From 1967-1968 my family lived in Ealing, England, a suburb of London. My father was on a sabbatical leave there, and so my brother and I went to British high schools for the year.
When Ruth and I were in England in May I was invited to visit the school and we had a nice afternoon with the headmaster, Sir Pritpal Singh, and members of his staff. They asked is they could make a podcast of my recollections, and it is the first podcast they've ever done for the Alumni section of the school's website.
For our 20th anniversary Ruth and I spent two weeks in England: a week in London, and a week in Cornwall. The Cornwall visit included five days of hiking (averaging 7-8 miles a day) with guide Paul Simmons, along the South West Coast Path. The scenery was stunning. I've put together a slide show from each day. It was a wonderful trip.
In 1968 my family lived outside of London while my dad was on sabbatical leave from the college in Massachusetts where he was a professor of chemistry. I went to a British high school for the year. It was an incredible year of growth for me and I credit it, in part, for the person I am today.
We spent a Christmas holiday in Cornwall that year, so this trip in May had many moments of déjà vu.
Day 2 of hiking took us to the north coast of Cornwall, which is historic mining country and the location for the Masterpiece series, Poldark.
My sweetheart is a fair weather fisherman. Ruth likes to fish in shirtsleeves, not in a parka with the air temperature colder than even the water is in February and March. This week we had some 50 degree days with bluebird skies, so we took a few hours to go look for a feeder king. We found one in one of our favorite spots, and then went over to our cabin to open it up for the season.
Beautiful woman, beautiful fish. How lucky can a guy get?
Last Saturday was the 24th annual Winter King Tournament here in Homer. Winter kings are "feeder" king salmon that are here are their time in the ocean in which they are fattening up and growing until it's time for them to return o their natal streams to spawn.
I know this is hard to wrap your head around but these kings are here 357 days a year and that means we can catch king salmon any day we want to go out fishing! Many of these kings are from British Columbia, Oregon, and Washington state. Because they are not ready to spawn they are super fatty and rich, wonderful fish to put on the grill. Needless to say, we're spoiled.
Above are fishermen on the "Miss T" high-fiving one another after they netted their first fish of the day. We lost a fish nearby right before this and we believe they picked up "our" fish!
Below are the top three winners in this year's tournament. Ron Johnson, center, won the tournament with his 25.65 lbs fish, and took home $48,241 as Champion. Yup, a pretty good day of fishing.
Team Skookum went out and we hooked two fish...and lost two fish. So we weren't exactly skunked, but we didn't have anything to weigh-in at tournament headquarters. But it was a gorgeous day on the water, and a great event to be a part of.
Homer, Alaska is sometimes referred to as "The Cosmic Hamlet By The Sea". On a day like this, earlier this week, it does indeed look otherworldly. We're having a "real" winter this season, with continual snow, dipping temperatures in the single digits, and that unspoken sensation of comeradery that residents feel towards one another.
We're in this together, say our open-faced looks as we greet each other at the local mom & pop stores, at the post office, at our favorite coffee shop. But there's no sense of displeasure that we're in the grips of another long, cold, dark winter. Look at the place we live! It's cosmic.