Sunday, 21 November 2010

First Snowfall

I'm never quite prepared when it snows. No matter how I anticipate it or mentally gear myself up for it, it always takes me by surprise.

The weather report said that there'd be snow mixed with rain for Friday, when I first check it. It was the day b & I were to make a run to Vancouver. Thinking that this would be the first snowfall of the season, it wouldn't amount to much. Right.
Out from the Long Harbour ferry and onto Vancouver, the meteorologist Russ Lecate on news 1130 gave us the bad news. The snowfall would be pretty serious (for the greater Vancouver region anyway), 5cm of snow coming late that evening. Crikey! We take the 10:20 ferry home then. Not having dealt with a real winter since that crazy one 2 years ago, I couldn't get my head around his 5cm prediction and didn't think much about it. Hmmm....
At 11 pm we were still in the line-up waiting to be called onto the ferry home. The wind was whipping up and the snowflakes were getting bigger and more abundant. By the time we got to Salt Spring, it was pass midnight and the 5cm of snow had beat us to the island. Living in the 'Canadian Reviera' we don't have very many snowploughs and so the main road was icy and slippery. It was so treacherous that we didn't quite make it home. Had to park the car o the main road and walk up the hill. In the moonlight and the snow, the scene glowed with the luminous that only a foot of snow can give.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Making Punpkin Faces

I've never carved a pumpkin before. Enough episodes of Buffy & The Simpsons Halloween have convinced me that I wanted to at least make an attempt at one, even at this late juncture of my life. Not having grown up in a culture that celebrated Halloween, all this is new to me.

But, as with many things in my life right now, I learnt how to carve a pumpkin on YouTube. There were really elaborate designs of dragons and wizards and even Barbie, that you could download and print a template from. This, you could put on your pumpkin, trace out the design by pricking holes through the paper onto the pumpkin face and then start carving out the hollows with your sharp knife. After being thoroughly impressed and somewhat overwhelmed with all the choice, I chose the old way. I did what B did when he was a kid making pumpkin heads, I drew up a couple of faces on paper and then copied them with a Sharpie onto the big orange squash and I was ready to wield my chopper with the best of them.

First it was "OFF WITH THE Top of the HEAD!!!", then you scrape all the guts out. Seeds, juice and all. It was a great big messy affair and my weeks worth of newspapers couldn't contain the flinging, chopping and dripping pumpkin parts. Three days down the road, the house still smells of that squashy massacre.

I thought I'd have a practice pumpkin, a smaller one with easier lines.
As you can see, Munch would have been proud of my ode to his Scream. Of course I had to show my creation off.

All day on Halloween, my little screamie pumpkin head had his insides stuffed with dried Oak leaves and greeted the customers coming into the bookstore.

The next one was bigger and has a kind of sugar-high crazed vampire bat look to it. I mean, a pumpkin head had to be , at least, a little scary, right? I liked this too. The eye-balls were the trickiest to carve out.

Despite lighting both the heads and leaving the out on our deck on Halloween night, no trick-or-treaters came a- knocking. Good thing too. Because B & I couldn't resist and ate almost all the candy before nightfall....