Monday, September 30, 2013

Rain...what rain?

Funny that John posted this photo of extreme rain....we weren't really that aware of it here.

Movie Making

On my way home from my Chinese Garden course the bus had been re-routed because of a photo shoot....always fun to come across these.

And from Victoria...on the breakwater.  Quite the storm there and lots of ferry cancellations.  A perfect November storm ...problem is it's September!  Should all be calmed down for our trip to Victoria tomorrow.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Unreal that we are neighbours!

Another wonderful afternoon with Barbara Lowy and David gave us almost all of the Trancontinenal MP3's...Otto made about 800 of are so wonderful!  Lots of listening for a long time.

The scripts alone for the Transcontinental take up 17 Banker's Boxes.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Great fun with old friends....

Really had a lot of fun tonight seeing Donna and Neil and Roger and the Sylvia..all good!

Friday, September 27, 2013

"Obasan" by Joy Kogawa

Last night was my evening Vancouver Newcomers' Bookclub and our book was "Obasan" by Joy Kogawa which is a novel about the internment in B.C. of Canadians of Japanese origin after the bombing of Pearl Harbour.  I had read it when it came out in 1981 before the "redress and apology"   in 1988.  Each survivor who was directly affected got $21, 000.  Not a lot. really. considering the uprooting of families and the loss of houses, businesses,  personal goods, fish boats, etc.

Interesting coincidence that this week the Mayor of Vancouver made an apology from the city of Vancouver for their part in not protecting the rights of the Japanese in Vancouver.   A shameful business but as the narrator in the novel says,  something like "When I hear "Oh...terrible what we did to the Japanese in B.C.,  it's like handing someone crutches when they are striding down the street."  As always with these things...too little,  too late, and nothing makes up for it.

 The novel is dealing with a harsh subject but is beautifully written (Kogawa is mainly a poet).  I was planning on  skimming it since I almost never re-read anything...too many good books around but I became completely intrigued again by the story and the writing.

"Japantown" around Powell Street never became a hub of where Japanese lived after they were forced out but there are some remnants...a Buddhist temple,  a cultural centre.  It is now pretty much part of the  Downtown Eastside that has become "gentrified".  The hostess for the evening lives in a townhouse on Alexander Street pretty much in the hub of where Japantown was and we began our evening with a tour of the area.

 Her townhouse has wonderful views of the mountains and the working harbour. Also,  right across from the CRAB Park which  is right on the water.  

About the Park
From atop a grassy knoll or the small pier jutting into Burrard Inlet, this is a good place to get a close look at Vancouver’s working port, with views of the colourful containers, cruise ships, heliport, and SeaBuses. Arriving from the Main Street overpass, two Chinese lion statues frame views of the peaks of the Lions; several more beautiful and moving monuments and sculptures can be found throughout the park.

This park was opened in 1987, and was named Portside Park as suggested to the Park Board by the Vancouver Port Authority who rendered the land for park purposes through a long term lease. A neighbourhood park committee- Create A Real Available Beach (CRAB) – was active in supporting this greenspace and in 2004 the name was changed to CRAB Park at Portside.
Park Location
Click to view larger map and directions 
Views of the Park
Click on image to open a large version

I love this view and it
is somewhat like the view from the old Cannery Restaurant...sadly no more since this port area is very "secure" these days.  A fascinating townhouse with wonderful views but spread out over five stories and loads of stairs and then right next to the railyards so trains shunting all the time.

Here's a video from a realtor of a neighbouring townhouse in the same development:

Way to go Vancouver Public Library!

What a fabulous idea for a library,,,an Inspiration Lab-a space where people will be able to transform their creative ideas into reality and collaborate with others. There will be a centre for self-publishing support that will be staffed.    Maybe I'll create that e-book after all!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tapas at Cloud 9

Richard and Emily joined us for tapas and drinks at the Cloud 9 bar last night.  We always have so much fun with them!  And surprisingly it was the first time Emily had been in a revolving restaurant and the first time for escargot.   She enjoyed both experiences.  We hadn't been at Cloud 9 for quite a while and it's been ages since we've been there at night so it was kind of neat.

It was a bit of a celebration too since their visa to get married came through recently.  Still,  quite a long process to go but the first step took only about two months and apparently it can take six.

Night views from Cloud 9...not my photos...too busy talking...''

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The US Medical system...

This video is around 7 minutes but really worth watching....yep,  it all makes sense as to why health care costs are so expensive in the US.  It's the inability to negotiate the best deal because there are so many providers and special interests.  But what is really surprising is that the US government actually spends more on the health care they do provide (Medicare for seniors,  Medicaid for poor people,  and unpaid bills from people who don't have insurance and all the costs trying to get the money from them) is actually more than pretty much all countries that provide health care to all their citizens.

A real mess but too many people making too much money and too much fear mongering about socialized medicine so I doubt there will be any real change...but then I didn't think the Berlin Wall would fall so who knows?

Monday, September 23, 2013

A few more thank you' encouragement

And a special thanks to Fern,  Elena,  and Elizabeth who actually bought some of my paintings when I was interested in selling stuff.  And to Chris and Susan who "commissioned" me to do something for Chris' parents.   Chris also brought me numerous Oak Bay Dump furniture treasures to paint on.  And of course to Carole,  who got me going on the whole thing by introducing me to working with mosaic tiles.  I was so intimidated by doing anything "artistic" I was just going to watch.  Well,  Carole was a primary teacher so you don't get to just watch but are slowly and gently encouraged to participate!

Merci beaucoup mes amis!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Mary, this is for you!

We had spent  time in Provence before 2002 but this is when I started painting and noticing things more.  One thing I noticed were these fabulous wrought iron bell towers on the churches.  I have done a number of paintings on paper and also on furniture of these.  Mary was very attracted to these as well...perhaps because she has a collection of cowbells...some link I think.  I noticed one of the themes for the October Artist Trading Cards is "Sky and the colour blue" so I thought I would create some bell towers or "campaniles" as they call them in France.

In 2002 I found a wonderful book in the Carqueiranne library called "Provence des Campaniles" and we tried to get a copy during our travels at that luck anywhere.  I loved this book so much I did briefly consider telling the Carqueiranne library that I "lost" it and pay the charge but knowing they probably couldn't replace it I just didn't feel right depriving people of enjoying this book from the library.  Some time later after we returned to Canada Jim surprised me by finding it on a present!

So,  these are my latest ATC's...

 My wonderful book on the table I painted with a campanile design....the table an Oak Bay Dump snag by our neighbour,  Chris.

Latest ATC's....les campaniles de Provence.


Susan has done it again...another great  face drawing on blank paper...and this one is for me again!  I do think encouragement is so important when we're trying new things.  I know when I started my foray into art having never got past stick figures,  Jim and my friends encouraged me.  And Mary's encouragement really meant a lot since I really respected her opinion.  She is drawn to naive art objects and  artists (surprise, surprise that she likes my stuff!) and has some wonderful pieces.

I'm encouraging Susan to now do some other artwork than faces on blank paper...perhaps Provence?  I loved this Art Trading Card from her I picked up at the last meeting.

It's called  "En Provence".

My friend Janice keeps putting my colored drawings on her blog.  So I keep drawing them.  Maybe encouragement is the best form of inspiration? 

In the Telegraph: " Lycra Louts on Wheels"

I guess Vancouver isn't the only place experiencing this....a sad business.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Emily Carr's long lost diary of her trip to Alaska

Reading about this in the Globe and Mail today...quite a find and looks like it is going to be donated to either the Royal B.C. Museum or the National Gallery in Ottawa.  There is a limited edition of it you can buy for $350 so I hope some libraries that we can access will buy it for their special collections department.  I'd really like to take a look at it.

One of the illustrations.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Sad but true...

Susan was doing a drawing challenge of sketching 29 faces and was using magazine photos to copy and found that when she just used a sharpie without shading and colour, the men's faces were much more interesting. She concluded: "The conclusion I arrived at was that men get their pictures in popular magazines by virtue of their accomplishments. Women get their pictures in popular magazines because they meet the popular standards for beauty. Which means they all look similar, particularly when drawn in black and white, without hair, eye, and lipstick colour to differentiate them. I found this made me sad." 

Yes, very sad but true.


A few of her interesting men....and they're on blank paper :)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

It's a lovely day in the neighbourhood....

It was just so lovely and sunny we decided to take advantage of it and go for lunch at Lift Restaurant in Coal Harbour.  Parked in our resident only parking on Robson and walked down.  They have this great upstairs outdoor patio and we got the best table and soaked in the sun,  the view,  the food....Jim had steak-frites (excellent rib eye) and I had halibut ( this year) and chips all washed down with a Red Truck Pale Ale.  Contemplated an ocean swim as we imbibed a glass of wine on the balcony but not quite as sunny so gave it a pass.

A day with teachers....

I began the day having a swim in the Aquatic Centre.  I quite enjoy it there now as it is huge and the roof is glass so you see the blue sky...not withstanding that is was voted one of the ugliest buildings in town and will crumble in an earthquake according to yesterday's paper (not something I worry about).

It doesn't really look too bad with the autumn trees.  I think the idea was to make it fit into the landscape but it ended up being a big brown blob on the landscape.

At one end of the pool a swim instructor was teaching three adult ladies to swim.  I was rather interested in this as when I was teaching swimming to put myself through university I taught  the "Scared Stiff" class for adults.  I really enjoyed getting these folks to finally be able to swim.  And these three ladies got floating for the first time and they were all so thrilled!  Great to see.

Then my retired teachers bookclub in the afternoon....a really nice group of ladies and we all enjoyed "Water for Elephants".  I'm now reading the last of the trilogy of "Old Filth" called "Old Friends".  The book club had also read Old Filth as one of their selections and enjoyed it.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Yeah....kind of amazing....

From John's blog:

August 27th, 2013 — There was a time when a camera might last a lifetime, maybe more if it was passed down to a second generation. Not anymore as is obvious from the bin on the right at the Salt Spring Island recycling centre.

Reality shows

I've never quite understood the fascination with these shows and never watched one....the commercials you get exposed to are bad enough.  Good article in the Globe and Mail today by John Doyle.

"Now, you can say that America’s Got Talent isn’t in the same category. You can say that a talent show does not coarsen the culture in the way thatSurvivor and Big Brother do.
Well, maybe you’re wrong. Here’s the thing – there are no nice reality shows. They are all about competing, scheming, ego and avarice.
I put it to you that, as one crude reality series starts anew and two others end successful seasons, it’s not that these series have coarsened anyone or any society.
They simply reflect our innate interest in coarseness itself and, by proxy, satisfy our elemental urge to be uncouth and utterly uncultivated."

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Quite an eye catching car...Audi quattro

I just had to take some photos of this car that was parked on Pendrell...never heard of it or seen one before.  Seems it is a rally car as well.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Lots of exciting news!

Congratulations to Kate and Jean on the purchase of their new house!

So pleased that Kate and Jean found a great house to buy...on Wilmer Street close to Oak Bay Village. We knew someone who lived there (and probably still does...out of touch) and loved it.  Exciting times!

This from Kerry (Matt was born on the same day as Kate):

"Matt and Kathryn got engaged last weekend!  It was the 2nd anniversary of their first date where they shared a drink at the Capers outdoor balcony on Robson, and that is where he proposed and gave her a beautiful ring.  Then they dropped in on Katie and David to tell them the news. "

They also recently bought a house in Port Moody and will be moving soon.  We wish them all the very best!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Friday, the Sept. 13th....last ocean swim?

I think it might have been.  Weather grey and rain coming now.  We were invited last night by our "Beach Friends" for a Cous Cous....AndrĂ© made it.  He was born in Algeria but grew up  mainly in Switzerland.

Then today off to my Art Trading Card group...always lots of fun and it seems like Christmas since you get all these neat things that people have made.  I think this particular group was a really good one to start with as while there is a "theme" there is no obligation to follow that.  Also,  we pass our books around and often take two from each other's books so lots of cards in the end.  I see there is a Palm Springs group but they have a theme you are supposed to follow and you do three only and take three only.  The theme for November is "unfriendly teddybears"....doesn't turn me on!   And they start at 9am.  I'll be  heading off for a swim after reading my Desert Sun by the gas fireplace at that time in the morning.

Lots of folks out even on the foggy day.

My ATC's from today.

 And loved this little book made the size on an a lesson on how to do the folding but will need a refresher.  I can see these being quite fun to do.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Another wonderful face drawing on plain paper from Susan...this one specially for me!

Thanks,  Susan.  Fabulous drawing...just love it!

Take a look on Susan's blog:

Late night in the big city...

We were invited for dinner at Dave and Carol's in Delta last night and Linda and Cec very kindly picked us up from the King George Skytrain station so did the transit much better than driving and we always feel like we're in Europe when we take Skytrain.  Wonderful food and loads of laughs...thank you so much,  Dave and Carol, for being perfect hosts.  Linda regaled us with her "Let's make a Deal" experience from years ago and her daughter got her tickets for an upcoming show in Sept.  Can't wait to hear about that and how the pig costume works out!

By the time we got home it was after 1,  I don't think we've been out that late in downtown Vancouver since we were in our 20's.  We keep learning things with the transit system.  Correct change on the bus means "change"  not bills.  These bus drivers are great, though,  just told us to pay when we got to Skytrain.  They're really helpful in giving people information and making the whole process easier.  Also,  on Friday, Sat, and Sun. after 9pm, buses are rerouted from Granville (Skytrain station where we get off to get our bus)  to Howe Street.  Good thing Jim read the sign or we still might be there!

 Also noticed quite a lot of security on Skytrain that late at night and our bus to get home had a security person on it.  We asked him about the rerouting off Granville and he said it was to keep everyone safe on Granville since that's the "entertainment district" and people pour out from the bars, etc.  Guess keeping the tipsy pedestrians safe and also the innocents waiting for a bus.   I think transit can get a bit wild later on but we encountered only well behaved,  mainly young people,  on Skytrain and the bus.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Back with the loot...

 And, of course,  I can never resist sunflowers....

My treasures in their new homes.

Does it get any better than this?

Walked up to the library to pick up some holds and Autumn is definitely in the air.  I love Autumn and all it brings and to have the prospect of ocean swimming for a few more days along with that bit of freshness is wonderful.  Some of the trees on Denman have turned already.  Pumpkins in the!

And the prospect of as soon as the heavy rains begin we can escape to Palm Springs and our wonderful desert home with all the great things of the desert and reminders of the south of France....olive and orange trees,  palms,  adobe tiles.

Photos taken along Denman on the way to the library.

 Leaves turning and a palm tree!

 The "lanterns" ....symbol of Autumn if there ever was one.

I didn't take any money so couldn't buy one of these delightful little cactus bowls....must go back!  Will be great to look at when the rain begins and to know blue skies and sunshine and swimming...not to mention Trader Joe's,  the Elephant Bar,  golf....won't be long in coming.