"In FaerieLand there is a place called ‘Sidhe Comhairle’ (pronounced ‘Shee Corla’) and wisdom it bestowed, to habitate alongside nature in the enchanted forest in The Dome.”

The Amazing Chair Story

Interesting request

Monday, April 13, 2009 11:21 AM

From: Kerensa

To: Roisin Sheehy-Culhane

Hello my friend, I hope your week-end is relaxing and peaceful.  Mine is full and busy with the boys, as usual. The knee is sloooowwwwwllllyyyy getting better.

Look what Mulan received in her facebook the other day…. She has not yet

responded, actually she does not know what to say, so I suggested we’d toss the ball to you, as it’s now your chair.

How’s the puppy?

— Original Message —–

Magical Dome - old chair

From: mulan

To: Kerensa

Sent: Monday, April 13, 2009 11:04 AM

Subject: Letter from Willow

Willow sent you a message.

Subject: blast from the past

Hi Mulan,
You just have to love facebook. We used to be neighbors many years ago living on west 11th (was it??) across from that school. You lived with your sister Sunya and little brother Che, I lived with my sister Rachel and our mom, Sharon and my mom’s boyfriend, Norman . We used to play barbies and have many adventures…I wonder if you remember me?
I remember thinking how interesting your family was with an asian dad and dutch mom, now I am married to a Japanese man so I guess you folks set the standard!

I know this is a crazy question (if you even remember little blond Willow from next door) but when we moved to Lund and left Vancouver my mom sold a beloved family chair to your parents. It was green and had claw feet and was huge. If your parents still have it, tell them I would love to buy it back if they are ever wanting to let it go. I have never forgotten about it, lots of memories and have in fact been scouring antique stores in Vancouver looking for it-thinking it might be back in circulation. I hope that’s not too crazy for you!
I am living in Vancouver, are you? I am a social worker with two kids, 12 and 9, I am also an artist. I would love to find out how you and your family are doing.
Please be in touch!

Lund, Mulan and a certain family heirloom

Saturday, April 25, 2009 7:27 PM

From: Willow

To: roisin

Hello Roisin!

I just got your name and email form my old friend, Mulan, who I contacted on an off chance that she would be able to help me track down a family heirloom-the lion foot chair- that we left with her mom and dad when we left Vancouver and moved to LUND of all places-only to learn that the chair followed us many years later to Lund to your home!

How fun is all of this?

Where do you live in Lund?  I now live in Vancouver but once upon a time lived in Baggi Road, Craig Road, Edmond’s Beach and Galley Bay (in Desolation Sound, don’t know if you know it).  If you are a Lundy these names will most likely be familiar to you.

That wonderful old chair belonged to my great grandmother-known as “Crazy nanny” who left it to my mother for us girls (my sister and I), but we had to get rid of everything to move into a small cabin on Baggi Road and we lost the chair-that was 28 years ago and I have never forgotten about it.

If there is anyway that you could part with it it would really, really make my day (year, decade).  I have even been searching antique stores looking for it hoping it would somehow find it’s way back to me.  I would be happy to pay you whatever you think it is worth-to me it is priceless.

I come up to Powell River often-my mom lives in Cranberry now just on the lake-and she often comes down-so if you were willing to part with it we could pretty easily find a way to get it.  My good friend Lu  lives up Finn Bay (do you know her?) and she has a van-she might be willing to help.

Please let me know what you think-I hope I am not being too presumptuous-I am really excited!!!!!

Call or email please,


Another email from Willow

Saturday, April 25, 2009 9:46 PM

To: roisin

Hi again,

I just took a look at your website and I can’t believe that you live in the old Baggi Road dome!  I spent countless hours in that home as a child as my friend Noah’s parents made it, and it was only a couple of cabins down the lane from our branch of Baggi road which we called Salal picker’s lane back then.

We lived at the cabin at the end of your lane, and later at Dan Mooney’s cabin just across the lane from your dome!!!!  Isn’t that funny,what a small world!  Have you found the old hidden homestead garden on your property?  We used to sneak in there and eat the old strawberries and other food that ha naturalized and escaped the deer.

I can’t wait to speak with you-it seems like such a funny coincidence!

Re: another email from Willow

—– Original Message —–

From: Roisin Sheehy-Culhane
To: Willow
Sent: Sunday, April 26, 2009 10:52 AM
Subject: Re: another email from Willow

Hi Willow:  Will write re: picking up chair later, just wanted to respond to this one now.  WOW!  such a teeny tiny world!  We live in the house Neil  built on the same property as the Dome.  The Dome we restored and now rent out to tourists.  Noah and his sister have been back to visit the Dome in it’s new life.
So incredible that your chair has followed you here!  Feel like I must go and talk to The Chair right now and spend some time with IT and it’s rich history before it leaves.
Sounds like the cabins you are talking about are probably gone – Salal pickers lane – if it’s the same one I know has still got the original cabin on it, but with a big house now attached to it.
Love to know where the hidden garden is.  You’ll have to show us around our property sometime when you’re visiting Powell River.
Anyway, more on chair arrangements later.  Going to hang out with THE CHAIR right now.
Love Roisin Sunday,

April 26, 2009 11:32 AM

From: Willow

To: Roisin Sheehy-Culhane

You have no idea what joy this has brought to me!
I think that there is a story here, don’t you?  The magical chair that followed its family to Baggi Road?  What is the chance involved in this all happening?
I hope you don’t mind me giving your number to my mom.  She is coming to Vancouver on Thursday and I hope, if you are ok with this, to have her husband Keith and friend Rudy (good old Lund hippies) come and pick it up. My mom will give you a call, but her name is Sharon.
I would love to come and visit you this summer and take a look around the old place. Noah and Danya were good friends of mine and I have lots of stories to tell and maybe we can find that old garden!
Thank you so much for allowing this to unfold.

What a story!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 12:04 PM

From: Kerensa

To: Roisin Sheehy-Culhane

Hi there,

I’m following the chair saga with great interest.  That this could happen in the way it did is facinating. You are right, it should have many a story to tell and we could read all kinds of messages in these developments.  I have a feeling that you were meant to deal with this part, that although it’s lived in my place for so long I was just the caretaker. I wonder how it will end.

How are things with you?  I’ll call later this week.  Tyler is with me today and am busy the next few days…end of the month stuff.

No, I’m good, just busy.Talk to you soon.

Love Kerensa

Thank you so much!

Sunday, May 3, 2009 6:14 AM

From: Willow

To: Roisin

Dear Roisin,

My beloved chair is reunited with me, and I just can’t thank you enough.  It’s sitting right beside my bed and I look at it last thing at night and first thing in the morning.

What once was lost has now been found.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

My, Norman’s and now Willow’s chair story.

Sunday, May 10, 2009 7:19 AM

From: Kerensa

To: Roisin Sheehy-Culhane

Mulan found this on Willow’s Facebook.

From: Mulan

To: Kerensa

Sent: Saturday, May 09, 2009 8:24 AM

Subject: Willow’s chair story

The Chair


Yesterday at 3:06pm

The Chair

Twenty-eight years ago I was a nine year old girl, living in trendy Kitsilano in Vancouver with my mother and older sister, my life, for the moment seemed rather calm and predictable. After an early childhood filled with the hippy lifestyle of the early 70’s in Vancouver-drag queens, communes, pot-filled parties and the like, my mother had settled down into an urban calm. My sister and I took the bus to school. We had friends, and TV. And always, we had the Chair.

The Chair was given to my parents during their short lived and ill fated marriage by my father’s grandmother-my great grandmother, known as Crazy Nanny. Crazy Nanny was a Baptist Holy Roller who lived in a postage stamp sized apartment in Chinatown on Princess Avenue with her cats and her marvelous, antique chair. No one knew where Crazy Nanny ever found the Chair, but that the Chair was part of her life was unquestionable, sitting on guard in her tiny crowded cat-filled apartment when we would go to visit on a Sunday.

The Chair was colossal, with huge wooden curved arms and the most remarkable and animistic carved double claw lion’s feet complete with lion toenails. Crazy Nanny referred to it as the “Louis 14th” chair for no particular reason. When the Chair joined our home my sister and mother and I could all curl up in it. To me it was all-powerful, and a portal to another world. I would sit in the Chair, stroking its sides and have the lion’s feet carry me away to another land where I was a princess with long pink hair or into the past to a joust with knights and ladies, or into the future where I would zoom around in a flying Chair. The Chair would always safely return me after my flights of fancy, safe and sound to my city living room. The great heavy carved Chair was my anchor.

Then my mother announced that we were leaving Vancouver for good. She had enough of the traditional staid city lifestyle. Our reprieve was over. It was time to drop out of society in a permanent way. Her best friend moved to the sleepy hippy village of Lund BC a few years earlier and invited us to join her in her one bedroom cabin with her 14 year old son and herself while we found our own place to live in Lund. My mother was enthralled with this bohemian notion. She could quit her job and leave her boring life behind and make a new life for herself and her girls in Lund.

My sister and I were shocked. Lund was a great place to visit, but not to stay. There was, however, no changing our mother’s mind. She gave us each a small cardboard box to fill with our most prized possessions. Everything else would be given away or go into storage. With 5 of us in a small one bedroom cabin, there was no room for baggage. Our mother announced that the Chair would not be coming with us due to its size. Our next door neighbors had expressed an interest in it and it would be joining their family.

I could not believe this travesty. I could leave my friends and family and life behind in Vancouver, but not The Chair. The Chair was my protector, my friend, my portal to another world; we had to bring it with us. My mother was very clear. We were moving to a tiny village, to the far end of Baggi Road, barely drivable under the best circumstance with a 4 wheel drive car, and there was no way the Chair would or could join us, ever. Never. Done.

So life moved on, we moved on, packing our three small boxes into the back of our blue Volkswagen station wagon and leaving beautiful Vancouver-and the Chair-behind us. The five of us squeezed into the tiny one bedroom cabin at the end of Baggi road with no running water, no bathroom, no electricity, and no Chair. A new chapter in my life began.

I never forgot about my other life, my city life, and when I finished high school I moved back to Vancouver to complete university. Years passed and I became an adult, a wife and a mother. I never forgot about the Chair. A few years ago I started to look for it in antique shops, thinking that the family we gave it to might have let it go and it would be waiting for me-but the Chair eluded me. I searched on Ebay under lion foot +wooden+antique to no avail. I drove to our old house in Kitsilano one day and to my immense vexation discovered that our house had been partially dismantled and turned into “heritage” townhouses. I looked in the window of the next door neighbors house-thinking I might catch a glimpse of the Chair-but the family had obviously moved on and the house belonged to strangers. With no known last names and no forwarding address the Chair seemed lost to me in a swirl of memory and regret like so much of childhood.

Until last week.

In a rush of nostalgia after telling my children for the hundredth time about my magical Chair I decided to look on face book and see if I could track down the next door neighbor girls whose family had been given the Chair. Luckily they had very distinct first names-and after a couple of days I was able to ascertain that they were both in fact on face book. Biting my lip I messaged the older sister, asking her if she remembered me-it had been 28 years-the last time I saw her we played Barbie’s under the stairs while I implored her to take care of my Chair.

I told her in my email I had returned to Vancouver-and never forgot my Chair-if her parents still had it could she tell them that I would love the chance to buy it should they ever want to part with it. My heart beat loudly in my chest as I pressed the send key-would she remember me? Would she respond? Was this even the right girl? Was I just some strange face book Chair stalker? It was so long ago. I phoned my sister to tell her what I had done-she was thrilled and slightly taken aback.

A month passed with no response. I was a little sad but not surprised, I mean-it was crazy, wasn’t it? Then, last week, my blackberry buzzed-there was a message in face book from the older sister. She apologized for taking so long to get back to me-she had been out of the country. Of course she remembered me and my sister, and the Barbie’s and the stairs-and the Chair. Until last year her mother had kept it, then, while downsizing, her mother had given it to another friend for safe keeping. Her mother had spoken to the friend, and the friend was willing to reunite me with my chair.
I think my heart stopped beating for a moment-I sat in a busy coffee shop in Vancouver staring at the tiny screen-suspended in disbelief. The friend who now had the Chair had left Vancouver and moved to Lund, the sleepy hippy village of Lund. And by the most bizarre and unexplained chance had moved far up Baggi Road, the very same virtually impassable small dirt and gravel road that the Chair could never get to-to the cabin right next door to the one bedroom cabin we had moved to those many years ago.

The Chair’s new custodian’s name and email were given to me-she was expecting to hear from me. I emailed the friend and told her the story of the Chair and she could not believe the magical journey that the Chair had taken. As a nine year old girl, leaving my Vancouver life behind I had played in the very same cabin in which she now lived, dreaming of my Chair and my life left behind. One of my close friends had lived in her cabin and I was able to tell her about a hidden strawberry patch on her property that had been there in the forest for decades.

She emailed me back-after my contact she had made a cup of tea and went out to talk to the Chair. She told it what a very good job it had done finding the little girl who had lost it those many years ago and praised its tenacity. The journey was almost over.

Two days later my mother’s husband picked the Chair up from her cabin, and two days ago it was delivered me-here in Vancouver-the circle completed. As we unloaded it to the grass boulevard in the front of the house I could barely even look at it. Instead I sat in it on the side of the road, closed my eyes, and ran my hands along the smooth carved sides. My children jumped into it beside me and we all fit. I felt the warmth of the carved legs and lion’s feet underneath me. I could feel a slight hum from the Chair.

The Chair, the Louis 14th chair, the lion foot chair, my Crazy Nanny’s chair, my Chair took 28 years to find its way back to me. It now sits by my bed. I see it last thing at night and first thing in the morning. I have no doubt that the Chair and I have many adventures ahead of us, and I have promised my Chair that it will never leave my family again.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009 8:31 PM

From: Mi-Jung Lee

To: Roisin

Willow told me about the great story about her chair.  I’m planning on doing a story about it.  Would you be willing to do a brief on camera interview?

Mi-Jung Lee
Mi-Jung Lee

Sent from my BlackBerry

RE: Willow

—–Original Message—–
From: Roisin Sheehy-Culhane
Sent: Wednesday, September 09, 2009 11:54 AM
To: Mi-Jung Lee
Subject: Re: Willow

Sure!  Confirming phone call.  Am checking out info on local camera people.  You know flights to Powell River are 25 mins (approx $200 round trip)?  We would be happy to facilitate in any way…pick up person at airport or Powell River.  Just let us know.

Our website is www.magicaldome.com
Thanks, Roisin (pronounced Rosheen)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009 11:55 AM

From: Mi-Jung Lee

To: Roisin Sheehy-Culhane


I think we may be sending one of our own camera people.  I’ll keep you posted.


Mi-Jung Lee

Questions for the interview

Thursday, September 10, 2009 3:48 PM

From: Mi-Jung Lee

To: Roisin

Please ask Phil to ask you these questions while standing to the side of the camera so you’re not looking straight into the camera while answering but slightly to the side.

How did you get the chair?

What did you think when Willow called you?

What did you do then? (Talk about how you spoke to the chair)

What do you think of this whole journey?

Hi Roisin!

Friday, September 11, 2009 9:06 AM

From: Willow

To: Roisin

It’s Willow-I just wanted to have a quick giggle with you about the ongoing story of the chair-I am so happy you are ok to go along with the taping, and I hope to bring your b and b some publicity!

It will be good to finally “see” you.

Karma makes beautiful circles,

much love,


—– Original Message —–

From: “Roisin Sheehy-Culhane”
To: Willow
Sent: Friday, September 11, 2009 7:20 PM
Subject: Re: Hi Roisin!
Forgot to add, you have a free night at the Magical Dome, whenever it works for you.  Thanks, Roisin

Re: Hi Roisin!

Friday, September 11, 2009 8:58 PM

From: Willow

To: Roisin Sheehy-Culhane

Wow!  That’s so cool, I will definitely take you up on it.  My husband Ron has never seen Baggi road, so what a treat!
Did you know that I am very, very good and close friends with Riah, Jan Lovewell’s daughter?  Riah and I have stayed friends over the years and tells me Jan and you are also friends-I love that.
Did Phil take some footage of your place and you?  How did he send it to CTV?  I can’t wait to see this, I am just on the edge of my seat.  We have to let Karinsa and Sunya and Mulan know!

—– Original Message —–

From: Roisin Sheehy-Culhane
To: Willow
Sent: Saturday, September 12, 2009 8:37 AM
Subject: Re: Hi Roisin!

Phil took footage of me in the Dome with questions provided by Mi-Jung Lee. Course I thought of all the brilliant things I could have said after the film was mailed off!  Hopefully, it’ll work for her.  He took video film of Lund harbour, your old cabin at the end of this property, (now pretty decrepit) the Baggi road signs and of course, Magical Dome!  Mi-Jung should have it by Tues. Phil sent it express post.
My daughter Triona has also had a friendship with Riah.  Her son Devin and Riah’s daughter Chloe are almost the same age.  Believe Triona and Riah were in prenatal together in Vancouver.  I let Kerensa know about the interview, not sure when it will be shown, but I’m sure Mi-Jung will let us know???
THE CHAIR certainly has some powers.
The circle continues!  Wonder what’s next? I’m sure it’ll surprise us.

Love Roisin

chair story

Monday, September 14, 2009 11:28 AM

From: Mi-Jung Lee

Roisin Sheehy-Culhane


Thanks so much for doing this!  Looking forward to seeing the tape.

I’ll let you know when the story will air.


Re: Chair Story

Monday, September 21, 2009 9:58 PM

From: Mi-Jung Lee

To: Roisin Sheehy-Culhane


Please give your husband a big thank you for the footage.  It looks good.  As soon as we get an air date, I’ll let you know.

Re: Hi Roisin!

Friday, September 25, 2009 2:04 PM

From: Willow

To: Roisin Sheehy-Culhane

Hello you two!!!!
The story is supposed to be on the 6 pm news tonight on CTV,  can’t wait to finally see you!!!!!
Let’s make Baggi Road proud.

Magical Dome BCTV News

Friday, September 25, 2009 2:59 PM

From: Roisin Sheehy-Culhane

tonight (fri)
BCTV News 6 pm
Mi-Jung Lee is doing a feature on
the Magical Dome

—– Original Message —–

From: Roisin Sheehy-Culhane

To: Willow
Subject:  Re:  Hi Roisin!

Hi Willow:

Sweet story, good to meet you and family!  Look forward to you staying at the Magical Dome.  Great to see CHAIR happy in it’s new home.  Think CHAIR needs a name.  Roisin

Re: Hi Roisine!

Friday, September 25, 2009 7:41 PM

From: willow

To: Roisin Sheehy-Culhane

Do you have any ideas? It was great to see you finally, and the dome again!

— On Fri, 9/25/09, Willow


—– Original Message —–

From: Roisin Sheehy-Culhane
To: willow
Cc: Kerensa
Sent: Sunday, September 27, 2009 2:07 PM
Subject: Chair

> Hi Willow:  I have some ideas for a name for THE CHAIR.  Going to cc this to Kerensa.  She had THE CHAIR in her life for a lot longer than we did, so see what ideas she has.

Re: Chair

Sunday, September 27, 2009 2:16 PM

From: Willow

To: Roisin Sheehy-Culhane

Cc: Kerensa

Ok, just as long as it’s not “Norman’s Chair!” it never was!
Here’s the clip,

Re: Chair

Tuesday, September 29, 2009 10:12 AM

From: Kerensa

To: Willow

cc: Roisin Sheehy-Culhane

Hello Willow.
I loved the clip.  Great story.  I’m sorry that I just cannot think of the chair as any else but “Norman’s” chair.  We had been friends before he met your mom and moved in together and I just assumed that it was his to give. When he passed away, the chair kept his memory alive and prevented me from selling it even years ago. When we moved to Tanzania we put it into storage, and later when we moved to South Africa my sister had to take care of it. Even when I had no space for it I wanted to find a home for it with someone who knew him instead of selling it.  When Roisine offered to take it I was very thankful for it sort of seemed appropiate.
Maybe now I will start thinking of it as “Willow’s chair”. but it does not matter to me at all.
Q. Why a name for it?

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