Sunday, March 27, 2016

settling in

It's 10 p.m. Easter Sunday, and I am finally here. The rigid tendons in my neck are loosening. It was a busy week, finishing work, packing, saying goodbye, getting out of the house, flying to Vancouver, landing at Bruce's just long enough to get the keys, then off to Victoria to visit Lani for 3 days, then back here. The weather has been iffy, often very wet and chilly. There were lots of things to sort out, like the internet vanishing yesterday.

It reminded me of last year at this time, when I landed in Paris - not to my beloved sunny little haunt on the Left Bank, which had been sold, but to a friend of a friend's in the 13th - a noisy charmless apartment with no internet, and the city blanketed in the same wet chill. A miserable few days of solitude and angst. And then the sun began to shine and I figured out how to live there. It didn't take nearly as long here - I know Vancouver and have dear friends, and Bruce's comfortable place is in a glorious location. It's just not home. But that's the whole point. I forget that point, sometimes.

It's spring here - magnolias, bougainvillea, the delicate green of trees, even what look like bushes covered with exploding fat roses that turned out to be camellias - all at least six weeks ahead of Toronto. I'm right on the water, and there's the fresh smell of ocean everywhere, and mountains. It's a wonderful city, and I'm right in the middle of it, and I'm very happy to be here.
Last night was fascinating with Chris, one of my oldest and dearest friends. Those of you who follow his blog to the left know that he has been having trouble with his voice, sometimes losing it completely. But he has discovered that if he speaks in an accent, he can talk. And the accent he does best is South African. So now, you're not in conversation with Chris but with a character we call Roux (from kangaroo) who speaks in a thick South African accent. No one ever said Chris was dull, but now he's actually someone else! Always something new.

It was sunny but very windy today, so we didn't walk the seawall, we took a long walk over the Cambie Street bridge to do some errands and have lunch - more seafood chowder for me, I'm living on the stuff - and then we walked back. It's a special treat to spend lots of time with this man who has been my best friend since we met in 1976. Even if he does sound like he's just flown in from Johannesburg.

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