Saturday, March 24, 2012

Early spring playtime

This past week has been record-breaking warm here, downright hot (break out the shorts and T's time) on Thursday. Silly Nova Scotians who went south this week regretted it, the best of Florida was no better than here. Although I bet you could go swimming at the beach there; I don't think I would have chanced it here. We are almost back to "seasonable" now though, big high of +8C today ("seasonable" is +5C). For a couple of days it was cooler indoors than outdoors, I didn't run the furnace or light the fire for several days because the house never cooled off overnight.

I've been getting estimates on cutting down some trees on my property, a line of spruces along the south side, because they block the sun. It turns out that my neighbour on that side is very keen to see those trees gone and has gone so far as to offer to pay part of the cost. However most of the work will have to be done on their property, it is harder to get at those trees from my side than their side, so I am giving them a few days to think about that.

I am actually sitting on the fence on this issue, I like the trees and like the sound of the wind in them and the way that birds can hide in them. I have a feeling that if I cut them down I will discover that they contribute unforeseen benefits by their presence. Will I miss their shade? But having uninterrupted sun all summer long on my garden area would be nice. Presently no part of the back yard qualifies as "in full sun". I wish I could just trim those trees down to half-size, but that is just not doable. In the summer they provide shade for my house during the first half of the morning, I don't know how much of a difference that makes to the heating up of the house then. They don't provide any privacy.

Last night four of us went out for dinner and local theatre: a lovely little restaurant called Pizzazz Bistro and then on to Centrestage Theatre to see "Twelve Angry Jurors", a take-off on Twelve Angry Men. They had a mixed-gender jury.

The restaurant was truly excellent, we all ordered different things and we were all pleased with our food, we would have ordered different wines but ended up drinking the same wine, an Argentinian Malbec. For dessert two of us had cheesecake and two of us had apple cake. The desserts were all circular, and you could order a half-piece and get a semi-circular dessert instead. So many times I have split a dessert with someone that it is kind of nice that the restaurant provides half desserts.

The play was great, they did a great job of adapting it I thought. But I am not one to judge, having never seen the original. The theatre is tiny, I don't think it seats more than 80 or 90 patrons. It is very much a local theatre operation, the theatre staff, actors and many of the audience know each other and joke around (the instructions in case of fire were half serious half silly). All in all it was a most pleasant evening out: good company, good food, good theatre.

Earlier in the day I took Hapi out on the dikes and we met a lady walking her golden retriever. The retriever was young and wanted to play with Hapi, but she was all aloof and growly with the young dog. The woman recognized Hapi and told me her dog's name, Duncan. I remembered meeting her and her dog in the Kentville Ravine several months ago, before winter. Duncan was smaller then, not quite his full size. But I remembered that Duncan and Hapi had very much enjoyed each other, in fact it was the best dogplay Hapi had had since Hiro left.

After 20 minutes of ignoring Duncan Hapi suddenly decided she was ready to play with him, I think she even took Duncan by surprise since he had kind of given up on her by then. But they took off, chasing each other and running through the mud of the tidal flats and drainage ditches. It was a pleasure to watch, although Duncan's owner was concerned about having to load the muddy stinky dog into her car afterward. I suggested we take them to the "Duck Pond" in a nearby park to wash off. The pond is posted with No Dogs Allowed signs, but at this time of year I doubted anyone would accost us.

We got the dogs to the park and they leaped into the pond and had great fun play fighting in the water. They got so hyper that it was near impossible to recapture them and get them leashed up to go our separate ways. Afterward I realized I should have got contact info to organize future play dates for the dogs. Oh well, hopefully another time. At his full adult size Duncan looks smaller than Hapi but he weighs as much as she does. His coat is not nearly as fluffy as hers.

In spite of the wash in the pond, Hapi still stunk of the dike mud. It's not as bad as rolling in manure, but close. Good thing she is an outdoors dog.

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