Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Moving Day

It's the end of July, the start of Bermuda's most loved holiday -- Cup Match -- and I am getting ready to move.  That means no internet for a couple of days unless I can scam some free wifi, and that means no blog for a couple of days.  I promise that I have some amazing pictures and many more stories to share with you in just a few days.

I survived my first bike crash, although I still have a knee brace and limp, and successfully moved cat 1, Lexi, to Canada last Thursday.  She is enjoying her stay at Grandma's very much, as there are many more rooms and much more furniture than I have had here in Bermuda for the last 5 years.  Cats 2 and 3 went to the vet for their heath certificate and vaccinations yesterday, and they are thoroughly traumatized.  Turning them into Prairie Panthers is going to be a problem, since Harry has parked himself on top of the cupboards for 24 hours and refuses to move, even for food.  Gonna be quite the day tomorrow.

I am managing hard goodbyes and still have much to do, so cannot chat for long.  I am pleased to have been named "blogger of the month" on, and if you are checking this blog out for the first time as a visitor from that site, my apologies for the recent days of silence, but welcome and I hope you enjoy reading a little about Bermuda and some of my adventures.

Will leave you with  photo and a promise of  more stories to come soon!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

All the Bells and Whistles

I should have chosen my words more carefully when I said I wanted to do EVERYTHING in Bermuda that I hadn't done before earlier in the year.  Because not all of the common experiences people have here are sunny days on beaches.  In particular, one thing one does NOT want to do is have a scooter injury.  We have great orthopedic services on the island, either because we really need those guys, or because they get a lot of practice.

I have always prided myself on being an excellent scooter driver.  I have had some near misses but with defensive driving and some pretty savvy balance moves I have come out unscathed.  I even stayed upright on a hill in the rain through an out of control 180 -- caused because the driver in front of me came to a dead stop in traffic in bad conditions because he knew the driver going the other way and nailed the brakes to say "hey hey" as drivers commonly do here. To be fair, you never make a day without having to drive around a dozen cars randomly parked or stopped in the road because it's convenient for the driver to not have to use a parking lot, or they just want to wait for someone, or have a chat with someone else.  But, I have successfully avoided them all!

And then yesterday, getting ready to fly my Lexi cat to Canada, I was running errands at 8:30 am in morning traffic.  I was ready for whatever the other driver's had in store for me.  What I was not ready for was irresponsible pet ownership.  A tiny little dog trotted into traffic right in front of me.  He was one of those little things that best belong in purses, or maybe a cutesy photo in a hot dog bun or a smoothy cup.  I think "rat terrier" crossed my mind.  I braked as hard as I could, felt the bike going out of control, and time stopped for a second in my head.  I knew I could recover if I released the brakes and kept the wheel straight.  I could also see the center of the little dog lined up with the center of the wheel, still in mid trot, eyes set on the other side of the road, completely oblivious to what was coming.  "If I run over him I won't go down," I thought.  Quickly followed by "I just can't."  I am not exactly sure what move I went for in the next split second, but the end result was me in the road, leg under the bike, and a lot of pain in the knee and ankle.  The traffic behind me was fast on their cell phones, and 2 gentlemen lifted the bike off me and pulled it to the roadside.  My first discernible words while in the fetal position cradling my bad knee from volleyball were "Did the dog make it?"  "Oh yeah, he ran up the alley, his owner came and got him."  By then there was a firetruck with all lights blazing, a police officer directing traffic, and an ambulance.  I tried to decline medical assistance, but that requires signing release forms, etc, and to be honest, by then the adrenaline had worn off and the pain kicked in at a pretty high level and I couldn't hold out any longer.  So into the ambulance I went, and as all good EMT's do, they asked nicely if they could cut my favorite jeans.  I guess I will be shopping soon.

The good part about working in the hospital is you get visitors quickly.  The EMT's were awesome, and came with a good shoulder pat since there was no ibuprofen allowed until after a doctor sees you, but they offered a phone call.  So at least they were able to call my former coworkers who could deliver a hug and  cup of coffee -- thanks Sakina, Kamala, and Helen (although one of them was a little worried I may have lost my fresh baked cookies for the lab on the know who you are Helen!)  Doctor "Pete" was fabulous, but he gave me that disconcerted look that everyone gives me when I know their names and they find me unrecognizable outside of my scrubs and a pony tail.  He was great though, and radiology did quick and speedy work as well -- thanks Craig, for the mandatory X-Ray and the voluntary visit.  And thank you unidentified nurse who brought the pain meds.  It was a little weird to be stuck in a room for 4 hours with a TV, no remote, and therefore non-stop Sesame Street, but at least Steve Carroll and Sarah Jessica Parker were on.  Not sure Sarah Jessica Parker talking about "Big" with Super Grover is a crossover of worlds that should ever happen though.

After that, I hailed a taxi and asked him to stop at the bike so I could lock it up.  He drove me the two blocks and said...."Why don't you just drive it home?"  Well, I thought, I can't actually bend my leg and I have a cane....but I have indeed seen stranger things go down the road, like the guy riding side saddle carrying a 6 foot Christmas tree and smoking while scooting, or the guy with a backpack with his crutches inside sticking 3 feet into the air, so I took his advice, hung the cane from the handlebars, and scooted home with one straight leg.  I feel almost Bermudian now.

I did however park it at home and get a ride to my going away lunch with another friend, and hobbled into Mickey's for one last good chat with good friend ocean side.  Helen was kind enough to come over after her shift and retrieve the work cookies, because I was not going anywhere after that, so I hope there were a few chocolate treats for everyone today at work.

Leave it to me to get all the bells and whistles before heading out.  Thanks KEMH, EMS, BPS, and Bermuda Fire for the lights and good handling!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Eat Em to Beat Em!

It's hard to come up with a better title than the actual event name in this case -- Eat Em to Beat Em.  On Saturday I headed out to meet Pam at this event that she had drawn my attention to a couple of weeks earlier.  Helen, a fellow animal person and environmentally conscious type, was also happy to come.  We also ran into a lot of other hospital people there, which is nice.

Helen and Pam

So what is Eat Em to Beat Em?  Well, it's a local initiative dreamed up by a group of people much younger than me who call themselves Groundswell.  The whole event screamed youthful energy and initiative, and I loved that.  Groundswell itself sounds a bit like some edgy techy term to make a movement go viral.  The idea is to deal with an invasive species in Bermuda, the Lionfish.

Groundswell stage
Lionfish are pretty, but they belong in Pacific waters not here, where they get into a reef, eat anything in sight and have no natural predators themselves.  Reefs are nurseries for other species of fish, like the local protected parrotfish, and so a giant hungry baby eating predator is a bad thing here.  As well, the Lionfish lay 30,000 eggs at a time, up to three times a week.  So they could be the end of reef life as Bermuda knows it.  They are not easily caught by traditional methods, and so locally people are encouraged to dive deep with spears and go get them.  And....then eat them.

Lionfish weigh in
I must say they were a tasty white fish.  They are not poisonous as some people think, but rather venomous, which is why you cut the spike off before doing your dinner prep.  They had cookbooks, tasting booths, live music, cash bar, and most importantly, the hunting tournament.  96 people turned up to scuba and spearfish.

The hunters
The awards ceremony was priceless -- the MC was one of the organizers, and in that aforementioned youthful enthusiasm, he declared the winner of the largest fish caught, which was just "gigantic" rather than a set length, and awarded other great smallest fish caught (saying it's a harder target right?), least motivated team (who arrived late and missed the end of tournament fish weigh in, mostly just drank beer but they did catch some fish and we're thankful for that -- and of course they were so unmotivated they couldn't even be found for prizes), plus most motivated, best overall, youngest hunter, and supreme huntress for a female diver.

The awesome MC
I was happy to be out and support an up and coming group working for the environment.  Don't miss it next year!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Glow Worm Tour

Glow Worm time was once more upon us.  As you may recall from previous posts, the glow worms put on a fantastical magical display of sexiness about twice a month, 2 and 3 days after the full moon between May and October, 56 minutes after sunset.  Yes.  Only at that precise time.  If you are a few minutes late, no worm party for you.

For those of you new to the conversation I will do a quick recap.  These are sea worms, called Odontodyllis enopia.  At this precise time, with no lunar sensor or satellite confirmed clocks, they show up without fail to mate at the sea surface.  The female worm swims to the top and releases a bioluminescent film of neon gametes, which attracts the males who come charging to the top emitting pulses of bright green light, ready to fertilize the eggs.   They swim in a circles for a brief few seconds, and quietly disappear below the ocean again.  Usually this is over pretty quickly, but apparently if the male hasn't found a female, he can emit up 330 pulses over a 12 minute period to try to attract her.  So in the dark sea you will see a neon green worm-sex display if you find the right spot at the right time.

In the past I have gone to various docks, and seen a few of these successful rituals here and there, but I was looking for the worm mother load on my last full moon, so decided to try the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute Glow Worm Tour.  They offered this picture in their brochure, and I wondered if maybe there was a special cave in Bermuda that I did not know about that harboured some sexy glowing worms on their slick rocks.  I was sold, and as usual, managed to get the last ticket!

This is bioluminescence....but....glow worms don't live on rocks....but I had to go just in case
I boarded the cruise at 8:15 pm, and the $40 for members paid for itself in the first few minutes -- it is always breathtaking to be out on the still waters of Bermuda at sunset.

This would be similar to the view from the patio of the Harbourfront if you were dining there at sunset, since that is where we boarded
I admit I thought my friend Phil who loves taking pictures of reflections in the water would have loved this cruise

I was probably the only person who arrived without a friend, also as usual, but one of the guides sat on the edge of the boat and chatted away with me.  An older gentleman who had spent most of his life in Bermuda, he was happy to tell tales when asked, and I got some great stories about the fish and fauna he had encountered through his years fishing around Bermuda.  He also explained that all of the massive boats in town were here for the annual Marlin Fishing Tournament.  It was just the other week the sailboats raced in from Newport -- these boats are a totally different breed!  All very pricey though, both types.

Someone said these are in the 8 Million dollar range each
He was also kind enough to grab me a wine since neither the poster, the email or phone calls I placed inquiring about the cruise, or the information I got when I went in to reserve a space mentioned there would be a cash bar on board.

cruising off into the sunset
the cruise ships out at dockyard
We got to the worm location early, which was good.  I kind of figured out on the way that there would be no cave, which makes sense since they are sea worms, but....I would be happy with bioluminescent cave bats at this point.  I could see we were actually down by some one's dock.  This doesn't bode well for worm watching, as they like to stay close to the rocks for the most part, so in the boat we would be further away than if we had been on land.  I had also figured out earlier in the cruise that I had been worm questing longer than the guides and I while they knew the facts, they didn't have any worm secrets or hidey holes to reveal that evening -- in fact, I googled Bermuda glow worms today and one of the things that comes up is me.  Well, the old blog post.  Seem there isn't a lot of information on worm sex out there, and I may accidentally be becoming the unofficial guru of glow worm reproduction in Bermuda.  This isn't quite how I had hoped to sum up my years on the island, but it is what it is.

Night falls, we wait for worms

Worm watching by moonlight...not the strangest thing I have done...must be close though
Needless to say, I did not get a worm picture.  I managed to spot several, but they were small flashes a boat's distance away.  This is kind of what I expected, and I still think $40 was a heck of a deal for a sunset cruise under a fantastic moon.  I did feel a little bad for some of the other passengers, who were expecting an aquatic Fourth of July display, particularly when teenagers walked down onto the dock and squealed with delight at the worms flashing and dancing inches below their feet.  I, however, thought it was a spectacular way to spend an evening, money well spent, as I know how much it costs to charter a boat for sunset.
I felt a little bad for the worms, the small numbers worries me, their population must be declining like so many other species.

This old picture from summer of 2012 remains my best Glow Worm shot
The worms would get one more chance the following night.  I hope more worms came, they obviously need a few more numbers.  But that was my last chance.  I am sorry that I didn't get a picture for my collection, but some things will just have to live in my memories of Bermuda.

Returning to Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute

Friday, July 18, 2014

Stonehole Bay and Free Bermuda Shorts

Stonehole Bay.  Another one of my favorite spots on the island.  I don't need words to explain why, just this picture I think.

Still committed to beach time, I picked this one for my Monday morning.  My poor former boss sent me a random text inquiy about Aspergillus, and I replied....after first sending the above picture to flaunt my location and vacation status.  Not nice, I know but it's OK, I will use some of my free time to bake for my former coworkers later in the week.  Other than that, the phone is only on the beach with me to take pictures and act as a watch to monitor my time in the sun.  The picture quality may not be as good as with the camera camera, but it gets the point across.  However, Murphy's Law also dictates certain events when you do things like leave the real camera, or the camera camera, behind.  Take this for example.

Yes.  That is a Longtail.  He was flying directly above me, possibly attracted to the light reflecting off of my bright white midsection that has not yet acquired a tan this year.  Yes, that is the closest I have been to one of the creatures I have been photo stalking for years.  And that grainy phone photo is all I have to show for it.  Sigh.  Maybe he will be back tomorrow.

I did notice that the waters have been a little rougher this week than usual.  Today I was greeted this larger waves than I expected, but the water was green and glistening all the same, and so I went in.

Little rougher shorelines than usual this week
It was a little bit like a scene from the movie Jaws.  Minus the shark of course.  There were a few people sitting on the beach staring at the water, not looking willing to go in the water.  Only after I went in and bobbed around for a while did couples slowly start approaching the waves, holding hands, looking a little nervous.  I felt a moral obligation to mention the undertow to them, as it really has been noticeable this week, but everyone seemed to stay in the shallows.

And so I went back to my routine of drying off for 15 minutes, rolling over, and counting my 30 minutes as done. felt soooooo incredibly nice out there in the sun with the cool breeze on the ocean.  I rationalized that I had been in the sun the last few days and not burned, I could tag just a few extra minutes on. In fact, I didn't even have tan lines, unless you call my arms a line, they are golden brown this year.  And so I flipped over, just for 5 more minutes.  I checked the time on the phone, flipped again, and stared at the beautiful water.  Honestly, how can you not rationalize just 5 more minutes when staring this down?

And so I sat happy, warm, at peace with the day, with life, and soaking up this gorgeous view.  And yes, soaking up the UV rays.  I admit I forgot about that for a few moments in my bliss.  I snapped one more shot for the road, and headed home to get out of the sun, and wondered if maybe I could come up with a theory about UV rays melting fat cells to release more Vitamin D precursors when needed.  California girls are skinny right?  I needed more time to develop the idea...well, actually, I just liked it and didn't want to disprove it by thinking about it.  Speaking of developing, just like in old school photography darkrooms where the picture appears with time, skin only seems to need an hour or so in the shade to show its colors too when you have tried to cheat the UV timer.  I am pretty lucky that most of my melanin cells were already awake and ready for action from the last few days, but a rather interesting pattern appeared.  Despite not having tan lines on my legs or much color, the exposure from wearing shorts a lot these last weeks obviously did something to prepare the skin on my lower legs.  Because my mild pinkness seems to mirror the fit of my shorts.  That's right, I only burned from the bikini bottoms to the mid thigh, in a distinctive pattern of shorts.  Guess I finally got Bermuda Shorts after all!

It's a Mad Mad World

I came home from a wonderful afternoon playing in the crystal waters of Bermuda under the sun shine and gracious flight of some longtails to find a text message about a Malaysian Airlines jet.  I assumed they finally found MH370 and tuned in.  The news always shocks me.  Acts of violence spurned from hatred, religion, for the gain of land, financial assets, for revenge.  The barely veiled threats of "the superpowers" and the "up and comings."  I am truly sorry for the people who are forced into living in the middle of these conflicts.  So I will say a little prayer today for those in Ukraine, Russia, Israel, Gaza, and all those around the world who are grieving a loved one who was travelling on MH17...for all who are simply at home, and placed in duress by the actions of violent men.

I didn't feel I could post a happy blog without first saying that.  I hope peace comes to these regions soon, and justice to those who inflict terrible wrongs on others,.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bottoms Up!

Many weeks ago it was suggested we do a "Girls Brunch," before those of us leaving the island left the island.  The new "thing" in Sunday brunches on the island is "all you can drink champagne."  This is Bermuda.  The craze won't last long, as none of the restaurants can afford that kind of offer in this kind of population!  In fact, our carefully booked reservation that we made in June for Tucker's Point Champagne Brunch on a mid-July day, was cancelled.  The hotel said they cancelled it due to people wanting to eat outdoor, but I think they were just were just overrun by champagne guzzling divas in the weeks before.  So we re booked at the Reefs!

The reefs is always a beautiful place to stop into anyway.  As a reminder, Sunday brunch generally serves as breakfast, lunch, dinner and deserts.  It's a bad idea to eat anything before, and you won't want to eat anything until the next day after.  It's a gourmet buffet, in this case with all the bubbles you want.  The waiter warned us it was actually Prosecco, and not very expensive bottles, but like any bargain hunters, we were tickled pink with the offer.  You tend to stay at brunch several hours, and end up on the patio afterward with some of those bubbles overlooking the ocean relaxing after your meal.

The beach for guests of The Reefs
The first part of the plan was getting out to Southampton.  We decided to take the bus out and cab back in later for the World Cup Final.  This was going to be my first bus ride in about 4 years.  I was almost a little excited about it!  Enough so that I took a bus station selfie.

I look a little "bus shelter kinda crazy" even
Lizzie and Adrie were had hopped on a few stops earlier each, and we tore down the road in the speedy style that only the buses and Bermuda can get away with apparently (yes, I am still bitter about the speeding ticket on my's a scooter).  A few stops later we stopped for Siobhan, and then rolled on down the road til we reached the Reefs.  It was kind of nice riding the bus -- everyone assumed we were tourists and were extra cheerful and nice in their hello and goodbyes as we got off the bus.  It's  good sign that many are trying to make individual and personal efforts to help tourism on the island.

my bus/brunchmates

Once inside we were greeted with an eye catching display of cupcakes and other desert delights, and another 3 rooms full of food.  My friend Margaret has an interesting philosophy of desert first -- if it is something you are craving and you know you are going to have, no sense in cramming all those other calories in first and then trying to squeeze desert into a full tummy.  Eat the desert, and when you fill up later on dinner, no problem, stop there.  It seemed like a good idea as i was obsessing about the cupcake, so this was my first course of the day.  Cheers Margaret!

why yes, that is fact a chocolate cupcake with chocolate icing and chocolate balls on top!
Good thing I went for the jog the night before!  We had a lovely lunch date, with our bottomless bubbles and our endless dinner and deserts.  When we were finally finished, they gave us another bottle and a half to enjoy on the patio.  I didn't think it was possible, but we may have been all bubbled out by the end!

Girls Day

Nice place to catch some afternoon sun
Hopefully not too much sun our Irish vampire-white friend

A cab ride later we were at Flanagan's for the World Cup Final.  We were reunited with the boys, who seemed a little surprised that we were late for the game, as if they expected the hotel to run out of Prosecco much earlier or something!  It wasn't that exciting of a game, or that surprising of a finish, but after seeing it on every TV screen on the island for the last few weeks, it had to be watched.  Turns out that the second last Sunday was a pretty fabulous day on the island.  Thanks for organizing Lizzie and Eileen!  I know I will miss days like these!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Saturday Sanctuary

The days are running down now, and soon my days of Bermuda beaches will be over.  The second last Saturday has come and gone now.  I realize that I am not very good at being on vacation, and it will take a few days to get used to.  I felt a little unease at how to best plan the best unplanned day.  This is what I came up with when a few people asked, "So what are you doing today?"  "Going to the beach," I said wanting to honor my promise of the day before.  "What else?"  "Don't know, maybe nothing, getting the beach is the only commitment I have."  And so beach day was declared, and a couple of people thought this sounded like a good idea.  First to chime in was Eileen.

Eileen with her gadget in hand
Then Siobhan.

She isn't cold, she just can't do sun after too many years in Ireland, she burns in minutes
And Annemarie wandered over as well.  It was meant to be a short gathering of about an hour, keeping in mind how long I could be in the sun I went straight for the sunscreen today.  Elbow beach was a bit quieter than the day before, and quiet is how I prefer it anyway.

Elbow Beach
It seemed as though the universe agreed with my one hour plan,  There was this one little raincloud sitting over in the horizon that was slowly making its way to us.  But we would get our one hour of bliss in first!
That cloud would prove to be our one hour sundial for the afternoon
In my new dedication to beach-going, I have to say I really enjoy Elbow Beach.  It is shallow for a long way out, and I rarely notice much undercurrent like I did at Long Bay the other day.  However, that also depends a lot on whether the tide is coming in or going out.  The colors are beautiful everywhere, but the length of Elbow beach and the shallowness enhance the pink sand and pale emerald waters even a little more than usual.  I went for the customary bob in the ocean and came out to relax.  It turns out Elbow Beach was a good spot for pretending to be a tourist on vacation -- it's a Saturday Sanctuary for the locals.  Do check it out when you visit this isle.  I think Elbow Beach will always be one of my favorite places.

Very inviting waters

Time's Up!
After the beach we decided to all meet up in town and watch part of the World Cup semi-final.  I wasn't very into the match, so I ended up going home and going for a nice long walk-jog combo, which gave me the energy boost I needed to make it to one other event of the day.  Irish night at the Hog Penny.  My friend Lisa who is in town from Boston teaches violin for a living,  Will Black asked her to play a set with him.  I had been pretty tired, but the first song I heard was Gordon Lightfoot "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," a true Canadian classic that perks me up every time.  By the time Lisa got onstage and I was clapping along in between chats with our friend Jen-- I admit I have forgotten the names of the songs all except for one -- "Devil Went Down to Georgia."  I can't help but love that!  And so it was a very good day off indeed.  I can get a lot of nothing much at all done now that I am not working,  I think I can get used to this!

Will and Lisa -- good combo!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


I slept in on Friday.  By the time I had my coffee, toodled around on the computer, fed the kitties, and resolved that my missing keys were not in any drawer, cupboard, nor under any furniture, in any normal spot, nor in the garbage, the recycling, the refrigerator or freezer or any insanely unlikely spot, I had wasted yet another morning.  I mentally went through what I had hoped to achieve, and what I wanted to achieve.  There was the obvious mandatory phone call to the landlord to get the locks changed.  I should really get back to the hospital's administrative office downtown and try again to pick up my last paycheque.  Call the pensions company.  Check the government pension.  Close accounts.  Bake and stop by work.  Due out for the 2nd last Friday night in town for happy hour at 5pm at the Newstead.  Go for a run.  Do the laundry coz i need that white dress for Sunday.  As I looked at the clock and assessed how this was all going to play out, I made the wisest decision I have made in days.  I listened to the little voice in my head.  And what that little voice told me was this.  Boooooop it (although it didn't say boop, but I think a little censorship is necessary how and again).

That little voice inside is pretty smart.  It often lies dormant, not saying much, and carefully watching for just the right time to speak up when the logical side of my brain is having its nap.  "OK," I heard it say when someone said they would learn to play volleyball when I learned to skydive.  " can move to Bermuda," it stealthily snuck in one fall day as the leaves were falling off the trees in Canada.  Well, on this particular day, boop it may not have been much of a revolutionary concept, but it was a fabulous idea.  I grabbed my bathing suit, a coverup, and hopped on the scooter to go to the beach.  My first thought was Elbow Beach -- closest and hopefully quietest.

No way, not only were there people, but a tent??  I have a scooter, I can find a private beach for myself I thought, and carried on down the road.  Next stop was Warwick Long Bay.  I parked at the far end and walked in, knowing it was likely to be deserted.  Much better!

that looks better already
I laid out my towel, ran my fingers through the pink sand, and checked the time knowing I couldn't stay too long in the sun with so much skin that hadn't seen the sun since last summer.  SPF?  Actually, I am a believer in the new research that says the body needs a very short exposure to UV light daily to boost vitamin D production, which has the health benefit of better bone density, less Multiple Sclerosis, less cancer, and many more such things.  They are pretty specific that it should only be 15-20 minutes per day, so that it what I have decided on.  15 min each side, 30 in total.  I could be as baked as a rotissiere chicken in that time anyway.  That's about long enough to go for a quick swim, and dry off.  Anything more than that, and I would be reaching for the SPF 30, 55, 65, or 85 that I keep close by. So don't think I take the sun too lightly, we just all need a little bit.  But back to my beach day.

Warwick Long Bay

This was my first swim of the year.  I use the term swim lightly, because what I actually do is more of a float with some direction orientated arm flailing.  It didn't take long for the undercurrent to pull me out a little further than I wanted to be, requiring maximum speed flailing, and then I stayed a little closer to shore.  As I floated in the crystal clear azure waters, I felt stress melt away.  I congratulated the little voice on a job well done.  The little voice was not done though, and it had a bit of a stern conversation with me.

cool, glistening, clear blue waters await me these last days
"This is YOUR time," it told me.  "You promised that you would make this time about you.  To walk, run, go to the beach, and float in the ocean.  This isn't a time to rush about doing tasks, to book a thousand catch ups, to rush about taking photos.  You were to do that in your last year.  You have to make these last days just about you and the last things you wanted to do."  "OK, I promise."

And so, I floated lazily in the water and decided to let it all go.  No commitments.  No rushing.  What isn't done now does not need to get done.  What needs to happen in August will happen in August.  If I don't have time to diet and exercise and float in the water, then I will float in the water like a chubby little float toy and not care.  Because this is my vacation now.   I finally just relaxed and bobbed about in the water.

And so, when I found out our plans of Friday Night at the Newstead had been dashed, and the hotel had cancelled their Friday night event for the season due to not enough attendance, I met friends for an hour or so at Flanagan's, and didn't feel bad at all about going home at 9pm to indulge myself in some extra sleep.  It is a vacation now after all.

Monday, July 14, 2014

All The Small Things

Day 2 of unemployment started off nicely.  Another sleep in.  A decision to return to Palm Grove Gardens a little earlier to see if the longtails would grace me with their presence.  They didn't.  But I brought shaved almonds for the parrots this time, after googling to make sure almonds are ok for them.  Unfortunately, shaved almonds are hard for them to hold on to, and very little made it past the beak.  The parrots were cunning and slow, and managed to get a few good nibbles.  The cockatiel on the other hand just got frustrated and decided a swift bite was the means to success, which ended kinda badly for my finger.  Cockatiels, or at least this one, don't have the best aim.  Guess it's the depth perception thing with only looking at the target with one eye.  Lesson learned, whole almonds purchased for next time.

So it was a much quieter day at the gardens, just me and the mollusks again, and some rocks.

I wanted to get a closer looks at some of the little life forms scattered about the rocks.

Tons of tiny lives are underfoot that we scarcely take note of
But if we zoom in a little there is a lot to see
When i first got here I was convinced these were trilobite fossils from prehistoric times... but they are indeed alive and well, although I have never seen one move.

Living fossils
There is a lot of talk of plastics in the ocean and how bad it is for the turtles and fish, who ingest it until it fills their stomachs and they starve.  If you look at this one piece of seaweed that floated it, it shows what a massive problem this is -- look at how much plastic is in this one tiny area on this one little bit of weed.

There is more plastic pollution than food or the sealife in this sample of ocean 
I watched a few more of the mollusks, glinting under the water, each with its own unique little shell.

I took a little walk along the coast, admired some rock, and wondered what kind of jerks put plastic in the ocean anyway.  The easy answer is, anyone who uses plastic is probably one of those jerks.  You may not put it there directly, but through poor waste management, etc, it gets there all the same and is a major problem for lots of animals.  So, take a moment when you are shopping -- don't be a jerk.  Keep a reusable mug at work.  Use a Brita filter, or boil your water, etc.  Do what you can to buy fewer single use plastics.  Keep in mind they aren't that good for you either.  Every time you reach for one, I hope you think "I don't want to be a jerk" and go for the can or glass bottle, or better yet a larger paper based carton that you can pour into those reusable containers you have a home -- cheaper too!  See this picture below?

We forget that it is not just our one little decision.  It is the cumulative effect of all of those choices by all of those people.   Like the little mollusks, it's the multitudes of tiny things that change an ecosystem.  So make good choices, whenever you can.

Neat rock....and more mollusks in the foreground, making good choices I am sure

Changed filters and lighting -- make Bermuda look even more like another world

sometimes I just like to watch the water wash over and down the rocks....over and over and over
After pondering all of that I went for lunch with Allison at the Swizzle Inn, cruised into town to try to find that  little gift only to find someone had beat me there, but at least I was able to request they make another.  I met up with Eileen after she finished work, and suddenly, the day was over and I wondered how it had all gone so fast.  It made me anxious that in 2 days off I had not yet managed one thing in preparation for moving, nor had I exercised, gone to work on my tan on the beach, or gone for a swim.  I was just going to have to do it all tomorrow.