Sunday, April 18, 2010

The street where I live and spring flowers, 'Danger Area' on the Beach, hummingbird matings and my fine ass

I want to show you the street where I live. And why it is worth hanging around despite the noise. Because it is a nice area and within wheeling distance to a very nice and old park and to the beach/waterfront. Because when I go to wheel down to get a DVD (of the very terrifying and lovely Pandorum) from the DVD rental place, THIS is the sidewalk I wheel down.It is more than just nice and even, so no sloping to the left or right, but also a floral burst of outdoors.

And I usually see squirrels every trip, sometimes crows follow me, I have seen an owl on this trip down this street and when I return, I see this robin, looking very regal for someone looking for worms (the two crows were on the other side of me, the female picking branches for the nest and the male guarding her – sweet ‘twue love’ crow style). And I guess robins like to preen since THIS is the view from the van (we went to pick up Cheryl from the Coho) of the fence directly in front of me.Squirrels often use this fence as a highway. I like that we live in an urban/secret rural beltway.

At then end of the block of the Sakura Blossom tunnel, which has many zero entry apartment buildings with seniors living there, stands this older, 1940’s building, which has a fair sized bamboo forest off on the side. Linda said, “That place NEVER looks that good.” Well, in spring, and when the sun is out, a lot of things look good. I remember that from the first spring in Cardiff – grey, wet, nasty tipy flagstones which soaked you like landmines, and row houses that looked like someone crying frozen in architecture. But then the spring sun came out and it look really quite nice. I asked Linda ‘Wow, why don’t we move to THIS area?” coming off the round-a-bout

She replied dryly, “This is OUR street, we are at the other sunlight, you just haven’t seen it in sunlight for six months.”


Where we live now however is very nice, and we looked around at many different apartments to try and find the right place. Where we live now was the best we found at the time (since we were living in a ex-crack dealers apartment beneath someone who liked to try and listen to us having sex – we REALLY wanted to move). So, another block down and there is the flower store. I showed you the purple Mumms we got, but I had wanted the blue (Linda wanted the purple, and I wanted Linda to be happy). Here are the large blue ones ($7.99), the smaller bundle for $4.99 was already gone, alas.

We are fortunate to be within a block of a shop that sells a great variety of flowers from these gorgeous lilies,to mumms and carnations and more, all in amazing colours, ranging from $2-$12. So though I may be trapped inside and fearing the noise and the heat, without a view of outside, I have life and colour, like these pin cushion (or the bird of paradise behind). And of course, what is spring without a sunflower?
Wheeling on a half block are more houses and apartments. Many of the apartments have cement pot in front where gardens are kept, or are landscaped,
as the quality of gardening is quite high here. A lot of old heritage houses, built on bedrock on one side of the street (close to the old Cathedral on the hill), as you can see with these houses, sporting the lovely purple bushes (name?), but not exactly wheelchair accessible. On this side of the street are a mix of post war houses and apartment buildings from the 1960’s to 1980’s. Here is the fence of a side street showing even when things are ‘let to go’ it comes out nice, in springtime.
Two blocks along is one of the apartment buildings we desired to get into, it looks like it was made for people living in Hollywood during the 50’s (does it come with a LONG mother of pearl cig holder? Yes, I wanted to vamp it!). The whole area is curvy with multiple gardens, these balconies and as you see, ramps for the inhabitants. I think it is more expensive than where we are now, but I imagine some aging film star in there saying, “Oh darling, you remind me so much of a young Catherine Kelly, who was all the ‘wow’ amoung us B-list film stars and sure to launch into the A films, and who knows maybe star next to Cary Grant…” wink wink, “that would have been dreamboat days! Come by sometime and I can screen my films for you, like “A Fallen Tomcat” or “The Smitherson Sister”"

It was places like this in L.A. where older women with way too much jewelry were "the third daughter of the Count, you know, and would have been doing the Royal Circuit if not for The War, her country just didn’t exist after that.”

Sorry, odd memories as the people who lived in Pasadena between Lake Street and MIT were an interesting mix (including Ray Bradbury). Back in Victoria, here is a back garden from an apartment compledx we wheeled by.
Crossing the street, I took a picture of this heritage house turned either boarding house or bed and breakfast, I think it is a bit of both. I like it because it has not only an atrium but also an roof deck which is used as an observatory for star watching at night. This is the street where I live. One of them.

After wheeling home we went to pick up Cheryl from the Coho (here it is heading back to Port Angelesthat day it was delayed since a semi-truck backed OVER a car, not a good day for the car), and since I was in the van, and the sun was out, I suggested we go to the waterfront. We parked across from the duck pond, and used a trail I had not used in a long time. I liked this section of the waterfront as it gets pounded hard by winter storms and erodes and changes the nature of the park often. Sadly none of the “Do not walk during winter” signs were up with a pictogram of a little man falling down a cliff to his death under the word, “Erosion.” I did find instead an actual slope going down to the beach! Hooray! This meant I could go to the beach for the first time since being in a wheelchair.

Linda assured me that she would help me back up. After getting down (with help), I wanted her assurance again, because that was going to be an ‘inch at a time’ climb for me. And to my joy, we found a ‘danger zone’ with lots of XXXX on where people were not supposed to walk, stand or stop.You can see the danger XXXX under my wheelchair!

Coming back Cheryl went down and said, “My God, the whole thing is eroded underneath, you were sitting on nothing!”

I was all excited, “Quick, take a picture showing me sitting on nothing, that would be so cool!” They took the picture. Then Linda and Cheryl reminisced about all the signs like ‘Do not continue if you have lung or heart issues’ in Hawaii and other places I get my picture taken next to or just they take the picture as you see me heading off PAST the sign on my oxygen (SEE, the logic was that since I HAD a prosthetic lung, technically, I didn’t HAVE a problem anymore….except it turned out later that day, I did.). I am wearing these jeans because though skinny, Linda helped me into them saying that they ‘made my ass look sexy’ – how she sees that in the chair, I know not, but there you go, the slimming, ass sexy jeans and danger girl.

On the way down to the beach we saw a songbird robin, which had a beautiful singing voice. All the birds were in mating patterns.

The good news was that I got to go down to the beach and wheeled to the end of the pathway, I did not however try to balance my back wheels and make my way through the driftwood. That is for another day. On the way back, I was taking pictures of the driftwood when I saw something. It was a seal who was popping its head up for water, and must have found something good beneath the kelp bed to eat. Here is the brief shot of the Seal head and seal ass I captured on film.
We did make it up to the top of the slope. Huzzah. And just in time to see this humming bird. It was resting between doing very, very fast loops for mating attraction. Or so says Cheryl. It would hang in the sky, and then faster than the eye could see, it would swoop down near the ground in a fast loop, up again, and then looping again. I actually managed to catch it as it was heading down to the ground. The mating dance worked because as we watched, it ended up at the top of one loop (we would lose sight of it near the ground and all the bushes) with another hummingbird a foot behind. They headed off doing a set of helix type counter swoops around each other – ahh to be a hummingbird in love.

Across from us, while the hummingbird was swooping was this songbird (unknown?) in the bushes. One of the things I like about Victoria, and where I live in Victoria, I saw so many flowers, and a host of different animals, from marine life to various birds all in the space of an hour or two.

After this I was slurring very badly, and Linda took me back to the car. We drove two blocks up to the same Drive In my parents generation went to, the Beacon Hill Drive Inn, which uses lush cream, ice cream, and I had a hot butterscotch sundae before heading home for my nap. I might not get out often but I am glad when I do.

FYI, Linda has added a few medical items to the wishlist, including some of my camelbak drink holders, since one temp careworker decided the sip tube WAS going to come out, regardless if it didn’t after using all her force to pull it, push it bend it and eventually break it, in order to wash it. “I’m done!” Sigh. Also some digestive breakdown for my intestines and other fun but necessary items, like Batteries for the monitor where Linda can hear me, when I am too weak to move or call her.

Next time, it is us doing the 74 postcards I sent out today (74 – woot!).


Jenna said...

What pretty flowers! Very few things are blooming here yet, alas.

wendryn said...

Gorgeous flowers!

Somehow a picture of you sitting on nothing is not surprising. :P

*hugs* glad you got out and about for a bit!

loveable_homebody said...

It's amazing where you live!!!!!! I adore those blue mums. Looks like the perfect area to go for a walk in, especially that street in one of the first pictures with the the purple flowers hanging from the trees over the sidewalk. I've heard B.C. is gorgeous. We have some nice spots in Toronto, but few and far between.

Lene Andersen said...

How gorgeous! Love that first photo - just breathtakingly beautiful. I want to live in that Hollywood apartment building and have a fabulous older woman living next to me who wears way too much jewelry (perfect description!). But most of all, you sitting on nothing. Beth in a nutshell.

Aviatrix said...

What a spectacular post. It's hard to believe you saw that all in one day. I think there are a considerable number of people who would envy you your day, and not because you are particularly lucky, but because you are skilled at looking and seeing and appreciating.

Olivia said...

Thanks for sharing these pictures of your street. It really is lovely. I love the lilies especially, my grandpa grew those so they always remind me of him.

That path with the crumbling edge by the water could use a railing or something! So glad you found an acessible path down to the water, and good people to help you back up again!

cheryl g said...

You live in a beautiful neighborhood! The weather was so nice Saturday and it was lovely walking down by the waterfront and going for ice cream.

JaneB said...

Thank you for sharing spring with us - well ahead of where we are! But these were lovely pictures to see on a Monday morning

Lorna, Bob and Liam said...

Holy cow, I'm not sure what I love more... the lush photos of flowers and birds, or your self-description "slimming, ass sexy jeans and danger girl".

Glad you had a fabulous outing.

Hugs from us all...

Baba Yaga said...


Cherries are out here at last. Think of you when I see them.

Dawn Allenbach said...

I freaking love Spring! And who couldn't go down your street with all those flowers and trees and stunning gardens and wildlife and NOT smile or feel a sense of wonder?

And that picture of you perched on "nothing"? I SOOOOOO would've wanted my picture taken there, too!

FridaWrites said...

What a joyous series of photos, from the attention seeking robins (aren't they all? I love them) to the flowers and gorgeous historic homes. That pathway--wow, but I wouldn't risk doing that in a power chair! 400 pounds of power chair plus me going backwards--no. This is why we should get a manual wheelchair for backup in some places.

You crack me up about not recognizing your own street when it became newly beautiful in spring--I'm like that too.

I'm glad that you have the nicest of apartments there. I'd love to go on a walk down your street.

SharonMV said...

Dear Beth,
Thank you for sharing your lovely day out! Your street is awash with blooms! Reminds me of when we lived in Berkeley - some lovely streets with pretty gardens & big old trees. One street was full of chittering from the squirrels up in the trees. We lived down the street from Marion Zimmer Bradley. Did you ever run into Bay Bradbury in Pasadena? So glad that you have such a beautiful street. The cherry blossoms are amazing.

So glad you got to go down to the beach and flout the danger triple Xs. And ice cream too!


e said...

What a beautiful area you and Linda live in...If only the people there were as beautiful to you as the area is...

This was a lovely post. Happy Spring!

Nadie said...

Wow, just wow. So many beautiful shots! Such a gorgeous street and the trip to the beach sounded really special :)

While you are looking at beautiful spring flowers, here I am seeing colourful autumn leaves. I'd prefer the warmth of Spring though, and I hope it does you good.

I thought of you the other day, I went to my first pop-culture expo. I was there more for the sci-fi/ fantasy end of things but the anime and cosplay made me think of you:)

Raccoon said...

I was once told the definition of "weed" was "a plant growing where you don't want it to." Some nice color there, though.

Can you imagine if the house with the telescopes had an elevator from street level all the way up to the top?

I think I might have difficulty with that slope, even in my power chair! And no, wheelchairs on sand is not a good idea.

Slurring is not good. Definitely a sign to go home and get some rest.

Neil said...

There is beauty in the everyday things, isn't there? You just have to see them in the right light.

And there is beauty in you.

Love and zen hugs to all,

Kate J said...

Ah, the joy of Spring.
Lovely flowers! I remember how pretty Victoria looks at this time of year... and I do envy you those hummingbirds. My uncle and aunt used to live in a lovely apartment building on McKenzie, near the corner with Quadra, with a mature communal garden, and the hummingbirds used to come right on to the balcony! We also went that Spring to the Butchart Gardens, which were awesome.

I liked your cherry blossoms... but may favourite at this time of year is the magnolia. How on earth did 'magnolia' get to be the name for a not-quite-white nothingy paint colour, when the magnolia is such a lovely tree, with any colour of blossom from pure white through to deep mauve. The blossoms positively glow! Hope you have some near you.

Love & peace

Bonnie said...

I keep coming back to this page just to look at the flowers.

I think that your songbird is a song sparrow. Did it have a spot in the center of it's breast? Song Sparrows look like someone put a dirty thumbprint smack in the center of their chests. They have a lovely, lovely song, don't they?

Matthew Smith said...

Have you ever seen Jodi Bassett's Hummingbird paintings/hangings? She has a fascination with them and uses their flapping as a metaphor for the struggle of dealing with ME (which she has, very severely). She is bedridden and lives in Australia.

Her ME website is here and her artworks are here.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Sorry for not commenting, I had some physical illness and emotional and physical battering that went on which derailed me for a bit.

Jenny: I hope they bloom soon! Linda just got me some purple blue flowers for the desk, pretty! I may not get out often but it is worth getting out! Would you like me to send you some flowers?

Wendryn: Yes, why is it the first picture of me when I reach the beach is sitting on a marked 'Danger' area?

loveable_homebody: I love the blue mums, someone thought they were dyed but they aren't. Most of what I know of Toronto is from the overnighters I had when I took VIA to the east coast for conferences. So, Timmy H. downtown and um lots of bookstores which turned out to be porn stores (is that a Toronto thing, have a porn store, then advertise it as a 'used book store' - confused me. But I like the colors here, the community fairs start up too - come for a visit.

Lene: it is a good sidewalk, my other street is a long overhand of old trees but this one is cherry or apple trees, and really nice to roll down, no big bumps, good rolling!

Avaitrix: Yeah, I saw it all in two hours, and all the flowers in 40 minutes, only because I stopped to take so many photos. If you come over, I should take you to go see the streets, very pretty. There is another street which leads to a bunch of old two story heritage houses right near the cemetary - that is the one I train on for the wheelchair racing chair when I can. An old 1940's storefront there - lots of fun architecture in this city!

Olivia: I love the lilies too! They used to have guard rails but they all washed away, even the stairs have to be rebuilt as the cliff under then erodes. Our winter storms hit and go right over the road with the waves, giant waves going right over your car (I know because Linda made me drive throught them during one, becuase she thought that would be 'fun' - I thought "flooded battery and engine!!!")

Cheryl: True, it wouldn't be as fun visiting us in a nasty neighborhood, but also getting out on a sunny day when it isn't too warm, good wheeling and knowing I made it through winter...yeah!

Jane B: I am glad they were good pictures for a monday morn, I hope it didn't seem like bragging as Victorians are hated in Canada for always bragging about how we get flowers while Canada gets snow - me, I am thankful that even in diminished movement and going outside, there is still much to see.

Lorna, Bill and Liam: Well, if someone thinks my jeans are ass sexy, you know I am going to wear them often! Hope you get those sights of flowers up where you are.

Baba Yaga: Sakura viewing comes to Baba! Cool.