Monday, October 20, 2014

Chance meetings and Vancouver's Blues

On Sundays, I try to keep an eye for at least a few "blues" to share with Smiling Sally's Blue Monday meme.  The blues yesterday weren't dramatic, but since we had a late start to our outing along English Bay, around Stanley Park's Lost Lagoon, and then along the Coal Harbour bike route homeward, there was a blue cast to many of the photos.  

If I look back on a few highlights of the day, one would definitely be a chance encounter with a beautiful family from Manchester.  I didn't ask their names, but they sure left a warm impression.  Their photos appear about half way down the post.

Another memorable event in our day was the crossword puzzle we struggled to complete. I'd give us a 2.5 on 3 for three clues that were related and particularly fun to (almost) solve.  Here are the clues.  I'll put a few letters in as hints and will give the answers at the end of the post for any crossword addicts.

1. Vincent's "rah, rah" team?  15 letters.  
_ _ G _ _ _ _ _ _ A _ _ _ _ S

2. Salvador's order to "Move it!"  13 letters
_ _ _ T D _ _ _ _ _ A _ _ Y

3. Claude's lucrative sideline business? 15 letters
_ _ N _ _ _ _ U _ _ _ _ i _ _

And now, to our day as it unfolded, with at least a little blue in almost every photo.

We stopped along English Bay so Black Jack could have some running time.  Bill clowned..
 around after he locked up the bikes..  
and walked toward us.
 I think he was trying to prove he was just as agile as this seagull.
 Black Jack took him for a good walk while I..
 marvelled for the umpteenth time that two bridges (Burrard closest and Granville behind it)..
can be captured in one shot.  In this one, you can just barely make out a bus on each bridge.  I think at least one of them is an example of Vancouver's articulated buses.

You can read about them at this site (where I found this photo).

 Another crazy two-bridge shot.  The girder is from the Burrard Bridge, but the ironwork behind it is from the Granville.  You can see two False Creek ferries under the bridge as well as one Aquabus ferry that takes bikes.  You can also see a bit of the Os Gemeos mural, the cement plant behind the ferries, and a restaurant on Granville Island.
 But, back to Black Jack's run.  We chose a spot right along the beach.  Bill settles her here.. 
 before letting her take off.
Bad shot, but this one makes me laugh.  No, she isn't this fierce.  She's just trying to chew her treat and run at the same time.
 Our bikes, with the blue towel that Black Jack rests her chin on when we are riding, waited behind this lovely driftwood.
 We were back on our bikes and heading to Lost Lagoon when we saw more seagulls than I have ever seen gathered in one spot along English Bay.  Just as I got the camera out, 
 they all took off.
 We wondered if there was a hawk or perhaps the eagles from Vanier Park were harassing.. 
 them, but couldn't spot the source of their concern.  Here, some of them were returning to the shore line.
 A lone leaf stood guard against the edge of the seawall,
and I took a moment to catch the blue hues in the Inukshuk that you can see just to the left of the seagulls (2 photos up).
 By the time we reached Lost Lagoon, we needed our bicycle lights.  HIgh iso caught some of the feeling of the darkening sky.
 The light through that tallest tree caught my eye, 
 as did the layers of pinks and blues.
That's when we met the family from Manchester.  Hands reached out to Black Jack in her basket, and she lapped up their attention most gratefully.
The parents told a beautiful story of coming to Vancouver years ago, and loving it so much, they promised when they had kids, they would bring them to see where their Mom and Dad had had so much fun.  
The young men are now college students (presently on a semester break) and our short conversations with them were memorable.  We were on our bikes, and passed them twice, but each time they caught up with us when we stopped, and each time, we learned a little more about them.
 Of Italian heritage, music is a big part of their lives, and wildlife..
also was something they thought about and understood.  As we watched the swans together, they told us that swans are also pinioned in England.  I was shocked to learn that, but interested that they were so aware..
 of this cruel practice.  Many have no idea, simply regarding the swans as great entertainment and not realizing the bone in one wing is broken (a comparison would be to break a bone in our forearm) so that they are forced to live in a small pond, unable to protect themselves or fly to a spot that would better accommodate their need for space.
 Poor photo here, but this swan became afraid (not to do with us, as they are fed by humans) and awkwardly tried to lift out of the water, but one wing flapped uselessly behind it.
 Mute swans are so extraordinarily beautiful, but forcing them to live this way is wrong. I hope one day, there will be no more in Lost Lagoon.
 We bid the family good-bye at this point.  I hope one day, we may hear from them again, perhaps when the young men bring their own families back to Vancouver for a visit.
 Our final stop was along Coal Harbour's bike route.  We stopped by a community centre, and for the first time, ever, I used the flash on my camera.  It caught the spray from a water fountain, though both Bill and I wondered why the fountain continues to run at this time of year when most children would find it too cold to play in.
I looked past the fountain to the waterfront, 
 and then played around with setting, trying to capture my beautiful Bill.  His blue eyes showed in this photo..
 but I lost them in this one.  I would have deleted that one, except that Black Jack checking out the action beneath her made me smile.
 The trees lining the bikeway took on a warm hue in the lamplight, 
 but I came back to a blue light that I could see in the distance, shining through the trees.  It wasn't identifiable..
 but it was one of a few building signs like this one..
 that kept the blue theme alive to share with Smiling Sally.  As she says, blue is all around us.  You can affirm that by clicking right here to visit her meme.  

Oh..  I almost forgot!  The answers to the crossword puzzle are: 
1. goghgoghdancers 2. dontdillydally 3. monetlaundering (We got numbers 2 and 3, but thought number 1 was goghgoghvincent) 

Special thanks go to the Manchester family for brightening our day yesterday, and many thanks as well to you, my much appreciated readers. Have a very happy Monday!  


  1. bill the ham and blackjack the runner - always good ones. :) cute family.

  2. How interesting to enjoy the company of a family from so far away.

  3. What an enjoyable blue post, Carol. And thank you for sending me a link to the post on your Newfoundland, fisherman grandfather. It was so compelling. I have such admiration for all the men who go down to the sea in their little boats. Your grandfather's schooner, the Nelson, was a beauty. I think that schooners are some of the most lovely, graceful boats that have ever sailed. The account of the shipwreck was harrowing, right down to the detail about the mouth organ. Newfies do use "poor" a lot, and "some" this or "some" that. "Skipper" aside from its use as a boat's captain, is a label of respect often bestowed on honored and elderly men in an outport. I used to have a great aunt Blanche in P.E.I. I enjoyed the post SO MUCH! I hope that you are continuing to track down your grandfather's story! Have a good one!

  4. Hi Carol,

    Bill had me laughing out loud; please thank him for the impromptu dance.

    Black Jack does look fierce in that one shot. I'm glad you explained it.

    You certainly know how to make friends. The Manchester family proved interesting.

    We don't shop so much. In fact, my wardrobe is so old that most of it is polyester!

    Happy Blue Monday!

  5. Love the shots of Bill and the fierce looking BlackJack.. The family is cute, hope they had a great visit.. Love the photos and all the blue.. Enjoy your new week ahead!

  6. You sure manage to find a lot of blues!

  7. On Bill certainly has a good sense of humor. I enjoyed all your blues on your daily trip.

  8. Great pictures! I love the ones of your doggy, running and chewing at the same time? So cute!

  9. The two young men you spoke to are my nephews. They are both sensitive, wonderful young men. I am glad you had the opportunity to speak to them.
    Lesley Percy