Saturday, May 30, 2020

Tidying the Entrance to my Sanctuary

Yesterday was a toasty warm twenty-four degrees, but the sky was overcast with thin clouds all day. I loved it. I was warm, but not hot. 
There are two kinds of yard work: The “A” and “B” lists. The “A” list is an inventory of things that must be done; the “B” are things I want to do. They are optional. They are also the most rewarding because they feel like “bonus” improvements. Most of my time in the yard now, is on my “B” list.
I never use my front door. My favoured way of access and egress is via my back door. To get to my back door, guests must come through the large backyard gate and then around to the steps up onto the deck that they must cross to arrive at the door. The gate is the entrance to my sanctuary.  
I was delighted to be drawn, yesterday, to tidying up the entrance the private area of my yard—the area inside the gate. I realized that this was the part of my yard that people first see, so I got to work on edging, immediately behind the gate, where the courtyard meets four proud Ferns.
It was a mess of long fallen-over grass, prickle vines and Dandelions and a lot of other weeds I can’t name. I pulled all the offending growth, leaving some lovely shiny natural grass.

This is how the edge looks before I clear it of the weeds.

This is the part I finished. Those Ferns are almost two meters
high and you can see the Ivy I started climbing the shed wall.

Yesterday morning; I noticed lots of little Apples budding on two of my Apple trees. (The third had no blossoms this year.) This is a first! I’m a very proud Daddy! I’ll have to thin them out so that only a few mature, but I may actually get Apples this year.   

This is the view I had whilst I had lunch with Eoin and Fran├žois on their deck. I felt privileged to be seeing people for a delicious (!) meal in a stunning location. After lunch, we got into our cars with our dogs and went to the beach where our dogs exhausted themselves running after each other.
Today, its cloudy and we may have showers, but I expect to be able to get lots more work done on the entrance area and get back to my book.

Friday, May 29, 2020

This House Yes!!!

Yesterday dawned cloudy, so I began with some furious house cleaning. Then I did some reading and oh, it felt good to be back in a book. Then the sun came out, so I was quickly out the door and into the vegetable garden to water, weed and tie. I love this work; I finish one garden, and another needs my attention.
I’ll get more done tomorrow and then we’re supposed to get two days of showers. I hope the forecast is correct; the gardens and lawns will be very happy, and I’ll be reading.
Her Highness and I went to Rollo Park where I got my first Mosquito bites of the Summer. Then I came home to spa and eat my very- often, very special, Thursday night dinner. Thursday nights are my favourite because I watch the National’s plays (if they ain’t Shakespeare), and last night it was This House. (Next is Coriolanus [pooey], with Tom Hiddleston [double pooey].)
I really, really liked it! It’s loud and actors are Acting. The performances are huge, but they’re playing politicians and so it’s appropriate. The staging is brilliant; the show is constantly on the move. The actors, every one of them, are perfect. The story is delicious; there’s tons of tension and plot twisting and fabulous characterizations of the people running the United Kingdom’s Labour Party between 1974-1979.
I’m amazed by how enthralled I was with a political story. But it’s how it’s told, how it’s written, staged and performed, that is arresting. Oh my God, it’s good! And it’s on YouTube for a week. (Even though it’s in English, I use subtitles because some actors have accents that make following their fast speech rather difficult.) 
Today has dawned clear and bright. I’ve some baking to do to take to lunch with Eoin and Fran├žois. Other than that, it’s yard work for me today.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Zombies and Relaxing

Wednesday: Another day, more chores; more mowing, tying of Garlic and watering. More dog walking, more talking with zombies, another spa. More TV.
I say, “zombies,” because Anna, the conspiracist, is gone from our Rollo Park dog romping group, but Coda’s dad, handsome and fit as stink, launched into a screed about Chinese people taking all the jobs in the Clam and Oyster industry of the Salish Sea. (Chinese immigrants created jobs that did not exist until the they arrived and saw an opportunity to develop the bivalve industry.)
He also believes in Homeopathy and was advocating a silver solution, eighteen parts per million, for universal antibacterial prophylaxis.
And Ozzie, Tonka’s dad, chose to tell us about his sex life. He’s a chunky, happy go lucky, mechanic who had a nasty accident a while back. He says women are stalking him, so he decided to call one up and “use” her. Yes, he said, “used.” And he said she was twenty. He’s likely well into his forties. 
And then there’s Anette. She’s a nice woman, but she has a shrill voice. And because there are so many people with ideas quite different than mine, I just listen. I really only speak when it’s just Gunther and me. (I genuinely really like Gunther.) 
After several visits with Anette, I realized how much I know about her life and what’s going on with her house and her dog, Ollie. I know all about replacing her exploded hot water tank, the renovation of her kitchen nook, her aches and pains and her plans for the summer. But I have never heard her ask anything about any of the rest of us.
There’s also a really nice young man who is constantly laughing. He chews chewing tobacco and appears to be blissful about life. I love it when he’s there with his dog. There’s Rick, for whom the word, “fuckin’,” is every second or third word and his dog who never stops barking. And there’s a new girl who bothers me. She is all-knowing; she has an opinion about everything and for some reason, she just gives me the heebie jeebies. I wish I didn’t feel as I do about her, but I do. So, I try to avoid her. 
What we have in common is a dog and a love of dogs.
I told them I’d be leaving soon, that I wouldn’t be coming to Rollo Park as much soon because it’s getting to hot and I want to do long trail walks instead.
I had a lovely Summer in Vancouver in 2017. It was the Summer my bosom buddy Bruce was in physiotherapy after having had an aneurism. He was in a hospital close to the southern border of our city and I walked to visit him almost every day, always taking a different route. I loved the walks.
And when I wasn’t walking, I was making paper dresses. I made eleven of them—al, full size. It was a great, great Summer.
Then, On September 4th of that year, I saw a photograph of this house I live in online in a real estate ad. At the time, I looked at rural real estate like young men look at porn; I had no intention to move—not until I saw this house, that is. On October 7th, I moved in.
My Summers in 2018 and 2019 were spent busting my buns landscaping my lot. This place was a lovely log home on a sheet of rock with decades of fallen needles and cones on it, so both Summers and parts of Spring and Fall.
This Summer is unlike any other of my life. It’s not better; just very, very different. I have pets, a huge yard and the spa; more than that, however: I’ve never spent so much of the Summer season alone, and this year is my first island Summer focused on relaxation instead of “big project” work. I’m really enjoying my Summer of fun so far.

Excellent for social distancing!