So. Easter Weekend. We got all extravagant and booked a cottage B&B for Friday and Saturday night. It was fabulous. Though the weather on the ferry over was deceptive:
Isn't that lovely? (Look at all the snow!) It was like that right until we got to the B&B. Then it was overcast and ucky the rest of the weekend. Which was OK, coz we ended up doing a lot more napping than anything else (and I do mean "anything else.") So we didn't miss much.
The cottage was part of a farm, and when we arrived, they sent us out with some carrots to meet some of the locals, while they put a breakfast basket together.
Then they sent us up the hill, where this sweet little cottage sat above everything.
Our closest neighbours were the emus. There were 3; two saucy females, and a lone male sitting on a nest.
They were very cool. They don't vocalize like other birds; they make a weird kind of drumming noise in their chests. We had long discussions as to whether the sound more closely resembled a djembe or a tabla drum.
There were several of these mascots roaming around, keeping everyone in line:
The best part was when the two dominant (or wanna-be dominant!) birds would start duelling at 4:30 a.m. And get the ducks and geese going. The emus would join in, too, with a drumbeat to complement the horn section. (We also drank a lot of coffee!)
A walk around the farm brought us past the chickens. Laying hens only - all the meat from the farm's butcher shop/smokehouse comes from elsewhere, so we didn't have to worry about whether we'd met our breakfast's cousins or anything. I think somebody forgot to tell the chickens that, though. They followed our every move (would have literally, I think, if not for the fence!), as a mob.
Or really, more like Borg chickens - all at once, moving together, cooing and bobbing their heads from side to side. It was actually quite creepy. I was afraid they would all zombify at night and peck us to death in our sleep.
When we weren't worried about fending off mutant zombie chickens, we each plowed through a pile of reading. (I actually only picked up my knitting once...while we were waiting for somebody on the farm with a pick-up truck and a tow rope...The van got stuck in the mud, and we had to get it pulled out. Didn't even phase the guy - I guess we're not the first to get stuck! - but I was mortified. "No, really, we aren't total city slickers!" They were very kind about it, though.)
We ate huge breakfasts, with fresh eggs and chicken-apple-ginger sausages, fresh-smoked bacon, and home-made preserves:
Mr.Q drank his cheap beer and read pulp fiction - Edgar Rice Burrough's Barsoom series. He was so into it, I started calling him "John Carter, Dishlord of Mars."
He wasn't amused. But I was, quite!
I had Bailey's in my coffee, and wine in the kitchen.
Saturday, we went out for dinner to Tuscany, where we had positively divine pizzas. I also had a milk chocolate creme brulee for dessert...dreamy!
Back at the cottage (with enough daylight left to back the van in and avoid the mud traps!), we were greeted by Charlie, canine ambassador extraordinaire. His favourite game, apparently, is playing tug-o-war with a stick twice his body length. Mr.Q was happy to indulge him.
I think both of them would have kept it up all night, if it hadn't been so cold. Mind you, we'd have done a lot of things if the weather was nicer: hike, lounge on the deck with ciders and books, eat dinner outside...I guess we'll just have to go back!
Poking around the island, we also saw llamas, pygmy goats, an amazing chocolate shop, a cool New-Age shop with a yurt for bellydancing classes, a kiwi trellis, and all kinds of other fun stuff. We've got another B&B booked in the summer, closer to the water...I'm quite looking forward to it! Meanwhile, we brought some of those chicken-apple-ginger sausages home with us.
But no zombie chickens. (Or emus, though I had to work pretty hard to convince Mr.Q that that would be a bad idea!)