Monday, 28 September 2015

Those we love

From a travel blogging perspective, we haven't had much to write about these past few weeks.  Even our country walks have been limited by rainy weather and a head cold, and outings in the car are pretty much exclusively to the grocery store.  But from a personal perspective, our hearts have been filled up as we have spent time with those we love.

The Captain has reconnected with friends from twenty years ago, and had a marvelous reunion golf tournament, although don't ask about the actual golf.

1989 "Boscombe Bash." It started in 1985 and was each Easter weekend until 2004.
The Captain (back row right) played every year and organized it in the later years.
2015 "Boscombe Bash Reunion." Five of these fine gentlemen are also in the photo above. Any guesses?
(The Captain is second from the right)
We've visited both his sisters and his daughters, including spending a few days with the enchanting Verity, the grandaughter who carries on the family legacy of beautiful curls.

Nat, Verity, and Phil

We had a lovely lunch with the Captain's daughter Amber & his sister Barbara. I was silly enough to not get any pictures of the people, but I can show you the outside of the pub where we ate.

The door at the bottom looks extra low from this angle, but actually you had do go down a few steps to get inside.
The last few days have been spent hearing about great Canadian adventures as the Captain's other sister and her husband arrived back home from their cross-country trip, releaving us of our cat-sitting duties. (I'm pretty sure the grumpy cat was glad to see them return.)

Grebo, 18 years young and fiesty as ever.
On the side of the Crew, I've been reconnecting in a virtual flurry with my own family, on the occasion of my paternal Grandfather's passing.  It was tough to be so far away, but the face to face-through-a-screen magic of Skype made the best of a difficult time. My Grandfather was an adventurer in his own right, you can read more about his life here.

A rare shot of the Crew enjoying coffee by the side of the Middlewich Canal.

This week we shall cross the Atlantic for one more Toronto run, and as the weather turns crisper, we are looking forward to tropical sunsets.  It seems to be the begining of the end of the Wrong Way Tour 2015.

Monday, 7 September 2015

In the pink

I was thinking today about things to blog about and other than the fact that we've been to the same grocery store three times this week, there isn't much to say.

We are living a quiet country life right now, with great food, long walks through fields and gardening. (I know, boat life hasn't given me any advantages in a garden, but I am trying.)

The English have no rights as a pedestrian in front of cars, but they do when it comes to farmers' fields. So we've been having fun following the maps and the footpaths and trying to end up where we intend to, which mostly we do. Wildlife sightings have been limited to Peter Rabbit and all his cousins, birds, most of which I can't identify, and cows. The cows come in many varieties, and sometimes we walk right through their fields. Usually this is fine, but the other day a particular herd had horns and seemed extra interested in us. We walked quickly.

This church was unremarkable except for its colour. I am not exactly sure what kind of statement it intended to make, but I am having fun imagining. Or, of course, the paint could have been a donation...

You know, someone who is having blog-worthy fun is the Captain's sister Julia and her husband, Adrian. They are driving from Toronto to Vancouver Island and have just passed my home town of Winnipeg, Manitoba, recording their adventures along the way. Check it out:

Thursday, 3 September 2015

A few missing things

So some things happened in Vancouver that I didn't get to share with you.  And then you missed out on our trip to Toronto, round two, and now we are in another country entirely, living the English country life, full of tractors and sports cars (the Captain says that football billionaires live in this part of the country) in a village just south of Manchester, United Kingdom.

Fortunately, I've been keeping a photo record of our trip, so here we go:

Series One: thinking about meat, or almost-meat:

Thank-you Tesco's groceries, for providing these to the world.
Oh, the things you can do on Commercial Drive, Vancouver.
Seriously? I've heard of veggie cheese, but this?

Series Two: signs along the way

And when it's not working as a box, it moonlights as a triangle.
Very small sign, on a fence post in Toronto.
Clearly, what I've been praying for.

Series Three: partners in crime, adventure

Kate, hostess-with-the-mostess, being styled in West Elm, Toronto
Corrie, purveyor of free tickets to King West music adventures in Toronto, and intrepid shopper
El Capitano, a long way from his boat, but still rustling up good things to eat from his brother-in-law's garden.

Series Four: moments of bliss along the way

The cute coffee shop patio we stopped in for a break during one of the many Vancouver motorcycle rides.
First round was strawberry shortcakes, (the Captain has found new hobbies to occupy his time,) second round: blueberries and vanilla yogurt breakfast in bed.
Art by my Oma, to be hung in my house as soon as I have a wall.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Rainy Vancouver?

It's raining here today, the third day of rain we've had during the six weeks we've been here. Lucky for you, because if it was sunny, I would be outside hiking with the Captain instead of writing this post.

We've made a point of getting outside for walks here. Partially because it's beautiful, partially because we were responsible for one of the black furry creatures you can see in the pictures below for a month, and partially because the Captain's been on a pastry kick (poor me) and I would be as wide as I am tall if I didn't move my body. Besides, some walks end at a craft brewery. :)

We have also been lucky to reconnect with my family. Sometimes this has involved hanging pictures at my Grandparents' new place, admiring the extensive collection of artwork my Oma has created in her lifetime. Sometimes this has involved getting "lost" in the woods with my sister and brother-in-law, and being rescued by the Angel responsible for lost car keys.

Most of the time reconnecting includes enormous quantities of really good food, like an extended family turkey dinner in July and a surprise bonus course of ice cream at dinner with my cousin Clara. We've also confirmed the opposite tastes in beer of my Father and the Captain. It has created a new point of discussion, and perhaps a reason to drink more beer?

Anyways, we're not out of time yet. There are still mushrooms to be eaten, motorcycle rides to be had, and perhaps another walk along the seawall. If it stops raining.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Music on every corner

In the places we've been in the past four weeks, I've been noticing the public pianos. Sometimes I hear them before I see them.

Sometimes I stumble on them in strange places, like this community garden.

Random pianos - who'da thought?

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

A visit from the yarn fairy

It appears that there is a yarn fairy in Portland. I went to the yarn store (only a block away from where we were staying) and I only bought one skein of yarn, but ended up with five and a commission for a pair of socks. How cool is that?

Monday, 13 July 2015

Gone, but not forgotten

We've been busy these days, but we're still having fun. The Captain has decided that the Americans of Portland, Oregon, are not so, well, American... (Plus IPA beer is popular there, which helped, I think.)