So I arrived at my hotel in Vancouver – I must check that my t shirt doesn’t say miserable old git club. Taxi driver must have had a text from London. Another no talkee no tippee. No ‘ welcome to Vancouver’ another grunter and the only dialogue – ‘it will be thirty five dollars.’ Oh. But the journey in. At least the sunset was there to greet me. 

sunset on arrival

So I get to the hotel. . As I suspected I felt something out of Pretty Woman. And sadly not Richard Gere. . Get to check in desk. ‘ Good evening there is a room reserved under the name of Mathieson’ . ‘ good evening Mr Mathieson. How was your journey. Could I have your passport’ ‘ I’m Mr Jones’ I replied. ‘ Mr Mathieson  arrives from a business trip in New York tomorrow’. ‘ Ah yes – he has your name here – the room is paid for. But may we take a credit card for any incidentals. We can swop  it with Mr Mathieson’s card when he arrives tomorrow’ ‘no need I say’  It’s from our joint account anyway. It will be charged to my husbands account.  And off I trot to our room. Without a Julia Roberts crop top in sight. Not chewing gum either. But noting that we need to use the name Mathieson -Jones more often. ( oh. A crop top reminder. One day I will tell the story of the crop top and the hair. – two defining stories in my career) but that’s for another day. 

Hotel is fab. Great view over the bay. Comfortable bed – more so as I have it to myself. Joy of joys. But. I can’t sleep. So without anyone telling me I can’t. I shouldn’t ( Ian) I take myself out at 6 am for a walk. With my camera. It’s so quiet and peaceful and I think I’m alone as I walk along the cruise liner dock. Alas. I have heavy breathing down my neck. May I suggest that If you are going to get that close at least introduce yourself first. No. I’m not in luck. It’s early morning joggers. Sounding like they are having an asthma attack. I curse not going on that first aid course when I was working. But the kiss of life to my colleagues was seriously unappealing and I was told that I couldn’t pick and choose. So I declined. Though I did have a card that said CPR to me could only to be given by ……..

hello. early morning joggers

The only other thing that’s moving is the slowly emerging cruise liner creeping silently into the harbour. Magnificent in its beauty. It’s quieter than my jogging buddies. Moves more elegantly. Actually faster than one of them. I’ve never been a fan of running. Not for excercise. Not for the bus. Maybe to catch the last tub of Hageen das pralines and cream. Otherwise there will be another bus. 

a cruise. never ever.

The ocean liner ( sounds More romantic ) glides into dock. We’ve often wondered about a cruise. But I’m not sure. We were at a quayside in New Zealand as the passengers descended. .  That put me off. Thousands of them. All off the boat for the obligatory tour. Marshalled off. Marshalled onto buses. Mmm. I would feel a row coming on. And not just between me and Ian. 

Ian arrives – earlier than expected – tired after New York but raring  to go and wander around the city. Ive been up since 5.30’and awake most of the night anyway. I wasn’t so keen. But we did. Vancouver is glorious. Has a great feel to it. Even when your tired. 

We walked. And walked. And walked. But like any city in any country you can be admiring things of great beauty and one wrong turning you are on the ‘ wrong’ side of the street. A friendly guy stopped us at the traffic lights. If I were you he said. Turn right. Not left. That side of the street is not for you. He was right. We live in London. Homelessness is a visual reminder in central London. But this area was something else. It’s tragic. Everyone has a story to tell. Someone’s child. Someone’s sibling. Someone’s parent. Insane things that made me sad for them. Not me. I’m a very lucky person. I know that. But drugs I just don’t understand. Seeing someone inject in front of you disturbing. The guy who directed us was also homeless but his kindness was awesome.

We took a dinky little ferry boat out to Granville Island where there is an amazing market. I noticed the guy at the wheel had  a cracking cut on the bridge of his nose. I recognise it..I’m reminded of waking up with a similar cut decades ago. With two black eyes. People still try and rib the ‘dirty mark off my nose today.  – the market. Trendy. Wholesome. Organic like the carrots. And tourists. Some looked orgasmic. And organic. 

Granville island

granville island market

I tricked Ian into a pic. It was our anniversary but still I don’t know how I managed. Of course we had wished each other happy day – well more like a taxi driver grunt – than a formal acknowledgment. Neither are big on celebratory gestures. We are still together 25 years later. There’s been better there’s been worse. But we are still here. And retirement suits me. Suits us both. 

ha. nearly caised a row

We wandered the streets. We walked coal harbour Marina. Saw yachts. And more yachts. We walked through Stanley Park. We contemplated bicycles. They looked nice. But to be honest they didn’t have any with stabilisers. Or padded seats. Or with a chauffeur. So we walked. Everywhere. Oh yea. To gas town. To china town. 

We were trumped in Gastown 

Spitting image or the real thing
hair today gone tomorrow

Oh how I wanted that wig tho to be fair there were a fair few I could have borrowed at the hotel. If I’d asked nicely. The trump wig. Not Hilary.

Also why are some guests so LOUD. Breakfast should be reflective. I don’t want to know about Kitty’s labour. Her third divorce. Her plastic surgeon. Oh. And Bob. He works so hard.  Huh. 

Though one very nice guest (LOUD) said to Ian at breakfast. Gee. I love those shoes. Just as well he’s a confident guy. You’d have to be. All heads turned. Yes they are nice. – he should have told her Clarks. street. In the sale. 

She could have been quieter like our friends daughter who is also here on holiday who we met in the bar for drinks. She too liked his shoes . 

So we do another museum. Another Picasso exhibition more art. Picasso and his muses. The dialogue at times more interesting. I’m not a huge fan. I like it. But I’m not mad for it. Good exhibition   but at $24 entrance you had to get your money’s worth. A great exhibition though  by courtesy of the artist Bharta Kerr Mater and Hauser & Wirth  was my favourite. Funny that. Hauser & Wirth who are ten minutes from the cottage in Somerset.

Bharta Kerr Mater

And no. It’s no me with a MUN. ( man bun to the uninitiated). But it could be. Only from the back. Maybe not. I do need to lose a few pounds. 

Shall we walk to Stanley Park?. Why not – it’s only roasting out there. What about bikes do they have padded seats. No. Then we will walk. Which we did. A fabulous park right on the city doorstep. A rose garden – going over – of 3,500 bushes. Still smelling. Well like roses. A dead headers  nightmare. One for the under gardener I think.  The cyclists use the cycle lanes. Unlike London where they do not. 

I love people watching – some people call it being nosey. Hands up! Guilty. But look – a bride waiting for a husband. Not it’s not me.  Alone on a park bench. A story waiting to be told. She is beautiful 

A colourful man on a chopper.  Well it looked like a chopper. Hands high. Bottom low. I was in awe of his t shirt. In a larger size obviously. I always wanted a chopper. 

So we wandered and wandered. And wandered. 11 miles that day. 8 the day before. Fitbit challenged. Knackered in plain English. Oh and we saw totem poles. 

Now we are heading for Vancouver island. A ferry crossing. On a large ferry. Walking around the decks I realise that you know what. I ain’t ever going on a cruise. I couldn’t  throw a wobbly and storm off. Well I could but I’d either get lost. Or wet. But Horseshoe Bay is lovely. 

The temperature has dipped 6* since the ferry docked and we are now awaiting ferry number 2. It’s been a long day. A nice drive to a mid way point of Thursday’s destination. 

So we check in to hotel number too. On a small Island…..and ask for a different room. That doesn’t happen very often. But this time it did. A nicer room. Quieter. Not so dark. Sitting on the balcony we are greeted by two passers by. How was the fishing today Good catch.? We only arrived today we replied. The fishing conversation continues. I mean. Do either  of us look like we are fishermen  – Ian quietly says to me. ‘I really don’t think this is the place to wear my blue shoes to dinner this evening do you? ”No I replied ‘ and I don’t think I will be ordering those blousey cocktails I had last night either! ‘ 

Encouraged by my lovely friend sara  I have once again looked at Instagram. When I first looked. I didn’t get it. At all.  So armed with a new camera I am posting a lot of holiday pics on there.  So if your already bored of GBBO and X factor it’s under Pitcombe123 

So….. The next few days may be bears and whales. Or bare whales. Or rain. Of which it is chucking it down. I may have webbed feet by the time I return. After Thursday we will be incommunicado for 3/4 days. No wifi. No mobile. No tv. No social media. Just old fashioned talking. Oh and Limited unscented toiletries at an eco lodge somewhere in an estuary having taken a seaplane for an hour with limited luggage. I won’t even smell nice. I’m glad we bought some thermals yesterday tho. May be cold sitting on that boat or in that hide. Getting wet. 

Will I finally find the answer as to what bears do in the woods? 

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