Communication With The Locals | 30th July 2011 | 20:32 PDT

If I can take a minute to be unashamedly offensive to every nice Canadian person I have ever met (Think of that first sentence as me saying "With all due respect, sir" - which obviously now gives me the right to say whatever I like, because I said "With all due respect" - remember that.

I've discovered when talking to a "Canadian" I need to apply this simple and easy equation to words, in order to have a pleasant conversation of any worth.

And funnily enough, it's not all about just replacing the sayings of certain words like:
  -  What's that all aboot
  -  With or withoot you by U2
  -  It's a blowoot sale!
  -  watch out for radiation falloot
  -  I'm stuck on this roundaboot, we don't have them in North America
  -  Off fishin' to catch some troot
  -  It's dark, must be a blackoot
  -  It's so bootiful ootdoors
  -  I'm going to walkaboot to find this writer and knock him oot for being so ootlandish and rude.
Because, that's just insulting.

It appears to communicate with these rare species and to have to fruitful conversation you have to swap all Ts in a word for Ds, exception to this rules are, if the word begins with a T or if the the original wording is spelt O U T:

This is a fruitful conversation (via

Advanced Tip! Speaking slowly helps as well, but not essentially necessary.

How about that trip from Toronto to Ottawa? I guess that's why they call it Sin City
Translates too:
How aboot thad trip from Torondo to Oddawa? I guess thad's why they call it Sin Cidy, eh

This tall latte from Blendz tastes like a tree trunk dunked in treacle, simply terrific
Translates too:
This tall ladde from Blendz tasdes like a tree trunk dunked in treacle, simply terrific, eh

I think the heritage of transformation infrastructure is subject to controversy due to the recent donation practices, there's simply not enough dedication to the less fortunate on the outside of society.
Translates too:
I think the heridage of transformadion infrasdrucdure is subjecd to condroversy due to the recend donadion pracdices, there's simply nod enough dedicadion to the less fordunate on the ootside of sociedy, eh.

Ad infinitum.

Tastefully Drunk | 29th July 2011 | 16:34 PDT

The joys of having a large public market place like Granville Island fairly near by is that it attracts lots of tasty fresh lovely things for you to try, probably. Being a true Brit abroad, I skipped the food bit and went straight for the alcohol, but it was slightly thin on the ground, seeing as there are only two outlets that do tastings of unusual alcoholic produce. Here's my whimsical thoughts on what I tried anyway.


Granville Island Taproom
They have been making beer since 1984 and were the first mirco-brewer in Canada, won awards.

Sitting at the bar with a large light wooden room, with people discussing passionately on dark table sets about the liquid that's housed in tiny glasses.
I rock up and point at what the couple next to me is having, turns out to be called a Taster Round, where you can pick 3 beers from a selection of 8 to sample. I go for Cypress Lager, Robson Street and the Limited Release Nut Brown.
  -  Cypress Lager. A light at first then slowly sticks to your tongue releasing a sweet after taste from the honey put in during the making process.
  -  Nut Brown. First off, it smells like an old pub, its flavour is thick and chocolatey. it lingers seeping throughout the mouth and doesn't diminish like cigarette smoke - not my thing.
  -  Robson Street. An opaque white beer, feels quite full but counteracted and made refreshingly light from all the fruit flavours that subtly change the taste with each sip.


Artisan SakeMaker
Been making sake for... years! One of two Sake makers in Pacific North West, won awards.

Sitting in the sun, watching the world go by listening to the gentle strumming of a busker playing this guitar, I'm in the quaint little establishment, Artisan SakeMaker, a small curious shop that boasts being the only sake maker in Vancouver (and one of two in Pacific Northwest) I'm happily greeted by the people behind the counter as I ask for the Trio Tasting option.
  -  Junmai Nama. Light, fresh, delicate, mild fruity undertones skips around your mouth playfully before vanishing into thin air.
  -  Junmai Nama Genshu. Fragrance sits heavy in your mouth as the rich sunny flavour slowly glides over your taste buds.
  -  Junmai Nama Nigori. Cloudy liquid that's quick off the tongue is flavourful but, I can't put my finger on what it is, its mysteriously mixed in with a sweetness equal to that of watermelon.

Bit o' Cultchar | 28th July 2011 | 23:50 PDT

I was led by a friend down Cambie Street that was hailed as being “The more cultured spots in Vancouver” - Fair enough, bit o' culture never hurt no one too bad, I thought and I followed without too much fuss well actually, no fuss at all, I was contented going along with this magical mystery tour.

We arrive at the pub basking in the evening sunshine. It looked like your typical pub, big windows, chairs and tables outside, door to go in and a chalkboard sign featuring a daily offer of booze. No sign of culture.

Walking in, all that glorious sunshine had gone, like it had forgotten its identification and wasn't allowed in. The interior looked purposefully run down with washed out walls coloured in various shades of terracotta and beige, with wooden furniture and Spanish art placed in various locations, it added to the whole experience.

We ordered a pitcher of sangria and the stage began to fill up with musicians, guitarist, singer, violinist, box drummer and dancers dressing in an unusual garb... The pin dropped about what I was going to watch, it was flamenco dancing!

Ghostly phantasm are big fans of Flamenco

The rest of the evening from the first tap of the shoe to the last strum of the guitar, was spent marvelling this musically rich, light and seemingly improvised playing host to a high quality energetic of display dance (but apparently there's been better displays as the musicians alternate – I didn't care) I loved what was going on in front of me and best of all, it was free!

The only thing that would have made this evening more cultured was if they served us with a decent pitcher of sangria, as the crap we were served, was essentially cordial with some fruit chucked in it. Can't win them all.

Crap | 27th July 2011 | 14:26 PDT

Since I've been here in this fine city, I've had 3 beasts of the sky unload their bowels on me like heavy white rain from above. Also known as a Bird Blessing or more commonly, a birds taking a poop/crap/shit on you. I wonder what this could mean, is it good luck or bad luck?

Look at you sternly mocking me at my misfortune (via

Good Luck
Originating from word of mouth from years ago and this belief is intertwined within many religions and cultures. It has stood the test of time and is generally linked to wealth
Also, compared to being luckier than winning a lottery due to the sheer scale of the world and a human head being so small in comparison, this just makes me feel there's a fowl celebrating getting a Bullseye in a some sort of weird dart game.

Bad Luck
Science has linked bird droppings to a few fun diseases, such as:
Histoplasmosis – fever, leads to death.
Cryptococcosis – skin disease, body shut down, leads to death.
Candidiasis – yeast disease, affecting skin, mouth, lungs, intestines etc.
Salmonellosis – food poisoning
St. Louis Encephalitis – inflammation of nervous system, headaches, fever, leads to death.
Parasites - bed bugs, chicken mites, yellow mealworms, soft ticks, biting lice, pigeon fly and carpet beetles

On the Fence
Maybe they say it's good luck to make the unlucky target feel better about the situation

Either Way
I need a shower

Street Dwellers - Part Two | 26th July 2011 | 16:02 PDT

They're seemingly everywhere, roaming the landscape mentally lost without purpose other than to share their thoughts to the world. They stomp around with a face of fire, shout at you for standing on the street, run around coffee shops and letting the whole world know their feelings about you at great volume, stand in the street with glazed over eyes pointing in two opposite directions singing a song about a jumbo jet landing, or at least that's what it sounded like or accuse you of fucking dogs. I am of course talking about the latest residents that share the streets with everyone else, the insane.


I lost my patience with them recently (probably unfairly, as they can't really help having a mental unbalance – but they could try, at least) as I was sitting in a coffee shop looking out idly in middle-distance with a gormless expression on my face, I was half noticing this loud chatty man from outside that had been harassing tourists outside about ice cream (as they were in possession of ice cream) after he was done ruining their vacation, he clocked me through the window, oh crap.

He storms through the glass doors and walks straight by me and proceeded to shout in a loud volume at some boxes and then at a chair about ice cream (as they weren't in possession of ice cream) before leaving through a side door, stomping around back to the front door to repeat the process, like a deranged deja vu. Stormy McFlurry Stompington leaves again and wanders off down the street.

I leave the coffee shop a few hours later and stand to one side as I look at my phone upon exiting, and he appears from nowhere. This time though, a different guy with a face of a vomiting volcano stares me dead in the eyes and half shouts, half spits at me about how I was in his way of looking into a bin and few words later Shouty StHelen Trashington marches off down the street overlooking his shoulder to share his 4 letter words of thoughts with me.


This is the fault of Vancouver, it takes money, quite a lot of it, to prepare for the Olympics and in order to raise the funds to have a lovely little folly for two weeks, the budget had to come from somewhere, in its infinite wisdom the suits decided that the health system was the best place to obtain these funds, verdict made and in process.

What happened was mental health hospitals around the city that were looking after these people and giving them the care they need and keeping them at bay, led all the patients outside (probably with a party bag, with some cake, a balloon and a toy) and kind of said “Good luck and goodbye” and the hospital locked their doors forever.

Known as North Hollywood, walking around, it does sometimes feel like being on the set of Batman Begins, when The Scarecrow develops a fear-inducing toxins and releases release all the inmates at Arkham Prison and unleashes the toxin onto Gotham City's residence.

These people dazed and confused took refuge on the streets and like the homeless, eventually come to rest on Vancouver's East Hastings Street, where they reside indefinitely. The homeless count is hovering around 3000 people in  Vancouver, I'm guessing around a quarter to a third of those need psychological care. I don't know what the city is doing to solve this particular issue.

UPDATE: It turns out the extra money saved from this action, was put towards helicoptering fresh snow from elsewhere as there wasn't enough on the mountains that year.

Street Dwellers - Part One | 25th July 2011 | 15:26 PDT

They're seemingly everywhere, littering the landscape emotionally and physically lost without purpose other than to exist. They sit crossed legged on the ground with a dirty hat beside them, some have animals for companions, and others are quite content in helping out the city by collecting cans and bottles for cash. I am of course talking about the residents that permanently share the streets with everyone else, the homeless.

I personally, reached my limit with the homeless yesterday after 2 week of seemingly wanting to be used as their personal ATM machine being hounded at for cash donations wherever you go  – There's a law here, whereby if someone asks you for money more than twice then they risk being thrown into jail for harassment and the police monitor this very carefully.


What bothers me is that  these are probably the most friendliest homeless people you'll ever come by (I question how homeless some of these actually are, though) and always wish you a good day and they're content with a smile is you have no money.

In most cases they're passive/friendly in their approach for money and sometimes I will have a compassionate side and spare a few quarters to help out, but only if I have the cash to hand and don't have to fumble around my wallet to get it, mainly because there's something slightly odd showing a homeless person a wallet with a few notes inside and then only passing over a few coins, think it might be called guilt, not sure.

But, this case in particular wound me up like rope. As I was buying a ticket for the Skytrain and this guy targets me, has had been hovering around the machines with long black greasy hair looking like a character from Shameless trying to sell his ticket for cash. I had no change and the ticket had expired. I say “No” and use the machine, click think think think whirl whirl, the whole time he's hovering over my shoulder like some black parrot oozing hair juice all over me, ching ching ching ching. My change gets dispensed.

He squawks out “Do you have any change?” Well, that's a fucking redundant question as you know I do, and no I don't want to give you any, for being annoying – though, being English I gave him a few quarters and him being a typical Vancouverite didn't say thank you - every fiber of my being was fighting the urge to scream FUCK YOU THEN AND GET A JOB!


Unfortunately this is not the fault of Vancouver, regardless of being such an expensive city to be in, the main benefactor to this homelessness is because they're unable to survive the winters anywhere else in Canada and so, like the moving objects within a Heath Robinson Contraption or Rube Goldburg machine they swirl, bounce, cascade, meander and eventually come to rest on Vancouver's East Hastings Street, where they reside indefinitely.

Thanks to the majority of them being friendly it's not unbearable, but it is exhausting and a rest every so often would be welcome, I don't know what the city is doing to solve the issue, probably nothing and let it “fix itself” through extreme weather. Though Vancouver being full of empty buildings perhaps some logic should be applied to this situation and fill in the hole, like they did when the 2010 Olympics was on, in order to keep them off the streets so tourists could have a nice time.

Villa in Vancouver | 24th July 2011 | 18:03 PDT

Home... Swell... Home

I've been here for 3 weeks, so may as well display my room – well, not my actual room as I'm still deciding how best to lay out all the unusual furniture I've been given, including single bed, a wide sofa/double bed, a very tall study desk and a very large and low bedside table fit for a banquet.

So, I've been trying out Feng Shui to see if will help direct where my bed should be, then at least everything else can just fit around it.

Turns out, it is really not that simple, first you have to adhere to all these rules, like negative energy flows, normally from doors and mirrors, your bed has to be at right angles to them, no technology like computers or a TV a bedroom should be for sleeping only, depending on your Kua number depends on your lucky positions as well as all these other things.

It all starts to feel like a labour intensive high-stake game of Tetris, if you get it wrong, you will internally die and become this energyless void walking zombie amongst all these happy go lucky humans that understood Feng Shui, these happy people probably laugh at you and poke you with sticks for being “different”

Still, I got a lovely view from the balcony to make up for it and I'm only 5 minutes walk from a beach, 10 from Downtown and within 3 minutes I can eat food from anywhere in the world, as long as it's Greek, Middle Eastern or Asian.

Buildings and trees

More buildings and less trees

It's surprisingly hard to escape – but as it lacks views over English Bay there's always a reason to leave.

The Sound of Music | 24th July 2011 | 10:54 PDT

What the hell, there's building in Vancouver?

Yesterday was the first day that the sun actually reared its timid head, well, it should have been here at the start of spring/summer fucking months ago. Never mind, it was good timing as it was a Saturday and there was a lot going on and it's always easier going from place to place in the heat and when people are in good spirits.

Slanted fun

Part 1 of 6 – Khatsahlano! Music and Art Festival
This is free street party held on the West 4th in Kilsilano to promote the area and the joys of retail shopping in real life.
The local authorities closed down 8 blocks along West 4th to be used as a pedestrian precinct and was lined with stalls from each shop and restaurant that operate on this strip, featuring hairdressers, clothing, charities, deserts, pet food, Italian ice creams, authentic Greek food, burgers, hotdogs, free belgium waffles, iced tea, cookies, competitions, games – like shoe tossing and soaking a fireman, beer gardens, skateboard displays, and a car boot sale.
There was more, and this being my personal highlight there was live music, around 30 local bands and spread across 5 stages up and down the street ranging from; rock n roll, indie, folk, experimental and (inappropriate for the mood but would've liked elsewhere) metal.
I didn't manage to see them all but I did mange to fit in the few hours I was there, Kingdom Cloud, Faceplants, DB Buxton, Hot Panda, My Friend Wallis, New Values, David Vertesi, Louise Burns with the highest accolade of being awesome going to Catlow, Ma Petite, Flash Palace and the brilliant Rich Hope
It was full-on, action-packed and busy with a fantastic buzz about it!
Highlight: Getting a free Vans hat


Part 2 of 6 – Festival of Art
Arriving here a bit too late as I was absorbed into Khatsahlano and missed the "art" bit of this festival, I managed to get here just in time for the big finale – the “world famous” hands-free watermelon eating contest.
Around 12 people were squashed together on this long table with there hands held behind their back, and it was a race to see who could eat these hugely massive slices of watermelon the quickest.
Highlight: Seeing the fattest man there win, like he'd won a marathon

DJ Casper didn't make an appearance

Part 3 of 6 – Afro-Brazilian Block Party
Situated on Granville Street, this was a small intimate affair and the energy of a party 10 times the size. A bustling area of food stalls and fresh produce was the entrance to a staged area where a capoeira and dance demonstration was being performed before an afro-brazilian instrumental band started to bashing out amazing beats.
Highlight: Drinking from a shaven coconut

Part 4 of 6 – The Beach
Meeting up with a friend and have a few illegal sun-downers of cold white wine on the beach, while people looked on with smiles and playing on the sand.
Highlight: Direct sunlight


Part 5 of 6 – The Battles
We headed over to The Rickshaw after a lengthy bus ride of confusion (damn you wine!) to go see a band called The Battles, words will not describe how amazingly awesomely fuckingly brilliant these guys were live. A three piece band from New York playing confused chaos of constant milk and honey to your ears, playing in front of two brightly colour changing screens with guest vocalist appearing on the TV sets, was a audible and visual feast of fantastic – Me and my friend didn't want it to stop and I personally, was close to depression when these guys stopped playing, they were that incredible.

Part 6 of 6 – Closing Time
To cope with our ending of an amazing gig, my friend and I headed to a pub to close the night on a few celebratory tequilas, which wasn't wise as I had to carry my friend home to their place – one of those journeys where a few blocks takes hours and hours and hours to achieve.

Great action-packed day, but as the wrong four on the clock rolled around, I was done and so happy to be in bed.

Riveting Exploration | 22nd July 2011 | 20:53 PDT

Today, seeing as I haven't really left English Bay from being slightly obsessed with Soarfing, I thought "Shit, there's a whole magical city to explore - full of fun and vibrant things for me to experience and do stuff with as it slowly changes my life for the better" - I was told that there was a row of boutique stores and stuff of that nature down Main Street from Boardway to 33rd, this would lead nicely into Queen Elizabeth Park. Here's my photo exploration of this area.

Greeted with a clock, time to leave yet?
Wedding cakes that have seen better days
Ate here, it was unwhelming and tasteless
I received a golden service here
Went in here...
Nut'ing but antiques
Drank here, it was great for handmade coffee that tasted like it was from a machine.
Baseball stadium - yep
Happy to share the news that the Eden Project and the Beijing Bubble Building recently had a baby
Plant, tree, rock, grass, glass.
Fountains with retched little children playing in them
View over Vancouver, notice how Downtown is in the shade - sublime

I think you'll agree, that's the kind of hard-hitting stuff you'd see in National Geographic and I look forward to seeing this post in their magazine imminently.

They're Free You Know | 21st July 2011 | 23:13 PDT

Walking through Denman Street, I was instantly reminded of my initial thought I had a few days back about what it was that Vancouver is meant to have learnt.

Basically, it is... How fucking rude people are here, as if manners or showing appreciation to another human's kindness will result you catching the Pica Disease. And this constantly happens to me, not one off experiences I'm talking about here, for instance...

And here we have a typical Vancouverite (via

IF... I am travelling through a hole in a wall that is more often than not clogged up and guarded by this swinging mechanical device that is operated by hand, which you use to make the gap bigger or smaller to allow humans to pass through unscathed, let us call this device a "Door" - If I have successfully navigated safe passage through this "Door" and I see you, Vancouverite, behind me also wanting to seek safe passage through this temporary gap I have created with my bare hands, I will use all my power keeping this "Door" tamed and remain open for you to also get through safely. After that emotional ordeal, a "Thank You" or some help with the next door would be appreciated, right? Seems not. You instead, glide through the door without any verbal exchange, no friendly eye-contact or a smile, you usher yourself through like you're the president of the world and you're entitled to have "Doors" just opened for you and when the next gap challenge comes along, I think it would be courteous to return the favour instead of creating a small gap just for you to nip through and purposefully closing the door after you. Like I'm sort of untouchable peasant on the street that all I'm really good for is to be tarred and feathered for other's amusement.

I appeared to have been tarred and feathered, oh my! (via

IF... You are struggling with a big bulk object consisting of miscellaneous items and you're noticeably huffing and puffing with frustration at this difficult situation you have seemed to have gotten yourself into and I notice that you're not happy with dragging this cruise liner sized thingamajig and offer my services of extra arms, legs and energy to help you with your cause so you may have a slightly happier day. You, Vancouverite, have two options happily accept my offer for help and teamwork is created for the greater good, or you can happily decline my offer for help but feel better you don't have to feel alone in this situation, giving you extra strength from happiness to continue. Well, seems there's a third option. Don't in an inflated volume say "No" in a coarse unrefined scurrilous manner and look at me in way that's like I've dressed up like Luke Skywalker to a Star Trek convention, I've also got shit on my face and walking around on a freshly amputated leg.

NOOOO!! (via

IF... I am currently situated within a box that moves vertically up and down within a structure, for shits and giggles lets call this crazy device of my imagination an "Elevator" - If the doors open, and I am in the state of motion towards the door, as I want to exit this "Elevator" and you, Vancouverite, are awaiting outside wanting to get in, do you think maybe it would be wise to allow me to continue my flow of exiting first to make room for you within this box? Appears not. You instead block my path with your hasty entry only to stand by the door unaware of my presence. When I ask you to move out the way, I'm greeted with a brilliant and friendly tut and sigh, like I'm the world's biggest asshole that's just cut the cheese and you still don't move allowing me to try and negotiate my way around you.

You shall not pass asshole (via

For a city where everything costs a lot and manners being free, people would use them more.

Aqueous Transmission | 20th July 2011 | 15:32 PDT

Hey there! (via

Morning moves into midday.
Ocean's reflective and restful.
Sunshine slices shadows and sails through.
Illuminating the bay like a lamp.
Board bashfully beats on the big blue.
Slithering smoothly over the shiny surface.
Drifting by shoreline debris take me to Ha Long Bay.
Elderly couple casts off to scour a catch.
Breeze by basalt bulge of the bay, Siwash Rock.
Turning around...
Sun pulses against my skin.
Coruscating coloured cyclists stress along the seawall.
Cargo ships wait patiently, posed on the horizon's peak.
Fishing trawlers triumphantly return torpid.
Cormorants coil along the water's crest.
Herring gulls holiday on beaches.
Otter salutes before dashing down into the depths.
Board brushes the beach, closing this adventure.
Simple satisfaction of stand up paddling.

Derailed Train of Thought | 19th July 2011 | 23:17 PDT

The 1st thing that hits you when you come to Vancouver and you explore is not, the mountains or trees or the skyline... Well, they are.

The second thing that hits you when you come to Vancouver and you explore is not, how small and compact everything is... Well, it is

The Third thing that hits you when you come to Vancouver and you explore is not, how the culture seems to be "Buy Now, Nothing Later" - in reference to how expensive everything is... Well, that definitely is.

The FOURTH thing that hits you when you come to Vancouver and you explore is not, how all the streets of similar names seem to cross each other, confusing things ever so slightly like Denman/Davie, Nicola/Nelson, or Burrard/Burnaby... Well, it's not that confusing.

Urgh, I don't know, think I'll just stop this inane thought before it becomes more inaner. It almost certainly has nothing to do with the fact that maybe, just maybe, I may have lost my train of thought.

Wheeeeee, inane thought! (via

Learning to Walk on Water | 18th July 2011 | 14:02 PDT

Now, I don't like the ocean, it's full of "things" like sharks, killer whales, jellyfish, giant octopus, a half floating/half swimming zombified corpse of Jack Dawson. It's really really cold and it's really really salty - these are the primary reasons why I tend to avoid it, if at all possible. English Bay in Vancouver is different, it's more like a mirror lake that happens to be tidal and has a few floating cargo ships in it.

So, I thought I'd do some kayaking, because it's generally cool, you instantly get transformed from ordinary mortal to being a The Fonz of crusty seadogs. You get to sit down and you're at the water's surface cruising along with your sunnies on, one arm rows you along as the other elbow resting on one side of the boat waving at whoever happens to be there, your hydraulic hull jumping you up and down in the water.

But, I couldn't do kayaking, it was expensive and mainly I had to do some bloody lame courses to get a certificate to prove you know how not to drown if you get capsized. I know how not to drown - don't breathe underwater and don't get capsized in the first place! I had another option though, it was cheaper, less hassle and allowed me to do it every day for 2 hours for the duration of my stay. This option was, Stand Up Paddling, which is a big surfboard with a paddle, that's it.

My stunt double while I'm busy on the beach (via

Launching from the beach on my knees on a board the size of an ocean liner. There are no waves here, so gaining enough courage to go for The Stand... Huh... That was easy, paddling around - along the beach front and getting used to this bizarre reality I'm standing up on water on this piece of foam that seems to defy the laws of physics, that it just doesn't topple over and snap in half.

Thankfully it doesn't, instead I feel relaxed as I push myself over the water, calming gliding watching people, watching me, there are no noises except the gentle tapping of water underneath you and that's it. Brilliantly calming. On that basis alone, that is why on Earth I jumped two feet head first and bought an annual pass of Stand Up Paddling after only doing an hour of it.

It also turns out, it's a great work out for your upper body working your core muscles and aiding balance, and can burn anywhere between 600-800 calories per hour, the equivalent of doing long distance running without the impact and more of a full body workout - awesome, going to come back from Canada with a beach body just in time for Winter.

An artistic impression of how I will look like upon my return (via

Subnote: Stand Up Paddling, is also known as, Paddle Boarding or Stand Up Paddle Boarding. I think they're both shit names as they're such a mouthful, it's like if you called phoned up a friend for a quick game of "Two Roomed People Bat and Hit Balling" (Squash). I personally think it should be called Soarfing, as you are on a surfboard with an oar.

Balls to Sunday | 17th July 2011 | 20:14 PDT

The sky is thick with grey clouds imprisoning rain that is trying to escape its evil clutches one drop at a time and the sun is stuck in solitary confinement, as it has been all week for being too wild and out of control the week before.

The land the people around me were fighting back with smiles and laughter as spirits were high, the atmosphere infectious, loud and vibrant and the action was gripping and being displayed at a full throttled pace. This is how Sundays should be spent.

I was currently standing on the sand of Kitsilano beach overlooking the masses of crowds from within the boisterous buzz of the beer garden as I looked over the semi-finals and the finals of the "Volleyball BC, Vancouver Open" the whole occasion made even more prestigious as it was the 20th year of the competition.

Girls Final with some mid-air action

Now, I've no idea really about Volleyball, I know there's sand involved (as I was standing on it) a net involved (as I could see one) a ball involved (as I can read) so, I looked on with vague eyes with 33% of me going, "huh?", 33% of me going "ohh!" and the other 33% of me listening out to the crowd to gasp and clap at appropriate times.

It only took one game for me to break free from taking pointers from the crowd and get involved to understand this sport, which is really simple looking back at it:
2 teams of 2 people, punch a ball over a tall net, this goes on until the ball touches the ground, 1 point is given to the team that didn't let the ball touch the ground, it's the best of 3 games, a game is won by the first team that gets 21 points.

Mens Final with some mid-air action

As it was the last day, it seemed that both spectators and players were having a 'no holds barred' attitude to the joys of life, people merrily drinking beers and shouting encouragement to the teams and when a clear winner was more or less decided "SKYBALL!" (Smacking the ball as far into the sky as you possibly can) would echo around the stands - which was greeted with either screams of delight or playful boos if the request wasn't met.

The players joined in the good times and seemed to be letting loose, seemed more like a testimonial match to show boat and entertain and any serious undertones about the serious cash to be won (with $3300 being won by 1st placed teams) was non-existent.

Oh and it's nothing like THAT scene from Top Gun either... Well... Maybe a little bit... Doesn't matter as everyone was certainly entertained by fantastic ball.

Embracing stuff (via

Only Popped Out for a Coke | 17th July 2011 | 01:43 PDT

Today was slightly an inconvenience to my mental state as I had woken up all ready and raring to go and kick today in the balls and scream in its face as the blood ruses to my face from all the excited active things I was going to do that day but the weather was absolutely dog shit today, so I wrote this Saturday off as a Sunday and would hope I can make it up tomorrow.

I certainly do. (via

The time was etching towards early afternoon, the 2pm mark and that day I didn't really feel like going to Starbucks to pretentiously drink my latte with a sense of entitlement - I wanted to keep it more real, so I headed to The Calling, a pretentious public house where the walls are painted black, everything's overpriced but the bar staff are friendly so you tolerate its pitfalls.

Ordering a Coke and staring at some random World league sport that only played in America on TV, this guy, Alex, starts talking to me, he's pretty far gone, thanks to the barmaid in need of entertainment, providing him lethal shots of Bacardi 151.

A lot of nonsense is spoken between us, mainly about collecting his bag from the night before and horses. Time rolls on, until I'm ready to join the party. After a few shots of this simply wonderfully refreshing paint thinner, that burns like Thermite in the belly AKA 151 - it was time to collect this guy's bag, off we went into the unknown.

It's what Neanderthals used to make fire with before flint. (via

We headed out and got on a bus to somewhere in Vancouver, talking to people randomly along the way to pass the time seeing if they were having a good night. We got talking to a Tom who's birthday it was and he invited us to this party that was happening a bit later on that night.

Now, it seemed we left earlier than we should have, to collect this bag, by a few hours, so we had to fill our time somehow - we decided that instead of being drunken ass-holes that were annoying in a bad way we'd be drunken ass-holes that were annoying in a good way. We'd go around Downtown, shouting compliments like:

"Oh my Gawd, will you stop being so ridiculously good looking?"
[Outside a supermarket] "Great choice on the groceries, fully of yummy vitamins, good job!"
[To a couple arguing] "Wow, you guys look like such a great couple" [Then they'd stop arguing and make up]
"Awww, doggy! That's like the best one in the world!"

Awww, you don't get the irony (via

What shocked me most is how friendly people were to it, and how it brought a smile to their faces and how these people would join us and share their problems and how we made their day... Looking back I'm more shocked now than I was then.

As the bag is now the sub-story, we got it from this random bar from a random person Alex knew, in somewhere district we spent ages walking around looking for making friends along the way. Which turned out to be about 2 blocks away from our original location, so why we got a bus, we don't know - neither one of us could explain the rationale behind it.

It was time to make our appearance at this party. We headed there and, by coincidence, met Tom who invited us initially also trying to get into the building where this shindig was taking place. We all head together and enter this apartment.

She was there (via

Oh OK... this appears to be a... penthouse suite in the center of Downtown... over looking Southeast Vancouver and... who's that? Oh... It's only Kristin Kreuk from Smallville - not quite Keither Sutherland, but it's only Canada so I'll let it off. Naturally getting her a drink from the free bar that was in operation from the kitchen.

The party was lead to the rooftop to enjoy a smashing vista over Vancouver at night, what made this special was, a rain storm had just finished and clouds wandering off away from us were buzzing and flashing with lightning, like floating brains with enthusiastic brain cells firing up.

A fuzzy Downtown, which matches my visual experience perfectly

Talking to people with a range of subject of the mind, body and soul to skateboard and the bits where they crack their privates on a metal pole, my fun was about to come to an abrupt end.

Tom comes up to me "Seems that you mate Alex has been groping people, you have to go"
  -  He's not my mate, I've only just met him, fuck him - I'm staying
"Oh shit, has he? - I'll get him out of here"
  -  Walking over to Alex with Tom, as diffusing a conversation between him and two scared girl
"Dude, we have to go"
"...err... I'm bored... and you've been accused of groping girls"
"What?! No I didn't!"
"Well, that's what's being said, and we gotta go"
"It was a misunderstanding"
"Fucking hell. You can't do that! No one knows us here and you're here with your hood up groping girls, like you're a prepubescent teenager at Hugh Hefner's house of Bunnies"
  -  He goes silent
"Lets go"
"Why does everyone hate me?"
  -  Oh for fuck sake
"Because you grope girls and you have boundary issues it seems, c'mon we gotta go"

*Makes weird pervert noise* (via

Eventually Tom and I, coax Alex out of the building, I've had enough at this point and say "I'm going home" - he slumps down on the floor and starts crying... Good times, so I do what any guy would do with someone they've just met... I slapped him around the face and told him get a grip, stating a list of positives he had going for him and threw him in a taxi.

I walked home, being approached by not 1, not 2 but by 3 girls, all in tears on their mobiles all requesting hugs from me, I felt like I was in the Eerie Indiana or the Twilight Zone - hugging them and being complimented that it "Made them feel better" I was done with the day.

I went home, ignoring my housemate who wanted to chat and scoured into my room and slept, tomorrow can wait.

Fuck off, I'm going to bed(via

Are You Experienced | 15th July 2011 | 19:15 PDT

Vancouver, from what I have heard, hates history - in recent times, it seemed to be quite happy to tear up old brick characteristic buildings that defined and this city and throw in big boring concrete/glass buildings in their place. In order to meet the increasing population demands.

Learning this upon my arrival, I quickly conceded to the fact that walking around the city limits aimlessly to find fun and usual things tucked away from public view, just wasn't going to happen and that I'd have to become a permanent resident on the open-top tour buses to see the "real Vancouver". Aimlessly walking up and down streets, I finally saw something that proved this city had, that something, depth.

It was a small red brick shack with yellow trim bounded by a red cage with a curtained white tent within it and decorated with plastic flowers and wooden guitars. What's the significance of this? Well, it's made clear upon entering this small donation-run museum and get an introduction from an enthusiastic volunteer.

Looks more like a coop for giant chickens than a place of any significance

This small red shack used to be the storage cupboard to a much larger building (now demolished) that was a famous restaurant, famed for two reasons. The first being, this was respected black-owned business within the community and was so for three decades called Vie's Chicken and Steak House. The second being, The cook here was Nora Rose Moore Hendrix, the grandmother of Jimi Hendrix.

Jimi Hendrix spent summers growing up in Vancouver and lived nearby when he came to visit, he also spent some time here after he complete his military chore in and around 1964. His grandmother would look over him at the restaurant, and after hours He would use it as his own personal rehearsal/jam/party space.

Still smilin' after all these year

The shack has the ambience of his music playing in the background and painted in loud psychedelic colours with posters, black and white framed photos hang from the wall with fake hand-written letters and lyric sheets taped up giving an authentic vibe of how this place could've been, except its been remodelled to look like the restaurant it once wasn't - with two mannequins sharing a plate of chicken in the middle of the room and this weird kitchen area hanging half way up the wall.

Outside, the small garden is home to benches, brightly coloured wooden guitars, and a tent made up to look like the Jimi Hendrix Grave Site in Seattle as well as white boxes with handwritten tribute to Jimi's family. It's not uncommon for people to hop the fence when the museum's closed and drink beers in the garden listening to his music, just to be close to him and his aura.

The garden... I've got nothing to say on the matter

I was glad to have been there when it was busy and full of enthusiasts, standing in awe at the significance of this place and what it means to them personally and the music world. See the brightness and light it gave people coming to visit was infectious - they would instantly be cheered up and inspired after leaving. That really encompasses what Jimi Hendrix was, and even after death - he's still has that massive influence over people.