Monday, 30 July 2007


I finished the latest Harry Potter (HP) yesterday and have spent a bit of time reflecting about it. I'd just seen the latest HP movie while in Calgary, which I did enjoy, and I couldn't help thinking that maybe the events that happened in the last book were related to the movie release. There seemed to be several reminders about things that had happened in previous books, all related to The Order of the Phoenix and my cynical side always looks at how people like to make money. I did enjoy the book, although my major prediction - that Harry Potter would die - did not turn out. I predicted that because I thought Rowling would like to be rid of this character and if she killed him off she wouldn't have to do another novel along this line. Memories of Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes, I guess, or so I've heard. Someone asked me what I thought about the novel when I was about half-way through it. I said that I was ready for it to be over - too much of the same old thing, but the writing was good. I've found that to be true for me for the last 3 novels - more of the same old thing - but then the last 100 pages have gripped me. I didn't really get gripped this time. I'd have to say that I was a bit disappointed. The epilogue and the finale were just a little too "neat" for my taste and after giving the readers all kinds of examples of the evil in the world, it seems as if Harry has defeated all of that and everyone is still pretty happy 19 years later. Hmmm. It ain't the real world, and I guess Rowling never intended it to be that. Me, I like my realism and I'm currently enjoying my latest Inspector Banks called Playing With Fire.

Sunday, 29 July 2007

Some Like It Hot

I know that some people out there really do like hot, sunny weather. I'm getting a bit sick of it. I travelled east into Alberta and Saskatchewan for two weeks and got the heat there. I'm back into the thick of it here in the Kootenays once again. By the thick of it I mean that there's smoke over the hill that is west of us - a big fire is burning half way between Kaslo and New Denver. One of the disappointing things is that it's too hot to do any hiking. We've got great views everywhere but who wants to do a hike in this heat?

So how do I keep cool? Well, the last couple of days a new friend and I are going to the Kaslo Bay area and swimming. We go to the buoy and back - it's probably about 500m there and back and the water is quite cold and very refreshing. We also do a bit of aquasize in the "shallows" near the beach. I ride my bike to the beach and the ride home from Kaslo is mostly uphill. In a wet bathing suit it actually doesn't feel too bad. Today, my friend and I picked raspberries in another friend's backyard and we stayed very cool in our wet clothing. What more can anyone ask of summer with swimming and berry picking as the mainstays of the day?

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

The Barrows

My Dad always said that the most useful tool on his Salmon Valley Farm (back in the 70's and 80's) was the wheelbarrow. I think Dave and I would be divorced if we didn't have two of them! Our wheelbarrows are in constant use. Lately, we've been mixing cement and the one in the foreground works best for that endeavour. The one at the back of the picture is lighter, narrower, and higher and a little better on steep hills or getting into narrow places. I use it the most. My daily jobs might include moving firewood, spreading bark mulch on our paths, moving horse manure to the "let it rot" pile, sifting through the compost, or moving groceries from the truck to the house. Of course, my barrow also accompanies me to the garden whenever I play there because it can always be at least partly filled with rock every time I put a pickaxe into the ground! Thanks, Dad, and Des Kennedy, for reminding me about the wonders of the wheelbarrow.