Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The plan

I haven't made a New Year's resolution for years and do not plan to make one this year.  I did make a "decision" today and admit it entered my mind suspiciously close to 2016, but that's purely coincidence. Bill and Black Jack are supportive of the plan.  Bill told me so and even added suggestions to help me stick to it.  
Black Jack didn't comment but she always supports Bill, even when he places..
her new hat (so she won't shiver on the bicycle) ever so carefully under her collar.
So, you ask, "What's the plan?"  Well, it has 2-steps: 
1. One hour to write a blog post in the evenings.  When the hour is up, the post will be published, no matter what has been written.
2. One hour to read other bloggers' posts and leave comments in the morning.  No more feeling guilty about the many much appreciated comments that have received no response.

So here goes!  I've already used up 25 minutes so this will have to be quick.  Today, Lan, a former student, took the ferry from Nanaimo to spend the day in Vancouver.  In the morning, we explored this antique shop.  It's called Salmagundi. Here, she explores these drawers that make you feel as though you are being just a bit naughty when you open them, but they are put there for that very purpose.   
 There's quite a range of treasures in those drawers.
One never knows what one will find at Salmagundi.  This stagecoach was in a glass case.  It was my 2nd visit to Salmagundi (Lan's 1st), but I completely..
 missed seeing the stagecoach and driver last time.
 Lan discovered a collection of old maps and loved showing me this one of Paris.  She spent four and a half months studying in Paris and she loved the city and countryside around it very, very much.
 She also discovered this diary.  Anyone can write their secrets in it. 
Some of the confessions were naughty. That's why Lan's hand is covering the top portion of the left page.  Some of the confessions were positively scary.  But many of the secrets were heartwarming, like the one that says, "I found the woman I'm going to marry."
 Lan and I walked from West Cordova Street up to the corner of Smythe and Homer, to enjoy a delicious lunch at the Buzz Café in Harrison Galleries.  Bill met us there and Lan showed him the links (Coursera and EdX) to university courses she has been taking on line for free from some of the top universities in the world.  She is also registered in a masters program at Vancouver Island University.  You could say she is a very busy student.
 Lan's home and family are in Vietnam.  Since graduating from high school in Vancouver, she has done a lot of traveling and she now is proficient in four languages.  She loves her homestay in Nanaimo and enjoyed showing me this painting that reminds her of the terrain around her temporary home.
 After our lunch, we walked with Lan to Zhape, the hair salon owned by another of my former students.  Both Elvis and Lan studied at Bodwell (where I taught), though they never met as they were there at different times.  Elvis did a beautiful job cutting Lan's hair.  My photo fails to show the subtleties  of his work.  This is one cut you really have to see in person to fully appreciate.
 After the haircut, Lan, Bill and I walked to a tree that Bill and I call "our" tree.  Lan took our picture there.  It's a bit hard to see us, but I love the photo.  You can see the Granville Bridge in the background.
 We ate supper together and then left Lan to do a little shopping before she caught the ferry back to Nanaimo.  This was the view on Granville Street as we walked home.
There's so much more that I wanted to say, but my time is up for today.  I feel honoured when former students spend time with me.  That is one of the great rewards of teaching.  Today was a beautiful day.


  1. Very nice post. I actually like the posts that aren't quite so long. Still remember our short visit in october.

  2. Hello Carol, I enjoyed this post. It seems like you had a wonderful day with your former student Lan. I like the new haircut and Black Jack's new hat is so cute. Whether your post are long and short I am glad to visit with you! Wonderful series of photos. Thank you for your visits and comments the past year on my blog. I wish you, Bill and Black Jack a very happy, healthy New Year.

  3. That big fluffy snowball sitting on Black Jack’s head made me smile. My goodness that shop with a “book of secrets” does look wonderfully mysterious … I could get lost in there for hours and hours. And what a joy keeping up relationships with former students. One of these days, it will be me joining you at Harrison Galleries.

    I did feel a mild gyrating of what I thought was the train going by down at the beach. Bill said the sofa shook severely. Glad nothing serious happened during the quake!

  4. lan is adorable! so glad you got to spend time with her. and elvis - didn't know he was a former student of yours! black jack's cap is too cute and funny! such a girl...

    good luck with your resolution, er, plan! i wish i had more time for posting and visiting and miss my old life of leisure. ah, well. we do what we must to survive. blessings to you 3 in 2016!

  5. How wonderful to spend the day with a former student. I am sure she enjoyed sharing the day with you. That shop seemed full of treasures. Happy New Year to the three of you.

  6. I like that Arc sculpture, those figures though were a little "weird" but fun to see. Always good to see what you are up to along with your hubby and Jack. - Wishing you all a great New Year! See you in 2016