As I strolled mindlessly along Commercial Drive this afternoon, I could not fail to notice that every single Italian bar and cafe, along with every Vietnamese and Portuguese joint and bakery, was playing the European Championship final on their TVs. Juventus from Italy against Barcelona from Spain. And every single place was jammed and involved.
And every single place had a video feed that was streaming at a slightly different time than its neighbour, by a few seconds usually.
So I was watching the game through one window when there were loud cheers from an Italian bar up the street. Moments later, a bar across the street burst into happy celebration. Maybe ten seconds later, I watched as Juventus scored on the TV I was watching, and five seconds later the bar next door exploded with loud applause. It was if a single moment of perfect joy had echoed along the Drive for almost half a minute.
Later, without seeing, I heard a series of groans bounce along the street as Barcelona moved ahead again, for the win.
As I have been pointing out for several years, there is a rose that lives at the top of a tree here in Grandview. It is in the tree at the north end of the parking lot between Venables and Adanac on Commercial. There is a creeper vine that winds its way up the tree from the ground.
Here is an image from yesterday, poiunting out where the roses can be seen.
I think there are some other blooms right at the top, but I cannot see them too clearly yet. As always, it is good to look up!
By the way, this is one of the many trees that will be demolished and not replaced if the Boffo tower goes ahead on this site.
Like most post-war babies in Europe, I had a number of relatives who, seventy-one years ago today, bobbed around in small boats in foul weather, knowing that many of them would be killed as soon as the boats hit the beaches. But they did it, and eventually they finished the war.
It seems impossible to imagine that mass mobilized armies will ever happen again. We’re just not up for it. Thank goodness.