Saturday, January 31, 2009

Jam Tart

I have felt like such a jam tart for the last six weeks! As a paddler, anyway.
Louise made me explain that idiom the other day -- a jam tart isn't like making REAL tarts with REAL filling from scratch ingredients. Say, sliced fruit glazed with gelatin in baked pastry shells, or lemon meringue tarts or the like. A jam tart is made by spooning a little jam into the pastry shell and baking it. Quick, easy, not the real proper thing. I used to make them as a kid, re-using my mother's pastry scraps so the pastry ended up over-handled and tough too, but kids don't care.
That doesn't sound like it has much to do with kayaking, but bear with me.

Living right by the bay means that I get to see the water every day, and lately I've been jonesing to get out in one of my kayaks. Jonesing every day. What a jam tart I've been, letting a little 'flu and windy cold days keep me from paddling! And I've only been out on the water ... um, six times in the last six weeks.

My partner gently explained that many kayakers get on the water only in the summer, maybe once a week. So maybe I should stop complaining about that and see the doctor about the 'flu.

The doctor listened to my chest and took my temperature, nodded at my achy joints, and prescribed antibiotics for bronchitis. Apparently an opportunistic bacterial infection has moved in after the 'flu softened me up; and before it invites all its little pneumonia buddies to party (hard to evict those little suckers from the bottom of the lungs!) I'm supposed to take these mondo antibiotics and kick that infection's ass.

No wonder the 20-pound Dragonfly inflatable felt so goddamned heavy when I carried it at Mill Bay and Nanaimo last week. Wasn't just the addition of a full 1 litre steel water bottle (Louise's gift) and a spare air pump to the usual equipment of paddle, bilge pump and throw bag. It was the little bacteria passenger (!) hanging from my neck saying, "I'm bored, I'm tired, I wanna hot drink and a nap! Aren't you walking the long way around the pavilion?" Good thing I told it : "I'm stoked, I'm limber, I'll sleep when I'm dead! And this IS the short way 'round the pavilion."
(Told Bernie that and he said innocently, "So it wasn't the stuff I put in your bag?" and fled from my bug-eyed glare. If there are horseshoes stuffed in my Dragonfly, there's gonna be a new definition for commando kayaker around here.)

So if there aren't daily paddle reports from me about the latest otter sighting or bussing my inflatable across town, well, it's nothing anybody said. I'm just accepting that for the next couple weeks I will be kayaking only on the warmest of days.

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