Friday, 3 August 2018

Blog Sandwich Update 13: Day out in Victoria, Canada …



I had to take the little car for some attention (nothing to do with me) … it needed whatever it was – Mercedes summoned us - I arrived on time … the chap was somewhat amazed – being the English ‘girl’ in a Smart car …
Inner harbour (site of original Fort),
Empress Hotel lit up, Legislature in all
its glory ... 




… some others rocked up, and his comment was 'they’re an hour and a half late'!  People get lost … but this little soul (if I can call myself that?!) had found her way to the outskirts of the industrial area near where Point Ellice house is today (without SatNav).








Victoria 1889

Down I walked, past the Cowichan Tribes store – I called in for a chat and look around, on to Bastion Square, where Hudson’s Bay Company established its trading post, Fort Victoria (1843 – 1858), … I need to have another look around this historical area.




Finns - as it now is
I was ready for something to eat – trouble was ... Finns presented itself: a beautiful redbrick and fieldstone building overlooking the harbour called to me – originally built in 1882 by Roderick Finlayson, as a ship chandlers and provisioners, known today as ‘the father of Victoria’.





Tabasco cocktail sauce and
 grated horseradish



Better than a quick snack … so a good light lunch was had … Oysters with a Caesar salad accompaniment.  No wine – just water!  It was delicious … the view was gorgeous despite having to be indoors as it was a cloudy, chilly Thursday, check out the views on the harbour on their site.





Recent self-portrait: Robert Bateman


Then off to walk along the harbour front to an Art Gallery – the Robert Bateman Centre.   As a child he (now 88) was fascinated by the natural world, sketching and painting wildlife around him.  Travelling and teaching allowed him to focus on art and nature … as well as stimulating youngsters in the great outdoors.






Cardinal in Sumac 1992
(can you see him ... middle left ...?!)



The art in the gallery was a delight to see … he is highly acclaimed today as one of Canada’s great artists and conservationists.  








Dozing Lynx 1987 by Robert Bateman
(apologies it wasn't the Snow Leopard - though I have
that ipic too)



Very different from Emily Carr – though both these artists were influenced by the Group of Seven – Canada’s first national art movement inspired by the Canadian landscape.








Totem Pole in the new extension - Empress Hotel


I wandered back past the legislature, thought about tea at the Empress Hotel … but walked on through, not by – it was packed … and then retraced my steps up town to find little car.






'Farm' - the cannabis bar ... not quite sure of the status
as regulations are in the process of being relaxed


I was fairly desperate for some tea … and hoped to find a cup somewhere – nothing presented itself … I cannot stand fast food outlets (sorry!) … anyway I met a bulk of a man outside a bar …







Descriptions of products available


… he was obviously ‘guarding’ something – but I thought I might be able to get a drink : so asked … he said he didn’t think it was the kind of tea I’d like or perhaps was suitable for me … so I asked what it was: a cannabis bar!






I have no idea what any of these are ... except I was
in that shop!


I went on my way – about three steps … u-turned, retraced … and said ‘do you think they’d mind if I went in for a quick look’ – he said he didn’t think so … and I could take pics as long as no-one featured.







Not the chap!  Just one of the murals on the hoarding
for the Rock Bay project 



Actually the chap I met inside was quite interesting – he’d had mental problems, and mixed with ‘the wrong sort’ … and said that since he’d had some help using cannabis it had calmed him down and he could cope with the depression and challenges.  




Vancouve Island top left, Seattle has that huge
range of fjord like inlets ... Vancouver itself
is about where the title 'Boater's Guide' appears
above the 49th parallel

He mentioned other health issues it appeared to cure – I don’t know … and we were just generalising … I enjoyed my chat … however = no tea!!


On up past murals like the one above … to the car and back home via the dreaded Malahat – it was a fun walk around … stimulating and diverse …



That was another day in the life of this positive blogger …



PS This dozing blogger - just realised that it is a Lynx Dozing ... and not the Snow Leopard = brains went somewhere!!  Sorry commenters, but more importantly - the artist: Robert Bateman.

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

38 comments:

Joanne said...

You are a hoot. Hey, never hurts to ask and you never know what you'll find. Very interesting stops (and detours despite no tea). Victoria is glorious and Ray and I never saw the half of it. You make me want to go back tomorrow.
Keep that positive attitude and keep sharing. Hope you had a nice cuppa at home!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Joanne - well it certainly amused me ... and so many things I do ... I do for you - and of course other bloggers and Ray ... and who knows who. I forgot to get the email thing sorted - so need to comment early - thanks for coming on and laughing with me!! Cheers Hilary

Hels said...

I am very pleased you had the opportunity to mention Emily Carr (1871-1945) again... I missed your first post on this fairly amazing woman. I only know about her painterly skills, firstly because of the time she spent in St Ives in Cornwall, and secondly because of the Fauvism related to her stay in Paris.

Elephant's Child said...

How I would love to have been wandering with you.
I believe cannabis can help with a number of conditions, but do like (and need) regular infusions of tea.

Keith's Ramblings said...

I really enjoyed strolling along with you - I now urgently need some oysters!

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
A lovely wander - just the sort of thing I enjoy also, particularly where there is a gallery or two. (That cardinal is gorgeous.)

There is no question that properly grown hemp has health benefits and there are lots of cases around the world where arguments for medical use are being seriously considered (two recent high profile cases in the UK involving management of epilepsy with cannabis oil sourced from Canada resulted in legal approval). The BIG problem is the 'properly grown' because there is so much on the market that has been tampered with and it is that stuff which often results in addictions and mental disturbances such as psychosis. (I speak as a retired health professional...) YAM xx

RO said...

It's quite clear that I need to be hanging out with you to experience all these fun adventures, but like you, I would have run from the cannabis(lol) I adore the Snow Leopard pic so much!Thanks for sharing the laughter and happy weekend! RHugs...RO

Jz said...

My own visit to Victoria was far too brief so I'm enjoying all the extra "fill-ins".
(And you are well on your way to becoming my idol, with that undaunted curiosity of yours!)
:-D

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Impressive totem pole. The paintings are also excellent. You always manage to find cool stuff.

Rhodesia said...

Cannabis bar that is a new one on me, though drugs are pretty easily available in Amsterdam we never got any further than smelling the places that sold them! I would never have had the guts to venture in and ask to take photos, well done Hilary
I love that art and the snow leopard is just fabulous.
Have a good weekend Diane

Jo said...

Now that's enough to make me cry Hilary, all that Cannabis, and my local place has run out.

What an interesting day you had. Our Son-in-law was inspired by Robert Bateman although he tends to concentrate on birds. Certainly one of his heros. I think I could see the cardinal, but how difficult to spot.

Jacqui Murray said...

I love your curiosity, Hilary. I would love to stop in on a cannabis bar. As well as the art gallery, and the light lunch. I hope your car is good.

Liz A. said...

You'd be amazed at how some people don't worry too much about being on time to things.

I'd never have the courage to ask to just look around a pot bar. Good for you. It sounds like it was an interesting chat.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Hels – I seem to have learnt quite a bit about Emily since I’ve been here … a friend recommended I see what I can find out about her. The Art Gallery in Victoria had an exhibition for her work … and I’ve found plenty of other things … let alone her writings.

Even though I’ve always been in St Ives we never seemed to do the art scene – it was family and the beach … but I’ll check her out when I next get down. She certainly created ideas and her way of doing things with her art … so I imagine her time in Paris was very productive as she experimented and practised.

@ EC – it was a wander. I too gather cannabis can help … however at times a good cup of tea or two is what’s needed - that I agree with.

@ Keith – thanks … they were delicious – I do love them …

@ Yam – one gallery was plenty occupying here … and isn’t the cardinal delightful tucked in amongst the sumac leaves.

I don’t know anything about hemp … except what I’ve scan read, seen or heard via the press. I’d be worried re the adulteration of the product too …

@ RO – I’m around and hang out places! Well I wanted to look in at the bar … if it had been heaving with customers I’d have walked on … but it was in the process of being opened – so felt able to see inside …

Isn’t the snow leopard gorgeous … I’m glad I ‘snapped’ him – it seems many of you rather like him … and so glad you enjoyed the dash of humour …

@ Jz – that’s good … there’s quite a lot going on and I haven’t even scratched the surface. That’s a new one on me … being ‘an idol’ … I’m just a curious child – but enjoy being that …

@ Alex – the totem pole is impressive … difficult to see so high up – but there’s probably a gallery to look at it from – i.e. on its level. But I rather liked the hotel’s extension … and I have the details of the totem … which I must write up …

@ Diane – yes here in Canada … it is being regulated, so is legal – I think it’s October … but obviously the market is gearing up. If the place had been full … I’d have walked-on-by! But an opportunity presented itself … so no harm in asking.

The Bateman Centre is amazing … and fascinating to see his conservation work as well as his and other artists’ work …

@ Jo – I know I did think about you when I visited and when I wrote this post up … sorry – but I’m sure it’ll be there soon.

Interesting to know your SonIL took inspiration from Robert Bateman – he has travelled to lots of places around the globe … and is very successful, as well as encouraging conservation …

@ Jacqui – if it had been full and completely operational I’d have gone on by … but I just had to look see quickly. The gallery is superb … while the lunch I’d love to go back to … the car is fine – it’s the one I’m using while I’m here, so not mine per se …

@ Liz – oh I know some people are rude re appointments – I just think it’s important to be there … if it’s a somewhat vaguer arrangement – then the timing can be fluid … as we know in advance.

The cannabis bar was an interesting place to find – but the chap was really helpful and not disdaining, as could so easily have happened …

Thanks so much for visiting and commenting pertinently … it was a lovely wander round … and perhaps a good thing the weather wasn’t incredibly hot … and writing up the post I learnt more – cheers Hilary

Kay G. said...

Fascinating! Never heard of these artists or the Group of Seven but I have now! So funny about the Marijuana store but hey, it's all interesting to me. ☺

quietspirit said...

Hilary: Thank you for showing us the different things of your walk. I enjoyed seeing the artwork.

Inger said...

I loved this post, so light and funny. And, Hilary, as I sit here in the heat, I wish I was there to browse, look at the beautiful art that man created, to smell the cool sea breeze, to eat what you had and on and on.

But here I am and not unhappy. I'm reading Circling the Midnight Sun. I just got it and am in the chapter about Sweden. The power of those rivers is amazing and placed Sweden in the forefront of the renewable energy field.

And I hope that girl and her movement will save the Norweigan cod.

Kelly Hashway/Ashelyn Drake said...

Great pictures! That totem pole looks huge! And I don’t think I’ve ever eaten an oyster.

Rhonda Albom said...

It looks like you had a fun day touring around the harbour. I love the totem. I learned a little about the Hudson Bay Company when I was on a walking tour in Vancouver (and the huge building they built there). The cannabis bar is interesting.

Sue Bursztynski said...

What a greT excuse for an impulsive bit of exploring! The only time I have ever done that was on a visit to Oxford many years ago. The friend I had been going to meet didn’t turn up(she was stuck in a meeeting at work, so missed her lunchbreak) so I went exploring and discovered places I might never have seen on a tour.

Pity you missed out on your tea, though!

David Gascoigne said...

A few years ago when in Victoria we had glorious weather every day and were contented birders indeed. Then one day it rained - poured actually - so we visited the Bateman Gallery of which you speak and enjoyed it thoroughly. I had last seen an exhibit of his paintings at the McMichael Gallery in Kleinburg, ON. I had a friend (no longer with us) who taught at a school in Burlington with RB and had a beautiful original given to him to commemorate a birthday or other auspicious occasion. The painting was precious to him because of the personal connection, but it turned out to be a handsome monetary gift in the bargain. Bateman is a fine, fine painter and a person whose work and whose life I admire immensely.

David Gascoigne said...

Oh.....and I should add shame on you for quaffing only water with your oysters and salad. A crisp glass of Chablis would have been quite in order, or even a Riesling. One of each would be even better, Hillary!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I love hearing about your adventures! You look for tea and instead find fascinating people. :) It's good for your writing life and fun to hear about!

Debby Gies said...

Loved this post full of Canadiana, Hilary. And I just finished LOLing over your visit to the cannabis store. Priceless! :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Kay – the artists were all new to me, though I’d been directed to check out Emily Carr’s work … so was interested in her. Thought the Marijuana story would amuse some readers …

@ Cecelia – so glad you enjoyed joining me on my tour around …

@ Inger – I can quite believe you’re the heat and thought of relocating for a day or two … it’s been like that here – but not nearly as bad: I’m sure!

The sea breeze has been delicious to smell … I’m now going down to the estuary fairly regularly and it is enticing down there … what is it about the sea breeze smell?

Gosh that’s great you’re reading ‘Circling the Midnight Sun’ … it’s a brilliant read – I’ve just leant it to a Swedish ‘girl’ who is looking after a local lady – the both seem fascinated by it … so I’m meeting them again in 10 days to get the book back, but also to see what they think …

Some of Rattan’s information is so relevant and pertinent to today – I loved the book … and yes that Norwegian girl … long may she save the cod. He covered so many subjects along his route …

@ Kelly – thanks … a generous range of iphone pics … and the totem pole certainly filled the hotel’s new extension atrium. I had an oyster when I was 15 or so in London – my father loved them … but that sort of put me off … then when I was in South Africa I tried again – fatal … we had oyster parties!!

@ Rhonda – it was a quiet peaceful day being able to saunter at my own pace, and do my own thing … and I’m glad I went through the Empress … and picked up on the totem – I’ll post about the details.

When I was in Vancouver … it was a first visit and I didn’t really get time to look around properly – at least I’ve an idea of the geography of the place for my next visit. I must have seen the Hudson Bay building in downtown Vancouver … and probably have a photo of it … it’ll come out in the wash, as I write up the posts. The cannabis bar was interesting … I’m glad I popped in!

@ Sue – I’d missed the harbour and lower Victoria when I was there before … and wanted to see the Bateman Centre … it made a good day out … and the harbour isn’t that big – so could walk it easily and then walk back up. Each of my previous two walk-about visits it had been raining … so wasn’t very fair on the visitor!

Oxford is magnificent … I was at school there, but every time I go back I’m amazed at what I don’t know – easy to miss so many things in Oxford … perhaps it was a good thing your friend missed your meet up – gave you an opportunity to look around …

@ David – I totally concur re the vino … but I had to drive the Malahat and that’s not funny at any time of the year … so sober was the order for lunch! I’ve enjoyed a few parties with oysters and champagne at the core of the day … living it up in the old days!

I can quite see you’d have loved Batemans … all of you ‘contented birders’ … he’s an extraordinary artist – I really enjoyed visiting and hope to get back sometime.

What fun for your friend … sad he’s no longer here; I agree Bateman and his wife appear to be exceedingly good citizens for many reasons … and raise loads of funds for their causes, teachings etc … it was interesting finding out.

PS am quaffing a glass now … but no driving, am at home …

@ Elizabeth – thanks … I’m a lone wanderer who turns up in unexpected places. Yes – you’re right I’ve so many stories to tell … and the blog opens that door …

@ Debby – it’s the kind of thing I love writing up – easy to do, easy to please … and I knew my u-turn was for a good cause – bloggers who comment after reading!

Thanks so much to you all … just so glad it’s making you smile happily … it was a good day – cheers as I quaff that glass which David suggested I was missing out on – no oysters though – fresh wild salmon instead?! Take care - Hilary

Lenny Lee said...

hi Grandblogmom

wow...you sure remind me of the song The Happy Wanderer. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GgJHe0bC34)

loved this post. it's lively, fun and informative. what a wonderful description of your day. made me feel like i was right there with you. sorry you couldn't find a cuppa. bet you had big one when you got home.

...hugs

D.G. Hudson said...

Isn't Victoria nice? I didn't know there weren't many tea shoppes there, guess coffee has usurped it for the masses. Too bad about the tea, but sounds like you enjoyed the discovering. Walk-abouts like that are fun. It's been a few years since I was over on Vancouver Island, so I bet a lot of things have changed.

bazza said...

I love Victoria. It's a lovely city of the type that only seems to be in English-speaking countries!
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s concinnituous Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Anabel Marsh said...

What an entertaining day out! Even if it was just to get the car fixed. There has been quite a fuss here about cannabis, with several children with severe epilepsy finding it helps with their seizures. Now it has been allowed for that purpose. Personally, I would legalise all drugs. It’s the dealing that seems to cause the criminality. Maybe not a popular opinion!

diedre Knight said...

Indeed, you are a positive blogger, dear Hilary! I could enjoy a walk around with you any day, I'm sure. And we'd find you a cup of tea. That the weather is so cool there surprises me, but all the better for walking, right? Loved the picture of the Snow Leopard! I almost missed the Cardinal in the Sumac, but the picture itself caught my eye right off ;-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lenny - how lovely to see you ... I felt like a happy wanderer - thanks for the song link. So glad you felt like you were with me ... that gives me huge pleasure ... and it'd have been lovely if you could of been there to meet up with me. I probably had a drink of vino when I got home ... as I'd sadly lacked that chance earlier in the day!!

@ DG - Victoria is delightful and I need to see more of it ... I've been to a few specific places, but need a wander around again. I'm sure there are 'tea shoppes' - but I was going against the grain out and up into the industrial area ... away from the retail side to get the car.

I'm sure it's changed - there's constant building everywhere ... it seems to me - Vancouver as well. I hope to get back to explore some more for the day at some stage soon ...

@ Bazza - it is a stunning city, I agree ... and yes these smallish cities abound in English speaking countries ... I guess mini creations of somewhere called home: bonny England!

@ Anabel - it was light and easy going and for once wasn't raining on a Thursday as has happened in the past. I gather the cannabis idea is catching on - to help people with their health ... and you're probably right - but I can't really pass an opinion on that, as I don't know enough ... and thankfully don't seem to need to know.

@ Diedre - thanks for the positive tick to my name. It'd be lovely if we could have a day out together ... and a-wandering off we go. It was one day where I thought again it was going to rain - another Thursday ... but thankfully held off, as you say easier to walk around when it's cooler, though not so pretty!

I made 'a blue' - that is a lynx ... and I've now corrected it - noted on the blog ... but how ignorant of me not to check ... still his drawings are superb. I agree the Cardinal is difficult to see ... but so well painted ...

Thanks so much to you all - it's a delight seeing you here and being with me as I enjoy my day out in Victoria ... Cheers Hilary

B Pradeep Nair said...

Interesting! I liked that caption: "I have no idea what any of these are ... except I was
in that shop!" I too like this walkabout, and checking out stuff. Enjoyed this virtual tour with you, Hilary.

Sandra Cox said...

What a wondrous adventure. The cannabis bar sounds fascinating. I wish they'd legalize it here...at least for medicinal purposes. I believe it would be a huge improvement over the opioids.
Cheers,

Connie Arnold said...

My, what an interesting walk you had, Hilary! It's always a joy to read your blog.

Fil said...

I've just been following you on the map - it looks like a really interesting town. There's a lot of debate going on over this way too about cannabis and it's just been passed to allow certain chronic childhood conditions to be treated with a medical grade form of the drug ... there's one child was having over 100 epileptic seizures a day and with this treatment he's now leading a normal life.
The Lynx painting is fabulous too.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Pradeep - thanks ... I didn't have any idea what the various cannabis products were and didn't have time to look or be more interested - it's not something I need thankfully - but one item was mentioned and we promptly moved on! It was a fun day ... but opened my eyes to more to explore ...

@ Sandra - yes I'm not sure about it all ... but legalisation seems to be gaining ground especially for medical reasons.

@ Connie - it was a fun time ... just being able to wander, look in various places - there were others - yet relax and get some culture too ...

@ Fil - thanks - it's not that big ... and I now feel I've more of an idea of the place. I gather the UK is looking at cannabis for medical reasons ... and am so glad it's helping that child.

The Lynx is amazing ... as too his other works ...

Thanks to you all - so good to see you ... have good weeks - cheers Hilary

Yolanda Renée said...

What a great trip. I need to do more of that. And I love the way you shared it all.
Wish I could wander with you!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thanks Yolanda ... it made it easy to write up ... which I enjoy - and gives me a reminder of the day ... I'd love it if you could come a-wandering with me ... perhaps one day! Cheers Hilary