my mother-in-law, I would sneak up on it and jump in and sniff to see if I could smell any trace of anything.  Only new, clean car smell.  I looked in every nook and cranny – not a crumb to be found.  I was gobsmacked.

And then I knew why my neat tidy young woman didn’t mind selling her neat tidy car to a slob.  It may indeed have been a pigsty when she drove it.  But she’d had it detailed.  What a truly wonderful discovery that was for me.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Mar. 6/11)

A funeral, a fight & free food

They did Blanche – and Maggie – proud.  The funeral was lovely, heartfelt and funny.  So many beautiful Eccles consoling Deirdremoments.  Starting before the funeral, on Tuesday, with Ken in Blanche’s room, looking through her “bits and bobs”.  Deirdre is furious, but realizes she’s taking out her guilt and grief on him unjustifiably.  So together they look through Blanche’s things, remembering.

Wednesday, Deirdre trying to get ready, hearing her mother chivvying her along.  Eccles, seeing Deirdre distraught, coming to lick her hand and make it better.

Liz, with curlers in hair, explains childhood to SteveAt the Rovers, Liz explains a lot about the MacDonald reluctance to tell Amy anything.  “I were that age when my gramma died.  My dad sat me down, said she’d moved house and he’d lost her new address.”  Steve asks, “Did you never wonder why you never saw her again?”  “I thought she were living quite happily somewhere in Wolverhampton until I were 23.  Saved me a lot of grieving, that.”

Sophie, Sian and Rosie looking at hearse in Street - blancheThe hearse by the door and Archie Shuttleworth presiding.  Lovely tableaus of residents waiting for their place in the procession or paying their respects.  The flowers in the hearse window.

At the church, May explains the absence of Brynnie, the Knitter Natter member who was to play the recorder.  The recorder presumably fell victim to a normally lovely mini-May handing thermos bottle & slippers to Emily & Ritabus driver but “45 minutes non-stop of ‘Morning has Broken’ is enough to try anyone’s patience.”  While telling this, May was unloading her purse of its carafe of coffee and who knows what all else and passing it to others to hold.  I have no idea why.

The pallbearers waiting for the coffin, Roy among them.  Always honest, he said he found Blanche a “difficult and unpleasant woman, often unnecessarily cruel.”  “Thank God you’re not in charge of the eulogy,” Dev said.

Then the eulogy – indeed a wonderful scene.  Deirdre was perfect in her description of her mother and in Barlows' pew, with Tracey's guard wiping eyesshowing her deep love of her.  And the little shots of the mourners while she was speaking.  Hayley hissing “Not a word, Roy” when Deirdre said the local café had closed out of respect for Blanche.  Tracy passing a tissue to the weeping prison guard who had never even met Blanche, then having to raise her cufflinked arm with her so she could blow her nose.  Janice laughing out loud when Deirdre described her mother as “the mean-spirited old witch in the corner.”  Then Deirdre breaking down, and Simon giving her a little smile and wave.

old friends of Blanche in Rovers, toasting herIt was a moving eulogy and a beautiful funeral.  Blanche would have loved it.  It even ended with a catfight with Tracy going for Becky.  I hope Blanche got a good laugh out of that – and Maggie too.  On Thursday, after the funeral at the Rovers, Ken’s words about Blanche were beautiful.  Ken was speaking of Blanche, but the emotion he showed appeared to be of Bill Roache for Maggie Jones.