On Saturday, the wind blew in from the Pacific; a steady stream that boded ill for the wildfire situation in the interior of the province. The fires continue and about 45,000 people have been evacuated from their homes. We here on the Island are a bit distant, but no less concerned. Thankfully, no lives have been lost.
Saturday evening Tim and I went downtown. It's fun to mingle with the tourists and walk along the waterfront. The world comes to Victoria in the summer, via cruise ships, bus tours, and independent travelers. We welcome them. Dinner, for us, was at a favourite Mexican restaurant on Fisherman's Wharf, a bustling community where commercial fishermen dock their boats, people live on float houses, and a number of great seafood restaurants ply their wares. Combine that with live entertainment and the dramatic skies seen above, plus fish tacos, for the makings of a fun and casual evening.
On Sunday evening friends came for dinner. A pitcher of mint-raspberry water was both pretty and delicious. Next time, I'll put the raspberries in overnight - by the next morning the water was delicate pink with a marked taste of fresh raspberries.
Paella was on the menu. One of my friends wanted to learn how to make it, so we worked together, chopping, sauteeing, and stirring. It turned out very well and the six of us went through an amazing amount of it.
I went to Butchart Gardens two days in a row - once where I met a friend (previous post), and the second day with a favourite little man. I use my annual pass well. Mr. F's mother used to work at the gardens and, as a result, has a lifetime pass, so the gardens are very familiar to Mr. F.
He was quite clear on what he wanted to see. "I want to see the (s)pitting frog. I want to see the (s)pitting snail. I want to see the garden in a big hole (sunken garden). I want to see the (s)pitting dragon." So we crisscrossed the gardens to see what we wanted, without following much of the prescribed route. In the Japanese Garden, we walked over bridges and stepping stones, circling back around to do it all over again. Several times. All the (s)pitting things (s)pitted admirably.
He drops the initial s and it makes me smile.
Backtracking a little to Sunday afternoon - we went blueberry picking. We eat a lot of them, mainly with yogurt or granola in the winter. Our bushes can't provide enough for us, so we went to a U-pick farm, and picked 40 pounds. They are all in the freezer now.
Fresh dill and pickling cucumbers at the market inspired me to put up a few quarts of dill pickles.
I rambled around my garden this morning, admiring the flowers, the bees in the lavender, the squash flowers and small fruits. The sweet peas are gorgeous this year and I keep them blooming by clipping regularly. It's a double win - sweetly scented bouquets in the house and more blooms in the garden.
The sweet peas at Butchart Gardens are also doing well. I overheard some visitors saying, "oh, let's pick one and eat it," so I cautioned them that they are not edible.
There's been some reading. Armchair travel via the two bottom books, and light mysteries via the first two. I can't decide if I like Dominic LeJeune, the protagonist of this series. He's a bit too moody.
The week also included tea with a cousin. She and I are both fond of blue. So I end this rambling post with a blue hydrangea blossom. The weekend holds ramblings of a different sort. How about you? Have you rambled near or far?