A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Flying Beavers & Viking Battle Axes
Friday, September 09, 2011

Friday, Saturday was to be a calming period of discovering the charm of my 9 year-old granddaughter Lauren.



She was dropped off by her father at 6:45 on Friday evening. We went for a walk to the nearby park where Lauren played in the swings. I periodically interrupted her fun to take iPhone snaps of her. She managed to take one of yours truly. We then headed home and I asked her to lead the way. Lauren has a very good sense of direction and got us home by an alternate route that was just as direct.

Even though she had already been fed I put some sliced scissor rolls topped with German (Swiss) cheese in the oven. We watched the excellent Where the Wild Things Are (a bargain in a Canadian Superstore DVD bin for $6.00). This film does not cater to a lower common denominator of cuteness and the on screen violence (an arm is ripped off) is surprising. We enjoyed the film and especially since Lauren knew that neither her mother nor older sister had seen it yet.

Before bedtime I informed Lauren that she was a 9 year-old girl and that she had to sleep in the bed and room formerly occupied by her mother. But I did allow her to accompany me in my bed while she read Robert Graves’ The Big Green Book. This book I had retrieved from my mother’s Aluminio (ALCOA) School in Veracruz, Mexico back in 1974 and had it re-bound in leather by the French book binder Milloud.

As a most recent student who has gone from French Immersion to a full English school, Lauren read very well and showed absolute comprehension. I did tell her the connection between the book and the film we had seen earlier which was Maurice Sendak. I wondered about the other books in the Modern Masters Books for Children, especially Jane’s Blanket by Arthur Miller and illustrated by Al Parker.



We woke up late on Saturday morning. Lauren knew I was going to make extra thin pancakes. She volunteered, gently that it might not be good to have them in bed so she set the table in the dining room.

After breakfast we watered the garden and played with Casi the cat. I told her we were going to have lunch at the Flying Beaver Grill in Richmond and that we were going to watch the float planes take off and land and that we might even go to the nearby YVR Park where huge planes whoosh by overhead, so close you can note the details on the landing gear tire treads.

Having ulterior motives in mind I informed Lauren she had to wear a dress. She immediately told me she had no dress in her back pack. I went in search of one and in a closet I found the sailor dress I had bought years ago for her older sister in Cancún. The dress fit Lauren perfectly. She was reluctant to wear it, “The sleeves are too puffy!”



Off we went to the Flying Beaver Grill (apparently owned by Harbour Air whose flights land and takeoff in the very premises). At first impression it would seem that the hiring manager of the Flying Beaver must have once worked for the Hooter’s chain of restaurants. A stacked hostess greeted us with, “My, what a lovely sailor dress worn by such a lovely girl.”



At our deck table the manager informed us, “This is the favourite table of a pair of boys that come here all the time to watch the planes.” We were then brought menus by Tasha (a dead ringer for May Britt) who was so gorgeous that my eyes were swiveling like a vertical lighthouse lamp from her wide cheekbones/almond-shaped-eyes/severe bangs, her konditori chest and her firm but shapely legs (displayed by an extra short jeans skirt) that could have easily eased her disembarking from a Viking long boat and slashing your head off with one swing of her axe. I was so stupefied that when she told me the day’s special was Sleeman’s Special something I nodded even though I never drink beer! I liked the beer and my pulled pork sandwich was excellent. Lauren had chicken finger with fries.


iPhone photo
 by Lauren Stewart
I attempted to take some pictures of Lauren with the iPhone but the light reflecting from the Fraser River was so intense that Lauren could not keep her eyes open. I made the mental note that the day would end with proper pictures in the garden with big camera and lights.

A couple of beautifully dressed and bejeweled Chinese women nearby kept staring at Lauren as we watched the  De Havilland Beavers take off in what seemed impossibly short runs. I wanted to tell the two women how this airplane had been so important to the development of the interior of BC and most of the rest of Canada. I wanted to tell them, “Yes I am proud of my granddaughter Lauren and shouldn’t every young girl wear a sailor dress at least once in their life?”


As we left and paid another young Viking girl (with braided pigtails) behind the bar said, “What a lovely girl in such a lovely sailor dress!”



We sat on a bench and the planes zoomed by overhead. We headed home. I took pictures in the garden. Lauren was receptive. We watered the garden. In spite of the chicken fingers and fries Lauren had some crackers with peanut butter.

Together we picked up her mother at work and I took them home. When we arrived Lauren's  sister was loudly fussing with the preparation of food in the kitchen. Lauren and I looked at each other and counted our blessings over the perfectly quiet and peaceful (except for those airplanes) weekend sleepover.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


                                                                      



     

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12/20/15 - 12/27/15

12/27/15 - 1/3/16

1/3/16 - 1/10/16

1/10/16 - 1/17/16

1/31/16 - 2/7/16

2/7/16 - 2/14/16

2/14/16 - 2/21/16

2/21/16 - 2/28/16

2/28/16 - 3/6/16

3/6/16 - 3/13/16

3/13/16 - 3/20/16

3/20/16 - 3/27/16

3/27/16 - 4/3/16

4/3/16 - 4/10/16

4/10/16 - 4/17/16

4/17/16 - 4/24/16

4/24/16 - 5/1/16

5/1/16 - 5/8/16

5/8/16 - 5/15/16

5/15/16 - 5/22/16

5/22/16 - 5/29/16

5/29/16 - 6/5/16

6/5/16 - 6/12/16

6/12/16 - 6/19/16

6/19/16 - 6/26/16

6/26/16 - 7/3/16

7/3/16 - 7/10/16

7/10/16 - 7/17/16

7/17/16 - 7/24/16

7/24/16 - 7/31/16

7/31/16 - 8/7/16

8/7/16 - 8/14/16

8/14/16 - 8/21/16

8/21/16 - 8/28/16

8/28/16 - 9/4/16

9/4/16 - 9/11/16

9/11/16 - 9/18/16

9/18/16 - 9/25/16

9/25/16 - 10/2/16

10/2/16 - 10/9/16

10/9/16 - 10/16/16

10/16/16 - 10/23/16

10/23/16 - 10/30/16

10/30/16 - 11/6/16

11/6/16 - 11/13/16

11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16

12/11/16 - 12/18/16

12/18/16 - 12/25/16

12/25/16 - 1/1/17

1/1/17 - 1/8/17

1/8/17 - 1/15/17

1/15/17 - 1/22/17

1/22/17 - 1/29/17

1/29/17 - 2/5/17

2/5/17 - 2/12/17

2/12/17 - 2/19/17

2/19/17 - 2/26/17