Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Thanks and a busy weekend

I'm bowled over by the support and encouragement I received from readers in comments to my last post. To have such thoughtful, bright, perceptive, and articulate people bother to read and comment about my writing (and accompanying photographs) and care about its continuance really strengthens my wavering faith in what I'm doing here. What I was beginning to see as foolishness, you allow me to frame as brave, open, cheery sharing. I don't expect that the vulnerable 16-year old inside is going to disappear completely, but next time I hear her whispered fears, I'll just remind her that we're not worried about the mocking crowd (should that even exist beyond our fearful adolescent imagination). I'm/we're standing up and smiling at a community of interested friends who seem to believe that I am someone with something to say and show about personal dress as an important daily manifestation of my engagement with the world, as important an expression of myself as my reading, socializing, knitting, gardening, opera-going, movie-watching, and enjoying food. Thank you so much for giving me this confidence.

So later this week there will be a photo of "what I wore" -- Meg took many in our photoshoot last week (I think she was trying to prolong her time with a decent camera in her heads; the girl's really itching for a digital SLR). For now, here's a shot of my 3 daughters and a friend, taken this weekend at our Vancouver apartment where we got together for (another!) good-bye dinner for Megan, who leaves today to live with her boyfriend in Toronto. It was lovely to have Britt (2nd from left) with us; she and Rhiannon were best friends from 4 'til we left Prince Rupert when Rhiannon (left) was in Grade 2, and then they flew to visit each other every summer for years after that. Over the last few years, they haven't seen each other much, but now they live blocks apart in Vancouver. Despite the years, Britt fit in as if we were all back in her parents' Lakelse Cabin again, and I know she thought our family was still just as crazy as ever!
(Sorry, by the way, for the poor quality of this shot -- I was using the wee Pentax point-and-shoot, and using it sloppily)

What else did we do this weekend? Well, let's see . . .

1. Went for dinner Friday night -- grilled calamari at Taki's Taverna.
2. Fought, Sulked (me), Made up. Watched Broken English together -- some of it is set in Paris, and it features some good actors -- Gena Rowlands, Drea de Matteo, Parker Posey -- Got it as a Friday night chick flick, but it was better than that, if not as light.
3. After a short, crappy run Saturday morning, I stayed in the apartment all day reading the papers (our weekend routine always includes the Saturday Vancouver Sun and The Globe) while Paul drove Rhiannon and Megan out to the dreaded Ikea -- Meg's helping Rhiannon put her new apartment together -- and took them to visit his parents and my mom. Very sweet of him to take this on and let me rest. I was feeling pretty stretched after a busy week, but I really wanted the girls to see their grandparents before Meg took off for Toronto, and that's tough to do on public transit. They were at Ikea over two hours, and apparently, when Rhiannon realized she'd have to pick up all the items and take them to the Delivery Office, she was ready to leave without anything. Luckily, Meg's an Ikea expert and talked her through the challenges. Paul sat and read while enjoying his Ikea cinnamon bun.
4. Had the aforementioned dinner which ended up being a charcuterie plate followed by a simple steak salad and pizza, with Cupcakes for dessert. Pizza and cupcakes were in deference to the day's overly ambitious activities which left no time for culinary heights. Fun was had.
5. I ran the Stanley Park seawall Sunday morning (and I'm feeling that run today!) and on the way I passed a 70-ish couple with very real bodies (she, Dove-commercial ready; he, large paunch; very cute, inspiring seniors) towelling off their bathing-suited selves after a swim in English Bay -- BRrrrr!; a woman running and talking on her cell (hand-held, it looked pretty awkward); many runners, single, in couples, or in large groups; walkers, cyclists, no roller-bladers yet; a woman sitting on a bench surrounded by crows that she was feeding peanuts -- hope she exercised some stealth walking home -- those guys are likely to have her address noted and not let her out without paying a peanut ransom. I love, love, love this run, and am so glad I'm up to doing it again. Passing Siwash Rock and evaluating my fitness for the rest of the distance, then heading under the Lions Gate Bridge and knowing I'm pretty much halfway 'round, curving 'round to look across the North Shore with its Edward Burtynsky-worthy scene, blue industrial rooves butting up against bright-yellow triangles of sulphur, against rusty-red and green box cars, then running past the playground nearing Lumbermen's Arch, 'round the light and the gun and finally all the new buildings of Coal Harbour come into view and I'm running past the sailboats and the Sunday strollers and finally I'm under the Georgia Street underpass and walking is fair game anytime over the last two kilometres as I head back up to our apartment. Sunday, at about 11 or 12K, I got a surge of endorphins such as I've only clearly felt before when I did the half-marathon (they kicked in at 17K that time). Can't help smiling when that hits -- it's a great feeling.
6. Crêpes, of course -- #5 with buckwheat, Mmmm.
7. And a quick visit to the VAG to see the Emily Carr and Group of Seven show one last time before it's gone. Really useful to see her work against theirs and note the similarities, striking especially since she was condemned for so long to work alone and be seen as eccentric while they had, well, 6 companions at least.
It was a busy weekend, and now it's Tuesday, and Meg will be boarding her flight soon. So good-bye again, sweetie. See you in Toronto!


  1. Saturday at IKEA?!? Brave.

    When I was growing up, I was always the youngest and smallest in my class. Also, not terribly socially adjusted. Well, as someone different from the "norm" I was teased alot. To this day, if I am walking along or doing whatever and I hear laughter, my first instinct is that they are laughing at me. By now I can almost immediately convince myself that they are not, that it surely has nothing at all to do with me. But that leftover childhood insecurity is so strong!

  2. You are a chic and smart looking group.
    And, I really enjoyed Broken English . Crepes, cupcakes, calamari, and steak salad sound delicious. The running sounds hard. I admire your combination of discipline and decadence. Brilliant balance.

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  4. Jillian: You sound as if you "get" completely what I'm talking about. Most of the time, I'm so glad to have moved past all that childhood insecurity (I was always youngest and smallest as well, having skipped a grade as perhaps you did). But sometimes, I'm surprised how it can still exert power, so many decades later.
    And yes, Ikea on Saturday might be bravery or it might be sheer idiocy. Note that I stayed home ;-)
    LBR: I love thinking that I can combine discipline and decadence -- thank you!

  5. I wanted to thank you for the nice post on my blog regarding my trench but I didn't have your email address. I have enjoyed browsing through your blog. Gosh, your daughters look like you!

  6. thanks again for all your generosity, and for having me at the house for the week.
    So far so good here in Toronto...its warm!
    does that mean its going to be about 100 degrees come summer?

  7. Bonnie: Yes, genetics really make themselves clear in our family. Your trenchcoat deserves all the good comments it gets!
    Girlcook: It was fun having you visit. I'm sure it will be in the high 30s a lot in Toronto this summer and humid as well. I'll find out when I come to visit you.


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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