‘August 5, 2010. 400 forest fires burn out of control just a few hundred kilometres northeast of us. And the wind is blowing the wrong way. We are getting it, smelling the smoke. And we can see it. We are in no danger but the last month of beautiful blue skies accompanying our usually clean crisp air have been replaced with a thick smelly haze that hints of campfire in the air. It is not pleasant’.
That was the lead paragraph of blog entry #1 posted (natch) on August 5, 2010, practically two years ago to the day. Since that post there have been 627 others but only 616 were published. Eleven didn’t make the ‘cut’. All this in aid of keeping a bit of a diary and trying to be disciplined about it. It has been an interesting exercise.
Each blog is somewhere between 500 and 1000 words on average. A few went on and on and on and may have topped 1300 or so words. You know, the political ones? And a few were ‘quickies’ that came in underweight at 400 or so. I would guess that I averaged 750 words per entry. That’s in the vicinity of 450,000 words over the past two years.
The effect of all this? Well, it turns out that I do like to write. No question. It is something I can do adequately well and I enjoy it almost all of the time. But I have also learned that I am more inclined to write about current affairs, politics and economics than I am just pure, off-the-grid, country stuff. I have a foot left stuck back in the city, I guess.
Don’t get me wrong: I love it here and won’t ever go back to the city. This is heaven. But I still have an interest in the larger picture – ugly and dysfunctional as it usually seems to be. Can’t seem to help it. Right now I think about the Enbridge pipeline. I dunno. It’s like a fascination with the morbid. Like driving past a horrendous car accident – glad it isn’t you but knowing that it could have been. Ya know? Well, that is what looking at the events of around the world look like to me. Most of it seems just an ongoing ugly accident.
Six hundred million Indians without power in scorching temperatures. Six hundred thousand Americans on the east coast having just gone through a similar event.
“Geez, I am glad I am out of that dystopic cess-pool. Thank God! Mind you, I sure feel like writing to the government on that!”
Sal is trying to compile the last 600 or so Off-the-grid entries into some kind of order, some kind of book or, more likely, a booklet. I wish her luck. If she drops the politics and cuts back on the ravens and my regular reporting of self-inflicted injuries, she’ll have so little to work with I’ll have to keep at it for two more years!
Still that wouldn’t be so bad. I kinda like it.
Ravens are good. Fletch left. Jack and Liz just hangin’. Big barge came yesterday. Filled the fuel larder, emptied the bank. Winch chore almost done. Well, it is done for now. I’ll ‘putz’ at the wiring over the next while but there is no rush. Now it is on to things funicular. Sal and I will put on some more steel this afternoon when the tide is low and we have access to the lower section.
I have the boat apart. Separated the hull and deck. Now I am kinda standing there…wondering where to go next. My expert consultant has gone off for a few weeks so it may just have to sit there for awhile. Q-hut is close to opening. That will be good. It would be nice to see some real final-stage progress on something.
Still have two big chores to tackle – a new workshop-type building and a new set of marine ways. So the calendar is pretty full. Throw in a few days in town, guests, a trip south for a few days, some consultancy work and all the regular life-chores and the next two months are chock-a-block.
Here is a bona fide surprise. We are busy all the time. ALL the time! Admittedly our sense of ‘busy’ is not what it once was but, for us, here, at our age, NOT working and NOT having a family to raise any longer (except worrying, of course), we are incredibly busy. INCREDIBLY!
I mean, who woulda thunk it? I haven’t even mentioned social engagements, surprise events, health care appointments, emergency repairs, drop-ins and countless other devourers of time. You want a rest? Get a job in the government and buy a TV. Ya wanna be ‘on the go’ all the time? Retire, move to the woods on a remote island. Ironic, eh?
PS: 800 words give or take.