aw, pretty! i had a very canadian weekend on quadra island. miriam and i went canoeing, hiking and swimming and made a pie. it was very pretendy camping, the sort of camping that involved a baby grand piano and bathing every day. we did get rained on a lot, though, and climbed a small mountain. i got to practise my tree identification skills (lots of red pines and cedar trees) and saw lots of natcha. we saw: banana slugs (yellow with brown spots), big black slugs, a toad, crabs, a hermit crab, vultures, crows, a dead seal with no head and a number of complete seals swimming. oh, and deer! cute bouncy deer! all very exciting.
the island was incredibly beautiful. quadra is off vancouver island, north-west of vancouver city, and it's tricky to get to, so it's not very built up, and there weren't too many people, even though it was the last long weekend of summer. to get there we drove up to a ferry terminal on the north shore, took a two and a half hour ferry across to nanaimo, then a bus up the island for two hours, then another short ferry across to quadra. it took a long time, but there were good views from all, and it was the first time i'd been up that way.
canoeing in what looks like a big lake, but was actually a very sheltered bay:
pretending it's not freezing:
the next day we went blackberrying the next day and got the most amazing haul. here is the fantabulous pie miriam made from the berries. yes, those are gumleaves on the top:
then we climbed a small mountain and admired the spectacular views from the top. this is looking south over the island. the photos form a panorama from left to right:
where we camped last night:
and coming home on the ferry. bye-bye, islands!
then i was back to uni, which was a bit of a shock. i swear there were more people stuffed into my skytrain carriage last night then i saw in the whole weekend. i spent the whole day dealing with bureaucracy and filling in forms, apart from two hours i spent fighting with the photocopier. yuck yuck yuck. i so hope i manage to get into the next pay round. i'm so poor and i so badly want a haircut. i need to invest in some bike gear too, so i can start commuter cycling properly. i used to have a nifty little travel pass which cost $80 a semester and let me go on any public transport, which was wonderful, but now i'm not a student anymore it has gone away. thus the need for a bike seat which isn't hard as a rock, an expensive raincoat and some sort of water resistant leg gear. it rains far too much in this city to skimp on rain gear! i'm looking forward to commuter cycling again. i've never been as fit as those three years in melbourne i rode everywhere.
due to a whole lot of bureaucratic muck ups i'm not TAing the classes i'd hoped for, but am doing an early modern literature course instead, which i think will work out fine. it'll definitely be good for me anyway. i'm rereading paradise lost at the moment, and enjoying it (it makes so much more sense of his dark materials and the bartimeous trilogy). i had my first tutorial yesterday and had such a good time. i'd forgotten what fun teaching can be.
must go read the norton introduction the 16th century.
love to all