Tag Archives: Victoria

Handstands! (21/365)

A super quick post this evening after a very long and busy day, the highlight of which was following Dani off to circus school!

 

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An odd juxtaposition of trapeze artist and parking lot… 

Island Circus Space is one of two new outfits offering circus skills classes in the Victoria area (the second is Victoria Centre for Circus Arts). Today I only had time for a quick introduction to handstands (Dani is obsessed with learning to do a really good one…), but next time, I’ll take a class that involves hanging from the ceiling wrapped in silks, or draped over a trapeze bar, or coiled around a swinging hoop… or something. I’m sure there are official circus terms for some of the intriguing bits of equipment I saw in use today…

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As a kid, Dani was never the right way up… she was always doing cartwheels, handstands, handsprings, etc… The more things change, the more they stay upside down! I snapped this on the beach on Pender Island on the weekend. 

I don’t have any photos of my handstand attempts – Dani was too busy being a conscientious spotter and, obviously, my hands were busy.

Art selection of the day:

 

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Acrobats in Paris by Gosta Adrian-Nilsson (1924)

I have an early start tomorrow (heading back to Alberta) and still haven’t packed, so keeping this post short and sweet!

 

 

 

Carousel Ponies, Frogs and Nosebleeds (17/365)

 

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Dad and Frog (or, toad?)

 

After leaving the hospital for what has become our daily morning visit to ER to deal with ongoing nosebleed management issues, Dad and I headed for Butchart Gardens to gather some raw material for drawing and painting.

 

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I couldn’t make out the signature, but this drawing is stuck to a cabinet in the ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) Room at the local hospital emergency room… It’s the chair in which Dad has spent a fair bit of time over the past several days… 

 

It has been YEARS since I was last at the gardens and I have to say, they really are quite something, especially given the place is also a story of reclamation and rehabilitation. Once an ugly quarry that supplied limestone for Robert Butchart’s cement plant, the gardens were the dreamchild of Butchart’s wife, Jennie who wanted to pretty things up a bit once industry was done with stripping what it needed from the land. What a beautification project!

These days, almost a million visitors a year stroll around the gardens, snapping photos.

As one would expect, there are gazillions of flowers, shrubs, and trees, but there are also fountains, statues, and a carousel. I have always loved carousels and am always a bit disappointed when I’m near one without a child to coerce into riding with me!

A carousel horse statue prances near the carousel, an escapee from the endless drudgery of up and down and round and round. I took several photos, thinking I might be able to draw it later.

 

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Statue of a carousel pony dancing at Butchart’s

Dad gave me a brush pen with a reservoir for use with watercolours and once I got home  I pulled out the watercolour pencils I brought with me and started to experiment.

 

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New toy, must play…

 

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Unhappy with the pole, which looks awful, but I’m thinking that if I mess around with that it will get much worse… As it is, you can tell it’s a carousel pony, so I’m happy to leave it at that!

Of course I’m not the only person to be captivated by carousel ponies…

 

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Carnival the Carousel by Georges Lemmen, early 1890s

 

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Many carousel ponies (and other creatures) are works of art themselves… I’d kind of like one in my living room, to be honest. Maybe even a row of them for people to sit on at the kitchen island… We would need a bigger kitchen island, of course… Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash

That’s it for now… I’m struggling (really struggling) to draw or paint a flower that looks even remotely floral, so you don’t get to see any of that stuff yet. I’m feeling a bit heartened, though, that with practice comes progress, so I’ll keep trucking on and see what happens next…

 

 

 

 

 

Day Three – Water and Orientation (Photo101)

Water – horizontal

Water – vertical

Yes, I am waaaaay behind on my daily photo challenge!! A couple of words of analysis on this challenge: Vertical orientation = more about the fish. Horizontal orientation = more about the water. And that’s all I shall say about that… I’m rushing out the door (again! – this time to spend the afternoon sailing with friends…). If I don’t post this now I shall never move on to Day 4!!

Interesting Opportunity for the Right Person – Farm Manager at O.U.R. Ecovillage

What an exhausting day! Though the bit where I slogged through the mud in the lower hog pen  trying to find out where the electric fence was shorting out was somewhat wearying (and worrying, I discovered said problem when I went down to do the afternoon feed rounds and found the boar, Pompadour, hanging out with Cora and the four boar younglings… wrong side of the fence!!), the exhaustion was a result of spending most of the day with the lovely folks from O.U.R. Ecovillage at our local Seedy Saturday event.

My apologies for the shocking lack of photos - it was SO BUSY!!! I hardly had time to breathe, never mind snap photos...

My apologies for the shocking lack of photos – it was SO BUSY!!! I hardly had time to breathe, never mind snap photos…

My daughter works up at the Ecovillage part time and we (our farm and the Ecovillage) do a bit of collaborating on projects, so we brought some of our eggs to sell at their table while helping the ecovillagers chat with members of the public about the very cool work that goes on at the village. Give me a pile of fence posts and a post-hole digger and a mile of fencing to tackle and I think I’d be less bagged at the end of the day. How can it possibly be so tiring to smile and chat? Inside, no less – no torrential downpour, no nosey boar nudging the backs of my knees, no howling wind…

O.U.R. Ecovillage is a pretty nifty place – 25 acres of sustainable farming and natural building projects… educational programs, permaculture projects – and a whole lot more. An intentional community, here’s how they try to do the quick summary on their website:

Vision: Sustainable well-being for the land, ourselves, and our worldwide village
Mission: To educate and inspire by establishing a thriving learning community and permaculture demonstration site that actively stewards sacred knowledge and a sense of place.

The Ecovillage is currently looking for a farm manager – a full time position best suited to someone interested in living on site, someone with a knowledge of (or interest in) permaculture, and ideally someone who knows both livestock and crop production. There’s a detailed job description here: please pass the info along to any farmer-types who might be interested.

Here’s a bit of trivia for you… When Dani and I were working on the early draft of  our new book on homes around the world, we stayed in the Sanctuary at the Ecovillage. Here’s a photo:

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The structure (built using various natural building methods including cob and straw bale) is about the best place possible to write a book about housing past, present, and future…

It was great seeing so many familiar faces today – and having a chance to meet so many new people interested in the work being done up at the village. We sold some eggs and bought some seeds – and several varieties of seed potatoes. I love harvesting whatever we are growing, but there is something extra special about digging up fresh spuds. For one thing, it’s always a bit like digging for buried treasure – you never quite know what’s lurking down there under the soil. And, for another thing, DELICIOUS!! I like potatoes pretty well any way they might be prepared, but there is just something about freshly dug potatoes consumed right after harvest that makes me drool… Like right now my keyboard is in mortal danger of getting clogged up because I am salivating just thinking about how good those meals are going to be in just a few short months! And, yes, some of those spuds will also be making their way into our CSA goody boxes… Which reminds me, I really have to get on with adding the CSA page to the website. Not tonight… refer to earlier comment about being bagged. But soon, soon – I promise!