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Early Evening Update…

Here’s what I’m seeing right now….

6pm Shot...

Not a huge difference to this afternoons shot, but it is clearing slightly, although through the afternoon it has been see sawing backwards and forwards. If you look carefully, of click on the photo to get over to Flickr and see a larger version, smoke is starting to billow up from behind Goats Peak Mountain, heading over to Peachland. And if you look really close, you can see the 3 helicopters hovering above the smoke.

I’m still trying to get some shots of the Fintry fire. If anyone know a good site I can link to or recommend, it would be much appreciated. From what we’re hearing, it’s really got bad this afternoon, doubling in size in a matter of hours and expected to get much worse.

A reader has asked me about sorting out a Google map of the area, which I’m going to have a crack at. Any advice, greatly appreciated!

I hope everyone is OK. We’re getting there, slowly, but it’s not over yet.

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This Afternoon’s Update….

Currently, 1.30pm, this is what I am seeing, over West Kelowna….

ThisAfternoon

Haven’t been able to see much, so the pictures aren’t changing a whole lot at the moment, which is no bad thing… Rose Valley sounds like it is getting bigger, half of West Kelowna has been evacuated and smoke is in the air, we’ve been told to stay inside and not do anything to strenuous outside. You can smell the smoke, obviously, everywhere. Eyes are starting to sting, ever so slightly, throats are drying out a little, but we’re hanging in there.

Thanks for the comments and emails I am getting. It seems hardly anything to keep adding the odd picture and write a bit here and there, but from the feedback you’re sending me, you’re finding it useful just to see what’s going on as you are finding it hard to get in touch with families and friends here. So I’ll keep going!

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West Kelowna Fire….

Latest view….

The Morning After (7am)

Not much change, so to speak, a few pockets still refusing to go out.

I just jumped in the Jeep and headed round Mt. Boucherie to see what I could see of the Rose Valley situation…

Rose Valley Forest Fire

All smoke, you’re seeing what I saw. A load of evacuations as well as warnings underway for the Rose Valley areas. Check out www.castanet.net or the radio station that I’m listening to, www.am1150.ca for lists.

The helicopters and air support have begun, dropping into the bay down at Gellatly for water.

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The Morning After…

I fell asleep at the computer blogging, snapping and Twittering, around 1am! I know I’ve got a few readers with relatives here and are keeping up to date…

5am and this is the view…

The Morning After....

As I type, small fires are flaring up again on the mountain to the left.

So the latest, as I hear it on the radio, 20,000 people and over 6000 homes evacuated, the highway closed both ways.

More to come….

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West Kelowna Forest Fire Latest….

The view, from the front, tonight….

Forest Fire 1

10,000 people evacuated or effected, 4000 homes and now over 300 hectares.

We’re still waiting for more news on the Rose Valley fire and how it is developing, although it’s being reported as over 20 hectares and parts are now being evacuated….

Forest Fire 2

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The Next Experiment….

Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

And what, I hear you ask, is the “next experiment”?…

Well, after much discussion, arguing, soul searching and agonising over what to do next, the NoGoingBack entourage are moving on. We’ve thought about it for ages, but things have been coming to a head over the last few months and the time has come to “jump” again…

The adventure continues, dear readers. Stay tuned….

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The Tomat Talent Show ’09….

The Talent Show arrived today. A few weeks of practice, all came down to this morning….

The Talent Show Gig #2....

The Talent Show Gig #2....

A little nervous as she started, it was her first time singing on her own, in front of a crowd. It’s always been with the choir, or on the stage with the whole group. So today, she had to put her nerves aside…

The Talent Show Gig #1....

The level of concentration was intense, as you can tell!…. it was first time in front of a crowd for me, in nearly 5 years. I was hoping not to fluff it too, and hence put her off….

The Talent Show Gig #4....

In the end though, the practice paid off. As we played, I noticed a few teachers and parents in tears! Even the principle came over at the end and said he was “welling up with tears” as we played. And he’s a big guy!

The Talent Show Gig #5....

A “job well done!”, as they say. We wanted her to shine and she did. One mum came over at the end to say, “We didn’t know Holly had such a great voice. We do now!”

That’s it then, I’m off to get a new mixing desk this weekend. “The Star” has a bunch of her own songs she wants to record now and make her own CD. What Pandora’s Box have we opened, I wonder….

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Wow!!!….

Sitting on the beach, last weekend, in the Okanagan Campsite, just past Peachland….

South Campsite...

There’s 2 parts to this site, a north and a south. Both a great little sites, but the north part is terraced down to the lake, although the beach is beautiful. The south is all flat and the beach ain’t too bad either. Take your pick, the sites in both parts were excellent in my book, all with tables, fire pit/BBQ’s, some secluded, some open allowing you to meet your “neighbours”.

In true Canadian fashion, as we walked round the bay, back to our bench, we got talking to a couple of guys, a pilot and his old man, down on the dog part of the beach, with a couple of labradors. It didn’t take long before we were offered a beer and we stayed chatting for an hour, as the kids joined in keeping the dogs entertained. They were regulars, on this stretch of beach every weekend, hurling huge sticks into the lake for their dogs to fetch, whilst drinking a few cans and chatting, even apparently in the depths of winter.

We walked back along the beach with them and got the campstove crank’d up and fried some organic smokies, that we have discovered at the Farmers Market, homemade by a German couple. (They make a great breakfast roll, which has now become part of the whole Saturday morning market experience, forgoing the usual toast and cereal. A bit of a habit now actually….)

Organic Smokies...

Sam took this one, as I was handed mine….

Wow!

…. they were bloody tasty though! Wrapped up with tomatos, lettuce and cucumber, a definite hit.

And as we ate them, we had this view, from the camp table, as the sun went down behind us….

South Campsite Beach...

With sites like this, the tent is great, but I’m considering a caravan. Nothing fancy, just with 4 beds is enough. All we need is somewhere to sleep and store the food. Just being able to pull in to sites like this one, for $12 a night, (6 quid, in the UK, roughly….) is tempting. Think about it, a lakefront property for $12! All summer holiday long. Some of these sites even have wifi now, which means I can get some work done as well, whilst the kids play on the beach….

…. I’m off up the caravan showroom tomorrow.

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A Jetty @ Peachland…

We pulled over, hopped out, got the rod and tried our luck….

Peachland Jetty

…. nothing taking though. We were hoping for at least one kokanee salmon to take, being the first day of the salmon season and all. But, it wasn’t to be. I’ve got a couple in the freezer now, so that’ll keep us going for a couple of weeks.

Other news? The temperature out here is now in the high 20’s, predicted 31C tomorrow, so we’re hoping for the lake to hurry up and warm up. A few hardy souls have been seen jumping in, not us though, not yet.

School has a couple of weeks left and Sam is off on the school camping trip next week, his mum going with him, which should be good. Kayaking, swimming in the lake, if it’s not too cold, zip lines and so on.

The plants are coming on, the tomatos starting to appear and the strawberries too. They seem to like the organic compost we’ve used this year, so that’s good.

Looking forward to seeing my uncle this Friday, who I haven’t seen since coming out to Canada, nearly 4 years ago. Not sure what we’re going to be doing, although rumour has it he’s going to be off on my mountain bike, so I guess we’ll be going to some “runs”….

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More Planting….

The raspberry canes are in!…

Raspberry Canes....

A friend gave us 7 canes from her mum’s garden now she has moved and we whacked ’em in smartish. I returned the one we bought from Home Depot, as, to be blunt, it was cr@p! It looked like a twig and it wasn’t looking like it was ever going to progress any further.

So, the beds up behind our little deck, look like this….

The Plot #1....

If you click the photo and go to the Flickr page, through the magic of the interweb, I’ve put some notes on the photo showing what’s where, but there is now raspberries, strawberries, courgettes, onions, carrots and tomatos all planted. Not all outside yet, it’s still getting cold at night.

The Deck....

Left looks up at the crops and right, down the hill to the house and looking out across the lake.

Plenty of books out from the library, on making beer and wine, so that’s next. Along with chickens….