It was supposed to rain, in fact storm, today. But, as if to compensate for my first Sunday in ages without The Durrells (and in particular Josh O’Conner), the day has dawned brilliantly clear. What a total treat! It means a pleasant day of yard work and sawing in sunshine. And it means Miss Thing will be tired tonight.
The entire area of my former home in Vancouver was 700 square feet. And guess what: My studio here — my first dedicated creation space — is a whopping 500 square feet and it has an eleven-foot ceiling!
I’ve lost the feeling that I’m visiting and that soon I’ll have to back home in Vancouver. Manually pumping my daily water, feeding the pets and maintaining the fire has become routine; perhaps it is these routines that make us bind with our space. Soon I’ll have been here two months and I’ve not been bored for a second. And I think that with time my body will stop hurting as it becomes used to mild work all day every day.
Yesterday I raked the outside edges of Pinecone Park. It looks great and it’s a hell of a lot easier than picking things up one at a time. I’ve eight gallons of pinecones drying in the shed that I was going to use as kindling but they are begging me to become a dress.
Next I’m going to fertilize everything — all the Salal, Ferns and even the moss. I like the natural growth. I want to assist it and make it as lush as possible. A truly euphoric moment yesterday was finding a Broom plant growing in the backyard. I absolutely love Broom and it’s a bonus that this plant grew here on its own.
Three o’clock in the morning is just too early to start a winter day but that’s what we do here. We’re on puppy time. I get up, questioning the point because the pee is already in the carpet. I clean it u p, I light the fire and feed all the pets, I let water into the cistern, I do the dishes I was too lazy to do last night, I replenish the indoor wood pile and then what do I see? Sheba’s gone back to sleep.
I go back to bed around six. I’m living like citizens of pre-industrial Europe who had a pattern of bi-modal sleeping. They went to bed when there was nothing to do. “First sleep” happened a few hours after dusk. But then they would wake up a few hours later for a couple of hours (mid-sleep) and then they’d have a “second sleep” that was longer and lasted until dawn.
My first sleep is the long one. Then I get up and do all the above before going back to bed for a short second sleep.
(Period diaries reveal that mid-sleep was a time for people’s leisure activities. They would enjoy what they did, refreshed by their first sleep. They would relax, read, sew or have sex. The pattern lasted until the seventeenth century when upper classes started sleeping through the night.)
I wish everyone could have seen the gorgeous (and huge) male Pileated Woodpecker that was hanging around yesterday. He was truly majestic but when he called out, his voice sounded like a squirrel in distress. It ain’t a pretty sound.
Yesterday was the last day of destruction in the studio and Darrell began construction. He has the place wired now and when he comes back next week he starts insulating and lining the new ceiling with Pine.
He’s lent me a table saw so I’m spending today sawing up long pieces of accumulated waste wood into burnable pieces. This old body continues to adapt to tools, ladders, lifting, bending and constant motion.
If it ain’t one thing, it’s another. I get the water fixed — well almost fixed — and as I’m washing my glasses for the umpteenth time I stop. I realize that I’ve cleaned my glasses several times already this morning. The light dawns: I close my right eye and all is good. Then I close my left eye and I realize my right eye is foggy. Cataract? All light has a milky halo. At least it doesn’t hurt.
Taking down the blinds, too, I noticed I couldn’t see what head of the screwdriver without a magnifying glass so my glasses probably need a new prescription too. If it ain’t one thing, it’s two others.
I dropped my rock anchor into the cistern this morning. It was bound to happen. But I found another. By the end of the week, I should have the new switch in and water drawing will be automatic.
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