As well as turning the house upside down in preparation for our shippers this week, we have also had a couple of good outings. On Tuesday I went on a day trip to the local Hutterite colony near Jenner.
The base organises one of these visits every year. Beyond seeing the colony members shopping in town in their distinctive clothing, I didn't know that much about them before Tuesday. Their lifestyle is less strict than the Amish. They use cars and motorised farm machinery but although they have electricity in their houses they don't have TV or the internet. Like the Amish they speak 'Low German' amongst the colony, but are also fluent in English.
They were generous hosts and quite humorous as they showed us round, but I'm afraid I found their lifestyle a little depressing. The houses are very stark, with no carpets or sofas and I felt that as they've given in to so much of the modern world already, their resistance to the rest of it and the impractical clothing they insist on wearing, seems a little pointless.
The colony prohibits photography, so unfortunately I wasn't able to record the day, but I did bring home some wonderful bread and apple tart as well as a huge frozen pork sausage for cooking on the barbecue, and you'll get to see some photos of that when we cook it!
On Friday we had the annual mess seafood night. This year the Canadian military took their turn in organising it, so the theme was "Down Homer' - which is a nautical Newfoundland celebration. As you can imagine the Brits were all completely confused about what the dress code was supposed to be, but eventually had it explained to us that we should turn up in checked shirts, jeans and wet gear... which seemed like a great idea until Friday came around and it was 30c! I confess, I wimped out and wore a summer dress!
The food was fantastic and we particularly enjoyed the barbecued prawns which were cooked in the garden and served with drinks in the sunshine before the main meal. We will miss it next year, I hope they do one in Cyprus!
And finally, I went back to the Cypress Hills Winery today and took Jim (and his father) to see what he had missed out on last October.
We had a beautiful afternoon in the sunshine and the cheeseboard was every bit as good as I remembered. We came away with a bottle of rhubarb wine and another of cherry wine. Then it was on to Fort Walsh for the tour and as it was in season this time, we actually got shown round by a guide in uniform!
So, after a busy week, we will be spending Sunday packing up the house. Our movers come on Thursday and we want to pack ourselves before then, so we can make sure our ten cubic metres are used to maximum effect!