Posts in vancouver
The Golden Hour Treasure Hunt

Last week me and Andrew spent a couple of days on Vancouver Island to do some sightseeing and to celebrate him turning 30! I’ll write more on that trip later once I have all the pictures collected. Once home, we both worked the Saturday and spent Sunday hiking around Burnaby Lake in rain. After work on Monday, we were delighted that the sun finally showed up in Vancouver.

The weather’s been really crappy lately, I don’t mind but I’d love more sunny days here! Throughout winter and the rainy spring it’s the only comfort people give you: “just you wait for the summer!” So to have it rain pretty much 80% of the time is a bit of a let down. When the sun does come out though, Vancouver is m a g i c a l. We drove straight to the beach to walk on sand and watch people barbecue and play volleyball.

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I collected some glass/plastic/cigarette butts along the shoreline and Andrew was windswept. I love how we try to really treasure each moment we get to go out and do something and not just go from bed to work to couch and then straight back to bed. Fighting capitalism since 89!

Young Americans

Hi from a post-Seona world. I’ve now occupied her cubicle in work, made it my own. In true Seona fashion I continue to sigh loudly at annoying people, places, things and I correct people without being ashamed of coming of as too much. The Lisa Simpsons of the world unite!

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The last afternoon before she left we went down to English Bay to have a final farewell hangout. First we had food (fried cheese and steak salad) and orange juice to cure our hangovers.

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We spent the evening on the beach on blankets listening to some weird guy playing music on his guitar while screaming his heart out and drinking gross peach tea alcoholic drinks.

Look at these cute American-coming-of-age-style-Polaroids we took!
10/10, will miss these hangouts x

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The Water Cure

14.6.2019

After an emotional phone call and a crying session on the couch, it’s nice to live in a place where you can decide to just drive to the beach and watch the sunset despite it being past 7.00PM. The soul wants what it wants, and sometimes that’s walking barefoot on sand while watching dogs fetch balls and glee at a young pair of sibling covering each other with sea weed next to the shoreline.

Oh, and I love how different I look in this photo vs the anniversary photo. Here’s to celebrate every version of you, greasy hair and greasy sweatshirts and all.

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ps, The Water Cure is a book I read earlier this year about a family of sisters and a mother living isolated from men and the rest of the world. It stays with you for a good while, read it.

My Doctor, Counselor, Provider, Professor, My Everything

Five years ago I started school in Dublin. Down an inner-city hidden alley Andrew was standing next to a locked door, smiling, surrounded by friends with heavy backpacks. He said hi to me, invited me without words to join the circle of classmates. We had met once before, when he was sitting behind me in the class room on South Great George’s St. I don’t remember him, although he remembers me. He said he was amazed because he’d never seen someone look as uninviting as me before. He also said I had the best posture he’d ever seen. Sitting in the front of the class with a straight back in true Hermione manner. In the classroom down the hidden alley we sat next to each other for the first time, working on a group project together. He smiled the whole time, not just because I was there. He was just that kind of person. I could tell straight away that he was loved by everyone, that he couldn’t hurt a single fly. Ever since then I was, against my will, smitten I guess.

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I’m not gonna write down our whole history here. All I can say is that Andrew straight away felt like home to me. Despite meeting him in Ireland, a country I had no previous desire to visit. But the stars aligned and what not and here we are, celebrating our fifth year together.

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(Yes you’re allowed to take selfies even though it’s a celebration of us rather than me)

In the beginning of June, when A was back from Ireland we went to Cactus Club down by English Bay to celebrate a bit. We’re pretty bad at celebrating the big stuff, we’re amazing at the small stuff. So we try! Whenever there’s an opportunity.

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Cactus Club is a chain here in Canada, so it’s not some extravaganza place. However, the location is the best in town. Right down by the beach. And the food was surprisingly delicious. Best steak we’ve had in Canada so far!

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We stayed to watch the sunset and to look at the moon through someone’s huge telescope that they’ve placed right there for people to enjoy (well, it wasn’t really just “left there” but you know).

I love, love, love you so much. You’re my best friend, my home, my father, my soldier, you protect me, boy you saved me, you are my doctor, counselor, provider, professor, my everything (for people who live under a rock some of those are Beyoncé lyrics but that doesn’t make them any less true) (I might object to the father line but whatever!).

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Jones Lake Reservoir

The last weekend before Seona and JS left for Ireland we brought them on a day tip to a couple of lakes around Chilliwack. One of the lakes I looked up was Jones Lake, which looked pretty accessible on Google Maps. Not reading anything about it before we started our journey, just looking at pretty pictures, we all got a bit disappointed when we arrived at the start of a steep gravel hill. Luckily Misty, our car, pulled through and brought us all the way up to the lake with only a couple of scratches.

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Alison’s got some nerve having a birthday party this far up in the woods. Obviously Alison doesn’t have friends that don’t own trucks.

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JS found this aerodynamic frisbee and I think it changed his life. He hasn’t been seen without it since. We went to Spanish Banks in Vancouver after our road trip to watch the sunset and had a pretty good game of frisbee.

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Frisbee is L I F E.

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In the distance we could see Alison’s birthday party. We thought about crashing it multiple times, but we were way too scared having seen too many scary movies about rural people in trucks.

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Couple photos alert!

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Seona Flanagan <3

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Couple photos alert nr 2! And yes that’s a lens cap in my breast pocket.

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After Jones Lake we went to Cultus Lake, another lake we hadn’t been to before. Maybe more on that later!

Seona Flanagan: World Class Traitor
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I really should be cleaning right now. Or packing. Or getting myself ready to go out. It’s a Thursday that feels like a Saturday or a Sunday or a Monday. It feels like the start of something, but also the very end of something. It feels like I’m stuck in a bubble of time where time doesn’t even exist.

Let’s just go through some facts. It’s Thursday, I’m off work. Andrew’s away working. I work tomorrow, and on Saturday. So it’s not the end of the week for me. It’s somewhere in the middle. But yesterday was Seona’s last day at work, so in a way it felt like my last day at work. It felt like the end of things. Seona is probably the reason why I’m still working where I’m working, so to have her quit and not only quit work but go back to Europe is. Weird. Life as you know it, suddenly ending. I knew the day would come, but you can never prepare for endings.

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Yesterday was Seona’s last day. She left the building with her Middle Fingers Up towards the corporate office before we took the bus to the pub. Met our boyfriends, played music bingo. Later today we’ll have a goodbye party for her. Right this second, I’m worried I won’t enjoy work anymore. Right this second, I’m worried that I won’t enjoy Vancouver anymore. Right this second, I’m worried that it’s always going to be this way: meeting friends, loving them, leaving them due to me going to a different country or them leaving me for the same reason.

A huge sadness in my life is that I’m always moving around. I don’t have a secure spot, a “home”, where I have all my friends collected. I will never live in a place where all the people I love will my neighbors. In my early 20s I met some of my best friends in Santa Barbara. I met one of my best friends there too, Jennifer. She’s like a sister to me at this stage, and in a miraculous way we still keep in touch. Daily. I would love to live close to her, to go over for coffee in the morning, to just chill in front of the tv in the evenings. Or talk until late hours on her patio, walk our dogs together. But most likely that won’t happen. It’s a dream that seems so real to others, so basic in its form, but I just know that it will probably not come to that. Our friendship and love will always be from a distance. We will be depended on texts and calls.

After Santa Barbara, I went to Ireland. Met people there that I will probably consider friends my whole life. Friends you share every day with. I met Andrew, of course. A friend who will always be right next to me hopefully. At least I’ll always have him physically close by. But other people I had to leave behind, people that I met through work, who I spent perhaps more time with than I did with Andrew. Cause that’s what you do at work, or in college. You spend time with your friends. You do a bit of working as well, but most of the time you just hang out. It’s not an ideal situation, but sometimes the people you meet at work or college becomes your very best friends. Because they know everything about you, every mood swing. They can tell straight away as you enter the door how you’re feeling. I will forever miss some friends in Dublin. Paul and Abi for example. I will probably never live close to them again, I will never share the every-day stuff again. And it saddens me.

It’s been like this since I was 15 and I first moved away from home. I keep leaving places and people, or they leave me. Because the friends that I do find are usually people like me, people on the move. That’s what we have in common, how we connect. Like Seona, an Irish girl with her English boyfriend. Their home is Scotland, but now they live in Vancouver. Until Saturday that is, when they leave again. And life will never be the same, we will only ever have the past couple of months we spent together. We will have other times, too. When we meet in Europe. But life will be different. This life, this everyday relationship we have had for half a year, will have ended.

I know how to say goodbye to friends, to end chapters. I’m used to it. It doesn’t make it easier though, and this one is a particularly hard one. Seona going back to Europe is pulling some very strong strings in my, ropes even. I know I will make the same journey later. I hope I won’t spend the time between now and then just longing to be back, to Europe. Closer to “friends”, pointing out the lack of them here. Right now, it feels like my dreams and goals are just big old myths. Me saying to my brother and sister and cousin and best friends that one day we’ll live close to each other! And until then we will keep in touch, daily, often, about everything. It works for some people, it doesn’t work for others and there’s no way of knowing beforehand.

I know that it takes commitment. I know that some people are only meant to be in your life for a certain amount of time. Some people you get really close to, can’t imagine a life without, and then they disappear and you survive. Some people you never talk to again. Some people you stay in touch with, like Jennifer. You grow up together with them. If it’s meant to be it’s meant to be.

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I don’t know how I’ll feel working where I’m working without Seona there. I know that only time will tell. I know it’s not the end of the world. But I also know that I’m allowed to be sad and worried, those feelings are valid. I’ll be missing Seona so, so, so much. I’ll miss her intelligence and humour. I’ll miss getting to know everything about her day; how she’s feeling, what she’s eating, when she goes to the bathroom, what she discussed with her other friends or boyfriends or all the tv shows and films she watched. I’ll miss reacting to whatever’s going on in the world and knowing she’ll agree with me, I will miss exchanging looks when other people are doing/saying something stupid. I’ll miss her how her voice changes when she gets drunk, I’ll miss how absolutely unapologetic she is. She’s got no fear, no time for bullshit, but she’s still filled with more love and sympathy towards others than most people in this cruel world. She’s my favourite type of woman. We all need to be more like Seona Flanagan, despite being a world class traitor.

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DISCLAIMER: Seona Flanagan is actually not a traitor at all and is leaving Canada for personal family reasons because she’s a person of love who doesn’t have a single bad bone in her body. So I can’t really be mad. But I’m a little bit mad.

Bits And Bobs

One day:

Both tired from work, we take a walk to the closest park. Just cause the weather’s amazing and it’s too early to go to bed, that kind of thing. We met this precious little creature. The privilege of being born a cat.

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The park was filled with kids at soccer/baseball practice and their parents cheering them on.

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Another day:

We visited the same park, with our trustworthy blanket we bought last year at Canadian Superstore. We spent an hour or two underneath a willow tree next to a pond watching duck-politics and discussing human-politics.

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Afterwards Andrew FINALLY got his hair cut and honestly, he has never looked better. While I look more like a hag by each day, he as a man just keeps on getting more handsome? Is this a fact or an idea I believe in due to the patriarchy?

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Another day:

Andrew’s favourite activity on days when he doesn’t feel like driving anywhere is to just stroll down Main Street. So that’s what we did. Look at this very extra sign outside a new, hipster cannabis shop.

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We had lunch at El Camino, a really cool mexican place. The food looks amazing, and Mexican Fanta is my favourite. However I wished the food tasted more? Had more flavour, spices? In classic Canadian (sorry!) fashion it was quite bland.

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I had good company though so didn’t really matter that much!

And so are the days of our lives (wow).

Not All Days Are Sunny

I’m pretty good at looking up places to go, around Vancouver. I wanna make sure we’re not just visiting the same places over and over again, even though sometimes the familiar is all you want. A mix of both is nice. We have a car, Misty, and she can take us pretty much wherever! So we try to venture outside the home -> work routes on the weekends.

Most of the times I look at Instagram for inspiration, then I save the location on Google Maps. I saw a picture of the Centennial Beach with Mt Baker in the background, it was a beautiful purple and yellow sunset. It looked glorious. So we decided to go there as well. But not all days are sunny.

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Mt Baker is somewhere there, hiding. It wasn’t as beautiful as the picture maybe, but it was something else just as worthy and perfect. Kite surfers and grey skies. If you romanticize regular moments in your day to day life just becomes better, it really does.

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It helps that Andrew usually is around. It honestly doesn’t matter where we are. Yes, I’m throwing a bag of cheese directly at you reader BUT I love him and I love exploring with him.

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I’m trying to be better with allowing pictures of myself to take up space. I don’t want to be like so many women with body dysmorphia before me that have refused to having their pictures taken and shared and therefore erases herself from her own history.

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That’s it. That’s all from this beach day. We’ll be back, the weather might be better, or worse. It really doesn’t matter.

Mount Seymour → Baden Powell Trail → Quarry Rock

On a Saturday during the last weekend of April after working 8 hours alone in an empty office without the lights on, Andrew picked me up with my boots in the car. We drove over the bridge to North Shore, up to Mount Seymour which was empty of people. The hills had some leftover snow but other than that spring had reached the mountain top. On the way down we stopped where Baden Powell Trail crosses Mount Seymour Road. We didn’t really know where we wanted to go, we just wanted to walk where there was no people among tall trees and the perfect shade of greens. Walking in parks in North Vancouver will always be one of my favourite things to do. The forest here is not like anywhere else, it is warm and comforting. It’s spacious without ever being empty of lushiness and sounds. Moss, wildflowers, glacial water running through streams.

Not knowing how far we wanted to go, we decided on a whim to walk all the way down to Quarry Rock. Andrew’s never been before. I went there with my dad, but I took the more popular route via Deep Cove. It was only when we approached Deep Cove area that we saw other people. The rock was filled with people taking afternoon hikes.

On the way back we were alone again. Uphill for 1 hour until we finally reached the car. Afterwards I had forgotten I had even worked that day. And that’s how you should spend every Saturday.

As you can probably see this post has both camera and phone photos.

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Buntzen Lake Trail 5/5/2019

After working four weekends in a row and that week working 6 days in a row with overtime on some of those days the last thing I wanted to do on my 1 day off was to go on a hike. But after a little cry I came to the conclusion myself that perhaps a hike was exactly what I needed. To not get stuck into working, going home, sleeping, working, going home, sleeping.

Me and Andrew have been to Buntzen Lake before and walked part of the trail, but we’ve never been around the whole lake. We went together with his cousin + her boyfriend. It was hot, hotter than I expected. Luckily most of the trail is covered by tall pine trees so there’s tons of shade. We had picnic at the North Beach and dipped our toes in the lake (well, some of us) before we continued on. All in all I think it took about 3 and a half hour, and that includes the picnic break.

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Taking Pictures of Andrew Taking Pictures

This post contains snow, you have been warned. Yes it’s May and spring is officially gone. Winter is just a memory now. Summer is here, or at least that pre-summer period where it’s not 27 degrees EVERY day but it’s lushy green everywhere and you can do with just a light jacket or a warmer sweater on the colder days.

But I have so many pictures that I didn’t share over the winter months. That I just now got around to editing and selecting. And I need to share them because if I don’t, I’ll never share them and knowing myself I prefer looking back at memories here, on this blog, rather than going through a disorganised hard drive with thousands of pictures.

These pictures are from January. I think. Or maybe February. We wanted to see proper snow so we went to Chilliwack Lake. I posted some pictures from there before, but not these ones. We’ll go back soon, hopefully. With a portable BBQ or at least some sort of picnic. Just like we did then, with hot coffee in a thermos and wrapped up sandwiches.

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Women Ruin Nice Moments

We were driving just for driving’s sake, around West Vancouver to look at all the big houses with the breathtaking views. We drove up to Cypress Mountain. Left, right, left, right. The houses disappeared, only pine trees and snow remained. All of a sudden in one of the fast corners the most beautiful view of the sunset setting over Vancouver with Mount Baker in the background appeared. I screamed STOP but we didn’t have time to pull in. It’s a strict one way road so we continued all the way up to the top of the mountain. I sulked. Loudly. Why are you always driving so fast? Why are you not looking out of the window like I am? Why are you so obsessed with speed and corners and why are you not able to just quickly swing in to a parking spot because at that VERY MILLI-SECOND you saw a potential photo op!

I got irrationally angry like I always do. On the way down we stopped at the view-spot. The sunset was gone, left was just the aftermath. I tried to enjoy it, took some pictures. But I single handedly ruined what could’ve been a nice moment due to hunger (probably). Hunger or hormones or hatred for how I looked that day or annoyance that I didn’t drive the car myself. Sometimes being a woman truly, truly sucks.

I have apologized since but Andrew, again, I am so sorry for all the times I’ve been angry at you when you really didn’t deserve it. Thank you for putting up with all my shit. In return I promise to put up with your shit too.

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