Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sailed through that weekend!

September sunshine is the very best! We've been enjoying day after day of weather in the mid 20's. While it's a bit tough to take in a non-air-conditioned classroom, it makes for a fabulous weekend. Above are some quick shots taken of the sailboat races that were going on right in front of our place both Saturday and Sunday -- gorgeous drama!

The rest of the weekend was great too. We had a lovely dinner at The Wesley Street Cafe on Friday night, a nice re-entry to each other's company (that's always a bit of an adjustment after the week apart). I had my favourite little oysters on the half-shell followed by some melt-in-your-mouth sablefish (could be a new favourite and the fishery's apparently in good shape) while Paul was kind enough to share his silky, creamy, succulent duck liver paté starter altho' he kept all his main to himself (halibut accompanied by a fabulous-looking little tart topped by four giant prawns -- yumm!). They have a wonderful wine list at The Wesley Street and Gaetan's a talented sommelier (with the awards to prove it) so we generally go with their recommendation -- this time a Pinot Noir from the Naramata Bench (since we were in the mood for red). Every time we eat here, we are reminded how lucky we are to have a restaurant this good in such a small city.

Saturday I ran two hours. If you'd told me a few years ago that I would not only do this but truly enjoy it, I would have assumed you didn't know me at all. But two years ago, after following a simple training guide through the late winter, spring, and summer, I ran two half-marathons in the fall. Everything you've heard about the endorphin release known as the "runner's high" I learned to be true -- for me it kicks in somewhere between 14 and 17 kilometres and it provides a buzz that carries me through the next few days. After those two races, I had problems first with my back, then with my Achilles' tendon, that slowed me down for a while, but I've been cautiously adding kilometres over the last few months. I love the space my head gets to over the two hours while my body's concentrating on moving one foot after another. First, I work through the mental clutter and then I'm just in the physical moment and finally I'm able to focus on what needs to be worked out. I'm not sure how much I'll be able to keep up this level of training as the term progresses, but I'd love to be able to run the Fall Classic Half Marathon at UBC at the end of November.

Saturday evening we had a colleague and his family for dinner. We've hardly entertained at all this summer and I wondered why we don't make the effort more often. Seasonal, local food -- barbecued butterflied leg of lamb (marinated in a great hoisin-lavender-garlic-gingery sauce), roast baby potatoes, corn on the cob, and roasted peppers, followed by blackberry pie (from blackberries that grow at the edge of our property). Good company, yummy food, lovely weather -- a fitting way to toast the end of summer.

And on Sunday, we attended another house concert -- Blues/Folk by our resident musicians, David Essig and Rick Scott -- a preview of a CD they're finishing up, all music written, arranged, produced here on our little island. Outside, through the picture windows, sailboats dotted the seas and seaplanes crossed the sky, while inside we listened to David and Rick introduce and play two seasons' worth of new music.

No wonder it's hard to get back to work!


  1. Sounds like a lovely weekend! I envy your ability to run; I really miss it but with my joints (and now my "bionic" hip) it's a big no-no. Two! That's quite an accomplishment and you deserve every endorphin moment.

  2. Pseu: I know I'm really lucky right now that I'm able to run -- I keep careful watch, though, for any possible injuries as I'd much rather be still be walking at 95.

  3. As long as I've been reading your blog I've admired the fact that you run regularly - I had no idea that you only started 2 years ago! I have the book - 'Running Start to Finish' by John Stanton - and the shoes but also a ready collection of excuses! In the end I prefer walking. :0) Patricia

  4. Patricia: To clarify, I've run for years, but the most I'd ever aim for was the occasional 10K event. Then I had an injury or two that pretty much switched me to walking only about seven or eight years ago -- It's from that non-running situation that I "came back" about two years ago.
    I really enjoy walking as well, but running just gets me in a different frame of mind.

  5. Hard to describe my delight running across Dave Essig's name. Over 25 years ago he was one of my favourite acts at Smale's Pace in London, Ontario (and many folk festivals). Some of his songs are in my permanent mental playlist. A generous performer and amazing musicologist.

    Whoa, you're eating well there!

  6. Duchesse: Yes, we're eating and listening well here. David's a neighbour of ours on the island as is Rick Scott (of Pied Pumpkin, another old Cdn. folk music pedigree). There are several other professional musicians here as well so that the house concerts are pretty wonderful -- we're very fortunate.
    I'll be sure to pass your comments on to David -- and you might check his website to see when the new CD is being released.

  7. Oh sure, I used to see Pied Pumpkin there too, and Willie P. Bennett, Stan Rogers, both gone now. Dave Bradstreet, Brent Titcomb- southern Ontario was a hothouse of musicians.

  8. I find I can run forever if I'm listening to an audio just gets too repetitive.

  9. Duchesse: One of the songs Rick and David performed on Sunday was an elegy David had written for Willie P. Bennett.
    Thomas: I've never tried running with an audio book -- I used to listen to CBC radio on my Walkman back in the day, but now I prefer just to be in my own head, even, or maybe especially, for the long runs.

  10. I am hoping to get back to running now that I am out of the hell of Texas. I really love the sense of moving through space that running gives you. Also, it is a great balance for me as I tend to live in my mind a little too much and running puts me squarely in my body.

    You really have created a lovely life that allows for so many pleasures of mind and body: poetry, teaching,gardening, knitting, music, friends and food. Do you know how lucky you are?? I think you do. You inspire me to work towards a little more balance in my life.

  11. Red Weasel: Yes, that's why I love to run as well -- staying in the body for a change.
    And thanks for the reminder about my life's riches -- this week, my colleagues and I have been commiserating over the way our jobs, during term, don't allow time for the rest of life -- Looking at my blogposts I can remember all those other elements of a balanced life and keep striving for it (or at least remembering what it was like, when school was out!)


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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