Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First day back survived, check

Today's class went well, but I felt absolutely obliterated by the time I got home. I'm walking to and from campus again this year which shouldn't be a big deal since I've been running 25-30kilometres weekly (divided, of course, into 3 or so runs). But whether it was the gear-changing, or the walking, or just the performance anxiety (not to mention the performance itself), I'm too tired even to go to the farewell party for my good friend Alison. Instead, I'm in pj's at 6:30, watching Buffy DVDs. Tomorrow, I'll be facing three classes, so I hope I pick up some energy from somewhere (none from my new shoes yet, as they weren't in yet when I stopped by to try them out today, deep sigh).
The photos here are all from last week's visit to the UBC Anthropology Museum, mentioned in this post. We are truly rich in heritage here on the Pacific Northwest Coast.

I haven't got the stamina to do better than random, but I hope to adjust and snap back into better blogging soon. Meanwhile, all of my Paris-loving readers, you must pick up the September issue of Gourmet magazine, on newstands now. It's got some wonderful suggestions for meals under $50 -- we were tickled to see a recommendation for a lunch-under-$50 at a place we pass regularly when we return to our hotel in the 13th. We've always wondered why more people didn't patronize Christophe's -- indeed, we would regularly see Christophe sitting outside in the sunshine as we wandered "home" at 7:30, and there was no evidence crowds would be materializing to devour his food any time soon. Yet we had a wonderful meal there and the very personable chef came out to chat with us a bit about the dessert -- the most wonderful millefeuille with a glorious lemon cream. I wonder if he'll still have time to sit in the sun now that Ruth Reichl has sung his praises.

In other bits of randomness, one of our favourite Nanaimo restaurants, Drift, has reopened after shocking us all with a sudden, unexplained closure (turned out to be difficulties with financing after a dishwasher broke down, from what I've gathered). Closed for two months, so that we had almost given up hope, it re-opened last week and we were in to check it out Friday night. They'll be doing dinners only now, which suits us just fine, and there are a few changes to the menu, also fine with us. One of my daughters teases us about going to the same places again and again, but I find real pleasure in knowing I'll be treated well and can count on good food. Not that we don't enjoy trying out new places as well -- it's not either/or, right? What's your preference?

And finally, we were fortunate enough to attend a house concert on our little island Sunday -- a flute trio, one of whose members is a longtime fellow islander. The music was delightful -- a brilliant range of music, some from the flute trio repertoire and some arranged by the musicians themselves -- Cleopatra's aria, for example, from Handel's opera. Have any of you had the opportunity to attend house concerts? They're a marvellous way to experience live music on a very intimate scale -- I think they work fairly well for the musicians altho' no one will ever get rich on them. The host has to be a fairly generous soul with a love of music as she or he will be welcoming 40 or more people into their home, often providing light refreshments as well. We're ever so lucky here that a number of islanders are either professional musicians or the generous supporting souls so that we've been able to listen to a variety of music genres over the past year in this kind of setting. Sunday after next we're even going to a house-to-house concert -- a trio of concerts over an afternoon, a moveable feast of music. Can't wait.

11 comments:

  1. The house concert sounds really enjoyable. The closest we've come was on a visit to Cape Breton. My husband's nephew was getting ready to go to school in Asia for a year, so his parents gave him a party at home for all his friends. At the same time there was a family gathering for all of us who had come 'home' (it's a big house!). Amongst the teenagers were a brother and sister who were part of a recording group (Celtic music). At one point the brother sat at the piano in the living room while the sister sang - it was magical! We all crowded into the room (I think I had to crane my neck in from the hallway). Of course, we went right out the next day and bought one of their CDs! Patricia

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  2. Patricia: That concert sounds wonderful in its spontaneity and the family closeness -- I've not yet managed to get to Cape Breton, but would love to, especially for the music.

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  3. The house concert sounds lovely. The closest we get are municipal outdoor summer concerts, which I always forget about until the day after.

    Hang in there, you'll be back in the swing of classes before you know it.

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  4. Thanks for the encouragement, Pseu.
    I'm pleased to report that today was already much easier than yesterday, even though I taught three courses compared to yesterday's one.

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  5. There is nothing quite like the exhaustion of the first week back, I am happier once the teaching kicks in, it's the planning that gives me a kingsize headache. I too went to bed early last night and already rely on the alarm to get me up! Not helped by some of the most heavily overcast skys I have ever seen. I cannot believe we only came home 10 days ago.

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  6. I recognize that exhaustion, I always think it comes from interacting with so many people in one day. I'm with you on the favourite restaurants, I love trying new places but I love going back to the reliably good places too.

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  7. Yes, hang in, apply Buffy, glass of wine as needed!

    We are resto regulars. There's nothing like a warm welcome and 'restauranteur's pet' treatment. We tried a very well-reviewed place
    last weekend (and waited till the crowds died down.) $9 for three slices of heirloom tomatoes. SO now I know about Cowbell. Oops, I named names. How is that better than knowing we'll have superb meal and personal attention? I do try new places but ratio is 80/20 familiar to new.

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  8. Alison: It's always amazing how quickly we move beyond our recent vacations back into our daily routines.
    Cybill: yes, much of the exhaustion is just from all the social demands, the new names and faces.
    Duchesse: Those must have been some fabulous tomatoes ;-)
    That ratio is very close to ours.

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  9. I love Northwest native arts. I think I remember reading somewhere that the reason the art was so rich and varied in your region was because the life was relatively easy for the native peoples, i.e. plenty of food and the weather was not too bad. Thanks for sharing some pictures. I would love to visit the Anthropology museum. It looks fantastic.

    And, thanks for the heads up on this month's Gourmet.

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  10. LBR: I've read the same explanation -- and why am I not surprised that you're so knowledgeable about this?
    Besides the Anthropology Museum, we've got a newly-opened Native Art Public Gallery (the Bill Reid Gallery) that I have yet to check out.
    and you're welcome re Gourmet -- looks good, doesn't it?! If we're not in Paris, we can dream . . .

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  11. You are so sweet!!!

    When you go to the Bill Reid gallery please take and post pictures. I love this kind of stuff.

    Dreaming of Paris is starting to return. I guess that means I am feeling a little better. And, I just picked up the Gourmet magazine at Whole Foods.

    Have a lovely weekend.xo

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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