Downtime!

For the chronically busy person, there is nothing like a little downtime for reenergising and resetting the mind. 

I always feel as though making it to the break at the end of third term is like sliding into third base and only just making it, looking shabby and feeling a little worse for wear. 

Life has been crazy busy in recent weeks with work, a non-fiction book release, and theatre commitments. 

So, while my sister is able to care for my dad for a few days, I’ve been able to escape to the countryside. 

Today’s drive rewarded me with blue sky, fluffy white clouds, sunshine, and some gorgeous scenery. 

It really was a glorious day– and just what I needed!

Stop… in the name of Ontario…

It’s not unusual in Ontario to see a cross intersection with four-way stop signs. 

That’s right.

Everyone has to stop, look at each other, smile, and say, “After you…” before proceeding on their way.

The first car to arrive gets to drive off first. In the rare event that you arrive in a dead heat, the driver to the left gets to go first.  This makes me wonder, though… if the drivers are across the intersection from one another, are they not technically on each other’s left?  I can just picture an “Ontario Stand Off”.

Driver A: “After you…”

Driver B: “No, after you…”

Driver A: “No, really, after you…” and so on. 

In theory, this could continue for some time, given how nice and polite Canadians generally are. 
On reflection, I can see why this has not been attempted in Australia. 

Driving on the right side of the road.

In Australia, we drive on the left hand side of the road. I know it send arse-backwards to most of the world, but it’s normal to me. 

Now that I’m in Canada, I’ve had to adjust to the other side of the road. It wasn’t an issue when I was just a passenger, but this morning I became designated driver for the next week or so because my friend Jenn is having some surgery this morning. 

I drove back from the hospital this morning, and again just now to take Zoey to school. I even got home successfully from the school, all by myself.

Phew! 

Driving home.

Silver misty moonlight mood-light,
dark silhouettes of drowsy gums,
their trunks briefly illuminated, 
ghostly, striking majestic poses,
eerie in the passing light.

A young kangaroo, eager for the
fresh, bright grass on the roadside,
staring as the intruder rushes by, 
then resumes his evening feast
alone, in the dark, with 
nothing but the soft breeze
and the whimsical moon
for company.

Roadtripping #13

I woke very early this morning to the sound of rain on the roof of the RV. The humid warmth of the night melted into the crisp punctuation of
big fat, lazy drops of rain splattering one after the other, until the rain gradually became softer and steadier.
I closed the windows and roof vents just in time.

Call me crazy, but rain changes everything. It’s beautiful.
This morning in West Virginia, It adds contrast in the trunks and branches of naked or newly-budding trees, and makes the colour of blossoms more vivid. Roads shimmer with silvery light, and grass comes to life with lush, bright-green enthusiasm.

As we continue to drive down I79 South, the misty rain softens the stark outlines of the trees and of the mountains that range as far as the eye can see. Near the horizon, they blend into ethereal nothingness.

There are more picture-postcard villages dotted along the highway, but the rain and the fog on the windows makes it impossible to take photographs. That’s the only thing I don’t like about the rain.

Roadtripping #2

Today is bathed in sunshine.
There are still drifts of snow by the road and in the fields, thickest under the pines and cedars where the sunlight has not yet penetrated. If this weather keeps up, that won’t last too much longer. Canada might actually get the spring weather she has eagerly awaited for so long.

We’re driving on Route 401, heading for Ottawa.

20140406-120631.jpg

First time for everything #2

I just tried to get in the driver’s seat. This car is my first experience of being in a left-hand-drive car. We’re travelling on the right-hand side of the road.
This is going to take some getting used to.
It’s a good thing we are going to be passengers for a couple of days before we drive anywhere.