Showing posts from January, 2018

Down to the Sea

One of the first poems I remember learning is John Masefield's "Sea Fever." I lived in the interior and very rarely saw the sea. The rhythm and longing in the second stanza awakened in me the desire to spend time beside the ocean. I couldn't imagine being on it. 
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied; And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying. My first extended time at the sea was in Ecuador, where we traveled from our home in a small jungle town, up, up, up and over the Andes Mountains, then down, down, down steep and winding roads to the beach. 
At first, I didn't like it very much. I was used to northern lakes, limpid morning and evening, where the haunting cry of loons echoed in the still quiet. 
In contrast, the ocean was never quiet. Waves rose and fell unrelenting against the sand and rocks, …

A Satisfying Weekend

Weekends are a chance to catch up on a few things around here. However, I've learned that it does no good to race around trying to accomplish too much. At the very least, I do the laundry, clean the bathrooms, and do a quick vacuum of the floors. 

Meals are taken leisurely, for the most part. If I feel like cooking, I do, if I don't, well, there's plenty of stuff in the freezer that's easy to heat up. This weekend was a combination - some cooking, some freezer items. Saturday breakfast was baked eggs with Brie and prosciutto. 

On Saturday night we invited children and grandchildren over with the express purpose of helping to whittle down some of the holiday appetizers that still languish in the freezer. Soup and appetizers was the menu, along with a tray of cut up vegetables. 

Tulips are in the stores now, and I can't resist picking them up. These are fresh and just beginning to open. Such a pretty shade of pink. 

The glow of twinkle lights on the mantel makes me feel …

A January Walk

Last Sunday the clouds scattered, skies lifted, and the desire for a long walk led us to the Selkirk and Songhees walkways. From Victoria's protected harbour, a winding waterway, The Gorge, meanders inland. Along its shores residential and industrial buildings mix in relative harmony. 

Several bridges cross The Gorge Waterway, including our infamous Blue Bridge, soon to be replaced by another. Construction has been long and fraught with delays of one sort or another, but in a few months, the iconic bridge above will be replaced by a sleeker, modern version. 

Roses in January? How can that be? These were blooming in the shelter of shrubs. Such pretty blossoms for winter. 

We saw many birds along the way, including Mr. Old Grumpy, aka Great Blue Heron. 

Others had the same desire for fresh air and when a woman coming from the other direction cried out, "oh look," I looked. From a stone wall above the walkway, a clump of snowdrops looked down on passersby. 

Cloud-streaked skies …

January Comforts

During this rainy, dark month, I crave colour. I wear a bright scarf, perhaps pink or cobalt, and put bright oranges on a cheerful plate from Mexico. Rosemary survives the winters here, and I dash out between the raindrops to clip a sprig or two to throw into a roast chicken, or a warming beef stew.

Although it's only been a week since school started, I'm exhausted. A couple of days of filling in for another teacher turned into all week, and next as well. I came home on Thursday, completed knackered (don't you think that's a great word?), and felt the need for a little self-care. The cheese, orange, and tea were lovely, but as someone who saw the photo on FB said, "where's the chocolate?" Where, indeed? I was all out. That was remedied today!

We slept in today, then lingered over a bacon and egg breakfast. A bit of laundry, grocery shopping, and some house puttering filled the rest of the day. Puttering included repotting a couple of houseplants, and findin…

Back to Real Life

During last week's trip to the mainland, Tim and I stopped at Brae Island for a walk. The island is in the Fraser River, alongside Fort Langley, built by the Hudson Bay Trading Company in 1827. The fort itself is a National Historic Site, and there is also a small town grown up beside it. It's a fun place to wander, with cute shops and interesting buildings. But this was New Year's Day and little was open. 

The Fraser River is navigable by fairly large ships for a long ways. These abandoned pilings bear mute witness to the industry that once bustled along the shores. 

In the Garibaldi Mountain Range across the river, these peaks played peek-a-boo with the clouds. The peaks were originally named the Golden Eyries, but the name became Golden Ears, and that's how these peaks are known today. The park encompassing the mountains is popular with hikers and campers, although I wouldn't have wanted to be camping up there in January. 

Once home again, I spent some time sewing.…

Back from a Little Jaunt

On the second-to-last day of 2017, we boarded the ferry for a trip to the mainland. We spent a couple of nights in Vancouver, with our youngest daughter and her husband. I didn't take a single photo. The weather was chilly and sunny. 

We brought in the New Year with a crab dinner, watching Star Wars on Netflix, and headed to bed shortly after midnight. 

On the first we wound our way through Vancouver, crossed the Port Mann Bridge and drove along Highway 1 towards Chilliwack. As we approached Abbotsford, the scenery beside the road changed dramatically from greens and browns to crystal clear and white. 

The ice coating caused by the storm a few days earlier was preserved by the cool weather. The first photo shows a blank billboard along the highway that I decided to write in. 

My grandfather once owned a raspberry field alongside the highway. I spent a summer picking berries there and always think of him, and that summer, when I drive by. It's now a blueberry field, and although th…