Thirty-One Years And Counting

August 18, 2017

Thirty-one years ago today, I spent what I remember as a muggy afternoon wearing a collar and tie and a jacket. I sang “O Canada“, swore pledges to the Queen, and in return I was given the extraordinary privilege of Canadian citizenship.

It remains one of the most moving and important events of my life.

Thank you Canada!

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

August 12, 2017

Seventeen years ago today, at just about this time in the afternoon, the everloving and I stood on the dock of the lake at Trout Lake and plighted our troth. We then decamped and took over most of Waazubee’s for our reception that night.

Happy anniversary, angel!

The Mountains Are Back!

August 12, 2017

Finally, after two weeks of blowing smoke, I can see the North Shore mountains this morning!  They are a bit grey and misty, but they are back, and that’s all that matters.

Another Day, Another Brownout.

August 8, 2017

Further to my Blowing Smoke post of the other day, I finally went up the Drive this morning. I didn’t really need anything, but I was getting cabin fever and feeling a bit squirly.

It was hot and very humid and the air was heavy in a brown sort of way. It was not unlike swimming in a dirty stream. When I got home, it took me longer to recover than the time I was out for.

I guess it will blow over eventually.

Blowing Smoke

August 6, 2017

Man, I am sick of this filthy air!   Because of breathing issues, the smoke and associated particulates have held me essentially housebound for a week. I missed the Dykes on the Drive for the first time ever, and the Powell Street Festival; it is maddening.

We usually have a beautiful view of the North Shore mountains to wake up to every day, but it is as if they have simply disappeared. When I got up in the middle of last night, I could see a few twinkling lights on the mountain and I went back to bed hopeful that the skies would be clear in the morning. But no, just another day of gloom.

Bring on the Fall!

Hiroshima Day

August 6, 2017

Today we need to remember the fate of Hiroshima and its people, utterly destroyed by an atomic bomb on this day in 1945.

I spent my early life in Europe during the hottest days of the Cold War, worried every single day that these scenes would be repeated in London and Berlin and Moscow. Those concerns abated with the fall of the Berlin Wall, and for 25 years many of us breathed a lot easier. Today, with a US leader seeming to need a war to save his tottering presidency, I have begun to worry once again even as I sit here in beautiful British Columbia.

Let us continue to remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and do whatever we can to ensure that such events never happen again.

Early Evening On The Drive

July 27, 2017

Turks has been doling out it own unique weirdness for many years now and I don’t stop in there enough. I spent about an hour there late this afternoon and they really do have the best patio on the Drive. In location it is matched by Havana and Fet’s, but at Turks you need only spend $2.60 for a coffee to enjoy the Drive’s street cabaret and the always fascinating happenings at Grandview Park.

I found a seat in the doorway to the patio, half in and half out of the shade.  There I sat and watched and listened and sipped my very good coffee.

This evening, the warm sunshine has brought out to the Park perhaps two dozen street people, travellers, and their acquaintances. There are plenty enough low concrete walls for everyone to sit in the shade; and they talk and smoke dope, play music, dance, dispute, debate, and generally have a fine old time. Passers-by can look down on them, if they must, but these folks keep our Park lively and interesting and are a community we need to embrace. They have no effect on either the children’s playground or the Bike Polo court, both of which remain busy and active.

The “vehicle” types on the street in this hour included cars, buses, small trucks, skateboards, mobility scooters, Vespas, motorcycles and, of course, a lot of bikes.

The range of humanity walking in the sidewalk was even more diverse. I bet that in that hour every colour and shade from across the globe was represented in the passers-by; tall and short, adolescent and elderly, of every gender.  I caught snatches of 8 or 9 different languages — 10 if you include broad American accents.  Dogs of every description also made their appearances, some, it appeared, walking about on their own, while others were delivered by car and handed from one carer to another.

And in the distance, through the trees, the highrises of downtown could be discerned. And I sat with my cooling coffee glad to be here on the Drive and not there in a forest of concrete.