And a Year Whips By

Yes, it appears I only really update this blog when we’re travelling.  And because we decided not to travel this winter my entries have dropped right off.  Has it almost been a year since my last posting? Is life not as exciting while we’re home on Pender Island?  Well, perhaps not quite as exciting, but things do happen.

Soon after we returned home I gave a short talk to the South Pender Island Historical Society about my grandmother, Bea Freeman (née Spalding), daughter of Pender pioneers Arthur and Lilias Spalding.  She was a strong woman who led an interesting life, including being an artist and writer.

My Dad, getting a Beach Style from my Gran

Over the summer and fall I rehearsed for the part of Robert in a production of the play Proof, written by David Auburn.  Proof is one of the few scripts I’ve read that on the first reading I knew it to be brilliant.  I’m fairly slow at learning lines so much of my spare time was spent working on my lines, including some longish monologues. Then in November we did three performances and it was all over.  Such is live theatre on Pender: lots of work by a dedicated crew from Pender Solstice Theatre and then it’s all over.

Shawn and Robyn Rehearsing

Last September Sue and I presented a slideshow/talk about our travels in India at the Pender Island Library to a packed room (ha ha, small room: 30 something people).  It was gratifying to see how many people were interested in our trip.  It also gave me an opportunity to sort through photos properly on my home laptop and not the wee netbook we travel with.

Sue Enjoying Coffee at Leopold Café
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Mumbai Trains are Not Always Packed!

Spring, Summer and Fall flew by in a flurry of work and trying to get work done around the house while the weather was warm.  We did manage a short camping trip with friends to China Beach on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Fog Off-shore at China Beach

Fog is typical up the west coast of Vancouver Island but what we saw a lot of in the Summer of ’17 was smoke, turning the sky red, blown out from the forest fires in the interior of British Columbia.

Smoke Over the Water

By October the sky had returned to its familiar blue.

View from Mount Norman, South Pender Island

We spent a quiet Christmas at home but had a gathering with Sue’s family in Banff in January.  Typical Canadian winter with snow is not something we see too often here on the Wet Coast, where winter is generally wet and grey.  It was fun to fly to Calgary, rent a car and drive into the Rockies for a few days of fun in the snow.

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View from Banff Rocky Mountain Resort
View from Dining Room of Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
Lake Louise Ice Sculpture Festival
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Snowshoeing on Mount Norquay

And then back home to start designing for Zoo Islander, our local ‘fashion’ show.  Sue and I’ve been talking about staging a version of Alice in Wonderland so I chose to make a hat for the Mad Hatter.  We’ve had a bit of local controversy about beavers at Greenburn Lake on South Pender so I thought I’d make a ‘faux’ beaver hat.  For those unfamiliar with Canadian history the beaver hat was a big item during the colonization of North America.  I enlisted my acting buddy Steve to model the hat and costume.

Steve, Ready to do the Catwalk
On the Catwalk

It’s the last day of February.  We’ve recently had snow (unusual here in February) but trees and flowers are indicting Spring is not far off.  I’ve started working around the yard and doing repairs to winter damages.  Meanwhile I’m slowly beginning to get work together for our next Same, Same but… Different art exhibition.

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Terrain 1 – inkjet print & transparency

And we’re starting to plan a journey to India for next December, hopefully to volunteer for the Kochi Muzuris Bienalle.

Stay Tuned! I will return with more news soonish…

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