Saturday, May 16, 2015

“The Inlet” by Helen Piddlington

Here’s a book I found at one of my favourite used bookstores in Powell River, Kingfisher Used Books.

The Inlet by Helen Piddington (Harbour Publishing, 2001) is subtitled Memoir of a Modern Pioneer. Helen was born in 1931, that almost makes her a contemporary of mine. She’s an accomplished artist, and charcoal and pastel sketches became the basis of her book about remote log cabin life on a woodlot in Loughborough Inlet on Coastal BC’s mainland side of the Inside Passage.

Helen met her husband Dane while coastal cruising to the Queen Charlottes (Haida Gwaii). Dane is a professional photographer and writer. They figured they could continue their artistic careers away from city life, but soon learned that living on the coast required much more. Dane became a logger, prawn fisherman, and woodlot owner. Helen became an avid gardener and all-around countrywoman, preserving much of their own food for winter. Such is the way of living an independent, self-sustaining life.

Cruising in Coastal BC
Helen and Dave raised and home schooled their two children after their move north from Vancouver (for Helen) and Victoria (for Dave). When the kids reached their early teens, they went away to school in Campbell River and the prestigious Shawnigan Lake School north of Victoria.

Each short chapter gives you insight into daily life, history, the residents and visitors, boating, weather, logging, animals, and the joys and challenges of living in Loughborough Inlet. I enjoyed reading this memoir of a woman with the courage to switch from big city living, to a rewarding but more difficult remote lifestyle.

In 2010, Helen published a second memoir, Rumble Seat about growing up in the Victoria suburb of Esquimalt. To the best of my knowledge, Helen and Dane are still living in their remote home, and boaters continue to write about visiting them in Loughborough Inlet.

Do you know of any good books about Coastal BC, Canada, or remote living in general? I’d love to hear about your favourites.

http://www.semicolonblog.com/For more exciting book reviews, head on over to Semicolon's Blog each weekend. -- Margy

9 comments:

  1. This memoir sounds fascinating. I'm sure it would make me envious- the kind of life I wish I could lead but could never manage. Thanks for stopping by Reading World!

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    1. I'm a city girl who now lives off the grid, but my home isn't this far away from the city and I don't have to make my living while living there. Both pluses. - Margy

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  2. Another good book - I just bought a copy. Thanks

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  3. Another good one to purchase.

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  4. Sounds like a delightful read about the sustainable life independently with nature ~

    Happy Weekend to you,
    artmusedog and carol

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  5. Sounds interesting. I'm into it.
    MB

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    1. I am finding a lot more memoirs about off the grid living lately. Got any good recommendations? - Margy

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  6. It's such an interesting lifestyle!

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