Saturday, January 21, 2017

Let's just call it pussy power

Here in Victoria there was a rally and a march today to support the Women's March in Washington the day after D. T. was inaugurated. These rallies took place across the globe and here in Victoria there was a crowd like I have never seen before. The square was filled with people of all ages, spilling out into the street on all sides. I haven't heard an estimate but I know there were thousands of people there. I think the crowd exceeded what was planned for because we marched in a square around some of the downtown streets and when  the first marchers got back to Centennial Square the last ones hadn't even left.  A huge success.

Here are some images from this amazing afternoon, featuring a sea of pink.  

Many people wore knitted pink hats with pussy cat ears. 

Including Victoria's Raging Grannies, who led us in songs of rebellion and power, unity and tolerance.

It was wonderful to see so many people gathered, of all ages and genders.

Here's a final view of the crowd (thanks to Helen Zeilstra for the photo). I was so happy at the amazing turnout. It's time for all who oppose hatred to come together in love and support for one another. Pussy power is alive and well in the USA, in Canada and around the world.

We can get through this if we keep in mind that love trumps hate.  

I'm going to be knitting my own pink pussy hat because I have a feeling there will be more opportunities to wear it in solidarity. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Memories resurface

A friend sent me this photo taken by a friend of hers and I recognized it instantly as a cabin that I lived in with my first husband many years ago. I think it was 1972 that we moved from Prince Rupert across the harbour to this little shack owned by a friend of Doug's. The place was called Crippen Cove and there were about five or six little cabins built around its edge.

This was in the early '70s and everyone I knew wanted to drop out and go back to the land, and so these abandoned cabins were being occupied and fixed up by "hippie kids" like us.

Of course it was summer time when we moved and we had wonderful fun chopping wood for the old stove, picking berries, scaring off bears, and growing primitive gardens. I was still working in town at the CBC radio station and I'd take the little aluminum skiff to go back and forth to work.  We didn't last too long at Crippen Cove because when summer was over it was a lot more difficult to cross the harbour. Plus without electricity or running water, life became pretty challenging in the cold and the rain. I have no idea when this photo was taken or even if the cabin is still there but it's a stunning image and it perfectly captures the essence of magic and isolation of that beautiful spot.

The only other photo I have of the cabin is this one with Doug posing on the ramshackle deck at the front. He liked to present himself as a tough backwoods boy, sitting on an oil drum smoking a cigarette. The photo was taken by my little brother almost 45 years ago when he was visiting us there.

That was the summer of the bear that became too accustomed to people and would come right up onto the deck looking for food. Whenever we went outside we had to go with bells and noisemakers so we wouldn't surprise the bear. Eventually it was shot by the authorities because he was posing a danger to people.

Looking back at these photos feels very strange to me, mostly because I recently heard the news that my ex-husband had died from cancer. We were married for eleven years, eventually moving to Victoria and having a baby boy, Kevin. Our divorce was amicable but after our child died there wasn't really any reason to keep in touch. Doug eventually became a marine engineer and worked on many smaller coastal ferries on the BC coast. He remarried and lived a long and happy life with his wife. Somehow I can't fathom that we're all in our 70s now. So much of the time just seems to slip through our fingers. And yet I still remember vividly that crazy summer in Crippen Cove with Doug.

Today I'm remembering Doug as a young man and a father to Kevin who died on this day in 1985. Here's a photo taken when Kevin was two weeks old in the arms of his proud papa. I'm picturing them somewhere together now sharing love and laughter and magical memories.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Update on The Janion

We've spent the last couple of weeks furnishing the Janion and getting it ready for short-term rentals. Everything is supplied--from bedding and towels to a cute little vacuum cleaner and kitchen gadgets.

We have artwork on the walls and a tv and wifi and cable vision and a PVR.  There's storage units and cooking pots and everything you need to live comfortably in a downtown micro-loft.

Here's the view from the balcony on a sunny day.

And here's the building showing the old and the new sections. We're in the new section.

This is the dining table that folds away to become the queen sized bed.  See the bed folded down below.

The photos below are of the rooftop area, which is available for group gatherings, and one of the entrances off of Store Street. The location of this building is so excellent, right at the bottom of Victoria's Old Town, close to shops and restaurants and brew pubs and steps away from Chinatown.

We've just finished renting it to a student for the next four months, but after that it will we be available for short-term rentals.

All this is to say that if you know people who want to visit Victoria for a few days or a week or so after April, they can contact us to find out it it's available for rent. Prices start at $80 a night and $500 a week--much less than a hotel. Inquire at

Friday, December 2, 2016

Gentlemen's night at the Union Club

My Mah Jongg group is lucky enough to have one of us as a member of Victoria's ever-so-Victorian Union Club. Like many such stuffy institutions around the British Empire, this establishment was off-limits to women until about 20 years ago. Now women can be members too and Kerri is a member. Once a year instead of getting together to play Mah Jongg we get together for a buffet feast complete with bubbles and wine and desserts and gifts. It's really fun sitting in the mahogany panelled room with its portraits and Persian carpets.

It turns out that Wednesday night is Gentleman's Night but that doesn't stop us from taking over one of the salons for our evening. This year there were even some gentlemen hanging around who were willing to join us for the group photo. It doesn't really look that stuffy anymore does it?

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Protesting Kinder Morgan's pipleline plan

On Monday night several hundred people gathered in Centennial Square beside Victoria's city hall for a candlelight vigil to protest Kinder Morgan's plan to build another pipeline to the BC coast to carry bitumen from Alberta's tar sands for export to China.

It appears that Justin Trudeau is poised to announce approval of this pipeline even though he campaigned and was elected on a promise to listen to communities before approving these kinds of things.

He needs to listen to British Columbia, where more than 65 per cent of the population is against pipelines and oil tankers. Trudeau signed the Paris Accord and this pipeline will just increase our emissions from the expanding tar sands.

Sorry it's such a blurry photo but it gives an idea of the gathering. You can't read the signs but I'll repeat a few of them here:

No to Fossil Fuels

No tar sands, no pipelines, trains, tankers

Climate Leaders Don't Build Pipelines

Our coast, our call

There are No Jobs on a Dead Planet

Sorry Alberta, our world takes precedence

If you want to send a note to our prime minister to tell him your thoughts on the pipeline project you can do so by emailing him at

Or you can click here to sign a petition.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Fall in the Fernwood

Some cheery photos taken over the past couple of weeks as fall arrives in Fernwood.


It's a neighbourhood of old wooden and brick buildings, some but not all of them restored.

And as you can see from the crane above Wellburn's Market, there's some building going on too.
We're really close to Victoria's downtown and a building boom is happening there. I think it's a good thing to create more density downtown and rental accommodation is badly needed.

Our little neighbourhood on the edge of downtown will be affected but not changed too much, I hope.
Here's our little house, where we're snuggling down for late fall and winter.