Archive for May 2013

An Octopus’s Garden

May 18, 2013


Zazou hasn’t yet decided whether the beach is actually part of her garden or not. We deduce this because not only have we never seen her down there, but she persists in bringing mice and voles into the house, instead of clams and oysters.


Beppo definitely prefers the terrestrial garden, although since he’s a big copycat, the day Zazou goes down to the sea will certainly change Beppo’s life too.


We happily take advantage of the best of both worlds, the early crop of flowers on our little water-facing patio, and the amazing crop of water birds and water vessels that we can watch from it. So far, in only three weeks here, we’ve seen gulls, ducks, geese, cormorants, pigeon guillemots, eagles, otters, seals, ferries galore, sail boats, motor boats, tug boats, barges, an aircraft carrier, and three


submarines. Really and truly, aircraft carriers and submarines go right past our back door, on Rich Passage, the stretch of water otherwise known as WA Highway 304, a nomenclature that we find hilarious.

The aircraft carrier, the USS John C. Stennis, passed us with 3000 sailors onboard, many of whom were on deck waving their white caps at us. The submarines, on the other hand, slip darkly past,


escorted by Navy and Coast Guard boats, on their silent and spooky way to the octopus’s garden under the sea. It’s impossible for me to imagine life in a submarine, and what sort of person would choose that life. Outside, eternal darkness, crushing pressure, and deadly chill, with no way out. Inside, tiny spaces, a nuclear reactor, artificial light, recycled air and water, and, I suppose, nonexistent privacy.


No sunsets for those submariners, no sunrises. No salt breezes, no flowers, no cats. I wonder what inspires a person to choose this life. You can read the fascinating details of life in the octopus’s garden here.

Moving Is Exhausting

May 10, 2013


Beppo and Zazou have come home at last. Although at first they looked relieved each time they encountered some familiar piece of furniture, the stuff that smelled reassuringly like home to them, they were absolutely astonished by the sight of water, water everywhere, and the looks on their faces as they gazed out the windows were priceless.


The sounds of the small waves, the cries of the gulls, the various honkings and quackings of the seabirds, all were a foreign language to them. Beppo and Zazou have lived in France and America, in several different places, but they’ve never before seen water


or boats. The sight and sound of the first few ferries to pass sent Zazou off to sleep in the closet on a favorite sweater, and although Beppo was brave enough to come out on the deck with us for lunch, Zazou wanted nothing to do with it.


But now, after just 48 hours in their new home, they run in and out the cat door, lie in the sun, and roll on the sandy terrace. I don’t think they’ve been down to the beach yet, but we’re having a nice low tide soon, and perhaps they’ll follow me down and discover a taste for clams.

And In With The New

May 2, 2013

20130425_064106Moving is hell, let no one say otherwise. On the first morning in our new home, the kitchen looked like this, as seen by my phone, which just wants to be a phone, and not a camera. Nonetheless, I coerced it into documenting just what a mess our life had become, in the space of only 24 hours.


We’d had the foresight to set out the coffee grinders, but the espresso machine wasn’t yet in shape to brew up our morning cup of contentment.

20130428_195111Cooking is utterly out of the question when you can’t even find a wooden spoon. The dining table was still at the old house, but fortunately, what we did have was boxes, and donuts for Shel, and nuts for me.


And so hey presto, breakfast was had on a box. Actually, it had a certain charm. Some of the hundreds of boxes were especially mysterious, especially early in the morning.


It was definitely too early for the bar, especially a bar serving cat food. And was there an app for that? What on earth was the mover thinking when he labeled that box?


Since the front yard looked like this on the day we moved in, the cats definitely weren’t with us anyway, being safely sequestered and pampered at their favorite kitty camp. And really, who could complain about the front yard, when the back yard looked like this?


And so, off to days and days of unpacking, which, through the miracle of time-lapse reality, shall soon be complete.