Posts in vancouver
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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Greetings from February

May is here. Along with it came summer. It’s been 27 degrees on some of the days this week. The smell of lilacs fills the air, the tulips have already said their goodbyes. Somewhere between April and May I lost track of time due to overworking in an understaffed work space. I still managed to have good days in between my four-weekends-in-a-row work schedule though, I just didn’t have time to write about it.

Before May is gone I need to post loads of pictures from when the snow snow was still here. Like from this weekend in late February! Yes, February. I finally had the time to go through thousands of photographs from the past couple of months. And if I don’t share them here, how will future me know these days even took place?

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We came here in February 2017 as well - see this post here. It felt like a pilgrimage, to celebrate 2019 and the fact that we could stay here another year. There’s comfort in visiting the same places again, they become your places. This year we’ve been to loads of places we’ve already been to before, and it feels great. Familiar. Like Vancouver belongs to us now. We see you, we know you. We know the best routes, best spots to stop for photos, we know how to find our way home.

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The Battle of Land and Sea

I’ve been having extreme knee and leg ache lately, and in my mind walking on pebbles and rocks helps. The beach helps. So we went to the beach!

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During this precious walk, Andrew proclaimed that he didn’t believe in soul mates; that we, as an example, just met by pure luck. From there on, we tolerated/liked each other enough to stick together for a while. How romantic. He said I’m just as compatible, probably, to random people in India and Norway as I am to him. While that might be true, I refuse to adopt that type of mindset! I’d like to think he’s a soul mate of mine. Even though it was pure chance that I moved to Ireland in 2013, I’d like to think it wasn’t random at all. I’d like to think the universe provides. And maybe he’ll change his cynical mindset too, eventually. Or maybe I’ll agree with him later on, who knows.

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I ended up complaining about billionaires and people’s naivety when it comes to the environment. Lately I’ve been so angry. And I’ve got a complex relationship with anger, so does Andrew. So when either of us are angry, it’s just not ideal. When he’s angry at someone in traffic, or when he drops a glass of water, I cannot relate to the anger at all. For me, it’s completely unnecessary to be angry at those things, things you can’t control. I’d say he feels the exact same way when I get on a mad-rant about politics and injustices. I guess I need to be better at how I’m expressing my anger, because I don’t believe that anger in itself is harmful. It means things move me, it means I’m emotionally connected to my surroundings. But perhaps there are other ways to funnel that anger. Less shouting, and saying words like “I hate” for example.

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Kanga & Roo

In December last year we had the Privilege and Pleasure of dog sitting Kanga and Roo, two adorable “sisters” for a full day! I don’t think people understand just how much me and Andrew L-O-N-G for a dog! Before I got my visa, it was all we talked about. “As soon as it’s approved, we’ll look for a dog!” It helped, to think that something positive was going to happen.

Now I’m not so sure. We still really, really, really want a dog. But reality is tougher than the dream. We don’t want to leave our apartment, we love our little cave. We also, realistically, won’t be able to afford it. I would want to feed the most premium food out there, and then there’s the potential vet bills. BECAUSE of our love for dogs, we wouldn’t want to commit unless we’re absolutely certain we would be able to care for the pup.

Anyway. I managed to take some photos of Roo & Kanga, despite the two of them being in constant motion.

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The Lunchbox Antidote

I don’t have a preference. I enjoy preparing dinner with you in our tiny kitchen with oil stains all over the stove and your massive air-fryer taking up all the available counter space. I enjoy picking a dinner-worthy show to watch on tv. I enjoy our thank yous, our let-me-grab-that-for-you and our (mostly yours) I’ll-take-care-of-the-washing-up-todays.

I also enjoy finding new spots to go to with you. I enjoy both researching ahead of time, and stumble across something when we’re out and about.

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We’ve always wanted to try Meet on Main; their plates always looks amazing and it’s always crowded, which must mean they’re good. So one day, when the sun was shining and people were happy, we decided to give it a go. We realized once inside that the menu is completely vegetarian. I mean, that’s on us. We should’ve known that. I tried their burger, but you were happy with fries.

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On a rainy weekend after visiting Centennial Beach we went to Tsawwassen Mills looking for something to eat. On Google Maps we saw the word Montanas BBQ, so we obviously had to go there. I got a sample platter that doesn’t actually look that big in the above picture, but was huge. You drew a car with crayons on the paper provided for both kids and adults. I guess we’re not technically 30 yet, so you’re allowed.

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After many attempts we finally filed our taxes. You met me on Main Street and we signed, sealed and asked someone else to deliver the envelope to the tax office. You asked what’s for dinner; did we decide on anything? I said we did, but we forgot to take it out of the freezer. Quick decision: lets go to Colony. Colony is one of our favorite food places. It’s casual without being too casual, and they make the best fried chicken. You had a lager, I had a cider. We talked about the environment and had that buzz when you think you’re smarter than anyone else in the entire world.

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Yesterday you picked me up from work. You had a day off, and we had planned to go to Pacific Spirit Park. I wanted to show you Emily Carr university and the surrounding areas. I wanted to show you Red Truck Beer Company, to suggest we could go there someday. We both figured, why not just go there now. So we did. It had rained all morning but now the sun was shining and you complimented the music. You took a picture of the sink in the bathroom; you had never seen a sink made out of a tire before. I mean, who has?! You sent it to at least two of your friends. After the burger we went to Spanish Banks instead of the forest. The sun definitely had a say in the matter.

I don’t have a preference since just being with you is enough. That’s all I wanted to say. And that this is some of the stuff we’ve been eating lately.

From Carrie & Lowell to Illinois

Every spring starts with deaths that, for some reason, I feel like I, personally, could’ve prevented. Which is simply not true. Last year it was Avicii. I was paralyzed by the news, felt so deeply connected to him as a person despite never really being a fan of his music before. Could I have done something different? Could I have been there for him in some way? Of course I couldn’t have, I didn’t know him. But he felt close. Someone my age, from my country, living out what we thought was his dream. But he wasn’t happy. He was sick. And the sickness took over. Universally coded success did not matter.

This spring another beautiful soul Angeliqa Mejstedt, an outdoor/hikefulness blogger from Sweden, took her own life. Angeliqa inspired us to live our best lives, to say no to what’s not bringing you joy and to pay attention to the small things. Always smiling, always advocating for nature and Mother Earth, always rooting for you. To, I’m gonna say, all of us it came as a complete shock that she was suffering from depression so severe she simply could not continue on living. Again I’m filled with the belief that I could’ve done something here, I could have saved her. But I did not know her, I just followed her on social media. We have no way of knowing what actually went on, and I’m not here to speculate. All I can conclude is that mental health is a serious, serious business. And that we can never know someone’s true state of mind simply by following along on their public-persona-journey.

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Sometimes it’s not enough to simply do more of the things that makes us happy. Healing from depression is not eliminating everything that doesn’t spark joy and keep whatever makes you happy. It’s just not as straight forward as a Marie Kondo clean-out. We can be surrounded with friends, family, joyful days and houses and things and trips, and love can be ALL around us but we can still feel lonely. And sad. Sad to the core, where love and joy cannot penetrate. For some of us it’s not as simple as making changes in our day-to-day life, some of us need professional help from doctors. But how do we know, how do we know what category we fall into?

So much of how we’re feeling and who we are can only be discovered in conversations with others. When we get uncomfortable, when we’re doing the things that are difficult and exhausting. Sometimes we have to not choose positivity, we have to dig deep into the pile of shit that is our thoughts. We have to do things that are really, really painful. People help, conversations help. But only if you open the door to them. Which is a battle in itself. A battle that’s hard to imagine if you haven’t been there yourself. It’s a “if you know, you know” type of scenario.

It’s hard to ask for help while thinking you’re being demanding; a hard-to-deal-with kind of person. Because people want you to be happy, and people have an idea of what happy means, so they think they know how to make you happy. It’s easy for them, do x, y and z. It’s hard to ask for help because sometimes it means to ask someone to be there for moments in complete darkness and not just for party that occurs when you reach the surface.

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Lately I’ve been feeling really low. I’ve been listening obsessively to Carrie & Lowell by Sufjan Stevens, and death has consumed me. Death of people I don’t know, the imaginable death of people I know and love and death of the planet. As beautiful as Carrie & Lowell as an album is, it’s an album about death. I realize this might not be the best type of music to consume when you’re already feeling down. But sometimes it’s necessary to lay down in the hole you dug yourself, to stay there for a while. To realize it’s not too bad, not if you only stay for a little while. Eventually you reach a point where you have to reach out, you have to ask for help. And when you reach that point, please please call on someone. Please let someone know. It’s hard, sometimes impossible, to get up on your own. You don’t (and won’t be able to) have to fix everything that’s wrong there and then, just ask for someone to listen.

Eventually after days of rain the sun will come out. I promise. It won’t stay forever, but life is complex and multi-dimensional. Just as it wont be all sunshine and rainbows, it doesn’t have to be all overcast and cold winds either. Let’s just help each other to battle both conditions.

One day you’ll put on Chicago from the Illinois album where Sufjan sings that all things go. He fell in love again, all things go. There is light somewhere out there, seek it.

The End Of All Ends
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Someone asked me the other day what my goals are; for life, in general. In the grand scheme of things, what do I dream of?

And I dream of so much. I have visions on top of visions, 76 goals at all times. I dream of a cottage. Of forests. Of lakes. Of pine needles and camp fires. I dream of having a garden, with big crowns of lettuce and potatoes. A green house with cucumbers and cherry tomatoes. Of keeping bees, goats, donkeys, 20 dogs and 2 cats. A big fat horse, that will take me around fields of wild flowers. I dream of having kids, to teach them about everything. Teach them about space and love,and how to be an active participant in society, how to cry and how to make someone smile. I dream of creating something I’m proud of. Releasing it to the world and to have people saying how proud they are of me. How beautiful it is. I’ll say “thank you!” instead of" “oh it’s nothing”. I dream of celebrating a lot; both celebrating my own life but also others.

I dream of meaning something to more people. Or mean more, but to a few. I dream of becoming someone people can trust, that they feel safe around. Someone who people cry to, someone that people go to when they need help. Or wanting a meal and a night in. I dream of going to the north and south and east and west. But intentionally, not just weekends here and there. I dream of really being where I am. At all times.

But that’s not what my reply was, of course. I replied that it doesn’t matter; that earth is doomed to be destroyed so what’s the point in having life goals. It was over a drink, so it wasn’t that serious. But the fear is real; I’m so anxious all the time that those dreams of mine won’t mean anything because we’re ruining our planet. And I tell myself I’m not allowed to be mad at others, because I’m not perfect myself.

But it’s not about being perfect. It’s about being an active participant in society; it’s about taking responsibility, to make the earth a better place. Even if it only improves a tiny, tiny, tiny bit. It’s still important, it’s still worth it. So I need to do better. That’s my goal. I need to write about it more. I refuse to stand at the end of all ends and have regrets; thinking I didn’t do enough. I didn’t even try. To know that I only had fear and anxiety, and left it at that. That I sat inside, trying to hide from the danger. To believe it would magically disappear by itself like in a fairytale.

Anyway. Spring has come to Vancouver, I have so much to talk about. The sweet smell of flowers and trees makes me hungry and full at the same time. I could eat you up, I love you so.

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