Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Let's Take a Walk Through Stanley Park . . . OOTD: Denim Skirt, Black Sneakers, Black V-neck. . .

 Five minutes from our apartment in Vancouver's West End, we're on Sunset Beach, heading along the SeaWall route to Stanley Park.  A comfortable walking temperature yesterday, barely 20 degrees, grey drizzle occasionally, pleasant enough although most of us are ready for a bit more heat and sustained sunshine -- after last summer, though, we know to be careful what we wish for . . .

Meanwhile, the cooler temperatures and the regular watering seems to be keeping the plants happy. Blooms everywhere, colour to counteract the grey skies. . .
 Bees were abundant on this large plant -- a bit of online research (using its purple thistle-like flowers and large lower leaves as keywords) tells me that it's Burdock, an invasive plant considered noxious in many areas for its effects on livestock (burrs tangle in their coats, causing health issues, market viability) and for the crowding-out and shading-out of native plants by its large leaves and compact growth. It is beloved, however, by enthusiasts of wild edibles and of medicinal plants. And as I said, the bees seem to love it.
 From childhood, I've thrilled at every sighting of the Vancouver Police Department's horses . . . I've spotted the mounted police three times in the last few months -- this shot, of the horses picking their way across the beach,  is only one of many I took as Pater waited patiently.

But eventually, the horses were out of sight, and we veered away from the beach, into the park, following one of the many trails through the forested area. A few giants are left to remind us what once was here -- today's park is only a pale echo of the deep green world the Coast Salish people moved through (if you're at all interested in the park's history, Jean Barman's Stanley Park's Secret is a great resource). Still, that pale echo is enough to deepen breathing, slow heartrates, and broaden perspectives -- and we're into this green trail within 30 minutes' walk from home.

 I'm just going to be quiet now and let you look. . .
 Except to say that Pater wanted to prove he "could so" take decent OOTD photos for me. . .
 and
Vince sneakers (which blistered my feet again! but in a new spot and yes, even though I slathered my feet with Body Glide -- my feet swell in any heat and I might have been quoted a shorter distance round trip than the 10K we ended up walking); tissue-weight merino V-neck, also Vince; Mother denim skirt. and the ultra-practical small, lightweight M0851 bag.
 Thimbleberries! These (Rubus parviflorus) are so much more flavourful than salmonberries (Rubus spectabilis), and they have an interesting texture which I really like --
 Whoa! That man is really intent on getting some good shots of What I'm Wearing. . . he saw me taking photos of this huge tree trunk and insisted I get in there to provide a sense of scale . . . and honestly, it might be one of my favourite What I Wore shots ever. . .

 But it's time to hush again, and just look . . .
 We made it to Beaver Lake, our goal for the day, before heading out of the park for lunch at our favourite Korean spot. . .

I hope you enjoyed walking to and through the park with me. Mid-week, now, and I'm still having fun reading all your sketches of what you got up to on the weekend. And the earlier conversation -- the one on Friendship and Transition -- continues.

 In fact, the latest comment there seems particularly worth drawing your attention to. The comment is worth reading in its entirety, but Penny (whose blog, The Homemade Heart, I read and enjoy) closes with words that really resonate with me, I think because they point to a balance between effort and reward, enthusiasm and delicacy, even perhaps pleasure and pain:  "Essentially making friends is just about reaching out, but without becoming emotionally flayed in the process. Keeping and nurturing meaningful friendships is about revealing more, within a more developed relationship, and finding that it resonates with the other person, and of course that doesn't happen with every friend, and it would be a bit exhausting if it did. Maturity helps."


I'll leave you to ponder that. I've run with my sister already this morning, written this blog, and now I'm settling into an armchair with a mystery novel. If you care to know what I'm reading, check out my latest post over on my reading blog. And if you care to leave a comment, either here or there, well, you should know by now how much I'll appreciate that. Happy Wednesday!

28 comments:

  1. We are really lucky to have such a natural area in our city! I haven't taken my jean skirt out this year as I am trying to work with fewer items in my closet. I agree with Penny about friendship. M. and I were sitting in a local pub after my French class and we waved at a new neighbour who joined us for a glass of wine. She has the next median garden from mine in the parking lot and is from Ireland. Wine, garden and Ireland! Three things to chat about and a new acquaintance! What more can one want?

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    1. Lucky indeed, Mme!
      That interlude in your local pub is exactly what I'd hope to have here someday. A relaxed sense of community with the possibility for friendships based on shared interests and activities -- and that your Monsieur could be included, even better. . .

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  2. Are the giants sequoias? The biggest challenge of our downsizing is the prospect of leaving the trailhead into a huge forest of virgin Douglas Fir that is at the end of our street.

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    1. There are giant cedars and Douglas Firs, Leslie, no sequoias. If you're at all interested, here's a website that details the Trees of Stanley Park:
      I can imagine it would be very tough to leave that wonderful trailhead. Like us, having to leave the possibility of launching our kayaks from the front door. . .

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  3. I am enjoying exploring Vancouver with you . It certainly looks a lovely place to live .
    Wendy in York

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    1. So glad you're enjoying this, Wendy. I'm having fun sharing the exploration, and yes, we're finding it a great place to live (although there may be complaints to come about grey and rain ;-)

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  4. That is why this blog is gold! Pictures of beautiful scenery, planned fitness walks that inspire me, and such a group of intelligent, emotionally aware women. Even the very critical comment was an "ah-ha" moment for me. In a blog about having a good life, honest and examined, the jarring comment made me think of how we can become slaves to our own emotion-laden perceptions can be so false and damaging and can color our world with an unrealistic tint. I think we are all guilty of this to some degree, but the growth process is in examining our motives and catching ourselves, getting out into the world, accepting the good and the bad. Which brings me back to the content of this blog. Wonderful!

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    1. Aw, Megs, this is so very good of you to say. And I'm glad to see that critical comment's worth being recognised. Anonymous claimed to have been reading here for a long time, and I wouldn't want her to suddenly feel excluded completely by a generous, wise, thoughtful community. Growth, yes! It's not only possible, but ongoing. Thank you!

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  5. Gosh, what a lovely surprise to read your post and find a mention. Thank you very much Frances, it means more than you know. Those gigantic, ancient trees are quite breathtaking, what a beautiful place to walk X

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    1. Well, you're welcome, Penny, but more appropriately, Thank You! You articulated something important about building friendships in a way that's really stuck with me.

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  6. I was walking last night and spotted what you have identified as burdock. When I looked closely I saw the leaves were what I had called 'wild rhubarb'. I don't remember ever seeing the flowers before. Today I see these are two names for the same plant. A nice bit of knowledge; I will pull it out next time I walk with a partner in that area (and attribute it to you of course).

    I like your outfit and the denim skirt for walking. A skirt is sometimes the most comfortable thing but thinner fabric tends to fly up in the wind. Not a good look!

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    1. This kind of knowledge, arcane though it might seem to some, is so satisfying, isn't it? I remember my dad (an immigrant from Yorkshire) talking about the drink "Dandelion and Burdock," so when I came home and tracked down the name of the plant I'd seen, it immediately acquired another layer of significance and association for me.
      I find that to be so true about skirts. . .while some might see them as fussier than pants, I find them easy to wear.

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  7. I walked twice through Stanley Park during my all-too-brief visit to Vancouver, once alone (deliciously) and once accompanied (pretty much all the way around!). Aside from the abundant beauty, I was particularly charmed by the folks following behind me on my solitary venture - midway along, I noticed that my pashmina scarf had fallen away, so I turned back and after several turns met a couple who promptly asked me if I had lost a scarf, because if I had, they had carefully set it aside but still in view. So kind, and so typical of everyone I met. I especially enjoyed retracing some of my steps with you, and learning what thimbleberries are! (BTW, Pater is indeed excelling himself in his photography of you and what you are wearing.)

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    1. I Love that "deliciously" -- so true, isn't it, when we get the chance for some solitude during a time that's at a premium!?
      We Canadians do have a rep for niceness, don't we? It's not always true, of course, but I'm pleased that's the side of us you saw consistently. And I'll pass your encouragement along to Pater -- he'll be gratified ;-)

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  8. Didn't Stanley Park have a lot of damage done to it a few years ago? Big wind storm or something??? Or maybe that was Point Pleasant Park in Halifax. Ah well.. never mind. It looks lovely. Stu and I tried his taking shots of me last week. Seems that only works when we're on holiday... and in Paris or Algonquin Park or something. The back yard shots with our gorgeous hydrangea bed in the background were an unqualified disaster. Well, except for the hydrangea:)

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    1. It did, Susan, a devastating windstorm in 2006, huge damage to thousands of trees, some of them hundreds of years old. The replanting (some 15,000 trees, I believe) is beginning to soften the scarred appearance now, and as you can see, there are still large areas that were left relatively unscathed.
      Interesting what you say about Stu's camera-wielding, very similar to Pater's. . . somehow the holiday shots work so much better, or, as in these shots in the park, when there's a context that's perhaps new and more engaging for them? Hmmmm. . .

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  9. Are you wearing those shoes with sockettes? (If I do not, and they aren't sandals, they always rub.)

    Memories of Stanley Park, long ago- even more majestic now.

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    1. Sockless, I must admit. These shoes are a very snug fit, and not much room for socks. The Body Glide generally keeps blisters away, but the limit for that seems to be about 8K. I miscalculated. . . sadly!

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  10. Penny is so right!
    Maturity is a blessing
    Vancouver is so beautiful-and you look apsolutely relaxed and happy
    About blisters: I lay in a bed with wet towels on my feet before dinner- I traveled today in sneakers that I was wearing almost every day at home and after two exibitions (Rolling Stones and Hockney) I can barely walk
    Dottoressa

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    1. Ouch! I'm so sorry bout your feet -- although I looked up that Hockney show, and I'm tempted to say it was worth every painful toe. . . and The Stones at the Saatchi as well. . .

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    2. Mistery solved :-)
      And it was really great,especially Hockney
      D.

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  11. Hi Frances ..you look relaxed and happy! I've mentioned before how much I enjoyed walking through Stanley Park and cycling along the sea wall,when we visited Van cover. . How wonderful to be so near to such a special place. It must help in your transition, to still be so near to the sea. Re shoes and blisters! I'm in the same position as you! I bought a pair of white Superga trainers..thought they might be useful when travelling, especially for wet days and boy was I right!It rained almost continually when we were in Quebec and Montreal. However they caused blisters on my heels so that I can't wear any shoes without blister plasters and I need thick socks with the trainers! So no wearing them with cropped jeans! They felt so comfortable in the shop!:)
    By the way, I did see some amazing bunches of radishes in the Byward Market but unfortunately no sign of the lady you spoke to.
    Hope you're having a good week.
    Rosie

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    1. Another traveler with blistered feet. So sorry for you! Consider picking up some Body Glide, which really does protect against blisters. You'll find it in running stores -- we runners use it to avoid chafing, not just on our feet.. .
      So glad you're enjoying your visit, although I'm guessing the rain spoiled Montreal for you a bit. And I'm happy you and Sue got together -- isn't she great?

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    2. Thanks mater..I'll look out for that. I'd usually use 100% Shea Butter or at least wear socks for a while ...but threw caution to the winds this time with bare feet!
      Sue is great! It was so lovely to be able to meet up for lunch ...blogs are certainly great at bringing people together! Mind you, my children had great fun teasing me about arranging to see people I'd met on the Internet!!

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    3. Thanks mater..I'll look out for that. I'd usually use 100% Shea Butter or at least wear socks for a while ...but threw caution to the winds this time with bare feet!
      Sue is great! It was so lovely to be able to meet up for lunch ...blogs are certainly great at bringing people together! Mind you, my children had great fun teasing me about arranging to see people I'd met on the Internet!!

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  12. Vancouver :)phones playing up again! I'm actually writing while sitting on a rock at Canada's Wonderland in Toronto!
    Rosie

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  13. At first sight, I would have identified the berry in photo nr. 8 as an ordinary raspberry, never having heard of neither thimbleberries nor salmonberries. Then I looked up "rubus" and found there are several hundred varieties of that plant! There is no end to learning.
    Your systematic explorations of your neighbourhood and city seem to be doing you a lot of good and are setting a good example for everybody facing retirement. Yesterday I met an ex-colleague who has been retired for a couple of years now. She told me she was living by a simple rule: one outing or appointment a day. Of course there are exceptions, as with every rule, but the general idea seemed very wise to me.

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    1. Isn't that "rubus" family astonishing? So many adaptations! And you're so right -- no end to learning, at least not for the curious.
      I'm finding it very useful to plan something like your ex-colleague. I do allow myself the occasional day in, knowing that's what I need if we've been really busy. But I do think that activity and variety and engagement with the world, with the new as well as with the old and comfortable, all this is important to staying healthy in as many ways as possible.

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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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