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?

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.


  1. Island life looks fabulous. I'll have to try and get the boys over before summer's over. I'd love to have your lamb marinade recipe. It sounds marvelous. Then I'll have to remember which friends like lamb and invite them over. I love lamb, but it seems that there are many people who just don't like it. I should really have a little black book of which friends eat what. I went to make a pasta salad the other night, and my friend we were having over for the BBQ phoned from Thrifty's to see if I needed anything. When I asked if she could pick me up some sliced black olives I could hear the quiet in her voice that they were just something she could live without. Thus, I switched up the recipe and made a very simple salad that everyone raved about. (I guess olives wouldn't fit into the 100 mile diet - do they grow on the island at all?)

    On the topic of the 100 mile diet, we saw a fabulous exhibit at the Tate Modern on sustainable cities. It's great to see that people all over the world are trying to reduce their footprint. In France it seems that everything is local and it so it seems to be easier to by local there. Even Thrifty's yesterday had peaches from the US. I'll take an Okanagan peach anyday (I guess that's more than 100 miles) but tell me where I can buy it!

    Love the cardigans. The colours are fabulous.

  2. Here's the link to the Tate Modern exhibit if anyone's interested.

  3. Thanks for the comments, Leona -- yes, lamb's a tricky one, altho' I can't quite understand why people don't like it -- our kids are okay on it, except for Rhi.
    The Tate exhibit looks great -- seems to deal with some of the same stuff as that Bruce Mau Design show that started at the VAG a few years ago. I love the Tate building itself and hope to get back there some day -- a long way from island life.

  4. Wow!
    What a great, descriptive post. It sounds like you had a fantastic weekend.
    I can't wait until I get some time and can come over for a visit.
    See you on Wednesday, I'm looking forward to "the introduction".
    love megs
    I will take a cardigin in a size medium ;)

  5. I wish we had made it up for the weekend rather than the midweek.
    Sigh - I guess Joey and I will have to just have the home all to ourselves.

    I like that cardigan with the brown. Nice work!

  6. Thanks for having Adam and I for the weekend... we had a great time and were so lucky with the weather! I hope Zach isn't paying close attention to your blog though since he will be disappointed if he goes looking for the new Harry Potter at your place. (Zach, if you're reading this, I will mail it to you ASAP!)


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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