Saturday, 12 January 2013

Rare and Beautiful Sunlight

Hello all! It has been a while since we've reported on Life In Vancouver, but to be honest it has been a little more-work-less-play since the New Year.

Last Sunday Matthew and I went to Cafe Deux Soleil on Commercial Drive in East Vancouver for our friend Sheila's gig. We ate veggie burgers, hung out with some uni friends, and also carefully minded our 9:30pm curfew ('school night').

Matthew's boss had a Christmas baby so Matthew has been filling in for him. That has meant long days for Matthew, and sometimes challenging ones at that. Also, since it is the depths of winter, it's dark when he leaves home in the morning and dark when he arrives home at night. How do I know and why am I observing this only now when it has been 'the depths' for some time now? Well as you know I have been haunting the English grad computer lab, but also my classes start at 9am. The famous 'B-Line' Broadway express bus to uni is so gosh-darn busy that it's impossible to squeeze on anytime between 8 and 10am (I think Vancouver city is brainstorming a light rail upgrade but that won't happen in the time I attend UBC), so I have been leaving with Matthew at 7, and staggering into uni at about 7:40. Yikes! But because not another soul is there, I get the kitchen all to myself. The building heating is fiercely warm and I have been powering through my fiction reading and also powering through the Earl Grey tea. It's quite bearable so far.

Also, after literally months of exhaustively training myself to go to the gym first thing when I get up, I have been forced (see above reasons) to attend in the evenings. THIS IS REALLY HARD, YOU GUYS! It has only been one week, but it feels like forever. To be fair, Vancouver's winter is much milder than this time last year, so instead of layering on a billion clothes just to walk the 6 blocks to gym, I have been bare-shinning it there and back. That is kind of a miracle, because anyone who has ever met me has heard me whinge bitterly about the cold. Also Matthew gave me some beautiful purple and grey sneakers for Christmas, so it has been a pleasure to run them in.

I may have exaggerated a little when I said winter is mild. Yesterday and today were those rare and stunning blue-sky days where the city is so stunning you can't even remember the rain. But of course blue skies in Vancouver winter are code for 'get your woolies on'. Today was about 2 and a half degrees, but Matthew and I were marching around in it so it didn't feel so cold. As soon as the sun went down, however... mind your hat or your ears might snap off!
PSA: Hat
Today Matthew and I decided to clear some room on our one bookshelf. Matthew being such a Warhammer aficionado, and myself a literature student, we've found our precious space filled to bursting recently. (Also the second hand bookstore down the street has been closing down forever and the markdowns have been fabulous.)

We filled two backpacks with about 40 books, and headed for Pulp Fiction and also Tanglewood bookshops on Broadway, and also Kestrel bookshop on 4th. The last shop had an amazing cat named Ruby, chilling out on her own personal throne.
Ruby the Bookshop Cat

Boy did we clean up! Sure, we came home with slightly less than half the books we set out with, but also we were $53 richer!! It went straight in our so-cute-Matthew-repaired-it piggy bank (smashed last October, if you recall). NB: moratorium on book buying for Mr and Mrs B, starting today. If it's not on the internet or in a library, we're not reading it.

We sallied past the Ferrari shop on Burrard and straight into our new fave place, the cheese shop on 2nd Ave. We never need to buy cheese again.

We walked home on the sunny side of the street because the shade was biting. The rooftops of houses were white with frost all day and the nature strips are all frozen, so even when you walk on the grass it feels like concrete. I did a lot of experimental walking-on-the-nature strip in our travels today, much to Matthew's amusement.
Frozen ground. Also, awesome made-in-Canada cowboy boots.

We stopped on the Granville St bridge to commemorate what is surely a rare winter's day in Vancouver, and then walked home.
Looking North-West across Granville St Bridge

Looking North-East along False Creek

But our day didn't end there! We then went to Gramma's house near Burnaby, and Matthew made great headway on her Christmas jigsaw puzzle (I think she was cool with us helping) while we had afternoon tea in the last of the sunlight.

Tomorrow is book club, and I'm pleased to report that I did actually finish Catch-22. Matthew will be computer-gaming with one of the husbands because our apartment will be a no-men zone for that time. Happy winter weekend, all!

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