Saturday, October 30, 2010

Running Free

when you were a child
you used to take off and run
going nowhere, just running
you'd do it for fun.
now you're a man
and gone is the child
when you go running
you do it to hide

why don't you run free
like you used to before
set yourself loose
throw open the door

you walk in a hurry
watching the clock
to get to your business
but you want it to stop
can't find the answer?
let your child show you how
if you listen they'll tell you
the time to start running is now

why don't you run free
like you used to before
set yourself loose
throw open the door

and so you sprint wild
as you did in the past
running nowhere just running
you're running so fast
remember the moment
the feeling inside
your spirit runs free
your soul is alive

and now you run free
like you used to before
set yourself loose
then run on some more

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Catching Up

Strange how time passes by and old routines become forgotten. New peaks, canyons and chasms create a different landscape, the path left behind is left behind and only memories remain. In the still hours of midnight the chill air keeps me awake as it permeates in from the distant ocean. Thoughts miander, like cracks appearing in an old wall. A steady stream of uncontrolled consciousness that drifts further which every drope. Stay close, let go and follow.

The dog barks at invisible enemies while it sleeps on the couch, paws running to or from, here or there. Without waking its walks are replayed.

A glass sits empty on the table, the smooth surface muddied by smearing fingerprints. Refill awaits. The elixir burns the throat and soothes the mind. Gentle oblivion. A chance to float, everything is softened. Mood docile and accepting. Day distractions aside, the nightime silence is for reflection and analysis. A smile creeps and fades as events are cast aside. With renewed vigor comes the opportunity to rebuild. Stride forwards, upwards. Adventures await to wake the slumbering soul. New challenges lie ahead that will test, taunt and torment. Beyond awaits the prize. Stretch out fingers, feel every muscle and sinew tighten. I studied history and hated it, such an obsession with what has past. So many rules to be cast aside. So much that needs to be thrown into the abyss. Tomorrow warrants a new journey.

Time for bed. Until the next time, bye for now.

Monday, April 12, 2010

In the Silence

I relish the quiet moments. All is calm, I have time to reflect and ponder. The house is still, the night outside cool and welcoming. I sit for a while watching the harbour, studying the flickering lights on the water across in Halifax. It feels too early in the week to feel so drained, but it has been an eventful weekend and I eagerly await sunny weather to recharge the depleting batteries.

My liver needs some time to recover, I have been punishing it mercilessly for months. On Sunday I made a choice, a choice not to drink. So far so good, not sure how its going to be when I'm at Darts on Tuesday. I'm playing at Neighbours pub which is just around the corner from my house and starting at 7:30. The crowd are a good lot and I'm looking forward to the game. Last week I threw well and potentially will throw even better this week.

There are a few things I wish I could rant about. Today is not the day. I grit my teeth, suck in air, swallow and change topic.

So.. the weekend. As weekends go, its been a really good weekend. I went to a barbeque at my neighbours house with a whole bunch of people, we ate like kings and queens (and princes and princesses too) and then after the children began to fall asleep upstairs, we shared a few drinks and continued with a fire blazing. We left at 2am, fuzzy but happy. Sunday was going to be a big day. I had planned a hike to Cape Split, over near Scots Bay up in the valley. The hike proved to be a good one, nice distance (16km) with some great views of the ocean. For the first hike of the season it was about right. Next one needs to be longer, or harder or more rugged or something. A real test next, some dirty, uneven, steep trail.

Blah, blah, blah, blah. Jeez, just filling in with a bunch load of random words so I can avoid the stuff that I really want to vent about. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. How very very frustrating.

Like isn't stuff amazing.

So, anyway, change of tact, let the other stuff subside for a short while. Perhaps for a couple of days, perhaps for longer, who knows really.

How about a couple of pictures of Cape Split? Maybe that will arouse the feet. Get the boots on and take a trip.

It was a great day out. The drive was smooth, light traffic with a car that didn't seem to mind going up hills. We arrived just after 1pm and set off on the trail with the tide peaking and the wind blowing agressively. I was beginning to think that I was a little under-dressed for the event, but as we neared the trees, the wind was held back by the countless lichen covered trunks and the air became more still. We headed along the route, passing areas of soggy marshland where the winter waters had not yet been absorbed into the earth. The trees remained bare, spring had only recently touched their tips with warmth and so the first buds of colour were not far away. For the moment, they stood skeletal, asleep. Their solid frames occasionally creaking against each other as we passed them by.

The terrain was varied, as were the people, groups and clusters of hikers, ramblers and bikers all enjoying the 16km spread on a welcoming Spring sunday. We started at a slow pace for the first kilometre or two, then began to increase until we pounded along for a good spell, bouncing over roots buried in the ground, stepping through wet ground without a care and leaping from stone to stone, log to log across small brooks and streams. Some of the inclines were steeper than the initial ones, and it felt good to feel the body take it in stride, breath quickening, but pace unchanging. We stopped only for a minute or two, here and there, to grab a sip of water, or to crunch down a granola bar. It took us just over 2 hours to cover the 8km out to the peak. Snapping off pictures while the wind howled, I absorbed the full magnitude of the elements. Here sea, land and air were in a constant battle with each other, with the earth slowly losing ground as each wave struck the base of its cliffs far below. I pondered a while, wind whipping around my hair. The cut of land where trees had disappeared far below was growing over time, and one day the earth on which I stood would itself become absorbed by the tides.

The wind was bullish and unrelenting, it was not until we started the return that the shelter of the trees was provided us. Our pace steady, no rush, no real hurry to return. Next to no word was said, just walking, walking. I played a game with myself, to see how silently I could walk at speed, and how fast I could walk across roots, rocks and logs without losing my footing. The walk became hypnotic and I fell into tangents of thought. What makes me feel free, do I feel free. Hiking makes me feel free, being outside makes me feel free. Running naked would make me feel free, so hiking and running naked would make me feel free. Jumping off trees naked while hiking would make me feel free. A beer would make me feel free.... hold on, where did that one come from. I laughed to myself, my temporary animalistic moment with nature had been dissolved by a yearning for an ice cold Coors. A grin spread across my features and I continued, now looking for the perfect tree to climb, or a puddle to splash through. (naked didn't feel quite right today, too many people were on the trail).

On the return, I planned to stop at a Church that I had seen by the side of the road on the journey there. I drove passed it by mistake, turned the car in a driveway and headed back to it. The church stood weather beaten and abandoned, the windows gone, the roof collapsed and the walls leaning. It looked like a fantastic place.

I have an interest in old buildings, not necessarily monuments, but buildings that tell a story of people. Houses, farms, factories and churches. They all interest me. In this case it was a tiny little church, perhaps for a congregation of no more than 20. It stood decaying in the spring sunshine, its congregation all gone, its furniture removed and its days of Sunday service long since faded. I love that kind of building, it tells a story. From the day when its builder stood back looking at the work and feeling proud of the effort to the day where perhaps couples had stood at the door after their marriage ceremony, families standing by watching with smiles across their faces. The minister a member of the community, knowing his flock by name, proud of his position, his church. Now it stands forgotten, covered with idle graffiti and meaningless images. Its time was ending, with each passing winter, summer heat and the expansion, contraction of the walls, the roof, the earth. The church was slowly being sucked into the ground. Slowly being stripped of its wooden floor, tiled roof, weatherboard walls. They were eroding like the cliffs. The sense of quiet was overpowering. I could listen and hear.

I snapped a couple of pictures off, then returned to the car and headed back for Dartmouth, headed back to the house. Headed back home. The journey was quiet, the radio chattering but with few words shared. We each reflected on the day, the weekend, the week to come. Monday, a moment of dread. Living for the weekend isn't fun. Oh well. Until the next one.

Monday, March 8, 2010

What I Want

Couldn't resist just another quick blog session, but instead of about what I'm up to, its to get out what I want. What my dreams are and where I want to be in the next few years. A dream within the mind is only a dream, a dream put out and written on paper is the first step to it becoming a reality. (ok, I realise that blog doesn't mean paper, but the writing it on paper is going to be happening a little later on). So.... What I want. I want to live somewhere where I can walk to the beach, at any time of year, and bathe, swim and feel the warmth of sun on skin. I want to have a nice comfortable home, not too big, not too small. Large enough to accomodate guests and a growing family, but not too large that it cannot be managed. I want to get a cleaner for my house at the moment, I'm spending time cleaning when I could be spending time doing things that I enjoy. I want to have children and more specifically than that, I would dearly love to have a son. I want to improve myself, I want to communicate better and become a better listener. I want to start acting like a leader rather than talking like one (funnily enough I've got a feeling that with that one, it will actually bring all of my other wants into line). I want to test myself, challenge my body and my mind, to push limits and step beyond the comfort zone. I want to get things done, I procrastinate a lot and so I will dream about doing something, but rarely take the first step into actually doing it. (I think that changing my procrastination will also have a significant effect on all the other tasks). I'm not saying I want to be impulsive or overly spontaneous, but that I want to be a doer rather than a dreamer. I guess the idea of this little spiel here is so that once these wants are out, I can no longer back away from them, that they become focus points.

For a little background moment, in the past I've wanted to buy and fix up a house, a van, grow and harvest food, open restaurants and bars, live way out in the sticks and be self sufficient and probably a number of others. Realistically I think yes while its important to dream, its also important, especially for me, to realise that I'm not quite cut out for some of these dreams at the moment.

Back to the wants. More than all of the others, I want to live a long and happy life. To do that I have to be healthy, (which I'll say right now doesn't mean I have to be boring). So, to achieve that I need to spend time on me, work out more often, and I need to drink less and stop smoking. I realise its a tall order, but I've been smoking for a long time now, and it really is time to call it a day on that one.

The current mission: today will be the last day that I smoke. Today will be a new beginning of freedom. I choose the path I follow and others can follow me if they want. Sheep - no thanks, tired of that. It is frustrating to have to follow someone or rely on something that is harmful. ok, time for a smoke and to really taste how bad it is.

Jet Setting

The movement of tide and wind is constantly at my back. I am moving with the desires of those I hold dear. From Halifax to Hawaii and then back again, and now from Halifax to Kitchener, Ontario. The city that we drove away from in June last year. The return has been unexpected but it feels good to be here. The sun outside is shining brightly and the temperature is on the rise. Its amazing what a difference a goodly amount of sunshine can do for the spirit.

The desicion to come here was a last minute choice, I had been thinking about it for almost a week, sitting on the fence, wanting to go, but also wanting to stay in the house in Dartmouth and enjoy some time to myself. Ultimately it was the idea of adventure that another flight would promise, the opportunity to spend time with my loved ones in another place far away from home. I am sitting here working away (of course it doesn't quite look like that), in a small coffee shop, fulfilling my responsibilities to the people I work with. Only three hours to go and then I can get out, get about and rediscover a little of Kitchener. Tomorrow the plan is to go for a long hike, take in some scenery and enjoy the freedom of being outside.

On Saturday we got up early, packed in a hurry and then caught the plane to Toronto, we have hired a car for the week as there will be quite a lot of driving and popping to and fro between cities. Saturday was an example of that. We drove from the airport to Guelph for lunch, then to Kitchener for supper, and then from Kitchener to Toronto to have a night out with a really good friend of mine who I've not seen since we left. The rum flowed smoothly, a hefty tasting session of some of the best rums in the world. From his house we ventured into Toronto, to a club where the drinks continued, the dancing began and smiles grew. I am not sure what time we returned to his house to crash on the floor, but I know that it was a good night, ended with a brief and clumsy jam session with me borrowing one of his guitars. I haven't played in a while, and it definitely showed.

Yesterday we were in Niagara, it was a fantastic day that started early with a drive from Toronto to Kitchener, and then from there to Guelph and from there to Niagara. We've been there a few times now, not just for the falls, but for Fallsview, the indoor water park. After only 30 minutes inside the colossal building, I felt like a teenager again, smiling from ear to ear after every tube, slide, and jaunt in the pools. Its a great place for a family and well worth dropping by. Water slides led their way to Tony Roma's for a seriously great meal.

I think that will be it for now. Its not easy to write at the moment and so I can't get into a nice flowing rhythm. I'm sure that there will be more later, when there is more time to sit and let the mind go.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Oahu to Nova Scotia

Sitting on the balcony enjoying the morning sun and the heat of what would become the hottest day of the holiday. Absorbing the magnificence of the mountains that stood hard in the distance, bespeckled with the white walls of houses creeping up the less steep faces. Hawaii was magical, but it was time to leave and return home. Leaving the small room of the apartment was a simple task, but psychologically there was much more to it. Thoughts drifted back to Nova Scotia faster than the plane would take us - going home. Going home - it was a pleasant thought, one that conjured smiles. The beauty of the island of Oahu was etched into memory, the people were warm and welcoming, the landscape abundant in beauty and perhaps most of all, the feeling of warm sun on exposed skin. There was an element of freedom that ruled and roamed free. I guess that is what a holiday is about. An escape from the day-to-day to a far away place. The time to ease down a few gears and absorb the surroundings, immerse in blue water and exfoliate the skin with soft sand from golden beaches. I would happily return there, and look forward to the return.

Now I sit in the kitchen, the night is dark outside, the wind howls and the rain pours relentlessly. Welcome home. There is something about Nova Scotia that is hard to understand. There is such an amazing feeling here when the sun peeks out from behind the thick clouds. The seasons here are incredible, summer a mix of sea blue and grassy green, autumn is a collage of every colour imaginable, reds, browns, yellows - fall colours. The winter though, that is something different, the snow doesn't last forever, but the cold that feels as though it breaks through the thickest coat and the grey of the clouds. They feel as though they last for months. We hibernate, tuck away in blankets with oil furnaces burning away dollars and paper thin walls setting free the heat we so desperately try and keep in. Even so, the stark change from Hawaii to home is amazing. I have such a fondness for this hard, wet and windy place and look forward to the birth of spring, the rush into summer and the warm sunshine and golden days that allow the same sense of freedom.

The van has been great these last few days, as if it too senses the slow change of temperature and the beginnings of spring. I want to be on the road, to drive to nowhere and stay awhile.

Holidays are what you make of them, days spent by the beach, days walking and walking absorbing everything around while blisters burn and pop. Skin darkens, hair lightens, eyes sparkle. I return refreshed and revived, the soul is energised and while bank accounts crumble and the days ahead are hard, it is with a warm embrace that I take them in. The days are hard to make the times of freedom felt earned. I returned to my work with greater motivation than I've had in months. I've set about responsibilities with a spring in my step. This time I'm not going to let it leave. Winter is not going to beat me as I know it is almost over, and once it ends, the freedom to roam and be outside will return.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Mission

So.... winter time, a time to be wrapped up inside where its warm and welcoming. Hibernation. Other mammals are hidden in the earth their slumbering frames awaiting spring time like the seeds within the ground. Birds fly to warmer climates, to escape the chill. As people, our days continue as they do each day. Get up, work, eat, sleep and find time in between for our pursuits. The grey of the dark quarter gets into our bones, it covers our skin and wets our hair. We do not hide beneath the trees and sleep, our social demands prevent it. We do not fly south with the birds unless it is for a brief holiday respite. We carry on, each day much as the one before, unextraordinary. Well, no more. I'm tired of allowing time to influence my mood, my desires, sapping my will. Where is the man who would walk for 3 hours in the snow to get a burger, and then walk back again? Is he sleeping, hibernating, or flown south?

Time to wake him up.

The mission: to find the resolve, the drive and will to conquer the winter, to embrace the coming of spring. To each and every day do something that I have not done or something purely for the sake of doing. Crazy, different, unexpected and challenging. To make time to enjoy the the time I have. So, for today, as the first of what will be many days of adventure and exploration I set myself three tasks:

1. Today it is -16, with a windchill to take it to -28. Today I will go for a run, around lake banook and back again.
2. I'm playing darts tonight, my form has been poor of late, especially in the later games. Tonight I will score 2 100s. (This may not sound like much, but as I've only scored 1 so far in 7 games, it is a challenge).
3. I've been reading the book "Love on the Dole", while I am enjoying it, it has so far taken me 6 months to finish (and at 250 odd pages, thats pretty poor reading). Today I will finish that book and then start on another.

Small missions, challenges to begin with. Among others to come will be to quit smoking, run a marathon, climb a mountain. Perhaps a new motto, philosophy.

“I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately, I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, To put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die discover that I had not lived.”

Monday, February 1, 2010

No me Levantas

la luna se pasa hasta el sol ,
dentro nuves, y el dia empieza
con sonidos de coches

mientras perros gritan con hambre
la gente duermen abajo de savanas blancas
y sonrien, ojos cerados

el reloj alli tranquilo, al lado de la pared
esperando su momento para levantar
con voz alto la familia que sueƱan

parece desayuno, hora de despertar,
de tomar cafe y soplar humo
pensando en otra mundo, sin pesadillas.

Bacardi and Coke

Gone are restless thoughts of slumbering wilderness. Drunken men lie in throngs waiting for their next drops of amnesia. Animals draw forth to the stagnent watering hole and dip their tongues where oil covers the surface. Time passes by as clouds shift over a darkened sky, filled with the hidden tears of evaporated life. Shelters lie shattered, holes where windows were, eyeglasses without lense. The circle encompasses itself, truth denied and covered with glistening patience. Rambling endlessly, words plucked from within sponge and melded with careless choice. Dumbfounded, awaiting the next day with a sense of expectency, it will be the same. Lacking nourishment. Tepid is the shower water, sporadic drops, unrealistic flow of spatter. A flood of thought, cascade of image from locked cells inside the deadlock. A sputter of exhaust, fog of grey mechanical shame. Unspoken words, dreams breached while searching for a name. Find within this dizzy spiral, laugh in manic glee at misfortune. A stubbed toe. A bashed shin. Skin purple, bloody as within. Reckless abandon, distant cat calls from the night. Gone is the moment, and with it the light.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


i drag the morning crust from my eye and search the sites for entertainment. the morning is cold and sunny outside, it feels fresh and hard. Coffee sits waiting attention while I drink my first glass of water. I'm making a effort to drink as much water as possible during the day, I've never quite drank enough and so now, I think I'll flush out my kidneys and give my body that its probably been wanting for a very long time.
Today is a strange day, Saturday, the weekend. The first of two days away from work, and an opportunity to relax. It feels odd though, as though I should be doing something, as if sitting here typing is the wrong thing to do. There are so many tasks that sit untouched on my mental list, but I have no drive to do them. Saturday, the day of doing things that don't revolve around work - so what do I want to do? That is where I am at a bit of a loss. I'm feeling detached from myself, like waking from a heavy night of drinking and spending the day in a haze of indecision.
What I should do is have breakfast, workout and have a hot shower, get blood pumping through me and wait for awakening and revival to kick in. I should have been in England today, but I'm still here. For some reason I feel like I shouldn't be here, that my presence is tension. At least its sunny outside and I am warm inside.

With one foot on the land
And another wet in the sea
Head upturned in air
to breathe life into me

I see with eyes open
The man that I've become
I dream with eyes closed
About the things that I have done

I walk along the sandy shore
Among the shells and stone
Head downturned to see them clear
Washed clean and all alone

I head back in across the land
To find a better way
Over hills and into marsh
This trip must end today.

Tomorrow brings a fresh north wind
To blow away the doubt
I smile and dance and clap
My hands and open my mouth to shout

I see with eyes open
The man that I've become
I dream with eyes closed
About the things that I have done

Monday, January 18, 2010


room warmed by low watt bulbs,
candles too, upon the floor
as shadows play.
calm creation of vision,
moments of anticipation that
build yearning.
light obscured, then illumination
as form fills the room,
naked flesh exposed.
soft skin tanned and revealing
intimate clefts, erotic motion
while footstep pad to bed.
the crush of feathers
lying side by side,
fingers stroking goosebumps.
caress of tips. eyes closed,
direction driven by quiet moans,
the tuft tugged gently.
smooth limbs held by strong hands
pulled with resistance to
welcome the ritual.
beats build tempo. songs
sing from under bed covers and
time passes in oblivion.
moist with residue, with fond
perspiration. heat resonates
underneath and sticky
a bestowal and whispered affection
to sleeping beauty as
dream of tomorrow begin again.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Prose and stimulation are lacking, head is hazy, nose running, body aches as if I were old. I've wanted to work out, to give my muscles a reason to moan, but each time I start, I'm able to do less than half of what is normal, and then collapse, breathless and more sore than before. I look forward to the cold passing, to waking up and feeling awake instead of the perpetual sense of sleep that I feel right now. Cures and remedies are but momentary comfort, a few hours in which I can breathe through my nose, mind feels like it can accomplish the meagre tasks that I have set for the day. And then the feeling passes and I drift back into the bubble, ears muffled and wanting to pop like on an airplane. Bring on the weekend. Perhaps the night will pass without restless motion, dry throat and clammy skin.

I need to stop smoking, my colour becoming ashen grey, eyes dragged down by heavy black bags. My patches lie unopened, waiting to be attached to skin, to gently allow the drug to permeate into my body, supply the addiction while I avoid the habit. I've tried once, but did not give it enough time, took it for granted that I would not desire the comfort of a burning cigarette. Time to give it another go, to put my will into it. To motivate myself with the thought of relish that body will feel more alive, that the poison in my veins will slowly seep out my pores and revival will begin.

Today the work is hard, simple thoughts require effort to concentrate mind and eyes blink to clear the blur. Roll on finishing time. I look forward to sleep as though I have not slept in days. I can't wait to feel healthy again.

Friday, January 1, 2010

York Redoubt, Halifax, NS

We arrived at the fort and parked the car. The journey there had been a good one, escaping from the house and heading out of the city along a winding road that took us passed Purcells Cove, lakes, cottages and schools. The air had a crispness to it that hinted at snow and every now and then, a couple of flakes would fall lazily from the sky above. There seemed to be a lot of walkers out today, mostly older couples who were enjoying the first day of the year, people out with their dogs, letting them burn some energy. We locked the car, and walked through the entrance to York Redoubt. The fort had been in use since the 1800s and there were plenty of buildings and earthworks to see. Inside the fort felt like being in a crater. The high banked walls contrasting with the depression that we found ourselves in. Five large cannons stood silently pointing to the sea, cannons that last made themselves heard in a long distant time. We climbed up the steps of one of the banks to absorb the view of the ocean that lay far beneath. It didn't really feel as though we were so high up, but the difference was clear as soon as we looked over the edge. We walked along, talking about the way of life, the kind of people that lived and worked there, what they valued, what they did. Both of us were born in the wrong era. The Victorian days would have suited us more. I think that there would have been a far greater sense of fulfillment, life satisfaction and that instead of taking things for granted, that as life would be harder, it would also feel more like it had been earned. Imagine how the food would have tasted for a soldier about to leave for war, not knowing if he would see his family again. Imagine his children, his wife, working hard and being thankful for every simple meal that they had together. Hands knarled and calloused with labour. Coming home from a hard day and falling asleep in a simple bed with no furnace, no internet, no television. A life more simple, harder, but satisfying. Our tour of the fort itself was nearing its end, we looked hungrily at the ocean below, and the winding near invisible trail leading down to it. The going was steep and snow had begun to fall, covering the rocks and earth with traces of white. Both of us nearly slipped, the footholds icy and occasionally difficult to identify. Cautiously we descended down towards a track which we could see below us, holding on to tree branches, and stepping slowly with bent knees as we neared the road. There were pockets of water and ice that were forming beautiful patterns as the water seeped down the path we were taking, sculptured into the earth itself and enveloping small twigs, lichen and leaves into its frozen smooth surface. We got to the road, and climbed over a small barrier which separated the ridge from the road. Once on the road, we looked in both directions, left, then right, to see what would interest us, and attract us to see more. We have that in common, a sense of adventure, an interest in discovery, in finding new places. Left and right seemed to offer little, we looked down, toward the ocean, and were drawn to it. We found another little used trail that lay hidden among the trees and followed it. The snow was beginning to fall faster, a flurry which had the potential to become something more. Leaves covered the ground here, leaves that were fast being obscured with snow. We nearly slipped a couple of times as we continued downwards, the slope steep and stimulating. About fifteen metres below us, we could see a gravel pathed trail and we headed towards it eagerly. Pushing back branches and driving through thorned bushes we reached the trail. It was beautifully quiet, a light breeze swept through on occasion and the snow would drift up from where it had settled. Water could be heard trickling down the slope, forming ice walls and frozen streams, icicles that stretched far enough to touch the earth itself. It was beautiful, a perfect mix of transparent, translucent and opaque. Underneath my feet, through the ice, I could see the water running by, its movement fast and unimpeded. The trail was very pretty and I would love to visit and explore it further another day. Today, we were drawn to the sea, and so crossing the gravel path, we found a set of worn, moss covered steps leading into the trees. We followed the steps downwards, and after a few metres, it opened out into a view of the rocky beach, and a garrison fort at the waters edge. The landscape was rugged, hard and unwelcoming. To get down to the waters edge, we clambered across large rocks, down slippery earth and underneath the boughs of age old trees. Our descent from the fort of York Redoubt, high above us and out of view, had been an adventure in itself. Now we were by the ocean, a place both of us feel a great affinity with, we looked in different directions, out to see, along the coast line, into the dark water, at our feet and between the rocks.

Tiny little shells lay interspersed on the ground, shells white and light in colour, they had been washed lovingly by the currents and sat shining and smooth waiting for someone to pick them up and take them home. We began putting them in pockets to take back with us, going in separate directions along the rocky coast. We took photographs, pictures of each other, of the landscape, the water and the way we had come. It was a wonderful day. Her company was so treasured, and such warmth filled me as I watched her climbing over large rocks and then looking out to the unknown of the ocean. Her hood up and the fur ring and purple scarf near obscuring her face. Only her eyes and nose were visible. She was beautiful. I turned, and with a feeling of child like curiosity had an urge to clamber up the side of a large boulder, covered in ice and with water trickling down its edges. Finding niches in which to grip my gloved fingers, and then searching for hard, dry parts of the rock, I made my way upwards, another ice wall greeted me and I ran my hands along its smooth surface. I continued upwards, a stream was flowing and the water was covering the dark blackness of the rock. A fallen tree lay across it and I made my way too it, the objective of the quest was to lean against it, one foot either side of the trickle of water, and then look out to the ocean. It felt sheltered up there, as if no snow was falling upon me, and no breeze moved the air. I liked it there, looking out to the Atlantic and letting mind drift with the waves that gentled cast their white horses against the shore. Our time there was nearly over, and we checked the time. We had to be back soon and so silently said our farewells to the ocean, and began the ascent back up to the fort. She led the way, picking a path between rocks, between trees, and at steady pace heading back to where we parked the car. Before we reached the gravel trail, a concrete structure appeared from within the trees, overgrown and dark, it encouraged us to step inside. One day, perhaps long ago, this building would have performed a duty, a function, people would have worked there, perhaps slept there, ate there, and talked there. It seemed strangely sad to see the building so changed, the floor was green with moss, the windows empty. It felt like a shell, as if the life had been sucked from it and the walls were all that remained. We stepped inside. A set of steps lead upwards, but the ceiling blocked progress, as if at one time there had been a second storey. The walls had occasional graffiti on them, but didn't have the dark slogans often seen inside abandoned structures. Perhaps few people knew of it, few people had been inside it. After taking a couple of photos, we passed around the walls of the building and back on to the trail. We looked around to search for the best way back up to the fort. She turned right and spotted a trail leading up and back in the direction of York Redoubt. The incline was good, our lungs began to work as we set a rhythm, a pace as feet stepped between the roots of the trees and the occasional frozen puddle. I could feel the muscles in my legs, tense and relax as we progressed. I was really enjoying it, being outdoors, the walking, the new sites, the feeling of being alive in the world. It was the first day of January, 2010, and the world felt quiet, subdued, but wonderfully real. We arrived back at the fort, the grass covered with snow, the car white, windows obscured. We opened the doors, got inside, our coats moist with snow. The return journey to our house was slower, the weather worsened and the snow came with greater intensity. As we came closer to the city of Halifax, my mind drifted, I imagined being back there in the summer, with warm air and cloudless skies, sitting with her under the trees, night starting to fall, a sleeping bag, good books, lying in each others arms, falling asleep to the gentle lap of the waves. Already, writing this I am longing to be back there with her, to share those moments and feel alive.