Home again

We’re home again, in Torbay, Newfoundland, after a marvelous trip to Exploits Islands. I haven’t even started looking at the photos I took; the mountain of laundry and Things To Do being somewhat prohibitive at this point. I’ll pick through them gradually in the coming weeks.

Views from the boat

Paddling up and down the harbour in our rodney or punt is a great way to get a different view of houses. Since the marine highway here predates the terrestrial cart track, most of the older houses are built to be accessed by boat first and road, second. One of these days I hope to…

Across the harbour

Since the bridge fell into disrepair and was subsequentially blown up (one of the great disappointments of my adulthood is not being there to see it blow), I don’t find myself on the other island all that often. It used to be possible to walk from our house to the lighthouse without setting foot in…

End of day

John and I painted the front of the house today. It’s a long way up and involved an abundance of ladder work at heights edging on nerve-wracking, but it’s done. I still have to caulk the windows and do trim, but trim is for next year. So I took an evening wander to stretch my…

What would Dad do?

Here on Exploits, we get wasps’ nests. Frequent and substantial wasps’ nests in inconvenient places. Family lore has evolved around these nests over the years in flamboyant style. It started with Dad and the new outhouse. Sometime in the mid-eighties, after a long boatride across the bay to Exploits, we all trooped sprinted up from…

A shortcut to…

… mushrooms! We picked some chanterelles the other day and had an Exploits feast of mushrooms & mussels. There were plenty to be had. Sautéed in butter with a chicken-flavoured cream sauce over couscous. Delicious!

Summer afternoons at Exploits

I spent the morning and afternoon with a gallon of black stain and a paint brush, crawling around under the deck, painting the house skirting. The afternoon holds an axe an a large stack of wood. If I lived this way year-round, I wouldn’t need a gym membership.


There’s a certain fascination with walking the same paths over and over, in all sorts of weather, and seeing different things each time. Exploits is made of two islands and ours is the one to the northeast. On this island, an old cart track runs the length of the island and is dotted with houses…

This is how a heart breaks

When I was a little girl, people lived in this house. Kids played here. Puppies were born here. Stories were told into the evening. When I was a girl, the road went to this house. You could walk there. There was a wharf, too, in the deep cove in front. There was often a sailboat….

Night lights

Night has texture and dimension when external sources of light are drastically reduced. Stars are brighter and satellites trail across the heavens quite visibly. The stars are one of the great perks of 2am outhouse trips.