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Contact Diana Earle Island View Bed and Breakfast

Diana B Earle
5 Sherwood Springs Rd
Mallorytown Ontario
K0E 1R0

613 345-3077

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Make "Bear the Tinker" a Part of Your Adventure
at Island View B&B

Diana Earle recalls her first visit...

"My friends and I pulled in the lane, and were met by two figures larger than life. A man, dressed in tinker's garb walked towards us, waving his fiddle and bow. He was a large man, round faced, with a grizzled beard, and smiling eyes.

Right beside him, and very anxious to be introduced was a workhorse. Puppyish, he nuzzed up, and paid his gentle respects.

Callum and Bear

I cooed "What's his name?"

"Callum" was the soft but distinctive reply.

Puzzed by Bear's accent, I asked him to repeat the name.

"Oh ye can call him this, or ye can call him that!"

That set the stage for our afternoon in the company of one of the most fascinating people I have ever met.

Sitting on the porch, exchanging tidbits of history, lore and song, the fiddle and bow remained as extensions of Bear's being. It is a working fiddle, dusted with rosin, and the bow points, punctuates and directs for Bear. Tunes came and went as naturally as breathing. Callum nibbled the grass close by; drinking it all in. He never let Bear out of his sight.

Later, we walked through the woods so that he could share his favourite places. Fiddle and bow came along, gesturing and nodding all the way.

Bear, the fiddle and the bow sent us off, with a farewell

'Don't be a stranger!' "

The Tinker’s Rest is a tinker’s home base…a place between journeys.
Visit Bear, the Tinker, at his solar powered cottage near Charleston Lake
which is a short 30 minute drive from Island View Bed and Breakfast.

Bear will always talk to you about magic, fairies and wee folk.

Maurice Leger, is a massive man in his early 50s. He considers himself “the keeper of traditions.” He looks somehow like a cross between the giant Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies and the dwarf Gimli in The Lord of the Rings movies.

Of average height but wide girth, he wears an old-fashioned cotton shirt with a red sash at the waist, knee-length pants, woolen socks and sturdy shoes. He is a 1790’s tinker tossed into the 21st century..

His dark brown hair hinted with white flows over his shoulders and a grizzled beard descends to a Micmac totem he wears around his neck. His brown piercing eyes, ageless and calm, engage his listeners as he draws them effortlessly into the past. In a deep voice he tells his tales, dropping easily into an Irish lilt and calling up songs – one after another, fully and faultlessly – from a memory bank that rivals that of the most complex computer. He keeps his fiddle, dusty with rosin, at the ready, and punctuates his stories with a wave of his bow.

Annie and Bear

Singing and telling stories are as natural as breathing for this larger-than-life entertainer, who was raised on a traditional Acadian farmstead in New Brunswick. From a childhood steeped in Acadian lore and superstitions, as well as Micmac folklore, he grew up to become a storyteller and musician. He studied Gaelic folklore and Celtic mythology while working as a Ferrier and Blacksmith.

He sang and played instruments in a Celtic group called Pendragon and built the first of several tinker’s caravans in 2001, traveling from St. Andrew’s to Sussex, New Brunswick, singing and telling stories.

Bear came to this area three years ago and lives with his partner Annie who is a counsellor to parents of autistic children. His horse Callum, three dogs and assorted wildlife are all part of his household. Living simply – sometimes in the cottage but often in the woods in a tinker’s caravan he built – he lives a way of life now nearly vanished, as an entertainer who tells everyone stories of the past.

Bear, Annie and Callum offer a hospitality of the old sort. Visit them for tea, stories, and a walk in the woods. How about bringing a group of your friends over to Bear’s for game stew, homemade wild apple pie, and cocoa?

Bear says: “At some distant time in the past we all believed that the forces of Nature were to be revered and honoured as the life force that keeps us all. Somewhere along the way this has been forgotten. As a keeper of traditional knowledge through stories and music I share this gift with all who want it.

By the campfire in front of my caravan, I will share my stories and music of beings seen or unseen. This is the gift of the Bard, Bear the Tinker. CIAD MILLE FAILTCHA (100,000 welcomes!)”

Letters written by our customers about Bear the Tinker

October 2010

Hi Diana

Terri and I met with Bear yesterday. We had an awesome afternoon with him. Met his dogs and Callum.. Before going into the woods he said would you like to meet a bigfoot? Instantly I said SURE!.. And Bear whistled
and said "CALLUM, come here!". haha. Went for hike through the woods, hearing stories and talking about bigfoot, and 2012, a bit about aliens and faeries, etc.

We grabbed a giant puffball mushroom and Bear dug up some small leak type plant, that we took back to his home and he fried up  for us to try. He had also made us some chili and biscuits. He's an awesome cook!! When we got back to his house he read us a story he wrote about some Faeries and other mystical folk.

Bear is a very kind man. Amazing story teller, and a wealth of knowledge that we've forgotten from long ago. I'm looking forward to meeting with him again sometime.

Thanks for helping me get in contact with him. Much appreciated!

All the best,. Matt.

August 2010

Very pleased to see Bear on your site.
We have met him several times in St. Andrews.
My son played traditional music on the ship he was sailing on out of St. Andrews.

We would love to come to your B&B sometime. Please give Bear our best.

The Cortese family-Mike , Matt and Vicky

March 2010

Diana & Victor

Thank you so much for welcoming us to your lovely home and providing us with a warm and relaxing atmosphere in which to spend a much needed getaway. We really enjoyed the beautiful surroundings here...this has probably been our most peaceful vacation so far.

Talking with the two of you was great, and thanks, Diana for your advice on things to do in the area. Visiting "Bear was definitely the highlight - what a fascinating man!

Thanks Diana on your understanding, advice, and willingness to provide creative, wholesome meals for "special diets". This can be rare and know that it is much appreciated!

Hopefully we'll come back some day, and maybe bring our kids...they'll love it.

Take Care,
Pam and Ben (Niagara)

Dear Bear,

You have showed us an almost forgotten lifestyle that is on the boundary of reality and fairy tale. It was an incredible experience and one that we will never forget.

The tales that you passed onto us were the most fascinating that we have ever heard. My youngest sister was convinced that fairies lived under our very feet, and insisted on finding the entrance to their land.
Bear, you are very talented, not only at storytelling but also at playing various different instruments. To think that you haven't had one lesson! WOW! All the songs were incredible, I especially liked the one about the woman's ghost that was cast out by her father. It had a lot of feeling in it, and your strong and pleasant voice adds to the beauty of the song.

Thanks you so much for the great time and interesting information about the Celtic people, their lifestyles, and your adventures.

Roxy Rusu and Family

Hi Diana,

We had a great visit with Bear: lots of music, songs, stories, friendly dogs and a horse, a walk in the woods and a swim at a lovely lake, then lunch. Thanks so much for arranging the visit with us. He’s a brilliant man. It’s good to meet someone who follows his own star and lives life fully. 

We had a wonderful visit with you and Victor – a perfect way to celebrate our anniversary. Thanks for your warm hospitality. 

Best wishes, - Janet


Bear and Lucas Denneboom

Your patience is appreciated while the music is loading

Bear takes small groups of people on wagon rides
Interpretational hikes in the woods
Talks on living off grid, and solar power
Spend an afternoon with Bear

Our thanks to Chris Stesky for her written contribution to this web page.

e-Mail your inquiries to visit Bear
These can be made through Diana at Island View Bed and Breakfast.

Check out Availability and Reservations at Island View B&B

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