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Archive for February, 2013

Trees encroaching on our ocean view

Trees encroaching on our ocean view

Looking so much better after a good trimming.

Looking so much better after a good trimming.

In the five years since we bought the cottage, the neighbour’s trees have gotten a bit weedy and our view has been progressively narrowing. After dropping a few hints, we finally just asked if we could do some trimming. This is so much easier in the winter months when dealing with deciduous trees. These are hawthornes with inch long spikes of nastiness. They weren’t planted either – just blew in on a breeze. They are fast spreading and fast growing. We gave our kind neighbour a case of beer and will happily keep a steady supply flowing his way in order to keep these trees in check. Long live the view of Keats Island that gives our little place its name.

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Big Urchin (Bu) is home for Reading Break so the rest of the Keats View family arranged a three day weekend and we headed off to Manning Provincial Park for some family time in the snow. Both Cottager and I remember when you had to arrive early at Manning because the cross-country trails and even parking would be full. Nowadays, the world has passed this quiet little place by and everyone heads for Whistler.

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The lodge and cabins are basic but budget friendly. There’s a nice indoor pool with two large jacuzzis, a small gym, one restaurant, pub, an outdoor ice rink (used to be free, but no longer) and a clanking school bus to run you up to the ski area. Big roaring fires in the lodge, pub and restaurant.

There is only one lift, but both Saturday and Sunday our boys never waited more than a minute or two for a ride up. The snow was powdery and plentiful, and the slopes half empty. Two all day youth passes plus equipment rental for one of them: 115$.

A basic room for four at the lodge (fridge, microwave and coffeemaker) is 119$/weeknight and 167$ weekends. Nordic ski, snowshoes and skate rental are available right behind the lodge on highway 3. Very good value, but the best part is that wifi is limited and pay (so don’t!) and there are only three channels on the old TV. So we had to go to the pool, play cards, goof around and go to bed early.

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Went out for a walk on the beach in a light mist and saw some things I hadn’t seen before. This tree, of course, has clearly been exactly here for many years but something about the dark turbulent day made it stand out in a way it hadn’t before. Wish I’d had a better camera with me.

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And then, along the sea wall in town I found a new public art installation: a line of blackboards and chalk where passersby can record an ever-changing list of single intentions and desires. Here is a link about this lovely idea.

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