Green

And maybe a little blue – the colour, not my mood…

Early morning lake – a little blue

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.

Enjoying the rain

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.

“Straight ahead, then turn right, paddle a day or so, and after that you’re on your own!”

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.

Green

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.

Fifty something days? No problem! Without beer, you say? Wait a minute…

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?”

Green and blue

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…

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

Spring breeze

Sounds like a drink that comes with a little umbrella in it, or maybe a perfume? And that’s why I don’t work in advertising…

Barely sunny – bring an umbrella

Anyway, it’s been breezy and rainy, and barely sunny the last few days. The umbrella would have been a proper umbrella, not a decoration, although the “breezes” we experience here mostly turn umbrellas inside out. Best to stick with a hat or a buzz cut.

A great capture of trees swaying in the breeze. Well done, PlaidCamper.

We’re putting the finishing touches to our house move, and that should be happening by the end of this month. Or next month. Or a month. At least we’ll be fully boxed up and packed.

“More packing? Count me out!”

Thankfully, it has been quieter for me on the work front this week, with students on Spring Break, and only a short literacy/numeracy camp last week with a small but enthusiastic group of young learners. I’ve had time to sit and think, and make use of my new outside office.

What rain? Look at that workstation – tidy! Successful planning happens here.

I like to sit and think – work thoughts, of course – and if the spring breeze blows away the paperwork, well, that’s a bonus!

Brief again this week – there are boxes to fill and surely we have some of those little umbrellas somewhere…

Nope, no umbrellas, but a decent IPA

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

Change

Keeping this one brief – we’ve a few changes ahead, and we’re busy preparing!

Ready for anything!

Definitely seeing the change of season. It hasn’t been too warm or sunny the past week, far from it, but it’s been nice to see some early blossom.

Spring?

In a change to the usual, here I am going against my own fashion grain:

It’s not always plaid!

The big change for us is an impending change of location out here on the coast, moving from our little apartment to a little home nestled in the trees. We’ll be able to hear the ocean from our bedroom window. We can now, but only on the big storm days.

Here it comes!
View from the bedroom balcony

All this change is exciting, but it’s also exhausting…

Slow it down, won’t you?!

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

Some spring sparkle

I won’t lie, and as others have commented, it isn’t easy trying to have a positive spring in your step given the way global events are playing out, but here’s an attempt at some spring sparkle…

Bright

Last week I wrote about March murk, so we were pleasantly surprised over recent days to be enjoying quite a bit of sunshine. Being out and about and enjoying greens, blues and sparkly bits on the water, our mood was lifted, and we were happy about that.

Blues, greens, and sparkly bits

I might have mentioned it once or twice, and if you’ve ever visited the PNW, you’ll know it can get a tad damp out this way from time to time. To time, to time, to time, to time… Anyway, when there is a pattern change and a spell of bright sunshine, you do feel it and enjoy it.

A good mix

The spring sparkle did put a little extra bounce in our step as we hit the trails and wound up on some sun warmed rocks overlooking the ocean, finding time to watch the logs tumble and crash in the waves beneath our feet. The remnants of the last storm were still providing enough power to cause a splash or two. Pretty spectacular.

A splash

A small attempt this week to offer up a little warmth and positivity, or at any rate a brief distraction from all that plagues the planet right now, so let’s leave it there for this week.

Some warmth

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

March murk…

February was a pretty dry month on the rainfall front, and we were due a change to more normal precipitation. So it proved as February bowed out and March roared in.

Not so dry

Well , not roaring, although it has been windy, and certainly a touch more vigorous. We’re missing the sun but enjoying the post rain mist and fog. It’s atmospheric, which is a nice way of saying sometimes there isn’t too much to see…

Atmospheric?

Maybe the mess and murkiness matches the global mood – what awful events there are taking place in Eastern Europe. Wasn’t the rise of populism, Brexit, the mango Mussolini years that very few honestly enjoyed, the pandemic (oh you tiny, tiny, minority of Canadian truck drivers causing such chaos, what were you thinking? Were you thinking? Really? Of other people?), wildfires, flooding and other associated climate changes more than enough to be contending with without throwing another war into the mix? Goodness, aren’t the fragile egos of powerful individuals truly pathetic, as well as incredibly dangerous?

A bit brighter?

Anyway, onwards we go, and March madness it is, with fingers crossed good people with humane instincts will prevail…

Late Thursday – March murk? Where?!

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

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!