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Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Okay, last post of 2008: Currently sitting in the living room of the house on Wellsview, watching the Flames/Oilers game with Colin, father of my old pal Nikki. I've been here exactly 3 weeks--here being Victoria--and while I don't have much of a game plan yet, I can say that so far, everything is good.
Getting here took much campaigning on Nikki's part, followed by much back-breaking labour as we packed up and cleaned El Condo Non Grande. The day we left, December 9th, was marked by two typical Nikki-Jane events: Nikki was supposed to follow me (driving the cube van) in my car, and I lost her at the very first corner. By some miracle we had agreed on a meeting point to get a quick bite before embarking on the trip proper. Then, after enduring some hairy turns and twists in the mountains, as the snow was falling, we agreed to meet at the tourist centre in Field. Whereupon Nikki, in the Mazdad, was stranded in a parking lot where deep snow covered sheer ice. It took five of us, slipping, falling, cursing, laughing, to push the little car back onto the road. Why wasn't the parking lot graded and sanded? Beat the hell out of all of us. We made it to Salmon Arm the first night, found a mutt-friendly hotel, and fell fast asleep after a fit of laughter that brought us both to tears.
The next day's drive was mostly uneventful, except I got us hopelessly off course in Chilliwack and greater Vancouver, nearly making us miss the ferry. The first few days were composed of work, work and more work, and unusually heavy snow that nobody in Victoria was expecting. All the farm work Nik had planned was postponed indefinitely. The water lines froze, so we had to haul water down to the horses and goats three times a day through deep, wet snow. When I was not being accused of bringing the crappy weather from Alberta, I was being apologized to for the terrible, terrible weather that never, never happens here. Except now and then.
Nik's brother, Peter, and her daughter, Danielle, came over from Japan and were able to make it to Victoria despite the crippling weather. Then all the family headed over to the mainland to Nik's other brother's place, and I looked after the livestock and dogs. Piper, the rotten one, has mixed it up a couple of times with Basil and Elliot, the huge black poodles, and has yet to win a fight. Not that it would make any difference. Otherwise, she and Riven worship Nik and her family, leaving me unloved unless I've got food in my hand.
The snow is slowly melting. The farm chores have become automatic, although working with the filly, Brio, is a constant joy every day. Hanging out with Peter and Dani has been thoroughly enjoyable, as has spending the last few days in Colin's company (Nik and Dani are off at some Christian-infused horsey camp on the mainland until Jan. 1st). What will the new year bring? Well, first and foremost, a job of some sort. I hope. A sold condo, I also hope. A batch of writing would also be nice.
This wasn't an easy change to make, let me tell you. But despite missing my friends in Alberta, I am glad that I didn't chicken out on trying to make more of my life. Here goes.
Monday, December 01, 2008
Officially using up vacation, I am, which is why I was farm-sitting at Jean and Tyke's for the past four days. Today, Monday, was the first day of Doing Stuff! Getting the Packing under control! Making Decisions!
The only problem was that I had to do some of the worky-work stuff online, and I couldn't keep my Telus network from locking up and keeling over. Fine, I had a couple of office things to do, so I'll just drop in for 10 minutes or so. Seven hours later, I am still here, and have been busier on a frickin' vacation day than I usually am on a work day.
Enough of this complaining. I had four pretty delightful days on the farm, looking after dogs, horses, chickens and calves. I made huge fires every night at dusk. I found my cellphone! Not that the farm had anything to do with that, but still. I managed to tire out all six dogs. Even managed to piss off a couple of hunters one day as I took the dogs for a barking stroll down a dead-end lane. Those deer in that meadow? Do not like barking dogs barrelling after them. And managed not to get shot by you as a result, Elmer.
Definitely not good at goodbyes, so Jean and I agreed we wouldn't say them. A sensible plan, I think. During the drive home, I listened to a few iPod selections, and wouldn't you know it but one of them had the line "I'll never have to say goodbye." Eyelids, for holding back the tears the purpose of, failing miserably.
Well! I have so enjoyed this day of vacation at the office. Now I shall return home and--damn. I bet I was booked to work at the Stupeystore tonight. Totally forgot. Huh boy.