Monday, July 25, 2011

Buntzen Lake

Yesterday, for the first time in weeks, it felt like summer in our little soggy town. We packed some snacks (cherries, gingersnaps, salt and vinegar chips, pasta salad, and oranges) and activities (a sketchbook and coloured pens, an issue of Lucky Peach, the Celebrity Hollywood Puzzler, some quills, and the Sunday New York Times) and we went on a little adventure to Buntzen Lake. Once there, we were greeted with a beautiful view, beefed up dudes and overly tanned girls, Canadian geese, and blinding heat. Our bodies, so acclimated to moderate temperatures, suddenly felt so alive as intense warmth washed over us. The swelling sun fooled us into thinking we could swim in the icy glacier-fed lake and so we did. I have been on a diet of chips and burgers and vitamin D all weekend and I feel fantastic.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bruce & Van in the Summertime

Two old albums I can't stop listening to this summer - they just keep getting better with age.

1) Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska, 1982

A down and dirty cassette tape recording. Fucking amazing.

2) Van Morrison - Astral Weeks, 1968

I am not a Van Morrison fan, in general - just this album - it is ridiculously good.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


The town where I grew up is a place of very few charms. One of which is this old time-y candy store...

...where I discovered the best candy of all time - Romney's Kendal Mint Cake:

The back of the package reads:

"Romney's Kendal Mint Cake was carried to the summit of MOUNT EVEREST by Sir Edmund Hillary and Sirdar Tensing on the 29th May, 1953. 'We sat on the snow and looked at the country below us...we nibbled Kendal Mint Cake.' A member of the successful Everest Expedition wrote - 'It was easily the most popular item on our high altitude ration - our only criticism was that we did not have enough of it.'

It is so amazingly minty, and nothing really shakes off the sullen memories of suburban youth like eating candy in a field on a summer day.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday, July 4, 2011

Wilderness Essentials

When We Swam took a little time away from the city this past weekend, for birthday celebrations and communing with nature, and enjoying the beautiful B.C. wilderness, which reaches it's rain-free peak in July. As not very wilderness-y people, we've been thinking about the fundamental importance of an "essentials" list, a survival guide of sorts for the uptight urban traveller:

1) Loungey pants (preferably cotton or linen)

2) Rice Krispie treats, with back-to-the-earth accoutrements, including fresh lavender and rosemary

3) Salty snacks of all kinds (WWS is a fan of kettle chips, cheesy popcorn, and pretzels)

4) Sun hats, for shielding winter white urban skin from the elements and preventing "ferry hair"

5) An excellent book - right now Laura is reading George Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London while Kim is finishing Just Kids:

6) A selection of delicious cheeses. Do not be afraid to bring cheeses of a stinkier variety. The open air helps to alleviate the strong aromas, and its unique scent and flavour will contribute to your image as the eccentric urban guest.

7) Camera phones - for documenting all the wonderfully foreign natural wonders, such as moss, deer, and washed up crab carcasses:

8) A whole chicken, delicious when barbecued:

9) Classic rock, to sing along to while speeding down mountain roads:

10) Superior night vision (or flashlights), for finding one's way back to the cabin after an evening of pool, fish and chips, and eavesdropping on local gossip at the town pub.

11) Sensible shoes, in your own version of "sensible". A pair of white canvas sneakers from Army & Navy will certainly suffice. You will need these shoes for relaxing hikes and walking on peculiar sandstone surfaces: