Waveney Road

It’s the only way to go. Wave royally as you pass. It’s beautiful. It’s tiny. The name’s English. That’s my guess. Like the Waveney Valley. River Waveney. Suffolk. Norfolk. All folks. Just learned that on the interwebs. That’s why this site’s so educational. I’ll do all the looking up and you can sit back and enjoy the ride with a nice cup of tea. Welcome.

I don’t know. I never thought about Waveney Road too much. It was just a name and a number but it’s a quick study and just takes a few seconds. It’s better than sitting for a whole exam.

It’s fun down here. It’s great to be back in the valley. We’re looking forward to the ice melting and the bears flying away for the summer so we can get up into the high country too where there’s many a varied mystery road. Be in touch about that.

It’s great over here. It’s Waveney Road. It’s hysterical. Boom-da-da-boom and that’s it. Finish.

As a quick aside it is actually pretty darn cool when the bears fly out. They gather at the car stop or the community bus picks them up and down they go to the dock to load onto the bombers.

Every spring there’s a lot of good natured jostling and lumbering and snorfling around  because every bear on the island has had many months in hibernation to dream about this annual rite.

All right I admit it. It’s a silly joke, but I didn’t start it. Maybe there should be a few bears over here. Maybe people wouldn’t go out in the woods so much and maybe there’d be some woods left. Maybe you can nail me for some of this but not that. Not the bears. No way.

I’m riding in the back seat and it’s like why bother? Bad attitude but it’s the way I feel and I’m just not myself this afternoon. I keep hearing, “It’s okay. You’re amongst friends.” What in the world is that supposed to mean? Am I free to go? No. I’ve been kidnapped. They got the child locks on and seem pretty amused with themselves. Them and their little excursions. Probably because in the past I actually have bailed.

I’m like a caged grizzly back here. Hear me roar. Do grizzlies roar? I saw it on TV. They can get noisy. The memories come creeping in like the tide. Where was I? Oh yeah, Waveney Road. I’m on Waveney Road and as the old song says, “wondering why.”

Some fine sunset-facing properties down here and but a hen’s breath from glamorous Sunset Boulevard. In fact Waveney Road and the Boulevard intersect. The intersection’s mostly pretty sedate and non-hectic which I’m pretty sure is the way the locals like it. Just fine with me too. I’m Rick Steeves. Next stop Guanajuato! City of fountains!

That’s what travel is. If it was too much work you wouldn’t do it. Like heading for Newfoundland tonight. Forget it. Or Calgary. Remember when you’d just get in the car and drive through the night to Calgary just for fun? I did it once and it was fun but I don’t know if I’d do it again. Not sure. No is probably the safe answer. I’m just not as crazed as I used to be.

I remember guys used to drive to Calgary just to get in some big car accident and get their face rearranged a little. I don’t think that sort of thing’s as popular as maybe it once was. Could be good. I wasn’t in the car that night so I can’t say for sure what happened.

I’ve no doubt there’s more than meets the eye to Waveney Road. There has to be because otherwise, you know, it’s over pretty quick. We’re running out of time and running out of Waveney Road. I’m okay with it. It’s been great. If it didn’t exist I probably wouldn’t be interested, but here it is, short and sweet.

Image courtesy Waveney Valley website

When Jody Comes Home

JWR Opens Up

The site took rare advantage of an opportunity to re-visit the University Women’s Club of Vancouver in my old Shaughnessy hood on McRae there at “Hycroft”, courtesy of an invite from the Liberal Party of Canada.  The Member of Parliament for the federal riding of Vancouver Granville was taking a meet and greet with constituents in the lower ballroom of the venerable old institution, site of many weddings over the years.

The last time I’d been here was some years ago to attend a wedding.  It was a fine wedding with all the pomp you’d expect of a wedding at Hycroft and the marriage lasted one year.

Many are the memories of me tricycling around “The Crescent” when we lived close by before Dad had to go to jail and our family became destitute.  The Crecsent was lined with cars tonight but we found a spot not far from the venue and eased in our beautiful old car.

We’d thought first to walk up from our residence down the hill several blocks but with the threat of rain, a threat we took seriously, the car it was.  I had my own, personal reasons for coming to a thing like this.  Not only had I voted for Jody Wilson-Raybould in the last federal election but I had never been to anything like this before in my life and I was curious.  And it was Hycroft.  In my old Shaughnessy.

I’d had invitations before to functions like this because I’m a pretty important person to the Liberal party.  I give and no donation is too small, which is a good attitude.  In a fit of reverie one lost night I’d thrown the party a fiver in hopes they’d call off their dogs and stop hectoring me for a donation.  It didn’t work but I guess that’s politics.

And politics can be good in minute doses infrequently, and in my case, very infrequently. And this was a case of that.  And she was with me.  My consort had attended that old Hycroft wedding and had also voted for Jody Wilson-Raybould in the last federal election.

It must be admitted we were also here because our MP was a pretty important person and one who had also recently experienced some pretty intense, career-altering events.  These events, as everyone knows, have been all over the news all over the country.  Jody Wilson-Raybould, until recently, was Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and the reason she was no longer in that fine position, to a lot of people, had some unseemliness attached to it.   A lot of controversy had erupted and, you guessed it, politics.

So it sounded like fun and we both had the evening off and it would be an opportunity to be in close proximity  to the very public person of The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, P.C., Q.C., Member of Parliament for Vancouver Granville.

Even though the event is more than two weeks ago the Honourable Member’s saga won’t die.  It wasn’t dying before the event either.

It was a good-sized crowd.  There was wine and beer at the bar by donation and most people from what I could see were donating a fiver.  I didn’t see what brand of beer was on offer but the only wine label I could see was “Oculus”, a retail $135 a bottle red Bordeaux-style from Mission Hill in the Okanagan.  Everybody knows that.  We took two modestly filled glasses from the barkeep for a fiver each and were well pleased with our adventure.

Occupying seats against the wall near the grazing table it was scant minutes before a nice gentleman in his mid-forties, impeccably dressed in business caj and sitting to the right of my partner initiated conversation with her.  I wasn’t close enough to hear exactly what he was saying above the hubbub prior to the start of the show but it turned out he must have surveyed the cut of my Kitten’s jib and deemed her harmless and was sharing a few jokes with her.  Something about lobsters and surfing or something.

He was most pleasant, a largish white guy with french cuffs, monogrammed, and nice looking links on his sharp, blue stripe shirt under the dark blue jacket below which, right again, were blue jeans.  He’d introduced himself and we’d done the same but his name blew right past me and I didn’t catch it.

It developed that he was a member of the legal profession, had worked in Ottawa but was now back home working downtown.  I gathered he’d been a supporter of the federal Liberal Party for some time, but then, in reality, so had we with the one difference that up until tonight we had pretty much been closet liberals but not our  jovial friend.

I always wonder in a crowd if I’m going to run into somebody I know.  It happens, right? So it was gratifying to see Leslie Hurtig happen by.  Leslie and I are old friends and contacts from the book business.  These days she’s doing an excellent job as artistic director of the Vancouver Writers Festival.  We chatted a second, joking about marriages at Hycroft and other stuff.

The constituency president came to the podium and said a few words then a middle aged gentleman in a light grey suit took over and introduced Jody Wilson-Raybould to the assembled multitude to enthusiastic applause.  But not before mentioning that the event was being held on the land and traditional territories of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

Jody Gets down. Baldy guy unknown

She looks just like she does on TV and in the newspaper.  Exactly the same and her visage, as above, has been splashed all over everywhere these weeks.  Jody Wilson-Raybould comes across as a very solid, down-to-earth person but no less a polished professional at ease at centre stage.  She was relaxed.  One of the first things she said was the acknowledgment that we were on traditional territories meant a lot to her hearing it.

That revised my opinion somewhat that this statement regarding First Nations “traditional territories”  heard at the beginning of just about any event of any sort now was already in a state of tiresome cliché with barnacles of political correctness all over it.  The Honourable Member is First Nations herself.  I already knew that and that she’d done a lot of growing up here but she brought the message home somehow.

She said she’d been in politics five years and had been drawn to the idea of doing politics differently, which, as everyone knows, was a campaign concept from 2015.  Jody added that she was also drawn to an idea of, “non-partisanship to grapple with the serious problems we face.”  And that, “The last five weeks have been hard on me and my family.”

I don’t know why, but I felt myself choking up slightly because with those words Jody Wilson-Raybould  got choked up just very slightly herself for an instant.  I know it’s difficult to believe the hard-assed administrator of samoyeddogs.net has feelings but I was thinking here is a human being.  This is the person, not the TV and newspaper packaged semi-cardboard cut-out for consumption.

The member for Vancouver Granville said she’d been very proud to be the minister of justice and attorney general and proud to be the minister of veteran’s affairs.  There were a few more words.

Photo Op Post Address

And that was more or less it.  We strode purposefully up the stairs and out into classic grey month of March twi-nite Vancouver rain.

Money Road

Welcome to Siberica. You’re gonna love it here.

Sounds like a book of financial advice. Personal finance some call it. I’ve read “Millionaire Down the Road” but only because a guy I know wrote it. I’ve never seen “Money Road” the book. It may well already be out there somewhere. Doesn’t matter. I’m not interested. I’ve got all the financial advice I need. “Pay yourself first,” they always say, but there’s never any information on what you do if you can’t afford that, like, financially it’s just not possible? This world’s pretty expensive. But there’s no end to the possibilities in a name like “Money”. So we need to be on the money here.

I never read “The Wealthy Barber” or “The Motley Fool” or “Money Is My Friend”. Money books are a dime a dozen and you can take that to the bank. “Valuation: Measuring and Managing the Value of Companies” by Copeland et al. had potential. A standard work across generations of businesses looking for information. I avoid anything “standard” most of all. That’s just me though.

I remember Money Road and I remember the Money family. Kind people and good writers. They’ve accomplished a bunch of other excellent stuff but that’s not why I’m here today. I don’t now why I’m here today and that goes for every other day but now we’re veering into philosophy and religion which is a definite no-no. Sometimes you just have to walk it back.

Parents still say that to their small children, right? Some parents? I guess it’s how you’re raised. “No-no, don’t put your finger in the socket. You’ll get an ow-wee.”  Zzzt!  “It’s okay, darling. Don’t cry.”  You can’t tell anybody anything and it starts with kids.  No one’s listening.  That’s how it looks a lot of the time.

See how tough it is what I’m trying to do here? Something you’d never tell your infant is, “Stay on message.” Especially when they start to talk. Maybe if you’re just joking around you can get away with it. Act like you’re serious and a child just laughs at you. There’s more to this and we can get into it later but I’ve got work to do.

It must be weird to have a road or anything in the public realm named after you, that is, after a forebear in your family. There it is and there you are, the Money family member, turning the corner onto it, onto Money Road. I guess you get used to it pretty quick. What else are you doing to do if you live around here and the road is, like, just along the road or whatever? You can’t help it if your name is famous. Quite likely there’s nothing you’d want to do except just drive on it if you have to like anybody else.  You may have never given it much thought. No issue.  It’s only someone like me who thinks about this stuff.  I’ve got all day and not everybody does.

I have a friend whose forebear’s surname was the same as his, Dinsmore, and that forebear had a bridge named after him in Richmond BC. It never seemed to affect his ancestor, my friend, too much. It’s something to take pretty much in stride, I imagine. My friend is already a little weird himself of course. Who’s isn’t? If you’re friend isn’t a bit weird it’s almost like it’s too bad because it’s good to have weird friends. Non-weird ones are just fine too.

I know of a Brown Road and I’m sure there’s more than one across the world but no matter how many there might be none of them have anything to do with me or my forebears. Be careful in the woods. Don’t let a forebear get you. So for the sake of this argument I’m out. It’s of no consequence.

It’s terrible but they assigned a number to the Brown Road I’m familiar with and it must have been in the pure minds of the interested bureaucrats to try and homogenize everything in the name of progress, and development, by dropping the old, time-honoured names of not only Brown Road but every other road in this one particular entire rural or semi-rural area.

Turned into a number. Thanks a lot. How romantic. I’m a number now. We’re just numbers, fellow roads. History-less. Story-less. When you hear your number, Brown Road, just get up and step forward to disappear. All there is to it. In my view this is something to be guarded against.

If there’s ever a faction anywhere around here desirous of switching out the name of Money Road or any other road for a number I’ll pay a thousand dollars for an extra spanking courtesy of me. Some things are just wrong. Wouldn’t it be horrible if nobody cared?

I love that curvaceous swing in Money Road. You can rear down in your gigantic vehicle past the store there and swing that hard left or coming up from the other end it doesn’t matter. This road’s got sass. It’s a nice road. Stable. Predictable. It doesn’t change much and is far from being some long, lonesome highway you just wish would end because how much further is it?

Sunset clause. I remember when a cliché like that was bandied about quite a bit. If the deal don’t work out this whole money thing’s got a “Sunset Clause” meaning good-night. It’s over. It’s been long enough and us and yous is done.

First Nations Logging Show

Was it predictable?  Human beings involved  =  a shambles?  Hein? Blockades.  Injunctions.  Division, acrimomy, obfuscation, spin?  ill-informed non-participants who don’t know where the island is and couldn’t find it on a map without a clue as to what’s really happening shooting their mouths off? Of course!  Welcome to the show!  Experts all!  Take a seat at the table and I’ll put the coffee on.  Have a piece of wood.  Help yourself.  Real tasty.  Fresh!

Scilla – Siberian Squill courtesy CS Nicol

Gaines Road

I didn’t want this. To come up here because I’m supposed to write about it now. I did Gaines Road. I thought I was done. There’s nothing here. It’s just a road, a short road heralded by a sign post. Next they’ll be wanting me to write about Money Road. That’ll be the day. And soon. I often wonder why there’s no “Crooks Road” because I thought it was “Crooks Gaines Money”. What happened to that?

“Crooks Road. What do you know about it?”

“Nothing. Same as you.”

“We need answers now. Who were you up there with?”

“Up where?”

I shouldn’t say that. My mother-in-law was in the car too when we drove in that day. You want to see a lot of nothing in anticipation of you don’t know what? Take that journey. Bear dens. Winter bonfires. Safety crew. That may be today, but none of that was happening then. Just the three of us. Security in numbers. But what we didn’t know is there’s no security in numbers. That was the movie we watched the night before at camp but now we were facing reality. I hate reality. Ving Rhames was in it.

It’s not important now. It’s in the cloud. I didn’t need the actual LP so to the free store with it. I knew somebody’d give it a home. It depends what you’re looking for but if you’re looking for gold, even if it’s fool’s gold, you never know what you’re going to find down there and everyone’s different. It’s good thing.

My inner voice is talking to my imaginary friend. Settle down. We’re in this together.  We have to do this. It’s important. Gaines Road lit up the board this morning. We always check the board over coffee and pancakes or bacon and eggs to see what’s going on. I always enjoyed hash browns in camp at breakfast too but nobody else’s into it these days so they’ve fallen off. Too bad. What’s the big board got for us today?

So I knew I’d be coming up here. Plus I was drawn here. I know it sounds like a contradiction but it came to me in a dream the night before. I could feel “Gaines Road”. It was like a living thing and we were touching each other gently, trying to understand each other as if we were both blind.

It was weird. We were both things. We knew we were alive, we existed, but we weren’t like you and me. We were entities of some sort. We were different and we could tell  we both liked things that were different. I remember feeling almost hypnotized with excitement but I was okay to drive.

But now I’m driving in by myself because it’s another day and my mother-in-law’s in a nursing home. Why she went and did a thing like that I have no idea. It was time, I guess.  That’s what everyone says. Time is a killer.

It’s her daughter I’m concerned about. She’s wandered off again. It’s a game we play. And I’m supposed to find her and maybe Gaines Road is the place for this heartfelt reunion. I hope so. There’s nothing else to do. We’re stuck here.  I shouldn’t say that either especially when it isn’t true, but that’s the way I am sometimes.  A pain.

I’d rather burn down the cabin than the house, but that’s me.  Tear it all down what’s the use?  I’m in a reckless mood. How would she like that, eh? I’ll relieve you of those flowers now, Grandma. You’re out. We make the decisions now. Welcome to double-cross island.

I was thinking about some of this stuff and I’m driving up Gaines Road. Aging and everything. The kindest person I ever knew. Otherwise I’m without a care in the world. It feels good. And not a whole lot has changed. And there’s nobody here. Surprise surprise. It’s not really a dead end. It’s more a no more to explore thing, the work of a few seconds. Blink and you’ll miss it.

Strait Road


I sacrificed everything. And this is all I get? Strait Road? It’s not fair. There’s no “g” and there’s no “h”. And that’s just wrong. What in the world’s name are these people doing down here? Nobody lives here. This is a joke.

It’s like that build up of mucous in your throat. It just won’t go away until you cough it up. We need answers. Spit it out. And we’ll be here all night until you do. And all day too and every other thing. I need a coffee.

I’m reminded of, “There is no there, there.” And how right Gertrude was.  In her patented, semi-incoherent style I see she was talking about Oakland, California where she once lived, but for years I thought the remark was about Canada.  Something got confused.  I need to think less.

It’s not as if I really want to go down Strait Rd. I don’t. And I’m not going to. What for? I just want to have the information available. You know, in case I need it. Knowledge is power. Power is often out. I could be doing something else but my curiosity’s engaged. What’s down here? It’s exploring. We’re doing National Geographic here. Everybody’ll enjoy knowing and the photography, oh the photography. I mean Canadian Geographic.

Stay in the moment. Play your position. Whatever’s happening on Strait Road, do it. Do as the Strait Road-ers do. The thing is there is no “Strait Road”. But there’s the sign, and there’s the “road”. It’s an affront to cartography because you won’t find it on any map. Enough is enough.

How did it get named if it doesn’t exist? There’s a lot of things like that. I mean people are begging for answers. Questions are asked, questions are ignored. It all works out. Strait Road is what you call an anomaly. It has to exist and the sign’s the proof. It’s physics. But there’s a world beyond the sign.

All right we get it. Of course we get it. Strait Road Georgia Strait. Because if I go down there I’ll get to the strait. I’ll get there all right in about ten seconds. Boat launch. In the remote past a “road” to the strait is hacked and we launch and get out there and get the fish. The road goes straight to the strait. Is that it? A puzzled child looks up at you sweetly. Such a dear.

I got Georgia on my mind now. Georgia Strait. Strait of Georgia. Strait Road. Life is an accumulation of a vast amount of at first seemingly insignificant events. That’s not happening around here. I can see it. This one’s going to be different. Again, I feel that tension before hitting the beach.

What on earth? What on earth is going on here on Strait Road? It sounds incredible. I can’t believe it myself. No one could have predicted it but there is absolutely nothing going on down Strait Road. And, again, to tell you the truth, there’s hardly anything to it. What kind of a place is this? With a road sign? I need a hug.

David McFadden wrote a book called “A Trip Around Lake Huron”. He thought pretty highly of it so he wrote “A Trip Around Lake Erie” which really got him going and he wrote “A Trip Around Lake Ontario”. Then I think he got bored because there were still two Great Lakes left and he didn’t bother.

But he did bother to write another book called “An Innocent In Scotland” which fired his imagination enough to write “An Innocent In Newfoundland” which could only lead inevitably to “An Innocent In Cuba”.

Strange as it sounds, its kind of like what I’m doing except I’m doing it in miniature because this is a miniature island. I mean, have you seen this island on the TV weather map? The one the nice lady stands next to while she waves her arms all over and gives you the forecast?

This island’s tiny. It’s there on the map but practically infinitesimal. It’s a solitary little piece of stone no one knows about. That’s all I’m doing. David McFadden was a very good writer and I should read him some day.

Splendor Sine Occasu