I've been a tad busy over the last few weeks (I'm writing this in mid-October), not even having time to reply to e-mails, or even read many of them. But now I've got enough time to at least write a short explanation of my busyness, starting with a visit to Dorval Island. The Animation festival story will follow.

Dorval Island Weekend

It started off with a Friday September 17th evening train trip, giving me a good excuse to leave work on time for once. Along the way, I met my brother at the Dorval Island train station (both trains were 10 minutes late) and headed down Dorval Avenue in the dark evening and arrived at the ferry dock just in time to get the 20:05 boat to the island.

It's a bit rare seeing the ferry in the dark - red and green glowing navigation lights and a bright head light beam that's used during docking. So bright that there's a kludged together shade around it to keep the light off the bow of the boat. On the way over, the interior is still dark, but now there's the glow of a marine radio digitial display. Outside, there's just the blinking of distant navigation lights (the red and green channel buoys don't exist any more) and city lights on the shore. Fortunately it wasn't totally dark and there weren't too many toads, so we were able to follow the gravel road uneventfully, even though we both forgot to bring flashlights.

[Apple Pie]

After a pleasant dinner with home-made fragmented but tasty apple pie, we spent time chatting about family doings. I also admired the summer's changes to the cottage - lots of walls and ceilings repainted, new floor tiles in the bathroom (somehow making it look older and more distinguished) and a new pillow on the glider sofa.

[Gliding Sofa with Alex]
Glider Sofa. Click here for the corresponding Squeeking and Creaking Sounds

The next few days were uneventful. I cleaned out the tool shed and helped with a few other cottage shutdown tasks. I also found a large amount of fungus decomposing wood in various places - a tree stump turned entirely white when seen from a distance, and a window sill with powdery brown spores.

[Stump Fungus] [Window Fungus]

Near the tool shed, I discovered a large spider building a web between the cloths line and the ground. I assume that the river breeze going through that place helps keep it well fed.

[Distant Spider] [Giant Spider]

The rest of the weekend was a typical cottage one, including these familiar sights and sounds:

[Screen Door] [Door Bell Closeup]
Click here for sounds of the Screen Door Closing and Door Bell Ringing.

[Barbequed Hamburgers]
A late evening Barbequed Hamburger Dinner and the usual Back Yard Noises

[Duck Dock]
Ducks on the Neighbour's Dock (lots of rain this summer raised the river)

[Dead Fish Texture]
Interesting Texture of Dead Fish on the Beach - Scent not Reproduced!

[Sunset Light]
Beautiful Sunsets

[Ferry Departure]
But it all has to end - back to the mainland

Finally, I tossed away my return train ticket and drove my aunt home on Sunday afternoon. Just in time to get in a two day work week before the Animation Festival started.

- Alex

Copyright © 2004 by Alexander G. M. Smith.