Monday, July 30, 2007

Notes from my Monhegan Journal: Part Five


Monhegan is BYOB island-wide, and they have wonderful wines in the tiny grocery. You can purchase a beer and walk around with it. One can hold a paintbrush in one hand, a wine glass in the other. In public! One day, I was doing just that, whilst moving vivid colours dreamily across the large canvas as I rendered a loose acrylic of the late afternoon setting sun over a cedar shingled structure. Long shadows. Butter yellow sky. As I took down my easel for the day, I heard applause from behind me. This made my senses jump back to a kind of reality. I turned around, and saw several smiling faces peering out windows of an Inn’s dining room! I curtsied deeply to them, then I realized I had a paintbrush in my mouth.

While there are a couple of places to dine indoors, serious seafood noshing is done outside, on the beach, at picnic tables at The Fish House:

Fellow workshop mate Mel Zeoli, a seascape painter who looks more like he belongs here than I certainly do, and his sunny wife Janice, are at the next picnic table enjoying a similar feast.

I’ve read that Monhegan has an excellent, ecologically protected lobstering program. Only the large are caught, the smaller ones can escape the ingeniously designed traps. Over-fishing is not permitted, and the economy relies on the availability of lobster year after year. As a result the price is appropriately dear. Regardless, I indulgently partook of the sweet, succulent free-range lobster every single day. (And thought of P’s step-daughter Ilse every time! Ilse lives in Bavaria and lives for lobster dinners brought in via FEDEX by her doting mate.)

The Fish House offers up lobster chowder, lobster salad, lobster sandwiches (aka “lobster rolls”), lobster stew (a heavenly concoction of lobster, fresh cream, butter and herbs), lobster ice cream (kidding) and lobster in the shell. And of course… Where there are tasty crustaceans to be had…

Pointing a jeweled, buttery finger, J. said quietly: “Pssst… hey Brandy… aren’t those the cats you like?”

I leapt out of my seat and gasped for joy as two cobby, thick-furred rascals came sauntering towards us and our crab and lobster feast. Going into “cat lure mode,” I spoke to them; “Goood kitties! Here my sweeties, meowwwrr! purrr purr…… such HANDSOME fellows… crazy cat-loving person here at your service…!” Crawling on my knees, waving shreds of lobster and encouraging them forth from the yard next to the Fish House, my camera clicking for you, dearest cat-loving portion of my readers.

Aren’t they SOLID? Crossed eyed! They let me pet them as they rolled on the sandy beach. My companions at the picnic table howled.

Happy face in the mist:

My trip was complete. I had painted many paintings, eaten lobster, done a whack of thinking. I had found the Siamese.

The sun set, I slept without Nightmares By The Sea, and made my way back to the mainland on the scary vessel. The island did not captivate me immediately, but after seriously pulling on the reigns, ceasing all expectations of myself, and slowing down my pace I am now irreversibly drawn to the place. Yes, I will go back again next year.


Part One / Part Two / Part Three / Part Four / Part Five


Anonymous said...


Loved the pictures of the Siamese.
I wonder where the love of cats came from.

Love Grammie Stephen

Brandy Kitten Gale said...

Grammie!!! Well it came from you, of course. :-) You and Highliner!

Much love,

mermaidadrift said...

brandy i loved reading this. i read all five posts. it felt like i was there and some of the photography is breathtaking. one of the close up shots of blues really took me. and the cat in the grass. the siamese that is. sounds like you had a fabulous time. xoox barbara

Anonymous said...

I too have read all five posts. In addition to being a gifted painter, you are an expressive writer too.

This is a wonderful series and a nice window into your creative world.