Friday, July 31, 2015

Itty Bitty Book Review: "The Little Paris Bookshop"

"The Little Paris Bookshop" by Nina George

I did have great expectations for this book….Paris,  Provence,  books,  good food and wine and those who liked "The Elegance of the Hedgehog"  will enjoy it.  Well,  "Elegance"  is a perfect novel,,,just amazing and it's not fair to expect something like that to come around any time soon.

I mainly liked this novel quite a bit and other than some very overly sentimental parts,  she does get a lot right.   It was wonderful to read about these places we love in France.  A lot takes place in the wonderful village of Sanary-sur-Mer….one of our favourite places.

Itty Bitty Book Review: "Life after Life"

 "Life after Life" by Kate Atkinson

As usual,  Atkinson writes an intriguing and though provoking novel.  Mostly, I loved it but did get a little frustrated and confused at times with Ursula's many lives.  Looking forward to the follow up…rather low down on the hold list, though.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Brazil puts on an amazing show!

Richard and Grace and Grace's parents braved the crowds and joined us last night.  It was great to share
this rather amazing spectacle with people.  Most people we know don't want to have the hassle of trying to get in and out.  There were around 300,000 last night.

It was a really fun evening for everyone!

 These folks were very organized with an umbrella, tent, table cooler, and chairs.

 I was pleased to not see fences around these flower plantings and they haven't been trampled so far.  Our apartment didn't put fences up either and so far so good.  It's great not having so many of these ugly fences around during the week of the fireworks.

Grace, Richard, Naomi, and Ray.

Behind the scenes at the Celebration of Light:

Lots of interesting information about the fireworks including why there were all these what seemed mainly like red and green "circles" in the fireworks last night.  Naomi commented it looked like "Christmas decorations".   It seemed to be a mis step in an otherwise  wonderful display but now I get it.

"Organizers are promising an epic, Olympic-themed display to summon memories of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and celebrate the countdown to the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Summer Olympics."

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Concarneau, Brittany

Maureen also mentioned her sister and husband spent some time in Concarneau recently.  We rented a cottage close to there for a week in 1995 when we saw pretty much all of Brittany after beginning in Paris and ending in Bandol and visiting the Vitoux in Montpellier and also seeing Carcasonne.  We stayed at the Hotel des Grands Ecoles in Paris which is quite wonderful as it has an enclosed garden but no AC.  It was very hot in Paris in July and it was such a relief to get to Brittany which was much cooler and had this fine misty rain at times.

We rented a cottage a block from the beach in a town called Kerlaven.  We had some nice swims.  The ocean water was much like Vancouver.  Quite a contrast to the beach in Spain in Maureen's photo!

Jim sitting out in the backyard of our cottage.

Email from Maureen in Germany today….

Hello Janice and Jim,    Back in 1980 we would have sent you a post-card from Benidorm Spain.      Wishing your were here.

Spain the year 2015 we would send you a post-card.......................Wishing you wern`t here...................

Have a nice day, from Maureen

Now, how could anyone enjoy being on this beach!!!

This is just really cool…10 outdoor pianos decorated by artists around Vancouver.

And they cover them up when it rains…usually very necessary but not quite so much this year.

Here is a map of where they are:

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Just in from another lovely ocean swim….wonderful yesterday and today...

Jim is cooking steak and mushrooms and we're sipping this new wine I noticed today.  I was attracted by the painting…doesn't seem credited to anyone.  Good wine too!

Ocean very shimmering today.

Can't wait for Catfé!

I'm so glad to see Richard's friend,  Michelle,  getting so much publicity for her great adventure!  This on Global TV

Monday, July 27, 2015

Sunrise in Palm Springs this morning...

Eric Norland photo.

Dinner at our local with the locals….

We had dinner last night with Maureen and Helmet at The Sylvia.  Always lots of fun and Maureen always has lots of stories about people and places in Vancouver since she's lived here all her life.  And we learned more about the amazing Bonnie,  a beach friend who is almost ninety.   Her husband died when she was expecting their third child.  She supported the family by being a police dispatcher.  All the children and grandchildren have turned out wonderfully.   And she's still travelling all over the world on her own….wow!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Rain, beautiful rain, this morning.

The clouds were quite threatening last night but I'm glad it held off for the fireworks for all the folks who came down.  It was spectacular as always….China was the presenter…and people do enjoy it so much.  All photos taken from the balcony…well,  where else do I take photos with this camera?

The large fire boat is to the right.

Lots of boaters as usual.

Amazed the rain held off looking at these clouds.

Not an inch to spare on the beach at English Bay in the end.

The area directly in front of us starts to fill up.  Usually there are families here all day having picnics.   I guess a combination of the dull weather and the dry grass.

Fireboat doing its thing.

Cops and "Pit Stops"…always in evidence at these events.

Lots of people enjoying the Shorefest music…Platinum Blond playing at the moment.  Wednesday,  when Richard and Grace and her mother and husband come,  Randy Bachman  will be playing.

I never get great photos of the fireworks because I just point and shoot on "landscape setting" and usually too much smoke shows up in the photos.  These aren't too bad.

Sunrise in Palm Springs today….

I'm not often up and about early enough to see the sun hit the San Jacinto mountains but I do love seeing it.  Note to self:  Get up,  take a look,  then back to bed.

Eric Norland photo.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Celebration of Light tonight

I think the crowds will be less given it's not a really great day and I believe showers are predicted for tonight.  We went for a stroll and got some free loot as usual.

Two back backs and a photo from Honda and sunglasses from CKLG.

This wedding procession was kind of neat…5 old British convertible minis in pastel colours.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

I took this photo this morning….better day than predicted….great swim this afternoon.

There are some really neat old wooden boats that seem to load supplies and/or guard the fireworks barge.  Perhaps a little hard to see (they are on the left).  It mades me think I must go to the docks on Granville Island and look for such boats and take photos for possible paintings.

Dinner courtesy of Hollyburn Properties catered by Mr. Tube Steak

We had burgers and hotdogs and great cookies tonight at the annual apartment Bar-b-q…excellent.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Lunch at the Stanley Park Fish House

The Fish House closes at the end of the summer so thought it was a good place to go with Carol today. Food was excellent….I tried the calamari and Carol had the soup and salad special.  I was very tempted by the soup….coconut seafood and I got a spoon and it was great but I did love my calamari.  Elaine,  you would have loved it too.

And she brought me some lovely fragrant sweet peas from her garden!  Always a good time together and we get to be very "left wing" without the husbands moderating our views.  Out with Harper,  in with Mulcair!

Very unusual site…a deer wandering through Vancouver

It seems there maybe are a few in Stanley Park but they hide pretty well.   Certainly a different situation in Victoria where people talk about herds of them romping through the city.

Nice sky last night and a new moon….

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Eric Norland…sunset tonight in Palm Springs…wow!

West Vancouver Museum

We had a lovely time at the museum seeing the exhibit "From the Inside Out".

"Vancouver's distinct mid-century architecture thrived in tandem with a West Coast style of modernist visual art.  Both practices were inspired by the rugged beauty of the local landscape…"
---including Ned Pratt,  B.C. Binning,  Fred Hollingsworth, Arthur Erickson, Bruno Freschi,  Jack Shadbolt, Gordon Smith,  Bill Reid and others."

We were very impressed with the exhibit and also with the volunteer who showed us around and told us about the bathroom where they always have something on display.  We couldn't take photos in the exhibit.

 The museum is in a rather nice old building.

Bathroom art:

And then lunch at the Red Lion Bar and Grill…our favourite place in Dunderave.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Christmas in July

Great fun yesterday at the Artist Trading Card meeting.   Penelope was telling us about all the neat things she does to encourage art and crafts with her two nieces who are 8 and 10.  She's got them into ATC's and they're crazy about them.  She's mailing some of ours and we'll be getting some of their efforts soon…very cool idea.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

ATC's inspired by sunflowers...

I went rather free form with these and I had fun….the main thing!

Itty Bitty Book Review: "Inside the O'Briens"

"Inside the O'Briens" by Lisa Genova

She wrote "Still Alice" which I couldn't get into but I look forward to seeing the film at some point.  I might give it another try.  This one is about Huntington's disease.  Somehow it's quite uplifting rather than depressing and I loved this quote that I just had to share even though I'm in the middle of the book:

"Life is a near-death experience.  Stumble around in giddy gratitude while you still can."
-Jen Sincero

Saturday, July 18, 2015