On Wednesday, Yann reached another milestone: the anniversary of his conception. He celebrated the usual way, turning it into a destination Birthday. Last year, we were at the base of Mt. Albert Edward. The year before, we were in France. Before that? New Hampshire.
Anyway, you get the idea: August is a good month to have been birthed.
In the time of Coronavirus, we had to be low-key with this year’s destination and tote a pump dispenser of hand sanitizer. I also brought a chair, binoculars, and at least twelve articles of clothing even though we were gone for just a night.
Last night, Yann and I laced up our Nike Decades and headed up to Gonzales Hill Observatory with a flask of phenobarbital to catch a glimpse of NEOWISE before it disappears for the next 6000 years.
The observatory itself is an old weather station and is off-limits to the public; however, the Capital Regional District was kind enough to provide a park bench 20 metres away from the building.
Yann and I settled down on this bench as the sun sunk below the horizon. As usual, Sirius was the first to seep through the evening twilight, followed by the Grande Ourse, which is French for Big Bear, which how they refer to The Big Dipper. Or you’re in the UK, The Plough. Whatever it’s called, it’s the one constellation most Northern Hemispherians can identify. The Big Dipper was to direct us to NEOWISE’s position in the sky.
We sat in the darkness, shivering among the wind-warped Garry oak trees for an hour before scoping the dim smudge that is NEOWISE in the sky. It was expectedly anti-climactic, as we had long missed the window when it was the most brilliant.
Also, there was no flask of phenobarbital, and I wear Adidas kicks.
In 2008, along with 2 others, I entered one of the larger caves in Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park. Fifteen minutes later, we got spit out in a ditch on the side of the New Jersey Turnpike. I only mention this because Being John Malkovich is my favourite movie and has been since it was released 20 years ago. If you haven’t seen it, I can guarantee that it’ll be more interesting than this post.
On Thursday morning, it took Yann and I nearly three hours to pack for our camping trip. Why did it take us three hours? We decided to fully load the Jetta wagon with everything from Alcohol to Zing Tarp, and install the bike rack so that we could incorporate cycling into our three-day adventure in parc national du Mont-Tremblant.
The cats know when we’re about to leave for an extended period which, in this case, was 21 “cat days”. Right before I left, I found Enfoiré (aka the fat one) laying underneath the side table in the living room looking indignant. I put my hand out in preparation to give him a “goodbye” stroke, and he bit me!
It warmed my heart to know that he cared that much. Enfoiré isn’t a mean cat nor the type to bite hard. He bites to “communicate”, and in this case he was saying, “Fuck you for leaving us again.”