Saturday, February 9, 2019

ROBBLOG #767- Things Islanders and Others Say

So, today's topic- "Things Islanders and Others Say".

"Others" refers to Easterners and what they say about islanders. Just so they don't feel left out.
Sour grapes?
I blame the filthy, freezing weather for some of these outbursts and words of wisdom that are weather-related.

Snow here in B.C. makes driving a little like a "Demolition Derby". That from a friend- who lived in Vancouver years back. These days, I think snow clearance is done in a more timely fashion. Years ago while living in Ontario, I heard that Victoria- for instance, had only one lowly snowplow and they shared it with the entire island. I expect that wasn't true- the sharing part, since Courtney- up island, is 3 hours from Victoria and Campbell River an hour further. A long distance to share one snowplow!

A Vancouver BCer says it's rare we have snow but when we do we just take a day off.
Streets can be a little messy after a bit of snow.

Yup. This is a residential street a day after a few cms of snow
An Easterner- from Ontario asks me- "Do you want me to FedEx a snow brush/scraper to the Island?
Your poor trees!"
I know where our brush is, however, it wasn't needed- but thanks. Our one, small, red shovel was hanging in the garage. The Mister used it to push a few cms of snow off our drive and a neighbour's. It's now once again hanging up in the garage. Our driveway is bare.

Snow on Trachycarpus Palm
I expect the "trees" they mentioned are the hardy Palms Trees we have in our front and back yard. There are lots of these hardy Trachycarpus Fortunei- some refer to them as the Chinese Palm, everywhere across the island. They can be found in yards, roundabouts and lining the boulevards down city streets. Mature Palms withstand the chilly temperatures quite well tolerating down to -20c. Younger plants need crown protection and can suffer damage at around -8c.

Palms along the ocean in Vancouver
One of our favorite cafes here in the Cowichan is the Arbutus Cafe. We have become friends with the owners so, when we dropped by for brunch the other day, I said to Marina- the owner's daughter-
"I thought you'd have a reserved sign on our table."
She says-
"It's reserved in my heart!"
How sweet! An oral Valentines Day card.

Later, when the Mister and I texted a friend to say we were going out for a walk after brunch, the friend texted back-
"Be careful, none of us needs a broken hip."
She was referring to the ice on some sidewalks after yesterday's snow. Then, I lamented about the arctic air currently playing havoc with our Mediterranean climate that is to continue for a couple of weeks. She- being a former Ontarian just a couple of years back, reminded me-
"Ontari-oh- NO!" Flooding on the Thames in Chatham, whiteouts in Midland! Remember the long-range forecast on the island is often wrong."
I feel better.

Another former Ontarian- and Orillian, texts me to say the unusual Island weather is just "a little blip that will be gone in a week or two. It's still better than back east! A least we can get out and walk!"
True, as long as we don't fall on the temporary ice and fracture a hip!

A former Montrealer now a long-time Island resident says after the most recent snowfall-
"The snow around here is supposed to be up in the mountains!"
I replied- "Somebody needs to explain that to someone!"
His wife adds- regarding my snow-bitching- "I see you are not impressed!"
Too right!

Another Orillian when looking at a picture of my snow-covered palm says- "Poor things. Looks like they need you to knit them a sweater! We'd welcome you if you're moving back to Ontario."
This is the first snow since a year ago last December and I am dealing with it as best I can. Refer back to the second paragraph above.

Another Islander- and yes a former Orillian, says that Honolulu sounds like an excellent plan to escape an Island winter for a week or two. Please note, there are many Ontarians here and even five or six Orillians that I am aware of- probably more.

Lastly, I was passing an Islander while I was walking in shorts along the trail in late January on a balmy 10c Island day, I was asked by the approaching walker-
"Are you from Alberta or Ontario?"
"Ontario..."- I said wondering if I had won a prize.
"I knew it!" She slapped her sides and trotted off in the opposite direction dressed with a heavy, woolen scarf wrapped around her neck, a puffy winter jacket- matching the scarf, on her upper body, heavy winter boots and warm, red mittens.
It was 10 degrees for cripes sake!

Geeze. The things Islanders say...