Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Another Week in Paradise

First things first.  Right after my last blog post, we came back to the cottage and a gorgeous evening.  It felt like a reward for sitting through a number of cold and wet days.  The weather since has been a good mix of sunny days with overcast ones.  Sometimes, in the fog of reminiscence, you forget that not all the days of your holiday are sunny.  In short, the weather overall has been quite favourable.

The crafting has taken on a different focus.  I managed to finish the second sock of a pair destined to be a gift, but knitting has fallen to the wayside.  In its place is some Shake-n-Make work.  The photo above is of one element of our site-specific installation for the Hamilton Supercrawl in September.  We’re making reverse appliqué beaded “cozies” for three concrete planters along James Street North.  The holidays, for which most of my current knitting is destined, are at least four months away.  The Supercrawl is only five or six weeks away.  The great thing with priorities is that you can almost always shuffle them around (just ask my collection of short stories – sigh).

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Drama of It All

Our trip to Newfoundland was great.  Oh, sure, there was the near-death experience of driving in the potentially moose-laden fog, but we met lots of cool people, got to see a new (to us) province, and generally engaged in rather social behavior.

Our friends (and hosts) took us to Fogo Island.  Thankfully we had beautiful weather, which serves as a great background for these photos (taken by the ladyfriend - I'm so lazy with the photography when there's a professional around...).  The buildings (artists' studios) are for an artists' residency there.  There will be six of them in total scattered about the island.  Of the four that have been completed, we visited two and saw a third from the road.  Very cool.  Very dramatic.

Not to complain, but the weather in Nova Scotia hasn't been all that we've advertised it to be.  It's been unseasonably cold, which has prevented us from lazing about in the sun or swimming (yes, you can swim here).  I've also found that I haven't been as productive, craft-wise, as I often am although I did finish a sock today.  Nevertheless, I have to be careful not to compare each trip to the last (or to the "best of" film that plays in my mind).  I'm currently reading The Girl Who Played with Fire and that's going a long way to making it feel like a summer vacation.  The fact that we're not being boiled alive in southwestern Ontario is also a consolation.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Orb Action Available to All!

As you know, we're in Newfoundland, and one of the main reasons we're here is because the ladyfriend is doing a performance/science experiment as part of the ArtEx festival.  Tomorrow, around 10am (Newfoundland time, which is 1.5 hours ahead of New York/Toronto time), she'll be launching an orb outfitted with a digital camera and a GPS down the Exploits River.  The camera will be snapping photos every two seconds, which she'll turn into an animation once the orb's trip down the river is complete.  But you can follow the orb online in real-time because the GPS will be sending position information every 10 minutes.  Here's the link to be in on the action:  http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0qHJWFR5PVa1DYdnFPqOVMXdZ8S1RrYs3.  I'll be acting as the "lab assistant" back at the gallery, mapping out the progress of Orbie, as we call it now.  While I don't get to follow Orbie down the river,  at least I get to wear a lab coat.  I guess that, and the trip to Newfoundland, is fine recompense.

On an entirely different, but related note - does anyone know if there's a metal scene in Newfoundland?  The landscape, as we saw it before we got covered in fog yesterday, is quite conducive to thoughts of trolls, death, and the meaninglessness of life.  Right now, the only "Newfie" music I know of involves fiddles and accordians, which are nice, but not very metal.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Death Drive - and not in the Freudian sense

When the fog was still romantic

Guest post by the ladyfriend: 
We just arrived in Corner Brook Newfoundland after the longest 200 kilometers I have ever driven.  The ferry from Nova Scotia docked at around 9:00 pm Newfie time, and there was a lovely mist blanketing the craggy rocks and the tiny sea village of Port-Aux-Basques. In the waning light we were sure we had just awakened Brigadoon.  But  really, we had just entered a our worst nightmare.  As we climbed out of the port, the fog thickened, and after the first 75 kms, with the sun completely set, we found ourselves driving into a wall of fog. We literally couldn't see more than ten feet in front of the car. There were no other vehicles on the road except a couple of 18-wheelers passing the other direction.  And given that this is moose country, I couldn't really drive more than 80 kms per hour because I have been warned that if you hit a moose traveling over this speed, the moose ends up in your lap and you die.  Again, we couldn't see more than ten feet in front of the car, so if there was a moose, or anything else in the road, we'd have hit it.  Claudia was a great co-pilot - she read all the signs, "curving left" and "passing lane ending," and tried to watch for moose and other large obstacles, because I was looking at the only place I could see anything - the road right in front of the car.  After several hours we made it to the Comfort Inn safely. The woman at the desk asked us if we had come from the ferry as they were waiting for a party of 20 who were also coming from the ferry. I bet they are still out in the fog.
Our cozy little cabin
Yes, Claudia is outside, on the deck of the ferry. That whiteness behind her - you guessed it, fog.


Monday, July 4, 2011

Vacation Paradox

Yes, I'm on vacation, but why doesn't anyone write to me?  Out of sight, out of mind?

A brief accounting of some of what's happened so far:

  1. Consumed copious amounts of lobster
  2. Read Lighthousekeeping by Jeanette Winterson, Veronica by Mary Gaitskill, and four back issues of the New York Times Book Review
  3. Sewed the buttons onto my Rowan vest (yay, another project off the list)
  4. Worked on some stories
  5. Ran, biked, walked, lounged

Tomorrow we sail to Newfoundland.  It feels like we're going to the edge of the earth.