Thursday, April 24, 2008


Day trip down to Victoria yesterday. Wife had an evening meeting to go to, so we thought we'd make a day of it. Left Dog with friends around nine, and headed south down the Island Highway. It rained all the way down until we crossed the Malahat, then all of a sudden, no rain. This sort of thing often happens when you travel through Vancouver Islands many micro climates.

We began the day off at the Maritime Museum, and a surprisingly spooky experience. On the third floor of the Museum is the Assizes room, where felons were tried, and sometimes sentenced to death. Now I didn't know this at the time, and just popped my head round the door and stepped in to the old court room. As court rooms go, this one looked pretty average for a Victorian court room. Having done jury duty (Twice!) I'm fairly familiar with the layout of a courtroom, including how hard those bench seats can be on your arse after two or three hours. The furniture and panelling was all built from the same gold coloured timber, with a raised bench at the back for the Magistrates / Judge to sit at, framed by heavy velvet hangings, stepped seating down both sides of the room, an enclosed witness stand by the court recorders bench in front of the judge, and a raised dock about a third of the way in to the court room from the rear. As I stepped level with the dock my back muscles knotted a little, and a vague sense of unease made me look up and around the plain panelled room. Looked behind the judges bench to see a fire extinguisher and old plain wooden chair. Passed by the dock again, and felt the same tightening. Very odd, seeing as I was the only person on that floor at the time. Not just the room, the entire floor. Rejoined Wife down at the gift shop and mentioned that 'you can feel a sense of history' when you walk in the old assizes. She pointed out an article about ghosts and what have you that we had missed on the way in. "You felt the ghost then?" She smirked at me.
"Don't know. All I know is what I felt." I said, so she wrote down that I had 'felt the ghost' in the visitors book, a thinly disguised expression of glee playing about her lips. Sometimes I should think very carefully about what I say to my better half.

Today we didn't head down to the Empress for tea. At sixty five bucks a head they can go whistle, but instead lunched at one of the many coffee shops in town. I chomped into a very nice Chicken and Mushroom Calzone with Olives, and wife had an Italian salad. After that, we spent our time visiting the Market Place and a number of stores around town. The dread 'shopping' experience was ameliorated by the various sales people, who lightened our path with friendly banter. We tried on hats, shopped for stationery and art materials, Wife looked at necklaces while I found a chair to lounge in. It could have been worse. Supper was at the Four Mile Bar and Grill over towards view Royal. Great chairs, guys. Terrific Garlic Chicken wings and vegetable dips. Wife went to her meeting around seven, and I took an hours snooze in the car when it became too dim to read. Drove back to friends to pick up Dog at twenty past ten, then Wife drove the last ten klicks home for tea, and a couple of episodes of 'Yes Minister' before bed. All in all, not a bad day.

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