Friday, November 30, 2007

Happy Birthday Mum

This Time last year Mum (AKA Sue) visited us to celebrate her 60th Birthday. Unfortunately this year we have not been able to share the day with her. We had a chat on the webcam and looking at photos & video is a great way to remember & keep in touch.

Still playing around with video stuff so here is one for mum....

Friday, November 16, 2007

Winter's Here (Again)

We had our first storm of the winter pass through earlier this week. Whilst it managed to knock power out to over 200,000 homes we escaped unscathed.

These couple of pictures were taken walking Charlie in Princess Park. The Parks Board had to close part of the park while they dealt with a tree that had snapped and then leant precariously against another.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Lake Louise

There's not a whole lot to say that the photos here don't do better. Lake Louise is beautiful any day & time of the year, but our day there in October was just about perfect....crisp cold morning (about -5 overnight, -1/0 while we were there) blue sky, plenty of fresh snow on the mountains.

Spiral Tunnels

This blog entry is in particular for Anne & Ian.

In 1884 the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) wanted to get a line through the Rockies, but in the Kicking Horse Canyon between Golden and Lake Louise the terrain was extremely steep. As a temporary measure they built a direct line at grade 4.5% (instead of the steepest ever built before of 2.2%). However, despite many safety measures there were numerous fatal accidents (typically brakes failing and trains running away as they decended the hill) and there were few engines powerful enough to pull trains up the steep hill.

Eventually in 1906 they found funding to build two huge spiral tunnels in the mountainside to enable the track to pass through the canyon at a lower grade. The tunnels opened in 1909. Whilst the tunnels were hugely expensive they had the great attraction that the track would not be subject to avalanches as the area was prone to.

These images show the lower spiral, tunnel entrance and general area. This entry is for Anne & Ian because they have actually been through these tunnels on the Rocky Mountaineer.

This is an old drawing of the valley, showing the layout of the track with the two spiral tunnels (the dotted sections being the tunnels).

Since our timing didn't include a train using the tunnels, I had to steal one off of the internet. The trains are often 80-100 carriages long, so are still going in the tunnel whilst the front has appeared below it as shown in this photo.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Vancouver Fashion Statement

OK so winter has arrived here in Vancouver which on the most part means loads of rain!

Funny how this can effect even the most fashion conscious.....

Thursday, November 08, 2007

David Beckham Comes to town - Reaction

So david Beckham comes to town and look what happens.....

Monday, November 05, 2007

Vancouver Pride

For the second year running this summer we had a great day at Pride. Vancouver has a strong and integrated Gay community of which we are proud to be a part. It is open, inclusive and honoured.

This year we had our new video camera so I have been able to make this video to share the fun of the parade!

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

The RCMP are our everyday police force and on the whole look very much like any other modern force. Their history however is one of a pioneering hardy decendant of the victorian evolution from the 'Red coats'. In the way that the British police owe their tradition from the first Peelers in London.

In their traditional dress they represent a classic Canadian icon. I had not seen a 'Real Mountie' until my recent trip to Regina where we met a recent graduate of the RCMP academy in full ceremonial dress for his graduation parade whilst he waited to pick up his proud family at the airport.

I was not previously aware but all RCMP conduct their basic training at 'Depot' in Regina. It would appear that Regina is the home of the RCMP. A trip to the recently built museum center was great fun; including some dressing up!!!!

Not sure why but the outfits were too small for me to put on, they were only really big enough for children!

For more info on the RCMP visit