Oh, one last thing -- thanks to all who participated in my recent poll of what you liked or wanted changed about my blog. Looks as if most of you are enjoying it as is, but about 20% would like to see a bit more about island life -- hence today's post, with a bit of island flavour. Now we should all head back into the sun and enjoy this precious August weekend.
Sunday, August 5, 2007
More sun! More waves! More sand!
I'm paraphrasing Zoom at Sea, a wonderful children's book by Tim Wynne-Jones. I can't look up the exact quotation 'cause the book's long gone to the bookshelves of my grown-up daughter, but I think I'm pretty close -- The adventuring cat, Zoom, has magically discovered the ocean, and he's both exulting in it and calling rapturously for even more! It's a call I remember spontaneously on the best days of summer, the days when you just glory in the sheer summer-ness of the perfect August day. One like this . . .
That was the view from my porch last Wednesday evening, Wednesdays being sailboat race night here through the summer.
Amazingly, that good weather has held on right through this long August weekend. Paul took Friday off work and we stocked up on groceries, picked up some plants for the garden, and he very helpfully took my bike in for a tune-up (on the island, that means hauling the bike onto the boat -- first negotiating our challenging docks--then off on the other side and, of course, doing it all in reverse to come home again). Then we settled in to enjoy the sunshine with a weekend parade of guests. We had good friends for a barbecued lamb dinner Friday night (I have a recipe for a fabulous marinade -- features hoisin, soya sauce, ginger, vermouth, and lavender!) and enjoyed some of our Okanagan wine. At the end of the evening, my eldest daughter and her husband arrived for the weekend. It's always so good to see them -- they're interesting, funny, considerate people who always fit well with whatever company we have. We've all just been hanging around together enjoying the easy summer pace, reading the weekend papers (except for Bronwen, who's trying to power-read her way through Harry Potter, 'cause her brother's expecting the book to still be here when he arrives on Tuesday), eating relaxed meals. Then yesterday evening my other daughter phoned 'cause she and her guy were going out on his boat, so we all arranged to meet for a few beer at our island's floating pub -- a talented musician was playing, the beer was good, and we felt pretty blessed to be enjoying the company of two daughters and their partners.
Today, I've been out for a run already--my knee and Achilles are bothering me a bit, but I seem to be able to run fairly comfortably as long as I warm up enough. On the way 'round the island, I noticed that Anna is selling pie apples at her little stand -- so when I got home, I grabbed some loonies for her (honour system) money box, biked back, and filled a bag. Pie for dessert tonight with fresh-off-the-tree island apples. We have some friends from Ottawa arriving in a few hours with their four-year old daughter, so I've been cleaning up the guest cottage, and Paul's going to head to town to restock the pantry. Right now, though, he's got bacon frying and I can hear him mixing up pancakes to go with the maple syrup our friends Louis and Gail brought over the other evening. They make it from the trees on their acreage out in Cassidy and are getting ready to ramp up production and distribution under this great label. So if we decide to try sticking religiously to the 100-mile diet, at least we won't have to do without sweets!
Before I go eat my pancakes, I'll give you a quick glimpse of the Rocketry cardigan. This was such fun to knit, although I was a bit silly about the main trim colour, panicking about running out when I'd just mislaid the second ball. (In fact, I realized when I packed the leftovers in with those from the Tulip Cardigan, I had the same colour leftover from that sweater, so I had more than enough.) What was most fun about knitting this--especially for someone who hasn't much experience with seamless sweaters knit in one piece from the top down (this was only the third I've done this way)--was the way you gather up stitches for the ribbed edging all around the sweater. The bottoms, sides, neck, collar -- these stitches all get gathered onto a circular needle with the sweater itself scrunched below, and as row after row of ribbing gets completed, it's almost like having a strange-looking shower cap below the needles. I also loved how easy it was to put the buttonholes in -- just one row of counting out exactly as the pattern instructed, so there was no measuring at all, but the buttonholes are perfectly spaced. And once again, the Dream in Colour Superwash Worsted Merino is worth raving about, not just for the rich, fun, semi-solid colours, but also for the soft squooshiness which makes it perfectly suited to a baby's skin.
and what about this photo, which I'm cornily calling "Best Friends Forever" is this cute or what?