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April 25, 2011

Special Finds on Salt Spring and Off

It was a good weekend even though I am very restless and in need of change. Needing to throw off the winter jacket so to speak, as some child did and forgot it, on the beach.

Friday, my friend Karen and I took in the Easter Art Tour and I guess my favorite part was seeing Morley Myers studio. We were in there at the same time as another on island couple and I really enjoyed hearing him talk to them about his work. He's had this cool idea for a totem and he's sculpting his work out of stuff he finds on the beach such as this styrofoam. The thought of being able to make a living as a sculptor is just so crazy. It just seems so over the top out of the realm of possible. Do you just wake up one day and say, that's it, I'm not a carpenter, I'm a sculptor. Imagine!

We also dropped by Duthie Gallery, the wood gallery owned by Celia Duthie and her husband Nick Hunt, former owner of Duthie Books in Vancouver. The wood products they have in the gallery are so beautiful and done by some of the best wood artists/craftspeople in B.C. including Brent Comber. I believe he made these fantastic lanterns out of tree stumps that hang in their front yard. They've also just opened a B&B called Gallery B&B. It's a very small but cute little space perfect for one or two people within walking distance to town. It's $130 a night in the high season.
At the end of the day we treated ourselves to a meal and some sauvignon blanc on the deck of the best deck (IMHO) on Salt Spring, the Seaside Kitchen. We sat nestled up against the white stucco wall like a couple of tomato plants and soaked in the long overdue heat and the spectacular view. It's the kind of place you need to go to when you're down on living here because it reminds you how lucky you are on a spectularly sunny day. Karen helped me remember. She's in love with this place a little more than I am at the moment. The halibut and chips were delectable. It's one of my favourite places on a sunny day. There are too few really great restaurant decks on Salt Spring given the natural beauty that's all around.

Saturday, the market was chock a block with local visitors from Vancouver and Victoria and the sun felt warm, really warm, for the first time this year. It was a nice surprise to sell a lot of photos and to have so many people give me positive feedback. What an ego stroke the market is some times. I like that. You've got to take it where you can get it. Sometimes I think, why did I become a writer? I really think I should have become a photographer about 25 years ago and got serious about it a long time ago. Is it too late now? I got some really nice feedback from a photographer whose work I've always liked. His name is Ken Ketchum. He's got a new blog. Amy Melious dropped by and told me she's got a new studio and she's thinking of having an open house when it's ready. She's one of the photographers heading up to Painters Lodge next week to offer a big photography workshop all weekend. Just so many talented people all around.

Let me just digress here for a minute and say I'm having a glass of Syrah from Muse winery and I am pleasantly surprised. It's really decent.

Sunday I took a trip to Victoria and met a young poet/writer who has an MFA from the Creative Writing Department at the University of Victoria and I have to say that sometimes some young people just blow me away. Their intelligence. Their abilities. Their insights. I'm writing a story on him for Boulevard Magazine and it was such a treat to talk to someone about poetry and writing who has had the benefit of some fabulous mentors such as Lorna Crozier, to enhance his obvious natural talent. I think I'll keep him a secret until the piece comes out. I can't wait to write the piece. It's a lot of pressure to represent these really wonderful people and sometimes I just don't feel up to the task. But, I'm sure that's a good thing to feel that way. And, in the end, I know I am. Up to the task that is.

We did the interview at the Fernwood Inn and that's a place I'd love to go back to for a meal the next time I'm in Victoria with someone. I tend to revert to my known spot when I'm alone which is usually if I'm in Victoria. I go to Swans or the cheap but wonderful Chinese place in Chinatown. Swans had a special on Caesars and they offered me a double which I should have declined. I was seated at the window and a table of four women and one man - older than middle aged. It never ceases to amaze me what people talk about. I swear they must have spent at least 15 minutes on their hair. Sheesh! It's impossible not to overhear when you're alone even when you wish you couldn't. The rest of the afternoon was that half in the body, half out experience of having alcohol in the middle of the afternoon. If only I'd been with a friend.

Monday has been a quiet, lazy day. I couldn't stop reading Everything is Goodbye, the book published by MotherTongue Publishing and I really enjoyed it. It's a great first novel. It's really sad. I especially felt sad for the depictions of her relationship with her mother. It felt familiar in all the ways you wouldn't want it to. I went for a long walk around 5pm just down the road and back. It felt good even though it began to pour. I like the kind of things you find sometimes at the beach. A jacket left behind.  A red balloon in greenseaweed. The flowers and the birdhouses offered for sale at the little roadside stand just down from where I live.

The week is almost upon us. Hope you had a visit from the Easter Bunny.  It's almost time to do the best thing you could do all year and vote for Elizabeth May and the Green Party.

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