Island Life

I love June. Long days and light-til-late evenings, morning sunshine and the promise of summer vacation ahead.

One of my favourite June activities is my annual Fabulous Women weekend on Saturna Island.  Amazing women, long walks on the beach, good food, juicy conversation, plenty of love and hugs and support and sleep and lots of laughter.

The ferry ride is three hours long with two stops along with way. It’s a great way to unwind. But since I couldn’t leave town early with the rest of the gang, I flew over on a small float plane early the next morning. It took 15 minutes!

One of the best things about Saturna Island are the beaches. They are replete with rocks, driftwood, tidal pools and all kinds of marine wildlife and birds. You can explore to your heart’s content, or just sit and watch the waves roll in.

It’s hard to get good pictures of marine wildlife. We saw lots of seals and so I have several dozen pictures of a patch of ocean where a seal was JUST before I took the shot.  I did manage to get a few, though.

Lots of other wildlife to see, as well. You have to drive slowly on the island. There are a lot of deer (no predators for them) which can jump out of the bushes at any moment. This trip, a bald eagle landed on the road in front of us!

For me, a great thing about having all afternoon to explore is that I can play with my camera. Lots of times when I’m travelling, it’s hard to stop and spend time taking photos. You hold the group up or miss your bus, plane, ride, restaurant reservation, etc… I love having time to play …

And then, of course, there was time to relax – to sit in the hammock and read, to look for shapes in the clouds, to hang with amazing women and to watch the sunset.

I came home relaxed, more myself, aware of the importance of making time for aimless creativity and, as always, made wiser and kinder by my woman tribe.

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Back in the UK – Rochester!

I’m back in the UK visiting friends and today we visited with their friends in Rochester. Like all good British towns, it had a cathedral, a castle and a nice high street.

First, the castle. Built in stages from the 11th to 14th century, quite a bit of it was still standing. I’m watching a great show right now called “Secrets of the Castle” which follows the construction of a 13th century castle using tools and techniques of the time. One of the things that I found interesting is that the castles of the time would have been covered with a white limewash. So, while we’re used to seeing the stone, in fact, both the inside and outside of the castle would have been covered. Looking at the Rochester Castle now was pretty impressive. It must have been quite a sight in white!!

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The Cathedral in Rochester, built in the Norman style, is England’s second oldest and was founded in 604AD by Bishop Justus. The present building dates back to the work of a French monk, Gundulf, in 1080. Yes, I took a picture of “Gandalf”.

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The high street of Rochester was lovely and although the french pastry shop was closed, we did find a little cafe to have tea and cakes.

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Altogether, a lovely day with the added bonus of lots of sunshine.

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