Travel Journal

Denman Island - August 8 - 9

(Wednesday 15 August 2007) by Karin
Angel of Expectation
Up in time again to feed the pigs. While they are emptying their buckets, Alison and I start pulling out the tansies, a weed, with button like yellow flowers and pungent, aromatic juice sometimes used medicinally and as a flavoring, that is growing all over the pig yard and the pigs are not eating it. They obviously don't like it as the yard is overgrown with the stuff.
We then continue weeding the vegetable beds and after tea decide it's time to pick some plums. Not easy putting up the ladder when all the cows want to do is scratch themselves against it. Kind of dangerous when you are balancing on them but Alison manages to shoooo them away. A good harvest and we then proceed to cutting them into pieces and taking the pits out so they can be frozen.
Time to cut the ends of the green beans I picked yesterday. Hmmmmmmmmm, they are not bad when they are raw. After lunch we boil them for 2 minutes, cool them and prepare them for the freezer. And I discover that my stomach and intestines do not like uncooked beans...ouch ouch ouch. Forget going to the beach today but Alison suggests laying down under the apple tree in the veggie garden. Very relaxing. Great idea. I try to sleep some but of course, for once I am not tired at all and my poor tummy hurts. It's nice though to look at a blue sky through the apple tree branches. Until I discover that we both forgot that it's the only tree with ripe apples. You can guess what happened.... ouch.... I surely didn't count on being bombarded with apples. But my stomach feels better and pig feeding time comes along. They got to eat all the apples that fell and they love it. I get pushed in the corner by one of the momma pigs and decide it's more fun to pull some weeds. Loads more of the tansies to pull. And here I make another discovery. I discover why I had such a bad sneezing and sniffing fit in the morning. I didn't realize until now, when pulling out the tansies with my sleeves pulled up and without gloves and my arms covered in hives and itching, itching, itching that I'm allergic to the tansies. What a day. And I liked pulling them as it was a really rewarding job and it occupies me while the pigs eat. Told Alison I would pull them with gloves and my sleeves down but she doesn't want to know about it. No more tansies for me. Too bad.
Watched Ghostbusters with Steven after dinner and made it an early night. I had a hard time getting up this morning.
Angel of Purpose
Thursday already, time is going fast and I'm really getting into the routine now. Get up, breakfast, feed pigs and work in the garden. Whenever I start in a new place I always feel a bit lost and think that its going to take time to get used to the people and work and surroundings but I'm again and again surprised at how quickly I adapt to my new surroundings. And I love it here. Wouldn't mind staying longer but am flying back to Ottawa on the 16th.
This morning we tried to clear around the cherry tree. It's still a very small tree and you could hardly see it anymore. Will have to do some weedwhacking when Steve is around as we cannot get the machine going. Maybe tomorrow. After our fresh mint 'herbal infusion' (the "let's have a herbal infusion" phrase always makes Alison and me laugh) we picked all the dry fava beans and emptied the shells. It's really nice when you are two and you can just chat all morning while working. Time seems to go much faster.
They are having people over for dinner and Steven brought some Belgian chocolate home yesterday.... hint hint hint.... chocolate mousse??? So down to the village to get some whipped cream and eggs. Easier said then done. First we cannot find the key to start the truck. When we finally find the key after a few calls to Steven, and we get the truck started (it is really old) we get on our way only to discover half way that we are running on empty. We leave Balou in the car and leave on foot. Just before a dangerous turn we meet a young man with an older person who thinks that taking that turn is too dangerous and does not want to continue. We're supposed to show him it isn't that bad but half way down I slip and fall on my butt. We just burst out in laughter. That must have been very reassuring. It was really funny but ouch ouch ouch, you should see the bruise..... We do make it to Denman Village which is the hub of Island activities. We meet Wes who offers us a ride back to the car with some gasoline once we finish our shopping. Alison shows me the Village, we do our shopping and meet Wes at the bakery were we have some coffee or tea and just talk for a while. We make it back home where I quickly start the mousse while Alison and Wes check the house. He'll join us for dinner tonight too.
He arrives first, followed by LeeAndra and Bruce. All really nice people and we enjoy a nice dinner. While we are having dessert two young man walk in and ask if they can set up their tent in the field as the campground is full. It's raining cats and dogs so Steve offers them the barn to sleep and after they get their girlfriends they join us at the house for some dinner and wine. Turns out to be a highly enjoyable evening. Do I want to leave here? Everyone is so nice and life is so relaxed here.


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