Thirty Things I Know

Happy International Women’s Day everyone!

Twenty-eight years ago today.

Today is my birthday — specifically, it’s my thirtieth birthday, which is a milestone in every woman’s life.  As the Pie likes to point out continuously, I’m no longer a twentysomething.  I’m now a thirtysomething.  When he turns 30 in four months I will be sure to rub it in, don’t worry.

My mother tells me that women only really come into their own when they turn 30.  Thirty is when women begin to become powerful and strong.  I think it’s a good way to approach this milestone.

On the morning of my twentieth birthday, I sat on the floor of Doodle’s dorm room and I wrote myself a letter, taking my future self to task for all the things I hoped to accomplish in the next ten years.  I still have the letter, and today, once I get up the courage to do so, I’m going to read it.  I am pretty confident that I’ve succeeded in most of my tasks.  I know my past self wanted a PhD by 30, but will just have to be satisfied with a doctorate by 31 instead.

Anyway, in honour of my very important birthday, I thought I would be self-indulgent today and let you in on thirty very important things (in no particular order) that I have learned over the past thirty years.

1. It doesn’t cost anything to be polite.

2. Flossing is not just for wienies.  It saves you money on dentist bills.

3. Confidence is extremely attractive.

4. Don’t sweat the small stuff (coming from someone with OCD, this is a pretty tall order).

5. Do your best, or else don’t bother.

6. A work-life balance is important.  They won’t fire you for not working overtime.

7. Always pee before you leave.  You never know when you’ll get another opportunity.

8. Fibre is more important than you think.

9. Not everything has to be done right now.

10. Simple food made from scratch is the best.

Also, there should always be time for ice cream.

11. Your age and your weight are just numbers.  Be happy with being healthy.

12. We inevitably turn into our parents.  Just make sure to turn into the best parts.

13. Corgis are awesome dogs.  And it’s not just me and the Pie saying that.

14. You can have four best friends.  It’s okay.

15. Your partner/spouse should be one of those best friends.

Photo by Ian and Jacky Parker
See? Always time for ice cream.

16. People in the service industry have feelings, too.  Treat them with respect.

17. Stupid hobbies are only stupid to other people.  If you like doing it, keep doing it.

18. If you haven’t worn it or displayed it or used it in over a year, you’re probably not going to.  Get rid of it.

19. Never be afraid to either ask for help or to relinquish control.  It may be hard, but it won’t make you look bad.

20. When you bend over in pants, people should not be able to see either your butt or the colour of your underwear.

21. In food photography, obey the rule of thirds and use natural lighting.

22. Always wear shoes you can run in if necessary.

23. Don’t buy stuff you can’t pay for right away.

24. Try to learn something new every day so that you can teach someone else.

25. In the winter you are allowed to sacrifice fashion for warmth.

26. The Green Revolution is not a trend.  Please recycle.

27. “Water-resistant” does not mean “water-proof.”  Especially in Newfoundland.

Rain in the UK is very similar to rain in Newfoundland.

28. The internet knows a lot of things, but not everything.

29. Procrastination is fine as long as it’s productive.

30. It is the smallest details that you appreciate the most: sunlight on a wooden floor, the curve of a smile, a perfect cupcake.  A day on the beach.  Take it all in.

When we lived across from the ocean, I was on the beach every day.

And if today is also your birthday, happy birthday to you too!

A Trip to Ferryland

The day dawned foggy and damp but we were convinced it would improve, so the Pie and I piled Rusty, Mags, and Gren into our rented car and drove an hour and a half south of St. John’s to the town of Ferryland (population: ~529).  This was the third time the Pie and I had made it to Ferryland, but the first time that we were really able to appreciate it.  On previous occasions, we had arrived in town after an afternoon of iceberg hunting and were too tired to take the time to walk around this historical settlement.  This year is a bad one for icebergs, however, so we were rested and refreshed and raring to go.

I’ll give you a little background on Ferryland.

Originally an acclaimed fishing location for migratory French and Portuguese fishermen at the end of the sixteenth century, the area, known as “Farilham” by the Portuguese and “Forillon” by the French, was granted to the London and Bristol Company in the early 1610s.  “Ferryland” is the Anglicization of those names.

In 1620, the land was granted to George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore (there are nearby settlements called Calvert and Baltimore, respectively, and yes, this is the same Lord Baltimore of Baltimore, MD).  In 1623 Calvert appointed a dude named Edward Wynne to establish a colony there, which grew into one of the first successful European establishments in North America.  In 1623 as well, King James I granted Calvert a charter creating the Province of Avalon.  This gave Calvert carte blanche to control all administrative and territorial matters in the area, and he chose Ferryland as its principal settlement.

Like many settlements in Newfoundland, the rich fishing grounds around Ferryland were much sought after, and Ferryland suffered a raid from the Dutch in the 1670s, before being decimated by New France in 1696.  It was soon reoccupied, and has remained so to this day, predominantly by Irish and English descendants.  There is an active archeological dig site, which shows you how Lord and Lady Baltimore lived nearly four hundred years ago. 

There is lots to see in Ferryland.  Unfortunately, when we went this time all of the exhibits were closed due to a water problem.  Still, the historic Ferryland Museum has an immense collection of artifacts recovered from the dig site, and is a historical artifact itself, dating back to 1916.

The principal attraction in Ferryland, however, is the Ferryland Head Lighthouse. 

A two-kilometre walking trail stretches across The Downs and along a narrow strip of land sandwiched between two green coves. 

A stunted forest opens onto a rocky promontory, atop which sits the lighthouse itself, a sturdy red tower with a squat white house attached.

If you go into the lighthouse, you’ll meet the Lighthouse Ladies, who, for $25 a person, will provide you with a scrumptious picnic lunch.  

They’ll give you a signal flag and a picnic blanket and send you outside to find a good spot in the cushy undergrowth to have your lunch. 

Once you’re settled, they’ll bring you your lunch in a basket: hearty sandwiches on thick oatmeal bread, rich pasta salad, melt-in-your-mouth desserts, and fresh, tart lemonade, served in Mason jars.  Just some more shots of this amazing al fresco meal:

After your post-lunch nap (the ground really is nice and soft here, believe it or not), you can explore the area around the lighthouse.

This is Rusty and Mags getting their first taste of the North Atlantic.

Some radioactively green algae:

A rusty thingamajig:

An awesome example of geological strata:Then you have the long trek back to civilization.  But so worth it.

Check it out for yourself!

Lighthouse Picnics

Ferryland Municipal Website

Ferryland Wikipedia Page

Colony of Avalon Archaeological Site

Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Ferryland Page