Friday, November 30, 2007

New kit

For the first time in months I have spent hard cash on myself and no one else. I spent the grand total of CDN$49.53 on fishing gear.

Tomorrow I intend to find a dry little niche overlooking the narrows and hunker down to meditate upon the waters, and if I'm very, very lucky, catch a half decent fish.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Much craftiness

Today, Wife and I have been doing a craft fair, which over here means visiting ten other houses and perusing all the stuff they have to sell. A complete volte face on the UK where the suppliers come to you, here in Canada, you end up going to them.

Any old road up. We saw this cute Christmas tree beladen with fretwork and this serious log cabin to end all log cabins. All Wife had to say was, "Jones, when are you going to write that best seller. I want one of those." I was so gobsmacked I was lost for words, and that doesn't happen very often.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Trail walking

Well, not so much 'walking' but clambering, scrambling, and climbing. 'Trail walking' over here is a bit more energetic than in my country of origin. The paths and trails around here are little better than game trails over fallen logs, up and down slopes etc. Good fun though. Got sworn at by one of the Sea Otter clans, and watched by the soulful face of a Common Seal.

Dog and I went trail walking to get away from Wife, who has been 'going off on one' because she has little patience dealing with Internet support mechanisms. I couldn't do anything for her, so elected to get the hell out of dodge so I could actually think through a narrative conundrum while walking. I don't think Wife really understands about the level of concentration it takes to keep track of a narrative thread, and has a habit of wandering into my study and unloading whatever is on her mind at the time, which has the net result of putting my birds of thought to flight. That and I'm reading Stephen King's "Liseys Story" which is about insanity and narrative. Fascinating but disturbing. King is a master of his genre.

Just wish I was.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Goodness gracious me

Lets101 - Free Online Dating

This makes a change from 'all Pisceans are gloomy losers'. Wife agrees about the kissing. Nice.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Spoils of beach combing

Meandering along the storm damage and came across a 3 inch mooring rope snapped clean, presumably in last weekends storm. Still had a 4 foot mooring splice in, so I dragged all fifteen feet of it (Weighed quite a bit soaking wet) up the path and made a crude safty barrier with it. This way, if I do slip on the trail, there will be something to stop me going over the edge and breaking my stupid neck. Jolly good idea.

Must take my little hatchet down the trail on Sunday and shift some of the fallen timber that is threatening to block my private beach access.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Working day

The channel is more or less clear of the debris that choked it last night. The sea has been calm, even though the overall tone has been steely grey. Wife was out doing her voluntary thing this morning, so I had the place to myself, and miracle of miracles, came up with a story thread that would move my novels narrative along. Progress was made, and the bare bones of 2000 words was laid down, which should flesh out into 5000 once I've sorted out the next plot development. What with one thing and another, I haven't been able to get the whole plot picture in my head. It's not that it's too big, it's me.

When Wife returned we spent time working out how to accommodate Mother in Law and two students in our small apartment over Christmas. A B&B up the road will help, but I may end up sleeping in the car with snow all around. This is not good. Well off sister in law has a place up in town, but no one is sure if she is going to be around, so we can't rely on her. This is going to be an expensive and cramped Christmas, and precious little writing is going to get done. Wonder if I could bunk off fishing? Wrap up warm. Sidle off at daybreak with the dog. Go dangle my rod in the water. Got to be worth a try.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Debris on sea

Down on the beach this afternoon looking at the changes the recent storm had wrought. Lots of debris floating about still. The sand washed up was fine granular and grey, not yellow like traditional beach sand. Landmarks I'd come to know had been washed away like waste down a gutter. A tree trunk over two foot in diameter had been neatly pruned as though by an axe. Completely gone. A rather picturesque antique stump of a mature metre thick pine had vanished, and the beach had changed profile. Not so many rocks either. Just sea washed logs, stark, pale, and sanded as if by machine. Glad I was tucked up safely in my bed with wife while all the damage was being done.

Sometimes we don't know we're born.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Noisy and damp

Sleep was a little difficult to come by last night. Massive thunderclaps from the storm as it passed overhead, solid rain from Sunday afternoon all the way through to late Monday morning. Glad we chose to go to the movies yesterday, as it has been exceeding wet.
The logging company tug was bimbling around trying to make the best of a bad job. Logs all over the place in the Straits. Big log cabin building size logs which could make a pretty mess of a fibreglass hull in very short order.

As I write, the tides are clearing the mess up, and the log booms leftovers are piling up on every foot of the shoreline. I'll go down and check in the morning, but I think we've just gained a couple of sandy beaches overninght. Not big ones, however, we'll have to see what they are like when the weather has settled a little more.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Elizabeth the movie

Bit of a choppy day out in the Narrows this morning. Plenty of whitecaps marching northbound. The good part being that it is clearing all the floating logs from the channel that towed logboom left behind yesterday. Most of them are now washed up on the shoreline. Probably enough to build a small log cabin.

This afternoon, Wife and I went to see 'Elizabeth the Golden Age'. Not bad as works of fiction go, but hardly worth the fuss the Vatican has made about it. Cate Blanchett worked well as the lead, but I found Clive Owen as Sir Walter Raleigh a bit watered down. In real life, Walter Raleigh was a bit of a rake and is thought to have seduced more than just the one lady from Elizabeth's Court. There is one where he is supposed to have pinned one lady in waiting up against a tree and had his evil way with her as her protestations went from "Sweet Sir Walter!" to "Swizzer-swatter!".

I was a bit disappointed that they didn't include the line from Elizabeth's speech to her troops at Tilbury "I may only have the body of a weak and feeble woman." etc. Still, visually stunning, and well worth a look. Not a bad way to spend a rainy British Columbian afternoon.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Boom Boom!

Getting ready to do Sea Otter patrol on neighbours property this morning when I saw a log boom being towed through the narrows. It left a lot of logs floating about in its wake, and I'll take a meander across the shoreline tomorrow to see what the tide has washed up. Photo's will be available.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Wife and I re-insured the car today, having sweated blood prizing statement of no claims out of UK insurance company. Went in to renew, only to be told that we should fill in a form, pay the full whack, then when our 'evidence' of good driving was accepted, we might, just might, qualify for a discount.

I wondered aloud why we weren't told about this form when we first got insured. The clerk just shrugged and smiled. I didn't have a go as it wasn't her fault, it was just one of those pieces of information that everyone expects you to know. Heavy sigh. Pass me the whiskey.

Oh what the hell, we're still legal and we'll get the money back eventually.


Feeling mildly pleased with myself. Friend in trouble and in danger of getting kicked out of Medical School - I spent the past 36 hours writing a bunch of begging e-mails to all the people I could think of, called in favours, begged, made promises, sold my soul etc.

Result is that with a little (A lot) help from my friends, and people that I did not know were friends, we raised enough cash to get my betroubled friends Medical School funding back. All she has to do is follow through and sieze the opportunity.

Today I feel as though I'm on the side of the Angels. It feels good.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Sweet and sticky

One of the things I recall from my youth was the toffee apple. One particular shop in the small place I grew up in sold them, but after the mid 1960's they seemed to disappear off the shopping map. In Victoria the other day I came across this shop that makes a speciality of Toffee Apples. Holy Calories Batman! It was like hitting a mental timewarp sideways at lightspeed. What can I say but "oh my".

I really love this place. It's both old and new. Both stepdaughters are coming over for Christmas and they will love it too. Especially shopping in Victoria. We're going to have trouble getting them on the flight home. The RCMP may be needed to get them back on the plane.

Monday, November 5, 2007


Wife is still pretty jetlagged, so I've been spending my time shepherding her around and supporting her as we do the rounds of all the offices we have to visit in our continuing immigration merry go round. Pensions and tax are sorted. We visit immigration on Thursday to see how her new tax status affects her status as a Landed Migrant, and does she still need to go out of Canada every six months.

I say she needs to stay here to rack up the points, but who listens to me? I'm just a writer.

Oh what the hell, it's been another nice day, even if I have spent most of it sitting in offices waiting.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Do I care?

Another month and a bit to go before my English bankruptcy discharge is due. Today I received another form to fill out to say I'm so poor monetarily speaking even church mice are having a whip round on my behalf.
Oh what the hell, with views like this right on my doorstep, who really cares?

Day out in Victoria

Wife is still jet lagged, but not a little jubilant today, having closed most of our affairs in England down. To celebrate, we took a little meander down to Victoria. As we have now sold the house (We hope) we purchased some winter headgear (Stocking cap, Breton peaked cap)and for me some boots for when the snow starts to fall, which some have claimed will be Tuesday.

Victoria is a very nice looking city of Victorian pedigree, rather like the city fathers of Birmingham seem to aspire to. Very clean, full of polite Canadians (There are impolite Canadians but they are thankfully a minority). Have decided to do Christmas shopping here instead of going over to Vancouver. This will mean more money for presents, and hopefully more fun all round when stepdaughters and Mother in Law descend upon us on the 21st December.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Cool tool

Wife is back home. Kaloo Kalay! Oh frabjous day! House in England is sold (Finally we hope). Oh yes, and I've found this really cool little flight tracker tool which gives you close to real time information on flights over Canada and the USA.

I had it running and keeping track of where the plane carrying my love was all the way in from where it crossed into Canadian airspace somewhere around Baffin Island all the way to touchdown at Vancouver at 5:39pm Pacific time. What was even better was that Wife managed to get on the last plane to Vancouver Island from YVR which arrived at 19:55. There was me going to tell her to catch the 9pm ferry to Swartz Bay where I would pick her up when there was no need.

I am a very happy bunny right now.

BC Ferries

Waiting for wife to get home safely and just checked the ferry schedule to the island; her flight arrives at 6pm and she will probably clear customs and baggage before 7pm. The trouble is that the next ferry leaves for Vancouver Island at 11:30pm. The journey is 2hours, which means she doesn't get back to Duke point and me until at least 1:30am Sunday morning.

Oh stuff it. I will just be happy if she gets home safe and sound.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Red Cross Fridays

I enjoy my Friday afternoons delivering stuff for the Canadian Red Cross. They seem to like me too, and I have been asked to go on another course in two weeks. This time it's to do with missing person searches during disasters. Mainly administrative stuff, but it's all grist to the employment search mill. This stuff looks good on your CV, and I enjoy it as well.

On our rounds today, my oppo and I chatted about Elizabeth the golden age, Cate Blanchetts latest movie. This is the one the Vatican is up in arms about, saying that the movie is amongst other things 'Anti-Catholic'.

Sometimes methinks that all these religious types don't get it. You point something glaringly obvious out to them, and they are worse than Socialists, who take it as an extreme personal affront that you have noticed a factual error in their dogma. Perhaps it is because they are weak of faith, because those who are strong in their faith blithely ignore contradictions raised by their religion.

The point is that the movie is a fictionalised account of events during the reign of Elizabeth the 1st of England. It is a work of entertainment and therefore not something that is worth taking too seriously because film makers always take liberties with history. A lot of historical revisionists do too, but that is besides the point.

We drove past the local Islamic centre, where a number of young men were standing outside in a group, eyeing everyone who passed by with suspicion. Don't see why they feel they have to do that, as it only antagonises people. Canadians are the most inclusive people in the world, at least as far as I can see, and these cliquish little enclaves of whatever religion do themselves and their belief system no favours by behaving so defensively. Shame really.

Anyway; I'm looking forward to tomorrow night when my love returns. The dog has missed her too, and in all our transatlantic phone conversations I keep on telling her that the dog is bored with just my company, and can she hurry up and get back here please. I think I get a bit bored with my own company as well.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Bears, Cougars and Seals

Chatting to neighbour while walking dog. There was a Seal or sea lion in the Strait being dive bombed for it's catch of Salmon by gulls. It didn't seemed to mind, it just ploughed up and down the tidal flow hunting.

Oh yes, didn't get any 'trick or treaters' last night, which was a trifle disappointing. However, there's definitely a Cougar in the area, and a young Black Bear which came snuffling round our back yard for the apples on the tree at the back last night, so maybe that's why the kids didn't come our way.

Oh yes, and 'wet' snow has been forecast for Tuesday according to neighbour, yet I've just checked the long range Weather and it's going to rain allegedly. I shan't say anything. Let it come as a surprise, or rather not.

Looking forward to Saturday and Wife's return. Missed her terribly. It's my turn at the end of November, and I am emphatically not looking forward to going back to England.