Upon returning from the backwoods

…after a 6 hour trek along savage roads I was back from a six day family christmas foray to the cabin. As soon as I had returned I embarked on the even longer journey by transit to north Vancouver. Milan hosted an excellent winter party at which I had the good fortune to speak to many north Vancouver friends. Also, my minced meat pies were a success, generally approved of even by the vegetarians (although they chose not to partake). The night involved no shortage of bluegrass and newgrass music mostly thanks to Drew and Hillary, aswell as a rousing but, perhaps not impeccable rendition of Cabin Feever 3.5’s anthem: “Don’t Fuck with Jumbling Towers” (youtube link to the original recording will be made known as soon as it becomes available).

In the morning I rose to the rustle of Milan’s father warming his breakfast in the microwave, which finds itself seperated from the kitchen by many rooms, doors, and even a flight of stairs. No matter – the plan in the works was to hike grouse mountain in the snow beginning at 9am. Despite the multiple promises of attendance received in the wee hours of the morning, only Oleh and I actually climbed the mountain. Emily wins the prize for best excuse – having dreamed she had slept in and missed the hike, enjoying coffee and pastries instead, she exclaimed from the breakfast table: “Milan, Don’t steal my dreams!”.

The hike itself proved very enjoyable. After a few slippery and steep sections near the bottom the train flattened out enough such that my boots could easily cope, the temperature dropped, and I picked up speed. The pain in my back disappeared, and our time of 82 minutes is far better than I have done the grind in the past. And while the most enjoyable thing was certainly the winter wonderland, and the conversations with Milan’s father, the second most enjoyable thing was the feeling of accomplishment of having already done the grouse grind, arriving back at Milan’s house before noon. (I should point out we didn’t actually do the grind – which is busy and which has stairs which become treacherous in the winter. Rather, Oleh prefers the BCMCA trail, built by the same people who built the grind after the grind became too busy for their liking.)

After returning from the mountain, Emily, Milan and I proceeded downtown and through a strange series of transitions and Starbucks washroom adventures, to the Buddhist Temple at 11th and Kingsway. A free lunch is served there every Sunday at 2pm. The food, plates and cutlery reminded me of the Veggie Lunch weekly tradition which used to take place at International House at UBC when I was a student there.

I must be off to a New Years Eve engagement, but if there is any honour in the world I will add photos to this post, and make another one detailing the making of the Beanhead documentary, awkwardly meeting Astrid at the Art Gallery, Shoe Shopping with Emily on Robson, Waiting for Michelle in the cold, Dinner at Dharma’s Kitchen with Drew and Hillary and their friends, Coffee with michelle, and a relatively poor nights rest at my old apartment, which left me feeling strangely cold.

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