Month: September 2011

Newsletter September 2011

The summer of 2011 was almost perfect. Long, hot, lazy days from mid-June to early September, interrupted only by the occasional thunderstorm and downpour that served to provide great rumbling lightshows in the night sky, cool things down temporarily, and reinvigorate the cottage garden at Fancy Free.

The garden grew to lush perfection and attracted ruby-throated hummingbirds, butterflies and bumblebees galore (the bees at Fancy Free seem to be of a laid-back, non-stinging sort that concentrate on pollen transfer and pick-up exclusively and leave humans alone).

It was the sort of summer that flew by quickly since the weather was perfect for all the water activities that Fancy Free is famous for. Once you are on the water at Big Rideau Lake… well, nothing else is quite so much fun. Time loses its hold and hours flit by.

We love this passage from Kenneth Grahame’s book The Wind in the Willows, one of Fancy Free’s favourite library books. The subterranean character of Mole meets the Water Rat, who lives on the banks of the River. Ratty loves to row about in his punt boat, and when he finds that Mole has never been in a boat before, says:
 
“Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING–absolute nothing–half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing,’ he went on dreamily: `messing–about–in–boats; messing—-‘

`Look ahead, Rat!’ cried the Mole suddenly.

It was too late. The boat struck the bank full tilt. The dreamer, the joyous oarsman, lay on his back at the bottom of the boat, his heels in the air.

`–about in boats–or WITH boats,’ the Rat went on composedly, picking himself up with a pleasant laugh. `In or out of ’em, it doesn’t matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that’s the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don’t; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you’re always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you’ve done it there’s always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you’d much better not.”
 
We completely subscribe to this philosophy at Fancy Free! We even have a beautiful willow tree on the island that leans over the lake and sends its long slender branches down to blow in the wind.

We are pleased to announce some stunning new additions to amenities this year. The newly renovated bathroom now has a beautiful alcove soaking tub/shower, with glass tiles. We also installed a new heritage-style vanity with a marble counter and set-in porcelain sink. The vanity is flanked by light sconces on either side of the Victorian mirror for a bright and clean look. The floor is tiled in luxurious porcelain. It is now more vintage New York City than Big Rideau Lake!

We have also bought a spacious and buoyant 8×8′ swim raft, moored with an anchor, and fitted out with a ladder for easy ascent from the water. It adds to the fun of swimming in the protected channel that separates the island from the mainland. You can swim from the front dock to the raft, climb on the raft, dive off it, and swim back to the dock in just a matter of minutes.