Thursday, June 30, 2016

Concert pros and cons

It was a great concert last night! The talented trio of Nico Case, k.d. lang and Laura Veirs took the stage at Queen Elizabeth Theatre during the Vancouver Jazz Festival. Their combined talent is immense. Hard to believe that k.d. lang will be 55 years old this year! She moved and danced around the stage for the entire concert. They returned for two ovations, performing more songs from their new collaborative album. The audience went wild when k.d. also sang two favourites... Helpless and Constant Craving. What an amazing voice she has!!

Unfortunately the lead act did not please the audience. The instrumental was lovely but it was impossible to decipher anything that Andy Shauf sang in any of his songs. It wasn't an acoustical problem...he twists words in his mouth in such a way that they come out like a foreign language. I love to listen to music from around the world, in a variety of languages...but...this was just annoying!
If he had left the stage after 3-4 songs it would have been forgivable. Unfortunately he persisted for half an hour to irritate the hell out of me!

Having Adrian along made the evening even more enjoyable. He was recovering from the previous day's athletic activities that served as a reminder to him of "aging and unused muscles"!!

This morning we sauntered down the length of Comox Street from Burrard to Denman for a visit to the Denman Community Centre. When the Aquatic Centre closes for annual maintenance John will be using the fitness centre on Denman. We were quite happy to get lending privileges at the library and finally took a break at Blenz before making the trek back to 1100 Harwood Street.

Blenz is housed in the old Bay Theatre building that was constructed in 1939 
and has been retrofitted for retail purposes.

I continue to apply myself to Greek language studies every afternoon.
Conjugating verbs is not a pleasant pastime!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Sushi dinner

Sushi dinner with Adrian included octopus balls!

Granville Island

 It is just a short walk down the hill to the little ferry that takes us across 
to Granville Island for morning coffee and a walkabout.

It is difficult to resist the bakery temptations...

...and mouth watering mounds of cherries...

...and fresh fish!

Granville Island also holds a variety of treasures in its unique shops...

...from cottons... silks...

...and teeter totter fun for the young-at-heart!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Aquatic Centre

Forty years ago I bought a membership to the Vancouver Aquatic Centre. Over the next year I managed to teach myself how to swim...face in water with goggles firmly in place...I slowly extended the length of my swimming to 20 laps in this Olympic sized pool. I was very proud of my accomplishment and my conditioning!

Today(20 pounds heavier and 40 years older) I revisited the facility, strapped on new goggles and entered the pool. After 14 lengths of assorted swim techniques (that did not require the use of goggles) my body was tired. It was enough for today. As holder of a 10 visit pass, I hope to gradually submerge my face in the pool again and attempt the "crawl" rather than today's cautionary surface crawl from end to end! 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Monday, June 20, 2016

Panhandler, baseball & full moon

It was an interesting and full day. We started the day with coffee at Breka, our cafe of choice where we watch people passing by outside the window and shape our writings around what we see. The same panhandler is present every day, making unsuccessful pleas for money. He is full bearded and very thin. One hand is always clutching at his pants to keep them from falling off his skeletal frame. This morning I decided to buy a cheese scone for him and carried it outside to where he was sitting on the pavement, unable to find the strength to do his usual dancing around with hand extended to every passerby. He looked at the bag and said "I don't want that...I want a coffee!" Speechless, I returned to my seat in the cafe and watched as he wandered across to the 7-11 and plopped down on the sidewalk outside.

The phone rang as we walked down Granville Street later. It was Adrian to ask if we wanted to watch a ball game with him and two friends that evening. He said that he would call later to confirm what time he would pick us up. I envisioned that we would sit in a bar, eat nachos and watch a televised baseball game. His next call confirmed that he had the tickets. "What tickets?" I asked. "For the baseball game" he replied. So...that was when we learned that he was taking us to the Vancouver Canadians opening season game at Nat Bailey Stadium!!

The Stadium was full of loud, raucous fans drinking beer and eating hot dogs. 
It was a perfect sunny evening...aside from the fact that the seats were hard metal
...and the young woman behind us was drunk before the first pitch was thrown. 
Thankfully we left after 8 innings... the score was 7-0 for the other team.

Back at the apartment we received word that someone would be arriving at 9am tomorrow 
to start repairs on the bedroom wall. The job could take 3 days! There is potential for a mess!!!

It is the summer solstice and a full moon tonight.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

A visit to the old home town

On Monday we drove back to Salmon Arm for a 2 day visit.

We stayed with our good friends in Sunnybrae,
about 20 minutes west of Salmon Arm.

It was wonderful to share time with them again.
We really appreciated their generosity and the delicious meals!

Meg, one of their daughters, was home for a visit
so we all gathered for games and laughter in the evening.

Octava, my writing group, met for lunch
and reminisced about our many gatherings.

Later in the afternoon I met with Karen, a very good friend,
for a coffee chat visit that was too short!
Next time we will definitely have to stay longer.

Over breakfast on our last day we joined our daughter Megan
for a breakfast catch-up on her life in Sicamous.

It wasn't long enough but it felt okay for the first return visit to our home town. 

Today we moved from my sister's home in Surrey to the "communal garret"in Vancouver's West End.
My sister and brother-in-law have been amazing...we are eternally grateful to them for welcoming us into their home for the past two weeks. It has been almost 7 months of travel along with suitcases and a variety of beds since we sold our house. We are looking forward to making this apartment our home for the summer with walks to the beach and time to reflect on our choices. How long will we be comfortable with this gypsy life?

Sunday, June 12, 2016


I have been hearing from some of the blog followers...requesting more photos and stories. Unfortunately I keep forgetting my camera or simply forgetting to snap photos while enjoying reunion times with family and are some photos from the beautiful garden at my sister's new home.




Martha Washington geranium

Tea rose

Plasticus Crystalis

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Balloon soccer

The risks of playing balloon soccer
with my grandson!

I can't believe that Augie's foot is not bruised
from our toe-foot collision!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Jet lag, 16th birthday and hair!

Back on Canadian soil and slowly recovering from jet lag. I have managed to stay upright every day until around 10pm (8am in Greece). Also, trying not to dedicate too much time to brain testing activities!

Today is the celebration of our great-nephew's 16th birthday. He is a gem...a very special young man and we are looking forward to sharing this day with him.

The horror of looking in the mirror at a rapidly growing head of hair will disappear around noon today when I visit the most incredible hairdresser on the lower mainland. Andrea has returned to work after giving birth in February and I am very grateful that she has agreed to "fix" my hair!