Sunday, May 22, 2011

Stuff's a Growin'!

Despite waking up with a hangover and a bad case of first-time hives, today was a pretty darn fantastic day.
Oliver and I have been working on a small, semi-temporary green house for our impatiently waiting tomato plants, (one of which bears a small tomato, though it’s only mid-May) and upon approaching the site, I found that Oliver had managed to clip on the tricky pieces of plastic stuff onto the frame and get the billowing house ready for its inhabitants. 
A further tour of the garden unveiled lots of greenery that has finally decided to show itself in a big way. Including (but not limited to) corn, which people have had limited success with here on Denman, or so I’ve been told.  The beans, peas potatoes, chard and lettuce are popping up everywhere.
Still fairly new to this, when I put a little seed in the ground, my thoughts are “heck, that will never grow. This little hard bead isn’t going to turn into a giant plant full of food.” But it does. Another thing that amazed me the other day was when I found three of my tomato seedlings flopped over on their sides, looking as good as dead. I carefully transplanted them into a bigger pot and gave them some water, and within minutes, voila, they began to spring back to life again, and are now looking as happy as the rest.

Outside of the magical garden, I got to work with some of the photos Ben took yesterday for Oliver and my promo shots.  I am a horrible subject, unable to keep a strait face, or find anything cleaver and natural to do with my arms – so Ben had his work cut out for him. I thought I’d botched every red dress shot we took, by standing like an ape, square to the camera with my arms hanging giant at my sides. But then I found hope in one photo, and after fooling with the colours for an hour or so, I got exactly what I wanted, and it seems to be getting great reviews so far.

Speaking of which – it actually amazed me how posting a photo of me looking all dolled up got me waaaay more attention than posting a new song, a call-for-help environmental message or something about anything real, and in my humble opinion, valuable. We (and I definitely include myself in this) hold appearances in such sickeningly high regard. It is very interesting, and I wonder if it is truly a natural and biological behaviour for humans and other animals to value appearances.  Hmmmm. It’s odd. But, now I know and I guess I’m going to use it.

Anyway, that sounds negative, but a bunch of compliments didn’t cast any kind of shadow upon my day at all.

Also got a free working toaster from the side of the road today. 

The ugly but functional greenhouse

Corn, slightly bug-munched.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


It is 9:25 and I have just returned from a Sunday evening walk into the village. It is vacant. I was alone with my breathing and the crunch of gravel beneath my feet and the smell of hay fields and blossoming fruit trees and the fading light. Seldom do I experience a vacant town on a warm evening – in fact, I can’t remember the last time – it is something both eerie and romantic. It’s different from being alone in the woods, or on a farm. The empty streets and porches and stores entice and disturb me; the under-layer of our little civilization. I am right downtown and I could do almost anything without anyone ever knowing. I could write messages in wooden railings, lye down in the middle of the road, re-arrange the posters on the bulletin board, press my face up to the store windows and look inside...
Someone else’s footsteps in the distance are a threat and a mystery. If we were to cross paths, our “hello’s” would linger in the air until morning. If we were to meet eyes and hold one another’s glance, it would be a strange kind of intimacy, the two of us, there alone in the twilight. What a shame it would be to break the silence. Maybe we would bow and curtsy. Maybe we would waltz anonymously in the streets.
Maybe I should learn to waltz.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Day Off

Today the rain brought me a day off – a day to do as I choose. I feel like it’s been a while since I had a day like this.  Oliver has been doing a lot of work on the land while I’ve been away working on other people’s land, volunteering in the school and trying to sort out this summer’s tour. 
I spent the morning planting seeds and loving them up to help them grow. There are many things in the gardens now – potatoes, various peas, fava beans, lettuce, kail, chard, pac choi and plant species between, herbs, onions and our crowning glory: garlic. The Garlic is already surprisingly huge and since it’s one of my favourite tastes in the world – I am very excited every time I see it.  The orchard is now packed full of trees and fruiting shrubs and many of them are beginning to bloom.
Today I’m feeling pretty good about all of this mess. I think I’m beginning to come to terms with not having a proper home and that it will be some time before I ever have anything that resembles a couch or a desk. 
The elections are happening today and I decided to swap my vote (party choice) with someone from another region in an attempt to resurrect democracy and have the election outcome better represent the voters.  A lot of people were doing this, and I feel really great about it. I’m not sure it we’ll get the results we want – but it does make Canada feel smaller and more like a big, supportive community where everyone works together, despite their differences, in order to meet a common goal.  Also, after talking with my vote-swapping partner who found me through an Internet application, we realized that she was married down the road from where I grew up in Muskoka, at a little resort where I worked as a teenager. Great coincidences like that always put me in a good mood.
This past Saturday was also a day that put a smile on my face. Oliver and I played our first gig at the Comox Valley Farmer’s Market. It was a big, beautiful market with lots of farmers and happy little kids running around and we had a really great audience gathered in front of us.  The pay for the gig is a donation from each vendor and we went home with a wheelbarrow load of fresh, locally produced veggies, pasta, cheese, meats (which I won’t eat, cuz I’m veg, but my lovely friends will enjoy it), bread, desserts, starter plants, and even a blueberry bush. It was the most amazing paycheque ever and I love playing music outside so that was also perfect. I hope they’ll keep us coming back in future years. 


Our most spacious garden - about half planted.