Aaaaaand… it’s full-on summer! (the view from the bridge on my way to rehearsal the other morning).
Apparently, there is a threshold of busy-ness which, once crossed, makes it tough to meet the blog-a-day challenge. I hit that a few days ago after… let’s see, 30 (for my April challenge) plus 44 (in my blogging every day for a year project) days. Not a bad streak, really, but long enough to hurt when I managed to get home and to bed late enough one night only to realize that it was after midnight and I had totally forgotten to blog. I threw up my hands, heaved a deep sigh and said, ‘Never mind.’
One of my favourite parts in our production of Romeo and Juliet is when the ethereal maids are humming, in harmony, The Sound of Silence. Bring tissues!! (A Woman Weeping by Rembrandt, 1644)
I was up early the next morning to continue on a writing project and considered posting a photo and back-dating the entry (cheater!!) and couldn’t quite bring myself to be so deceitful. Then, I was going to just post and stats be damned, but I couldn’t decide how to number the next post…
Anyway, enough time has passed that I now feel I can clear the slate and just suck it up and start again.
With plants like this around (and they are all over the place, apparently…) there’s no need to slow down to smell the flowers. These puppies exude an exquisite scent so intense I smell it as I whiz by on my bike. With the hot weather here now, the wee flowers are fading (along with their perfume). Can anyone tell me what this bush is called?
Not that life has slowed down, mind you (that was another consideration – wait until I actually have time to embark upon such a project). Much as I live in a fantasy world that has me sitting with my feet up somewhere balmy, but breezy, preferably with a sailboat under my backside, the reality is I always have lots of balls in the air. I’m picking this blog ball up and tossing it back in the mix.
How to Hit a Kid with a Chair
(Fight choreography – we have a gorgeous brawl in Romeo and Juliet, but wow – it’s complicated to get all the moving parts right without hurting anyone. Anastasia, our fight choreographer is amazing!!)
I warn you. though, that there may not be too much meaty content for another 3 weeks or so until our Canmore Summer Theatre Festival performances are done and the edits to the current draft of the medical assistance in dying book are back off my plate. Sorry, you might be looking at more photos than usual…
Another super busy day today, so I just have time for a quickie post…
After another stint of Ghost Walk research and planning in Banff, caught up with Fabio and Joe and had time for a couple of quick climbs on bolted sport routes on the back side of Tunnel Mountain before rushing back to Canmore in time for a lovely evening of pizza and conversation with friends.
The view from up there? Pretty amazing… (we were climbing at The Scoop)
I took some more reference photos for my vertigo art project…
The belay glove hanging off the back of my harness obviously needs to go in the final piece…
The perspective is a bit weird in this one. And the anatomy is odd… it looks like my knee is bending backwards… But, you do get a good idea of the scale – the belayer’s head far below and the trees from above…
It will be good to have some time to play with this some more… I also took a whole lot of not very good shots of Joe climbing and will practice doing some little drawings of climbers in odd positions… not that Joe was doing anything strange, it’s just climbers do manage to contort themselves in strange ways to get where they are going.
Lots of great clouds today – excellent for dramatic skies in photographs but, sadly, bringers of bad news as the weather is deteriorating over the next few days… There’s snow in the forecast overnight on Sunday!!
A different take on contortions… this is Salvador Dali’s “Topological Contortion of a Female Figure becoming a Violoncello.”
The next few days don’t bode well for long posts either – lots of work (editing the Medically Assisted Dying manuscript, learning, lines, rehearsing, perhaps a climb between rain showers…) but at the very least I’ll try to get a photo or two up…
After a few glorious days of sun and heat, it’s cooled right down again here as we head into Monsoon June. Rain, dipping temperatures, and really cool skies (check out those clouds!) are typical of this time of year. After a few weeks of this unpredictable weather, we head into forest fire season.
Last summer the fires were awful… thick smoke day after day and everyone on edge wondering if the flames were going to sweep through and engulf inhabited areas. Fort McMurray. Kelowna. The memories are still fresh.
Forest Fire, by Mark Tobey, 1956
This year’s fire season is still in the future. For now, I’m going to enjoy the beauty of clouds…
Puffy clouds over the Baths, BVI
Clouds over Canmore
Clouds over Ha Ling
Reflected Clouds – Policeman’s Creek, Canmore
Spanish Clouds over the Camino
More Spanish Clouds (Dawn)
More Clouds over Ha Ling
Apparently, I have a thing for clouds… I found dozens and dozens of photos of clouds from pretty much everywhere I’ve been over the past dozen years.
Artists, too, find clouds irresistible.
Cloud Study, E. Colin Williams (watercolour)
Dad has done his share of cloud-centric paintings.
Sky Above Clouds III by Georgia O’Keeffe, 1963
As have many, many other painters…
Birds in the Clouds by Georges Braque, 1960
Seascape Study with Rain Clouds by John Constable, 1827
Which makes me think I need to join this cloudy party and start experimenting with some cloud-themed drawings/paintings/collages… Something. Heaven knows I have plenty of raw material to work with around here!
My mom was the one who used to sing this to me (in not quite as low a register as Lee Marvin does, mind you) every time I said I was yearning to hit the road and go travelling. I don’t know where that need to roam comes from, but for some of us, itchy feet have nothing to do with athlete’s foot.
The past year and a bit have been really good for finding myself in far-flung places. Strangely, though I lived there for many years, Vancouver Island has become a destination. Last year I had the pleasure of taking a couple of sailing trips with my daughter and her husband on their lovely sailboat, Easy Rider.
It was a little chilly lounging around on the foredeck in February… But that didn’t stop me from trying. That’s what those lovely survival suits are for, right?
Had a great road trip through the mountains in March and stopped (of course) at Grizzly Book and Serendipity Shop in Revelstoke where, it turned out, they were filming a Christmas movie (hence the Christmas decorations in March…)
After arriving back in Canmore (home, these days) I basically unpacked and re-packed and went off to Paris. But not before a late night ice climbing expedition:
Our neighbourhood. For most of our stay we hung out in the 15th, a five minute stroll from this bridge.
From Paris, I took a quick trip to Montreal, Toronto and London as one of my books was nominated for a Silver Birch Award in Ontario.
Then, back to Paris. Where, among other things, I ate frog legs.
Eventually, we returned to the mountains, but only briefly, just long enough to climb a mountain or two.
The weather was good on the coast and I was longing to get back on the water…
I’m fastening on the ‘don’t lose the dog’ netting on the boat before we set off for a few days of puttering around in the Gulf Islands. I have no more photos of this trip because I dropped my brand new phone overboard as we approached Nanaimo Harbour! Note that the weather had improved dramatically so no survival suits were required.
Once back in the mountains I played about with my replacement phone and enjoyed a bit more climbing
before heading back to Europe.
There was a day in Paris…
quick visit to the Centre Georges Pompidou…
… and then on to Madrid, where I met my daughter and Dad in Madrid…
From there, a train to Sarria where we began a very slow walk 120 kms or so to Santiago de Compostella as part of our Great Camino Project. (If you haven’t already found it, check out @lastlegbook on Instagram for lots of photos of our journey).
Santiago… that way…
Because we were working on a book about the project, after our time was up in Spain, we jumped on a cruise ship in Barcelona and wrote 65,000 words or so… One of these days we will get the rest of the manuscript done and, with any luck, will eventually see a book. If you’d like to have a look at a few of the posts written along the way, here are a couple of links…
Once back at home in the mountains, I lost a bet and had to jump down Main Street wearing a pink bunny suit…
(and no… I didn’t… pass wind, that is… I did jump through town while singing the Happy song by William Pharrell… )
When all that was over, it was time to pack our bags again and head back to the coast for Christmas with family.
The gang in Vancouver…
You might think all that was more than enough packing and unpacking, but what did we get for Christmas? Yes!! Allegra and I received tickets to go on a cruise together! So off we went again to explore the Caribbean… but not before a little ice climbing…
It’s kind of nice you don’t need seventeen layers crampons and ice axes to have fun on the beach… (this one in Jamaica).
And then, home again just in time for spring break and (this is getting a bit ridiculous) another trip to Paris!
It was a wet spring in Paris – the Seine is threatening to overflow her banks…
And finally, back home to the mountains for a bit more ice climbing…
Yeah. It’s been quite the year, or so… I couldn’t have imagined all those many miles being logged had I tried to look ahead at the beginning of 2017. Who knows where this next year will take us?
Spindrift [Fine snow that blows off a mountain… well, I guess it could blow off anywhere, but this was snow blowing around above the Bow Valley]
Snow is melting away before our eyes as spring finally, finally finds its way to the Bow Valley. This year, it seems like winter has been here for a very long time.
S, it turns out, is full of potential when it comes to this month’s daily blogging challenge! It seems everywhere I look it’s all about transformation (the theme this month is Travel, Transformation and Transition…).
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been receiving updates on a watercolour painting from Dad’s studio…
In an artist’s studio, ideas are transformed into drawings, paintings, prints, lino cuts…
The subject matter? Unusual, to say the least!
Slug, slowly making his way to completion…
Slug on the Camino by E. Colin Williams (2018)
Stormy Seas… by E. Colin Williams (Oil on Board) I don’t think that’s actually the real title, but today is S day so I’ll leave it for now… I’m sure Dad will let me the correct title.
When I travel, one of the things I love to photograph is the street art I come across. Somehow, even the roughest of neighbourhoods, most rustic back alleys, decrepit sheds, and ramshackle fences are transformed when someone takes the time to add a little art… Here are a few pieces of street art spotted while wondering through Paris earlier this month…
And, of course, I can’t leave this post without mentioning Rodin and this piece of sculpture featuring a great stone… Oh, I sure did enjoy myself in Rodin’s garden!
Oh, one last thought… sometimes the stones themselves become works of art as in this installation not far from my place here in Canmore.
Portal XII by Lucie Bause, 2011
I could keep going for hours, but it’s been a very long day staring at the computer as I work my way through the draft of the new manuscript and my eyeballs are getting more square by the minute! So, away I go to slip off to SLEEP so I can transition into T is for tomorrow!