Settling In to Victoria Life…

Well my son, Alan Blake, will be pleased.  I finished reading the first novel of my Father’s Day gifts from him pictured above, Rivers of London, by Ben Aaronovitch.  I am now reading the second novel, Moon Over Soho, which picks up right where the first novel ended.  Then I will move on to the third novel, Whispers Underground.  After that I shall have to purchase the other four novels in the seven novel series (so far).  Set in London the novels recount the experiences of a local constable who is a wizard apprentice learning the arts of magic.  His master/mentor and he investigate the London crimes that are suffused in some way with magic aspects.  Yes, the London police have, deep in the background, a magic division.  Truly good reads so far.

My Telus television service includes DVR recording functionality so I have recorded over two dozen movies so far to watch at my leisure, blowing away the three minute commercial breaks with fast-forward.  If I ever see a Hallmark Mysteries & Suspense film like Aurora Teagarten, Garage Sale, or Fixer-Upper mysteries on the channel guide, I always record them, even if I saw them before the move to Canada.  I don’t actually have the Hallmark Channel up here, but the movies appear on the guide on other channels, so I am not complaining.  I am also recording and viewing the fourth season television series of Lost Girl having seen the first three seasons before the move.  And every day I record and view later in the evening the NBC Evening News with Lester Holt.  So television viewing goes well.

Come Tuesday we hope for some relief.  This part of the Pacific Northwest has been suffering under what locals call a “heat wave” these past three weeks.  In Seattle, 81 miles away, their temperatures are running in the mid-90s and here in Victoria we have been in the high seventies, even eighty degrees a few times.  Cooler north air is expected by Tuesday dropping our temperatures here back into the seasonal mid-sixties.  Of course, for me, temperatures in the mid-seventies are NOT a heat wave in any sense of the phrase.  But the mid-sixties in the afternoon will be most welcome.

Even after the people at Sound Solutions installed a mechanical on/off switch for the after-market backup camera in my car, the battery was still being drained continually at the rate of 2.4 amps when the car engine and accessories were  switched off.  A totally dead battery last Thursday evening validating that fact again.  So on Saturday the Sound Solutions people uninstalled the backup camera system and on/off switch placing the car back in the condition in which I drove it off the Glen Oak Ford lot the first week in July.  So far, so good.  Maybe the amperage drain has stopped.

Being Sunday I made the morning worship service at the Shelbourne Street Church of Christ.  Afterwards I joined the lunch group and we went to the Food Court at Hillside Mall across the street from Hillside Coffee and Tea (where I went Friday evenings for poetry readings).  I found my lunch at the A & W counter.  Their root beer is as good as ever.  Onion rings were tasty too.

Since 1991 there has been each summer here the Greater Victoria Shakespeare Festival with outdoor productions on the Lansdowne campus of Camosun University, some seven miles from my door.  So on two occasions I have read Shakespeare’s play in the afternoon and then viewed the play in the evening at the Festival.  Over the last two weeks I have read and viewed Pericles, Prince of Tyre and The Tempest.  The Tempest was the last play penned by Shakespeare, scholars think.  Good productions, both.

In today’s Victoria Sunday paper, the Times Colonist, I noted that there are three separate newcomer’s clubs for women, all of which end membership on the fourth anniversary.  I guess they really only want true newcomers.  So now I know.  Live here four full years and will cease to be a newcomer.  There also listed was The Greater Victoria Men’s and Newcomers Club.  So I went online, read all about the men’s club, and joined up and paid the $25 CAD annual fee.  I have left a voice message for the coordinator of the Book Club which meets monthly.  And I have spoken to the coordinator of the Social Bridge Club as well.  Tuesday evening I will drive to his house and we will go from there to the home of that evening’s host and hostess for Social Bridge playing.  I will simply watch them play since I last played a game of Bridge in the seventies.  I am out of practice.  Then the following weeks I will become one of the participant players.   I have also RSVP’d the Pub Luncheon on Thursday from 11:30 am until 2:00 pm at the Glo Restaurant in Burnside about five miles from my door.  So going forward I may well be making a weekly luncheon, a weekly bridge game, and a monthly book club evening as a part of my membership in the Men’s and Newcomers Club.  And I can remain a member of the group so long as I live here and pay my annual dues.  No automatic being thrown out on the fourth anniversary.

Oh, one sad, sad event yesterday on Saturday.  I was in the mood for Mexican food so online I found a place downtown, La Tortilla Mexicana Restaurant.  I ordered the Guacamole Salad appetizer and the entre Chicken Enchiladas with Chipotle Sauce.  Well the salad was not at all like in Texas being mostly a veggie salad with chunks of avocado thrown in.  An enchilada was a small, round soft corn tortilla with shredded chicken folded over inside.  No cheese. No spice. No sauce inside.  Folded, not rolled.  The entree salad was shredded raw cabbage with a tomato slice on top.  The rice and beans were quite unremarkable. Bland and tasteless as again, no spice or cheese on top.  Even my accompanying Mango Margarita was rather tasteless.  In fairness, the server told me up front that the food was Mexican NOT Tex-Mex.  I guess he noted my Texas accent when I said “howdy” upon his arrival at my table.  In any event, he was so right.  That was not the “mexican” food that I had in mind.  Cross that one off the list.  I did leave a ten percent tip, as it was not my server’s fault that the Kitchen staff had no idea how to cook mexican food, cheesy and spicy in every universe I have ever lived within.

And now you know, reader, what I have been up to as I have been settling in to my new life here in Victoria.  Come Wednesday I will have been living here for one full calendar month.  Wow.

Hasta La Vista, Adios until next time.  Gary


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