There won’t be any more Cottage Life pieces till next year, because we spent American Thanksgiving, when you can’t get anything done anyhow, closing the place up. We found out why they call all those great big trees a “rain forest”.
Mind you, we arrived towards sunset (which means 4:30PM at 50ºN this time of year) and the mountains across the way were putting on a show.
Closing the place down isn’t a whole lot of work; the hardest part was cleaning out the eavestroughs. The trees are evergreens, but in a big blast of wind (which you’re always going to get come autumn) they drop lots of little bits ’n’ pieces that clog up the downpipes just as effectively as those autumn leaves.
Side-Trip: Being Centred · This excursion involved a warm glow of cultural immersion. On the way over we stopped for lunch at the Troller pub in Horseshoe Bay; it was quiet, reflective, busy, full of not-terribly-young people having Wednesday lunch with beer. I could have sat at any table and slipped right into the conversation.
Then we walked onto the Langdale ferry; it’s lightly loaded mid-week this time of year, the crowd being extremely-Pacific-Northwest random; shaggy hippies, Sikh truckies, and everything in between.
We water-taxied to the cottage with Eric the beachcomber (as in log salvager) who’ll store our floating dock for the winter; it’s pretty old and beat up, but he and I think it’s good for a couple more years at least, with a bit of fix-up.
Ken the contractor dropped by the cottage, a ponytailed ex-physicist (reminds me of someone) who’ll probably end up ameliorating its deplorable plumbing and electrical.
All these people are dressed in comfy flexible soft-coloured clothes, usually with a waterproof layer over a vest. Most men’s heads are covered with some baseball-cap variation; that long front bill keeps the rain off the face. They talk English that seems unaccented to me, slowly and seasoned with laughter.
This is more important to me than to most people I think. I’ve often been a foreigner and even when near home felt off-balance; but not among these people.
The Rain · It set in partway through. The trees and wildlife love it, and assuming you’ve got a lair nearby that’s warm and waterproof, and assuming also practical Pacific-Northwest rainwear, it can be a real pleasure to spend time out in the rain among the great trees reaching skyward to drink deep, and the graceful seabirds joyfully ignoring it when the prey comes near the surface.
Anyhow, here’s a picture that’s as close to capturing what the rain by the forest by the rocks by the sea feels like as I’ve managed so far. I think that this might benefit from presentation on paper, and lots of it.
I noticed that, by accident, I’d taken what amounts to the same picture of Gambier Island both in sunlight and in a rainstorm. Here they are:
Which is better?