My dear friends, apologies to you all, or at least to those who may have wondered when I might show up here again! It’s been a while.
In any case my hope is always that you will enjoy my stories of life as a pioneer in the Broughton Archipelago. We might now be qualified as old-timers, having been here for more than thirty years.
The life of an artist, musician, photographer, actor is often far more occupied with the doing of those actions required of the occupation. Marketing is one of the most difficult things any of us are faced with doing. In these new times, the internet and how to use social media are replacing print ads and art storefronts and making life quite challenging for people like us.
Learning how to make the best use of these tools, or any use of them at all is not easy. Even finding folks you can trust to help you or guide you to learning useful technologies is a difficult task. However the brain likes to learn new things and, we are told, it keeps the brain healthy to be required to learn new things. I shall persevere. Thank you for being patient with my efforts.That said, I’ll move on to the news of everything!
The big deal this winter is that Billy’s boat shed collapsed on top of the ways. It just got too big a snow load and the thirty year-old building buckled under the weight of the frozen snow. We few remaining neighbours, about one-quarter as many people who helped build it in 1988, spent upwards of fifty person-hours helping Billy (does not include Billy’s hours) demolish the wreckage, salvage the good wood and burn up the remainder. Watch for my article in Pacific Yachting’s latest edition.
Billy and I have been continuing our monthly bird count, its eighteen years since we began this interesting work. Last month our guest Marisa (winter camp watch at Echo Bay and a lively female companion for me) spotted a juvenile eagle on the foreshore in the Burdwood Group, we paused to take a look and spotted half a dozen more; then the source of their interest, a dead seal. Times are tough for eagles, I often see them targeting water birds; subjecting them to aerial attack, causing them to repeatedly dive for up to twenty minutes. It must be exhausting for both birds.
In February I spent most of a month as the guest of Gordie and Marilyn Graham at Telegraph Cove, on a writing retreat. I’m almost finished the first draft of my novel set in Echo Bay and have four eager ‘readers’ chomping at the bit to tear it to pieces. No, no, of course they will actually make suggestions, comments and catch typos and storyline gaps. After working on this novel, I am impressed at the number of people who actually write and publish a novel and even more at the number of satisfying and well-written ones I get to enjoy. It is not an easy task!
I am feeling competent enough, about memoir writing anyway, to offer a writing workshop in Courtenay in May when I am at the Filberg Lodge for my show in Comox.
On the water, it has not been a big winter for whale sightings in Cramer Pass. Our wwoofer helper, Tjasa from Slovenia was present for the three most exciting events, first with a group of seven Biggs orca, or transients, then four days in a row we spotted the humpback named Black Pearl. A few days later we saw a smaller group of Biggs. I’ve noticed the increasing presence of sea otters as their populations expand around the north end of Vancouver Island and down into the mainland inlets. On the starfish front, I’ve seen a small but hopeful show of baby starfish and a report from a friend at Lagoon Cove of a number of sunflower stars, the large multi-legged ones which were so decimated by starfish wasting disease the last few years.
The flower months are rolling at us and we welcome visitors, we’ll give you the grand tour of the kilns and the pottery and painting studios. Let me know if there is a painting I can do for you to commemorate your visit here in the Broughton or further down or upcoast, your photos or mine; or give me a call to set up some art lessons.
Check out the home page for details on upcoming shows and the memoir writing workshop.
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Until we meet again, Yvonne