After living for a year in Ucluelet, on Vancouver Island's rugged outer shore, we decided to fulfill another dream and move to the downtown area of Vancouver. These are the adventures, in words and images, of a couple of retirees now based in Lower Lonsdale.

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Sunday, 23 November 2014


Today, just before lunchtime, Marcelle exclaimed that she had forgotten that we had tickets to a concert downtown at 2pm. Yikes! We hauled ass, stuffed a couple of Cliffs' Bars in our pockets and made a dash for the SeaBus, and thence to downtown Vancouver.

As we exited the Skytrain at the City Centre station, a man was industriously feeding a large population of flying rats that strutted about importantly with their heads bobbing back and forth in a cartoonish manner, obviously taking a break from their busy statue-fouling activities.


The concert was at the Orphium Theatre, a venue to which we had not been before, and what a beautiful hall.


The orchestra was all young people from the Vancouver Academy of Music, and they were very, very good. They played Schubert's Unfinished Symphony by themselves, and then were joined by the Vancouver Bach Choir for Mozart's Reqiuem.

While I found the Schubert piece not to my liking (I had trouble trying to find an overall structure to it), the Requiem was magical. The addition of the choral element just fills the sonic space and there is nothing like hearing a good, large choir. Magnificent!


The four vocal soloists were obviously well respected and talented, but I have to admit that the constant vibrato of this type of singing just grates on my ears and nerves. I wish that they could simply sing pure, unmodulated tones, with maybe the odd vibrato, but there it is, in your face on virtually every note. I guess I'm just a rube, but hell, I know what I like and what I don't.

For me, the only thing that marred the event was that the couple in front of us had a young girl of about 3 or 4, and it was simply not possible for her to sit still for the almost 2-1/2 hours of the concert. There was a constant movement of her and the parents trying to control her that was astonishingly distracting. I ended up closing my eyes for a good portion of the music.

Now, as a parent, having raised three of the little blighters myself, I agree there is a fine line of trying to introduce your child to cultural events, but sometimes, I really wish there was a specific section for parents with small children. As my ex used to say, "If you want to make an impression, always take a child".


Concert over, we headed back to the Skytrain to the SeaBus and were able to go right onto our bus at the Quay that then dropped us off right in front of our door. I love living in this city!


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