The seawall and the raccoon.

So today one of my dreams came true, but that story will have to wait for a little bit.
Today started with an unexpected text message from a friend of a friend, Ed. It turned out that we were both free today (and the sun was out), so he offered to meet me at waterfront station and show me around. I happily agreed – you can learn a lot about a place through talking with the people who live there.

We started the officialness at the site of the Olympic Cauldron.

I was surprised to see it still there, apparently they are keeping it there for good and will light it for special events. As far as I know we didnt get to keep the ones in Sydney or Melbourne – am I wrong?? Anyway, it was a beautiful area.

It was interesting talking to Ed, he has been a background actor for quite a while now and he has lots of cool stories. He has even been in Stargate – thats the ultimate for me! Haha. I might get into background work too, it seems to be something that’ll be interesting and as I have a few contacts I think I’ll use them.

Here’s Ed poking the new leggo orca artwork at the waterfront.

So we decided to walk the whole seawall of Stanley Park. I reckon I ended up doing about 12km’s, which is pretty darn good! haha.

Next stop along the walk was the totem poles!! I was very impressed with how tall this one was.

Ok here is the dream coming true part. So we are walking along and then I see a squirrel and do my usual “SQUIRREL!”. And then we laugh at myself…and watch the squirrel run across the road. So the squirrel runs near this log and then I look over and see something on the log and I go to Ed “whats that on the log!”. He goes “what? nothing!” I have this instinct though and walk a bit closer and realise as the shape jumps off the log that IT IS A RACCOON!!! So I think I may have squealed a little. Hahaha. And then it ran off into the scrub. So we cross the road and go over to look if we can see it in the scrub and then it’s on the edge – about to completely disappear. Then Ed goes “come here little raccoon” and makes all these noises and the raccoon turns around and starts to head towards us. At this moment all of the ‘rabies! DANGER!’ signs come back into my head and I say “is it going to attack me?”. Ed says “no, but if it does we’ll go to the hospital.” SO then the little raccoon comes so close so so so close and I get these photos. Heeeee!!

Oh my gosh it was the most exciting thing ever hahaha. And so I got to cross another thing off my to do list! Wooo.
So after I calmed down we walked on a bit further and saw some more really pretty things.

It was a long walk, but it was great to see the whole of the seawall and just be out in the sunshine! I had a fun day. Thanks Ed!

If you want to check out his adventure blog click here.


Random Flickr Find

Originally uploaded by mary_robinson

Ok it’s time for another long overdue random flickr photo find! This one is Mary Robinson, and she is one talented young photographer. I cant believe she is only 16! What a future she has!

Looking through her photos I was struck by the way she has captured such atmosphere and interest in almost every frame. It was hard choosing just one photo to post, so please check out her flickr for more.

Take a walk on the wild side.

If you walk out the back door where I’m staying in North Vancouver, and wander down a little bit you come across a trail that looks exactly like this.

It is narrow and green, and lush and you almost cant see where it is leading you. That is half the fun!! If you follow it trustingly very soon you will come out to a much wider path and you will notice a field to your left.

I have been told that a bear was sighted around here, and also some deer. The only thing I have seen is a squirrel! Look, can you see it?!!

He wouldnt come down to say hi but I felt glad that I atleast finally got a photo! hahaha.

It was good to give my hiking shoes another little trial, and I look forward to really breaking them in soon!

I had to take a photo of this tree, you see how it looks like it was sprayed with green spray paint? That’s moss! Incredible. Gotta love nature eh?!! There’s really nothing like the smell of clean, fresh air and the spirit of adventure.

I have a few big trips on the horizon and I need to work out which one to do first! I really want to explore Vancouver Island – not just Victoria but around to Tofino and some of the other interesting towns. I am also keen to take a train down to Seattle and Oregon and explore all around there. Then there’s Banff and a trip to Montreal and Toronto. Wow, so many plans!!! I need to work out a schedule here hehe.

My adventure kit and latest finds

To have a good adventure you need to have a good tool kit. My handbag is always an integral part of my adventures, as I always try to make sure that I bring along important things I might need. You never know when it’ll come in handy. I guess that month I spent in the girl guides rubbed off in some way. So what tools are important? First of all you have to start with a good bag. This bag needs to have personality, and be rugged and reliable. You never know what kind of situations it will be put in or what kind of things it’ll need to carry. So far I have stuck with this bag.

I dont know if it is real leather, I got it as a sample from my old work so it probably isnt. It features some studs and fringing (that I cut into different lengths). You may also notice my little friend hanging on the side.
I got him on a trip to Noosa at one of the fave QLD stores I discovered while living in Brisbane, called Mombasa. They used to have a cool website but I couldnt find it on google, so I hope they are still around. Anyway, this lil guy is so cute and I love that he comes on every adventure with me.

Wanna take a look inside my bag?

Ok most importantly would be my camera (I cant technically take a photo of the camera as the camera is taking the pics, so this is my case instead). When travelling and exploring you must always have your camera with you – you never know what incredible things you may encounter and your friends wont believe you have seen big foot unless you get a photo!

A wallet (with some local money) is equally important! You wont be able to pay admission fees or buy any food or water without it, so make sure you bring along your wallet – with some ID too just incase you need it. It helps if your wallet is bright and cheerful and also is an added benefit if one of your lovely friends bought it for you.

Sunglasses! You never know when your eyes might start squinting and you might need some sunglass protection. You also never know when you might have to go incognito and put on some rockstar shades. If you have them in your adventure kit you are well prepared.

Journal and pen! It also helps if one of your best friends bought this for you! When you are on one of your adventures you wont be able to fit your laptop in your handbag, so bringing a journal to write in when you are looking at the incredible scenery is important. And when you have about 10 journals to fill up then you have to start somewhere!! Haha. You should always carry a pen in your bag because I guarantee you will always need one.
An umbrella is essential if you are travelling anywhere that is prone to sudden and unexpected showers (Vancouver is exactly ths type of place). I cant tell you how often an adventure has been saved by my umbrella!!
A big map is also essential. Especially one that is waterproof and rip proof! How awesome is that!! hahaha. I even tried ripping it and nope, it is unrippable!

This map has saved me many times from getting extra lost and if I got it out more often and read it it’d save me even more I am sure.

It has written little tips and ideas about places to go and things you should see and the street names are quite big. This is also important!!
My ipod is another important part of my day. This saves me from long bus rides and walking through dodgy parts of town while pretending to not hear people ask me for money. This is 8 gig, and it is full to the brim with my music – which is a huge part of my life. I cant believe I was silly enough to almost give away this ipod because my ex bought it for me and I thought it’d make me sad. I’m glad someone talked me out of that! hahaha.

My asthma puffer! Sometimes I get a little breathless and it is very important that I bring my puffer with me. I dont get asthma too badly, so as long as I keep it under check I am fine.
I dont ever wear lipstick, and dry lips are my enemy! So I carry my Lucas Paw Paw Lotion, which is not only great as a lipgloss, it also works on burns and insect bites. AMAZING!!
My little heart purse carries bandaids, hair clips, a mirror and paracetamol. Never know when a headache can come on or a little cut, and by getting out my little purse problem solved and the adventure doesnt have to be over!!

This is my latest addition! My Canadian cell phone! It’s really cool and has a little pop out keyboard so I can do some mobile browsing on the go! I also have a feature that gives me the time locally and then I have chosen canberra (there was no melbourne and I wasnt going to choose sydney) as my other time option. So it tells me what time it is back home in Australia – too cool!

So those are the basic things I take along on every adventure. I always feel pretty covered for almost every certainty. What do you make sure to always have with you??

Here are a few of the litte things I’ve bought recently.

Some gorgeous locally made Lace earrings.

A Canadian hat – warm enough for winter! Hahaha its a little funny but I love it. Cant wait to wear it!

And today I bought a vintage Agate ring from a funky consignment stall at blim market. It’s so pretty and different!! I love the detailing at the side and around the stone.

Hope your weekend was lovely and full of lots of adventures!!

Ancient Wisdom is everlasting.

I have always had a huge fascination with the first nations culture of North America. I suppose in part I grew up watching little house on the prairie and dr quinn medicine woman. I remember buying several books of native quotes and speeches and being in awe of the wisdom. I remember first reading ‘Bury my heart at wounded knee’ and bawling my eyes out practically every chapter. I wanted to change what really happened, I felt bitter at the injustice and ignorance. I wanted to be there, to meet the people and to see it all with my own eyes. So it makes sense in a way that I am finally here, in Canada, and that a big part of my to do list is to do with first nations discoveries.

You may recall that I made a stop at the Museum of Anthropology. That was important. The other day I found these amazing postcards that I will turn into an artwork when I am back home. They are each incredible and take me back to the stories and journeys the photos contain. I hope you like them just as much as I did.

I hope to see a lot more of the culture first hand and meet some of the people. I love their connection with nature, and I believe if we understood and took on more of that the world would be a better place.
And if you’re looking for a book on the true history of ‘how the west was won’ then please read Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee. It will change your life.

In the deepest cove, beauty resides.

I took a trip to Deep Cove yesterday. Wow. What a gorgeous place! I was greeted by a beautiful day outside and for once I didnt have my thick knit jacket or trench on, instead I opted for about 4 lighter layers and it worked. As I wasnt given any work hours this week I got to a point where I was actually thinking it’d be nice to go to work, so now that I have 5 days rostered on for next week I’m feeling better about it. They’re only from 3 to 5 hour shifts, so thats a good thing! I almost ran out of places to explore this week! What? Never! Haha.

Anyway, yes, deep cove!!

It was a real typical quaint little fishing village, a bit like a smaller Canadian version of Sorrento. It was so incredible to see the water and the huge mountains of trees. Thats the thing that always reminds me I’m somewhere else – the trees are so different from in Australia!! They are so deep green and thick and tall. I love it! Deep Cove is the ‘summer holiday’ place for a lot of Canucks and I can totally understand why!

If I had a sweetheart I could see myself doing something like this couple.

Just sitting, watching, listening and talking. That’s the ideal isnt it? What a perfect way to waste a few hours! Instead I wandered along to the waters edge and sat on some rocks for a while. I wrote in my journal and I contemplated life and its complexities.

I ate a chocolate donut at honeys (one of those things you ‘have to do!’) and then walked it off on a trail. Well I spose I walked off a quarter of it anyway hahaha.

I did my typical hiking thing of inner dialogue ‘I wonder if I’m gonna see any animals, oh maybe a bear will come over that hill. I wonder if there’s a wolf watching me. Why cant I see any raccoons? Come on raccoons! Ooh was that a squirrel? Nope, just a bird.’ Hehehehe. yes, for real. My senses go into overdrive and I try to tap into every sound and locate something. And I fail everytime but I WILL find them one of these days. You can count on it!

I decided that I’ll have to go back and visit Deep Cove in the summer to take a kayak and explore some more!

Before I go – two more things! I tried a ‘beavers tail’ today!! Another Canadian thing I had to try. Went to Lonsdale Market & Gastown. It looked like a huge potato cake but it was yuuuuuuuuuuum. You have no idea! It was like a thin donut and I got the maple butter one with chocolate. MmMMMMmMMmm.

Aaaand I wore my other new vintage dress.

Let the photos speak for themselves

Ok, after several posts about fashion which included several shots of me I can imagine my brother grimacing. Or he would grimace if he actually read my blog – which he wont because “I dont want to read your artsy fashion stuff and see 100 photos of you.” Hehehe. As far as I can tell his lovely new wife reads the blog and just passes on any interesting information. Dont worry, these are no photos of me in this post! Haha.

Anyway, my point was to clarify that I by no means regard myself as a model or a professional camera(wo)man. I love fashion – and art and I like finding ways of combining the two. I have a unique style and if that means people call me weird then I can deal with that. I dont dress the way I dress to get attention, infact if you get to know me you’ll find that in many ways I do as much as I can to avoid attention. There’s nothing wrong with being an individual. I was just brought up to believe that I am unique and worthy and that I should follow my own path in life. My mother is an incredible woman.

The reason that I started this blog (and continue to write in it) was to share my adventures with my friends (new and old) and family. It is my way of debriefing on what has been happening, and I imagine it’ll give me happy memories when the only travelling I’m doing is through these pages. It made me feel like you were all a part of this journey, and it helped to make me feel less alone. It still does!! I love the connections this blog has helped me make, and the inspiration I get from it. When you have a camera in your hand you tend to notice the way the light hits a tree and makes the colors blend, or how the grey sky reflects perfectly with the grey water. You open yourself up to a creative spark and if you’re lucky you can capture life’s wonderful moments.

We all come in different shapes and sizes, in different colors and with different hopes and dreams but we each have something special to give. We could learn a lot from each other!! I have noticed that recently there is a real lack of respect not only for our elders, but also for ourselves. It’s too early to tell if this is true in Canada too (or even worldwide) or if it’s just an Australian thing. I was taught manners, and I was raised with morals. I believe these two things are the cornerstones of respect. When I walk past people on the street I try to think of their stories, the places they have been and the people they have helped. Everyone has a story and everyone deserves to have their story heard. So when you’re outside try to smile at someone you dont know, give a little bit extra when you tip or just make sure to say thankyou to someone who helped you. Little acts of kindness are easy to do, but their ripples can be felt across the whole world. You never know when you can change someones life for the better.

Anyway, this post has gotten way longer than intended! haha. I was planning on just saying a sentence about my brother and then posting some photos without words. I guess that didnt happen. Here are some photos from the last few days (north van, van city and chinatown/gardens).

More on my flickr!

I checked out the Van Art Gallery – Leonardo Da Vinci ‘mechanics of man’ exhibition, which was incredible. Can you believe that 500 years after they were drawn no-one has been able to make a more detailed and correct sketch of the intricate workings of the muscles, tendons and bones. Incredible! The man was a genius.

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