Wednesday, August 30, 2006


A coach came along and took us to Tsawwassen. It was a dull journey. The outer suburbs of Vancouver looked a great deal less appealing than the bit we’d been staying in. We moved through flat, scrubby farm country, dry, dusty, the colour long gone from the grass, scattered fragments of dead farm equipment strewn all over the shop.

A mother and her teenage son in the row in front of us got on my nerves more than I could ever have imagined possible.
There’s probably a name for his condition, and I should be more sympathetic. Let’s call it Overbearing Mother Syndrome. He was very agitated, constantly hiding his head beneath his jumper, always touching his face and generally being highly strung.
Rather than being a calming influence, his mother only seemed to exacerbate matters. The word ‘clingy’ doesn’t begin to describe it. In the UK, mothers and their teenage sons do not stroke each other’s hair. I wanted to tranquillise the pair of them.
Instead, I switched on my jukebox and scribbled ink all over myself in the name of sudoku.

The coach drove on to the ferry and we milled about on deck, stretching our legs and looking for somewhere to sit away from crazy people. It was like being in a floating hospital waiting room. I half-expected my name to be called over the PA system, whereupon I would be led to a small room and ordered to drop my trousers and cough.
On TV, a news channel was reporting the retirement of the captain of the Canadian women’s hockey team, a tearful moment for all concerned.

The ride from Swartz Bay to Victoria wasn’t too promising either: generic strip malls, miles of them, and used car lots all the way. I’d been anticipating picture postcard-esque: this was just drab. Surely we hadn’t pitched up in the wrong Victoria?

Don’t be daft. Just round the corner from the bus station Victoria reveals itself to you in all it’s twee glory. And rather lovely it is too.
There were double decker buses, and boats in the harbour, mountains away in the distance and people getting married. It was as if somebody had taken the most touristy parts of London, squished it all into a seaside town in the Scottish Highlands, then filled it up with Canadians.
We rubbed our eyes in a cartoon-ish manner, spent a long time wandering around a T-shirt emporium - I’ve been waiting my whole life for this T-shirt to find me - then went to the pub.

We found a shop that was supposed to be a replica of a British corner shop, selling British sweets and groceries and trying unsuccessfully to make us feel homesick. There was a distinct whiff of parallel universe about the place: a passable attempt if the owners had never been to Britain, but everywhere was far too tidy and well organised. There was space on the shelves! Where was the stuff piled up on the floor? What about cheap plastic footballs and other assorted crappy toys?

Anyway, I bought a box of teabags. You know I’d never fib to you here: after a couple of mugs of tea, all my wobble head issues disappeared never to be heard of again. No word of a lie. That’s the miracle of Yorkshire Tea.

Here I am trying to stay vertical while waiting for the kettle to boil.
This is Victoria’s Parliament building, lit up like a Christmas decoration.

Wobble Head Factor: 7 becoming 0.

Powered by Castpost

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Copyright(c) 2004-2010 by Tim, A Free Man In Preston.
It kind of goes without saying, but this is my blog. I own it.

Slightly daft MP3 disclaimer: All MP3's are posted here for a limited time only. Music is not posted here with the intention to profit or violate copyright. In the unlikely event that you are the creator or copyright owner of a song published on this site and you want it to be removed, let me know.