Tuesday, December 20, 2005

OK Shaun, Hourly, Daily is the Best You Am I Album!

Hello Friends,

Merry Christmas dear absent antipodean chums! Happy days are here again; I've finally discovered a Canadian beer worth drinking (OK actually it's Belgian but it's available here at the same price as the local swill so that kinda counts right?!); You am I are playing in my loungeroom; Angie's cooking her justly famous tofu'n'greens happiness on a plate specialty and I now have just three more days work before the Christmas break...allow me to back up a couple of days to our Saturday night.

Andrea and I had the most wonderful weekend; almost unprecedentedly for this time of year, Vancouver had 5 days straight sunshine last week which led to an unexpected spike in general good cheer round these parts. Funny how the world over a couple of days of sunshine can turn even the most misanthropic of malcontents into peace-loving "hail fellow well met" funsters! Anyway, the only down side of all those clear skies was the plunge in over night temperatures to well below freezing. Still the sight of so many heavy frosts morning after morning was pretty damn special. Anyway I'm starting to lose my thread as Allister would say.

So late Saturday afternoon our grand Vancouver friends Elizabeth and Alison took us over to Commercial Drive for a very novel Christmas arts and crafts party. For Andrea, the drive is a lot like Northcote (for our Melbourne buddies) and a bit like Paddington for our Brisbane pals. The party was actually held over the whole apartment block. Each of the six or so apartments in the building is occupied by artists of varying enthusiasm and interest and each opens their doors once a year for this fantastic arts and crafts party. So a block party with all doors open across a sprawling and ramshackle art deco building with artists in each apartment laying out their wares for sale and/or barter. Very cool. One of Andrea's painting teachers lives in the building so we spent some time admiring her beautiful paintings (she currently has a wonderful series depicting local mountain ranges in varying degrees of abstraction). Andrea was very impressed and is naturally looking forward to taking classes with her next semester. I very nearly left with one of her mountains but that would have unduly infringed on the night's drinking money, hmm problematic given the wonderful homebrew being sold in one of the other apartments.

At intervals I would leave the painting competition taking place to pop next door to speak to the neighbour about her dogs. She was so happy to enter into said conversation that she would reward me with a mug of the pale ale for my troubles. Wonderful folk these Canadians, handsome too.

Smart too as it turns out with another neighbour, sensing an opening in the market, providing tasty baked snacks in another of the apartments. As you can imagine I was keen to support the local arts community and seeing it as my sworn duty, I proceeded to try most of the said treats on offer. Very good guv'nor! Wandering with homebrew and pastry in hand I set off to explore the other apartments.

Downstairs I discovered a suitably distracting sound and light installation in one of the bedrooms. At this point I decided perhaps I had made an error in turning down the woman wandering around the party in full 1920s cigarette chick attire with a tray of all manner of local home grown cigarettes if you catch my drift...some of that good stuff would certainly have enhanced the aural and visual impact of this young man's light installation. No matter I set forth again into other parts of the house to be confronted with more interesting objects and curios for sale.

Of course we also met any number of curious locals from artists, to film makers to set designers (seems everyone's in the film business up here in Holywood North) to the fabulous Mr Friggin' Science!! Saving the best to last, I must share some of Mr Science's schtick with you.

Deciding I suppose that he had no special artistic talents, though being the beneficiary of an unusually sound education in the natural sciences, Mr Science decided to take advantage of the milling throng of happily inebriated party goers whilst also creating an opportunity for a nice little earn. And so for the princely sum of $1 one could ask Mr Science any science related question in the anticipation of receiving at least one dollar's worth of answer.

Mr Science also was in possession of a rather snazy white lab coat so one was not about to begin questioning his credentials. After questions on precipitation and the water cycle someone piped up with a question on hailstones and what allows them to remain suspended in the atmosphere for so long. Mr Science dismissed this bagatelle with the airy arrogance of one who has mastered high school science to the amusement of all present. He did even better on the next question concerning the origin of earthquakes. As it turns out Mr Science was trained in Geological Sciences so he managed this one with aplomb. It also turned out that Mr Science had worked for a time in the mines in Kalgoolie and being a man of fine judgment had come to love Australians (who doesn't I ask you!), so much so that he entrusted the Mr Science enterprise to Andrea and I whilst he repaired upstairs to enquire into the health of one of his neighbour's dogs. One can scarcely blame the man, science after all is mighty thirsty work!

I'm afraid we did a little less well with the custody of Mr Science's brand, though we were offered two dollars after providing a passingly satisfactory account of Mr Science's "five dollar brain explosion question". This mystery was listed at the bottom of Mr Science's elaborate advertising hoarding, just below the invitation to ask Mr Science to prove God's existence; the invitation to have Mr Science disprove God's existence and the advertisement for Mr Science's 75 proof tequila. Andrea and I surmised that if one proceeded to ask Mr Science to both prove and then disprove God's existence and then availed oneself of a shot of his 75 proof fire-water then one was sure to suffer the aforementioned brain explosion in all the ensuring confusion. Anyway, this piece of manifest wisdom earned Andrea and I one dollar each which we held in trust until Mr Science's return. After all we felt that we were trading on his reputation in the market place...this candour elicited great guffaws of laughter from Mr Science that for a moment seemed to lift the whole party up another notch. Very fun. A man with a booming laugh is surely something to behold...it seems that everyone gets swept up in the general humour and merriment.

Alas, the myriad other adventures undertaken last Saturday will need to wait for another day...the DVD train is pulling out of the station next door and if I'm not on it then let's just say that the doghouse awaits. Either that or my lovely wife will simply start the movie without me. Do or do not as I'm often reminded.

Much love and fond wishes - merry Christmas.


At 11:23 PM , Blogger hell said...

sounds freakin loverly don't miss that train boy and happy christmas to you and the missus


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