"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Saturday, March 04, 2006


My birthday came in like a lion, with fierce winds. At about 9:45 or so, the power went out as did the phones. We knew it would be a gorgeous day and had already planned an outing, so we hopped in the car and headed for the coast. The electricity was out in our town, and the next and the next. When I phoned the power company with my cellphone, I learned that half a dozen towns or more were affected. A good day for a field trip!

We drove to Maine.

Here's my favourite "lobster tank."

Our first stop was Kennebunk for some shopping. Since I was determined to "see the sea," a time-honoured birthday tradition, we headed for Kennebunkport. Usually we don't--in summertime, high season, there's no getting near the place. Today, we had it all to ourselves! The road to the ocean passes through the heart of the picturesque and historic village, settled in the 1650's.

Passing the adorable Wedding Cake House, I had to stop long enough to snap some pictures.

I don't think I've ever seen it surrounded by snow.

Easy to see why it has that name--it's so well decorated!

Below is the Bush family compound on Walker's Point. It, too, was deserted. They gather here in August and Labor Day--all except the President, who almost never shows up. For some mysterious reason he prefers to cut brush in the boiling Texas heat than hang out on the oceanfront.

Our next stop was the lighthouse at Nubble Point, near York. A nice photo op for the Birthday Girl's official portrait. The wind almost blew me off the cliff!

As we headed towards the shopping mecca of Kittery, I phoned home to check whether the phone was working. Indeed it was. When the answerphone picked up, I knew the electricity was back, too. To celebrate, I bought a beautiful skirt at Coldwater Creek.

Portsmouth was our final stop. Because we'd done so many restaurants during our trip South, including an early and very festive birthday dinner with my parents, I wanted a simple meal--but something fun. The obvious choice was a nifty little downtown joint called The Friendly Toast. It has an eclectic menu, and a hip, kitschy, 50's era ambience--as you might guess from the sign outside.

We drove home into one of those awesome sunsets that I can't help snapping, even from inside the car.

Must run, more celebrating to do!

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