Sunday, July 28, 2019

summer in the city / montreal

Had a great day yesterday, topped with a rainbow over the St. Lawrence as were heading home from a three-hour cycle. The rainbow is faint because the rain was somewhere else. We had a few clouds, mostly blue sky. There was an ice cream at halfway point because I needed the calorie boost to get me home again.

And who's to say you have to go to Mexico to watch dancing on a warm Saturday evening at dusk?

And here, from earlier in the day...
I don't often eat jam, but when I do, apricot is my favourite.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

la Gaspésie July 2019 / paean for low tide

We like waves that swish, swash, swirl and splash. They're hypnotic, sweeping in as they do. We try to guess which wave will be the largest and come the farthest. The roll sweeps in, the undertow tugs back. There's drama in waves and there's more drama at high tide.

But I like low tide too. I can see what lies under the water. I can walk up next to rock walls that I usually only see as a lichen crust in the waves.

We walk farther out--over where we can't walk a couple of hours hence when the water's too deep again. The rocks are crusted with barnacles--those white patches--that crisp and crunch under your shoes. It's like stepping on broken china, except these don't break. Seaweed floats in the tidal pools. Bright green moss. Fronds. Smaller marine organisms. A fellow bent close tells me he sees baby shrimp. I see what looks like a fish with many legs. 

These are barnacles--as well as I could zoom in on them. If they look fuzzy, that's my camera. They're hard as cement and as tenacious. You can't pick them up.

On one of our usual walks along the beach, we come to a river. To get to the other side and continue on the beach, we have to walk along a wharf, up a driveway, over the bridge on the road, down the road for a while, and only finally back to the beach again. The detour takes about 20 minutes. But at low tide, we can walk across the river. Easy! Or so R assured me, standing in the very cold water rushing along at a clip. What you don't see, because we're not standing side by side, is that I'm a few inches shorter. So that very cold water...

But I did it. Gooseflesh legs, feet numb, but saved us the detour.

This isn't rippled water. The receding tide has sculpted the sand. This is low tide.

Here's another day, another beach, also low tide. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

by the sea/ work nonetheless

We're on vacation from the city but working nontheless. At home in Montréal, my office window faces a tree and brick row houses. Here, in la Gaspésie, my office faces the road and the sea. 

R is upstairs with various power tools I try not to hear. He's working on the bedrooms. For a few years now our bed is in a construction zone. Walls had to knocked down, new ones put up. There's still a way to go. The walls have been insulated, drywalled, plastered, sanded and painted with primer.

R has just installed the doors because he wanted to know if they would fit. Both were recuperated from Montréal--one from the sidewalk garbage outside a funeral home, another from our house when we replaced it with a French door that was also recycled.

My work goes more slowly. But the view is grand.

Monday, July 8, 2019

edge of the continent / la Gaspésie / neighbours

R groans, Not another picture of a sunset... So many times I've left my chair and glass of wine or the table just set with supper to dash outside to take a pic of the sun as it's setting. This moment seems perfect, better than any other, and even though I know a camera never gets the full splendour of the sky over water. Then I'm sitting again but this moment looks more perfect and I reach for the camera again. Can't help myself.

In September the sun sets while we're eating. In July the sun still has a way to go, the kitchen where we eat is sideswiped by apricot light from the west. I've understood more about grade school explanations of the sun and the tilt of the Earth's axis from sitting on the edge of the continent, watching the sun go down over water, than I ever did in grade school.

Back at the table, I take another pic of the sun going down, but this time the light is reflected off the covered plate our neighbour has brought because we've just arrived that afternoon and she guesses I might not have made dessert yet. She's right, I haven't. We don't usually eat dessert. She calls what she's made tourbillon, which means whirlwind or vortex. It's saucy and messy with rhubarb, strawberries, and chunks of baked biscuit. I should have taken a pic but it's eaten.