Sunday, July 31, 2016

Day 9.203: Exile #2's Sunday Column #116

Exile #2 writes...

People seem to keep disappearing this week. Yesterday, Exile #4 headed to her friend's for a camp out (more of a glamp out actually, as they had a TV in the tent).

 Then today, this happened...

E5N1 has been counting down the days since we booked him on to his first sleep away camp. He was a little, shall we say, unsettled last night, and this morning talked almost without taking a breath. So, I think it's safe to say he's nervous/excited, as were we dropping him off. We hope he'll have a fantastic time.

Not to be left out, Exile #1 is jetting off to California tomorrow for a work trip. That means it'll just be us ladies at home. Who knows what mischief we'll get up to.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Day 9.202: Timber Point

Having dropped Exile #4 off for a sleep-over birthday party, the rest of us went to make the most of a cooler afternoon with a walk a Timber Point.

It includes a wonderful hedgerow - with an ocean view - that was looking particularly lovely today:

We made it as far as the island, but decided against the walk around it this time. Here are some photos from the trail - including Exile #3 recreating her "famous" Georgina Washington pose and E5N1 with his "two-tone rock" and "heart stone"

We had a great outing - and there are more photos for me to sort through.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Day 9.201: Hot

It's been hot this week and we've mostly been hiding inside as much as possible, but on Wednesday it cooled off enough in the early evening for us to eat outside.

We all felt pretty good about it as you can probably tell!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Day 9.200: A hobble around Back Cove

Since we had time to kill during the second half of the first dance show last Saturday, Exile #4 and I went for a wander and found ourselves in my old haunts around Back Cove. It was winter when I lived there, so it generally did not look like this - and was sometimes quite a lot more taxing underfoot.

Despite her recent repair, Exile #4 was on good form and we walked a little and laughed quite a lot.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Day 9.199: E5N1 is a work of art

I was playing with an iPhone app called Prisma this evening and E5N1 wanted in on the action, so we processed a photo of him in a variety of artistic styles and each of us chose our favourite.  Here they are:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Day 9.198: Not her favourite season

A few minutes after I took this photo, the PA came to check that she hadn't damaged her knee internally and then stitch her up. While she was doing that, the heavens opened as a big thunderstorm moved through. Not surprisingly, this started a conversation about the weather which turned into a conversation about the summer and from there to other seasons.

Exile #4: I like summer, I don't mind the heat... I also like winter though. If there's one season I could do without it would be fall.

She said it completely straight - but "fall" really? While your knee was being stitched up? You can't fool me young lady - that was a mic-drop moment.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Day 9.197: Another day in Vacationland

We had lunch, a walk, ice-cream and a game of mini-golf with visiting friends (including a former colleague) from our old haunts in New York yesterday. Hanging out with people who pass through on their vacations is one of the great joys of summer in southern Maine and yesterday was no exception.

All the activities I mentioned above were fun for all, but for E5N1, an extra bonus was hanging out with a teenager who was playing Pokemon Go - they walked up and down Main Street together, while the rest of us enjoyed some quieter minutes of chatting in the shade.

It was all too much fun for me to remember to get my phone out and take any photos, so here is a random photo of a recent origami creation by E5N1:

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Day 9.196: Exile #2's Sunday Column #115

Exile #2 writes...

I will let Exile #1 have the pleasure of talking about today tomorrow, and instead tell you the rest of the story about yesterday. Hope that's clear.

We successfully dropped Exile #3 off at the Portland Ballet Theater in time for her technical rehearsal yesterday. That left us with a couple of hours to kill before the show, so we headed to Deering Oaks park. It's a classic city park. Lots of old shady trees, a busy wading pool, a pond with ducks and a playground. We headed for the playground and Exile #4 and E5N1 set off to explore. 15 minutes or so later, E5N1 ran back with the ominous message, "[Exile #4] fell down on the concrete, she's bleeding."

Of course, attentive parents that we are, we immediately ran over sat right where we were and told E5N1 to help her up. He returned with a forlorn looking Exile #4 with an even more forlorn looking knee. We decided we needed a second opinion on this one, so headed to the nearby urgent care center. It was fairly quiet, so she was soon assessed and numbed up by the lovely staff, ready to see the doctor. At this point, however, we had to make a decision about the show. As I had missed a previous show, E5N1 and I made a dash to the theater on foot (literally, after we took a wrong turn), arriving with moments to spare.

The show was great, although I did see a slightly quizzical expression flit across Exile #3's face when she only saw two of us. Ever the professional, though, she didn't let it phase her and we were all able to catch up with each other at half time, when Exile #1 and Exile #4, newly stitched, arrived.

The wound - very newly stitched
They decided not to join the show at this point but returned for the later show after dropping us home. Exile #1 even summoned up the energy to take part in the half time parental dance-off. The day definitely did not go as planned, but all turned out well in the end.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Day 9.195: Collective Community Show

It was dance performance day for Exile #3 today at this great event:

It was organised by a local high school freshman, who did an amazing job - finding the acts, setting her parents, friends and brother to work, baking for the interval refreshments and choreographing two of the dances - including the one that Exile #3 had just finished dancing here:

Some aspects of the day did not not go entirely according to plan for us - but the dance performances were a great success.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Day 9.194: Beer o'clock

Here is a picture from beer o'clock last Sunday:

What could be better after a hard half marathon race on a hot summer's day than a beer and some live music?

Realising after you're drinking it that it's not yet 9:30 in the morning.  In my defence, it was nearly six hours after my day had started.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Day 9.193: Moth eaten (nearly)

The other day as I was cutting the grass, something moving just in front of the mower caught my eye. It turned out to be this beautiful harnessed tiger moth:

It seemed to have a death wish, but I managed to navigate around it until eventually, I did enough to persuade it to fly away.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Day 9.192: Swim Dad

Yesterday, I took the morning off work - mostly so I could take Exile #4 and E5N1 to their swim classes while Exile #2 was doing her shift at the food pantry. I took the opportunities to practice my skills too - not swimming, but taking selfies:

Afterwards, we had the unexpected bonus of a brief visit from an old friend from New York who had stopped into southern Maine for a very short vacation visit. Living in Vacationland certainly has its moments!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Day 9.191: Brace yourself...

...or don't actually. Even Exile #3 is getting out of the brace business. Here are the before and after shots:

We got quite used to them and she was generally not self-conscious about them, but I'm sure she's happy that they have now gone.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Day 9.190: Adirondacks on Main

As Exile #2 mentioned, we walked up and down Main Street in Saco yesterday evening and enjoyed looking at all the "Adirondacks on Main". Here are a few that we liked for various reasons:

E5N1 insisted on being photographed with this chair because he likes to remind us that he's an American and Exile #3 pointed out a bit of green that she had painted to help her Art teacher meet her deadline to deliver this one:

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Day 9.189: Exile #2's Sunday Column #114

Exile #2 writes...

One of us had an early start and an energetic morning resulting in this:

The rest of us had a slightly less early start and whiled away a surprising amount of time guessing song lyrics. We might have ventured out but wimped out due to the heat. We're having a little trouble readjusting to US temperatures since we got back from the UK. It was a shock to step out of the airport building into 30 degree heat, and it hasn't eased off much since.

However, once the heat of the day died down, we headed to Main Street for dinner, courtesy of Rapid Rays, a long-time Saco institution in a shiny diner building. We wandered to the river and then back to Main Street to spot the Adirondack chairs that have been decorated and placed along the pavement for the summer. We may have stopped to try out a newer food outlet half way...

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Day 9.188: Smoking, hot

It was the kind of day that finds people huddled inside in air-conditioned spaces, but by the end of the day, it had cooled enough for eating outside to be desirable, but was still hot enough that cooking outside was also desirable. So, we had burgers, but first I had to get the coals hot for the grill:

There was more smoke in the form of hickory chips during cooking, but - although tasty - that was not as pretty as this.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Day 9.187: Nobody expects...Team South Africa

Waiting around at the airport for your flight can be pretty boring. Or something like what happened to us as we were at Heathrow Terminal 3 waiting to come home from the UK might happen:

but probably just the boring thing.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Day 9.186: going to bed at night

On our walk on Saturday I spotted this:

No, not the sign or the cove, but the fungus graffiti at its base:

Don't forget to appreciate the simple things in life

Good advice. Right now I'm appreciating the simple thing of going to bed - at night - in my own bed after a very strange 48 hours since that last happened

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Day 9.185: Beach by day, work by night

Everyone except me went to the beach this morning:

It sounds like they had a good time. I was at work.

Now, I assume everyone but me is in bed. I am at work (supporting some work going on in China).

I did get some time off in the afternoon to have a short run and a mid-afternoon nap.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Day 9.184: One of two is now ten

I suppose I always thought I would upgrade our two Windows PCs to Windows 10 eventually. The desktop has always worked pretty well, and - partly because it is the hub of our home recording activities - I wasn't in any hurry to mess with it. The laptop was in a bad state and I hoped Windows 10 would give it a fresh-ish start and a new lease of life.

As it turns out, Windows 10 refuses to install on the laptop, despite confirming that it is ready to do so. It seems the installer runs into some glitch in the existing operating system installation and just gives up. So it was that the desktop became my guinea-pig installation machine.

And...after displaying this for slightly too long for my liking (doth it protest too much?):

Windows 10 started up and all seems well.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Day 9.183: Strangeness at the beach

Here are a few more pictures from yesterday's walk on the beach:

It was a beautifully clear evening:

Everyone was in good form:

Even me:

And this also happened (your guess is as good as mine!):

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Day 9.182: Exile #2's Sunday Column #113

Exile #2 writes...

The jet lag seemed to hit us belatedly today. Various family members were up before 5 am, and as a consequence, were a little groggy during the day. Exile #1 was also nursing a sore knee after yesterday's exertions, so we contented ourselves with a bit of origami, a game of Tokkaido, and with watching Wimbledon and the European Cup Final.

After dinner, we we went for a gentle stroll on the beach. Some crazy people were in the ocean when we arrived, but Exiles #1 through #4 were happy to forego such madness. E5N1 just threw himself down repeatedly on the sand and wrote random messages with his finger (#youreit) to ensure maximum sand coverage both of himself and the car. It's a sure sign of summer.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Day 9.181: Vaughan Woods Memorial State Park

After two weeks in the UK, we were probably better prepared for a wet Saturday than those who had been enjoying rather better weather here. We aimed for the least-wet part of the day and set out to walk around Vaughan Woods Memorial State Park on the New Hampshire border.

We had a very nice walk:

and we couldn't have done much better as the rain continued pretty much all day.