Thursday, December 15, 2011

Running, Running, Christmas Running?

 Some of my favourite bloggers are getting into the Christmas spirit in a big way. Une Femme, for example, is having a 10 Days of Chrismukkah giveaway.  Duchesse writes about what gets her in the Christmas spirit and asks her readers what works for them -- I know that will be a conversation to follow. That's Not My Age gives us festive dresses -- with sleeves! -- to make merry in. Kristin hand-makes one Christmas gift after a beautiful other, offering delectably-wrapped sweets for us to covet. Hostess bakes up loaves with leftover eggnog and shares her recipe. Lisa makes a Christmas gift suggestion for anyone with nuptials in the future.
 But here on our little island? Grinchfamilias is marking papers still (I finished the research essays, but have now replaced those with the final exams!), trying to figure out how to get course proposals written by this afternoon's deadline, and the most Christmassy thing I've done so far is fret about the lists I haven't even written. . . .
 There's some happiness astir, though. I can feel it rustling in the corners, and I know from past experience that it will pounce, capture me unawares through a cluster of red rose hips, the glimpse of a child's delight at a sparkly store window, the complex sweetness of a mincemeat tart, the scent of orange and cloves. . .

 While I'm marking, doing what must be done to clear the way for that happiness to find me, I thought I'd take you on last Saturday's run with me around my beloved Stanley Park Seawall in Vancouver.


Siwash Rock, an inspiration in its testimony to human generosity, marks the turning point back into the East, to face Vancouver (and, indeed, the rest of the continent) again, after the open expanse of water facing the West, toward Vancouver Island, and beyond . . .


 After Siwash Rock, the next landmark, the one that lets me know I'm on the home stretch, is running under the Lions Gate Bridge

Soon, I'll pass the Children's Playground, a bit sombre in the rain, but still holding some echoes of summer fun under its seaside sprinklers

Then I round another corner to run under this marine light, which never fails to make me feel I'm enjoying an exotically West Coast run. . .

And in toward Coal Harbour, with the seven sails marking the Vancouver Conference Centre across the water. . . From here, there are only another three or four, four or five perhaps, kilometres to go, and I'm beginning to think about my favourite crêpes ("Your usual? Number 5 with buckwheat? Coffee with cream?" our regular server asks with a smile)

And by the time I'm done, if I'm not yet in a Christmas spirit, I'm at least feeling the satisfaction of a job well done and I'm revved up for the day  -- and, indeed, the week -- ahead.

I'll get to work on finding some Christmas spirit (in fact, I have a few new Christmas CDs to accompany my marking), but meanwhile, you know that I thought about you all through my weekend run.

So does the Christmas spirit have you running? Through the malls, through your lists, through the batches of baking? What's making you Christmas-merry -- or keeping you from it? Do tell, in the spirit of the season . . .

10 comments:

  1. The spirit has been slow to come this year, and we're still just too busy to really take time to enjoy the season just yet. But I'm starting to feel that "rustling in the corners" (love that imagery) myself, abetted by listening to the Christmas music station as much as I can stand. Saturday night we have plans to watch the boat parade in Naples (California, that is) with friends and family. Love the pictorial of your run. We walked along some of that seawall when I visited, didn't we?

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  2. It will come, materfamilias. In the years when I worked intensely sometimes that took till midnight (placing gifts under tree, stuffing stockings, boys in bed, glass of wine at hand) late Christmas Eve, but it comes. There is just that big hill of work first.

    Beautiful moody photos.

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  3. My husband starts his Christmas vacation on Monday, so together we'll finish the shopping and decorating - that's when it will hit me, I think. For the last few years the boys have had 3 weeks at Christmas and we were always rushing off to Scotland, so this will be a bit more relaxed, with them still in school next week - yay! P.

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  4. You could never be a grinch! And those photos prove it - you are very gracious to share such a beautiful, melancholy landscape when you barely have time to think! I hope that everything gets very festive for you shortly.

    I kind of love that my word ver is prowise...

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  5. There is nothing like marking papers and exams to make one feel a bit on the Grinchy side. I hope you can get through them swiftly and get to do some running and relaxing!

    These photos are, as Kristin said, melancholy and just so lovely. Thank you for sharing them with us. I am going to have to come to Vancouver and run that route sometime. It is now on my list.

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  6. Apologies for being in absentia for such a long time. I always marvel at all you do, and I don't even make the time to leave a comment. I resolve to do better! When I last visited Vancouver I fell in love with Stanley Park and the mesmerizing view from the seawall. I imagined you on your runs as I walked the loop and explored the interiors.
    The spirit of the season will envelop you when you least expect it. I adore the last minute.....I need the adrenalin
    to get things done!

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  7. I don't think I realized until right now just what a big role the ocean has in your day to day life. Very beautiful. I just ordered a bunch of stuff from Amazon. I'm calling that Christmas:).

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  8. My only real nod to Christmas this year was the wonderful carol concert and consuming way too much Stollen!
    From tonight I wave Christmas goodbye, after lasts years’ cancellation I will not want to miss this years as we have decided it will be the last for a while; so for me it will be very important to tie up some loose photographic threads, as next year Scandinavia is calling. I hope.
    I hope you get a break soon. Relax and send Pater my best wishes for a great Christmas.

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  9. Sue: Those Christmas lights boat parades are always fun -- I wonder if ours might be this weekend as well. Have to keep an eye out. And yes, I think we did take the seawall for part of our walk, although just at the outside of the park.
    Duchesse: Thanks for the encouragement. I know as soon as Nola arrives, the spirit will be there.
    Patricia: Oh, you'll have a wonderful week together, so leisurely.
    Kristin: You're so sweet. Thanks! And yes, you are pro-wise, in your prowess.
    Raquelita: Takes a fellow sufferer to really understand. And I hope you do make it to Vanc'r some day, and that we'll be able to run the seawall together.
    Pavlova: I've missed you! Hope all is well and you're getting ready to enjoy the festivities. And I love what you say about the last-minute and the adrenaline. I can't handle too much of that, but you're right that at least some is part of what it's all about. The houseful of guests, the mountains of food to get home and cook and eat and clean up after, the bustle, the late nights. . . and then the deep, satisfied exhaustion and the sinking into a good book in a quiet house after they've all left.

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  10. Lisa: Yes, it's in my view whether we're on the island or in the city. I'm aware of the tides every day and who knows how else my body may be affected at a level I'm not aware of. Interesting, eh? (that's a Canadianism, in case you don't know!)
    And like you, I've been a fairly one-stop shopper, with the bulk being books, so that part's not too bad.
    Alison: I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there are no mishaps this year and that you have a wonderful warm winter holiday.

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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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