Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Garage Re-arrangement Blues: Wednesday, September 30th!

Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor. -Truman Capote, author (30 Sep 1924-1984) 

Hello Cornwall! Trust you are both well. Have been meaning to send along greetings for some time and when we chatted with Chloë, last night, I was reminded that I'd not done so. She told us that she thought that she'd broken her big toe at work yesterday. She was dashing to answer a phone and caught her toe on a desk leg, I believe. At any rate, I told her, rather flippantly, that she she go and live with Kriissy! Was upset to learn about her latest "accident"! I gather it was pretty serious and, the least of it, some anniversary present for you! Belated congratulations, (and sympathies), to you both! Hope Krissy is recovering satisfactorily. At least Mark seems to be doing well in his new role. Did I send you the snaps of his time here? Had a great, if brief, visit.

On a brighter note we are expecting more visitors, Nancy and David, from Vancouver, this weekend. Nancy and Cora Lee were in Library School together, (back in the '70's!), so good friends. Looking forward to doing a bit of wine-tasting with them. Ironically, have been so busy since moving here that we only have time to visit wineries with visitors! Not complaining but just reporting the facts. (Per esempio, only recently tasted at Nighthawk. New winery discovery as place has only been open for about six weeks! Tasted there last weekend with friends, Penny and Mike, from London. They did a bit of the same trip to Banff as you, this September, before visiting us. They also visited us in Cornwall, although they stayed at a hotel in Truro.)

"Nothing but the facts, Ma'am!" Please identify quotation to win a free case of Orofino wine. We are off, on Saturday, to collect our Fall release from this wonderful winery in Keremeos. The owners put on a pizza-pick-up-party for Wine Club members. Went earlier this Spring and it was loads of fun. They even have gluten-free crust and Cora Lee had two pizzas of her own, much more than anyone else! You can sample the new releases while chatting and nibbling so a fun affair. Have invited Jos and Aart, lovely couple from hiking group. They live in Summerland and will come to our place to take our car to Keremeos. Corinne will drive as I plan to ride there, (only about 55 km), so I'll leave a couple of hours ahead of time to meet around noon. After event I will put my bike on rack and drive back together. Jos and Aart are very active and ride themselves but are uncomfortable with cycling on highway. I'd rather ride on less busy thoroughfares, obviously, but shoulders on 3A are wide and clean so I don't mind. Almost better than some of the busy roads in Cornwall!!! 

While we are in Inja will ave a couple, Louise and Henryk, staying here while we are away. They are good friends of Corinne's sister, Pam, and when they learned that we were going to be on holiday they wanted to rent our place. They are looking for a spot in the Okanagan and so wanted to stay here beforehand to get a better idea of where they might wish to buy a home. Henryk is quite "handy" so I suggested that he do some of the work we wanted done on the place instead of paying rent. 

In this vein, must away as I plan to rearrange the garage today. Made a start, a few weeks ago when friend, Branko drove up from Vancouver to help build a work-bench, storage shelves and replace a window so things are starting to fall into place. Want/need to make room for more shelving I'd like Henryk to build. Also hope he will be able to install the in-house vacuum system we brought back from Winnipeg. Piping will go in the crawl space but power unit will be mounted in garage. On and on and on! Have included album from latest hike. Fondestos from Mme Coriandre to you both. Cheers, Patrizzio!

Patriçio, Oh, don’t read the manual. Manuals are for weenies. Real men just do it! You will not believe how the Dewalt will simplify projects. Makes me want to visit again and go crazy on shelving, etc. whatever!

Impressive ride, I must admit. Maybe I will put my motorcycle back on the road and join you next time. I can be like the escorts in the Tour de France!

A pick up for the charity event would be appreciated. I am home from Yakima (probably) late Friday aft, so we can touch bases then, or Saturday a.m. On another note, I have taken up a new hobby, mushroom farming! The attached photo is a typical example of mushrooms I have growing in the yard. Happy to send you some. I hear they are excellent in omelettes and salads! hasta la vista//bjp

Hello Mushroom Man! Just a quick note to say how much we are looking forward to your return to continue shelving project! Following your advice, I've already recycled manual! Thanks for offer of mushrooms but we have some growing in our front planter. Not your radioactive reds but large ones, nonetheless. Stay well. Take care of yourself. Fondestos and Cheers, Il Conduttore!  

Hi Colin! I thought film stars never aged! Here is the Winner of the Chicago Tribune's best Tweet of the week: "I thought my vasectomy would keep my wife from getting pregnant but apparently it just changes the color of the baby."

Hello Lower Mainland Folk! Trust you are both well. Played any bridge since we left? Cheers, Patrizzio!

Dear Patrick and Corinne Great to hear from you-- I think Burns Street Base Camp is pretty apt. 101 km--what a ride--and what terrific fall weather. So lovely! You really must celebrate your blessings.

Today is the official opening of the Robert Lee Alumni Centre. It is very beautiful! Will be re-enacting the Great Trek and all. However, rest of us have classes and must try to run the university while all these activities are going on. The Education 100 Alumni dinner was very good and it was great to have education alumni honored.

Saturday went to the Best of the Fringe and saw God is a Scottish Drag Queen Part III Very entertaining monologue by Mike Delamont--lots of media used and very clever lines--seeing man from God's point of view and God as a Drag Queen. The Scottish accent adds loads to this no "bullshit" look at religion. God is distressed as the Ten Commandments handed down to Moses don't seem to be working.

Who do you vote for in this election? Is Penticton a Conservative riding?? Didn't manage to go to Word on the Street--celebrating Don Currie's 75th birthday instead. It was a magnificent day so I think it went well. Corinne must breathe a sigh of relief not having to worry about going to such events. Anyways must run for now--lots of love Jo-Anne

Hi Miss Marps! Glad to hear that you are now "running"! In a different sense, Richard Cannings is our NDP candidate. Cora Lee has been volunteering for his campaign office. A few weeks ago, now, September 11th, we went to his campaign kick-off in Kaleden. Evening itself was certainly quite a genuinely stirring political event, as far as such rallies go. Corky Evans gave an extremely heartfelt speech. He expressed, in a far, far more articulate and insightful manner than I could, my thoughts and feelings about what Harper and his government have done to the country. While I respect Richard and certainly support him, he is not as passionate a speaker as Corky so I trust voters will listen to his needed, critically important message rather than his low-key delivery. 

Our riding, South Okanagan-West Kootenay, is a newly, re-drawn one. The Okanagan has traditionally been Conservative and the West Kootenay, traditionally been NDP, as you might know. We are hoping that, overall, the NDP will prevail. Of late, as you are probably aware, their support has been slipping, nationally, and here, as well. We are afraid that many voters will opt for the Liberals, (I'm not impressed with the Liberal candidate, Connie Denesiuk, although Lynne Lighthall is a supporter.), in order to oust Harper. Gaia forbid that Harper is re-elected and/or that Marshall Neufeld, Conservative candidate, wins. In an interview he stated:

My desire is to serve the people of our communities and further their priorities. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Canada has weathered economic instability with our Conservative plan of low taxes, a balanced budget, economic growth, and benefits provided directly to families.

We attended an all-candidates meeting, a week or so ago, and I was most impressed with Samantha Troy, the Green Party candidate. Although just recently nominated and new to both national politics and the race itself, she articulated the GP platform more sincerely and pointedly than did any of the other candidates, their respective platforms, etc. We will be voting in the Advance Poll as we'll be in Vancouver on Election Day. Cheers, Patrizzio!

thanks for this Patrick. too bad about the tasting. i will get someone else. Spiffy helmet and welcoming fireplace. we are now with puppy but are in mourning with a lost cat. the competition was the last straw i guess. matt

Hi Glasgow! Sorry to hear about disappearing cat! Cora Lee mentioned episode. Nine lives so who knows! I also gather that "visit" to Falcon was a bit of a fiasco! With respect to tasting, I see from email list that you will proably be in good hands with Sir Andrew and Ricardo! I'll be thinking of you, in front of fireplace, with malt of my own!
Cheers, Patrizzio!

Oh, Faithful Dutch Servant and fearless leader Ken, Any idea how long the hike will be and the extremity for tomorrow? Yours truly, South Okanagan Princess​

I would say a South Okanagan Princess should be able to do this. Unclear when we will be back exactly (depends on the level of creative blundering we do), but I would say we should be back no later than 2:30PM (Teresa has to be back by 3:00PM). With hugs ... Yours faithfull, but above all humble low flying Dutchman 

Hello Low Flying Dutchman and High Class Consort! Just a brief note, not a 500 page novel, to say that I have "negotiated" with Mme Coriandre and she has agreed to allow me to cycle to Keremeos. This being the case, Lady Mary suggests you "carpool" to 611 Burns Street, (Not Home Hardware parking lot!), to arrive around 11:15 am, Saturday morning. Change to our car and proceed, forthwith, (No stopping for malt sampling!), to Orofino. I will depart early enough to be waiting at winery to greet you three around noonish. We have friends arriving from Vancouver, later that afternoon, so we should be home to greet them, hence the timing mentioned above. Trust this suits your busy schedules. We can fine-tune things, domani, over course of Dark Lake hike. Cheers, 'yer ever obsequious, nay grovelling, Patrizzio, able to fly under the lowest of low Flying Duchmen!

Hi Chloë and Hallmark Exec! Finally had a chance to look at the description of The Daughter. Looks terrific! Did you see it? Guess you will pay for my ticket when I go! Why don't you get into the movies since you know so many relatives of actors? Can't Ms Tinsel Town help smooth the way? Pay is better, I assume!!! And all those opening night hors d'oeuvres, not to mention free hootch! You will really be able to host a "real" Oscar Party!
Must away as I have orders from Lady Mary to rearrange the garage. So much to do and so little time. (David and Nancy, from Vancouver, are arriving on Saturday and Whirlygig and Calamity for Thanksgiving, then into Vancouver on 16th. Gulp!!!) Love and Cheers, Dad! Pics: Have my work ahead of me!

I find today's photos quite disappointing to say the least...

Hello Jake and Virginia! Here is the Rock Creek Hat Fiasco album! Cora Lee would like to chat about her editing duties! As well, we'd like to invite you to dinner, at our place, this coming Sunday. If you are free and interested, anytime after 5:30 pm. Perhaps we can chat, domani, on hike, if you plan to join outing, or else on Saturday at FM. If neither, give us a shout when you have a moment. Cheers, Patrizzio! 

“Vancouver Writers Fest's Opening Reception” “Glad you et. al. will be there! - Sandra”— Vancouver Writers Fest Hi Sandra! Really looking forward to seeing all you VWF folk as have missed being close to the action, so to speak, on Granville Island and Studio 1398! Cheers, Patrizzio!

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Hit The Wall Blues: Tuesday, September 29th!

There's no sauce in the world like hunger. -Miguel de Cervantes, novelist (29 Sep 1547-1616) 

Lazy sleep-in until 8:30 am as I had been up pretty late, last two nights in a row. Woke to sunshine streaming in through the bedroom window and heard on the radio that another terrific day was in store. Looking forward to coming ride with The Phantom!

Hi Barb and Lynne! Just a quick note to say how much I enjoyed seeing you. Great visit if too, too brief. Do hope that now we are here we'll have more opportunities to visit back and forth. As is obvious, that will not be possible until we both return from our separate trips/holidays. Part of me longs to return to Guyabitos as it is such a wonderful, wonderful spot so please send along fond regards and greetings to all the terrific folks we met while there. Take care of yourselves. Travel safely. Cheers, Patrizzio! Pics: Penticton visit Hi again, Enderby! Forgot to include album for hike! Cheers, Patrizzio!

Left Burns Street Base Camp at just after 10:00 am as I had arranged to meet the Phantom at his place at about 10:30 am. The wind was at my back so I sailed along and managed an AVG of 25.5 kph by the time I was near Blasted Church. John was actually at the bottom of the hill, atop which his house sits, and he suggested we take McLean Creek Road. I had thought to suggest this, when we chatted on the phone earlier, but decided I had enough hills waiting for me, given the route we were planning to take, but in for a penny, in for a pound, and we set off to conquer the first hill of the day!

From there were rode through OK Falls to take the road to See Ya Later. Cyclists here call this route, The Wall, as it is a pretty steep climb up to the winery. Still, we had the wind at our backs and the route is relatively flat on this part of Green Lake Road until one starts to corkscrew up. Pleased that I was able to keep up with The Phantom although I was huffing and puffing, unlike John, like the Little Engine that Could, by the time we'd crested this demanding ascent. That being said, it wasn't quite as daunting as I had thought it might be.

Once past Nighthawk, road flattens out, more or less, and we whizzed along, passing Mahoney Lake which I'd seen, from above, on yesterday's hike. On through Willowbrook and then right onto Fairview/White Lake Road to follow it north, eventually passing the parking area where we left our vehicles, yesterday, just south of the Dominion Observatory, to begin the hike mentioned above. At White Lake Road we turned left and followed it all thew way to 3A. I'd ridden this route before but never in reverse so the climbs were not quite as easy as the descents. Once at 3A we whizzed downhill, (I was quite surprised at the distance one travels on this stretch as coming from the other direction, uphill all the time, it had never seemed quite as far.), at exhilarating speed to rejoin Green Mountain Road. Again, I knew we had about 14 km of uphill to negotiate but the road ascends in a series of stages and the climbs between the level parts are not overly punishing.

I caught glimpses of The Phantom, at times, but once the road started to twist I didn't see him again until we reached the turnoff to Apex. He was waiting there, putting on more sunscreen, so I kept going, knowing that he would soon be flying by me on the long downhill stretches to come. We'd certainly paid our dues on the hills we'd already climbed, so we enjoyed this last stretch, roughly 10 km, even though the head wind was quite strong and acted as a considerable brake when we really didn't want it!

The Phantom was waiting for me, just across 97, on Fairview, and I invited him to our place for java. However, I wanted to return via Lakefront, to give me the 7 km I "needed' for the day's distance. Since he wasn't interested in any dipsy-doodles, I thanked him for introducing me to The Wall and we said goodbye. He headed back to OK Falls and I threaded my way to Lakeshore and was back at Base Camp just before 3:00 pm. What a ride! What a day!! Simply delighted about becoming reasonably familiar with these truly incredible cycling routes right on my doorstep.  Stats for ride:

Legless at the Legacy i recently “won” a Whisky Tasting for the Legacy Liquor Store for 6. it would be on Jan 13. please let me know if you are interested; take care; matt That would be great Matt, Could this be a repeat of a few years ago? Richard

Hi Glasgow! Trust you are well. Did you see Cora Lee this weekend? I know she was meeting with Catherine. She is busing back today.

Thanks for great invitation! At this point, I don't know what our "winter" plans might be. Back from India on December 10th and I know Ayn would like us to come for Christmas. However, I'm not all that keen to hit the road again, so soon after being back. If we don't go south, we might well be able to make tasting but perhaps you should try to find other lucky people if you need to firm things up in next little while. Let me know what you think and we can try to plan accordingly.

Enjoyed a magnificent outing today. Have included album from yesterday's glorious hike. Must away as I need to have everything ready for Lady Mary's return. Need to vacuum the red carpet and chill the Champagne! Cheers, Patrizzio! Pics: Ragin' putting finishing touches to first phase of garage shelving and standing beside work-bench we, (really He), built, in front of window we replaced. It opens so guest bedroom will be cooler and you can stay for weeks! Lady Mary is there in a strictly supervisory capacity! Had it not been for CB we could have finished all the shelving! Latest "muleage" from London, brought by Penny and Madcap, friends we stay with in Mill Hill Broadway, North London.

Patric..Thanks for em & attached photoes..Im in a rush packing so will get in touch when I rtn on Tuesday.  Thanks for a great ride on such a beautiful day..  I was to tired to punch out more miles today, just needed a coffee & food, Cheers  John

Hi John! Thank you for the more than terrific outing. I certainly appreciate all the new routes that you have introduced me to since we first met. Do apologize for the exceedingly annoying racket made by my bike. Will certainly have problem addressed, whatever it happens to be. Enjoy your trip to the coast. Chat when you are back. Cheers, Patrizzio!

Monday, 28 September 2015

White Lake/Guy's Cache Blues: Monday, September 28th!

A man's life is interesting primarily when he has failed -- I well know. For it is a sign that he has tried to surpass himself. -Georges Clemenceau, statesman (28 Sep 1841-1929)

Sara Jane McGillivray Cheers!! How is the malt cabinet holding up in light of the hordes of visitors? See you in a few weeks. Sara.

Patrick James DunnHi again, Super Sara! In fact, in a strange turn of events, I just had a bottle of Laphroaig, Triple Distilled, 48%, for the UK market, "muled" from London by friends, Penny and Madcap, who were here last weekend. I had actually purchased it online as distillery gives one a 10% discount birthday break on anything from their store. Had it delivered to Mill Hill Broadway, North London, as it is simply impossible to have it sent to Canada, as you well know. So, malt cabinet had an addition, as opposed to serious depredations while Ragin' Bull was in town helping put in shelving in garage and changing a window. Would probably have been less expensive to hire a carpenter than to to keep the Croatian Sensation in hootch, but not as much fun, of course! 

Looking forward to seeing you and dinner before Trivia Night. Will be in touch closer to date to confirm details, etc. I trust you have been eating nothing but food certified by Mensa. For our part we are sticking to the Opimian Society Diet! With respect to latest acquisition and diet, for breakfast I usually have a Fruit Gum, (More "muleage" as I've never found them here and they were my favourite as a child growing up in Cyprus. Unfortunately, Cora Lee steals all the black ones!), and then wash it down with a stiff drink! Cheers!

Test My IPad is up and high speed internet connected!! Clara Sent from my iPad

Hello Rosie-the-Riveter, and Uncle Giorgio! Lovely to hear from you! Welcome to the 21st Century! How long have you been planning this? At any rate, I expect you'll be on Facebook soon, if not already! How are things at the Falcon Lake Fontainebleu? Did Matt and Alexa stay with you?

Had another fabulous hike today, near a spot called White Lake. Roughly about halfway to Oliver but west of highway 97. Gorgeous weather and the unrestricted views, from the various hill tops, of surrounding countryside, were nothing short of spectacular. Annoyed with myself as I've taken to bringing my GPS odometre along on these hikes but I forgot to turn it on until we had reached the top of where we had planned to trek! Stats for hike:

(Click on or "paste" above link to see map of where we went.) Still, link will give you some idea of area. Double the distance. Time was about 3 hours and AVG is lower as one listed represents coming downhill. Drowned my forgetfulness with a blackberry Italian soda, with whipped cream on top, at Opus, back in Penticton, after hike, one of our regular spots to meet once trek is done. Take care of yourselves. Hello and Love to all in Falcon. Chat soon, I trust. Fondestos from Lady Mary, in absentia, to you and Dusty. (Do she and Chloë and Ayn know you are connected?) Cheers, Patrizzio!

Hi again, Rosita! I neglected to include the link for today's hike. Album below shows our group and countryside. On another matter, could you please forward the snaps of Betty, when we stayed, on way back from Falcon, to her. Have been meaning to try to send them for ages. No excuses but plenty of reasons! As well, have attached a number of shots of Zircon, on his way to Victoria; new bed; back patio, flowers on right belong to Lynne and Peter as we were plant-sitting! Shower door, in our bedroom, almost ready. Works well, I'm extremely pleased to say! New "used" car, with new hitch! Come and visit. We have high speed internet as well! Love to you and Dusty. Cheers, your favourite son-in-law, Patrizzio!

Hi John! Trust your ride, with mates, went well. I'm free all day tomorrow so if you would like to go for a jaunt together just let me know what time, etc.

For my part, I enjoyed another wonderful hike this morning,
near White Lake, just south of the Radio Observatory. Looked down on both Mahoney Lake and part of Willowbrook, both of which we rode past/through on Friday, from spot where we had our lunch of sandwiches, fruit, etc.
Drowned my forgetfulness, to turn on my odometre, with a blackberry Italian soda, with whipped cream on top, at Opus, back in Penticton, after hike, one of our regular spots to meet once trek is done. Cheers, Patrizzio!

Pics: Snaps from Saturday; today, looking down at Mahoney and "outskirts" of Willowbrook.

Hello Fellow Hikers! Just a quick thank-you to Colonel Colleen for leading such an exemplary expedition, and to everyone else for the splendid company. All the best. Cheers, Patrizzio!

Hi good friends and pets, Despite the fact that the founding fathers of OF are braving Frosty in Manning (... and as such may or may not not return if they get arrested in the US ...), we shall not be held back and continue to hike on our traditional Thursday with or without "creative blundering" (we cannot
seem to go without Al's wisdom) !

Our mountain hulk Kenneth Mayert has graciously offered to be the
fearless leader for a hike in the Dark Lake area and explore the surrounding hills (plenty creative blundering that is ...). Meet as usual at the Summer Fair, Summerland IGA parking lot at 9:00 am. Pentictonites can meet at 8:40 AM at the HH parking lot and carpool if so desired. Hope to see you in Summerland, Aart Bart, your faithful Dutch servant

Hi OF's, I am attaching the photos directly this time, because I only took 9,
falling in the shadows of Patricio's 500 page love novel! Will do 2 emails, one will be too large. Enjoy! Aart # 2 ... enjoy .... what a day it was!

Hello Dear Faithful Dutch Servant, lurking in the shadows! Lovely snapolas. Thanks very much. As well, thanks for taking the initiative for the Thursday hike. Wonderful news that Bad Boy, The Hulkomaniac, will lead us, cross-county, across precipices, scaling un-scaleable rock faces, creatively blundering our way to becoming hopelessly lost in the wilds of Dark Lake, (O for the joys of White Lake!), abandoned and crying in the wilderness!

I will collect Mme Coriandre from the bus depot tomorrow evening so I'll let you know about Saturday's arrangements as soon as I've presented my ideas for riding to Keremeos! Cheers, Patrizzio! 

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Full Moon 'Harvest Moon' Lunar Eclipse Blues: Sunday, Sepember 27th!

Never cut what you can untie. -Joubert (1754-1824)
To know another language is to have a second soul. -Charlemagne, King of the Franks (742-814) 

Hi Lurch and Grogg! Trust trip to Vancouver went well. Had a call from Cora Lee this morning and she is enjoying being back in if city! Just wanted to thank you both for the lovely visit and the more than generous housewarming presents! Very thoughtful, indeed, and will certainly be put to good use, so thanks again!
Must away as I've a few things to do for breakfast. Lynne just called. Tristan's team won 7/3 this morning and they will be arriving shortly. Thanks again for completely unexpected, In spite of what I said about envelope!), but wonderful gifts! Fondestos and Cheers, Patrizzio!

 Pics: Madroña Manor comes to Burns Street Watering Hole! Self-portrait with Specialized! Jake with Seghesio hat I gave him after one he had loaned me last weekend blew off my head into pig-pen at Rock Creek Fall Fair and ended up being used for tug-of-war by piglets!

 Hello Indefatigable Survivors of Bhutan Trek! I was gong to say, "Trust 5 day trek went well!", before I read your tale of rain, mud, chattering teeth and altitude dizziness! Can only say that I am only surprised that you were not medi-vaced out of your misery by helicopter. However, should have known that Winnipeggers can survive most anything! Hip Hip Hooray to you both, as well as all your fellow trekkers! Have you sent in your resumés to Survivor yet?

On a pretty tame note, had a call from Cora Lee this morning and she is enjoying being back in if city! Lurch and Grogg were here overnight, on Thursday, and dropped her in town en route to Parksville. Had a lovely visit and Greg's surgery is now to take place on October 19th.

Must away as I need to wash my Trek before riding as after Friday's rain lots of grit on chain. Gorgeous day so looking forward to heading to OK Falls. Will go a few kms beyond there to take road to Blue Mountain Winery. View from there, of Vaseux Lake, with carpets of vineyards on intervening slopes and surrounding hillsides, is simply stunning. Thanks again for the riveting reading and snaps. (Not complaining but no pictures with latest message. I assume mud had something to do with this!) Enjoy India. Take care of each other. Travel safely. Fondestos and Cheers, Patrizzio! Pics: Kate, at the stand where she helps out; Lynne and Barb just before they left this morning.

By the time I'd given my Trek a good rinse, scrub and oiling it was just before 4:00 pm. Afternoon couldn't have been more lovely so I thought that I'd take in the view of Vaseux Lake, from the more than pleasant  road, snaking along the bottom of gorgeous rock bluffs, which leads to Blue Mountain Winery. View afforded from here, of Vaseux Lake, cradled by more massive craggy bluffs/cliffs, with carpets of vineyards on intervening slopes and surrounding hillsides, is simply stunning. Zipped along out, pushed by wind all the way to McLean Creek Road so I was literally laughing to myself at my great good fortune to be here. Once out of OK Falls I was soon rewarded by the view mentioned above and then by the vista of Peach Cliff on way back.

Head-wInd was almost as strong as on Friday but with no rain pelting me I was just fine. Lost the sun behind the hills to the west about 6:00 pm, just as I passed Phantom's abode, before the crest of the last hill before McLean Creek Road. I waved but I was moving as fast as the speed of light by then so he probably won't actually see me for a year or so! Needed 7 km more by the time I was back in town and past Eckhardt so did my fall-back loop: Penticton Tennis Club/Lakeshore/Riverside and then back home via Ellis. So quiet and peaceful that, once again, I gave thanks for being fortunate enough to live here. Stats for ride:

Back inside I'd heard the phone ringing as I was taking off my riding shoes and when I listened to the message it was from close friend, Jamie, in Chesham. Really sorry to have missed his call. Although he stays up very late it was 2:00 am, by his own admission and I didn't want to risk waking him up by the time I'd finished chatting to Lady Mary. Cora Lee had called shortly thereafter, from Queen E Park, where she and Chloë were watching the lunar eclipse as the so-called "Blood moon" and  "Super moon" combined! I couldn't even find it in our sky at suggested time so I must have been looking during the total eclipse. Just stepped outside and saw it, faintly, so will take another gander after my shower.  When I did go outside again all I could see was a tiny bite out of the top right of the circumference. Chloë managed to get a wonderful shot of the "Blood Moon" from someone beside her, at park, with a great set of lenses!

Hi Tree-stump Tinka! Thanks for more wonderful shots. Noticed quite a few similar Aspens on last Monday's hike but didn't know what they were so thanks for filling in my tree vocabulary. See you tomorrow? Cheers, Patrizzio! 

Hi John! Not sure if you received the phone message I left on voice mail but I cannot ride as I forgot I had arranged to hike! Will be in touch after I return from hiking. Sorry for any inconvenience. Cheers, Patrizzio! 

Hello Lady Patrizzia and Sir James! Lovely to hear from you and know things are going so well. I was out riding when you called and just back home when I heard the phone ringing. I was in the garage, taking off my riding shoes, and dashed to answer it but by the time I was in the house caller had hung up. I presume it wasn't you as when I listened to the messages you mentioned it was around 2:00 am, your time, and I didn't want to risk waking you up by the time I'd finished chatting to Lady Mary who called shortly thereafter.

She had planned to go into Vancouver this past weekend as she had a number of events she wanted to take in: talk by Chris Hedges on Friday night and her Book Club on Monday. She will take bus back on Tuesday. Sorry that I've not been in touch sooner but, as you can well imagine, we have had a stream of visitors ever since we moved! Pleased as punch with living here and seeing good friends, etc., but it means that I'm terribly behind in my correspondence.

We leave for India, for six weeks, on October 27th but will be driving into Vancouver on October 16th as Chloë has a fund raiser on the 17th. Then from 20th -25th we are volunteering at the Vancovuer Writers Festival. Back on December 10th so not sure what our plans for Christmas will be. Ayn wants us to come to Tinsel Town but I'm inclined, at the moment, to stay here, and see what a winter is like in the Okanagan. Yet to be decided, as of this writing. How time flies!

On a much sadder note, I regret to inform you that Ginette, Andrew's first wife, phoned, over a month ago now, to inform us that Andrew had had taken his own life, on August 20th. Passage below is what I wrote and sent to Lori. She called a few days after the memorial service, (Which was very well attended, I'm happy to say.), and mentioned that it was most helpful for Tess and Alexander so pleased about that as I wanted them to have as positive a memory of their father as possible. Anyway, take care of yourselves. Chat soon, I trust. Fondestos from Lady Mary, in absentia, to you both. Cheers, Patrizzio!

Pics: Cora Lee stepping out of new patio door. Note stair. A round of firewood from next door. A new duplex will be built on lot and owner had two trees taken down. I scored all the wood! Mid-August, when Chloë and Ayn visited, along with Robbie and his sister, Zara, former was a fellow manager at Urban Barn
, and our close friends, Colleen and Big Al. The Sisterhood around fire-pit, under pergola. Ragin' Bull standing beside work-bench we built, in front of window we replaced and some of the planned new shelving. Lady Mary is there in a strictly supervisory capacity!

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Farmer's Market Self-Publishing Blues: Saturday, September 26th!

Talent develops in tranquillity, character in the full current of human life. -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

Hi Goils! Trust trip to Vancouver went well, Cora Lee. Been pretty busy ever since I waved goodbye to everyone. 

I'm off to Market shortly. I told him I might not be here and he said that wouldn't matter as he would simply break-in, having much experience in this line of work! Lynne just called a few minutes ago and invited me to join them for a hockey game at 4:15 pm so I will go along. Curious to see the rink complex and have a visit with them. From what he said, they may well go back to Enderby on Sunday as their grandson's game is quite early that morning. Will know more after I see them, of course. 

After market, I will stroll over to the Prague Café where the group Phantom rides with meet for java. Would like to meet some of the riders although not sure I want to ride with the Peleton, especially if they stop for coffee! On the house/trip front, not sure if you will have time or inclination, Cora Lee, but you might think of picking up a large bottle of olive oil and going to the bank to see about small rupee notes. Other than that, a couple of bottles of expensive malt, given your latest housewarming windfall! Fondestos, Much love, Cheers Dad/Patrizzio!

Hi Dustino! Great to bump into you at your day job! Ragin' Bull was a great help and we made a terrific start on shelving and replacing a window, aside from putting a dent in our wine cellar! On the cycling front, I'm trying to work my way up to Todd's level! Hope to see you, Dustino, behind tasting counter, not in lumber yard, before we leave for India on October 27th and/or you leave for Europe. Cheers, Patrizzio!

Pics: Tailgate with Cora Lee and Ragin' Bull; Do you know Elise Martin, daughter of owners La Frenz? She went to high school with Lindsey King, (now a librarian at UBC Okanagan), someone I worked with at the UBC Library. Louts at Quidni booth! Ragin' Bull with supervisor! Finished window and first set of shelves.
Pics: Hommage to Vivian Maier: Self-portraits with Specialized!

Up at 8:00 am for my Instante Regulare and worked away at email until Peter dropped by and we chatted about patio stairs project. Shortly after he left, I biked to Market. Had fun chatting with various vendors I've come to know, as well as friend Jake, (We went to United College in '65/'66.), and Murielle, one of the hiking group. I also chatted with Kate Hobbs who works at a vegetable stand. She and her husband are originally from Chesham and we have close friends, Pat and Jamie Gairdner, there. As they were off to England about three weeks ago I asked her to deliver a card to them. They did just that and so she had a picture for me of the delivery! Unfortunately, Jamie was not home as he was in Berlin, I believe, with the Bach Choir.

After Market I rode by the Prague Café and had a chat with my new cycling mate, John. We agreed we'd ride on Monday but by the time I was back home I realized I was planning to go hiking that day! Will send him a message and see if we can ride today or Tuesday. Lynne, (Barb, his wife, are both friends from Guyabitos, north of PV. They live in Enderby.), had called earlier that morning and invited me to join them for a hockey game around 4:15 pm. Their grandson was playing in a tournament and they had driven down on Friday to stay at an RV park nearbye. 

After I was back at Base Camp I spent the rest of the afternoon putting up shelving above the hot water tank in the hallway closet, as well as installing shelving in the front entrance-way closet, the better to allow Imelda's shoes to be stored efficiently, as well as another shelf above metal coat rack fixture, the better able to store wicker baskets of gloves, scarves, wraps, and the like. Hadn't quite finished what I wanted to do in front closet when it was time to ride over to game.  Was curious to see the rink complex and have a visit with the. Terrific to see them and meet their daughter, Kim, mother of Tristan, 15 year old hockey player. His team was ahead 7/1 when I was there so quite a polished group of lads, it seems.

Since they had not even visited with their grandson they declined coming over that night. They were all having dinner at Earl's after game and felt it would be too late to drop around afterwards. This being the case we arranged for them to come by for brunch this morning, before they drive back to Enderby.

Back home to finish shelving and clean up tools, etc. afterwards. Had a bowl of squash for dinner and then went to bed around 11:30 pm as I was quite sleepy by then. 

Hi Photo as promised. Kate                

Hi Kate: Just a quick note to thank you for the snap of Patricia as well as your Post Mistress duties. Both much appreciated! Since you didn't meet Jamie, I've included a few pictures taken when he visited me in Languedoc, in September of 2012. Hope to see you at last few Markets. Cheers, Patrizzio!

Our first day trekking we climbed 1115 m and down 40 m (it felt comparable to climbing Grouse Mountain 2 or 3 times) with our campsite at 3100 m. It was an incredibly hard day. It is amazing how elevation can really slow you down, every step uphill was exhausting and we had to stop often. We were told we were lucky cause the group who left the day before had to turn back due to the heavy rains. Not so sure we are lucky as we slogged through thick mud trails slipping all the way up. 

Lunch consisted of a cheese and tomato sandwich, baked potato and fried chicken, always with juice and hot tea or coffee. Recovery was pretty quick when you stopped for a couple of minutes, but the break did not energize us enough for the next 2 hours. We trekked through beautiful pine forests although most of the time we spent carefully watching each step. Campsite was a welcome site with hot tea and cookies awaiting our arrival. Dinner after hiking always tastes delicious - fried potatoes, swiss chard with garlic, red rice, pork with carrots, cauliflower, green beans and cabbage. Everyone was in bed by 8 pm.  

The second day our trek begins uphill through a huge rhododendron forest. We trekked for 17 km, ascending 425 m and descending 50m. Campsite was 3650 m. Thought the day would be easier but wishful thinking. One younger couple, about 35 years, had to turn back. They were really fit, working out every day, but Ike was suffering from altitude sickness and the diamox was not taking affect. We trekked up and down for 4 hours before stopping for lunch at noon. Clouds rolled in and we ate lunch standing in the pouring rain. Lunch was chicken, red rice, white rice, potatoes, squash, chilies cooked in cheese and spicy fiddle heads. We were supposed to reach our campsite in 4 hours, but because of the rain filled mud trails, it took us almost 5 1/2 hours, some took 6 1/2 hours. Our campsite was in the middle of a swamp and the worst of it was having to find the toilet tents in the middle of the night as the rain continued all night.

Day 3 and still no sign of sun. Some comments heard throughout the day: Ute (who was with us on the Annapurna trek) "Isn't it a shame we can't enjoy the scenery!." Tracy - "Who said this is a moderate trek?" Mike - "This is comparable to skiing a black diamond run!" Stephen - "What the F___ am I doing here when I could be sitting in front of a fire drinking scotch!"

Every one here who has trekked the Annapurna base camp has said this trek is way harder. Another couple had to drop out of the trek this morning - Katherine was totally exhausted and couldn't take another step. We started the day still climbing, but with all the rain, paths turned into muddy creeks and creeks turned into rivers. It is very difficult walking through ankle deep mud wondering if your boot will stay on. Reached the peak at 4200 m but couldn't see anything because it never cleared up. Finally caught site of our camp and got so excited thinking it was only another 15 minutes away. 

But then we had to cross this freezing raging river hopping over very unstable rocks. Got through that only having to climb onto boulders 2 - 3 feet high. Finally to get to camp we had to wade through another swamp - total of 45 minutes. I was so cold by the time we reached camp that I couldn't stop shaking. Ted had to help me get out of my wet clothes, into dry clothes and into the sleeping bag with our water bottle filled with hot water. It took over an hour before my teeth stopped chattering. Later found out that Marian was suffering the same. Camp site today was at 3600 m. Took us about 8.5 hours. 

[Patrick James Dunn Hi Kids! Great shots! When I was in St John's in 2007, with Sarge, staying with Peggster and Mr Fixit, I rode up twice. Each time I could never see the city, as fog, in May, was so thick that I couldn't even see my arm in front of me! Fortunately I had had so much Screech that i could ride blind, blind drunk that is! Great to see view so thanks for snaps! Cheers!]

Day 4 was to be the longest day at 6 or 7 hours. Bhutan is not very experienced in the trekking industry so the times they estimate are usually 1 & 1/2 times longer. One person did make it to camp in 9 hours but most took 10 hours - we took 11 hours. The morning started fairly easy at 3600 meters but 5 hours later we were still at 3600 meters after climbing up and down treacherous landscapes. At one point, our guide rolled up his pant legs and hopped into the river with his boots on, to help us cross a very fast flowing river. We walked along 12" wide muddy mountain ridges where you had to walk slanted into the mountain for fear of going over the cliffs. Today was really tough on me as I was struggling with my breathing at around 11 am. The headache I had earlier was getting worse. Then the dizziness started and nausea and suddenly I had no energy whatsoever. Each step my muscles just totally gave way. I took ibuprofen and drank some electrolytes but for the next hour I could barely take 1 step at a time. Some of those steps were either climbing or descending 2 or 3 feet heights. After 7 hours we finally reached another 4200 m peak and began our descent down to 3500 m. Even then we still had to climb up & down. Unlike the Nepalese Sherpas and guides, the Bhutanese guides do not stay with you unless you are in real trouble (and only if they know ahead of time - as with another young couple who struggled today). So not having any guides close, Stephen, Ted & I got lost. You are told to always look for horse or mule dung and follow that path as there are no signs anywhere. Well at one junction, we took a wrong turn because we thought we could see someone's footprints and pole marks on the trail. It turned out to be a steep path up to a temple heading the opposite direction from camp. One part of the trail we had to drop our poles down, hang onto a limb of a tree and swing down to the muddy path. It was getting dark by this time and feeling pretty scary. It was so misty that you couldn't see very far ahead, so we started yelling for anyone close by. Finally about 5 pm, one of the guides came up to meet us and got us down to camp an hour later. Another 4 people arrived shortly after us. But the worst was one woman still hadn't arrived by 7:30 pm. One guide was with her the entire time, but they sent 3 others back up to find them. One of the guides ended up carrying her the whole way down to camp, arriving at 10:00 pm in total darkness. Although our itinerary said it was a 11 km trek today, it was actually 23.5 km. They measure distance from point a to b but do not take into consideration all the ups and downs or winding curves. There had been some talk of taking a shorter trail earlier in the day but the paths were knee deep in mud and totally unpassable.

Our last day - hurrah! It was only to be a 2 hour decline but we knew it would be 3 - 4 hours. Wanted to get a group picture before we left but dropped the camera face down in the mud. Most cameras not working anyways because of the moisture. We took it quite slow going down, but by now everyone had fallen or slipped at least once during the trek. We were all covered in mud from head to toe and after only having a wash basin to bathe in once a day for the past 5 days, the group were pretty rank. It began to rain so the mud trails were starting to turn into gushing rivers. Again we were clinging to branches and swinging down. At some points it was easier just to sit in the mud and slide down. The horses and mules carrying all the camping equipment were also sliding down the trails. When you heard them coming, you had to quickly try to get out of their way or you could easily be tossed over the edge. It was worse on the trails following the horses because the paths became muddier or slippier. By the time we reached the end, everyone had sore knees or hamstrings or aching bodies.

So although it sounds really tough, it most certainly was. Do we recommend this trek? Definitely not. It was an experience none of us will forget and will give us lots to talk about for years to come, but I think it may be time to hang up our hiking boots. But don't get me wrong - we are pretty proud of ourselves that we survived fairly unscathed, and every evening when we reached camp, the camaraderie we shared was pretty amazing. Great group to be with - special moments and tons of laughter. Next time we want to see giant rhododendron forests and the Himalayas, we will google them.

Ted's knees held out great, but his toes are not looking too good with all the blisters. We're looking forward to sitting on a bus for the next couple of days while we tour Bhutan and then on to India.  Love to all, and miss you all more than you know. Our swampy campsite. Somewhere behind us are the Himalayas. Having lunch. What most days looked like.

Thanks, Patrick.  That's great and I am looking forward to see you on the 17th and 18th.    The Aunt Leah's event is at the St. Mary's Ukrainian Cultural Centre, is it not?

Thanks for taking care of tickets, and absolutely, Greg and I will support the silent auction and/or make a separate donation to Aunt Leah's.   I might hit my mother up for a donation too.  I mentioned  that Greg and I would be going to this and she knew all about Aunt Leah's, and said that it's a good place.  And she is discerning about such things, having been very engaged in church and community initiatives such as a homeless ministry and the Coast Mental Health facility at Dunbar and 18th. In all honesty, prior to Chloe's involvement, I had not heard of Aunt Leah's! The latest issue of Granta is India-themed so I will endeavour to read it in time to lend to you. See you soon. Janet

Hi Janet! So pleased to hear that your mother knows about Aunt Leah's, engaged in good works as she is. Any support of AL will be much appreciated so thanks, in advance. I'm sure Cora Lee, (She is in Vancouver for her Book Club tonight. Grogg and Lurch were here on Thursday night and dropped her off, en route to Parksville, on Friday. She and Chloë went to hear Chris Hedges that evening. She will bus back tomorrow.), will be keen as mustard, so to speak, on Granta as well, so thanks, but only if it works out. Take care of yourself. Chat soon, I trust. Fondestos from Lady Mary, in absentia, to you, Janet. Cheers, Patrizzio!

Friday, 25 September 2015

Self-Portait with Specialized/Lonesome Bachelor Blues: Friday, September 25th!

A writer needs three things, experience, observation, and imagination, any two of which, at times any one of which, can supply the lack of the others. -William Faulkner, novelist (25 Sep 1897-1962) 

What is your phone number? Did you get my response? Aart

Buon Giorno, Aarturo! Yes, I did receive your response and both Cora Lee and I are more than delighted that you will be able to join us for the pizza-pick-up-party at Orofino on Saturday, Ottobre 3rd! Since it is from 12-3:00 pm we could leave our place around noon and be there around 12:45 pm, or thereabouts. Does that suit? Here is our home number.

I just waved goodbye to our friends, Lurch and Grogg, (aka Francesca and Gregg!), here last night, who are driving to Vancouver, (with Mme Coriandre who wanted to attend a number of events on in the city this weekend), en route to Parkesville, their home. Cora Lee will return on Tuesday, by bus, so I'm charged with a list of chores, 7 miles long, to be discharged before her return!

I take it you are still in Vancouver. Perhaps you will pass one another, should you take the Coquihalla. They will be the ones weaving all over the road, throwing empty wine bottles out of the windows of their speeding vehicle, RCMP in hot pursuit. Don't bail them out of jail!!!

Hope to see you on one of next week's hikes, but if not, send along a message or give us a shout to confirm rendezvous arrangements. Travel safely. Fond regards to your wonderful Jos. Cheers, Patrizzio! Pic: Farewell to Island Folk, Francesca and Greg, this morning!

Had arranged to ride "somewhere" with newfound cycling mate, Phantom, (I am always chasing him as he disappears around corners and up steep hills!), Fantini, at some point today. When we chatted on the phone this morning it had started to rain lightly. Forecast indicated it might stop around noon so we decided to touch bases later and see what weather looked like. 
Close to 11:30 am the sky had lightened and I thought I'd give it a try. John was busy when I called so we agreed ride by ourselves. by the time I'd done a few more household chores and suited up it was close to 12:30 pm and just as I was about to put on my camel-pack, phone rang and it was The Phantom. He had finished his own set of "Sisterhood" assigned chores and was ready to roll. Since he lives at Skaha Bluffs, just past McLean Creek Road, we agreed to meet there in about 40 minutes +/-.

Wind was very strong but since it was out of the north-west, I zipped along. My AVG was 27.2 kph by the time I reached the turn-off to Blasted Church, best AVG for me, ever, on that stretch so I was pretty pleased, given all the wine we managed to consume the night before! John was suiting up when I rode into his driveway so I "circled" a number of times until he was ready. As we hadn't actually decided on a route I suggested climbing out of OK Falls towards See Ya Later, as a start, but John had other plans for me. 

[I think theses selfies could  be turned into a very Warhol-esque shades instead of Campbell Soup cans! Dear Ms Tinsel Town: I have already had an offer form LACMA for an exhibition at Christmas. I will be flying down 1st Class, Lady Mary in Economy as she always denigrated my cycling garb! Please book security and limo services. Fondestos, Paparazzo Patrizzio who spits on, not into, soup cans! Take care of yourself and Winstonian. Chat soon, I trust. Fondestos from Lady Mary, in absentia, to you. Love and Cheers, Dad!]

He wanted to show me Seacrest Road, north of Oliver, so we rode south, out of OK Falls, along Oliver Ranch Road, joining 97 and then making our way towards Oliver. We left the highway at Tucelnuit Drive, curving around Oliver and entering the town close to its southern end. Back on 97 until the turn-off to Seacrest and then the hill work really began! Long, long grade, fairly steep right at the start but I plugged away and soon we were on the level as the road passes Covert Farms Family Estate, a winery I'd like to taste at sometime.

Rest of ride was, more or less, on the flat and we were somewhat protected from the devilish wind so a most enjoyable time. The landscape is quite typical of the small, open valleys that one finds, so often, in this region. Phantom took me towards Willowbrook and once we were close, on a loop through this tiny but exceedingly picturesque community. Many lovely homes and well tended horse paddocks, etc. Soon we were back on Green Lake Road and I knew where I was as I'd ridden this route a few weeks ago. 

[Dad love the new helmet and sunglasses combo!!!!❤️]

We were now fighting the wind again and to make matters worse we felt a few drops. Fortunately, rain held off as we made our way back through OK Falls and then up the south end of McLean Creek Road, under Peach Cliff. Thanked John for another fabulous ride and introducing me to "unknown" territory and then waved goodbye, making plans to keep in touch about riding together again, in the coming weeks.

Wind along Skaha was brutal beyond belief and I was now paying for the 27.2 kph AVG I'd registered at the outset. Still, I was determined not to let the maddening blasts and gusts spoil the day so put my head down and fought my way back to Skaha Lake Park. Adding to the mix, it started to rain, lightly, but steadily, shortly after The Phantom and I parted company.

I was glad I'd put my iPhone in a Ziploc bag inside my camel-pack pouch. Quite wet quite soon but not soaking so not too, too uncomfortable. Needed about 10 km worth of dipsy-doodling hereabouts to clock the distance I wanted by the time I was home so did a number of elongated loops before returning to South Main. Rain stopped while I was making myself dizzy but started again by the time I was back on Government so I was dripping by the time I pulled into the Burns Street Watering Hole! Still, I was more than truly chuffed to have had such a wonderful ride and to have learned about yet another marvellous cycling route to add to my store of possible circuits for future outings. Thanks Phantom Fantini!  Stats for ride:

Back home to have a mug of java to warm me up. Mike had finally dropped off the clear plastic cap for our shower door so I put it on pane next to toilet and it works well! Even attached the two hooks so I can reach my towel after shower. 

Peter, the handyman, had called around 8:00 pm that evening to say he had a great design for patio stairs. He wanted to pop by around 9:00 am on Saturday to take a picture of space before he was off to Home Hardware to obtain some prices on various materials! I just went along as he seems keen. Will see what we shall see. 
Had enjoyed a large plate of lasagna for "breakfast", before my ride, so made a delicious frying pan of Dad's Delight for dinner, along with a cabbage/lettuce salad. Read while I ate dinner and then worked away on email until about 11:00 pm before heading to bed to read some more before turning out the light, just after midnight.

Hi John! Just a quick note to thank you again for showing me such wonderful routes, both Wednesday and today. Not sure if your odometre has GPS so I've included links to our two rides, Indian Rock and Seacrest. Perhaps I'll see you at the Prague Café tomorrow, after the Farmer's Market. If not, I'll be in touch about riding this coming week. Thanks and Cheers, Patrizzio! Pics: Self-portrait with new Specialized helmet!

Thanks Patrick!!...Lovely sky!!...very emotional!!...with lots of character all right...Now which one of these lovely ladies is Cora Lee
The one sitting down with Gregg or the one standing with Gregg??

Did you relocate from the island??someone was from Port Alberni I think but can't remember who that was???...was that you??? I look forward to Monday's hike!!..and lots of laughs!! Have a great week-end!! Murielle (Elle:-)

Hi again, Murielle! Cora Lee is sitting with Gregg, Francesca, standing. They now live in Parksville. We moved from Vancouver, where we'd lived for forty years, first in a house in Kits, then to a condo just off Granville Island. Looking forward to Farmer's Market tomorrow. See you on Monday. Cheers, Patrizzio!

Hi Al! Quite enjoyed the album as I was disappointed not to join gang on Thursday.  To make up for lack of exercise on Thursday I had a wonderful ride today. Looped back through Willowbrook and then See Ya Later, back into OK Falls. Thought of hiking group as we whizzed past the pump house!  Thanks and Cheers, Patrizzio!