Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Upper Dunbar Blues: Wednesday, July 15th!

Choose only one master -- Nature. -Rembrandt, painter and etcher (15 Jul 1606-1669) 
Pat, thanks for the update on the Fungu ride. Sorry to learn your time was not what we were expecting of you. We will be at Charlie's late afternoon and evening on Sunday if you feel like stopping by. Fond regards to you and C, G
Hi Calamity and Whirlygig!

Sorry to learn that my GranFondue, (Glasgow's version of the name!), time disappointed you. Would have been much, much better had I had a riding mate to train with so fault is yours, Sirah! Great that you'll be with Carlos on Sunday so I will definitely pop by to say hello. (Drove by yesterday, en route to see Elaine and Ted Keating, and discovered that the yellow house is no longer there! New place looks terrific!) As mentioned, I'll be at Folk Fest over most of the weekend but I'm not usually a rabid fan of evening concerts, (Like the intimacy of the smaller stages throughout the course of the day), and have often heard enough by 5:00 am to be able to leave quite happily. At any rate, I'll give you a shout on Sunday afternoon and we can chat and plan accordingly.

Had a pretty straightforward drive yesterday. Didn't leave Penticton until 9:30 am so made for the Coquihalla, stopping in Summerland for cherries. Traffic wasn't too bad and we were on Terminal by 1:30 pm. Stopped at Coastal Ford to book in for an oil change while here. Will take car in on Thursday evening after I drop Lady Mary at YVR and work will be done on Friday so I have to figure out when I'll collect it, dovetailing with new early start to Folk Fest this year. (I'm listening to Richard Thompson's latest, Still, as I scribe. [Paolo has an incredible collection of music and films.] This year there are earlier sessions at 2:00 pm and 3:30 pm, three stages at each time. He is on at Stage 2 from 3:45 pm to 5:00 pm when Main Stage kicks off.)

After making a booking for car we made straight for Modern Nails where we enjoyed pedicures. Great foot/leg massage afterwards! Since Mme Coriandre was having a manicure as well she dispatched me to Dunbar to drop off our bags with Paul and Joan Whitney who had invited us to stay for that night and next. Had a quick chat with Paul, after unloading car, and we made a few plans for rest of stay. Then back down the hill to Keatings to say hello. I'll be staying with them for rest of weekend so it'll be even more convenient for getting to Folk Fest. Then back to The Heartbreak Terrace to meet Coriandre.

We were having dinner with Flamin' and Sarge. Had arranged to meet Stefano, from Melbourne, as he is off today, around noon, so really only chance to see him. Chloë came by after work so it was a lovely evening all around. After delicious meal, (salmon on the bbq and fresh local corn from Okanagan that we'd picked up with cherries, wonderful salad by Flamin'), Jo-Anne, neighbour from upstairs, popped by so had a chance to visit with her as well. Left shortly after 9:00 pm as everyone had busy days on the morrow and we wanted to see Joan and Paul back at their place before turning in.

After we'd made our fond farewells we stopped by Keatings again as had quite a few vegetables we wanted to leave with them. Hadn't dropped them off earlier as didn't know what we could contribute to dinner with Sutherlands but all Flamin' wanted was the corn so rest were destined for Bayswater. Unfortunately, they were out so I used the door code they'd given me earlier to gain access to kitchen and we left everything on the counter.

Couple of snorts of malt with Paul, (The Sisterhood was content with white wine!), while we caught up and made plans for today. We will have dinner here tonight. Everyone has been assigned food errands and kitchen duties so should be fun. The Whitneys are off shortly, Paul to a meeting downtown, Joan to meet friends, and Cora Lee just sped away to Oakridge to have her brand spanking new mini-iPad, (My early 68th birthday present to her as she will be in New York on July 19th when she actually celebrates the event.), initialized, etc. She cannot remember any of the necessary passwords so neither Chloë nor Flamin' could set up the device!

Once I've made a few phone calls and sent a few more messages, I'm going to suit and lube up for a ride. Think I'll make for UBC and revisit some of my former routes thereabouts. Have to be back in plenty of time to take bus/SkyTrain out to YVR as I have my Nexus interview there at 5:15 pm. Had thought, initially, that I'd ride there but am concerned about leaving my Trek and also about being back for in time for a reasonably early dinner. A number of other friends have been invited so don't want to delay the start of the evening.

Just realized, to my horror, that all my riding gear, (shoes, helmet, gloves), are still in the car so I'll have to wait here until she's back from The Apple Store, if she answers her phone! Plenty to do so am not overly fussed although I would really like to ride as day is poifect and I need to stretch my legs after last two day's of sloth!

Anyway, take care of each other and we'll chat on Sunday, one way or another, if not before. I can be reached at the Whitneys or the Keatings, or on my cell. Cheers, Il Conduttore!
Pics: Stefano; Stefano with Jo-Anne and Flamin'; Chloë, Stefano and I; Whitney's back garden and Upper Dunbarites perusing their morning papers! 

Hi Raymond! Thanks very much for your very kind words about the GranFondo! However, don't think I'll ever manage an overall 26 kph AVG. Too, too much serious work to achieve that and I'm simply enjoying level I think I can achieve with the sorts of rides and riding easily available. Sorry to learn that Sylvia had to undergo some surgery but from what you mention, glad she is on the mend. I guess, under the circumstances, that she will probably not be going to the Folk Fest.

Wonderful to hear that you will be going to England in August. Durham Coastal Walk sounds wonderful! Must send along a note to Jim and Chris but please pass along hellos and best wishes when next you are in touch. Had a lovely visit with Mick and Polly when they were up. Hope I can say hello to them while here, as well.

Anyway, perhaps we can squeeze in a ride on Friday morning if that might work for you. Since I'll be at the Keatings perhaps we could meet at the usual spot near Macdonald/Point Grey and then make our way out to UBC. Or, I'm happy to meet you on 25th and we could take a run out to Iona. I hear that the new designer mall has opened and causing problems with airport traffic! Since I hope to pick up my car around noon I'll simply head down to dealership at the end of our ride together. I'll have my latest book, Charles McCarry's The Last Supper, in my camel pack so I can sit and read if my car isn't quite ready, sipping on some of the free coffee provided! Cheers, Patrizzio!

Had an appointment for my Nexus card at YVR at 5:15 pm so left the Whitneys lovely home, near 19th and Crown, at around 3:00 pm and dipsy-doodled my way through UBC to take Marine, and eventually Kent, to the Cambie SkyTrain Bridge to wend my way past the River Rock Casino and then the recently opened Designer Mall, making for McDonald Beach Park. Didn't feel I had enough time to make run to Iona so turned around here and then headed for the airport. Was half an hour early for my appointment, as it turned out but office was very quiet so I had my interview and was back on the road by 5:15 pm, so quite pleased that all had gone so smoothly.

Strangely enough there don't seem to be any bike racks on this level of the airport where one can lock one's bike so I ended up taking my Trek into the office where the interview was to be held. Chap at registration counter said that this was fine but officer conducting interview wasn't overly pleased. When I told him what had happened he relented. I didn't push things as I didn't want to jeopardize process in any way but there was plenty of room for bike without interfering, at all, with any other applicants, of whom, it turned out, there were none, at least while I was there! 

Shortly afterwards, when asked why I wanted a Nexus card, in the first place, I mentioned our grandchildren in LA and he even joked that he thought that I should ride my bike there. This after he couldn't believe I'd ridden to the airport in the first place. Told him 41 km, (distance to date), was not much compared to 160 km I'd done on weekend. Anyway, he lightened up and rest of interview went off without a hitch. He fingerprinted me, electronically, and then turned me over to another agent who asked more of the same questions and then, following an iris scan, I was free to go.

Piece of cake on the ride home after that even though there was a bit of strong headwind once I was back on SW Marine. Enjoyed being back on some of my favourite routes and far cooler than up-country out of Penticton! Stats for ride: 

Back home by just after 6:00 pm to find our hosts and Mme Coriandre reading on the deck. Related some of my escapade and then had a quick shower and change. Back downstairs we sat on the patio and enjoyed some fabulous pâté , (one of duck, one of rabbit!), and wine while we chatted. Around 7:00 pm I threw a mixed green salad together, Cora Lee and Paolo put two pots of pasta, (one gluten-free, of course!), on to boil. Earlier, Paolo had made a tangy red sauce with olives, mushrooms and chicken, for topping, so when pasta was ready we loaded our own plates and returned to the deck to eat.

Delicious fare indeed. During the course this part of the meal we decided we'd repair to their living room to watch
, Ex Machina, a 2015 British science fiction thriller film staring Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander and Oscar Isaac, telling the story of a programmer who is invited by his employer to administer the Turing test to an android with artificial intelligence. Quite interesting but was too, too sleepy by the end to watch the Director's cut so will have to do that another time. Thanking our generous hosts we trundled upstairs to brush and floss and then a touch of reading before it was lights out.

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