Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dinner with Monique

Monique came for dinner last night and we had lots of laughs and a great time!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Spoiled again by good friends....

Don and Elaine dropped over for a pastis in the afternoon yesterday and brought some corn from Silver Rill so really looking forward to having that tonight with some Sterling Silver strip loin steaks from Thrifty's. It was great to see them!

Then we were spoiled again by a super dinner at Derek and Mary's. Mary made this wonderful chicken tagine with couscous...yum. We had lots of laughs as usual. It is great to be "home"...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Dinner chez les Bings

What a beautiful evening to be treated to a super dinner at our neighbours, Susan and Chris. Chris' salmon from his fishing trip and Susan also spoiled us by making a banana cream!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Getting settled back in

It's been pretty hectic getting settled back that I didn't even notice Fern's lovely dahlias in bloom. Thrifty's had fresh crab on so had to take advantage of that!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lovely peaceful Victoria...

It is great to be back in our lovely home and neighbourhood. Traffic is certainly less hectic...not that we drive very much in Vancouver. And we saw a cat...don't see cats in Vancouver...lots of dogs, though. And we keep seeing this very young deer across the street. No deer around us to be seen in Vancouver...lots of skunks, raccoons...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Goodbye mon amour...

Heading back to Victoria for the Fall term but will visit our wonderful pied-a-terre a Vancouver from time to time. What tremendous fun we've had this year!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Rock Balancing

I think there's probably more than one guy doing this but a whole lot of people get pleasure from their efforts.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Rainy day program...playing with the iPad

Actually, it's a perfect day since we got our iPad back from Richard yesterday. It seems much easier now since it's like the iPhones so we're much more familiar with it. Now that Trish is living close to me and is retired I will have lots of expert help available.

For Jack

Jack Layton cut across all party lines in gaining respect and admiration and his feisty presence will be missed.

Jack included this Tommy Douglas quote in every email he sent: 'Courage my friends, it's never too late to build a better world.'"

Thank you, Jack, for contributing to building a better world.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Itty bitty book review: "The Troubled Man"

"The Troubled Man" by Henning Mankell

A Kurt Wallander novel

It can't be summer if I don't read a mystery. Of course, finding a good one is always a problem. This one gets quite a good review and it seems he's writing Wallander out so perhaps it's his last.

I had read a previous Mankell called "The Dogs of Riga". It was in the Victoria airport when we were on our way to Riga amongst other places and I had heard of the author so seemed a no brainer to pick it up. It was ok...pretty procedural. This one was better and did keep my interest while Jim was busy marking and finishing up the term. Not a lot more to say about it.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

Cloud 9 (no, I didn't win the lottery...)

We do love the view from the Empire Landmark Cloud 9 revolving restaurant. The only problem is the food is up and down although the prices are always up! I recently became aware that they had a bar area or perhaps I had forgotten it so we tried that last night. We were delighted with it. Very comfy armchairs and the "tapas" are all priced at $7 and were excellent. We had two types of wings, sweet chili and honey garlic, prawn cocktail, and dry ribs. It made for an excellent dinner. The dry ribs were the star of the show...a bit of a spicy bite to them and served with a tasty sauce plus were sprinkled with coarse sea salt and peppercorns....wonderful!

And then we came home and had an evening swim...the first so far since we haven't had many balmy nights. It was great to swim watching the sun go down. Water continues to be very warm.

Quite hilarious take on Apple...or could be lots of things I suppose

Yeah for cats!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation Offices - 1962

The Atlantic cedar that's mentioned.

We pass this wonderful mid-century modern building on our way to swimming at our "paradise beach". It is just so perfect for the setting!

BTW, wonderful warm swim yesterday and looking forward to another one today.

Info on the building:

The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation Offices consist of three linked, low, flat-roofed pavilions clad with stone, wood and extensive glazing, located at the Beach Avenue entrance of Stanley Park. It is set amid extensive foundation plantings, across a lawn from adjacent roads.

Heritage Value:

The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation Offices building is significant for its historical, symbolic, and aesthetic values, particularly as an outstanding example of the important regional West Coast Modernist post-and-beam design idiom.

Constructed in 1962, the Vancouver Parks and Recreation Board Offices have historical value as the then new home of the Vancouver Parks Board as it centralized its activities during the 1960s. The building was constructed with a suburban residential scale in keeping with the pre-high rise form of the West End. The building's prominent location at a principal entrance to the city's pre-eminent park is symbolic of the Parks Board assumption of a higher profile, as it evolved from a steward of park lands to a community and recreational services provider. The Offices' accessibility and setting express the egalitarian cultural mission of the Parks Board, responsible for an extensive building program of community and recreation centres in suburban neighbourhoods throughout Vancouver in the decades following the Second World War.

The building is also significant for its association with lead architect Percy Underwood, partner of the locally prominent firm Underwood McKinley and Cameron, later Underwood McKinley Wilson Smith.

The building is exemplary of the more organic or naturalistic aspects of Modernist design principles. That is, building forms express differing office functions within, simple materials are employed in a direct, natural manner, custom-designed furniture and lighting fixtures are coordinated with the overall building detailing, and importance is placed on close physical and visual connection between interior and exterior spaces. Its detailing is also typical of this naturalistic idiom. For example, the exposed post-and-beam construction, simple flat roofs of varying height, extensive banks of wood windows and clerestory fenestration all respond to the benign climate of the Pacific Coast. The superior integration of form and details make the building a masterpiece of the West Coast style.

Source: City of Vancouver Heritage Conservation Program

Character-Defining Elements:

The character-defining elements of the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation Offices include:

Siting, Context and Landscape
- The building's location, within Vancouver's largest park, and siting at the south entry of the park
- Continued use as the Vancouver Park Board office

Architectural Qualities
- Appropriateness of the building massing and design to its park setting

Architectural Elements
- Flat roof with visible beam ends extending to the exterior
- Horizontal massing and appropriate scale for its park setting
- Architectural features, such as the protruding bays supported by wooden brackets, and the grid of glazing on the front facade now covered by a columned glass wall
- Use of natural materials, including stone facing on the building exterior, in the retaining walls, and the stone bridge to a doorway in the northwest wing
- Vertical board siding
- Architectural details, including entry soffits and upper windows above the entry doors
- The variety of wood window configurations, often banked, and combining fixed and casement types
- Original interior furnishings including chairs, tables and benches

Landscape elements
- Significant row of deciduous trees to the west,
- Espaliered Atlantic cedar at the south entry,
- Curvilinear planting beds containing both native and introduced plant material
- Tree and shrub entryway planting, curved paths and lawn areas

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Another Vancouver favourite thing....

I love the neon in Vancouver and this was my favourite neon sign as a kid. Much of it is gone now but some has been preserved at the Vancouver Museum and other places and on this great website. The sign was along Kingsway and the Dragon Inn was unusual in being a Chinese restaurant outside of Chinatown. Of course, my family would have never eaten Chinese food so had to wait until I had money to order in or go there. Actually, my brother and I had ordered in Chinese food from here (our parents were at Gabriola) on my first date with Jim which I forgot I had. He was easily consoled by sharing our meal. His family was strictly meat and potatoes too.

This isn't the most spectacular sign but it has exotic memories as I used to go there with my Japanese and Chinese friends when we were at UBC and we'd get a huge meal for about 75 cents each. It was in Chinatown and the menus were all in Chinese only and no one seemed to speak English. A big adventure for me!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bounty of the Sea

On our seawall walk the other day we noticed The Fish House advertising a great deal between 2-4pm everyday. For $12 a salmon burger or fish and chips and a glass of Red Truck Ale. The beer would cost $6 at least and the fish and chips on the regular menu is $18. We went there yesterday and it was gorgeous eating outside. We both went for the salmon burger and it was the most wonderfully fresh salmon cooked to perfection and very copious quantity. Then for a warm ocean swim. I hope we get a few more of these before we leave.

Today we went to the Jericho Sailing Club and enjoyed their fabulous view of the mountains, the ocean, the city. I had a fabulous oyster Po'!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Officials bend to massive protest, close major chemical plant

This in the newspaper today from Dalian, China, where Richard was offered a teaching job. Glad to see the protesters won the day but I think China remains a pretty dodgy place to be.

Officials bend to massive protest, close major chemical plant

Opinion: Who’s responsible for the recreation rioter? Parents, look in the mirror

I usually like what Shelley Fralic has to say but I think she is wide of the mark here. I think it's too easy to say parents have raised this group of spoiled brats. While I didn't grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth, I do believe life was simpler (and more restricted of course, especially as a woman). Our kids do have many options but also face many pressures and challenges.

Richard was over for dinner last night and he had learned that not one of the students in his class managed to snag a job and many looked for work in remote places in B.C. So, these are spoiled brats? They spent around $12,000 in fees and 12 months of their life to qualify for a stressful, not particularly well paid job and they can't even get that. And it's a job that provides a valuable social service.

Richard certainly seems to have made the right decision to take the Boeing job. This weekend he was at the Boeing Corporate Chalet at the Abbotsford Air Show with lots of beer and grub laid on.

Opinion: Who’s responsible for the recreation rioter? Parents, look in the mirror

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A year ago today

View from our window when I got up.

Cyclers and joggers heading around the seawall.

A little sparsely decorated at first but we loved it all the same.
Well, it was actually Sunday, Aug 15, when we moved and when the Chariot of India parade was on. I expect we'll start to see the parade in about an hour. I've posted a few photos I took our first morning in the apartment. We will miss this place but plan to come back about once a month Sept-Dec since Jim has four day weekends with his teaching schedule this year.

But, soon back to our lovely home and it will of course be great to see our Victoria friends

Watercolour painting of our house by Roger Colwill. Christmas present from Richard.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Banana Cream Pie Ice Cream

We just discovered Breyer's Banana Cream Pie Ice Cream...very yummy and parts of it even taste like crust. We're not big dessert fans (well, Jim will never refuse ice cream) but we do enjoy a really good banana cream pie but they're hard to find. Marie Callender's in Palm Springs does a great one.

Marie Callender's Banana Cream Pie

Friday, August 12, 2011

A wonderful warm ocean swim!

We had just the most amazing swim warm. But then we were rather warm to begin with as now that we've taken the house off the market we did some re-organizing in our apartment with that in mind. We're really pleased with what we've done and also feeling absolutely great about keeping the house and this apartment long term. So, it's all worked out for the best. It usually doesn't take us long to see the bright side...

We needed to purchase something at London Drugs so went for lunch at this Indian place that offers a buffet for $10.95. We've been meaning to go there for a while. It was fabulous with loads of choice, as much hot naan as you wanted and papadoms. No need to make dinner. Will just be enjoying the wonderful sunset.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

London Riots

Don sent me this just as I was making this post...seems appropriate.

It's heartbreaking for me to see another one of my favourite cities in the world fall victim to riots.

And who are these rioters?

It seems they are predominantly white, some from well-placed families, looters not poor newcomers. All sounds sadly familiar.

Good article from the Telegraph today which was reprinted in the Vancouver Sun.

"In Southall, west London, a crowd of turbaned Sikh men stood guard outside their temples Tuesday night. Some held swords, others hockey sticks as they defied the looters to approach. None dared.

Over in Whitechapel, rioters were held back by 1,500 Muslim men - mostly Bengali, but also Somalis - emerging from the mosque after evening prayers.

In Ealing, Monika Gnoinska, a Pole who came here 20 years ago, and her daughter Agneska, 27, decided that they couldn't stand by and 'watch these gangs wreck the country.' Armed with brooms and dustpans, they joined their eastern European neighbours in a collective cleanup operation: 'The street was full,' she said, 'And everyone was saying, 'We work hard, and we're grateful to Britain for what it's done for us.'' Turks in Dalston, Poles in Ealing, and Kurds in Haringay stood up to the thieving thugs at night, then spent the day helping repair the damage.

Across the country, ethnic communities have emerged as the heroes of the week's riots - and, in the case of the three Muslim youths who were killed as they defended their community in Birmingham, its martyrs. They have shown themselves to be not just as law-abiding as the Anglo-Saxons, but far more inspiring."

To

Native Brits can learn a thing or two from immigrants:

Paella at Poncho's

To celebrate Jim's last full lecture we had paella at Poncho's. We were very impressed with the taste and quantity of snapper, prawns, clams, and mussels....not too much chorizo so may take advantage of their free delivery next time and add our own. A very reasonable price at $28.95 for two and a half litre of Italian wine for $12.95.
Very enjoyable meal and we enjoyed the decor...loved the sombrero lamps!

On our walk home we saw this squirrel with a piece of toast!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Raclette with my cousins

It was great to have all my cousins together yesterday for a raclette party, to reminisce, and catch up. We all share a lot of common history and we all appreciate getting back in touch. A special thanks to Carol for the homemade biscotti and taking charge of grilling the shrimp!