A brief post this week, as we’ve struggled (or not) with intermittent internet at the office, meaning I’ve had to work from home in order to communicate. Oh no…
I have agency in deciding how to approach the day, but if Scout is home and happens to lead me astray, there’s little I can do. When the line manager (leash manager?) gets to decide? You log off and head out the door!
Yes boss. It’s been some time since I last tried to be nimble on a log, and you’ll be happy to know that with age and experience and a dedication to lifelong learning, I’ve still to acquire the skills Scout has. When something is as easy as falling off a log, and you do, is that success? I fall off a log very easily. Applause! Go me! Is it correct that you have to stick the landing? I didn’t, but suffered no major injuries other than to my pride, and the distinct sense Scout was laughing at me.
The sooner we have functioning wi-fi at work, the better for all concerned, so I can focus on my professional development from a chair rather than unprofessional physical prowess on a log. Like I say to students, it’s good to have a goal, but make sure it’s realistic and attainable with a bit of effort.
I’ll log off now, might be time to apply a little ice to tender areas, so let’s end by wishing you a wonderful weekend ahead!
And maybe a little blue – the colour, not my mood…
I was sat in my car the other day, enjoying the rain, having timed the top of the hour construction traffic opening to perfection. After waiting for thirty five minutes, I congratulated myself on being early and adjusted expectations accordingly.
At least the views were good, and I found myself thinking about the survival show “Alone” I’ve been watching the last few weeks. As in most things, I’m about seven seasons behind, and knew nothing about the show, so imagine my pleasant surprise when I discovered that the first two seasons (possibly others, I’ve yet to find out) were filmed just up the island! Very exciting, and it added a little extra something to my viewing, being so familiar with the landscapes, if not the challenges, the participants faced.
Not every participant enjoyed the density of the coastal forest they found themselves alone in. I’ve never been truly alone in the forest, or as deliberately lightly (for want of a better word) equipped as they were. I’ve always found the forest to be beautiful, slightly intimidating, but not downright frightening, although it is a dangerous place, as most places can be with or without proper preparation.
Anyway, I was sitting in the car, staring (in a moody yet cinematic way) at the wall of green to my left and wondering how long I could survive alone in that particular forest? The answer? Not long enough to win. I think maybe a week or two, if I avoided injuries, and convinced myself to eat enough fish, crabs, and seaweed to supplement the squashed mouse diet. Even though I’m a confirmed introvert through and through, I could not be by myself for the fifty something days I think the first winner completed.
As the top of the hour came and went, and the traffic didn’t move forward, I began to wonder, peering through the rain soaked windshield, “Is there anybody in the vehicle in front, and the ones behind?” “Am I alone out here?” “Is this the start of an elaborate reality TV show that Mrs PC signed me up for and she forgot to tell me?” “I’m getting hungry – is that a mouse?”
And then the lights on the car in front came on, and it inched forward, the gate having reopened at the same time the door closed on a budding reality TV career. Fifty something + days? Yeah, I could do that…
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…)
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.
If our horizons are somewhat limited for now, at least the horizon we see most days is soothing:
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…
Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
I do love this time of year, if only because dawn is so much later in the day. I can pretend a false virtuousness at being up and out, working hard before sun up. Dawn patrol? Yeah, right. Anyway, when you’re heading out in the dark, you don’t quite know what is out there. We’ve had another week of mostly rain, to the point that on Thursday we had a minor dawn patrol adventure on the Hitacu-Ucluelet road…
There is a section signposted “road subject to flooding” and each time it rains I always look at the ditch, oftentimes close to overflowing, and think, yup, but not today. Yesterday? Yup, it was that day. There were a few stretches of standing water, deep, but you could still see the centreline under the water and tell yourself an old Jeep can handle it. So it proved, and I ignored the inner teenage voice saying “cool” as the water sprayed over the car. I bet it looked like a Jeep TV commercial. Is what a teenager would say. I’m far too mature to be thinking that, and anyway, why would they film it in the dark?
There was a nerve jangling stretch where the water was not standing but flowing across the road. Not a torrent, but not a puddle either. It’s a Jeep, we can do it, is what I heard. Ever ready to take advice from my inner teenaged self, we crossed that section, and no floating away. Cool.
That was before full dawn, when it was quite dark and I couldn’t really see how bad the water was. A few hours later, under orders to return home before the road closed, and after a great deal more rain, it wasn’t quite as cool. The teenager decided to keep quiet, and we enjoyed a somewhat nerve shredding drive, arriving with dry feet – phew – and a notion to pay closer attention to overnight rainfall amounts before setting out on pre-dawn patrol.
The photographs this week were taken last week, some on a rare sunny morning not too long after sun up, and some later the same day. Ah, sunshine, we remember you. Sunshine, you say? Hoping to see a little of that today before the next wave of wet weather arrives tomorrow. At least it’s the weekend, we’re not working, and perhaps taking a later and different dawn patrol:
Thank for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
…I’ve found a beer style that is, in my opinion, impossible to enjoy.
I don’t mention it very often, and this will be news to many readers, but I’m partial to trying a new beer or two over the course of a weekend. I’m not too fond of sours, or beers that have been flavoured with oddball ingredients or too much fruit. I find too much alcohol leaves a burn that is hard to enjoy. An ABV somewhere between 4 and 7.5% is just fine by me. Hops? Yum! Ridiculously hopped? Sometimes yum! At the other end of the spectrum, malty or dark beers are jolly good, particularly in the winter months. Or summer months. Oh ok, spring and fall also.
So yes to beer overall, but no to my most recent exploration. I tried the beer in the following photograph, and after the first optimistic sip – new beer = high expectations – thought my beer enjoyment taste buds (the medical term is BETBs, as reported in reputable medical journals) had broken. Cue medical panic. Is there a doctor in the house? A nurse? A nurse with a doctorate? Yes. Dr. Mrs. PC, RN to the rescue. While I tried to communicate through mime (having lost the power of speech due to this “beer” removing the layer of BETBs) Dr. PC took a sip and made a face. The one that said so who didn’t read the tasting notes before purchase?
Obviously, being incapacitated due to the medical reasons explained above, I was unable to say it was me failing to read the tasting notes. I didn’t know salt water is the primary ingredient in a gose beer. Actually, salt water isn’t the primary ingredient. Salt is. Other ingredients such as water, or hops are mostly an afterthought.
In the interests of public health, and as a safety information service to fellow beer lovers yet to “enjoy” a gose, I’ll say don’t. Don’t bother. Don’t do it. Just say no! That last one always works in public health messaging from governments not prepared to invest in proper health promotion. Best stop that, let’s not go on a rant about public healthcare under certain governments. Anyway, that’s Dr. Mrs. PC’s area of expertise, not mine. I’m better left with making (sometimes bad) beer choices and reacting in a suitably responsible manner when it goes wrong.
You don’t believe my public health messaging? You think that the gose style is something you could gose for? Ok, on your head and damaged BETBs be it. If you really, really have to try a gose, yet can’t find one anywhere, go to your store cupboard, take out the salt, pour yourself a generous spoonful and start eating. It’ll actually be more pleasant than a gose, a close enough approximation, and you’ll have saved yourself a few pennies and some major disappointment.
Before I go, you’ll be wanting a medical update, because I think I’m right in saying there’s nothing more interesting than an early middle aged person talking about their medical ailments? Fair enough, and thanks for asking – my BETBs have made a full recovery just in time for this weekend. I’ve learned my lesson, and will totally not be trying anything odd sounding or too experimental on the beer front. Oh look, now what’s this?
Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
I was out with Scout earlier this week, tramping the neighbourhood streets, enjoying the nonappearance of spring, and laughing at the squirrels laughing at us. We came across (another) patch of ice, frozen snowmelt, a perfect mini-hockey rink spread over the sidewalk, and another opportunity for me to reenact and explain to Scout how Iginla and Crosby combined to score the gold medal winning goal at the 2010 Olympics. Given the number of icy patches out there, various hockey moves happen quite a bit. To mix things up, I’ll sometimes charge the net, and Scout also appreciates my ability to score on the wraparound. I’ll admit that Scout’s stick handling is the best…
The picture of sporting excellence I’ve painted in your mind is, obviously, quite something to see, so now it’s going to hurt me (and you) to come clean, tell the truth. Ready?
We came across (another) patch of ice, and I muttered to Scout “Oh no, elephants!” She did what she always does when she has no idea what I’m going on about, wagged her tail and looked expectantly at my coat pocket that has the extra kibble. She’s a well fed dog.
“Oh, no, elephants!” What are you going on about, PlaidCamper?
Good question. Let’s take a time travel trip, back to the distant, distant past, to an era when young PlaidCampers roamed the earth, wearing NHS spectacles and terrorizing the neighbourhood when playing out on bikes for hours at a time.
We would build ramps so we could perform death defying leaps across canyons filled with (toy) trucks, pedalling furiously to gather up enough speed so when we hit the ramp it would fall apart before any chance of lift off. Looking back, it’s strange none of that group of friends and family ever became engineers or involved in construction projects.
Anyway, back to the elephants. I think we came to the conclusion that jumping over toys wasn’t sufficiently dangerous, that we somehow lacked motivation, the necessary element of danger. The solution? We didn’t need to leap over toys, what was needed was for the smallest of us to lie down in the canyon. It was at this point someone said “element of danger” and it became, because we were young and silly, the elephant of danger, a kind of shorthand for when we were doing things we shouldn’t. Not that that ever happened. Riding down Langley Hill, a steep, busy and pot holed road, a speeding stream of (poorly) self maintained bikes, wobbling madly in an attempt to keep up with the fastest kid, the guy with a speedometer, shouting out “32mph!” No elephant of danger there. How about climbing up onto the garage roof, leaping from garage to garage, knowing the construction was little more than balsa wood and tar paper? Yup, one of us fell through the roof, stuck at the waist and shouting for help to get free. It’s hard to help when you’re practically peeing yourself laughing, and looking around hoping there were no adults ready to give us what for.
Yes, the elephant of danger. There are other stories, but if I told them, I’m quite certain there’d be a knock on the door, and the long arm of the law would finally catch up. There are untold reasons behind why I keep moving on…
Back to the present day. I’d forgotten all about the elephants of danger until confronted by the ice sheet earlier this week. Did I really reenact the Iginla to Crosby Olympic golden goal? The truth? The long forgotten elephants phrase popped into my head as I flailed wildly, skating and slipping to reach the other side and the safety of drier pavement, as if being chased by the Hanson brothers. Less Olympian, and more Slap Shot. It’s probably the glasses…
Yes, that’s why the squirrels were laughing. As for spring and safer sidewalks, rumour and the Weather Network has it that we are due a warm, sunny and dry spell the next few days, which is great news, as I’m not as young as I was, and certainly far more cautious around elephants.
Thanks for reading, stay safe, and have a wonderful weekend! Must go, I can hear a knock at the door…