Deanne Ouest, Author

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2014-08-14

Created by Deanne Ouest

Water’s Edge Retreat

 

It is early June and the weather can be contentious. Friday started with strong winds and an anticipated 30-50 millimetres of rain.  Our journey started in Hubbards, Nova Scotia with sheets of rain with blustery winds buffeting the car as we wound our way along highway #3 with wipers on high and the occasionally four-way flashers. The weather didn’t dampen our spirits as we made our way to our destination – White Point Lodge.

We arrived perhaps 20-30 minutes later than anticipated as the rain had slowed as down.     Check-in was quick and we made our way to our lakeside retreat. Grabbing our bags, we dashed through the drilling rain up a rocky path to the door of our building and quickly made it inside. A little damp from our mad dash, we stowed away our clothes, drinks, and treats for the weekend.

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A quick check of social media and we headed back to the lodge and grabbed some lunch. Lunch was hot and plentiful and we watched the crashing waves from our table as we ate.

After lunch we headed back to the room and hunkered down to attend to the purpose of the retreat – writing.  We pulled out our laptops and began hitting the keys after a quick social media check.

 

A few hours later and a change of clothes we headed for dinner at the lodge. We started with a nice Pinot Grigio in the lounge and engaged in a little people watching. At our reserved time we sauntered into the restaurant. A buffet was on display and we partook of a variety of offerings from seafood chowder, various salads, hip of beef and planked salmon. All delicious. Dessert was a choice of bread pudding, tarts, cream puffs, squares and carrot cake. As is the norm with a buffet we overindulged a bit.

IMG_6736Afterwards we settled back in the lounge to listen to live music and indulge in a post dinner drink. As usual, the people watching was engaging as we bantered. A couple of hours later we headed back to the room and did a little reading before going to sleep.

 

 

 

 

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Both early risers we awoke around 6 a.m. to a gorgeous morning. A few cups of coffee, some reading,  and a check of social media we headed for breakfast. A wonderful array of food was displayed on the buffet and we filled our tummies. Grabbing a coffee to go we headed to the deck overlooking the ocean and began writing,

The weather was wonderful. The sun was shining down on us with a slight breeze to keep the bugs at bay.  It was relaxing and productive until the horde of townies invaded our space with their chatter and cloying perfumes.  Shortly thereafter we retreated to our lakeside room to continue in silence – well as silent as the two of us can be – as disjointed conversations flowed as we work.

As the day progressed so did the weather. By mid-noon the thermometer had reached 25 degrees celsius which is quite warm here for this time of year. In my forays outside to indulge in a little sun, I graced my friend with a few interesting jigs as I dodged the hated wasps that seem to love to torment me – the dance of wasps – as I referred to it brought laughter. At lunch we walked to the lodge. A nice jaunt along the tree-lined road to build our appetite while enjoying the nature around us, as I doggedly dodged the bugs that so love me wherever we go.

Lunch consisted of a delicious pizza board with naan bread, slathered in a garlic alfredo sauce topped with ham, pears and an abundance of mozzarella – it  did not disappoint. For dessert the options were decadent – having spied the delivery of a few to the table next to ours. Classic chocolate cake with layers of chocolate ganache garnished with chocolate shavings accompanied by milk chocolate-toasted marshmallow ice-cream and a more than generous slice of vanilla cheese cake with a red fruit and white chocolate sauce finished our meal.

After lunch we headed back to the room and caught a glimpse of a bride heading down to the shore for her wedding.  Along the way to the room we searched for the wild bunnies for which the resort is known but to our dismay none were seen. Back at the room we indulged in a few more hours of writing with short jaunts into the sun to catch a few rays while checking social media for interesting bits of news.

Dressed for supper we headed back to the lodge for dinner. I indulged in the buffet once again and my friend had the delicious mushroom ravioli.

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We capped off dinner with a few sweets and headed into the lounge for drinks and music. The lone musician didn’t disappoint with an eclectic collection of 70’s music. Each table was adorned with trivia boxes and we kept ourselves entertained as we read and shared interesting bits while watching the folks around us. At one point we watched the wedding party head down to the shore line for some after wedding photos while perched on the rocks in front of the beach.

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After a few hours we headed back to the room and caught a quick glimpse of one of the bunny rabbits hopping around the parked vehicles.

 

We settled in for the night with some reading. A last-minute jaunt outside proved to be a little horrifying as we made our way out the door only to realize the glass was covered with hundreds of little green flies only to look up and notice thousands of the same flies covering the roof of the porch. We scurried inside completely freaked out checking to ensure we had not been followed. A bit more self-indulgent reading and we went to sleep.

The next morning was bittersweet as we packed knowing we had to head home soon.  The weather was gorgeous once again. A quick jaunt to the lodge and we ate breakfast. We did a last bit of writing as we settled in the lounge before heading home where this blog came to life.

It was a fantastic weekend at the water, hopefully to be repeated in the near future.

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Photographs – A self-portrait.


I love taking photos. When I travel, I always take too many photographs. It is one of the reasons I love digital. I no longer have to ration my photos to the 24 on the roll of film. I can take as many as I want and decide later.

Conversely, I hate having my picture taken. I am okay with random, I do not know they are happening shots, but I despise posing for photos. Selfies are not in my future. I have tried much to my amusement to take a selfie but I always look like I ate something nasty – you know that look. My kids always bemoaned the fact that I do not like getting my photo taken when they were younger and had to bring in family photos because 99% of the time I was on the other side of the camera so the pickings were slim.

So this weekend took a bit of a hilarious turn when a writing friend and I made a concentrated effort to get some professional photos taken. As an author, you need a public presence, which translates into having to have your photos taken so there are pictures to put on the webpage, FB, Twitter etc. For self-publishing, it is necessary. There is no publicity team taking care of such things. Personally, I thought it would be neat to pick a photo at random of someone you wanted to look like. Alas, that just is not the way to go. No Milli Vanilli’s allowed. Sigh…

After dozens of poses and background changes and quite a few laughs, we ended up with a total seven pictures that were acceptable and amongst those were fun shots. I think the total count we started with was around 48 pictures. The term to remember is acceptable. We don’t love them but at the same time, we don’t hate them. Thankfully, the photographer was a good sport. We were probably one of the stranger appointments she had.

They are not the worst I have taken but not the best either. That’s my opinion. I guess it comes down to what my friend said to paraphrase her, “It never looks like the real you.” I guess that is why I like random shots. Even if they are not perfect, I always feel like the facial expression is real – not forced. My smile always feels frozen when posing for a photograph.

It is similar to the reaction that occurs when you record your voice. You have in your mind what you think you sound like until you hear your recorded voice played out load. I use to dictate on a Dictaphone back in the early nineties and it took a while to get comfortable hearing my voice played back as I checked what I had recorded. I suppose getting you photos taken is the same. If you do it often, enough you get accustomed to it. I get my photos taken so rarely that it is uncomfortable whenever I have it done. Now I’m in no hurry to get to the comfortable stage.

I do have to say that going with a friend was a lot less painful than going alone. A friend will laugh with you during the process and not at you. In addition, there is the added support of knowing they are feeling the same way.

For chuckles – mostly my own – I have included some of the finalists below. The final cut was three for me and eventually one will become my ‘new’ photo presence.


 

 

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