Days 117 and 118 — Living in the forest

I just learned that 2011 is the year of the forest. I have never lived in a forest before and I have to say it is pretty cool. Out with Bianca yesterday morning we discovered these mounds of granite, obviously refuse from the days when granite quarries were operating nearby. Over the years, these big rock piles have become covered with leaves and pine needles and made for a fun climb for both of us. Of course Bianca, being part mountain goat or circus dog, climbs up and down like nothing. I wonder if dogs silently mock us humans for being so much slower and clumsier. I’d like to think so.

Also found this interesting-looking house. I think it is made out of cedar.

Then, in the afternoon, we were visited by an old friend of Mariette’s family, a wonderful artist named Hedvig. She biked out (and back) from her house near town on her old clunker one speed bike and we took a walk along the coast and had a nice fika. Here she is at our favorite bench with my two girls.

This woman used to go down to the harbor in town and hitch rides on freighters that were headed to the Faro Islands between Great Britain and Iceland. She loved traveling there but the airport is precariously perched between mountains and she did not like flying in. The flights out were easier for her to negotiate. Anyway, on board, she would cook for the crews in exchange for transport to the islands. She is quite a successful artist and gave me some good criticisms of my recent work. We took her down to our swimming place and Hedvig said that had she known, she absolutely would have gone swimming. The secret, she says, of bathing in cold water is to be real warm before you go in.

She did some prints for Dr. Phil one year and we dropped them off to his studio one Christmas when we were in L.A. She paints, does etchings and keeps a visual diary of sketches every day. She has shelves full of her sketchbooks. Every artist in town knows good old Hedvig.

That was yesterday. Today, nothing. Except raking a lot of leaves, taking a nice run and hike with Bianca and watching football. The weather is still relatively spectacular. Pleasantly cool and windless.

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