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August's Pictures

Smithills Open Farm
Smithills Open Farm (Nikon D5000)

Now I know what they mean about it being an open farm because it's open to visitors but the word open just makes me think of the word open in Open Prison. Are the animals allowed out for weekends or in the case of famous inmates are they allowed to write books on their lives etc. Either way if they are allowed out then they were all present and correct for this overcast Bank Holiday Monday.

It's not a bad place and it's right next door to Smithills Hall which I wouldn't have minded going to have a look at but we never had time. There are lots of animals to see and as a sub-venture which is Smithills Open Farm Birds of Prey which even has it's own waste of time website and of course birds of prey which all looked a little dejected as they all sat tethered and soaked. Still there were quite a few animals to stroke and avoid and look a little scared at or frighten off depending on who was more frightened. They had the usual, cute little pigs -which I refused to take pictures of because I have far too many, pictures that is- goats, sheep, snakes and the like. They also had some deer or antelope that made a squeaking sound which sounded like they needed oiling which was just weird, initially I thought the sound was coming from some birds until sure enough it was the deer.

Anyway just down from the rusty deer were some goats as pictured, they also looked cute and I spied two baby goats sat together, I tried getting a good picture of the two sat together but it didn't work out too well so you'll just have to be happy with the one.

0 comments have been left22:55 29 Aug 2011Tags: smithills farm goat grass
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A Stop With a View
A Stop With a View (Nikon D5000)

Ah one of the dreaded stop signs, not the most horrible ones that are 4 way stops but a 3 way... just as bad for a Brit in Canada or the US for that matter for no matter how separate a Canadian will tell you they are from the Americans, there are one heck of a load of similarities, even the massive mountains (not in this pic) that people were so proud of were actually 300 miles away in the US. But apparently everything -I was told- could be improved by the view. We were sat in a traffic jam and I was asked to note the fantastic view inferring the traffic jam was better because of mountains... I didn't agree, sat nose to tail in traffic is not great anywhere whether you have mountains or flying hippos to see. Of course in this instance the dreaded stop sign will definitely not be improved my nice scenery because as a non-native driver they filled me with dread and taking my eyes off the road for a second was not my plan as it's give way to the first person who got to the stop line. It's a bit like a queue... but with 4 or three different queues feeding in... where all of them are cars... and they're all trying to cross each other's path... and they might have guns. Yes exactly like a queue. Hey hold on I'm from the UK, we invented queuing, you can't fool me with this, "it's like a queue" business.

Needless to say, I applied my own rules to this predicament which was less like queuing and more like a logic puzzle:

If there is no around traffic then stop, pause as little as possible just in case traffic arrives and gun it. If there is traffic, possibly gun it or not dependant on how sprightly/large/quick/police-like the others are, of course try and observe the queue thing which might mean hesitate and wait for others to hesitate which might mean it was my turn in the first place in which case gun it. If this starts looking all too tricky, park on side of road as if this was out intended destination, announce to the passengers in a loud voice something to the effect of “Well I'm glad we finally got here”, get out and wait for no traffic, hurriedly pack bemused passengers back into the car and... gun it.

See it's simple.

0 comments have been left22:54 23 Aug 2011Tags: vancouver stop mountains sign
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Langdale Port
Langdale Port (Orange San Francisco)

On a trip out to Gibson or Gibbons if you get it all wrong -as was done on several occasions- you can take the Horseshoe Bay ferry. To be honest it was the largest boat I have ever been on. 40 minutes later you're off again and ridibg round Langdale. Weirdly enough it cuts the road journey in half which you wouldn't think would be worth it but it appears popular despite nit being cheap, mind you they charge passengers too and we had an SUV full.

Anyway this pic is of the Langdale terminal with the mountains in the background which almost look like a backdrop

0 comments have been left07:45 7 Aug 2011Tags: langdale vancouver port mountains
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The Wall Centre
The Wall Centre (Orange San Francisco)

Today was long and relatively hot. Since my Wife wss not up to walking too far the idea was to go to the Sun Yat Sen garden. For those who don't know it, it's a Chinese garden in the centre of Vancouver. It's a lovely place but not too huge. Apparently it was built using traditiinal methods and materials in an area that was going to be demolished for a freeway.

Anyway the picture isn't of a Chinese garden, it's of the Wall Centre the Sheraton. It was a quick visit as we needed to join the rush hour back but with any luck I have better shots on the Nikon

0 comments have been left06:11 6 Aug 2011Tags: building vancouver sheraton reflections
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One of the Most Expensive Hotels in the World
One of the Most Expensive Hotels in the World (Orange San Francisco)

Here at Richmond Hospital there's no afternoon tea, there's no bar and no concierge service, I was appalled especially when merely checking in cost over 700CAD and checking out is a rather complicated procedure, a procedure that you have to go through at some unspecified time in the future that happens to involve an unspecified task. So it's a bit of a Crystal Maze with a little of Kafka's The Trial mixed in with Savoy prices (and then some). Despite all of this it was nice to see something that the Savoy doesn't have... rabbits, and a nice tame one they have here too, though I did get a little close and to my surprise it hopped sideways by one foot in the blink of an eye. Needless to say now I have exposed the winning formula, hotels all around the world will be following suit... with the rabbit thing not the Kafka (no-one knows anything of your eventual release) thing. I say Kafka but I suppose it's more if ab Arthur Koestler Darkness at Noon thing.... I'll shut up.

0 comments have been left06:14 1 Aug 2011Tags: vancouver richmond hospital rabbit
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