I have been absent. I know. Busy, reflecting, planning and dealing with the usual set of life’s little trials and tribulations.
I have also been promoting.
Last summer, I had this crazy, busy, wild and wonderful few months, while photographing seventeen restaurants and fifteen wineries for the book: Island Wineries of British Columbia (Touchwood Editions). At the time, I couldn’t think. I was traveling up island, off island (Saturna [which is where the cover photo came from], Saltspring, Pender) and to the Cowichan Valley from June to September, capturing vineyards, tasting rooms, fresh made dishes, reds and whites and most enjoyably, people who were in the very heart of what they love to do. I was slammed with the schedule, with serious deadlines, and little time to breathe.
Now however, when I look back, I miss the process. I miss the sunshine of the summer, the road trips that were often shared with friends, and the mere adventure of it all. Dare I say I’d do it again? Yes. With no doubt. Because this is what I love. I think I could write a book of my own about the characters I met, the different backgrounds from which they came and the challenges associated with climbing back roads and dusty trails to get to each of the wineries. I know now that I was spoiled, not only with food, wine and great places to stay, but with the opportunity to photograph this book, in such a concentrated time of summer bliss.
This reminds me to remain in the moment. To enjoy the present while I am in it. To not forget to pay attention, look around, take it all in. It’s easy to be forgetful when I’m viewing most of my world through a lens (sometimes a dusty lens), but I strive to remind myself constantly to be here now. Wherever and whenever that ‘here’ is.
As for the book itself, edited by Gary Hynes, it is a conglomeration of keen minds, experts in the field of food and drink (all contributors to EAT Magazine), and includes a fantastic chapter on touring the wine region. Talk of beer, mead and cider are also to be found, as is a section providing recipes from local restaurants with wine pairing suggestions. And if you’re wondering if I got to eat the wonderful food I shot, I mostly did. I was not at all opposed to eating Steamed Salt Spring Island Mussels with Pinot Gris, Garlic, Basil and Cured Bacon from the EdGe Restaurant in Sooke. For breakfast. With a glass of Pinot Gris. Of course.
So, have you bought the book yet? Yes, I’m biased. I know. But if you want it, you can find it locally at these shops (scroll to the bottom of the page) or online at amazon.ca or chapters.ca. Oh, and join us on Facebook to get updates on reviews, events and signings.
Eat and drink local, cheers, cin cin, salut, bon appetit and all that other good stuff. Most of all – don’t forget to enjoy it all. Here. And now.