Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Couver...interim report

I'm still getting over the jetlag and have been working, so in response to Madam M's comments on my previous post, what follows is an adaptation of something I put up on Facebook (New World Order version)...

What I did on my holidays, by Noel, Age 38

I had a very good time, which is the main thing! I went to the Vancouver Fringe Festival, saw 7 good shows (The Shakespeare Show, Busty Rhymes, Putz, The Lost Sole, Mating Rituals of the Urban Cougar, Die Roten Punkte & Gutenberg! the Musical), and thought the Fringe Bar was very impressive, not least since it was open until 2.30am! For the first time I saw all four Bard on the Beach performances (King Lear, Twelth Night, The Tempest & Titus Andronicus- which has put me off eating meat pies for a fair while) and they were all great- not least due to the superb actors and actresses who appeared in them! Thanks to Fitz for getting me into the shows past the hoi polloi (and teaching me the tricks of the standby ticket queue- get there early!).

I saw my friend Riel strum her stuff at Theatre Sport Improv and stayed to watch the rest of the show, which I did not regret (and Riel plays the guitar better than Madonna!) I saw Jen and her fellow burlesquees at the Biltmore strut their stuff, which was highly entertaining! I made Malaika's leaving do the night before her move to LA (I regret not taking the rubber duck that was up for grabs). I got a classy black fedora from Edie's Hats and met Edie, who allowed me to see her secret HQ! I saw Siobhan and her five week old sprog Phoenix (who now has a new teddy). I gave out lots of food largesse from England, which seems to have been appreciated by the locals (NB Branston Pickle is seen as a liquid by the UK authorities on airline flights, so I had to put this perfect terrorist weapon into my hold luggage!).

I was bowled over by the weather I encountered in Couver when I was over. Every time I go, it seems to happen. I had plans to take the odd trip to the countryside, but I was getting up late nearly everyday and once I saw the sun, blue skies and English Bay beach all such plans went out the proverbial window. Perhaps if it had not been such a bad August in the UK I would not have done so much sun worshipping. I ate and drank well, although there seemed to be a dearth of Granville Island Pale Ale when I was in town (I found adequate substitutes though). As with all holidays, I Could Have Done More, but then it would not have been such a break from it all, which a wannabe idler like me wants for his few weeks a year away from the grind. It must have worked extremely well, as this is the first trip to Vancouver where I haven't felt melancholic on getting back. I think that is because I had time to seriously chill out and reflect over Stuff. Let's say there is a lot I want to get done by the next time I visit the City of Glass.

The next time? It won't be 09, unless I win the proverbial lottery. Next year I want to go to France (quite possibly the Med) and either a grand tour of England or a few days in Sligo on the Irish west coast, where my dad was born. So I am thinking 2010, post-Olympics, sometime in July, August or September (I may be, as Fitz thinks, a good weather talisman for Vancouver/BC, but I'm not a bloody miracle worker!). At the moment, it is far too early to say more , except I'd like to say thanks to everyone who met and/or entertained me while I was over. To those I missed: no problem, you're all busy people, there will be a next time.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Paddling in the Pacific

Vancouver's English Bay at dusk

I'm heading to Vancouver again for my annual Break From Blighty. I'm back in a few weeks. I hope to seriously recharge my batteries there, before coming back to provide a lot of new posts to inspire bouquets and brickbats from fans, friends, enemies and the indifferent alike from October onwards.