Saturday, 29 September 2012
First of all, enormous thank you/gros bisous to everyone who commented on the last post. I'll get back to you all individually, but in the meantime, I so appreciated not only people saying they hoped I'd keep blogging, but especially the writing encouragement in general.
Most of my recent days have been urban and social, but last week my dad, my sister Morna and I went on a hike in Deep Cove, a sweet little village with stunning scenery (I would shoot myself from boredom if I lived there though). I love walking in the woods around Vancouver; the trees are towering and monumental and the views once you get out of them are stunning: city and water and sky and of course, more trees.
Aaaand, Deep Cove is home to Honey's doughnuts, which as you might guess are made with honey and are so. good.
I love the stillness of an overcast day and the pearly quality that grey light in Vancouver has, as opposed to the flat steeliness of cloudy days elsewhere.
Picture of me by my dad
Monday, 24 September 2012
If recent posts give the impression that I'm a little disconnected from the blog, and even from getting dressed, that's entirely the case. It's September, and September is an uneasy month for me. I've moved or said goodbye to a significant part of a past life every September except one since 2003. September is the anniversary of my dad moving to Canada 40-odd years ago, and the quiet celebration of a life-changing event always makes me reflect on what the real life-changing events in my own life with prove to be, with hindsight. My birthday is in early October, and as I'm sure everyone over 24 can relate, birthdays just get more fun with every passing year. I guess I'm brewing up a little crisis of my own.
It's been interesting being back in Canada to see where people are in their lives. Unsurprisingly given the worldwide crisis, a fair number of people my age (late 20s, I'm about to turn 29) are drifting or in limbo, but not everyone. Some of my friends, even in difficult-to-break-into areas like journalism and the art world, are starting to make headway and seeing these successes really makes me want to focus on forging my own way in my own desperate and unrealistic dream (writing). I'm my own worst enemy through fatalism and lack of confidence, but the changing of the season and that damned birthday are reminding me that time and tide wait for no man.
Oh yes, blog. I'm feeling restricted by the formula of this blog as I've built it and as it fits into the wider genre that it does. I'm feeling restricted by a perceived need to seem happy, to seem polished, to seem on top of things, and ultimately by the task I've set myself of portraying myself all the time. I've considered stopping blogging, but then I look back through my archives and appreciate their existence and I don't want to stop. I'm inarticulate, but I suppose I'm saying I hope you'll bear with me while I work through the September issue...
"September: it was the most beautiful of words, he’d always felt, evoking orange-flowers, swallows, and regret."
- Alexander Theroux, 1981
Photos by Shona
Saturday, 22 September 2012
Vancouver's having a glorious September (well, until today when it's suddenly cloudy and 15 degrees Celsius). Shona and I, to get out of our work/homework slumps, went down to Vanier park, where the Museum of Vancouver had an exhibit of 1920s fashion, another of the role of Neon signs in the cityscape, and where the park itself was appealing for a walk afterwards, among new abstract sculptures and the tents of Bard on the Beach, Vancouver's famous Shakespeare festival. The next night we were back there to see a play, a riotous, hilarious interpretation of The Merry Wives of Windsor set in Windsor, Ontario in 1968, in which Shakespearean soliloquies were frequently interrupted by country-style fiddle and brilliant versions of "You're Cheatin' Heart." Bard is one of my all-time favourite things to do in Vancouver and a definite summer/early-fall must for anyone visiting.
I'm feeling completely casual lately. All I want to wear are funky t-shirts and simple skirts. And since I packed for Vancouver at 3 am after three glasses of wine, my shoe-choice left something to be desired so sorry... there's going to be a lot more of these sneakers...
Monday, 17 September 2012
I've been keeping a low profile this week, since coming down with New Country Syndrome a bit. Luckily, it's come at a good time to catch up on all the other projects I set myself to do in the summer. Apart from working (I've been able to work from home for a few months which is how I seem to be on two-month vacation), I've been really getting back into writing, which kind of fell by the wayside when I got a new job this past spring. My other project of the summer was learning (or relearning) French. Like most anglophone Canadians, I studied it in school for about a million years and came out able to write an essay but unable to speak a word. I've been applying myself for the last month, doing CD courses, trying to read, getting a language exchange partner, and watching children's TV shows out of Quebec. I've regressed about 25 years and my favourite show is currently about a piglet and a camel and a puffin who are all friends. So cute! Kind of wish I'd actually watched these when I was a kid though; I would probably have learned way faster.
What are your goals and projects at the moment? I always have to have something in the back of my mind that I'm working on, or I start getting neurotic and think I'm doing nothing with my life...
Photos by Shona
Friday, 14 September 2012
My first weekend back in BC was spent in Harrison Hot Springs, a resort area about two hours away, attending a wedding. My mom and sister were proper guests, my other sister and I were plus ones, and my mom decided to make a big weekend-long event of it, on the logic that "none of my daughters seem to be getting married so we may as well enjoy other people's weddings." Sounded good to me. I got to spend the weekend alternately dressed up and being, apparently, "the life and soul of the party," and sitting in a heated pool surrounded by mountains and forests, (as you can see, I'm extra-shiny from all the heat and happiness). Then there were the natural mineral hotsprings, Thai chicken pizza dinners, room service breakfasts (weirdly cheaper than the buffet) and drinking champagne in the bride's room. Running into ex-boyfriends and members of the bridal party I used to babysit every time I walked through the lobby was a bit surreal, but hey! All part of being home.
I wore an old dress I bought my sister for her birthday years ago.
Apparently we did some tango in addition to Irish jigs and general flailing at the reception. Hmmm, might have been less noticeable if we weren't the only people dancing half the time. :D
The last day was chilly and misty, but it just made sitting in a warm outdoor swimming pool even better!
Beautiful British Columbia... check out the matching float-plane too.
Tuesday, 11 September 2012
...and say to yourself, "There's no place like..."
After two and a half years away, with some air miles to burn, I hopped a plane to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, aka my hometown--I guess. Since I was last here my parents sold our house, we're semi-based in a different province, and many of my friends have relocated, but my mom and two sisters still sort-of live here.
Vancouver, which goes by the nicknames "Raincouver," "City of Glass," and "The Best Place on Earth" (if you're a douchebag), is a sparkling jewel of a city nestled between the mountains and the ocean, full of glass towers that glitter at night, enormous house-sized stumps that recall a logging past, homeless people, and sushi. I lived here from the age of ten until I started drifting off for longer and longer periods in my early 20s. I've loved this city with all my nerve endings and sinews and walked through sunsets and showers across its bridges gazing at the ocean and the sparkling towers, and I've loathed it with the special hatred reserved for places that let you down with their grimness and loneliness, and finally I left it. And now I'm back for a month. I'm half excited, half dreading it... we'll see how we get on!
The sushi gets an unreserved thumbs-up from me, however! People say its better than in Japan, and it's dead cheap.
Wearing Shona's vintage schoolboy jacket, jiving to the radio of a passing truck. Oh yeah, suburbia...
P.S. The brilliantly appropriate pin was a gift from my mom, who actually doesn't know about my blog... she bought it because I was Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz in high school. :)
Photos of me by Shona
Thursday, 6 September 2012
If I could choose one thing to wear to every party all summer, this would be it. This dress, a £15 bargain from the Asos sales, fulfils all the requirements of a party dress to my mind. You can't be underdressed, because it's classic and black and flattering, and you can't really be over-dressed either because it's just a little sundress (I find a messy pony-tail helps defuse a potentially overdressed look anyway). I wore this to a party in Guelph that I knew would be casual, but didn't care and wanted to get dressed up anyway. The girls said I was 'elegant' and the guys thought I was hot, and you have to love a dress that walks that line so successfully.
This was also the first house party I'd been to in forever (they aren't so common in Europe, at least not where I've lived because no one has enough space). I just love the dynamic of house parties; the way everyone ends up in the kitchen at some point, the inevitable moment when you find yourself drinking red wine out of a mug while sitting on the floor, the spectacularly random conversations at 3 in the morning. My sister was telling me today that she's not really a party person, but I think almost everybody is... you just have to find the type of party you like. Mine involve lots of talking, not too much loud music, but perhaps a little spontaneous dancing in the wee hours...
Oh, on the topic of my sister... didn't she take some lovely pictures this time around?
Photos by Shona
Monday, 3 September 2012
There are days when the creative juices do not flow, and today is one of those days. So I'll leave you with the photos. I bought this dress three summers ago when I lived in Mexico (it's from Etsy though) and wore it a lot. Then at some point it disappeared into a cupboard and was never seen again, until I rescued it on Sunday morning.
Also, for anyone feeling cross-eyed and out of sorts and needing a laugh, I recommend "The 21 Worst Things in the World."
Yep, that is all.
Photos by Shona