It's been a pleasant week so far. Tuesday was my friend KP's birthday, so we not only went out for dinner in a Vietnamese restaurant, and had cake and coffee with some of her friends afterwards, but went with another friend to Butchart's Gardens in the afternoon. You'd think that in February there wouldn't be much to see, but it was beautiful in a spare kind of way. You could really see the bones of the landscaping in the sunken garden, for example, and we noticed the rocks and the shapes of the trees more than you do when the place is rampant with bloom. Both K and I bought yearly passes; she because she often likes to take visitors to her guest house there, I because I fully intend to spend long hours taking more photos. I spent a happy time taking shots of many things, including a series of hellebores that were blooming in the perennial border.
Then, yesterday evening, I had dinner with MW, who has hitherto been more my mother's friend than mine, although she's actually younger than I. It was enjoyable, though, and M was more relaxed and down-to-earth than she often seemed with my mum. We had Japanese food, which I am greedily fond of, in a hobbit-like way (though it's hard to imagine Tolkien's hobbits eating sushi). But my greed for it matches theirs for mushrooms. I ate more that I've eaten for months, which was a Good Thing (having lost about 20 pounds due to stress in the past 6 months), especially as I suffered no ill effects. And enjoyed M's company, so hope we may meet again and get better acquainted.
This afternoon I took the beardie-hounds out for a walk to Mt. Doug, which was beautiful in the early spring light. The forest there is quite open, more like a pine-wood than a forest, rather like the landscape where Jackson shot the "Breaking of the Fellowship" scenes in LOTR. The late afternoon sun shafts in bars across the path and was striking all the new growth in a very pleasing way. There were so many shades of green. The bright almost lime-green of the new leaves on the ribes, the lovely pure green of the new ferns, the mosses, the holly, and of course the cedars. The floor was littered with branches and twigs after all the wind storms we've been having, rather as if some big party of drunken dryads had been racketting through - I wouldn't have wanted to have been walking in there during the storm! The dogs love a walk in the woods - they seem so relaxed and happy just snuffling along the path, never far ahead or behind, not precisely _with_ me, but always within reach.
And then I return to find that the Japanese girl has won the gold medal in the figure skating against all expectations by Americans and Russians, and am inordinately pleased.