Monday, 9 August 2010

A Place by the Sea

overcast, rain, now mostly sunny and warm, temps 25

We're in British Columbia, in Sechelt, on the Sunshine Coast.
This picture was taken this morning - when the rain was just about to begin. They get a lot of rain in Vancouver, but not much here...the name is meant to be description, apparently, not ironic! It was sunny and hot all july. Too sunny and hot. Forest fires broke out. In fact, when we arrived in Vancouver yesterday Lonnie and Susan (the amazing Sunshine Coast Lit Fest volunteers who met the plane) pointed out the what we thought was mist was in fact smoke from the fires.

They've had rain the last couple of days, so that's a blessing. But after this morning's rain it has cleared and now it's a lovely day. We're sitting on the verandah looking out over the sound. The small boats, the warf, the island where the float planes circle after take off and before landing. It really is magical.

Our B and B is called A Place by the Sea. We're staying in the Sea Breeze Suite. Two hour massage this afternoon. Then dinner in front of the fire place, relaxing and reading. We were going to go on a six hour private cruise of the coastline but the weather's looking a bit dodgy so we've delayed until Thursday. Tomorrow and Wednesday just quiet days. I'll read my manuscript. Michael will sketch, and read his book. While we look over the sea, at the cranes, and sea gulls and huge numbers of eagles. So different from home.

Had a terrific flight from Toronto. About 5 hours, very easy. The lovely festival people plumped for the upgraded seats at the emergency exits so we had scads of space. One of the flight attendants sat beside us during take off and we got to chatting. Her name's Mimi. Young - works the long hauls, married to a pilot, two small children, and she's writing the music and lyrics for her first album - to be recorded in October!! We felt like slugs. But what a lovely young woman.

And, her mother-in-law has written her first book and gotten it published! Her name is Carolyn Muir Helfenstein and the book is called 'Why Not? A memoir In Black and White'. It sounds terrific. I plan to ask Danny and Lucy, at Brome Lake Books to order it for us.

Tomorrow the only thing on our agenda is a salmon barbeque for the volunteers at the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts. The organizor of the fest - Jane Davidson - has kindly invited us. We're so looking forward to it.

I'll tell you, when I was writing Still Life all alone it never occurred to me Gamache, Clara et al would take us around the world, including a salmon barbeque on the edge of British Columbia.

How lucky are we? Speak to you tomorrow! And if you ever plan to come to BC you must consider the Sunshine Coast - and stay at A Place by the Sea. If an exhale had walls and view, this would be it.


John said...

It sounds just wonderful, Louise! The next time I get to see the Left Coast will be at San Francisco for BoucherCon! Look forward to seeing you there!


Marjorie said...

You can cut and paste this link to see the photo that Louise took of the Sunshine Coast view from her "office" if you aren't on Facebook:

--Marjorie from CT

Darlene said...

Welcome to BC, Louise and Michael. They say we've had our three days of cloudy/rainy weather and now summer is returning -- just in time for the Sechelt Festival. Hope I haven't jinxed it! See you there.

lil Gluckstern said...

So beautiful, and looks so quiet. Enjoy your time!

Linda said...

Seschelt!! Home of our friend, Les Westlake. It's a place we hope to visit one day too - Les tells us it's a wonderful place to be. Glad you're having an enjoyable stay, Louise.

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi all,

Yes, it's glorious lucky we are. Though a couple of two small, loud, children has just arrived. Fingers crossed they spend the night sleeping and tomorrow off on exhausting adventures.

Wish I could say the arrival of children fills my heart with gladness and the reminder of the miracle of life. It doesn't.

Still, let's hope for the best. Or, maybe, Michael and I can start screaming and shouting at each other, and stomping around. But that would be, well, childish.

I think we need to find a bed and breakfast at some stage that is adult only. I feel more and more yearning for quiet. And peace. And solitude.