Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget 1200

In memory of

Sergeant Archibald Don Gordon, Royal Canadian Air Force,

405 Squadron

Served as flight engineer on a Halifax bomber which was shot down over the
Bay of Biscay.

Deceased. April 1943

Age 21

Veterans Affairs Canada

Archie Gordon

Archie was a happy Scottish lad. One of seven children who immigrated to northern Alberta with their parents in the early 1920s as part of the Soldiers Settlement Act. His father was a proud member of the Black Watch and had served proudly.

Archie had a keen sense of humour and was a true friend to his sister Alice, my grandmother, who felt his loss deeply.

If you want peace, be peace. This is the best way to honour the memories of those who gave their lives that we might live in peace times.

Thanks for visiting.



©Dorothy E. Chiotti … All Rights Reserved 2019
Aimwell CreativeWorks

Head Scratcher

Head Scratcher


Somewhere near Bolton Abbey in rural Yorkshire, England, stands this old Roman (?) wall which someone some time ago appears to have tried to “integrate” into an expanded road system. Looks to me like the small archway helps to accommodate cyclists. At any rate, it’s a real study … and a bit of a head scratcher.

Kudos to the local government for not tearing down history in favour of all things modern.

Thanks for visiting …



©Dorothy Chiotti … All Rights Reserved 2018 … Aimwell CreativeWorks

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unlikely

“This is your victory!”


Weekly Photo Challenge: Victory

“God bless you all. This is your victory! It is the victory of the cause of freedom in every land. In all our long history we have never seen a greater day than this. Everyone, man or woman, has done their best. Everyone has tried. Neither the long years, nor the dangers, nor the fierce attacks of the enemy, have in any way weakened the unbending resolve of the British nation. God bless you all.”

Winston Churchill … May 8, 1945
Whitehall, London


During a visit to Yorkshire two years ago we stopped at a village that was hosting a victory re-enactment of the Second World War. We didn’t stay long, but were there long enough to enjoy the spirited revival of an extraordinary moment in British history.

The gentleman in this image delivered a powerful rendering of Winston Churchill’s victory speech and was my obvious choice for this challenge.


Peace and prayers for Paris at this difficult time.

Thanks for visiting,


©Dorothy Chiotti … All Rights Reserved 2015

A Visit to Hever Castle … Hever, Kent, England

Pretty Hever Castle in Kent has a storied past. The childhood home of Anne Boleyn, it was here that King Henry VIII courted her and it was here her family lived when she met her unfortunate and untimely demise.

The castle was given to Anne of Cleves, King Henry’s fourth wife, after she fell out of favour and he divorced her (lucky girl), and after her death the castle met with a succession of owners who cared for it, or not.

William Waldorf Astor purchased the castle in 1903, restored it and lived there for a number of years. Heavy flooding caused serious damage in 1968 and eventually the castle was sold and restored as a heritage site. It’s been open to the public since 1983.

I’ve visited Hever a couple of times, most recently last September. To me it is a romantic place. Tudor history has always fascinated me, and to walk where colourful historical characters of the time have walked does, in some way, bring their stories more to life in my mind. As well, whenever I visit medieval castles I’m always surprised at how small the doorways and narrow the spiral staircases in the towers. At just under 5ft 8″ myself I feel like a giant in such close confines and am prone to claustrophobia. I have to chew gum, or something, to distract myself from having a panic attack. 😉

Currently I’m reading Queen of the Realm ~ a fictionalized account of Elizabeth I by historical novelist, Jean Plaidy. Her mother was Anne Boleyn, of course, so Hever Castle has been somewhat in my thoughts of late.

This silly little rhyme formed itself as we were visiting this beautiful castle. Funny where the mind goes.


Not so happy, was the bride

A daughter of the Boleyn tribe.

As Henry’s lust to Jane was lead

Poor Anne was doomed to lose her head.


Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy 🙂


©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

The Tonsorial Parlour

Weekly Photo Challenge: Community


Barber shops and beauty parlours ~ hubs of community gossip for as long as there’s been hair.

Calgary’s Heritage Park, Canada’s largest living historical village, depicts the history of Alberta during pioneer times.

A few years ago a barber shop/snooker hall (referred to in olden days as the “Tonsorial Parlour”) was moved to the Park from the village of Barons, Southern Alberta.

This building has been restored and outfitted to resemble the look of such an establishment in early 20th century Alberta.


The image below is from our family archives and features my great grandfather, Steve McDonall (leaning on the counter), and two clients in his Tonsorial Parlour in Youngstown, Alberta in 1912. No doubt in the middle of a good chin wag.

Maybe discussing the sinking of the Titanic?

The Tonsorial Parlour

Of course, I cannot take credit for this image, but it was fun to show it for the purpose of this challenge anyway.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂


©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013

Shout Outs


Through The Luminary Lens

This, That and The Other Thing


Daily Prompt: Conflict

I’ve joined the post-a-blog-a-day-for-a-month-thing, not realizing that living in Canada makes me ineligible.

Should have known when I couldn’t get the badge to stick in my widget thingymejig.

Notwithstanding, I have made it a goal to post something on Eyes to Heart every day for the month of November.  Sometimes I might respond to the Daily Prompt; others I may dream something up on my own. May be short. May be long. I have many other projects on the go. But I thought I’d give it a whirl. Hopefully this won’t present too much of a conflict. 😉

Whatever happens, it will be a blogosphere adventure.

Enjoy the ride!



I’m going to stretch the meaning of conflict here, mostly because I choose not to engage in it. At least, not with other people. Most of my conflict is, and always has been, internal. If you’re interested in exploring that, please visit my blog In So Many Words. My most recent post touches on how a visit to war torn Sarajevo changed my life.

But I digress …

We were  minding our own business on a day trip in Yorkshire this past September when we bumped into this 1940s reenactment in the ancient village of Grassington.

It was a conflict of eras  ~ people in 1940s costume mingling with us 21st century day trippers in a village hundreds of years old.

And, certainly, this unexpected step back-in-time conflicted with our original plan of enjoying a quiet village visit.

Still, we spent a lovely hour or so engaging with the many war time displays and the general spirit of celebration and fun.

Celebrating the end of a conflict.

I like that … 🙂

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂


©DorothyChiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013

A Ghost of a Town … Rowley, Alberta

I love Alberta. The big sky; the majestic mountains to the west; the badlands to the east and all the endless flat prairie in between offer a contrast of vistas that capture my heart and stimulate my imagination.

And few things stimulate the imagination more than a ghost town, of which Alberta has plenty. Old mining and agricultural communities lay abandoned all over the province just waiting to be explored.

One morning last June while I was visiting my brother in Calgary we researched Alberta ghost towns online and discovered Rowley. Our imaginations bristling with anticipation we decided to ignore the stormy weather and make the two-hour drive to this virtually abandoned area north east of Calgary and near the badlands of Drumheller.

When we arrived in town a distant storm was brewing to the southwest imparting an appropriately eerie atmosphere that only heightened our anticipation.

In its heyday in the 1920s, Rowley’s population hovered around the 300 mark. Today it has 12 residents, and apart from the surreal image of a distant young woman pushing a child in a stroller along an empty roadway, we saw no one. Ours was the only car on dusty Main Street. We didn’t encounter a single soul. That and the impending storm made everything feel quite surreal.

Rowley was a “train town” — a place where locals crowded the station daily to meet people, ship grain and receive supplies. Indeed, the original train station still stands and has been turned into a local museum, though the tracks were pulled up in the late 1990s when train service to the town was halted.

The grain elevators — an iconic symbol of prairie history —  are still standing thanks to the vision of the residents who saw their potential as tourist attractions. They were purchased from the Alberta Wheat Pool in 1989 for $1 a piece and remain as beacons to the town for those travelling to visit by road.

Many other original buildings from Rowley’s past, including the white wooden church preserved as a Provincial Historic Site and in use for special occasions only, stand as testament to a by-gone era. Some are still in use today; most are simply shadows of what used to be.

As we wandered around town (we could have had a guided tour but we didn’t think that far ahead), the rumbles of thunder punctuated the occasional bird call and the whipping of grass in the stiffening breeze, but otherwise all was vast and embracing prairie silence.

Prairie storms offer their own special drama, the landscape being so flat you can see the thunder heads approaching from miles away. As we kicked up dust and meandered from one abandoned building to the next, we were aware of the ever-encroaching storm and the fact that we didn’t a) want to be caught in a downpour or, more importantly, b) want to act as inadvertent lightning rods. Consequently, we had to curtail our visit after about an hour as conditions just became too volatile.

When I next visit Alberta (I hope later this year) I plan to return to Rowley and take the full guided tour so I can truly appreciate the history behind this enchanting prairie ghost town.

For more information on Rowley, Alberta and its history, click here.

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012