Thursday, 10 February 2011

Rites of Passage

My boy. His band's most recent track - I think.

My boy who lives here - Kev and I have just rescued from a bathroom floor in Point Grey. He'll be a sorry mess tomorrow, hangover and permanent marker. Rites of Passage.

Yesterday, Vancouver was luminous. The sun was shining, the mountains were snow capped, the trees were in bud. Today, rain. The mountains are, of course, still snow-capped, presumably more so since the rain falls as snow up there, and the trees are still in bud. The birds seem a bit hacked off though.

In Britain, as a general rule, it's difficult to find parking, and particularly in cities. There are never enough car parks, side streets either have double yellow lines (no parking) or are full of cars that have found a space and are guarding it for dear life.
Also, as a general rule, you're aware of this and don't drive anywhere you can't be sure of finding a parking space. This works most places, but I remember visiting my sister when she was living outside of Norwich. You had to drive into the main city, but on this occasion, we could not find parking anywhere, we drove around and around and eventually went home.

Now when I moved here, I discovered that people DO drive into cities, that there is parking along side streets, main streets, that there are normally adequate car parks, but people here don't think they should have to pay for parking and so there is generally plenty of space in them.

Until Wednesday.
Having driven out to visit my friend in hospital, I arrived to find that yet another swathe of the hospital car park was fenced off. I tried every part of the grounds, every hospital parking lot and visited every side street I could get to. This is so not one of the areas where I wish Canada would emulate Britain, so not.

But I have found another thing that could happily go the other way. I love the pot luck. That needs to be happening properly in Britain - where pot luck just means 'you'll get whatever's in the cupboard/fridge'. But now, I want to introduce the 'Toonie Party'.
Gail told me about this today, and it's a real example of joined-up thinking.

So, kids' parties.
And the 'toonie'.
The toonie is our highest denomination coin, being a two-dollar piece.
When kids go to the toonie party, instead of bringing a gift, they bring three coins, any coins, but obviously can't be more than a toonie. One goes into a jar for the birthday girl or boy to use to buy something they actually want. The second goes into a jar that will go into the kid's savings account, and the third goes into a jar for charity.

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