December 27, 2012


Last night we went to see the Cirque du Soleil’s latest production, Amaluna, under the big top at Concord Place: It was a wonderful experience.   The Cirque are always a good show, but in this case they seem to have taken the most basic circus skills — tightrope walking, trapeze, juggling and tumbling — to extraordinary new heights of brilliance and showmanship.

The performance was linked and shepherded by a perfectly slinky character with a large reptilian tail (who turned out to be the most extraordinary juggler) and two “clowns,” a woman and a pirate captain who eventually fall in love and, in a gloriously funny sequence, give birth to a large family of babies.

cirque 2

The whole show was a marvelous entertainment that I cannot recommend highly enough.


Floating Stairs

December 22, 2012

Floating Stairs

When Madness Takes Power

December 21, 2012

The fact that anyone who says …

“This is the beginning of a serious conversation. We won’t be taking any questions.”

… can be taken seriously and can have such power proves conclusively that the inmates really have taken over the asylum in the corridors of Washington.  Orwell’s Ministry of Truth exists and it is the NRA.

Missing In Action

December 20, 2012

It has been an age since I wrote.  I’ve been pretty good for the last few months at keeping this blog regular but I’ve been preoccupied for the last week or so.

Wooden_file_cabinetDuring the last twelve months I have undertaken a vast amount of research, collected a ton of images, and I’ve written scores of pieces in various formats; and it occured to me — when I couldn’t find something I knew I had — that I had allowed these hundreds of files and notes and emails to be scattered across the breadth and depth of my laptop and the external hard drives.  Stuff was everywhere and not at all handy.

So I spent the last week or more getting it all back in order.  And I can’t count the number of times I was just scanning a document to find its relevance when something attracted my interest and I took the time to re-read the whole thing — the long essays and the short texts.  The images and PPTs and other media needed to be catalogued, everything had to be read.  Each day was as filled up as the one before it with interesting facts, intriguing analysis, and colourful background.  And now its done and I have a long “to do” list based on what I found.

Which brings me to the point, I guess; my realisation that I will never again force myself into deadlines, even those of my own making.  This realisation happened immediately after I had made the decision to publish “The Birth of A Community: Grandview 1890-1915” in time for Christmas 2013, a decision I instantly revoked under the new understanding.  I will take my time, reflect, get it right.

While I take my own sweet time with the new book, hopefully some of that time will be used to keep up the posts here!

Time For Old Timers

December 14, 2012

I had a wonderful couple of hours this morning speaking with a gentleman who has lived in Vancouver since 1946 and in our neighbourhood in a 1909 house since 1952.  His memories of his early years in Grandview were clear and vivid.

And he had some interesting things to say about how residential neighbourhoods like ours should be structured: bike lanes along all thoroughfares, single family dwellings with “sunlit aesthetic gardens,” open access to the docks along marine walkways to give us a proper waterfront and a re-attachment to our industrial heritage.

Great way to start the day, and thanks to Penny who arranged it!

40 Years Ago Today …

December 14, 2012

… was the last time human beings walked on the Moon.


Only 12 men ever did it.

You have to be early middle-aged to even remember it.  It seemed so miraculous at the time.

Diner #1

December 12, 2012