Treasure Hunting

Nature and food. Two treasures that I love.

Christine Fichtner Quarry Rock hike

Isolated

Lucky for me, I live in a city that has a ton of both. How could I not take advantage of it?

As my first hike of the year, it was probably a good thing that I ended up going on a shorter, easier trail. (I may have huff and puffed anyway…)

My friend Miki called me up and we headed out to Deep Cove to hike up to Quarry Rock. It’s a gorgeous hike, and the view up top is spectacular. It’s a fairly popular hike, and by the time we started to head back, the trail was getting a bit more crowded.

Christine Fichtner bun hair curls

Feeling accomplished post-hike!

There was not a lot of wildlife to be seen this time around, but seeing a raven hanging out around all the hikers at the top was quite something. It must be quite used to humans, since it did not seem nervous at all despite having at least twenty people  and five dogs sitting or standing around.

Christine Fichtner Quarry Rock

A spectacular view.

There’s something wonderful about being surrounded by trees, secluded, away from the reaches of urban life.

It’s rejuvenating for the body and mind. It’s something that never fails to lift my spirits. The life, the energy, everything about it, I believe, brings out the best in us.

Christine Fichtner Honey's donut

How could I not?

Of course, after hiking we had to stop by Honey’s for some incredible donuts. The maple donut was well worth the trek across the city.

The weather has been incredible this year, and I plan to take full advantage of it. This means plenty of hikes and time spent outdoors.

I live in a beautiful city full of opportunities to enjoy nature. What about your city? If I were to visit, where would you send me?

 

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Mondays Mean

Mondays mean breathing in the new week, stepping into its embrace. No matter how tired, how reluctant.

Mondays are sleepy days for me. And as I sit at my desk, I find myself seeking ways to open my mind creatively.

christine fichtner painting palette

Colours to brighten my day.

It normally starts with a quick sketch. Something simple to ease myself into practice.

Then I pick up my paintbrushes, and delve into colours. Bright ones, today.

The sun filters through the leaves outside. The air picks them up, and they murmur. This I mirror with my brush upon the paper.

Mondays can be difficult. But finding enjoyment in splashes of paint is not.

Currently Writing To: Between the Bars (Cover by Ivanna Maria)

There’s something so resonating about it. Something that keeps me listening over and over again. Beautifully melancholic in the depths of her voice. The pure emotion in her voice touches the heart in such profound ways.

A duet accompanied only by a guitar. Voices lift the music along with the soul.

Currently Writing To: You & I – John Legend

Now I don’t normally listen to pop music. I enjoy it, since it’s catchy and fun. But it’s not my usual genre. However, this song, and especially the video, are wonderful. It’s such an important message. It’s powerful because of the sheer number of people who can relate to the video. It’s something we often forget, or do automatically. But we need to remind ourselves that we have to love ourselves for who we are. Our imperfections included.

I love John Legend’s music, for his voice, his lyrics, and his pure talent.

So here’s the video and song that has been on repeat all weekend.

Currently Writing To: Little Lou, Prophet Jack, Ugly John – Belle & Sebastian, feat. Norah Jones

A track that’s perfect for a relaxing summer evening spent sipping on iced tea and getting some writing done. Lovely vocals, wonderful harmonies, and a very chill feel.

Got to enjoy the beautiful weather while it lasts!

Currently Writing To: The Flower Duet – Leo Delibes

Stateless’ ‘I’m on Fire’ is one of my absolute favourite duets. This is another. It’s simply gorgeous, and the harmonies are perfect. It’s beautiful beyond words. Uplifting, and true to the lyrics, much like a spring morning spent in the garden.

Currently Writing To: Lullaby For Kamila – Nigel Kennedy and the Kroke Band

The whole CD, East Meets East, is amazing. Wild, with a sense of spirit and freedom. This is one of the slower songs, and it is gorgeous.

My descriptions do not do it justice. You have to listen for yourself!

Currently Writing To: Julia’s Waltz – Natalie MacMaster

One of my favourite violinists is Natalie Macmaster. Her music is absolutely amazing, and she’s even better live. And on top of that, she’s extremely friendly and down to earth.

This is one of her slower pieces, and it’s absolutely beautiful. I can’t get enough. Bright, with a sort of longing, as if there’s something just out of reach.

Currently Writing To: SHERlocked – Michael Price

A slow start this Monday morning. Back to my regular routine after a spectacular weekend.

Needed something gentle but powerful to get me going. Emotional and captivating, it’s a beautiful piece. And if you have yet to watch the show, I highly recommend it!

Currently Writing To: Altus Silva – Peter Gabriel et al.

I’m feeling so much better. Thank you all for the well wishes!

So now I’m back to writing regularly. And to accompany me: Altus Silva, a beautiful song. I’ve already posted two Afro Celt songs, and I will undoubtedly post more. While this is a different group, one of the singers, Iarla Ó Lionáirdremains a constant. Alongside Peter Gabriel(whose record label produced Afro Celt), it’s an incredible duo.

There’s something ethereal and mystical about it, and it suits my writing mood perfectly.

Currently Writing To: End Titles – Rachel Portman (Joy Luck Club)

I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather lately, so I’ve been listening to softer music. The Joy Luck Club is such a powerful movie for me. I can relate to it so much. The music is just as emotional and moving. It certainly helps when writing sad scenes.

It blends Chinese and western instruments gorgeously. The Chinese influence lends to its melancholic tones. It’s stunning.

It evokes a sense of longing, of something missing. And yet this hope for the future. Complex and beautiful.

Currently Writing To: Heart Sutra – Jing Shanyuan 敬善媛 (杨小琳)

Busy days push me towards more relaxing music. Though I am not buddhist, this chant is so calming that I listen to it all the time. After a tough day at work, or when I need to clear my head to help me focus, this will get me through it. A song to listen to, over and over again.

Serenity, peace, calm. Beautiful, relaxing, meditative.

(Please ignore the video)

Currently Writing To: Psalm – Apocalyptica

I’ve loved this band for years, and have yet to tire of their music. They are extremely talented musicians, and their music is diverse and amazing. Not all of their music is this soft, but there’s always something that just pulls you in.

More cello music for you all to enjoy.