Saturday, July 27, 2013

Lynn Valley

Friday was fabulous. Fuelled by our joy of being in the mountains yesterday, we headed by transit to Lynn Valley Park. I hadn't been there in decades. It is a far lovelier, larger park than the very touristy and expensive Capilano Canyon Park—both are famous for their suspension bridges. Lynn Canyon Park is free.

The best part: The low number of visitors.

The worst part: Falling on the rocks and somehow tearing off a finger nail. Boy is that painful!

 The water is pristine. (Excellent for washing wounds.)

A true rain forest, but on a gloriously sunny day.

Moss clings to all the branches in the moist canyon.

David on the bridge. 

 Where we had lunch.

The steep walls of the canyon astound.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cypress Mountain Park

Illness is never a welcome confluent for the visit from a friend from out of town. David, here from London, loves the outdoors and solitude as I do so I decided to get a co-op car and take us up to Cypress Mountain where the climb is not difficult and in shade and the decent is spectacular.

 David is the nephew of a dear friend and a soul mate from London, England. 

 The climb.

 Our first lake. It is the golden colour of peat. The blueberries were scarce and a long way from ready due to the lack of rain.

Clowning for David.

Our second lake.

 A bridge drew my eye and ...

Dad''s (Don Tyrell's) cabin is honoured. He is in the middle in a white shirt and with his left hand in his pocket. He was stunningly handsome, an obsessive athlete and his not being my biological father allows me to repeat—he was stinking hot.

One of the old cabins.

A meadow.

 At rest in a picnic area. We had a fabulous day; we are very compatible.

The trees are like a carpet on the hills. They are so easy to take for granted but they are iconic to a life on the coast.

Home to put my first fish in my new aquarium, much to the delight of Leon.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Back to Bed

Another dive. My breathing collapsed again.

Asthma is a challenging disease. Every day—sometimes many times a day—I measure my breathing. I have a meter into which I blow with all my might to know how many litres of air per minute I am capable of expelling. (Asthma makes it hard to exhale; inhaling remains easier.) I can instantly understand the degree of air restriction caused by my asthma and I can adjust the volume of my medications accordingly.

The trouble I have with this attack can, at least partly, be attributed to my lack of understanding of how to medicate myself. Yesterday, my respiratory therapist recommended I take 400% more medication per dose and I have awakened today much MUCH better. My mystery drug is a steroid.  I feel Like Lance Armstrong. Tomorrow, walking will resume, but modestly.

Thanks to this attack, I now have my doctor's cell phone number and in September I may learn what my major triggers are. I am more prone to attacks in summer whereas most asthmatics have their problems in winter.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Feeding a Small Village

I could feed a small village with what I am coughing up. I lived 63 years without thinking about my lungs but now I think about them every day.

I have been housebound but as of Friday, I started venturing out for short excursions for my sanity. It has not rained yet in July. Summer is in full bloom and the bloom is parched. I have spent a lot of time reading friend, Beth's, memoir in draft form.

 I got vertigo sitting in my living room watching this guy.

This former Thai restaurant that was gorgeous and expensive closed ages ago and signs indicating that Vickram Vij had bought it went up 2 years ago. FINALLY, reconstruction is beginning and soon one of our best restaurants may have a site with new policies. I will NOT patronize the fabulous original because you have to wait SO long to get in. I will not support these kind of no-reservation popular restaurants. Life is too short to wait for ages for food. This construction is welcome news; it gives me hope.


The reason I love coming home.

 West End home.

Fire escape.

 These stunning blue thistles attract bees like mad.

 I just LOVE many public stairs. In Europe, so many are used as seats and are expansive like our stairs at the head of False Creek. But stairs that descend to the beach is like stairs to heaven for me.

I love that the Park Board is not cutting many lawns.

Yesterday, during a brief walk to the park and back, I saw this huge owl in the trees. He looked to be about 80 cms high.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


I am housebound in lung recovery but today I at least feel alive so I opened my mail from yesterday. My cousins in Montreal wrote to say that Lionel is now in palliative care and Lyne has been diagnosed with colon cancer. This morning, my friend Nic called in recovery from surgery to remove a tumour from her sinus area. Then I talked with friend Stephen who had a large lump removed from his head and the surgeon forgot to freeze him before he cut into the growth. This afternoon, an email from fellow walker, Cathy, who is in St. Paul's having fainted. I find this all astounding.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday

Sunday: I felt tired all day and did little but I loved watching the new Inspector Morse series on Masterpiece mystery and the Bletchly Circle girls. Yum! Then, at night, my breathing started getting very rough.

Monday: David and I went for a lovely walk in the morning but I was beat when we got back. He left and within half an hour I was in hospital getting a treatment of industrial strength Ventalin, then home to sleep. I didn't even get undressed.

Tuesday: Bronchitis and Asthma. My poor lungs. I didn't even get up until two-ish when my friend Bruce arrived with soup. I could not stay awake but this afternoon I feel signs of recovery. I get better as fast as I get sick.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

My friend David was due today at 12:15 and I was very excited about meeting him and, perhaps, walking to the airport in the wonderful morning air—I discovered the Canada Line subway bridge has a pedestrian sidewalk underneath it. But David arrived yesterday; he made a mistake reading his ticket. So today was free for me to do anything and I chose to do a traditional walk to UBC for a rest on the beach and then a walk home.  I only walked as far back as Macdonald and then I took the bus for the last bit.

I get antsy at the beach and after only a brief time resting, I am itching to get my fabulously comfortable shoes back on my feet that never hurt anymore and walk. Walking is like a drug and today the kilometres flew by like miles on a highway when you get lost in your thoughts and do not notice the driving and the scenery.

Last night and yesterday afternoon was a bit shocking. I felt tired walking in New West and Queen's Park and I have never felt tired before when I am walking. Then, last night after dinner, I tried to watch a program I had recorded and I could not stay awake so I went to sleep at 9:00 pm!

Normally I sleep five hours a night. Last night I slept eight. I only do that once or twice a year.

 A hot afternoon on the bus coming home.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Queen's Park

I'd never heard of Queen's Park in New Westminster when someone who had moved there told me about it so my friend Paula (who lives in New West) and I went for a walk. It was a lovely bright day that was not too hot so walking around was lovely and there were plenty of places to sit on benches and enjoy the view.

New West was the original capital of the area and is full of heritage homes around Queen's Park. It was a fabulous day.

The home of the (amateur) Vagabond Players. A theatre! Paula checks it out.

I LOVE verandahs.

 Casey was a delight to spend some time with. He is five months old.

This is an apartment block—The Carleton—that has beautiful heritage signs in glorious fonts.

Then there are the places falling apart.