Saturday, August 31, 2013

Stanley Park, how do we love thee?

Editorial in the Vancouver Sun today:

I feel very blessed to live beside this wonderful park that has meant so much to us and our families over the years.

Paintings mentioned in the editorial.

 Jack Shadbolt

 "Winter Moonlight"  Emily Carr

E.J. Hughes

Friday, August 30, 2013

Sun back again...

A dull day to begin with so went to The India Bistro for their lunch buffet and Kingfisher beer...great stuff...then off to see the movie, Blue Jasmine, which we really enjoyed.  Certainly borrowing heavily from "Streetcar Named Desire".   Then rather surprised to see such wonderful sunshine already.  So glad folks are getting a great Labour Day weekend.

Old friends, new friends...

Nigel and Leslie were in town yesterday,  staying at The Sylvia,  an old romantic haunt of theirs, and came to visit.  Really great to see them!

And then in the evening I went to the Vancouver Newcomers Evening Bookclub where we discussed "The Light Between the Oceans"....a very lively discussion and a great group of ladies.  Next bookclub we're reading "Obasan" by Joy Kogawa which I read many years ago but will look forward to reading again.  The person hosting got a Bookclub Set from the library for us so no hassle about getting the book.  She also lives in Gastown close to "Japan Town" so we'll take a walk there before the discussion.  Mentioned about "Snow Falling on Cedars" which has a similar theme and that I read it during the Blizzard of 1996 (there is a big snow storm in the book) and then home to experience this extreme thunder and lightening storm with torrential rain!

Another "Celebration of Light"...

We got quite the thunder and lightening storm last night and rain was streaming down Beach Ave.  Apparently they closed Victoria Drive at Powell Street because there was three feet of water!

Not my photos...we mainly got large bright flashes.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

"The Cat is Sat"...another Henri le chat.

I'm impressed

Our Vancouver Sun didn't arrive today...the first time that has happened in the three years we've been here on and off.  I phoned and made an automated missed paper complaint and within 15 minutes it arrived and the carrier let us know.  Now,  that is service!  I guess being in a high density area helps but
we certainly got fed up with the Times-Colonist and all their carrier problems and production delays and came close to actually cancelling.  

We did have the Globe and Mail so had something to read.  A few weeks ago we got an offer we couldn't refuse....8 weeks free Globe and Mail,  no credit  card info,  we have to phone to keep it going.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Not a fan of the F word but did find this pretty good....

Missed the excitement....not!

While I was taking a shower today Jim saw five otters come up the beach "like commandos"...tried to get a photo but didn't catch it.   So sorry to have missed it as I love otters...will have to make another  trip to the aquarium soon.

Pretty grey day but will be brightened by Kerry who is down from Edmonton and Donna coming for lunch!

Did see the otters after all...noticed a bunch of people taking photos on the seawall and there they were...very cool.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Blast from the past

Richard was "best man" again at a wedding the other week and mentioned that Mason Williams (Classical Gas was his big hit) played...he is the bride's uncle.  He had to set up the sound system for him...a bit of pressure but it all worked out well.

Have we had our last ocean swim....?

We went swimming on Sunday,  August 25,  and the water was getting a bit chilly and now with this weather I don't think it's going to warm up and will probably get cooler.  About to head out to Second Beach Pool for a will be closed a week from today so then I guess it will have to be indoor swims and Jim might get rained on tonight playing golf.

Ah well,  all good things come to an end and I may soon have to content myself with my painting of our "paradise beach" across the street.

Monday, August 26, 2013

A fascinating afternoon...

I've mentioned before that Jim and I have loved and commented on this house beside our apartment building for as long as we can remember.  And we couldn't resist taking the apartment three years ago that looked out over it.

Someone mentioned that the person who lived there was Barbara Lowy,  the widow of Otto Lowy,  the fellow who did "The Transcontinental"  CBC Radio 2 broadcast.  I had never listened to it but Jim was very familiar with the program and was very interested to talk to her about it so we had a really nice chat one day recently when we were coming back from a swim and she was in her garden.  We learned that she had all the original tapes and transcripts since the CBC was going to destroy them all because of lack of storage space and also had a whole archive of his radio plays, talks, letters and all sorts of interesting stuff.

Otto Lowy just did an amazing amount of interesting things....from Wikipedia:

"Lowy was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia to an assimilated Jewish family and was the only member of his immediate family to survive World War II as he fled the country three days before Germany invaded. In England he worked as a member of the ground crew for the Czech Air Force squadron of the RAF. In 1948, he settled in Vancouver, British Columbia and began his career with CBC Radio, initially as an actor in the series Adventures in Europe. He went on to write radio plays, make documentaries as well as act in dramas and comedies.[1]He was one of the founders of Vancouver's Arts Club Theatre in 1964."

Yesterday afternoon we were invited over to take a look and discuss ways of getting this wonderful archive in a library so it would be accessible to all.  It was such a thrill to just enter this house that we had always admired and what a place of memorabilia and Barbara is a real character and a warm welcoming person with lots of funny anecdotes...she should write a book!  Her son was there as well (who lives in the house behind her house) and he took a year off a while ago to organize the archive and transcribe all the tapes into MP3 and all the transcripts and other documents into PDF so this amazing archive is all in digital form.
All very exciting and Jim is looking forward to working with the materials himself and helping to get them a good home.

 Hallway filled with photo of productions he was involved in.

 Jim and David looking over the archive.

 Barbara with a photo of Otto interviewing Vera Lynn

The table where Otto did all his work.  Barbara told us a funny story about how there was a hot dog stand here and they were very bothered by cars blocking traffic,  parking in their driveway,  the smell,  the garbage created, etc.  There had been one of the popcorn vendors here but that was when it was four lanes.  Now there wasn't any place to park but people stopped anyway.  They went to city hall and Otto made an elegant speech about how David Oppenheimer had to look over this unfortunate spectacle as well.  There is a statue of Oppenheimer (the second and very important mayor of Vancouver) just a few paces away.  They won the day and the hot dog stand was gone.

Looking forward to many more visits and stories!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

City Opera at Lost Lagoon

We went down to see an excerpt of City Opera's work in progress of "Pauline" an opera based on Pauline Johnson's life with the libretto being written by Margaret Atwood.  A fascinating idea and perfect location since Pauline Johnson named "Lost Lagoon".  The music was rather atonal and not really to our taste.  Also strange that they felt the need for amplification when there was only about 20 ft to project to.

We did enjoy the person on stilts and had a laugh at the MC who made a comment about the multicultural mix of the audience when this particular audience was 95 % white...probably the first time we experienced such a homogenous audience!

Interesting biographical note that the IODE (Imperial Order of Daughters of the Empire)  actually supported Johnson when she was dying of cancer but with some racial prejudice even though they recognized her talent.  The opera apparently has wit,  irony, and satire...not surprising since Atwood is writing it.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

And another great sunset...wasn't sure there was going to be one...from the balcony.

Happy Birthday, Stanley Park!

125 years Birthday Celebrations for the best park in the world!  Went to Second Beach to have some RailTown BBQ and listen to some music and have some beer...Stanley Park Brewery of course.

 Would it really be an event without face painting?

While in the beer garden snagged a couple of bottle openers/keychains....not an event it you don't get something for nothing!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Lunch with John and Carol

John and Carol came for lunch today....always lots of fun and lively conversation!  We all went for a swim although the conditions weren't perfect but it was very refreshing at least!  Whenever we have been hosted at Saltspring we are always assured of very warm ocean water.  They're heading off there soon so hope they will find warm waters during their stay.

It was quite funny today because one of the regulars at our little beach,  Anna,  saw me with John and immediately commented that I had a "new husband"...I replied he was my cousin but had to laugh since
"cousin" when you are in France often means your lover.  I'm sure Susan and Alan remember that when we were picking them up in Marseille Airpot  that we also ran into a colleague of Jim's who was with a man  who we assumed was her husband.  They were on their way to Paris and looking very happy.  She immediately said without missing a,  mon cousin....ah oui...les Francais.

Not a glorious sunset tonight but a bit of rain and some greyness and clouds...nice for a change.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Apartment at Bidwelll and Nelson

The wonderful thing about the West End is that amidst all the density they have these wonderful old houses and wonderful tree lined streets that  have cul de sacs and round-abouts so traffic can't cut through or go too fast.  I walked beside an apartment Jim and I always comment on when we pass by almost always by car so I took an  opportunity to take some photos.   (Not that we'd want to live there...very shady and no ocean views  but I do like the curved design)

Someone was entering and I commented how much we liked the building and she invited me in and to my great surprise we entered a courtyard.  There are actually three buildings and all look onto the inner really is a secret garden since you don't see any of it from the street.  Rather reminded me of the coliseum style of the Vancouver Public Library.


Next three are all inside views.

 The round-about in the area

This wonderful old house is across the street from the apartment.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Two Bookclub meetings today... kidding.  One at 10am...the Vancouver Newcomers and the other at 2pm,  the Retired Teachers Association Vancouver Group.  I've joined the latter group recently and this was my first activity.  I had read the book in 2007when Elizabeth Hay won the Giller for it,  "Late Nights on Air".  Both groups are fun and interesting and for the afternoon group I was greeted with a margarita and later offered various snacks and coffee,  one of them being "Jamaica Me Crazy coffee" which I, of course, gotta love it!

Jim's off to get a pick up lamb dinner from is opened...sun is shining...the ocean is gleaming...perhaps a swim later.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Back to school feel (for everyone else happily...!)

Quiet in the Second Beach Pool today and fewer people around in general...nice to get a good swim and have a big space of pool to myself.  I counted 16 freighters in the harbour today...don't think I've ever seen quite as many at one time.  I imagine there are others I can't see.  And people were picking blackberries...loads of bushes along the seawall on the way to the pool.

Lunch in the sun on our deck then Jim will be heading off to golf soon.  Looks like they will get another wonderful game in the sunshine although last week it seems they got a bit of a downpour on the course....not the Brittany type rain that was around English Bay.  Strange how that happens.

 My beloved freighters.

Blackberry time.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Globe and Mail on our doorstep today

We got a call with an offer you couldn't refuse ...G & M for 8 weeks,  no contract,  no credit card #,  cancelled automatically unless we decide to continue.  Great marketing scheme and got to admire it I think.  They knew our address and must be coming from a list Postmedia  gives them...good plan to target people who are actually getting print newspapers.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Artist Trading Cards Group...I think I'm hooked!

I really enjoyed this event and thanks so much, Susan,  for introducing me to this and encouraging me to get going on painting again.   Members bring stuff to share and work on their own art and chat.  I made a "stamp" first stamp ever and created quite a sensation that I didn't own any stamps.  This group has lots of stuff to do art with...just loved my cards that I chose and they even seemed pleased with my stuff...all good!

The last one on the right is the "stamp" first one!