People who know me know that I’m not very outdoorsy. On weekends you’re more likely to find me curled up with a good book than see me hiking up a mountain. But the great thing about Victoria, BC, is that it’s possible for a bookworm like me to look like I’ve climbed a mountain, even though the climb took about 10 minutes.
In April 2017 the University of Victoria Alumni Association published a post called “YouTunes” that talked about students’ musical memories from their time at UVic. It’s a fun post to read if you love music and the memories certain songs and bands hold.
It got me thinking about the ’90s again, which is the era when I attended UVic. I often think of the ’90s with fondness, and most of the music I listen to is from that decade. It isn’t that life was necessarily easier back then. But there was a certain excitement and freedom about being a student with an unwritten future still ahead of me. And there was a certain comfort in the familiar routine of school.
Spring is arriving in Victoria, BC, slowly but surely. And one of my favourite places to see its arrival is on Dallas Road. It shows up in daffodils.
Like many Canadians, I felt a profound sense of loss last Wednesday when I found out that Stuart McLean had passed away. He was a bestselling author, journalist, and host of The Vinyl Cafe radio show, a wonderful program that introduced us to a series of humorous, heartwarming stories about a fictional family and their friends and neighbours. Stuart’s storytelling brought these characters to life and made us love them and relate to them.
It snowed in Victoria, BC, this week, great big fluffy flakes that created a winter wonderland overnight. This is very unusual weather for our little corner of the world, and I was eating a lot of humble pie because of my previous gloating about how warm and snow-free we were.
I’m attempting to combat writer’s block by writing about writer’s block. As Calvin and Hobbes would say, I’ve had a block on top of my desk for two months that’s prevented me from writing there.
Last weekend I did what millions of other Canadians did – watched The Tragically Hip’s final Man Machine Poem concert broadcast on CBC Television.
It was hard to overlook the significance of that evening. Lead singer Gord Downie was up there performing with the same passion, wit, and wisdom as usual, but with one difference – we all knew that he’s been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. What a courageous, generous man. And what love there was between the band members who stood up there with him.
I love telling people I was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Little kids laugh at how funny the name sounds, and adults who have only ever known me as a British Columbian often raise their eyebrows in surprise.
I love moving to new places. There’s something exhilarating about dropping everything and starting a new life in a new city. I don’t like packing, however, and all the work that goes into moving. Sometimes I think it would be great to just leave everything behind, but I’m sure at some point I would miss my wedding photos, books, and comfy furniture.
And one thing’s for certain – I always miss the people I leave behind.