Posts Tagged ‘boats’

Summer flowers line the streets.

They are standing on top of the high rise buildings in Toronto today in search of the sun! Even the breakfast television anchor man was perched on some skyscraper, as he babbled on about the local news. The Torontonians are in ‘summer fever’ mode and the excitement is tangible.

Outside patio furniture is being dusted off and carried out so that it can catch the first rays of summer. I catch the flash of turquoise, cerise pink and yellow in the shop windows to tempt me. Restaurants are competing for clientele and some have even added hanging baskets of cascading geraniums to their outdoor rooms. Graceful umbrellas extend their arms out and create peaceful havens in the hustle and bustle of the city. Newspapers abound with fliers advertising all that is related to summer. As I enjoy my cappuccino at my local café, I overhear a couple discuss their escape up to ‘cottage country’ this weekend. There will be a mass exodus of boats, fishing gear and summer revelers as they enjoy a long weekend.

Monday is a public holiday as Canadians still celebrate 24 May as Queen Victoria’s birthday. We are rather low on the public holidays here as we only have about 6 a year. So thank goodness for Queen Victoria and the colonies! It all began with 5000 residents way back in 1854. They sang ‘Happy Birthday’ outside Government House in Toronto and the queen liked this so much that she declared it a public holiday. Over the years the celebrations have varied from the usual rush north to the cottage, athletic competitions, firework displays, gun salutes, carnivals and the good old barbeque.

We are going to fall into the latter and I have bought the boerewors from the South African shop and a few ‘lamsvleis sjoppies’. The chops are from New Zealand but I am sure we will still pick up on the flavour. So on Monday we are going to light up our braai. We will join in with our neighbours and friends and toast Queen Victoria with a fine glass of South African red in one hand and a piece of boerewors in the other…… here’s to SUMMER.

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What do Canadians do on Canada Day? It was going to be our first ever and we were keen to follow tradition. Many of these hard working city dwellers find some respite in the stillness and solitude of the lakes and the forests and they head up to Cottage Country.


We packed in all the necessary sustenance and headed out early before the rush. One could notice how the landscape began to undulate and the vegetation changed from only deciduous trees to a mixture of conifers and deciduous. The growth is still a vivid green and hardly has time to show the effects of ageing when the Fall brings about the big drop.


After a few hours we drove up to a secluded wooded property, we drove through a maple forest and nestling between the trees was a quaint wooden cottage. Our little bit of heaven for the weekend! But the best was yet to come, from the deck one could take in the view over the lake. What a view! There was a long staircase which meandered down to dock along the waterway where 2 wooden chairs and a boat beckoned me. I succumbed to the wooden chair as the stairs were quite a workout.


Here you could really contemplate life and any of your demons that needed to be sorted out. I wiled away many hours down there with a good book in hand or just watched Philip and David pull in brown trout. Josh also took delight in the ‘gone fishing’ activities and managed to taste a few caudal fins in the process. This evoked a primeval instinct in him again. He was transported back to the Koppie in Lonehill when a family of possum ran across the deck. He went into attack mode but fortunately they knew the lay of the land far better than he did and managed to escape his jittering jaws. So peace returned to the water edge again and I was able to just ‘muck about in boats’ till the sun set.


It always amazes me how people from your past often cross it again and this weekend was made possible by a South African university friend from Cape Town. There is a kinship that exists between those of us that have lived in Africa. Thank you for reminding me how special it is to be out there in the stillness and to be able to hear my inner voice again.

Mucking about in boats

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