I wanted to shake up my life and go sailing (or learn on the job, so-to-speak) so headed to Florida to crew on a catamaran. This is about how it went or, rather, didn't - and my life since. Hopefully it will lead to a catamaran on the clear aqua blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, watching the sunset, a coconut rum and coke in hand. You must START AT THE BEGINNING of the blog, April 2009, to get the whole story...

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Back at work today. The torch relay is due to pass right by us at noon.

The Impark guys had a great chance to practice parking masses of people last Sunday as the big church up the road, Willingdon Community Church, uses the BCIT lot as overflow parking. There were three waves of cars as they have three morning services, and the ensuing hundreds of cars were parked without a hitch. We even managed to keep them from going up and down the roadway we use to stage the buses on. Well done kids!

One of the French Canadian bus drivers has taken a shine to me. I joke and flirt with all of the drivers; they are mostly over 60 so I figure it's safe and they seem to eat it up. This one has taken me seriously and today when he arrives, he kisses me on both cheeks and tells me I am beautiful. Is he kidding me? I am wearing a toque, and my kids will tell you I look horrendous in any hat but especially a toque. I have no makeup on. What hair is showing is straggly and wet. I am bundled up in five thick layers so resemble a toffee apple in shape. I laugh him off but he is serious. A bit later he pulls me aside and tells me he would like to ask me out on a date. I smile and tell him "Sure. That would be nice." He is happy. Then I think to ask him if he is married. You never know with the French - even the if he is just French Canadian. He hems and haws. Oh-oh. Either he's married or he is struggling to find the English word for 'divorced'. I am betting it isn't the latter. "I am not married." he says. So it is the divorced word that's giving him trouble. Or not. "I live with a woman." He adds. "Oh! So you are married then, or as well as." I say. He shrugs. "Yes. But it's ok." I laugh. "No, it's not ok." "Oh.. come on," he says in his lovely accent, "you only live once." "Yes, I know." I reply, "and that is why I live this one life with integrity." He shakes his head and looks forlorn. "Cheer up," I say, "you'll get over it." He smiles at me. I am called on the radio and have to walk away to do my job. A bit later he pulls me aside again. "So, I would like to see Vancouver on my days off. I would like you to be my tour guide." I shake my head and grin. Persistent if nothing else. "I will show you around Vancouver if you like," I reply, "but that is all. Just as your tour guide." This mollifies him and he drives away a happy man, waving goodbye. I might have to rethink this decision.

The crowds begin to gather for the torch relay. The Whistler volunteers start arriving for the 11:50 bus and gather on the street to watch. They want us to hold the bus until it goes past. I talk to Jessica, the manager, and she makes a phone call. The result; the bus must leave on time. I think that's just mean. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these guys. They're volunteers. We should be able to do this for them. We go up to the street to watch as well. Eventually we are joined by Doug, the overseer for both our departure point, Whistler Sliding Center, and the one across campus that goes to Whistler Olympic Park. I go talk to him and tell him that the volunteers should be able to stay and watch this. He thinks for a minute and then says, "Let them stay." Good!!!

There is a high school across the street and the powers that be let all of the kids out of class to watch the torch go by. It's a huge crowd. As they wait, they motion to trucks that go by to honk, and most oblige. At each honk a loud cheer goes up. It's fabulous.

Eventually the torch relay trucks appear and the kids go wild. Then the torch bearers appear and the flame is passed from one to another. It continues on it's way and the crowd cheers and claps. I get a bit teary. It's great to see that we have as much national pride as the USA has. We just keep it under wraps to let it go at times like these.

As soon as it's over, we gather up our volunteers and get them loaded on the bus. It departs twenty five minutes late, but who cares. It was well worth it.

(Photos by Jessica - my camera was in my car)
All photographs are mine and not to be copied without express permission from me (click on them to see the large version).
Some names have been changed to protect my butt.

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