Monday, April 23, 2012

More Fun than a Barrel of Monkeys . . .


Took these photos with my phone's camera. The one above is of a delightful planting I passed on yesterday morning's Seawall Run -- the Parks Board gardens are always charming in the spring, but this mix of fritillaria and exotically shaped tulips, just beginning to flex their yellow petals, stopped me in my tracks. Luckily, while I don't often run with the phone, I'd brought it along to GPS track my run's time and distance (13.2 Kilometres in about 80 minutes).

We've had a fun, but busy, weekend. Vancouver Opera's production of Aida was our main reason for coming over on Saturday. We helped make up opera friends' table of twelve at Culinaria before the show for a wonderful and inexpensive meal (it's the restaurant of the Culinary Arts school, so students prepare and serve a small menu of delicious choices; the wine list comprises some great BC wines at very decent prices). The conversation over our meal was lively and thoughtful and fun -- and we continued it on the hurried walk to the opera as well as during the intermission. By then, of course, we were also caught up in talking about the production. I loved the stage set, which evoked the grandeur one associates with ancient Egypt. Both chorus and orchestra were effective throughout (although I found the orchestra overpowered voices during some of the early arias -- that did seem to get corrected after the first twenty minutes or so), and I very much enjoyed Mlada Khudoley's performance as Aida, having seen her a few years ago as Salome. The other principals also delivered satisfying performances, my husband particularly appreciating Morris Robinson's powerful bass as Ramfis.

Then yesterday morning, began the day with afore-mentioned run, followed up by crêpes at our usual place, then some time reading the weekend papers, before heading off to our last French lesson before our trip. I'm still frustrated at the lag time between brain and mouth, but I'd least I've started things moving up there. Let's hope some file clerks up in mon cerveau are scurrying around retrieving my French grammar and vocabulary and will have it available and organized by the time we arrive in Bordeaux. . .

The escaped "barrel of monkeys" below were spotted during the walk back from crêpes yesterday. Nothing around to indicate whose amusing idea this was or who executed it, but if I hadn't already been happy from my good run, the delicious crêpes, and the lovely spring sunshine, these would have made me smile.
They definitely invited me to cross the street and photogrraph them. A child (or someone with child-like spirit and more agility than I possess) might even have scrambled up the tree for a better visit.
But we had to get home -- to prepare dinner for two daughters and a son-in-law. Well, Pater prepared it while I did some marking (gotta earn my keep, after all). Another delicious meal eaten in very good company.

Today, I've got to FINISH that marking plus I really have to spend some time with my mother. I don't do enough of that, living in another city, and especially with an entire month out of the country soon, I want a good visit with her. And then I need to sit for a while and make lists, on paper, instead of allowing the frantic to-do messages to keep spilling through my day, interrupting my thoughts no matter what I'm doing. Written lists are so much more manageable, aren't they?

So there you go. A rather scrambled accounting of the weekend as we embark on another April week, the last one, shockingly (how quickly did that go!). What are your plans for the week ahead? And/or what were you up to this weekend? And are you looking forward to May, or wishing the year would just slow down a bit? Do tell, , , ,


13 comments:

  1. Yes - start making lists. As the days start flying by the preparation will begin to seem unmanageable and you may end up not packing and preparing as you like (voice of experience here!). Even for trips I've done over and over, when I make a list I pack better, feel more relaxed and together. Good luck!

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    1. So true! this is the 8th year in a row we've made this trip, yet without my lists, I still get anxious.

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  2. Oh my gosh, those monkeys are wonderful.

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  3. Lists are a wonderful (and for me, utterly necessary) way to organize my life. Without them, I feel scattered.

    We enjoyed our first opera experience this weekend.

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    1. I read about that, Lorrie -- I'm glad you enjoyed the experience.

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  4. I was promise myself some sort of reward when I finish my marking, and to be finish actually creates a lightening effect that I can physically feel. Marking is my least favorite and probably most important part of our jobs. I love the monkeys in the tree.

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    1. I got all the papers and exams marked, altho' there were still be a few stragglers. Now just to compute the grades and enter them online. I have to agree with you on most favourite, yet perhaps most important in some ways (although I like to hope that other elements of what I do will transcend the marking in the long run)

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  5. Culinaria - I'm glad you wrote about it. I pass by there so often and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves inside. Those monkeys are also just the thing to make me smile - I'm glad you had your camera. Thanks for that! Good luck with this final push before your grand voyage.

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    1. Oh, you really should check out Culinaria -- it's a great deal!

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  6. I love random moments of art, I was walking around Islington and looked up to see some dolls houses perched on branches, the result of a school project it seemed. I call these moments’ interventions; I like the fact that some very small can stop us and redirect our thoughts, even if momentarily. Yes, April has flown by sadly the memories of that warm start has evaporated and I am now wrapped up against bitterly cold winds, that are lashing Europe currently…You have been warned!

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    1. I really like the way you articulate the effect of random art moments like the monkeys I spotted -- they really did redirect my thoughts and thus influence the shape of my day. As for the weather, I'm adding an extra sweater to my case . . .

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  7. My kids used to have a barrel of monkeys. How delightful to spot them hanging in the tree!

    I should have mentioned in the previous comment that this is my new name (formerly Susan Tiner).

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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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