A walk on the quiet side…

Exhilarating though it is to be (safely, and from a distance) facing into the teeth of powerful storms, or pretending to do so just after they pass, it is also quite exhausting. Nature’s noise and frenzy is exciting for sure, but sometimes it’s nice to wander on the quiet side.

Still

This is what we did last week, heading out in a different direction for our morning walk, on an almost dry day, stepping away from the coastal trails and across town to the inlet side.

Inner harbour

It’s rarely entirely calm, being so maritime, but on the inlet side it can get close to almost quiet. The rain had stopped, and the wind was barely there, as reflected in the still water. We saw a few ducks – my eyesight and identification skills aren’t up to positive naming – but they were fun to spot. One flew below us, past where we stood overlooking the inlet, a long graceful swoop and glide along the top of the water, a slight skimming wake created before setting down. Nice landing!

Touches of colour!

Although the day was muted and grey, we enjoyed the pops of colour from the floats on boats and the bright paintwork on the wooden and metal harbour railings.

Almost calm

We’ll head back out on the wild side for sure, but it was very pleasant to have the option of a walk on the quiet side!

The quiet side

Thanks for reading, and we hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Log, rock, wind and rain…

Could be a nursery rhyme, could be what we chant as we head along the shore, and it could sum up our recent outings.

Yesterday morning had the sort of weather that could ruin your hair do, but with a toque and rain hood protecting my hair don’t, and Scout happy enough as a high shedding short hair, we didn’t let the start of a storm stop us from looking great as we headed out.

Straggly and flattened, as the barber often tells me

Definitely a high energy nature turning up the power kind of a morning. Gulls were wheeling and swooping, seemingly just for the fun of it. Waves rushed in, sporting wind blown crests and crowns, and the noise was almost overwhelming – rain on hood, wind through trees, screeching gulls, the lighthouse foghorn, and the scrunch/crunch gravel sounds of the tide running up and then down. What a blast!

A blast!

Earlier in the week, we’d trotted back up the trail to see if our favourite little cove was accessible, knowing full well it wouldn’t be even after the bulk of the storm had passed. We could hear the thump and thud of logs in the surf before we got there, and when we reached our little viewpoint just off the trail, we were met with quite the sight. I even took a short video:

A short video

Anyway, we’ll keep it fairly brief this week as we need some time to towel dry our hair, see if we can’t get ourselves halfway presentable. Although, why bother, as rumour has it there’s another big one rolling in this weekend! Ready? Log, rock, wind and rain…

“No, no, not this one, I’m not ready – look at my hair!”

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

“Yes, this one!”

Incoming

The turn of the year has brought a fair number of blustery days, and these have been good for blowing away any cobwebs and waking us up.

A day to be above and not on the beach

We’ve stuck to the coastal trails after each storm, excited to see the waves and admire the churning waters. One of our favourite little beaches has been off limits due to high tides and strong surges. On a calm day you can sit beneath the rocks and look up at the enormous logs, marvelling at how big the weather must have been to wash them up there.

That’ll do it

We’re looking forward to calm day so we can scramble down to the beach, see what’s been washed up – Scout is convinced there must be a decent chew twig or two – and we wouldn’t mind a few quiet minutes with a cup of coffee and waving at the resident bald eagles drying their feathers out (the two wet blobs in a couple of the photos this week are the said eagles – they are stoic!)

Churning

Looking at the forecast for the next couple of weeks, those calmer days are still a little while off, but it’s been pleasant to notice and enjoy an extra daylight minute or two as the days slowly lengthen…

Here comes another one!

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Very big matchsticks
January 2022 Down on that beach, on a calm day!

Happy New Year!

Power on, power off, power back on, snow, wind, freezing rain, heavy rain, and more rain. We’ve been enjoying some big and breezy weather the past few days, but haven’t been hammered as hard as other places. We hope all is well with you, wherever you might be. Keeping it brief, and wishing you all the best for the year ahead!

Here it comes!

Hopefully a less turbulent year, perhaps drama free and a little more calm, be that politically, economically, environmentally and in all our interactions. I know, but it doesn’t hurt to hope…

Choppy, off kilter…oh no!

Thanks for reading, always appreciated, and we hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Winter light

We’re just past the solstice and enjoying the winter light and the promise of more daylight hours. Hello winter!

Low winter sun

We’ve had rainy days, snowy days, grey days and a few golden days the past little while, all pleasant enough, and illustrated here in the accompanying photographs.

Snowy days!
Morning light

I’ll keep it very brief this week, as we send warm wishes to you for the season if you choose to celebrate, and hope you have a great time with family and friends, perhaps close to a forest, lake, beach, mountain or other preferred natural environment!

Brisk on the beach
Green days

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Good morning? I think so…

Almost home

Scout and I enjoyed a couple of almost warm and mostly sunny walks one day earlier this week. We rounded the last bend of the street just before home and found we liked the way the smoke from a nearby chimney was wafting through and across the treetops.

Almost home (and two Narnia streetlights)

The second of our two walks that day took us along the coastal path to a sunny little spot that is often warm in the sun even if the overall air temperature is low. It proved to be so that afternoon, and we enjoyed a pleasant few minutes in the sun. Never one to be still too long, Scout was soon pushing for us to move on.

“Let’s go!” (I like how Scout almost matches the diagonal lines in this one – but as far as Scout is concerned, it’s about her, not the lines…)

I was surprised by how low the sun was, although I shouldn’t have been given we’re approaching the shortest daylight hours very soon. The next photograph was taken before 2pm but seems later:

1:37 PM

We hurried along the path for a few more minutes, wanting to enjoy more of the sun and sparkling water before darkness fell and winter returned. Yes, the rumour is that we’ll be experiencing a little more snow sometime next week. I’m trying not to get too excited, but please let it snow, let it snow, let it snow, as somebody once sang. Not me.

1:35 PM (I couldn’t think of a caption)

Almost home! Not too bad. I’ll leave it here this week, and wish you a wonderful weekend ahead!

PS For anyone excited by the baking adventures I’ve been having as prompted by Nigel Slater, I had a go at his banana and cardamom cake, and it was pretty good. Banana and cardamom cake

“Let’s go out, let’s go out!”

OK, Scout, keep your hair on!

“How can you resist? Let’s go out!”

Why the big hurry from Scout? I think because she’s a snow dog, and the weather gods had heard my pathetic whining last week, so we were rewarded with a day of snow. I believe that’s how these things work? Snow? Hooray! First thing in the morning, it wasn’t all that much to get excited about – don’t tell Scout I said that – but we went down to the beach anyway. Light flurries, and the start of a biting wind, but that was it. Pretty enough.

Almost snowing…

As the day progressed, the wind got wilder and the snow got heavier, to the point where we got home and off the roads before other travellers also got off the road by sliding into verges and walking the rest of the way. Yes, there were a number of abandoned vehicles scattered at various points along the road the next day, but no serious incidents.

It turned into the sort of day best enjoyed from home – it really wasn’t a strolling in a winter wonderland kind of day due to the very blustery conditions. Scout indicated she wasn’t too happy about that, so I opened the front door for her to confirm that perhaps she didn’t really want to go out? She took one step – maybe not even as many as that – and promptly turned back indoors. Yes she’s a snow dog, but also a wise dog.

“This is ok…”
“…but I’m not going out in that!”
“Let’s stay in, let’s stay in! You’re going to the lighthouse? I’ll pass…”

Well, we did go down to the lighthouse, without Scout, to see how it looked in the snow, but it was so sideways and gusty, the snow wasn’t sticking and details were hard to find. We beat a tactical retreat and told Scout it was great…

No sign of the ocean

I’ll leave it here for this week, happy enough that we had a pretty cool snow day or two, and wondering if the call for more snow before the weekend is accurate…

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

From the kitchen window

Sparse

A bit thin, not much on top. A post about male pattern baldness, or something else? You decide…

Scout and I have been doing our best to enjoy early morning walks. We live and wander in a very green and pleasant place, a rainforest skirting the edge of the ocean. So the trying isn’t so bad, let’s be clear about that. It’s less the place, more the time of year. I’m not a huge fan of November.

Sparse

When we lived in Calgary, November was a month of promise but little delivery. There was (in my head) always the hope of decent snow, and sometimes the higher runs in the mountains delivered earlier in the month, but often not. In town, leaves had dropped long ago – mid to late September, and without snow, it always looked a touch drab. Less so here, due to the previously mentioned rainforest, full of evergreens, but the last of the deciduous leaves are dropping, and bare patches are apparent.

Full of evergreens – stop complaining!

Again, not so bad, but combined with the (admittedly long overdue) fall rains, shorter daylight hours and grey skies, it all feels a bit dreary. November blahs! Having been spoiled by the warmer late summer and fall, it seems a tougher adjustment to the grey and damp this year. Like male pattern baldness, hardly a major concern, but it’s there! I guess I’ll pull on the wooly toques, and get acquainted or reacquainted with the coastal winter. Might need a trip or two up island, get into the mountains there and wallow in the snow…

Damp and grey – but lovely, so get used to it!

A sparse post this week on a thin topic, those early winter blues. Or greys. To finish on a more positive note – November is almost over!

And it’s not always November grey… some early winter blues!

Thanks for reading, I hope you have a wonderful weekend – and a belated Happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating that just to the (somewhat warmer?!) south.

There’s grey and there’s grey – a hint of sun here…
“Don’t listen to him – it’s great here!”

Stout?

Or porter? Or any dark beer? I’m not too fussy this time of year. It’s been colder than usual the past week or two, and that has provoked conversations about if we’re skipping fall and jumping into winter? Fall or winter, it’s all the same to me – when viewed through beer goggles. We’re in the chronologically/meteorologically less known but quite important dark beer season. Difficult to pin it precisely on the calendar, and the subject of some debate, which is why most (erm, all?) calendars skip dark beer season. Porter season? Stout season? Stout, you say? Sounds a bit personal; I tend to move out a belt notch or two this time of year, and wear a larger sweater…

Stout, you say?

All the above is a long winded way of getting to the lack of a point this week. We were in Victoria last week, and ended up at Spinnakers, and ended up in the taproom and ended up drinking their dry Irish stout and ended up having another. They’ve a good range of beers, but their best, to my mind, is the stout, closely followed by the nut brown.

Why I otter…

If I was ever stranded on a desert island, and could never be rescued and was only allowed one beer to drink, I’d choose a porter or stout. I’d then sit in the shade wondering how it came to pass I was stranded on a desert island with only a porter or stout to drink for the rest of my life. Is that a punishment or a reward? Who would think of such a thing, much less write about it? These are the big questions, and like many big questions, answers aren’t always easy to come by. So I won’t.

A place to ponder

Anyway, you’re (I’m) going to be on the island for ever, and that means you (I) have to choose the right porter. Or stout. Yes, there is a source of drinking water, and the weather isn’t too bad. Those aren’t important concerns for now. No, no internet. (I’m still not sure if this is a punishment or a reward?) Shall we get back to the important stuff? Yes, let’s! What stout – or porter – would you choose, PlaidCamper?

Guinness – a good choice!

I’m glad you asked that. You’d want to get it right, because say you went for Guinness – a good choice, can’t go far wrong with a Guinness – but then after day 700, you suddenly had a hankering for a Murphy’s? There’s not too much between them, but I think it’d play on my mind. A sailor might get shipwrecked on your island, and it’d be awkward if they turn out to prefer Murphy’s…or they might have beer tastes that extend beyond the more mass market dark beers. They’re a sailor after all, adventurous – if not that successful – and a mere Guinness might not suffice.

Adventurous sailors

I’m not even on the island, and the social nicety complexities are challenging. Time out isn’t easy. Moving on. History time. My first non-Guinness dark beer was a pint of Theakston Old Peculier. Peculiar in the spelling but not too peculiar in the taste. We were hiking in the Lake District with friends and, as the light was fading, we stumbled down off the fells and into a fine flagstone floored pub that catered for thirsty walkers. A pint of Peculier? Well why not, and goodness it was a revelation! Aside from Guinness, my beersploration at that time was fairly limited – pints of lager, the occasional bitter, and youthful hangovers that reflected how, in my case at any rate, youth is sometime wasted on the young. Theakston Old Peculier is a great beer. But is it a “the only beer for the rest of your life” beer? Pains me to say it, but probably not.

Hiking in the Lake District

More recent history. The first brewery we visited when we arrived in Canada was Calgary’s Wild Rose Brewery. Based in an old Anderson shelter just down the road from our first Calgary home – no, I didn’t know it was there before we signed the lease, honest – we used to drop in after work on a Friday and enjoy the range of beers and good food. With the Calgary Farmers Market on the same site, Friday evenings were pretty well catered for. In winter, the Wild Rose produce a limited quantity of Cherry Porter. Now this is a seriously good beer. I don’t believe in Father Christmas, but he believed in me and would leave a bottle in my stocking. It was a large bottle, and kept me company throughout the festivities. Yum! But is it an all the time on a desert island drink? Probably not. Ouch! But on the plus side, perhaps the shipwrecked sailor I mentioned earlier managed to rescue their kit bag before the boat went down, and perhaps there’s a bottle of Wild Rose Cherry Porter tucked away – in a stocking – in there? That could happen, and it’s a bottle made for sharing.

Now in cans! (Photo from Wild Rose Brewery AB)

Goodness, is that the time? I could share beer stories all day and beyond, and that’s just for dark beers. Imagine how great it would be if we moved onto pale ales? I can see you’re excited about that, but let’s leave it for another time. I know, I know…

Any time to talk about pale ales? Not right now? This was tasty…

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

What’s that? You’re still here and you really do want to know the winning stuck on an island forever dark beer? Or porter? Or stout? See below!

We have a winner! Unless Fuller’s London Porter is available. And what about Young’s Double Chocolate Stout? Maybe it should be the Wild Rose Cherry Porter? And I do like the Old Peculier… Can we have a bigger island?

Turbulent…

Turbulent?! Oh no, it’s not a rant is it? Turbulent! Well now, this could apply to quite a lot – the economy? Politics? Weather? One’s stomach? No, no, not the last, all is well, and I wouldn’t go so far as to write on such matters. And it’s not a rant either. Not this week anyway…

Incoming

So, the economy? Do we want my take on fiscal responsibility and supply side reforms? Gilts and bonds? Why green initiatives make economic sense given you might want to be alive – stop, just stop, PlaidCamper, you know when you start to rant, it’ll guarantee a frosty reception in some quarters. No need…

Frosty reception

Let’s skip economics, important though the topic is, and also skip politics so all our blood pressures remain relatively stable. Although I can’t resist saying, given the midterm outcomes as of Wednesday morning, things could have been worse. Would have preferred better, but anyway. Glimmers of hope…?

Hope

That the leaves the weather! A safe enough topic if I resist the temptation to start on about the environment. No worries, at least for now – we’ve got as far as this paragraph, and blood pressure is within norms, let’s keep it that way. The weather being turbulent is where we are this week!

Best viewed from a distance

After a mostly delightful and balmy fall period, the weather finally broke and we’ve received much needed rain. Last weekend brought a robust storm, one that left many without power for a day or two, and we’d fully expected to be in that boat, but were spared this time. It was great to be down on the shore, well back from the crashing waves, and enjoying an exhilarating blast of ocean air. A day to hold on to your hat.

On the shore

Then we had a good old calm after the storm, and woke to a close to wintry scene of frost and frozen rain/snow that took a few hours to melt away. It has remained persistently cold ever since, with mostly blue skies and brisk mornings, and an almost perfect way to shake oneself awake after a bit of reluctance to step outside.

Chill

I’ll leave it for this week, as we must go and pack for a quick trip to Victoria, where hopefully we’ll still be enjoying the cold and bright days, and making the most of it knowing the rain will return. Sometimes, turbulent isn’t so bad when it’s followed by calm…

“Reluctant to step outside on a cold day? Me? Never!”

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

“I’m never turbulent, and always chilled…”