Monday, May 28, 2007

we went to whistler! we saw a bear!

yes, really and truly, a black bear by the side of the road! it was just eating grass and hanging out. r spotted it (he is a good country boy) and we all piled out, cautiously, and did the tourist thing. it didn't look all that scary, but then we stayed far away. after a bit it got bothered by us all gawping and padded off into the forest. i feel i have done my duty properly by VTA now. we're going raccoon-hunting in stanley park this arvo.

anyway, this was on the way back from our roadtrip to whistler yesterday. g drove (took about two hours) along the sea to sky highway, with spectacular views, reminiscent of the great ocean road:

this is one of the islands off the mainland:
the whistler township itself is pretty tacky. it's like a disneyland version of an alpine village, but in the most magnificent setting. the ski runs dominate the skyline (still some snow left):

we were good tourists:

how did that get there? whoops.

we puddled round there for a while, had some lunch and looked at impressively tacky merchandise. would anybody like a toy moose dressed in a mountie outfit riding a toy horse? g'wan!

then we went to find some natcha. we drove round and round and round trying to find blueberry hill lake, and found it embedded in a mass of "privately owned" signs: private roads, houses with moats and private paths to the beach. a very interesting insight into the monied classes of vancouver. the road up and all around the village was a mess of construction sites, preparing for the 2010 winter olympics. massive amounts of money going into it.

so instead we took a turnoff to brandywine falls on a whim and landed up at the most impressive waterfall. we walked through beautiful pine forest to get there, and stumbled over the whistler train rumbling through. see VTA for photos of it.

this is the forest. if you look down the bottom left corner you can see little people. i was trying to explain how different these forests are to the australian bush and succeeded in rambling like a loonie and making no sense. these ones are so green, and smell all different. . .

and this is the view from a bit further down the river. that's the snowfields up the top there:

this was sort of what i imagined canada to be like. there was pine trees and snow and bears, and i was a bit cold round the edges.

the drive back was again, speccy:
i was dead by the time we got home, and a bit cranky, but VTA was perky, and bought wine and dips so we could go to a potluck down the street with my housemates. then we watched _better than chocolate_, which is such the cutest movie ever. and all filmed on the drive! i'm afraid i spent the whole time squeaking "i've been there!"

Saturday, May 26, 2007

critical mass photo essay

thankyou to everybody who responded to my little poll. i have listened carefully to all of your input and considered it thoroughly from all angles. i have finally decided to present a photo essay on the critical mass ride i went on yesterday, with my housemate j, and friend h.

critical mass is a political cycling organisation which aims to promote non-car forms of transport. once a month all the funky cyclists of vancouver meet at the art gallery and take over the city streets for a couple of hours. there are groups all over the world. there's a group Near You!

the slogan is: "We're not blocking traffic. . . we ARE traffic!" we modified it for this ride, cos it was pirate themed. we shouted "we aarrrrrrrrrr traffic!"

there was no set route. whoever was at the front chose where to go, and when we got to intersections as many people as were needed blocked the traffic. cos this is canada all the drivers were very polite and friendly, and at every intersection there was a cyclist leaning in a car window answering questions about what was going on. i had fun waving like the queen.

it was amazingly liberating to ride without being scared of being doored, side swiped or just plain run over. i had such a great time.

this is before we set off:

we zoomed around the city a bit then headed up through stanley park to lion's gate bridge.

being on the bridge was amazing. we got all four lanes and could check out the spectacular and amazing view of the city, the sea and the mountains. the last time i was on a bridge (ironworkers' memorial bridge, which is worrying in itself) i was too scared by the trucks and wotnot to really enjoy it. this bridge was amazing. check out the view:

there were some great outfits. people with moustaches:


tie dye:

and pirates (that's a scar on my cheek):

then we hit the granville st bridge, also pretty amazing.

look how many people there are. j estimated a thousand, but i don't know. we took up about eight city blocks. there were a few good stacks, partly cos of the freedom and a tendency to show off (guilty), but mostly cos we were all packed in so tight. a unicyclist dropped his hat and executed a swift 180 to get it (the unicyclists were amazing - they bounce!), so the guy behind him slammed on his brakes and stacked, then my friend h landed on top of both of them. they were all okay. we were going pretty slow.

it was a very friendly crowd, everybody chatting and complimenting bikes and outfits. there were all sorts of people - sporty types, hippies, kids, dogs (not really ppl), skaters, skateboarders, loonies, activists and pirates!

views from granville st bridge:

we took over main st (ace!) and landed up on jericho beach, where the people who had been lugging drums, hula hoops and poi came into their own. then j and i had beer at the anza club (very entertaining. it's supposed to be the australia and new zealand social club, but i was the only aussie there. they do serve VB.) then meet VTA for south indian food and more beer. then we rode home kinda slow. . .

cycling is the way of the future! it is cheap, efficient, green, fun and safe. cars are the problem!

if you want to see more photos check out the flicka account.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

you, the reader

i feel like i want to post something but i don't know what. maybe it is time for a poll. what would you like more of on this here blog? more pictures of trees? more canadiana? information about what i'm studying? essay excerpts? a vid of the dog?

VTA and i have been touristing pretty hard. we have gone to granville island, down main st in the pouring rain and a bit around kits, investigating masses of fancy clothes shops and nice veg restaurants. last night she came up to the drive with her new swedish friend and we had expensive drinks til 11.15pm, which is last call in vancouver.

i have been showing off the mountains something chronic. i love those mountains. there's just a little snow left on the closest ones.

i have been doing a little study, not nearly enough, and the usual coffee-drinking, bike-riding other things. our household went for sushi last night and was very silly. i like living with humans.

j makes fun of the way i say "aunt" and "kant", so i am thinking of renaming myself auntie kant.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

pompous git

reading matthew arnold makes me want to stab myself in the eyeball with a fork. so i took the dog for a walk instead.those are his ears down the bottom there. he is thinking "get over yourself already so we can go out".

do you like my new shorts? $2 from a garage sale. bar-gin, my friends, baaaaar-gin.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

arrivals and departures

the most exciting arrival of the many in the last few days - vegie taco! vancouver has put on its best face for her visit (ie. pissing down rain), but VTA has been a real trooper despite jetlag and miserable weather. we have been windowshopping and eating good things. it's very lovely having a melbournian here who speaks the lingo and has good goss about tacos crew, and very odd to see vancouver from australian eyes again.

m left this morning on her long bikeride and presumably got thoroughly sodden - serves her right for leaving us.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


congralations to snef and the irishman!

my cousin snef got married on the weekend to the lovely irishman, up at palm cove. big congrats - great dress, sneffy!

the beach looks beautiful too. jt says she is retiring to the tropics, but then we always knew that.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


welcome to returning reader, ananan!

i have replied to comments below. sorry for the delay.

more dog photos

but, look, artsy!

chicory and i have been bonding. we went to trout lake a couple of times (pretty little swamp/lake/park twenty mins walk away) and i brushed half of him last night. he's losing his undercoat cos it's so damn *warm* now. i think my internal themometre has dropped about ten degrees. below zero is cold, above twenty is hot. yay for acclimatisation! chicory's human comes home today, which will be very exciting for them both. and i won't have to get up at 8am anymore!

things are a bit distracty at the moment. a good friend is leaving vancouver on the weekend, and vegie taco is arriving. i'm trying to work on another presentation, which involves a twenty minute talk (with an argument, close textual analysis and independent research), having someone respond for 10 mins, fielding questions, leading discussion for 40 mins and a four page written summary of the presentation. rather involved for a class presentation. however, i'm writing on _wide sargasso sea_ and _jane eyre_ (this is for the carribean class), so there's no shortage of stuff to talk about.

but i finally have a supervisor (two!), which means i can finish my MA this semester. it makes me very happy. he's a nice guy who has supervised some friends of mine, and he just emailed a great long list of problem areas in my paper and half a dozen books i should read. it's so nice to have that interaction and direction. now i can really get stuck into one essay and do some proper drafting.

oh! chicory's human came back! *such* a happy doggie you have never seen. they're off on a W-A-L-K now.

Monday, May 14, 2007

postes canada

there are also little yellow school buses, which crack me up every time.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

wacky americans

look what i found in the front of "the indian in the cupboard":

"there are some british words in this book that may puzzle you. here's a list with their american meanings."

i think it's hilar. i also recently read the american version of "the sorcerer's stone", which is translated throughout: ron's mom knits sweaters and harry eats candy. the canadian editions of HP are the original versions except they are printed on ancient-forest-free paper and have a little note at the front from j.k.rowling about how it's bad to chop down forests, even muggle ones.

ah, stereotypes. . .

Saturday, May 12, 2007


it's officially summer - all my freckles are out!(freckles inhanced by sunscreen and bike grease)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

look what i managed to bully the res office into handing over!

thankyou jt and grot! it was de-licious! and not at all mangled (well, missing an ear, but that doesn't matter.) haighs. . .

and a lovely postcard of the old melbourne gaol. just what i always wanted!

and now a word from our sponsors

grotty's new shoes! aren't they pretty? she wishes me to say how nice they are and also how nice the people who run the little business are: "the people who run it are lovely - she sent me a funny note with them saying they had to dance every week because they are happy shoes and must be kept happy". you can find them here:

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

cranford calls

i will get this presentation done, i just have to knuckle down and stop mucking round on the interweb, and reading the HP back catalogue . . .

still very much in holiday mode and doing lots of good things. we had a "cleaning out the fridge pizza" dinner last night, which was very good, and went to miners sing-a-long the night before. that was a pisser. the place was *packed*. apparently we were on telly from last time, but i missed it. bah.

i have been trying on expensive clothes and doing mail order funky tops for grot, also good fun. m and i went on a very long bike ride in the rain the other day. i can't remember the last time i was so cold and wet. i found out the pants i was wearing aren't colour fast. . . it was pretty cool for the first couple of hours though - very good views, as usual. i lurve my bike.

my first seminar tonight. whatamigonnawear??? this semester i'm studying caribbean literature, doing a directed reading on victorian literature with g and j, and doing my final MA paper and oral defense, if i can ever find someone to supervise me.

back to _cranford_.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


my brain, it oozes. . .

semester only started yesterday and i'm already behind. how can this be?

from home

my old room - with new and exciting light source (hi to mama ted!)man and shed - great tshirt!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

3000th visitor wins!

oo oo oo! first visitor tomorrow is the 3000th visitor since i set up the counter thingy. comment and tell me who you are and i'll send you a dried blossom! (if you're reading this blog for the prizes you're in trouble.) claims verified via statcounter stalker technology.


see how thick on the ground! it looks like pink snow, and you have to walk carefully like in snow, cos it's slippery. these are all taken in my new neighbourhood.

street scenes

this is for bbb - lots of these signs scattered around. (transit is short for public transit, which is what they call public transport. in case that's unclear.) there are also bumper stickers that say "healthcare before olympics", which is another big public issue in vancouver, as the winter olympics are here in 2010. another bloddy buggery olympics. bah.

and some more blossom. but on the tree.

Friday, May 04, 2007

sunshine adventures

looky! purty! j took this last week. note fabulon mountains (that's snow up the back), sea views, shiny panniers, etc. also very big hair. oh yes.

have been entertaining myself in the usual manner. lots of cycling, dog-walking, reading, lunching and drinking. i did trampolining last night at acrogym, which was very good fun. i'm not nearly as sore as last week, either. it finally stopped raining today, and is sunny and warm *blows raspberry at bbb*, with cherry blossoms floating down. i saw a car completely covered by them except for a clean streak where the windscreen wiper had gone. very pretty.

youse have all been clamouring for photos of my new place (it's so hard being so popular), but it's still a bit of a mess and i haven't got my posters up, so here are the two nicest bits so far:

it's a big old house that has been divided into four apartments, so while s and i are the only ones in this apartment (and we have our own kitchen and bathroom), there are quite a few people in the building and a nice front yard and a verandah. it's in a quiet suburban area, but about five minutes walk to the drive (or less), where good coffee and fun things to do are.

and here is a photo of gazbags in a bag: