Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Island Time

Family FiL at Oyster Bay, Mayne Island, August 2007

Hello, Dearest Friends, I'm back. Happy as I am to be chatting with you once again, I will readily admit that I'm missing Mayne and the family, who are staying on for another fortnight. I'll be back on the forthcoming weekends, but that's just not enough...

Actually, it was a funny old break. Thoroughly enjoyable, but slightly out-of-phase way, as if not everything was in its proper place. Much of it has to do with the odd summer we've been experiencing in this part of the world. You see, normally August would see the island aloft in high summer. Hot hot heat tempered by cool ocean breezes, parched grounds dressed in golden grass, sun resolutely shining. But this year the mercury was wibbling from comfortable to chilly, rains earlier in the season left vegetation lush and the aquifer well stocked, and the blue blue sky was colonized by fat, sheepy clouds.

Then there were the animals. Our beloved orcas did not make a single appearance during the day, nor were we woken at night by the huffing and splashing of a nocturnal visit. However, we did see a normally elusive otter cavorting just offshore. And we were inspected unusually closely by a seal during one of our boulder-hopping, tidal-pool-exploring, crab-chasing (well, at least for our Ginadawg) coastal walks. In addition, and rather unnervingly, we were advised via flyer by the Mounties (well, the sole resident Mountie) of a cougar sighting. We subsequently chatted to a local who reported that a mother cougar with cub had been seen swimming (yes, swimming) to shore in one of the island's bays, and had also been spotted prowling near a road. Speculation is the beast either island-hopped from Vancouver Island, or hitched a ride on a log boom being towed past. Mayne is rife with deer, so the hope is Mama Cat will prefer venison to long pig and avoid a clash of cultures. Still, it all added a certain frisson to our walks in the woods (Aside: see what Mentok has to say about cougars over here, and have a listen while you're at it to the most excellent Vancougar track he's posted).

And so I'm trying to get back into the swing o' things. To switch from island time to city time. To move from kayaking on gentle swells to riding the waves of work. And with that in mind, let me remind you that today is Contrast Podcast day! Yay! I neglected to tell you about last week's Significant Other episode, so have a listen here if you've not done so already. This week sees the fruition of a CD swap most excellently suggested by Ross and most ably coordinated over a couple of months by Tim. Basically folks signed up to make compilation CDs for one of the other participants assigned at random. Discs were exchanged via snail mail, and this week you get to hear the cream of the collective swap. Download it directly here, look at the delish pictures here, go comment here, then figure out what you'll contribute for next week's theme of "Shapes. "

So, the meta-compilation CD would look like this:

(00:20) The Jolts - Caffeine heartbeat
Ross from Just gimme indie rock who got his CD from FiL from Pogoagogo
(02:50) Asylum Street Spankers - Beer
SAS Radio who got his CD from Cindy from Adzuki Bean Stash
(07:09) Tanner Walle - But then
Colin from And before the first kiss who got his CD from Marcy from Lost in your inbox
(12:13) The Modern Lovers - Roadrunner
Crash from Pretending life is like a song who got his CD from Natalie from Mini-obs
(16:44) Oxen of the Sun - The shoes of Monsieur Bourdin
Tim from The face of today who got his CD from ZB from So the wind …
(19:07) The Awkward Stage - Heaven is for easy girls
Chip from Atomic Ned who got his CD from Jim from Quick before it melts
(22:37) Moonbabies - Take me to the ballroom
Liz from The Roaring Machine who got her CD from SAS Radio
(27:11) The Evil Queens - Ditchdigger blues
Coxon from To die by your side who didn’t get his CD from Chip from Atomic Ned
(30:38) Laika - Badtimes
Cindy from Adzuki Bean Stash who got her CD from Tim from The face of today
(36:00) Dexys Midnight Runners - Seven days too long
Jim from Quick before it melts who got his CD from Crash from Pretending life is like a song
(39:31) Wayne Jarrett - Brimstone and fire
ZB from So the wind … who got his CD from Colin from And before the first kiss
(45:55) The Boggs - Arm in arm
Natalie from Mini-obs who got her CD from Coxon from To die by your side
(50:05) Bombay Bicycle Club - Sixteen
Marcy from Lost in your inbox who got her CD from Ross from Just gimme indie rock
(55:01) The Brilliant Corners - Meet me on Tuesdays
FiL from Pogoagogo who got his CD from Liz from The Roaring Machine

I was lucky enough to receive a super-smashing see-dee from Dearest Liz & Dearest Simon of Spoilt Roaring Victorian Machine Child. It was all so lovely, that I was nearly driven mad by having to choose but one track. Also in the running were:

Ratcat - Don't Go Now (buy here)
Jingly-jangly-fuzzy indie pop from Down Under, circa 1988.

Shout Out Louds - Tonight I have To Leave It (buy here)
The Swedes are a fine race who make beautiful music and fierce alcoholic beverages (c.f. Skane Aquavit, brannvin). This is swoony stuff, and is that I cowbell I hear??

BMX Bandits - Islands In The Stream (I think this was only issued on a flexi)
OK, I wasn't really considering offering this as the CD's ubertune, even if it's performed by these legendary Scots. The original version of this song, by Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton, is in my Top Five loathesome list. However, that doesn't stop me from knowing all the words. By the way, remind me to tell you one day why Kenny Rogers owes me $20.

As a rather belated musical afterthought, today it hit me what song I should have submitted for the DJ Russian Roulette episode: La Bamba. You see, I was in a local produce shop and the song came on the tinny store transistor. I kid you not, I saw three separate folks singing along and hipswaying absent-mindedly: a soccer mom, a computergeek girlie, and a hipster dude with an obscure t-shirt design. Damn, coulda saved my life...

Ritchie Valens - La Bamba (buy the big one here )

Wait, wait, another afterthought. I'd best post another Vancougar tune, coz that feline presence did rather freak us out ever so slightly.

Vancougar - Down On Me (buy here or e-here)


Mr Rossy said...

Wow, that pics is great looks like a magical place !!! Shame u didn't see orcas, they are lovely creatures..thanks again for my ace cd, really enjoyed it..rockin stuff. Your intro this week was ace as usual, you r ver creative sir !!! Nice story !!! YEAH !!!
Thanks...i'm listening to that Coffee tea or me track right now at work...buzzinnnn, agghhhhhhh

Av a goodin

Elizabeth said...

When I was 10, I had La Bamba for my pocket rocket and almost broke every single toe trying to dance on the tops of my shoes like Pee Wee Herman. Like, every day.

And c'mon, you have to love the fake applause on Islands in the Stream, right?

Just a Girl said...

I love the Gulf Islands. It's a whole other world.

Kenny was my first ever concert. The sister *lurves* him and as the mom was taking the sis to see him she felt I needed to go along so as not to feel left out.

I'd rather have been left out :)

Mentok said...

Are there actual oysters in Oyster Bay? If so, are they edible? If so, have you tried steaming them in beer? If so, did you find it helped put the youngins to sleep faster? If so, did you have any problems with Social Services the next day? ;-)

t&f@tlh said...


Oh the Bay! Wish I were canoeing past those seals with you like we did last time...

Did the Prince concert last night and popped into the aftershow party where he played again... he's a talented type but it was loud!


mjrc said...

fil, i am ever more impressed with each intro you devise. that was fabulous--the image of the cat and the puffin and you dancing, and then the puffin riding away on the cat. fantastic--in more ways than one! : )

ally. said...

smashing to have you back my dear. i'm not suprsised the cougarswereafter you . they , like all the good animals, are huge dolly and kenny fans and feast heartily on the unbelievers...
thankfully they can't resist la bamba neither so tell the family to play it loud

Natsthename said...

YAY, you posted La Bamba. I love that song!!

Looks like Mayne Island is a lovely place for a relaxing vacation, even if the orcas hide from eager tourists. Just the scent of the sea air is enough to relax me!

FiL said...

Halloooo everyone!!

Dearest Ross, the orcas are indeed magical. The house we stay in is located on a cliff overlooking the water, so when we see them coming we climb down the rickety staircase to the rocks and watch them. Sometimes they pass so close you can look them in the eye as they go by. Not sure I can articulate this fully, but on those occasions I feel as close to pure joy as I ever have.

And so glad to have gotten you buzzin' - thanks for an excellent CP theme!!

Dearest Liz, breaking all your toes every day? Ouchers!!!

And I should have been clearer: I fully appreciated the humour of the cover, crap stadium rock fawning & applause included! Indeed, that CD you & Simon sent is sublime.

P.S. Did Puffin & Cat make it bact to Manxyland alright??

Dearest JaG, I'm no fan of Nietzsche, but I do believe that which does not kill you makes you stronger (arguably that which kills you does he same, but let's not go there right now).

Dearest Mentok: Yes, there are acres of big Pacific oysters around. Yes, they are, and according to Fisheries & Oceans Canada they can be harvested. However, we've not done so in keeping with the old adage not to pick shellfish in a month not containing an "r." I've not tried the beer steaming method, so cannot comment on the putative soporific effect on children. As for Social Services, they're already after me for showing the kids Lordi and Ramones videos...

Dearest T, indeed, that was a most excellent bit of kayaking. I'll pass your greetings on to the seals.

As for Prince, didja get your dancing funk on, or did you have to maintain professional composure?

(As an aside, Dearest Friends, Dearest T is a most excellent dancer. Such athleticism! Such animal charm! Such flexibility!!)

Dearest Marcy, you've made me blush yet again. But I'm glad you enjoyed it!!

Dearest Ally, I actually have loads of time for Dolly. I mean, Jolene; need I say more?? As for Kenny, well, I fear I can't say the same. And he owes me $20.

Dearest Nats, glad you liked! I saw you dancing out of the corner of my eye.

Yes, Mayne is great. Slow of pace, but that's part of the appeal. Usually the orcas come by every 2-3 days in August, hence my disappointment. Maybe if I blasted La Bamba from the deck...

Minge said...

I've never seen an orca.


You are lucky. Spending time by the water is like heaven.

How come Kenny Rogers owes you twenty dollars?

ally. said...

yeah how come kenny rogers owes you 20 dollars - we demand to know - tell us tell us tel us....