In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Anne Barclay Priest

Mary Morse and Leroy d"Entremont emailed us last night to let us know that Anne Barclay Priest had died. Anne was a good friend to many people, including Elizabeth Hyde, who owned this house before us, and her daughter Joanna, and Mary and Leroy, who took care of her Blue Island sheep when she was back in New York, and later bought the flock from her. We were fortunate that she reached out to us newcomers as well, soon after we moved here, and so began a brief and lively friendship of email exchanges in the winter and a visit each summer. We learned right away what so many other people know better than we: that anything having to do with Anne was lively, to say the least.

Besides the post entitled How to Keep Warm you can read a little bit more about Anne in posts here, here and here.

You can read about her memoir, Trafficking in Sheep: From Off-Broadway, New York, to Blue Island, Nova Scotia (The Countryman Press, 2008), here. The beautiful photograph of Anne on the book's cover was taken during a sheep gathering here on McNutt's Island.

Here's how Anne concludes her memoir:

I have asked myself questions about my life in Nova Scotia. What if I had purchased a piece of land in another part of the province? I never would have bought the island, never bought sheep, never heard of Brian Nettleton. It was an immense crossroads, one that never in my wildest dreams I could have foreseen. I don't regret one bit choosing the road I did. It has brought a richness and beauty to my life that I love and embrace, as well as many friends. And so what it the people in Greenville as well as West Green Harbour think I'm off my rocker? They could think worse. And probably have.


Anonymous said...

I was fortunate enough to have met Anne early this year. She lived only a scant 15 minutes from me in New York. She and I went to some spinning guild meetings together and she came to my house for lunch and a spinning afternoon. My son met her and got to feed one of her baby lambs last spring. She was a great lady and I'm only sorry that I didn't meet her earlier. We will miss her so much.

Pat Gerresheim said...

I met Anne about five or six years ago, when a friend and I were looking for Blue-Faced Leicester fleece for a fleece-to-shawl competition. Our annual choose-a-fleece trip to Greenville from Kingston was always a pleasure, and Anne was a fascinating person. I miss her.