Tuesday, March 18, 2008

That weekend just sailed by!

Like these boats, the weekend sailed by quickly and enjoyably. The pace of academic life is such that from the beginning of each term, we quickly start counting the weeks, and while weeks five, six, and seven seemed particularly tough and I sometimes felt I'd never make it through, now, the calendar pages turn quickly so that there are only four weeks left now, soon three, then two . . . Soon I'll be delivered into a freer time with much marking but no classes to prepare, no lectures to deliver, no performance adrenaline to dredge up. After that, wonderfully, there will be whole weeks to devote to reading and writing, perhaps an article will get sent off, a conference proposal submitted, creative changes made to course syllabi. (Not to mention the knitting, gardening, running and walking, visiting, napping. Oh, yes, and a visit to Paris and Lisbon) Meanwhile, the weekdays are full with classes to be prepared and led while the weekends are for marking and for keeping up with my students' reading (I have three novels to re-read for next week!). This past week, I've been stealing hours to put together a proposal for a conference to be held next October in Edmonton -- thought I'd have to work late last night to finish it and submit it, but when I checked the conference website, I found the deadline had been extended for two weeks. A lovely reprieve! Then today, I had several visitors from a Japanese university sit in on my 4th-year class in West Coast Literature, which meant a bit of extra preparation and a whole barrelful of performance adrenaline. The class went very well with my students convincingly demonstrating how much they've learned so far, but I came home quite exhausted. The Japanese visitors were lovely, though, and they brought me a beautiful wee box of French chocolate -- dark truffles, not too sweet, absolutely perfect -- and a box of equally exquisite, buttery, delicately thin and crispy cookies.
And since we're speaking of good things to eat, can I tell you about the meal we shared with good friends Saturday night? I made this simple but delicious carrot salad from Sarah Woodward's Tastes of North Africa -- I love the colour and will advance it as one of my Project Spectrum contributions. The salad accompanied the Moroccan Beef Short Ribs Tagine from a Bon Appetit recipe, also served with Honey-Glazed Butternut Squash (also Bon Appetit). We finished up with a pie I made with blackberries from the freezer (blackberries I picked last summer at some risk). Paul made his yummy tapenade as a starter and he prepared the squash, but otherwise, he let me do the cooking this time -- rather unusual around here, but I think I did a decent job. With the two of us working together, having friends for dinner is easy and the good food with great conversation was a pleasant alternative to taking the boat into town on a Saturday night.

I'll leave you with more sailboat pictures, shall I? There are races in the waters in front of us every Sunday (our Saturday evening dining companions were racing; I think theirs is the blue-spinnakered boat in the top photo). These sailors below came very close to shore . . .

before turning to head out again.
And here's the fleet, with the freighter just behind -- at least the freighter's crew will have had some action to liven up their Sunday.
After classes tomorrow, I catch a seaplane over to Vancouver so that I can make a Hawksley Workman concert, and then I'll fly back over Thursday morning. We've been fans from the first CD, so as soon as I heard he was doing a show, I tried to figure out how I could get to it -- mid-week in another city seemed impossible. But where there's a will . . . So I'm hoping there's not too much wind tomorrow and Thursday. The 20-minute flight, harbour to harbour, is so easy compared to taking the 95-minute ferry ride (especially since the ferry lands 30-45 minutes by bus from downtown Vancouver).

And by the time I get back, we'll have sailed up to another weekend!


  1. You are living an idyllic life over there my friend. I'm not sure that's how you spell idyllic, but my brain is not so sharp this morning.

  2. Thomas: your morning-dull brain spells well. And yes, I'm pretty fortunate -- keeping this blog has been a great way for me to be even more aware of that.


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