We took the opportunity to do some washing and, while it spun and tumbled, treated ourselves to a slap-up breakfast of bacon, eggs and pancakes, in Joe’s Café next door.

Later on we took a quaint little Aquabus to Granville Island.  Granville Market is good enough reason to visit Vancouver on its own.  An old warehouse complex houses row upon row of stalls selling the best fresh meat, vegetables and flowers.  There are small cafes selling a variety of delicious food: anything from stir-fry to pizza. There are stands with health foods and alternative medicines, gifts, fabrics, hats … In fact, you name it, Granville Market probably sells it. 

As the Market began to close down, we looked for somewhere to have a drink.  It was still relatively early, but the afternoon sunshine had taken its toll. Bridges Pub seemed to fit the bill nicely, with a terrace overlooking the river, and a view of the mountains.  We enjoyed it so much we decided to order something to eat.

Just before dinner arrived, Brigid spotted an unfortunate looking man …  How shall we put this politely … this individual (not exactly in his first flush of youth), was dressed from head to toe in black leather, had long curly hair (held in place with a slick of Brylcream), a large gold medallion tangling itself in his hairy chest (visible under his waistcoat – no shirt), and day-glo fake tan.  He was doing his best to chat up a succession of bored-looking women, and failing miserably.  Each one lasted about ten or fifteen minutes, before excusing themselves and disappearing forever.

Now it could be said that Brigid was just being uncharitable.  However, two women on an adjacent table had also noticed this charade, and also found it amusing.  Needless to say, we all got talking.  It turned out that Kurt (a retired policeman) and his wife, Marilyn, were entertaining a British friend from Manchester.  A great many beers later, we got on to the subject of our hotel, and its unusual bar …

Kurt kindly suggested that they give us a lift back into town, which we gratefully accepted (strangely having lost all enthusiasm for the long walk over the bridge).  Once outside, he further suggested that we should investigate the pub … Take it as a measure of how much we had already had to drink, that we thought this might be a good idea!

On our second visit, the pub did not disappoint.  The same men were still kissing under the disco lights and a constant traffic of ungainly ‘ladies’ trouped in and out of the Ladies’ restroom.  We formed ourselves into a tight defensive circle around the only vacant table – outside the restrooms.  John drew the short straw, and ended up in a particularly vulnerable position, opposite the Gents’ restroom, with his back to the main bar area … Suddenly feeling a pair of hands running themselves down his hips, he moved swiftly to a more strategic position between Kurt and Brigid (putting his arm around Brigid’s shoulder, just so there could be no confusion …)

From his vantage point on a settee nearby, one of the ‘regulars’ approached Marilyn.  “We think you are very rude”, he pouted “keeping yourselves to yourselves …”  Thinking quickly, Marilyn put on her most serious expression and said “There’s been a death in the family.”  The man went away and sat down, but never took his eyes off our party.  “Liar!” he spat.