Ocean Blue Monday

Not too bad, not feeling too blue, we sat and enjoyed the blue ocean view from a variety of spots around town last Monday.

Not too bad, quite blue, ocean side

It was a sunny one, not too chilly, and we wandered from one place to another, basking in the extra day off for a long weekend, and slowing down. That meant from not too quick to almost at a crawl. It felt good, sun on our faces, bald eagles singing, a relatively calm ocean, and some time on our hands to enjoy it all.

Bright blue, inlet side

I don’t always enjoy the long weekends, it sometimes feels like there is an extra pressure (all in my own head, no doubt) to “make the most” of the extra holiday. I like most days, in my own way, most of the time, so no need to add any extra significance or burden.

Pretty good

Anyway, an extra day, why not go crazy, and have an extra beer? We did, a couple of new ones, from quite local to very local. Both winners, and the red ale edges it if only for being a bit different to my usual fare. A good way to round off a not too blue Monday…

Very good

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

Not too blue at all!

Brighter

Slightly lighter each morning, and with a hint of spring in the air – some days – it feels as if a corner is being turned…

Lighter

It’s been great to inch towards a more normal feel for everyday work life. Students are now able to attend after school learning support. They’re trickling in, and if not exactly excited by the thought of homework, then at least excited to see more of their peers in community. And, maybe, you know, the extra learning?

Tough homework task…

As we get back on track, we’re rediscovering the joys of what we might have taken a little bit for granted, pre-virus. A short stroll to the beach outside the office is all the more interesting when you’ve got young ones thrilled to be making marine discoveries with their friends.

Lighter, later

Hopefully, as the days continue to lengthen, and bears appear and buds emerge, we’ll remain on this cautiously optimistic path back to everyday delights. Brighter? Goodness, yes, I’ll raise a glass to that!

I thought it was rail-ly good. (Ouch. Sorry…)

Keeping it brief, with a long weekend to look forward to. Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Snow Day!

I’d forgotten how satisfying the squeak and scrunch of clean snow under your shoes can feel!

We went up to Mount Washington last weekend, hoping for some snow deep enough to justify all the time it took to dig out our snowshoes. We weren’t disappointed! All the worryingly warm rain fell away as we turned onto the road winding up the mountain. We thought it would be a sludgy and wet experience, but as we climbed we emerged from a layer of rain and fog into clear skies and bright sunshine. Imagine our alpine delight!

Snow!

We spent an enormously enjoyable few hours exploring the various trails, wandering between tall trees and crossing open spaces. One trail followed a small creek, and it bubbled and gurgled along beneath us as we bubbled and gurgled along the banks.

We stopped for an all important mid morning snack, some Dutch dark chocolate since you were wondering, easing ourselves down into a little hollow, pushing the snow into comfortable back rest. It was so quiet! I’d also forgotten how peaceful a snowscape can be on a calm and sunny day. Living by the ocean is wonderful, but between the wind, storms, waves, barking sea lions and all, it isn’t quiet. The contrast was noticeable, and we remarked upon it, thus spoiling the silence…

Shhh…

Later, as a reward for facing the trials of the trail, we sampled a beer or two in the Gladstone Beer Company taproom. Can we recommend their porter and their Pilsner? Yes, we can!

Yes we can!

All in all, a fine alpine day – crisp snow, new trails, new beer, all making for a new favourite trip. I wonder if it is snowing up there this coming weekend?

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

February already?! How time flies when…

Goodness, the weeks are racing by, particularly now we’ve been able to return to in person work, head across the bay and get the work year going – a happy new, new year?

Yesterday, looking across the bay

We’ve been busy the past few days, catching up with friends and colleagues, and getting on with stalled projects. In amongst all the fun and being busy, we arrived at our 25th wedding anniversary – another goodness, where has the time gone?!

25? Goodness!

We’re off to the mountains this weekend, a little celebration and a chance to play in the snow. (Please let there be good snow…)

Old photo – let there be this much snow!

A brief post this week as we turn our little place upside down trying to find snow gear we haven’t made much use of the past few years. I was going to write something about the ups and downs of mountain slopes and the ups and downs of a (happy) relationship, but that’s a slippery slope and I’m likely to fall down…

Slippery slopes

Instead, I’ll head off now, to some real slippery slopes, to go and fall over and get up again as we rediscover our snow feet and aim to enjoy an alpine weekend.

More to follow. More of what? Well, of course I mean another 25 years happy years! Oh, ok, and perhaps an island snow post next week.

“I’ve always got my snow feet!”

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

Axe throwing? Why not?!

What could possibly go wrong?

It was cold, getting dark, too dark for the planned archery (and by planned, I mean the archery gear was in the truck, but by the time we set up a target, we couldn’t really see it…)

Earlier – a day that got better and better

Plan B! Too dark for archery? How about axe throwing? Keep moving in until you can see the target. That’s safe. Enough. No one was hurt, although I did draw blood. Turns out no matter how close I stand to the (really rather large) wooden target, at least one of my attempts at burying the hatchet will miss, and go flying into the undergrowth. The tangle of thorny undergrowth. So, yeah, I drew blood after pulling out a sharp thorn from my finger. I didn’t cry.

Light enough for archery? Yes, if we’re quick about it…

It was an almost planned meeting of young warriors, the first since the latest pandemic restrictions, and optimistically convened following a flurry of phone calls and texts earlier in the sunny afternoon. A (fool)hardy few gathered around a fire pit overlooking the bay just as it was getting dark. Too many mentors and not enough students meant the fire took quite some time to light – it was a chilly evening, so fire first – sharp objects and play (I mean safety learning and setting up a range) second. With all the expertise delaying the fire, by the time it was lit and we were warming up it was too dark to loose arrows safely.

Too slow! There’s a target?!

So no archery, mission not accomplished, and we didn’t care, because it was so good to see friends and familiar faces for real and not on Zoom etc. There’s nothing like a group of awkward men meeting up after a number of months and discovering the pandemic hasn’t eased the awkwardness. Nothing like a pandemic to improve communication skills. Anyway, you can’t just stand around (not) saying how much we’d missed each other, that’s for your inner voice or a blog. Hence the axe throwing. Doing something slightly silly and feeling less awkward? That’ll work. It was wonderful!

It’s good to be out

We’re hopeful more of the pandemic precautions will ease as it becomes prudent to do so, and as they do, I’m very much looking forward to getting back to working with mentors and youth on life affirming projects – and picking up a few more scratches and bumps along the way. With very early hints of spring here on the coast, it is time to get back outside – playtime!

“Playtime? I’m ready!”

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

Static (where are we going?)

Very static for now. As in, not really going anywhere, and seeing very little change. Fuzzy last week, static this week. Could be the brainwaves in my head. Or is that radio waves? Is there a strange buzzing, or is that just my imagination? Or the dishwasher? Huh? Goodness, very little of this is making sense, so perhaps I’m simply slightly frozen… (Warning: Like an annoying series on Netflix, this post may irritate and explain nothing by the end, leaving a sense of frustration and/or anticipation there’ll be another one along later to reveal what wasn’t revealed, then another, and another until the pandemic is over and I remember books are often a better bet than television…)

Slightly frozen

We continue to mope along through the latest (necessary) restrictions, dreaming of better days ahead. There is progress being made on many fronts – work, the pandemic, the pandemic at work, and so on. All is well, even if it feels like we’re not quite getting anywhere.

Where will this lead?!

If our horizons are somewhat limited for now, at least the horizon we see most days is soothing:

Not so bad

All in all, not so bad being static, if you let go and let it wash over you. I’ve been watching too many episodes of “Archive 81” the past week, an enjoyably nonsensical haunted house/spooky video diary/time travel/did we miss a genre/90s nostalgia entertainment offered on Netflix. Clearly, it has had an oversized influence on me and this post. Or has it? Who controls the narrative? And those voices? That buzzing? Oh, it is the dishwasher, at the end of cycle. Best go and empty it – I hear a voice saying it’s my turn…

Spooky clouds and mist (no, PlaidCamper, don’t be silly – it’s clouds and mist, that’s all!) But, but, the voices, the buzzing…(That’s enough! No more Netflix! Empty the dishwasher!)

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

A little fuzzy

Not warm and fuzzy, perhaps more like the day after your birthday, and you find yourself a little closer to early middle age than you might like…so let’s say grey and fuzzy…

Slightly fuzzy beyond

Scout and I were wandering once more, taking advantage of a small window in the rainy weather a few days ago, and we were quite enjoying the soothing effects of mist and light rainy suspension on a brow that might have needed it. Scout will overdo every now and then.

Yum! Robust, like a PlaidCamper the following day

It was all a bit of a blur, most likely the adjustment to new contact lenses, you know how it is, or the atmospheric tricks of light sometimes at play between bouts of heavy weather. That’ll be it.

Atmospheric

I’m back on working from home, or if I’m out with Scout, working from phone. Please hold the line, your call is important, and you’ll be connected to the first available OldPlaidCamper once he’s ordered his thoughts and can string together a coherent sentence that doesn’t run on unnecessarily. Did you just hang up?! Well, really.

Hmm…I could work from here!

It’s been good to be able to wander aimlessly mid-week and at random times (after seeing to all the important WFH stuff, of course) with no mission, in a pleasantly fuzzy blur, and enjoying not seeing the forest for the trees on purpose. No doubt I’ll sharpen up once we are called back, but in the meantime we’ll maintain our socially distanced meanderings and check in with our neighbours, ensure all is well.

“Yeah, yeah, we’re fine! Barking? Us? No, check the other platforms…”

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

Can’t see the masts for the aerials for the forest for the trees. A run on caption? Oh dear…

Power trip

Scout and I have been visiting a new favourite place the past week or more. We’ve been there a few times over the last four or five years, but it had fallen off our radar, for no particular reason, until recently.

It’s cool here

How to find this place? Well, wander down a rainforest road, and depending on the weather, feel uncomfortably warm in the sun (rare, but it happened last week), or turn up your collar to keep the rain from dripping in, or slip and slide on ice patches. Keep going. There are little detours along the way if Scout is your guide. She insists we explore each of the last pockets of snow, and we do have to stop at various tree stumps and earth patches, sniff with intent and leave our (her) scent. Eventually, by crossing over the road at the end of the drive, and taking the trailhead, you emerge out of the forest fringe and on to black rocks overlooking the ocean.

Keep going, past these trees…

The stormier photographs included this week are from a visit we (I) hadn’t intended to make. It was blustery, with the icy rain more like pellets, stinging my delicate skin and having me thinking of taking a short cut home. Scout, however, was having none of it, and pulled me along, the sound of the roaring ocean through the trees appearing to get her attention even over the sound of the wind and rain and my gentle sobbing. We both knew she was in charge of this trip.

Chilly

It was worth it! The waves were racing in, gathering themselves up in shades of green and grey before smashing onto the rocks. Our little viewing perch nestled in the higher black rocks was blasted by icy squalls, but we were safely above the pounding, yet close enough to feel the power. What a rush – a power trip! Thanks, Scout!

What a rush

Let’s keep it short this week – wouldn’t want all this going to Scout’s head. Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

“A power trip? Me?”

Happy New Year!

Another short post this week, as we’ve been busy in the best possible way.

Sun and rain

We’ve enjoyed some quiet time, with sun, rain and a sprinkling of snow. Best of all, Junior was able to join us for a few days, and it made up for only seeing her a few hours the past couple of years.

Faint rainbow, no unicorn…

We drank coffee, beer, more coffee and more beer, as well as wandering the local trails and drinking in the almost sunny sights.

A magical ice tree

It’s been a challenging couple of years for most of us on many fronts, and I’ll end this brief post by expressing the fervent hope that the coming year will be better and brighter than the past twelve months.

Boats in the snow

Thanks for reading, take care out there, and Happy New Year to you!

Happy New Year!