The weather remained cold (by Florida standards) for the week following our return from St Augustine. We did less walking than we normally would: our furthest trip was through Payne Park to a secondhand bookstore. It was too cold to have breakfast, lunch and drinks on the lanai as we usually do – and since Ian uses the upper lanai as his art studio, it was too cold for him to do any painting.
Still, we had plenty to keep us occupied indoors. It was time to start researching and planning the trips we hope to take over the spring and summer. And then we received the first complete set of proofs for our book, so reading and marking up corrections kept us busy for the next few days.
On Friday evening we did the usual ‘first Friday art walk’ along Palm Avenue: lots of free wine and Ian did a fish print in one of the studios. Saturday evening we saw the film Darkest Hour (about Churchill) at the Burns Court Cinema. We thought it was a brilliant film, and were completely gripped, even though we knew the outcome!
Foxy and Batty
Just before Christmas, we received a request from Cat Depot regarding two cats who needed foster care for three months. Back in November, these cats were found in the proximity of a dead bat, so there is very slim possibility that they’ve been exposed to rabies, and they have to be quarantined away from other animals. Cat Depot has lots of foster carers, but most have pets of their own – we haven’t so were pleased to acquire these two on a temporary basis! They’d been christened Flying Fox and Fruit Bat, but we’ve abbreviated the names to Foxy and Batty. They are quite different, in appearance and character, but both are good-tempered and affectionate. We love having them, and it makes our place seem like a real home.
On Sunday 7th the weather improved, but first thing in the morning it was still quite cold, albeit bright and sunny. So we decided to postpone our usual Sunday morning beach walk, and instead walked over the Ringling Bridge to St Armand’s Circle. This was perhaps a mistake. On Monday the temperature increased markedly, but there was no sun, so it felt colder. We decided to go ahead with our plan for Siesta Beach, and did our usual long walk there. Lots of other people were doing the same (the firm sand near the sea makes a great walking track) but only a few brave souls had taken their chairs to the beach and we were not among them! Most were wrapped up warmly, although we did see one girl in a bikini.
Contrary to the forecast, we had more sun on Tuesday – we went for a walk, but it would have been a better day for the beach! The rest of the week was busy with the usual activities. We booked our first trip of 2018. Rich came back from Chicago and took us to dinner at Pacific Rim.
On Saturday our friends Ruth and Robert, from South Carolina, came for an overnight stay. We hadn’t seen them for a year, so we spent most of the time talking! We went down to the bayfront, where we saw an art exhibition, had drinks at Marina Jack’s and dinner at O’Leary’s, but the weather was so incredibly cold that we were quite glad to get back to our warm condo.
The forecast suggested that we were in for another chilly week. Certainly when we got up on Sunday morning, it was very cold (for Florida) – although there was sun and the sky was blue. It seemed good weather for walking, and we hoped that by afternoon it would be warmer, so we set off for Rothenbach Park. On the main trail, through lots of palms and other trees, we didn’t see any wildlife, though we were intrigued by what appeared to be oranges growing wild. On the shorter trail we saw several birds (some kind of dove) in a tree, and then a trio of Sandhill cranes met us on the path. They were not at all bothered by our presence, and seemed quite happy to pose for photos!