Monday, 22 August 2011

Visitors take preparation....

Step one: Get on the sewing machine and make a sign for the airport....

Step Two: Turn up at the airport on time and hold sign aloft.

Step Three: If your visitor is a member of the Hockett clan, ensure you have plenty of pickles on hand.

Very excited, off on adventures - hopefully have some fab photos to share over the next couple of weeks, fingers crossed for Belugas!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Blogging failure....

Well, suppose I should admit that i'm just not keeping up with this - had a good run though didn't I?

I'm not quitting completely though, will add more rambles when I've got something to report..... the meantime I'm afraid I got eaten by a fish again, and have to deal with the consequences before anything resembling normal service resumes.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

221/365 Imaginary Importance

I have no photo for Tuesday, just a moment or two of amusement to share.

On my walk home from work I was saluted by a man in Military Uniform, who exclaimed 'Good afternoon Sir' as he passed.

I walked on a little bemused.

Then it happened again.

It took a third time for me to turn round and realise I was walking two paces ahead of a military gentleman with a fair number of stripes and medals displayed.

Guess I'm not as important (or masculine!) as I thought.

That is all.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

220/365 Doorothy

You know it has been a successful trip when even after breaking camp and with thoughts of the slog back across the lake, the group can still find enough time to pose for shots like this:

The key member of the group I have yet to mention is Doorothy. When plans fall through and that three man tent you borrowed from a friend turns out to be at most a two-close-friends tent, finding an abandoned door in your campsite is a source of much relief. Especially if one of your party is happy to bond with said door, balancing it lovingly on chopped wood under a carefully hung tarpaulin by the campfire. R and Doorothy ended up very close, and it was only fitting that she featured in our group photos.

I only hope the next group to venture to the campsite treat her with as much love.

Good bye Doorothy, our time with you was brief but oh so special. You are one of a kind, and it can only be seen as proof of our love for you that you weren't chopped up and burnt on Sunday night what with you being the only dry wood on the campsite. That's love that is. x

219/365 Extreme Paddling

Sunday was a more adventurous day, heading out to explore yet more new shores and to try and find some of the elusive Algonquin wildlife. Kingfishers and frogs in abundance, and the ever present Loons calling, but still no moose - one day!

We paddled and swam, snorkeled and napped - four of my favourite activities, add to that some sock knitting and I was definitely a happy camper.

Here I am, particularly proud of myself after swimming over to an Island from our lunch-time spot....graceful aren't I?!

We may have napped a little too long however as we got caught in a thunder-storm on the paddle back to camp. Lightning whilst sat in an aluminium canoe - not very sensible! The downpour had me double-checking we had our bailer with us too - poor Jasper sat in a puddle....and yet it was a fantastic afternoon! All campers responded with good humour, Dunkirk spirit kicking in I suppose. Thankfully the boys went straight into camp-fire building when we got back, an evening of drying out and top-notch Risotto......oh and Sherry from the hip flask - what a classy bunch we are!

218/365 Daytripping

A lazy Saturday afternoon. Short paddle, then a hike to a new lake, with sandy shores for pottering about on. Sitting in the sunshine with tiny fish nibbling our toes and crayfish popping out from under rocks.

This was a man heavy trip, with yours truly the only girly.

It was also a dried-fruit heavy trip with pears, mangoes, apricots - so many options.

Dried fruit in abundance + male heavy trip = increased trips to the camp toilet for most of us + vast increase in toilet humour. Boys boys boys.

217/365 Hi ho hi ho....

.....its off canoeing we go!

After a couple of hiccups (last minute cancellations, canoe booking lost etc!) we were off - and with paddles in hands everything looked brighter. How can you fail to be happy with lunch spots like this?

Arriving at our lake of choice (well, second choice!), the Island campsite was already we ended up on the shore at what turned out to be a prime spot. Camp up, hammock out and a delicious dinner cooked - hoorah. The loons were calling, the mosquitos were low in numbers, and Jasper happy to cosy up by the campfire. Life is good.

216/365 Thursday night and the packings done.

P wants to make sure he doesn't forget his new toy - snorkel and goggles for exploring the lakes of Algonquin Park. After a mad scramble of packing we collapsed in the hammocks with G&T's and then an early night before the ridiculously early start in the morning....

Thursday, 4 August 2011

215/365 New arrivals

This cheeky chappy and his missus have started nest-building in the tree just in front of our house. So so pretty, and also most considerate in that they are very vocal when around, making photos easy!

Much as I love Greedy McBeaky, as feathered neighbours go I don't think theres much of a contest in the beauty stakes, and these new friends also don't wake us at 5am with their mad-cawing.

Fingers-crossed for baby birdies soon.

214/365 Planning

Trip planning sucks. The initial excitement of choosing dates and debating ideas soon fades with the hours spent trawling through websites, on hold to booking agents etc. As we get closer to our next canoe-expedition, P has taken over with his food planning - spreadsheet ahoy!

Hopefully the effort now will result in far more interesting posts and photos later on!

213/365 Holiday Mondays

We had a whole day planned out - walk dog, get in hammocks, only leave hammocks for food.

Well, a slight diversion for pancakes with M and N first - great way to start the day....then a whole two minutes in the hammocks before a text comes in and the whole day swings round from concentrated relaxation to messing about on boats!

P was up first, and disappeared up the river with his intrepid guide Rune. Apparently he was a natural and threw himseld in with gusto, trapezing with grace and even filling R with enough confidence for him to get the Spinniker out and up the speed.

Sadly I am a girl. And at a distance those boats all look fairly similar, and I took photos (and video!) of the wrong one! Anyway, here is a piccie of them closer to shore:

I was up next and surprised myself by really enjoying the trapezing - loving it in fact. I was a little concerned that it would feel much like the worst bits of abseiling, where you lean backwards and feel like you'll just keep going into nothingness. In reality I actually felt more connected to the boat standing on the side leaning out backwards than I did sat down!

Paul did a much better job of spectatoring than I, and you can jsut about make me out in this one...

Honestly - it is me!

And one final shot, just to show off the shiny sail.

A fab day all round, thanks Rune!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

212/365 Farms and scrabble

Off to the Agriculture Museum for the annual knit-out this afternoon. Apparently it is the 6th year its been going, but the first time I've made it. Worked on the crazy cabled sweater for an hour or so, and had a brief wander round to see the animals....

....from there on to dinner, ice-cream and then coffee and scrabble before the evenings concert. My scrabble performance was very sad, not on my game at all.....although I did get 'bacon' and 'egg' on consecutive turns, which I still argue should be worth bonus points!

211/365 Ambient noise....

( far behind yet again!)

A relaxing afternoon on the Island, reading books, eating cheese and listening to the sounds of summer....chipmunks squeaking and the wind in the trees....

The ambient noise in the evening was masterfully incorporated into the percussion performance at the Remic Rapids. Goose calls, the flow of the river, all mixed in with the music and atmosphere. Some memorable pieces - rhythms played on stones and the magic of wind wands. (Including the big plastic tubes we used to muck about with as children, making a horrendous wailing. Strangely they seemed so much more tuneful played this evening, by professionals!).