Home again

8th and 9th June

There was a Bill Reid exhibit in the airport, lovely airport with water and greenery. Bill Reid was a noted Haida artist.

Travelling home was straightforward. Everything went as expected except I had to sit next to an obnoxious git. His opener was “I am big, and I have to sit in your seat.” I told him that I’d selected my seat online and basically my answer was “no”. He grumbled on a bit, showing me his massive muscles and it’s quite true he was big but I wasn’t going to give in. He then had some fuss about where his bag was to be stowed and he gave in on that too. Basically he was all mouth, no trousers! At least he was wearing some! He then seemed to want to help me to use my multimedia controls. I probably can’t tell you how irritating this was. Only that morning I’d fixed Klaus’s computer, and I’d shown Bonnie how to do various techy things on her tablet, business as usual. After a bit we just ignored each other. It was very cold on the plane, I wore all the clothes I had plus 2 blankets. I watched the film Jackie about Mrs JFK, not very good. Slept a tiny bit with a blanket over my head. Got the evening meal early because special, not great. Had a free lager and a malt whisky to help me sleep.

I still can’t figure out the time stuff and maybe I lost half a day or maybe I lived it twice. I got home about 8.30 in the evening and it was lovely to be back. I’ve slept well since returning and don’t appear to be jet lagged, am a bit tired and glad to be sleeping a bit better. Bonnie and Klaus’s condo didn’t exactly relax me with them in the room next door with their door wide open.

I had thought that this trip would be a form of punctuation in my bereavement but really it hasn’t changed a thing except maybe brought it all into closer focus. There were things I saw and did that resonated very strongly for me in terms of my relationship with Chris. At times the intensity of feeling almost had me in pieces.

At least the trip removed me from worrying about my job situation and one thing that’s very positive is that I feel confident I can deal with the outcome whatever it is. I will be angry if I am made redundant or messed around more than I have been already, but there’s a lot more to life than Bradford uni.

And did I say? Everything in Canada is very big!!

Some things I noticed:

  • There are an awful lot of cedar hedges around private homes in Vancouver.
  • House construction consists of a wooden internal frame where we would have breeze blocks.
  • I saw a lot of female public gardeners and a lot of gardeners generally.
  • Also a lot of female road construction stop/go sign twirlers.


Vancouver and Tsawwassen

3rd June

Breakfast of pancakes, poached egg and baked beans and maple syrup in the Two Parrots opposite the Ramada. This was a cheap and cheerful cafe.  Totally stuffed. It was like being in an American cop show because a policeman came in and arrested a customer. He gave him a good working over outside, to see what he was carrying as opposed to beating him up. Wandered down to the docks and saw Grouse Mountain and enormous cruise ship. Back to hotel and farewells to the rest of the group.

Karin and Fred turned up and off we went. They showed me Gastown and then we went to Commercial Drive, both nice areas, much nicer than Downtown. Fred told me a lot of history of the areas, great tour guide! We went to Havana resto and I had the Havana salad which was great and had everything in it, guacamole, salsa, beans, cheese…

Drove across to the peninsula to look at the area, Ladner village and then Boundary Bay where K and F live. The bottom of the peninsula is below the 49th Parallel so is one of I think 3 parts of the USA not accessible from the USA. I have an urge to stand over the border just to say I have been to the US of A.

Then they kindly took me to my B&B which is a room in a condominium with Bonnie and Klaus. K and F went off.

First got my laundry done then they took me to the supermarket and showed me bus stops and so on. Very welcoming and friendly.

Talking with Bonnie, her sister died from amyloidosis. Strange the cards that fate plays.

They have a lot of birds who visit. A crested jay and a hummingbird have been since I arrived. I can expect to see bald eagles popping in! Expect all I liked, they didn’t.

Site with interesting things about old Vancouver buildings.

Hudson’s Bay building
Marine Building, Burrard Street. 1930, once the tallest building in the British Empire
The lost language of cranes


2nd June

Up very early. Out and onto 9 a.m. ferry to Tsawwassen. Breakfast on the boat. The port is some way from the city. We arrived at the downtown Ramada and deposited our luggage. For 13 people this takes up a lot of space.

The Ramada is in the centre of things. We took a walk to the beach and bimbled along. Lunch at nice resto on front, the Boathouse. I had noodles and veg. Back to hotel via shops with Jo, Chris and Norman.

All out for last dinner with Mireille. We ended up in an Italian. Nice food but they were very disorganised which spoilt things for us, I think it was called Cibo Trattoria but am not sure. Sally got us a better deal. Farewell to Joy and to Mireille.

With Sally Norman, Heather and Andy to pub where drank a beer quickly, then to goth pub joining hotel. Tried a Jim Beam. Tick.

Downtown Vancouver
Looking across to North Vancouver
Ayoub nuts and seeds shop
Inukshuk, these are used to point the way
Woof, woof
On the boat going to Vancouver