A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


An Evening In Lillooet - An Afternoon At Vandusen - A Pleasant Routine
Friday, March 28, 2008

There's nothing more comforting for us, specially for Lauren and for Rebecca, than routine. An evening in Lillooet, an afternoon at VanDusen. The seasons change both locations but the places somehow seem the same in a comforting way. The mountains may have snow or not, but they are always there in the same spot. In VanDusen Lauren and Rebecca like to take the same paths. The like to go to the maze or look for turtles having a siesta on the rocks.

Rain or shine, summer or winter, VanDusen is always a delight for them. Lillooet promises the adventure of "camping out", of strange insects or the possible sighting of a bear. Lillooet is getting there. "How long before we get to Lytton?" Rebecca might say or Lauren will count the tunnels. Are there 7 or 8? We always forget. But we like the Alexandra Tunnel as it is almost the longest one.

Lillooet is fire. Ale slashes and burns the grass. She burns the dead wood that falls from the willows. She makes fires for marshmallows. I fire up the small gas Webber for the ham stakes or the meat tacos. Ale chops wood for the wood stove that heats the living room as we sit to watch a DVD film.

We know that the red rhodo at VanDusen would not survive the intense desert cold or the scorching heat of Lillooet. But Lillooet is our experiment. We divide up our plants to see which will slowly (as we think most plants do) adapt to a new climate. We have been taking clumps of Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracillimus" and the smaller 'Yaku Jima'. We think this ornamental grass might survive. I have given Ale some old roses with Japanese Rugosa parentage. They will surely be hardy.

At Ale's you can see forever which is exactly as far as the mountains on both sides of the canyon. When we return to Vancouver it is odd to look out on our garden. The smaller scale plays tricks and it is almost unnerving.

In going to Lillooet I pass the ghosts of my memory. A biker bash in Boston Bar, a night drive to the Charles Hotel (also in Boston Bar) in my blue Fiat X-19 with Les to exorcise daemons with the help of Lou Reed. Taking pictures of elite Canadian Pacific scalers near Lytton. They induced small landslides to prevent big ones from destroying track and rail equipment. Walking through Spences Bridge one afternoon with Mac Parry. I have forgotten why we went and why we did it. I do remember Mac saying, "I want to show you something neat." Mac had a way of pronouncing neat in a special way.

Some day Lauren and Rebecca will have their own memory ghosts to pass on their way to Lillooet. And they might even decide on exactly how many of those tunnels there are.


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