Archie wandered round Dr. Sun Yat Sen’s Classical Chinese Garden. He caught up with Agnes by the lake.

‘Isn’t it wonderful?’ she said. Archie grunted.

‘Shouldn’t we be getting back to the hotel?’ he asked.

‘We’ve plenty of time.’ she replied.

‘It doesn’t seem very Canadian to me.’

‘It’s ancient Chinese culture.’

‘It was built in 1985.’ Archie huffed. ‘Shouldn’t we try and find something more traditionally Canadian?’

Agnes stamped her foot. ‘Archie, we will see a Mountie before we leave.’

‘Yes, dear.’ Archie sulked off. His once-in-a-lifetime holiday to Vancouver to celebrate his retirement was going as he’d expected it would. He wished he was still at work.

© CE Ayr

Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above, thanks to CE Ayr for the photo this week).

In the background of this week’s photo you can just make out the Wing Sang building in Vancouver, adorned with ‘Work No. 851’ an art sculpture by Martin Creed, which reads ‘EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT’ in neon lettering – you can read more about the origin of that HERE, if you’re interested.

Find out more about Dr Sun Yat Sen’s Classical Chinese Garden in Vancouver.

To read more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.


  1. I wonder if he finds his wife’s company more overpowering than his job? For his sake, I hope he soon finds some suitable employment away from his wife 😀 Enjoyed the read – thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think that I would rather be sailing around the islands off Vancouver than be in a Chinese garden, as much as I love gardens. Then again it depends who’s in the garden with me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. First off, love your name (my eldest’s name too – yes, same spelling!)
    How often does it happen that when one retires, one finds out there is no joy in spending so much time with the other! So sad. And funny. I guess we Canadians just have to accept that a Mountie is the most Canadian thing we have…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Dale. Congratulations on a great choice of name! I was a bit weary of the Mountie joke – but being a Scot I have to put up with the stereotypes of kilts, Braveheart, whiskey and thistles. Hope I don’t offend the lovely Canadians too much. Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ooohhh… I love Scots 😉 Am a descendant of one!
        And, as a good Canadian, I just smile, shake my head and keep moving…😎

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the dialogue, Iain, that realistic interraction between people who know each other well – too well perhaps :). Very realistic, to see them noth wanting different things, pulling in difeerent directions. Cracking story 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nice work, as always! I can’t believe how many elements from the prompt you were able to work into your story. I’m struggling with the prompt this week for some reason!


  6. (was going as he’d expected it would – did you mean wasn’t? If not, totally ignore me.)
    This fellow doesn’t seem to roll with the punches very well – you did an excellent job of showing that through conversation and his narrow-minded thoughts. Kudos

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Excellent story! I hadn’t even noticed any of the things in the background you did and just assumed it was actually in China. I guess that just goes to show how often our assumptions can be wrong…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You are very observant! I had not noticed all those details in the photo but it did make me think of China and my village. I have met couples like the one in my travels. Some want and prefer what they have at home instead of something new.


    Liked by 1 person

  9. Very realistic dialogue and take on life. I think there are more than a few people who retire and then regret it, and it sounds like it’s going to be a long retirement for poor Bob. As a Canadian, I have a couple of things to say – Yea! Canada and I love mounties too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, thanks for the Canadian support, glad I didn’t offend! Think you’re the first to comment that maybe Bob really loved his job and misses it. Thanks for reading 🙂


  10. A sigh from your character–trapped in a vacation he predicted he’d regret. Poor man–though I suppose he ought to have done something to change his own lot! Thanks for the link, too.


  11. Oh dear, poor Bob. I wonder if he ever finds out what to do with himself outside of work. Maybe he should go fishing. Fun story.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Didn’t anyone tell Bob that Vancouver has the second largest Chinese population outside of China? I suppose he’d rather eat “poutine” than Chinese food.
    Funny story, and great job incorporating different elements of the photo prompt.
    Oh, I’m Canadian, by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, I guessed from your comment you were. I didn’t know that about Canada either to be fair. I think Bob loves Canada it’s the company that’s spoiling it for him. Hope I didn’t offend and thanks for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Love this! I have family in Canada and there are many things I admire about their culture especially their respect for all cultures. I wouldn’t have realized where this was except for the story! Peace.

    Liked by 1 person

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