Chilling on Bowen Island

I had planned on staying over on Bowen until Monday but I got a call from work (starts Tuesday), informing me of the need for black pants. I have black EMT (paramedic) pants, and black tuxedo pants. No good. So I decided to come home early and go shopping Sunday and/or Monday for pants and black shoes to accompany them.

I had a nice 3 day stay on Bowen. I did very little. I read a bit of my European Union textbooks, went rowing five times, and hung out with my Granny and Uncle David.

I take the ferry so often that I rarely take photos during the ride, while tourists snap away madly in good weather all around me. The wind was really great though, so I did take one photo:

I really enjoy going rowing alone and relaxing on the float, below the boathouse:

The rowboat is a bit over 40 years old now – my mom used to row it when she was young! It’s called Jaro (all boats have names), which comes from James + Rosemary, my uncle and mom, the two youngest in their family.

While out rowing, I spotted this bird (I think it’s a shag, but I’m no ornithologist) sitting happily on a buoy.

Then it became less happy and left!

There was a fierce storm, the worst in decades, several weeks ago. It did a lot of damage, including ripping the ramp of our neighbour’s float off. It also destroyed part of the wooden floor outside our boathouse. This has never happened in the 48 years my Granny has had the place.

Uncle David, Mr Fix-It, has been working hard to fix supports under the boathouse which were washed away – they hold up the boathouse, so they’re very important.

I had a bit too much time with not enough to do (there are limits to how much rowing and studying I can do) so I ended up doing a LOT of thinking, which at times got me feeling a little bit blue, kind of like this puppy which is up on the wall of the cabin I stay in:

There are some really random things in that cabin, and one of the things that always makes me laugh for some reason is this one:

Today I went rowing in the morning for about half an hour. I was going to go rowing again at about 1pm when the sun came out and it was super windy. After 5 minutes on the water I decided it was too rough and that, if the waves got much higher, it would be too difficult to bring the boat back in without help. As it was, it took me about 5 minutes to get the boat in after several failed attempts, when it normally takes all of 30 seconds.

The ferry and bus rides home were pretty smooth and uneventful, the way I like them. Took me a total of 2 hrs 20 mins to get from the cabin to my house in Vancouver. Not bad.

Ping Pong, Granny, and Jos

Today is Josephine’s 20th birthday, but this entry is about Granny. Granny always comes over to our house when one of us has a birthday (ie 7 times a year for birthdays alone) and we love seeing her here or at her house nearby as often as we can.

Before supper, Gran recited a few poems for us. She still has uncountable stories and poems memorized from years ago, and delivers them with real passion. She’s a wonder to listen to – I should tape record her telling her poems and stories, they would make excellent audio files to play to children. I’ll try and record one sometime and post it here.

We had a nice supper of smoked salmon and stir fry, as requested by the birthday girl, and afterwards I asked Gran if she’d like to play some ping pong – and of course, she said yes.

Downstairs to the ping pong table we went, and after several minutes of warming up, we had a championship game. Lisa kindly took a photo and video of the match:

I won 21-8.

Granny is 96 years, 7 months old.

2 weeks in photos.

To put it very bluntly, I have no time to write blog entries right now. I’ve got TONNES of work to do, and not nearly enough time. And, since the stuff I would post wouldn’t be particularly interesting anyways, I’ll just post two weeks’ worth of photos here with VERY brief descriptions. If you actually find something interesting, feel free to leave a comment and I can tell you allll about it.

I volunteered at the UBC Model United Nations. This is the North Atlantic Council (NATO council) meeting, for which I was the page.

We went to the Model UN team fundraiser for their trip to the MUN in San Francisco. It was at the Buffalo Club, lots of fun. Lisa, the girl on stage, was one of the students I led around campus for 3 days as a GALA Int’l Students Orientation leader in 2004.

Vania visited for a week, on her way from Sweden back to New Zealand, so we went downtown and to the beach at English Bay.

On Vania’s last night here, we went to see Denise’s band Music Machene play at the Picadilly Pub downtown. Unfortunately, with a few songs left in the set, the fire alarm went off and water started dripping from the ceiling so we had to leave. A small fire on the 4th floor was easily contained but the venue was closed for the night.

Vania and I went to visit my Granny for lunch one day, so Vania bought Granny a pot of flowers. On our way to the airport a couple of days later, we stopped at Gran’s for Vania to say goodbye.

Vania and Dennis44, a friend of Josephine’s [ ] and Ron’s [ ] from Australia happened to be on the same flight as far as Fiji, so we got them seats together and off they went!

Christmas in Vancouver

On Christmas day, our family went over to my Granny’s home for lunch. She lives very close to us, about 8 blocks away. We brought lunch to her this time, even though she’s a great cook. She even had presents for us!

Jos and I got sunglasses, among other things.

Then we went home to our place, so Gran could have a rest. Basically, we sat down and started opening presents.

And, since my parents warn us every year that it might be the last year we’re all in the same city for Christmas (or even still all alive), Santa took a family photo for us (Santa being my tripod).

Then Gran came over for a late supper at our place and we opened some more presents, and finally went to bed after midnight.

The next day was Boxing Day… more on that next time.