Monday, September 7, 2009

The Final Long Week End

As the title indicates, and as we all know, it's the final week end of summer (except for my Australian and New Zealand friends and relatives who are now experiencing winter).

We spent the long week end away at my parent's home in Gull Island, a nearly 2 hour drive for those of you who haven't heard me prattle on talk about this before. The weather was sunny and warm(ish) and the final hurrah as the temps will be dropping and three days of rain are forecast. Spent some time berry picking as the blueberries and partridge berries looked great. Note that the blueberries here are somewhat smaller than the mainland, I suppose due to cooler weather and a shorter season, and the partridge berries are known as lingonberries, cowberries, mountain cranberries and red whortleberries in other regions). My wife has made jam with the blueberries and put some away for muffins and pancakes. The partridge berries are tart, so she will mix apples with them when she makes jam. I find now that I hurt all over, as if someone has beat me with a frozen salami (yes, that image is partially based on a real-life incident I won't discuss...)

The downside of these trips is that my parents do not have a fenced yard and I have to frequently take our dog for walks on his leash. He is, as many of you know, a greyhound. They are sight hounds and must be leashed at all times as the impulse to chase small fast-moving things is inherent in the breed. The long dog walks gave me a lot of time to invent fantastic story ideas consider his costume for next week end's 'greyhound picnic'. We are presently working on his Captain Jack Sparrow costume, complete with dreds, ear rings and eye patch. OK, I made that part up...I hate the idea of dressing him up and embarrassing him (even though I did post a photo of a pug in a party hat last week). That was just an evil streak I developed during my tenure as a dog catcher.

Just as we were leaving yesterday, we spotted two whales in Conception Bay. We drove to shore and watched them perform their breaches of the surface with awe. One spent a long time on it's side slapping the surface with a flipper. They were quite a way from shore and attempts at photos were fruitless as they only cleared the surface for a second and when you tried to snap with a digital, they were gone. I've seen whales up there a number of times, but never with that much activity. Very humbling indeed.

I had intended on getting on to some sort of 'writerly' topic this post, but got somewhat distracted with the week end away. Our son starts grade 8 on Wednesday and we are obviously more excited about the joyous event than he...Hope you all had a great Labour Day week end.


katey said...

There can be nothing more 'writerly' than getting distracted in the beautiful outdoors, if you ask me. It sounds divine!

Anonymous said...

Jeeze Alan, I was looking forwards to those pictures of your salty seadog!

Rebecca Nazar said...

Every weekend vacation should involve long walks and spotting whales I feel. What other combo is more serene?

The Salami Incident, now that's a title for a bestseller. ;-)

Cate Gardner said...

Oh poor summer, I miss you already.

Laura Eno said...

I think the frozen salami would do best to remain...under wraps.

It sounds like a wonderful few days! I'm envious.

Alan W. Davidson said...

Katey- It was divine. There are lots of barren, hilly areas to walk around at their place. The berries are an added bonus.

Anton- Sorry to let you down...I'll be sure to take lots of photos at the greyhound fashion show at the picnic this week end.

Rebecca- It was serene, indeed. The salami thing does sound like the basis for a short story...a horror perhaps?

Cate- I miss it as well. The weather really goes downhill here from mid-August onward. Hope the snow stays away until December.

Laura- nice pun ;) It was nice. We try to get up for a visit once a month or so.

Natalie L. Sin said...

I'm telling you, dogs like to dress up. You condition them with treats, of course, but in the end they like it!

But never hats. Oh, sweet Sam Lee in Hong Kong, how they hate hats.

K.C. Shaw said...

Sounds like a wonderful weekend! And if you do dress your dog up as Jack Sparrow, you HAVE TO POST PICTURES. Lots of them.

Also, I'm going to be wondering all day about the Salami thing.

Alan W. Davidson said...

Natalie-If I took to dressing up Jet, it would take a lot of treats to keep him happy and then we would have to call him "Jumbo" Jet.

KC- We did dress up our son as Captain Jack a couple of years ago, but I don't know how easily the outfit could be modified. Perhaps a swarthy bandana instead? Either way, we'll take pictures of the greyhounds at the picnic for sure.