Monthly Archives: July 2007

Pics update

Don’t forget to visit my Flickr page from time to time as I am getting better of getting pics of the boys and our life and events in Vancouver for the next 5 months, Summer to mid-winter.

Our Flickr Page

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Model of a modern major blogger

I am the very model of a modern Major-Blogger
I’ve information audio, video, and digital
I know the kings of Silicone, and I quote the bytes historical
From ZX81 to MacbookPro too, in order categorical

Sure what a geek, but I did have to have a giggle at myself tonight when I was on the balcony watching the Celebration of Light display from Canada (Nina’s turn to go down to the waterfront to watch), with refreshing every minute to give me a front seat view, digital camera in hand to try to capture the big fireworks over the trees and the radio on simulcasting the music from the performance. Talk about wired.

Fireworks 1

Fireworks 2


Of course it woke Jamie up and he was most impressed that we could see it on the computer screen and over the trees. Thankfully we are far enough away from them that the booms just were nice thuds, and Jamie might even get over his mild fear of the firework.

This is a very crude timelapse I made from images from the KatKam site, I hope they don’t mind.

the music that Canada chose was a little out there for fireworks I thought.

Bugle Call Rag – Glenn Miller Orchestra
Anvil Chorus – Glenn Miller Orchestra
Pennsylvannia 6-5000 – Glenn Miller Orchestra
In the Mood – Glenn Miller Orchestra
Mood Indigo/Sophisticated Lady – Duke Ellington
Unforgettable – Nat King Cole
Sing Sing Sing – Louis Prima
Jump Jive an’ Wail – Louis Prima
Go Daddy-O – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
This Cat’s on a Hot Tin Roof – Brian Setzer Orchestra
Hey, Pachuco! – Royal Crown Revue

Spain opening with Star Wars and including Chariots of Fire was a little more dramatic, but not as Jazzy.

For those in NZ wanting to “be there” log into either our blog or at 5pm Thursday evening (New Zealand time or 10pm Wednesday night Vancouver time) for the display by China.  Then again for the grand finale on 5pm Sunday evening (NZ Time or 10pm Sat night Vancouver time).

China = 5pm Thursday (NZ Time)

Finale = 5pm  Sunday (NZ Time)
I probably  won’t be posting anything till later as I hope to be down at the water.  But do visit and during fun events like this one they refresh the images every minute.  The show’s only 1/2 hr long so stop by and watch the fireworks with your dinner.

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Vancouver on the BBC

Classic, just found this.

Vancouver featured on the BBC travel show, in two parts on YouTube.

Part 1


So for those of you who have never been here, here is a middle class clean easy view of the place, nice.

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Vancouver 2 – 2 Seattle

First big Football match

I went to my first Vancouver Whitecaps match tonight. It was good football, Vancouver are defending champions sitting 4th on the table and the game tonight against Seattle who are 2nd of the table promised to be a good one. If only that were true. The league the Vancouver plays in is a North American league just below Beckhams MLS (Major League Soccer). Having watched a lot of football (and I mean a lot) this was at times entertaining – pretty average stuff. Not wanting to sound like a spoil sport, I mean I have a season pass to Otago United FC, now that is bad enough and I support Everton – even worse. But this was OK, considering the league that this is meant to be.

The classic thing about tonight apart from I made a friend, was that the ex-Otago United Keeper of a couple of season who only just left last year is now the Vancouver Keeper – Lutz Pfannensstiel. Talk about a small world. I never imagined that going to a Whitecaps game I’d see a play I know let alone watch week in and week out and take the mickey out of (funny hands player – never reeally know what he’ll do from one minute to the next).

But an even smaller world is the geezer I met tonight at the football. The ticket I bought got me into the post part of the ground – dead boring. So not even venturing into my seat I made a B-Line for the beer tent. Ordering my beer I heard the British accent say “are you a Kiwi”. So it turns out Chris from London had lived in Wellybone for 4 years in Te Aro and had been to Dunedin many a time and love the peninsula. But small world got even smaller when I told him how Janine and I got married in Melrose – his dad is born and bread Galashiels (which is only about 5km from Melrose).

So I have a buddie to go to the remaining 7 home games, even better the boy drinks beer and talks bollocks about important stuff like Premier League Football and UK Indie dance music. I’m going to thursday nights game with him. We have 7 of last 8 games at home, which will help any team. Considering the whitecaps were top of the table and running away with it, 7 losses and a draw in a row they are still in 4th place. Good to have a new team, and even better to be able to call the beautiful game Football again and not bloody soccer (which isn’t an american term, Oxford Uni used it as they didn’t like the rif raf playing the game back in ye olden days).

Some other things you didn’t know about the Vancouver Whitecaps.

They are past champions of the top North American football league, now playing in the second division. David Beckham and the LA Galaxy are coming to town on 3 Oct for a game. They are lookng to build a brand spanking new stadium on the waterfront in Vancouver (sound familiar). We should all check it out though, radical stuff. Brand new stadium and only 150 car parks as many many many people in Vancouver bus, train, taxi, walk or even bike to work in the downtown area.

It was a beautiful summers evening, still about 20°C at 9:30 at full time and the sun just setting over the sea, blah blah.

{Paul here} PS here is the birthday greetings picture that Shaun and Molly sent through to Jamie. Thanks guys so much he loves it and really misses his buddies back in New Zealand big time!!!

Happy Birthday from Shaun and Molly


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HSBC Celebration of Light

This evening I was lucky enough to be able to walk down to the waterfront (less than 5 mins from home) to watch the first display in the Celebration of Light festival.

This festival is the largest of it’s kind, and is a fireworks competition between 3 nations each year. This year Spain kicked the show off tonight (wednesday here 5pm Thursday NZ time), with Canada following on sat, then China a week from tonight and the grand finale the following sat night.

These pics and short videos are from the first night – Spain. For each show they are expecting between 300-600,000 people to line the inner harbour (English Bay). I didn’t need to stroll the extra 10mins it would have taken to get there, with (as you see) such a great view.

The really cool thing you’ll notice on the video is the music which was simulcast on Rock 101fm, and my new Sony phone just happens to have a speaker and FM radio. It was a stunning night here in the late teens (probably 18°C) and not a cloud or breath of wind to talk about. False creek was stunning, looking over to the city skyline will never in a thousand years be boring.

Here’s a pic of the events.
HSBC Clebration of Light Vancouver 2007

Sorry about the quality, our cybershot is getting a little old and only has a whopping 3.2 mega pixels with almost no controls.

Here’s a short video of the finale, with the memory filling up about 30 seconds from the end, which got quite spectacular.

I think I have the dubious pleasure of posting the first video on YouTube tonight

So the music you can hear is coming from my wee walkman phone set to FM radio {the rock101fm} speaker phone on, nice that the booms still come through.  Walking all through the park, every second group had a radio of some description playing the background music.

Very ballsey that they opened with Star Wars, but I can see why Spain were one of the favs that was an awesome display, although I don’t know about the Enya music.  The music really added to it though.


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A word from the little lady…


Thought it was time I added a BRIEF! word to the blog. Here are some thoughts:

The challenge of food: why is everything in North America frosted? And yet low-fat? And who thought cherry was a nice flavour? One of our greatest parenting challenges has been to find snack food the kids will eat. We stick with fruit and cracker bisuits most of the time (without the processed cheese..) Seems kiwi kids just can’t keep up with the Nth American sweet tooth…

The delight of public transport: bus drivers in Canada are fabulous and more than just a little insane. My favourite one so far was the driver who held a quizz over his microphone and handed out free drinks from his cooler to the winner. On a hot day this was a hit with the punters. And made for a very quick trip home from downtown.

The friendliness of folk: every day I am amazed by how friendly people here are. You don’t sit anywhere for any length of time before someone starts chatting. It is true that it is often Jamie announcing that he is ‘Jamie Everton Hayward Le Clonk’ or Charlie giving a wave and a cheeky grin that sets off the conversation, but you can tell that people are used to being friendly. Our neighbours downstairs who were horrified by the boys’ thunderous feet when we first arrived now want to babysit so we can go out; and the couple we have rented this apartment from are giving us the beds we used here to save us the trouble of getting new ones for the next place. This all makes things so much nicer.

The work ahead for me: I am finding my way around the systems on campus and getting very excited about the next few months of research. I hope to take a really good look at what has happened for indigneous Canadians since Canada adopted a written constitution in 1982, in order to contribute something helpful to the debate about whether Maori would benefit significantly from the Treaty being entrenched in some form in a written constitution for NZ. I get goosebumps just thinking about it! What a geek…

On life so far: Paul has told you plenty about the ups and downs of this big adventure. I think the kids are doing well to adjust: Jamie still talks a lot about his friends at home, but was very excited when we visited our new apartment on campus this week. We will move in next week – it is a great location and fantastic for kids. We are getting into a good rountine – a walk around the gorgeous waterfront in the morning for a coffee, and then off for some adventure for the afternoon. This predictability seems to be helping us all settle in. Best of all, Paul has finally found a place that makes good coffee! Phew! (It was quite a search…)

And finally, on breaking all records: we so far have experienced record temperatures for July, record rain for July, and now the start of a strike by city council workers which also looks set to break records in how long it will last. So we have been hot, a little damp, and now we are holding our noses when we take our rubbish to the apartment skip which is long overdue to be emptied! Whatever next?

Love to you all, and more soon, xo Nina

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Kids, who ever said they were a good idea!!!

To all of you who think that Charlie is one cute little f…., he’s yours.

Turns out that apartment living just isn’t his thing. For starters he has hobbit feet and we all know that nearly two year olds have no idea how to walk lightly, or walk at all. So at 5:30am this morning after one hell of a shocker of a night with him up ever hour crying the place down, he decides that it is also time for Jamie (nayneee) to be up too, which of course meant that we were all up trying to keep the boys from sounding like a heard of elephants were running on the roof of the people below us.

To fill in the missing gaps for those who haven’t heard, our first morning in the apartment we got a phone call from the landlady, the people below complained about the running and sliding wardrobe doors being slammed (all normal 2 & 4 year old behavior on carpeted and concrete floors of a straw bale house on half an acre of farm land with deaf elderly neighbors at least a drive away from us (well compared to the meters between us at the mo).

Having taken Charlie to the doctor on Fri to see what the hell was wrong with him (temps up and one massive cough) $65CND later – he has a cold. Then all weekend long it was trying to keep the poor bugger cool in the apartment from hell. I mean if there is an after life and the powers that be deem it necessary to send me there for stealing chocolate from mum and dad’s corner Diary in the early 70s, I’ll be turning up with beach towel and bordies, thinking this is nice compared to the heat that our apartment generates through the night. It is just bizzare how freaking hot our place gets, ad it’s really got to the boys, considering we came from 3-5°C to mid 30°C and night temps not too much less than that at night in our place.

So any offers, he’s only 20 months, good milage, still moldable as if he was your own, could even learn new languages if necessary.

I know they say it can’t last forever, but at 1,2,3:33-4:30 and 5:30am he is so up for sale – whops I said all the wrong things (crap salesman), he’s a little darling well behaved, we just don’t need a second – hows that.


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Vancouver TV News

For those interested, here’s the local TV news, coverage of the heat and other stuff.

First Global News (TV3 like)

Then there’s Vancouver TV

both are worth a look to see what town has been getting up to while we are living here, like the massive oil spill on tuesday (wed nz time).

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Water Taxis

The Water Taxis operating in and around Flase Creek are one of the best things about Vancouver. This is Nina and Charlie on one yesterday.


They remind me of a Golden Book boat I had once, I love them. Here’s another pic (not mine) of them.watertaxiAnd you can hire one for an hour and a half including drive for only $30 on summer evenings, as we did with Carl, Jeanie, Ingrid and a childless Nina and Paul back in 2002. Wine and cheese and awesome sunset, they are great boats.

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Old times

This is a pic of our old apartment in Kits, 2252 West 5th Avenue (trendy part of vancouver, think a casual Merivale or a rollerblading Ponsonby.


Too bad this place is too small and occupied by the owners daughter at the moment, this was awesome and one of the best locations. You can make out our old bathroom window open bottom left of the pic. Jamie wanted to know why we don’t live there now? Boy Kits has gone yuppie in the 5 years we were away, the 25 year old restaurant is gone and a trendy bar in in it’s place and vegie market is an exclusive wine shop. Mind you I’m off there tomorrow to get some Kiwi and French wine.

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