Nov. 9, 2005

Back from the precipice

I've been busy. But I'm back.

Last week was a tough one as I was reaching the edge of my credit at the bank and I had promised to take Sheryl away for the day on the weekend. On top of that, I'd been feeling vulnerable at work because I have a new boss and it felt like he was cutting me out of the loop and was busy doing my job for me. I really hate feeling that my contributions aren't valued. Worst still would be finding myself out of a job and out of credit all at the same time! There was lots on my mind, and I wasn't sleeping very well. On top of it all we had some server hard drive problems that looked catastrophic but ended up being minor...

Now things seem better, although I missed out on an eBay auction for a triathlon wetsuit because I felt I had to be extra-careful my my funds. I've lined things up at the bank to consolidate my debts and re-mortgage at a better rate. Sheryl and I had a great weekend at the Millcroft Inn, and I managed to stay within my current credit limits to do it. And this morning I had a chat with my new boss about my concerns. I don't know if I'm "safe" at work, but at least I opened the conversation about roles and responsibilities. The only truly bad news remaining is that Sheryl's little dog Barkley has developed cataracts rather suddenly, at the tender age of four. She's trying to decide whether to adjust to life with a blind dog or pay for some rather expensive surgery.

The weekend (well, night) at the Millcroft Inn was a great experience. We arrived Sunday afternoon and spend Monday driving through the Caledon Hills countryside. The fallout from the aforementioned server problems kept me in the office until about 2:00 PM Sunday, but we managed to get on the road in good time. I'd found some web sites describing scenic routes and we tried to get to the Millcroft along one of the suggested paths. It was a wet and blustery day, so we only stopped once. We also kept missing our turns as we were enjoying the scenery too much, even though the leaves were mostly off the trees. Our stop was the little village of Erin, which while not very scenic had a remarkable collection of top-drawer gift and house-ware shops.

You can see all my photos from the trip on my Flickr page.

Dinner was included in our package, so we made the most of the Millcroft's gourmet menu. It was a quiet night and we were able to enjoy a very intimate meal. The dining room overlooks the mill's dam, which was cascading with water. Sheryl had the tuna appetiser were followed by Muscovy duck breast, while I chose the pheasant breast and the beef tenderloin. We enjoyed a nice Aussie Shiraz over our dinner, and finished with a gourmet cheese plate and souffle. The only problem was that we were too full to take full advantage on the fireplace in our room which was in the "Manor House", a Victorian building beside the main limestone mill building...

Monday morning was sunny and warmer, so after breakfast we wandered the grounds and took some pictures. Unfortunately our phones both started ringing. Sheryl's daughter called to find out how things were going, and I took a series of calls from the office about very minor emergencies. Grumble. We tried to continue following the route I had found, but the villages we passed through were mostly disappointing. We did find a great road to drive along though, and if you're in that area I recommend taking the Forks of the Credit road. Take it from east to west. It's a winding valley road that follows a popular fishing river and has lots of surprises around corners. At the west end it climbs up the Niagara Escarpment in dramatic fashion. Here are some snaps from the climb:

Listening to: What A Day That Was by Talking Heads from Stop Making Sense.

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