Friday, August 7, 2015

Five Things on an August Friday

1. We're just rounding up to two weeks in our city apartment, and although it's just a bit too small (just under 500 square feet) to live in comfortably full-time just yet (although I know many couples manage to do just that), we've been surprisingly content. Of course, we have two daughters, two sons-in-law and three grandchildren to visit here in Vancouver, and we had a son, daughter, and granddaughter visit us at the beginning of our stay. But we've enjoyed many activities as a couple as well, particularly cycling around the city's generous network of biking paths. Going to movies or out for a meal is so much easier than on our little island, and we haven't even got to the Art Gallery or Museum of Anthropology yet. (We hope to visit at least one of the today with Miss N.) I'm reassured to see this life could be a satisfying one. The complications of two homes are lucky to have, but sometimes I hanker for more simplicity. . .

2. Some of you have already seen this photo on Instagram, and I hope you'll forgive me for posting it again here. Really, how often does one stop to play a pink piano while running across a city bridge, overlooking a stunning mountains-and-ocean view, and have a willing photographer handy in one's running partner?
Pink piano courtesy of the Pianos on the Street project


3. I had planned to buy tickets to Bard on the Beach's King Lear, and there's enough summer yet that we may still do that. I've heard that it's a strong production with Benedict Campbell turning in stellar performance in the titular role. Somehow, I'm deterred by the three hours plus, however, and perhaps by the memory of watching this with my daughter at London's Globe Theatre 14 years ago. Standing room only tickets, we bought. A great price, of course, and it was a marvellous show, but oh! My! Legs. They ached and ached, and then it began to rain, and then it began to pour, and then there was a deluge to make us remember and feel Unaccommodated Man keenly in our bones. . . Come to think of it, perhaps I should see if attending here would bring on some much-needed rain again.

Instead, this lowbrow couple opted for Amy Schumer's Trainwreck, and we're still laughing days later. If you don't do vulgar sexual humour, don't see it, but if you want to see evidence that feminists do too have a sense of humour, this is your Funny! Actually, even if you prefer to avoid vulgar sexual humour but you're a Tilda Swinton fan, see this for the astonishment of recognizing her, slowly, and with considerable incredulity...

Then last night, Pater proved that he could also pick good solid summer entertainment. Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation is a tense and entertaining romp from start to finish. And it's only fair that I concede to an action film once in a while...

4. The TV set-up is pretty basic in the apartment and I mostly leave it to Pater. But I was missing our Netflix viewing, so we curled up on the couch together with his laptop perched between us to watch a couple of episodes of The Bridge. Thanks to Madame Là-Bas for introducing us to this moody, gripping, and often amusing Scandinavian crime series. The relationship between the two flawed lead detectives is a compelling driver for the show, but we're also enjoying the setting, the social commentary, and many of the ancillary characters.


5. Dosas. Especially at Vancouver's Dosa Corner on Fraser Street. Especially if you've cycled a hilly ten kilometres to get there, thus honing an already sharp appetite. And especially if the occasion is a family birthday with two little girls marvelling at their crispy and delectable cones.

I've written about Dosa Corner before, here, and I can't believe it's taken us this long to get back. In fact, so delicious was our first meal there that six-year old Miss N wanted to remember, on our second visit last week, what her aunt's dad, Armando, ordered last time (Joey, can you remember?) because it's me,Roy was stuck in her taste buds. I love building family memories through interwoven layers that way.
And there we are, Five Things on this August Friday. Any comments are very welcome, as usual, but even if you're just reading quietly with no time or too shy to leave a word, I wish you a Happy Weekend!

26 comments:

  1. How sweet this pink piano is. Sounds like great project.
    Never tried dosas,looks yummy and what a great family reunion in your first post about Dosas! Wonderful!
    I'm so glad you both like The bridge original,a whole new world and society,no? My favorite is still Borgen (in Scandinavian series)
    Have a nice weekend!
    I was yesterday in Medugorje,have you maybe heard about it? I met a men with a big Canadian flag,but he was local guide waiting for his Canadian group :-)
    Dottoressa

    Dottoressa

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    1. Oh, I'm sorry if it might have been from you that I learned of The Bridge and I credited Mme. L-B for that. We are so enjoying it -- just finished Series 1 last night -- Whoa!!
      Yes, I have heard of Medugorje -- So cute that you made a connection between that Canadian flag you saw there and the Canadian bloggers you "know" -- the world becomes smaller!

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  2. A man,sorry
    Dottoressa

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  3. Here are my five things:
    1. I'm spending part of my holidays at the lakeside, and after a week of cold rains and wind now summer has finally arrived. Meaning: breakfast on the deck, reading in the shade and the first swim in the lake. I love the felling of it which brings back so many summers right back to my childhood days.
    2. I also weeded the lakeside garden. You wouldn't say it's tidy, it never will be, but at least my flowers have space and light to grow.
    3. I read "Monkey Beach", following your recommendation in an earlier post. I found it fascinating, except for the end which did not quite convince me.
    4. I took up the accordion again. I'm an absolute beginner, but a few minutes a day are beginning to make a difference.
    5. I indulged myself watching the fifth season of "Downton Abbey" which I particularly enjoy because of the various accents of the different characters.

    BTW: What happens to that lovely pink outdoor piano if it should rain, I wonder?
    Have a lovely weekend!

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    1. Summers, lakeside, just perfect! Enjoy! Even work there, in your garden, is pleasant, isn't it!
      That ending, in Monkey Beach, is enigmatic, isn't it, and many find it frustrating. So much of what she's writing about is liminality and, even, hybridity, crossing borders. . . .and she's a huge Stephen King fan with a great sense of humour. So much I could say about the novel. Glad you found it fascinating.
      The accordion! So much fun!
      The piano has a big plastic cover that someone pulls over it (I suppose the organization has volunteers who monitor) and I suspect they'll have to bring them back indoors somewhere over the rainy months (which, generally, are all months here, but not this summer!)

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  4. Hi Mater, we watched the Bridge and loved it too. I am really into those Scandinavian tv shows - currently we are watching Borgen on tv, plus we have been watching Dicte on Netflix. She is a crime journalist in Denmark, it's a very enjoyable series. I also sometimes watch these hokey romantic dramas on German tv online which are set in Sweden - I would SO like to visit Stockholm!

    Here's my big thing - it's my birthday today! And tomorrow is our 23rd anniversary! Champagne all round! (Ok, German Sekt, but still.)

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    1. Oh, so sorry I missed your birthday. Belated Greetings and Happy Anniversary. I hope both celebrations were joyous!
      I've had Dicte lined up on Netflix for a while -- I think it's up next. And I just said to Pater that I'm putting the Baltic countries on my travel list. . .

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  5. Dicte is next on my list to watch. A really well-done film that we just watched on Netflix was set in Denmark. "In a Different World" deals with male roles and aggression. A really thoughtful film! King Lear is worth the 3 hours but make sure that you are wide awake. I really enjoy the Bard experience. I still want to see the Italian art display this summer. Happy week-end!

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    1. We might be watching Dicte in parallel, then. And I'll note that film. I'm sure that Lear will be worth it, but I wasn't sure I could manage wide awake, exactly. I haven't been sleeping well and I want to be rested and alert enough for it. The Italian art display is good to see, relatively modest but still worthwhile. It's the exhibit upstairs you should make time for, really. We took Nola on Saturday to see the Italian and it was the Geoffrey Farmer on the 2nd floor that was the real hit. You'll see what I mean. . .

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  6. "Talking pictures," good food, and family. Sigh. Lovely.

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  7. How cool that you stopped to play!

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  8. You saw King Lear at the Globe and it rained?? How perfect for the scene of Lear on the heath....how NOT perfect for you! I haven't seen The Bridge, but saw the British/French version called The Tunnel a couple of years ago. Same concept, body found in the tunnel under the English Channel. It reminded me of the Canadian film of a few years ago called Bon Cop, Bad Cop, starring Colm Feore (love him), in which body is found hanging on the sign between Quebec and Ontario, and the crime must be solved by (you guessed it) an English cop from Ontario and a French cop from Quebec. Talk about "two solitudes!" Hope the rest of your time in the city is just as enjoyable for you. And then there's France and Italy still to come. You lucky girl!

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    1. Yep. We were Unaccommodated Man, personified. . .
      Bon Cop, Bad Cop was goofy fun -- and they're finally making a follow-up BC,BC (so far from BCBG!!) 2.
      I'd forgotten that initial motive for the two provinces to work together, exactly the same premise as The Bridge (and I had no idea there was an England/France version -- will watch for that)

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  9. Love The Bridge & Dosas both . Second series of The Bridge was as good as the original & the two leads are great together . First had Dosas in India years ago & very happy when they arrived in the UK , never seen the cones though .
    Wendy in York

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    1. I think the cones must be a local adaptation, a very clever rendition for a kids' menu. Hattie's was plain, while Nola had cheese melted between its folded layers -- a very cool grilled cheese version. I think they were about $3.50 each, so very reasonable. They came with a little dish of catsup! Obviously a concession to kids who might have been hoping for a side of French fries

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  10. Lovely photo with the piano! Have watched both seasons of The Bridge. Apparently there is a third season coming but without the male main character. Can't wait.

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    1. It's so good, this show. We're really looking forward to the second season, wondering what will happen with poor, devastated Martin. and will Saga manage to build something with Anton. . . . don't tell, please ;-)

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  11. I love the idea of the piano project! I'm dying to see Trainwreck. I've recently discovered Amy Schumer. There's a great youtube video of "The Last F*kable Day," with Tina Fey and Julia Louis-Dreyfus and another actress. I could watch it every day.

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    1. Yes, and have you seen the video with the new football coach who tells his team they're not allowed to rape anymore? Football Town Nights -- hilarious and sobering. Wow!

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    2. I haven't seen this one - thanks! I'm off to find it now.

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  12. Intrigued by your comments about living in two places. I am drawn to that by the difficulty of reconciling the fact that two of our children live north and two live south. It's timely to be reminded that there are compromises attached to every apparent solution!

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    1. Yes, this is it, every solution turns out to pose problems of its own or, as you better put it, compromises. I'm gearing up for the next stage and in so many ways it will be much simpler, but there will be huge losses. . . Balance. Once again, it's all about the balance!

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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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