Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Here comes the sun" (but actually, it rained today)

Hallelujah, the stomach flu is on its way out. I am by no means 100% better, but at least I can tolerate being around food without wanting to throw it up. I even ate three (albeit very small) meals today.

This morning Howard and Rosemarie were quite relived to see that I was getting better; I think they were running out of ideas as to what to do with a sick WWOOFer. I started out the morning by finishing pruning the rosebush I had started a few days ago (and got a few new thorn injuries in the process), while behind me Thibaud attacked the trees and hedges with a pair of pruners, a saw, and his trained landscape gardener's eye. I think Rosemarie was a little nervous to see him hacking and chopping away at her plants, but she was optimistic, saying, "Well, things grow so quickly here, if I don't like it I imagine it will be back to the way it was in under a year!" Thibaud's approach to pruning reminded me somewhat of my dad's: more is less. Waaaaay less. One need only reference a certain cedar tree by the corner steps, or beauty bush by the back door of our house to see what I mean.

After completing the War of the Roses (I'm so witty) I set to work weeding one of the strawberry beds, but the constant moving and bending over was doing a number on my still-sensitive head, so Rosemarie assigned me to a sedentary task of stitching up holes in the netting that covers the strawberry beds. This task kept me busy right up to morning teabreak, and I finished just before lunch at 1:00pm.

After lunch (I ate a small sausage roll and half a slice of bread; improvement!) all four of us went out to visit the Pigeon Valley Steam Museum in Wakefield, about 11km south of Hope. It was a bit of a disappointment; supposedly every Sunday in January is a "Steam Up" day, with rides behind a traction engine and on the bush tramway, but when we got there at 2:00pm we were definitely the only visitors, and there was no sign of any live steam; just half a dozen older men wandering around, tinkering with their machines. By consulting the notice board outside the office building we discovered a larger event is planned for next Sunday, which likely explains how dead it was today. Nevertheless, we had a wander around; the Museum at Higgins Park is actually a collection of several different vintage machinery clubs, who all work together in a communal space and put on special events (like "Steam Up" days) to showcase their toys. I did enjoy wandering around the collection of vintage trucks, which reminded me of an expanded version of the Antique Vehicle Shed at the BCFDC (except the Forest Museum doesn't have any tanks(!) or land rovers). My two favourites were the bright yellow "Crust and Crust" truck (it definitely didn't look like a baker's; I'm thinking it was the name of a contracting company in Dunedin) and the vintage spindly-looking fire truck, with a bell mounted on the ladder rack, and a decal reading "No Hope Fire Department".

In all, the Pigeon Valley Steam Museum gave me a glimpse of what the BCFDC would turn into if we didn't have a clear mandate specifying our focus in preserving the history of the logging industry in British Columbia; we'd possibly have a lot of interesting things (like tanks) but absolutely no way of organizing them into coherent exhibits, or more likely we'd have a bunch of junk lying around that certainly couldn't form a coherent exhibit, and would be an albatross on our backs. Thank goodness Aimee is so good at fending off unwanted "donations"! I salute you, Aimee. I think the Pigeon Valley needs someone like you. :-)

Returning back to the farm, I did a load of laundry, which of course meant that it would start to rain (which it did!), so now some of  my things are drying here in my room, and the others are hanging up outside under the porch roof, where they're probably not drying, but at least not getting any wetter. Thibaud asked if he could use one of my computer's USB ports to charge his "M-P-Trois" player, and we ended up sitting on my bed swapping music back and forth... he likes rap, so I couldn't help him out much there, but I gave him some Björk, whom he said he likes, and also some La Bottine Souriante, so he can take a little Quebecois back with him to France.

Dinner was breaded fish sticks, potato wedges, and ratatouille (it doesn't look anything like it does in the movie, despite my efforts of tugging at Howard's hair to make his arms move like Alfredo Linguini). I've never really had aubergine (eggplant) before, but I found it not dissimilar to a zucchini in texture; I think (like the zucchini) it readily adapts the flavour of what it is cooked with.

After dinner we all watched Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, which had a few funny moments (the penguins were my favourite, and hearing David Schwimmer's voice come out of a sensitive giraffe was hilarious but brilliant casting), but in all didn't amuse me terribly; I couldn't believe how sexualized some of the content was, especially considering this is a children's movie. The animation wasn't anything to write home about, either; perhaps that was the style the animators were going for, but after watching this film I felt even more strongly that Pixar can't be topped in terms of animation quality, storywriting, and production quality for computer-animated films.

Now I am off to bed; here's hoping I wake up tomorrow morning to actual sunshine, and a stomach that feels a little bit more improved than it was today. Night!


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