It’s been pretty busy the last couple of days, without long stretches where blog post writing would make sense. The biggest story has to be the smoke, because it has been wreaking havoc with any plans we might have had. The last real outdoor activities that happened before the smoke level went to 10+ and stayed there were Tammy and Miranda walking down to Penelope’s Book Stop and Ian and I went out to Sooke for a bike ride. We parked on Amethyst Drive, across from our old house. Ian wanted to have a look and so did I.
We went for a ride around Otter Point Road and Kemp Lake Road. It was 17 km but with a lot of up and down. And not a lot of paved shoulder. My bad.
Tammy and I went out to buy some wine for the evening: we were going to go over to Jackson and Michelle’s for dinner. It was homemade chili and buns. It was a great visit with lots of laughs. Tammy and the kids got to play with the cats, Taco and Sushi.
They hadn’t had any feline therapy in days. We had tentatively arranged that I could accompany Jackson after the dinner to observe the Monday night martial arts class. He has sublet some space at Crusher Combat Sports on the West Shore Parkway. Shannon was still there. Her friend Robin isn’t training now, but there are new students. I met Gabe. I sat and watched, wanting to jump in.
When the class broke up, the discussion led to Wednesday night’s weapons class. There was an open invitation for me to attend and take part. More on that later.
Tuesday was an “open” day. We had originally planned to meet with Colin and Carol on both Tuesday and Wednesday, but their schedule with doctor’s appointments and other legal things nixed the first day. It was our opportunity to go downtown and shop. Miranda and I wanted to see Russell Books, among other highlights. I was hoping that The Reef restaurant would still be there, but it was closed.
We toodled around, filling time. Speaking of closed, the Type ‘N’ Write store is closed. Apparently it was a while ago. Still, it was disappointing. I bought my first typewriter there on the recommendation of the owner.
We went down to the Esquimalt Lagoon to see the bird sculptures that Dad had sent photos of a while ago. It was good to see them in person. Very impressive.
You could barely make out the freighters in the strait.
Dinner was Dad’s treat at Salty’s Fish and Chips in Langford. He got hold of Stephanie, so it was nine of us. 🐟 🍟 Afterwards, we went back to Stephanie’s house to plan Thursday and Friday. Then the grownups (minus Dad) played Cards Against Humanity.
It was hilarious, as usual. It was Tristan’s first time playing, but he picked it up quickly. He did what I thought was the best combo of the night. High five, bro.
Wednesday was the day with Colin and Carol. It was all too short, but I’m glad we could get together. We met at Denny’s on Douglas Street where they treated us to breakfast. Colin and Carol were a bit late because they had to drop their car off at the Kia dealer for service after taking the ferry from Pender Island. We then migrated over to the Mayfair Mall, which is under construction. There were a fair number of closed stores and construction areas. Ian and I explored it pretty quickly. Colin and Carol zipped to VGH while we continued to shop. Tammy and Miranda saw Michelle again when shopping at her La Senza store. Ian bought a Lego Minecraft set at Toys ‘R’ Us with some birthday money.
We went to Hillside Mall, where we got some Darjeeling at Murchies and some shorts at Sport Chek for me. The plan for the afternoon was to go for a walk at Beacon Hill Park. Since we were finished at Hillside, we made our way to Island Blueprint on Fort Street. Tammy was about to plug the parking meter, when Colin called her that they were at the park already.
We parked near the cricket field and we started walking. But by the time we got to the Beacon Drive In, both Colin and Carol were feeling the effects of the smoke. They are usually so energetic, but it laid them low.
Tammy, the kids and I finished our loop along the waterfront and then headed for the next rendezvous point: Sidney. The plan was to poke around in the shops there. Since that didn’t interest Ian and I, we walked down to the pier and had some fun watching the seagulls and a cormorant that was fishing for little minnows.
Maybe the seagulls didn’t like all of Ian’s attempts to get a photo of them. As we were leaving the pier, one dive-bombed him. He was lucky enough to miss the worst of it, but not all of it.
We regrouped and had some sandwiches at the Red Brick Café before saying good-bye. They are off to Mexico next week, so we won’t see them again for a while. That was only about quarter after 5, so there was more than enough opportunity for me to attend Jackson’s class in the evening. I texted to ask where and when to meet, and by quarter to 7, I was at Timmy’s with Shannon and Jackson. Gabe arrived not long after and then we headed to the dojo. Or more accurately the parking lot outside. Despite the smoke, it was cooler outdoors.
It was great to practice the sword for the first time in over five years. Shannon was now the senior student, and she led me through a lot of the more advanced sword kata which were very rusty and/or forgotten by me. We all had fun. Gabe and Shannon got to train with somebody with a lot more reach than them.
Thus ends the “catching up” ii News post!