The Maquette

      In the world of Fine Arts a maquette is frequently the starting point for an artist’s major work. After mulling over thoughts and ideas the plan begins to take shape, a rough drawing emerges, colour swatches are daubed on, measurements are taken and soon the template
becomes a rough approximation of the final piece.
       So it is at this time of year in the world of Day Camps. With all the images of last summer still vivid and with next summer seemingly eons away, a tentative plan slowly begins to emerge. An illustrator agrees to design the 2015 logo, editors start the careful work of rebuilding each Manual Chapter in a new (and better!!) way,  slide show characters take shape and soon we will actually have a sense of the direction in which we are going!!
       At home base, there are important jobs needing to be undertaken. One, which has just begun, is the complete reworking of both the Coordinator’s and Clergy, Planning Guides, with a possible consolidation into one document. Last spring there was time to rework the Team Member’s and Team Leader’s Guides but not to deal with these others, so now it is time to get the job done!
      Meanwhile, there has been a fair bit of badgering going on in anticipation of next Saturday’s Team Gathering. Why do I never learn that it will happen despite a complete lack of advance response. AGH!!!
     And then there is the upcoming Coffee House with the same problem. Will there or will there not be a crafts table?? Who will be performing? etc.Thus the constant tension between my desire to PLAN and the laissez-faire attitude of 90% of the constituency with whom I work. Sigh. At least I can build a maquette, if it is only for my own sanity.
     So the week has unfolded, bringing with it the first 2015 Church Application (YAY!!!) and also, in our Diocesan Newspaper, a great article about our 2014 Program; both of these coming as affirmations that the work of our 2014 Teams truly made a positive impact on so many levels. God is Good!! 
      There have also been some really great visits- Sarah came and had her second gardening lesson (with lunch!), Jill came for Coffee and to discuss possible configurations of patches in a new quilt she is working on, Linda came for “Knitting 101” and Joanne and Chris (VERY soon to be married) came for one of my prerequisite “Spanish Inquisition” High Teas at which I am given the opportunity to interrogate young couples (all in a spirit of affectionate teasing, I hasten to explain!!).
     These Tea Parties began several years ago when former, or current Team Members would tell me about their relationships and ask if they could bring their boyfriends or girlfriends to meet me. It has been a real blessing and an honour to welcome them and to feel that these young adults respect my opinions as they take the first tentative steps in what are to become lifetime commitments.      

A bit of Christmas gift sewing has also been squeezed in, and today, along with gardening ,came the time to wash and put away the deck furniture and to air the rag rugs , which are laid in several rooms as the cooler weather approaches.My cat, Mandu, (yes the pun is intentional!) was overjoyed to see two of her favourite chairs return to the living room and immediately settled in for a catnap!

   Puzzling over this week’s recipe, the solution soon became clear. “Michelle’s Japanese Salmon” dish! I made it myself for dinner last evening. Yum!
    Michelle and I first met as Day Camp committee members, long before I became Director and have remained friends through many ups and downs in both our lives. She is currently living for 3 months in Kyoto, while her husband lectures at a University. This is a real family adventure since they have four young children and, although they are both Canadians have lived for the past 10 years in Oxford, UK.Isn’t it totally amazing that the Day Camp world reaches around the globe, and that we have the Internet to link us in ways which were unheard of 35 years ago, when this Ministry began. The following recipe is an extract quoted from a recent email.
    Michelle’s Japanese Salmon Dish
“My  culinary triumph is modest but the kids were watching Japanese children’s television in the afternoons and one time there were some kids cooking a dish, which I have successfully replicated. SO simple and delicious.
Here it is:
Salmon fillet
Soya sauce
(I used apple… another vocabulary triumph as I asked a random lady in the supermarket where the “su” was… turns out it was an entire section in front of my nose)
Greens (these are long greens something like long spinach, but I guess spinach would work)
Nori (those small strips.. I should send you some..)
Toasted sesame seeds
Boil water in a frying pan, and put the fish in it until cooked. Take it out and flake it. Boil some more water, chop of the bottom and hold the stems of the greens in for a count of ten (I show off and count in Japanese), then stick the rest in just to wilt them. Plunge them in cold water, and squeeze them out. Chop them up and mix them in with the fish.  Mix some soya sauce and vinegar in a small bowl, and pour over the fish/greens. Turn a small bowl of rice out onto a dish, and top with the salmon mixture.Top that with a bit of nori and sprinkle on sesame seeds.”

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