Saturday, April 20, 2019

Introducing Sven

The past few weeks have been seriously crazy for me. But full details will have to wait until another time. This post is about an addition to the family:

As some may know, my little blue camper van perished last fall, when the engine developed problems. Unfortunately, too expensive to fix. We didn't feel right trying to sell him on to someone else in that condition, so donated the vehicle to in exchange for a tax-deductible receipt. 

After an exhaustive six-month search, we adopted Sven last weekend. His Swedish-born American owner has just left Whistler bound for Maui (poor guy). No, the man's name wasn't Sven. But the van has been kept clean, maintained and finished inside with incredible care and attention to detail that you'd expect from a Scandinavian. And it smells piney, like the inside of a new sauna!

The vehicle is a 1994 Chev G20, so it was given life the same year we got married, and the year arrived in Canada! Like us, he has low mileage for his years, so should have a few more laps around the sun left.

He's a stealth camper, and for sure still need some work (like actual insulation between the paneling and the body), but is definitely ready for action when my horse show season starts the first weekend of June! Uniquely, he's the only van that we've seen that is a "panel" van on one side, and a "people" van on the other.

Here are some photos (thanks to P for these) to give you an idea:


Panel Van on One Side

People Van on t'Other

Work Van Up Front

Scandinavian Lodge in the Back

The wooden centre part of the bed can be pulled out towards you, and the mattress folds out to full length for maximum stretch-out comfort. I'm pretty sure that I'll be able leave it as it is, though, and be quite comfortable. That'll leave extra moving-around space in the "entrance hall".

There is plenty of privacy with drop-down curtains on the back 3 windows, and covers complete with magnetic corners for the side door windows. I have a black-out privacy screen for the front 3 windows.

Yes, this van is substantially bigger than the last one! I'm driving it around Squamish as my daily driver for the next couple of weeks, getting used to it before I make the road trip to Maple Ridge for my first equestrian event in June.

Until sometime in the summer, here's wishing you all a wonderful spring!

Hope to see you next time!

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Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2018 Round-Up & Previewing 2019!

Happy new year! I hope you had a wonderful festive season, making precious memories with those dearest to you.

I confess, it has been 4 months since my last blog ... and this time I'm not making any well-intentioned but likely-empty promises about posting more frequently in future!

2018 was an amazing year for me and my equestrian event photography. Over the past summer I learned a great deal not only about horse sports photography from both technical and business perspectives, but also about how differently shows are run here in North America! I also enjoyed taking photos at local shows when my work and shooting schedules permitted.

Show Jumping at the SVEA Two Phase in June
I am delighted that I've been invited back to MREC for several events in 2019. I'll be the OP at two three-day hunter-jumper shows, and at three two-day events - very exciting!

Equitation at the MREC Hunter Jumper in August
Hunter-Jumper shows are a combination of equitation, which has the rider and horse being judged on the correctness of their skills both on the flat and over arena jumps; and show jumping. For the most part, classes are individually judged and have little impact on each other.

Show Jumping at MREC Hunter Jumper in August
Eventing is a completely different type of competition: Each horse/rider pair must complete tests in three disciplines: dressage, show jumping and cross country. The winner is the horse/rider with the fewest penalties when combined over all three phases.

Cross Country Equitation at MREC in August
In addition to the five competition weekends, I will be working at two clinics as well. These teaching events will be hosted by LHC Equestrian and will feature world class instructors with proven success in international competition. More details on those to come soon!

Clinic with Beth Underhill at MREC in October
2018 wasn't all about horses, though! In between equestrian events and my full time job, I thoroughly enjoyed shooting the action at the annual Kite Clash held here in Squamish (which, btw, means "mother of the wind") ...

Kite Clash in Squamish in July
... and a couple of pets for fundraisers (Whistler Animals Galore and Second Chance Cheekye Ranch), too!


Freyja & Shasta

Sadly, Buster the friendly blue van, has gone to the great parking lot in the sky ... his ticker gave out and we were unable to resuscitate him. Watch this space for updates.

And now, all that remains is to wish you and yours a happy, healthy, and prosperous year ahead!

Welcome 2019!


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