Vancouver has hit its coldest temperature in half a century, rounding off a year of weather extremes. We missed the heat and the floods but arrived in time for the big freeze. Go us! It is also peak Covid, and so we must brave the cold in order to socialise. It is fun, but very, very cold. Here we are a few days after arriving, at Spanish Banks with Doug’s sister Vivian:
And meeting up with friends for some exercise and frozen feet:
The photo above was taken by my friend, June Hunter, who writes an excellent blog. She is a fantastic artist and chronicler of urban nature; if you are at all interested in birds, she would be right up your alley and you should check her out.
Doug and Leah and I drove down to Deep Cove, to the spot where we were married 30 years ago. Every time we return to Vancouver, we take a photo there. It was so cold, that we hopped out of the car, Leah snapped some photos of us, and we hopped back in. Despite this, Doug refused to wear a coat. Why? Because he was wearing a sweater I knitted for him and he wanted it to show in the photo. How can you not love a guy like that?
We have done lots of “Covid things”: like having a visit through a window, by phone, with Doug’s Uncle Ed and Aunt Marcie.
Or sitting in the car for a very, very, long time for a drive-through Covid testing site:
This took over 5 hours, and at the end, they told us the guidelines had changed, and they handed us lateral flow tests. Luckily, we all tested negative.
Covid is everywhere and unavoidable, however. Emma’s boyfriend, Justin, tested positive and has had to isolate, missing Christmas. Our niece, Lydia, got sick on Christmas Eve. We drove over there with a lateral flow test on Christmas Day so she could get tested before dinner. I wrote to my mom: “If it’s positive, we will drive back home and have tacos. If it’s negative, we will have a turkey dinner with the family.” Spoiler: the turkey was delicious!
We opened presents:
We looked for the most outrageous display of Christmas lights (Vancouverites take this to extremes):
We ate too much. My brother-in-law, Dennis, made a fantastic Christmas turkey, and then the next day made turkey mole enchiladas. Leah baked Stollen (German Christmas cake) and made chocolates. My sister, Romi, sent me an entire box full of gluten-free cookies and treats from Tate’s Bake Shop in Southampton, NY! OMG, what a fantastic present!
We hung out with family, and took two wicked pub quizzes designed by my nephew Dylan, and by Leah. We all stayed in Emma’s one-bedroom apartment, testing the bounds of family cheer. Emma and Doug played God of War and slew dragons. Leah translated Christmas Carols into Ancient Egyptian. I did some knitting (but not as much as I wished due to shoulder issues).
We took lots of cold walks in the woods and along the beaches:
Leah took the above photo, just a few blocks from Emma’s apartment. Here is another that Emma took today:
Isn’t it gorgeous? See the two tiny figures on the right in the above photo? That’s Doug and me, walking on the beach. I love it! It may be cold, but the sun is shining in a very un-Vancouver winter display.
I even have some knitting activity to report! I knit a hat for Justin for Christmas. He hasn’t unwrapped it yet, as he is still isolating (boo hoo), but Emma gave it a test spin so I could take photos. This was down at Cate’s Park in Deep Cove on the 27th, when it was -14 degrees. By the water, in the wind, that is really, really cold. Emma said the hat was warm.
The pattern is the Upper West Hat by Thea Coleman. It is a really lovely pattern and fun to knit. I used De Rurum Natura Gilliat worsted weight wool in Nuit, and a size US7 needle.
It makes a knitter happy to see people enjoying their hats.
Here is Emma and me having fun in the biting wind:
The best thing of all is that we still have two weeks left, before we head home! I’ll be back in two days with my annual year-end knitting post.