Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Colour in the City

 I've just had two wonderful days in the small city that was home for thirty years; I even went over to the little island where we lived, on a waterfront property, for over twenty years. I might tell you more about the excursion later, but for now I'll just say I had truly meaningful, fun visits with four good friends in two days, and I'm both replenished and exhausted at once. I feel I shouldn't be the latter, but I am, and I'm learning to accept that this can often be the case and accommodation must be made.

The exhaustion was probably a predictable outcome of following last week's baby-sitting gig so quickly with another jaunt, but I'd been feeling some considerable heaviness lately, really missing some aspects of my old life on the island even while I know this move was the right one.  To leaven the heaviness, I thought a dose of Visiting Good Friends might work. Compared calendars and took speedy advantage of a rapidly closing window of possible dates, and I can already tell that the remedy was an efficacious one. . .

But that wasn't the only prescription I wrote myself to leaven the heaviness.
I also assigned myself some increasing attention to the charms my new home offers. They can, it's true, get lost in the urban concrete, and they can be easier to find on a sunny day than on a grey one (and we've had so many of those lately, day after day after day. After day).
The charms occasionally mean adjusting the dials, especially if the eyes previously had the regular opportunity, each spring, to feast on a swarm of wild white fawn lilies spread under a canopy of trees a three-minute walk from my back door.

 But a scarlet jeep juxtaposed against a bright yellow and green building, the whole shouting out under a cloud-studded blue sky. . . and then moving past the jeep, seeing its scarlet accent replaced by a parade of pink cherry blossoms. Well! (the eye has to learn to frame differently, to perform little imaginary PhotoShop actions on grimy concrete walls, on chain link fencing). . .  well, that's not nothing. . .
Once I start paying attention, it gets easier and easier to find the mood-lifters, although I will admit that there are some days I still struggle (hence visits with friends as alternative therapy).  And besides lifting my mood, turns out I have a slew of photos accrued.  Not all involve riotous colour, but Vancouver needs this today, believe me. . .
And I do, as I prepare for an afternoon of crown preparation at the dentist.
There now. If that's not enough colour for you, Sue's posted on adding Yellow and Red to her wardrobe (yep, she's impatient for Spring as well). You might want to pop over there for a look. As for me, I'll be working on my calming deep breathing as I head for that big chair in the dental office. .


  1. Good luck with your dentist Frances!
    This was really a boost of colours,I like it and feel happy and more energized!
    You have a specific visual language and well curated photos,always catching something interesting and surprising !

  2. Thanks, K. The dental work went really well.
    I'm so pleased you enjoy the photos -- I enjoy having someone to share them with. ;-)

  3. Visiting friends and checking out your old homes were good remedies for lifting any feeling of heaviness. I love your pictures. Those colors were exactly what I needed today. My mood automatically brightened up. The close-ups of the green and yellow building and the cherry blossoms. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing them. Good to know your dental appointment went well today. ~Amelia

  4. Glad to hear all went well at the dentist. I was thinking about you! So important that you've found a new dentist that you feel comfortable with and is skilled at what he/she does! I've had a couple of appalling ones over the years, so I understand the trepidation of change! Spending some time with good friends ... sounds perfect. Although I imagine visiting "your" small island brings mixed emotions... These pictures, are just lovely, so uplifting, they instantly made me think of Havana, Cuba ... I haven't travelled there but the colours are reminiscent of photographs I've seen when reading about it.
    Hope you're having a good week Frances ... It's very dark and rainy here. I'm still happy in my "winter wear" :) and taking the opportunity to do some serious sorting out, whilst wishing that I didn't find letting go of things such an emotional upheaval! :)

  5. Ahhh... thanks for that. My poor attempt to bring sunshine into my life with one little yellow sweater needed some help. Love that shot of the yellow and turquoise building with the pink blossoms. We're supposed to get ten centimetres of snow this weekend. Stu is out covering up his garlic shoots which he only uncovered a week ago. And I'm pulling on my new spring coat so I can get one more day of wear before winter descends again. So glad you enjoyed your island visit. Like Rosie says, I'm sure there were mixed emotions.

  6. Love the bright photos! And I'm glad you enjoyed your visit, even if exhaustion raises its head more insistently than when we were younger. Hope you are having a good week.

  7. Love thos pops of colour...we have been subjected to far too many dreary days this April...hooray for those brilliant shades and the sunshne!

  8. So many dark days! Colour and light are so important. Or else funny kindergarten children can boost moods.

  9. You've discovered colours I didn't know existed in Vancouver. As someone else commented, they look like Cuba!
    I'm glad you were able to visit your friends and that the dental work went well.
    Let's hope the skies lift and the sun shines soon.

  10. My posts have been disappearing lately but I felt I must try again & congratulate you on the new member of the family . Hope it works this time
    Wendy in York

  11. So great to spend time together in the studio! And excited to hear more about your painting class--so wise to remind yourself that the craft pieces come with practice....

  12. Glad to hear the dentist went well! I've just got through round 2 of root canal last week and fingers crossed! And it was entirely painless from start to finish.
    These colours are so uplifting, and a whole different order of colour to the natural world. They create their own energy. I started to get attuned to modern urban landscapes (quite difficult for this Scot who has always lived with a few medieval buildings within view) when I worked with an academic who specialised in 'the city'. I began to appreciate what can be created as a new dynamic in urban spaces.


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