My hate affair with yarrow continues; I spent this morning ripping out the last of the grasses and weeds and then using a pitchfork to dig up the extensive masses of roots hiding in the soil below. This task was made difficult and backbreaking by a) the slope of the garden, b) the slippery clay, c) the water that had decided to pool in the bottom of the garden that I kept stepping into, and d) the oppressive, humid heat. By the time noon rolled around and Skye came up to tell me lunch was ready I nearly passed out / threw up from heat exhaustion. You'd think I'd have learned my lesson by now about working in the heat, but no...
After lunch I flopped down on my bed and had a mini-nap, then read and browsed the internet. Skye came to me at 3pm and suggested we all drive out to Pourerere beach, about forty minutes from here. I was intrigued, but a little apprehensive because I had planned to spend some time this afternoon practising "The Giving Tree" in the church. The other source of my apprehension was the rumbling thunder that had been steadily building all afternoon, as dark, forbidding blue clouds rolled in from the southwest. Nevertheless, into the car the three of us piled, and drove east to the Pacific Ocean.
It was nice to smell the salty tang on the air again after being inland for two weeks, and walk along the sandy beach barefoot (decidedly more comfortable than the rough rocks on the banks and bottom of the Waipawa river). Skye had brought three sacks with her, and we spent twenty minutes or so collecting seaweed off the beach to take home and preserve (Skye likes to cook and eat it). As we strolled down the beach, flashes of lightning began to appear in the sky... using the tried and true counting rule we determined them to be about twenty miles away, then twelve, then eight... and by that point we had turned back and were heading for the car as the first fat drops of rain started to pelt down from the sky.
Driving back home on the narrow, winding rural road was definitely an experience; I don't think I have ever been in a car when it is raining that hard. We were literally reduced to a crawl in some instances because the rain was so heavy; it was sheets of water pouring down onto the car. And then just as quickly as it began, it was over, as the storm swept east on its journey out to the ocean.
We came home to a sopping wet lawn, and spread the seaweed out in front of the art studio. Skye and Finn hosed it down to remove most of the excess salt and sand, and I carried it, bunch by bunch, over to the blue plastic barrel for preservation. We filled the barrel with seaweed and water and an herb from the garden whose name escapes me to help preserve it, and then sealed the barrel shut. While I have certainly eaten seaweed before in Canada, it was a unique experience to actually go out and collect it myself!
After dinner the three of us sat down to watch a DVD of Cirque du Soleil's Varekai, a take on the Greek myth of Icarus. Having never seen a Cirque du Soleil performance, live or otherwise, I was blown away by the acrobatics and choreography. I had a little moment of Canadian pride, and then had to explain to Skye and Finn that Cirque du Soleil is Canadian, not French. :-)
Tomorrow morning I am singing "The Giving Tree" at the Sunday church service at St. Peter's, so I had better go have a shower (for some reason I smell like seaweed) and then head to bed. Night!