Monday, May 29, 2006

life's a beach

Yesterday, we three (Mum, Mat and I) went down to Point Michaud, a little community at the very south of the island, to visit our friends Del Zoppo and Gil Hancock, artists of different stripes and persuasions who live in a beautiful home by the sea. We drove over the usual rough and bumpy roads off the TCH, passing farms and rolling fields full of flowering dandelions, until we got to Louisdale, when we turned toward the sea. The Bras d'Or lake was on one side of us, and the ocean on the other. We drove some more, passing neat and tidy little homes, neighbourhood hangouts (a lot of establishments selling ice cream and burgers) and lots of short, stunted trees, until we got to the black mailbox advertising "Zoppo/Hancock". This is just past the Provincial Park for the Point Michaud beach, which is one of the best ones in the province, so they tell us.

We spent a lovely afternoon with Del, a weaver and an energetic woman of sixty, who is at the moment preparing her new building to be used as a B & B, and Gil, her husband, an older man who has done various things in his life including extensive pottery and ceramics, as well as sculpture and painting. They are from Chicago originally, and live a charmed life in their home by the beach. They are literally 20 paces from the waves and the basalt rocks that the waves smash against, and each window in their home is like a painting, but one that always changes. The weather was thankfully lovely yesterday, sunny blue skies making the water a gorgeous turquoise, and after we had a lunch (and early birthday celebrations for Mat), we went walking on the beach. There we saw hundreds of snail tracks (little wiggly petroglyphs made in the wet sand by invisible snails), some sand dollars, birds and other walkers.

It was late by the time we left their home. We had eaten wonderful food, had great conversation (the kind that inspires you to go home and DO things, as well as reflect happily upon life), drank lots of fair trade coffee out of a very large Bodum, and told each other stories about travel, art, tattoes, and time. We drove home that evening tired (something about the wind beating on you and the sand resisting your feet that makes beach-walking actually an exercise) but happy, a day well spent.

I start work in one week, and I'm going to think of this next week as vacation. There are things to do, but they are the small acts of living in a home (vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom) that can actually be made to be enjoyable with the right music and the right amount of rest each night. Catriona's back from Scotland, so I'll likely bike into town one of these days and pester her at the cafe where she is working.

The apple blossoms are coming out here, so each morning (or every other morning, to be precise) when I go for my speed-walk, I get to see frothy blossoms in amongst the lush green by the roadsides. And each time I go out (usually a little disgruntled already, just because I get like that in the morning until I've moved around some, huffing along with my water bottle in one hand), I pass by the Baddeck Bay which is so close to the road and usually quite pretty, and breathe deeply, appreciating where I am.

PS: Again, thanks for the book suggestions. I'm really into Sense and Sensibility now, it's a fun little read! Next is the book version of Under the Tuscan Sun, by Francis Mayes. It came before the movie, actually. So it will be a bit different, I imagine.

Oh and PPS: the above picture came from here. That house you see in the background is Del and Gil's. Cool!

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