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I was running late. Had to drop off a costume to Sanctuary first and then whip over to Costco for some chocolates. I thought it would be nice to be able to offer visitors a treat when they stopped in to chat. I had put together a little slide show loop of pics from photo shoots, and had that on the end of my table playing on my laptop. The other end of the tabel had a list I had made up of all the retail locations where you could buy Cairns Technical Gear, some brochures and business cards. In the centre was a sample of the Cairns Full Protection Lap Blanket for wheelchair users and the Cairns Rain Protection Apron for scooter users.

I was a little disappointed by the location of my table. It was in the middle of the east side of the room, and because there was a projection screen in that corner, the lights were off. This wasn’t an issue for any of the tables around the outside of the room because they had spot lights aimed at their tables. In between presentations they would turn on the ceiling lights and cast some light onto my table… this is where the bowl of chocolates come in….

...all that glitters... and smells like chocolate...

I had some past customers come by to visit me and see the new product, which was a real pleasure for me. One of the customers who dropped by already owns two of the Cairns Full Protection Lap Blankets, one in each colour. It was the first time that I met her and it was such a treat. She was using her red one that day.

See how dark it is?

She was the second customer, that I had not met before, who approached my table for a chat. I just love that part of the Abilities Expo. I get to meet the people after they’ve been using the product for a winter and find out what they think, get their views and talk about new ideas.

I even had someone I’d been chatting with on Twitter come by and introduce himself. He writes a cool blog ‘Priority Seating’ about accessibility on transit in Vancouver. His Twitter handle is @nextstoporbust, if you’d like to join him. It’s so nice to be able to put a face to a name.

I had Rina Liddle and Prophecy Sun stop by from LiddleWorks to chat… we would be meeting up again later in the week to do a photo shoot.

Me and Rina

Me and Prophecy Sun

The afternoon was a whir of visitors and lots of people that came by 3 and 4 times to grab one of the chocolates. It was fun to watch as some people would saunter by for the 2nd time and act like they didn’t notice the bowl, only to turn back and grab a few more for later.

The entertainment was really good. The CanDance Team performed to a number by the Black Eyed Peas. And there was also a singer/guitar player that I really liked, Glenn David Loft. I’ve looked all over for the info and can’t seem to find it. Here’s a picture of him. If anyone knows his name, let me know in the comments.

For the last month I’ve been trying to find an active, younger guy who would like to assist me in my design process. I’m designing a pair of adapted street-wear pants that would be appealing to younger hip guys, that don’t want to look like they’re wearing adapted pants. Then, from across the room I spotted the best looking man I’ve seen in years. I started having one of those moments where I was thinking…”I can’t approach him… he’s WAY too good looking”. I’m glad I did because he was not only interested in helping me, but, he was full of ideas and enthusiasm. I’m looking forward to having the time to work on this new project.

Our friends Ken and June showed up for a chat as well. They have modeled for us in the past and are much fun to chat with. They have both been so supportive of what I’m doing.

Ken and June

The afternoon was a whir of visitors and lots of people that came by 3 and 4 times to grab one of the chocolates. It was fun to watch as some people would saunter by for the 2nd time and act like they didn’t notice the bowl, only to turn back and grab a few more for later. Can’t wait til next year. It’s a great event that ConnecTra Society puts on at the Roundhouse in Vancouver.

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I was at a dance class last night.  At the beginning of the class one of my amazing teachers humbly asked us to each tell our name and one thing we love about Vancouver. Having only a few seconds to think about it, compounded by the fact that I was feeling a bit down in the dumps at the moment and adding that it was pouring rain outside… I said “My name is Leslie and I love the rain”.

Truth is, I do like rain. Do I love the rain, though? Not as sure. I just couldn’t think of anything else at that moment. And, that is why these rituals are so very important. By the time everyone else had said what they love, I too was reminded of some of the blessings I have derived from living in Vancouver. Yes, it does rain. It rains because Vancouver is in a would be rain forest. It would be, if all the trees hadn’t been removed over 100 years ago. In fact, it was once part of one of the very few temperate rain forests on the planet. This rain that creates months of ‘dull’ is the same rain that gives us the lush seasons filled with green and flowers that no one else in Canada can enjoy in the same abundance. This is the same rain that washes our dust away and keeps our Vancouver sparkly for all to see. Anyway, it’s all good if you have good rain gear.

Sure it rains here, but, only a 20 minute drive gets my daughter to the bottom of the Grouse Mountain Gondola where she can go up above it all and snowboard to her hearts delights. I pick her up and she smells like she was visiting heaven, fresh with ozone, and she has healthy colour in her cheeks. This is the same mountain that we enjoy, as it’s lights twinkle in our night sky. The same mountain lets us know that winter is here, by turning white, and that summer has finally arrived, by turning brown and green. Alway being carefully watched over by the Lions just to the north/west.

The sea air that comes wafting in from the Pacific helps us to keep perspective and to appreciate the water and its great power, as the tides go in and out with the moons. Each changing tide uncovers new hidden treasures. Living on the ocean I have met many people who sail and have even had the opportunity to join some of them on sailing trips. On a sailing trip you may be fortunate enough to spot a whale, a sea lion, or any number of other creatures.

The cultural diversity of Vancouver is just wonderful. With it comes the variety of restaurants, dancing, music and events. Anywhere you go in Vancouver you’re likely to hear a variety of accents, and see different types of dress. When I first moved here, I was fairly closed minded about trying different foods. I came from a small city in Ontario, where the most exotic culinary experience I had ever had was Chinese food from the China Doll Restaurant and Tavern. Now, I enjoy all kinds of foods from every country any time I feel the desire. There are so many great restaurants in  Vancouver, that it’s often hard to choose.

The night life here is really fun too. I saw 3 live bands last weekend alone, and will see Raphael Saadiq tomorrow night. There are all kinds of dance things happening all over the city. I like Cuban Salsa and there’s alway something I can go to every weekend if I want to . The Georgia Straight is a good place to look for up coming events in Vancouver , and it’s free. Often, I can be found enjoying the night life from my apartment. I have a fantastic view of Vancouver from my couch and the lights sparkle and twinkle and help me to remember the huge number of wonderful people and things to do that this city holds.

This is my favourite time of year… the street in front of my apartment is lined in cherry trees that are in full bloom. If it’s a sunny morning you could swear that it had snowed over night, before looking out the window. The light is so white from the blossoms.

Cherry Trees

I live very close to a crow rookery and every evening when the sun goes down the crows flock over my place enroute to their night spot. Crows are such amazing birds. If you head down to the rookery at sundown it’s just like a scene out of ‘The Birds‘. I wonder if Alfred filmed that in a similar area.

 

I probably shouldn’t go ahead and post this because it’s likely that I’ll kick myself for forgetting something. I just write off the top of my head, so, I often miss points that I later wish I had thought of.

Oh, yeah, did I mention the fact that there are bike routes all over the city and that you can actually ride all year round in Vancouver?

I bought the tickets last May, as a gift for my daughters birthday. Last week I asked her if she wanted to take one of her friends to the show and she responded with, “no, you’re alright”. I guess I’ll take that as a compliment, although at the time it felt more like a mercy comment. The rain held off all day… right up until we got off the bus at Deer Lake Park. We made our way through the security with our two bags of rain gear and blankets and headed over to stake out our real estate on the grass. I immediately made a B-Line for the beer tent, grabbed a glass and came back to join Emma on the grass.

These Kids Wear Crowns

The first band up was These Kids Wear Crowns from Chilliwack and it turns out the lead singer is my brothers friends nephew….haaaa…..kind of a funny coincidence. They were pretty good. We liked how they executed the cover tunes. I particularly like the way they covered the Beyonce single. A little bit of a punk edge to Single Ladies. They put lots of energy into their show.

By the time the next act came on, we were both wearing our rain coats and were pretty much wet and my beer was slightly diluted. We wandered up and got a couple of crepes…yummmy and ran into two of Emmas friends and one their moms.

Emma, Alex and Nikita

I really enjoyed the second act. It was Daniel Wesley and I will be purchasing his album soon. I had heard of him, but was unfamiliar with his music. Turned out to be right  up my alley.

The main act, Hedley, came on and the girls all rushed down to the front area while Cathy and I stayed back and watched, enjoying the fresh coldness of the falling rain and our beers. I have to admit that I really enjoyed Hedley and I was pleased to discover that they are from Vancouver. Indeed, all three bands were from the area, which was a really nice treat. Hedley, though, did seem truly Canadian, especially with the plaid shirt and the campfire!

Spotlight Operators

I love this shot of the back lit spotlight operators at work.  We met up with the girls after the show and Emma and I said our goodbyes and jumped onto our bus home. When we transferred and ran to catch the next bus, Emma realized she had left her wallet on the previous bus. Luckily it was still in the bay and she was able to get it. We had to wait another half hour for the next bus which was a bit of a bummer, but, oh well….All in all it was a good night, good music, fun bus trips and good company, and  we were at home and in bed by midnight.

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Buggy Bag® Mobility Products is dedicated to helping loved ones stay warm and dry while on the go. Buggy Bag® Stroller, Jogger and Wheelchair blankets protect against the cold and wet, while offering visibility in low light conditions.

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