Monday, June 9, 2014

People, Lupin, a Building, Art and Underground Circus for Blue Monday

Smiling Sally's Blue Monday and Maria's "Orange You Glad It's Friday" memes have taught me that one can choose just about any colour and find lots of it in just a short walk or a short exercise with the camera.  I am very grateful to both for the way they have changed my view of our world.  On this beautiful Monday in Vancouver, I am happy to show you a few of the blues that turned up over the past week.

I think one of these gentlemen was on a skateboard.  What I remember clearly..
is the blue attire, and the fact that.. 
they were willing to stop for the photo.  Just a couple of really nice guys and I thank them!
These Lupin (hope I'm right) were in a garden we admired last week.  
 One might have thought at first that they were purple, but this stalk lying across the ground
 allowed me to see the turquoise border in better detail.
 We often pass this community centre when we bike along False Creek.  It is one of the..
 most populated I've seen with swimmers and Dragon Boaters filling its hallways and..
 emerging from doorways bordered by light blue and turquoise. 
 Last week, I took a few moments to enjoy its colours, set off so beautifully by..
 blue skies and water.  There is even a pale half moon behind the glass in the 2nd photo.
That takes us to yesterday's adventures.  We began quietly with latt├ęs and cookies at Harrison Galleries.  A new painting by H.M.Saffer called Water Lillies ll was very different from the other work by him that I've enjoyed.  Just the bottom left corner is shown here..   
and the complete work below.  I know it will remain by our favourite table for at least the next week or so, and that will give me time to evaluate its effect on my eyes and mood.
 And this one (still to be identified) that caught Bill's eye.
The adventure after that took a couple of getting-pretty-close-to-70 folks to just about the limits of their daring.  An In House Festival in East Vancouver was presenting the Underground Circus as their grand finale after a weekend full of local talent of every variety you could imagine.  No fancy concert halls or stages.  Just some homes and backyards that had offered up their space.  We had missed all of the other events, but something possessed me to suggest to Bill that we try to attend that 9:00 p.m. (!) finale.  Not only that, Bill checked out the bike route (a new one for us) on line and we decided to give that a whirl (so to speak).  Getting there was easy except for the last two blocks that entailed a pretty steep uphill.  But, we arrived in good spirits almost an hour early so that we were able to get seats in the 4th row.  Bill locked our bikes together behind some bushes, and we made our way to the backyard.  I was excited to see this apparatus (with blue lighting at the top).. 
and people warming up for the show.    
I was already impressed.. 
and the show hadn't even begun!
Wayne Stewart, a jazz musician we know best as MC for many of the Jazz Vespers performances we had attended, did a stellar job of entertaining the audience before the show.  There's a little "however" in there, however :)  Picture the rows of seats jammed so tightly together in a backyard that getting in or out of them is close to impossible, the night air cooling quickly, our jackets foolishly left with the bikes, an enthusiastic crowd that is being encouraged to "make lots of noise" and a sound system that is turned up at least three notches higher than comfortable for Bill or me.  Then, picture the circus part of the show starting 15 minutes late.  I loved Wayne's performance and thought he deserved a quiet audience that would actually listen to his great voice, lyrics and piano playing.  Instead, it became a competition to see whether the music or the talking yelling around us would win the volume prize.  Bill's patience, his brain still on a recovery path from delirium related to two surgeries in the past year, was challenged to make sense of the din.  And me?  Well, I was loving the music but wanting to listen to it.  I mean, really listen.  And, at a volume that didn't feel like an assault on my ears.  And, final emotion - worry for Bill.  But, we were stuck there and there was nothing to do but take a big breath and hope all would turn out okay.
 At just about the point when I feared we were going to have to make a very noticeable exit, the circus acts began.  Phew!  These performers were GOOD.  I mean, really, really good.  Their mission was to perform an act that was a fully-prepared routine, but to new music that was picked out of a hat moments before their act.  Sometimes, they were familiar with the music, but more often than not, it was new to them.  They had to find the beat, the style and adapt it on the spot to their routine.  Not only that, the length of the music did not have to be the same as their routine.  If they came to the end of the act but the music was still playing (or vice versa), part of the exercise was to find a way to make it all look like it had been planned.  The prizes were not for the acrobatic skills so much as for the ability to think on the spot.  There was an audience award presented as well, so we had a list of the names, and I dutifully gave a mark to each performer.  Honestly, this was a great idea.  The sight lines weren't great because of the crowded seating, but many of the acts took place on a higher plane and overall, we both enjoyed these performers.  I'm going to show them in a series of photos with very little comment, as I feel they speak for themselves.  
 The wooden boards this performer put all of his trust in were not attached.  No hinges!
He went from this..
to this!  
 I was completely blown away by his talent.  As for blue, it became deeper as daylight faded.

 Just another day at the office.

 Those balls slipped along his shoulders, around his neck, down his arms, as though greased with something slippery and sticky at the same time.  Very talented fellow, though when his act finished and the music was still going, he simply walked off stage.  Whoops!
 This young woman did more than I could ever have imagined possible..
 with a couple of long lines of flowing material.

This performer had a wonderful sense of the music and her energy..
was mind boggling.  I can't imagine how she found the breath to do so much high speed..
 spinning and turning for close to five solid minutes with never a moment..
 to rest and recover.

 The final act of the evening ended up being the one I chose to win.  Two people..
 coordinating their act, finding the beat with such precision..
and managing..
 to make it all look planned!

As the act came to a close, and as I went back in my mind over all the wonderful talent we had witnessed, I realized I had been stimulated and enriched beyond any level I could have anticipated.  And all for FREE!  I can't thank enough each performer (and that includes Wayne, the pianist) for a night of entertainment that I will never forget. 
Just as I tried when a teacher to be absolutely fair in my assessments, I did my best here to choose the winner, but with a lot less expertise. We didn't hang around to learn the final outcome but perhaps I'll be able to find out that news later today through a google search.  Pitch dark, greatly cooled down temperatures, winds that had suddenly become quite strong, bikes locked behind dark bushes, and a few other challenges left me/us just wanting to get on those bikes and make our way back to the comforts of home.
I'm not going to say it was all a piece of cake, but we navigated those winds and our new bike path a lot more easily than anticipated.  We even warmed up along the way.  I had to record the moment, so we stopped here by the lions in front of the casino.  It was the only place where I thought we would find enough light to..
 show up my beautiful Bill, who not only survived, but led me home swiftly and safely, and was able to smile too.
Neither of us have ever gambled in that casino, but I thought the lions deserved their moment of fame, and just in case you've forgotten Sally's Blue Monday meme, 
 I did a tiny bit of photo editing to prod your memory.  Thank for reading, everyone.  And, happy Monday to each one of you! 


  1. The Water Lillies painting is so beautiful, I know it will become a favorite spot for you. The circus performers look amazing--you have some wonderful talent in your area of the world.

  2. i do like those oriental lions! glad you made it thru the noise and crowds! the circus performers have a TON of athleticism and creativity!

  3. Hi Carol,

    Thanks for "taking me along" on your terrific adventure; it was quite impressive. Isn’t it fun finding blues to share? Thanks for playing today.

    Happy Blue Monday!

  4. Great colorful post. I enjoyed visiting. I am now following you. I came from Blue Monday.
    Have a great week,

  5. Thanks for coming by and seeing me! Enjoy your week.

  6. Wow! What a great time you had! Lots of wonderful photos and great blues! Always a pleasure to come by and say hello. Thanks for sharing.