Full Circle

3 10 2013

My brother Graham came out from England last month with his partner Julie for a visit. For three weeks they enjoyed fantastic weather and marvelled at how sunny BC was. “Try coming back in the winter and then tell me how lovely it is” was my dour response. They left on the Friday and the rain started on Saturday. Apparently winter started a little early this year. While they were here, my wife Julie and I took them to a few places that we never seem to go to unless we have visitors staying. Maybe it was for the best that my other brother, Mike, wasn’t here as well – his wife’s name is Julie too. (Julie Two, actually. To avoid confusion, my wife is known as Julie One and Graham’s partner is Julie Three). And no, I’m not making this up.

Here are some pictures of our camping trip to Tofino, where we stayed at the Bella Pacifica campground along with daughter Kate, son in law TJ and grandsons Eli and Miles:

Grammy (aka Julie, aka Scottish Wife) and Eli check out the view from a secluded beach near Tofino

Grammy (aka Julie, aka Scottish Wife) and Eli check out the view from a secluded beach near Tofino.

Eli checks out the ocean, King Canute style

King Canute style, Eli commands the waves to stop. Eli lives in the Naimo, as he puts it. He seems to like going to Fino, as well.

It's easy to forget how impressive Cathedral Grove is. English Julie  thought it was the most beautiful place she visited in BC

It’s easy to forget how impressive Cathedral Grove is. English Julie
thought it was the most beautiful place she visited in BC.

Miles and his mum take a stroll on the beach with English Julie

Miles and his mum take a stroll on the beach with English Julie.

Eli makes sure mum and dad's boards are seaworthy

Eli makes sure mum and dad’s boards are seaworthy

Grig and I search in vain for whales. We might as well have been looking for Wales.

Graham and I search in vain for whales. We might as well have been looking for Wales.

Two days after Graham and his Julie had flown back to England, my Julie and I went off for a camping/hotel/shopping/golf trip down the Oregon coast. Needless to say, it poured with rain for a good part of the journey, but we had a great time nonetheless:

It's pretty hard to beat cannon Beach.

It’s pretty hard to beat Cannon Beach…

...but I think the Frank Lloyd Wright designed house in Silverton was pretty neat.

…but I think the Frank Lloyd Wright designed house in Silverton was kinda cool. As was Silverton itself.

After driving

After driving all day in a torrential downpour it was great when we reached Birch Bay State Park near the BC border. The rain stopped and we could finally enjoy a campfire.

The next day we met up with our son Joe in Kitsilano. He took us for a massive breakfast at a cafĂ© on West 4th Street, appropriately named Joe’s Grill. I hold both Joes personally responsible for the five pounds I must have put on over the course of the meal.

The following night Julie and I made our first trip to the famous Commodore Ballroom on Granville Street in downtown Vancouver. We met up with our aged friends Stu, Wayne and Clyde to see Half Moon Run, a band which features three young Comox Valley guys, one of whom used to be in my French 12 class at Highland Senior Secondary. To Conner Molander and the rest of HMR – chapeau! The band is absolutely awesome, and here’s one of the tracks they played at the Glastonbury Festival in July this year: Full Circle.

An hour after the show at the Commodore had ended, Julie and I were kipping in our VW camper van at the front of the line up for the 6.30 a.m. Horseshoe Bay ferry. By mid morning, we were back home in Comox after our 2,000 mile camping odysseys. I guess you could say we had come full circle. Sorry.

P.S. I really have nothing to say about golf except to say that I played three rounds, including one in Mount Angel, Oregon, where I played with two elderly gentlemen, one of whom had palsy. Suffice it to say that his putting stroke was quite a lot smoother than mine. The other gentleman had dementia, but I forget what I was going to say about him.

All da best (and go buy the Half Moon Run album. It’s called Dark Eyes – you’ll love it!)

Dave B.


Non parlo italiano

19 09 2010

There’s not really a great deal to say about my golf game right now. It’s been so mediocre for so long that it came as quite a shock today when, out of nowhere, I suddenly sank three birdie putts of sizeable length to be the big winner in our regular Sunday morning skins game. I definitely shan’t let it go to my head, though, because I fully understand that if I show the slightest sign of immodesty about my putting the golf gods will once again inflict ‘the curse of Mr Jabby’ upon me.

Better, then, that I concentrate on my other job which is, as you may recall, that of soccer referee. I’ve had the good fortune over the past week to officiate in the 2010 B.C. Seniors Games here in the beautiful, if somewhat damp, Comox Valley. I’ve reffed some good teams and some poor teams, some fit and skillful individuals and others who were built, shall we say, more for comfort than speed. Undoubtedly the team of the tournament was Columbus, the over 60’s team representing the Lower Mainland. On Thursday they won their two games handily, 5-0 and 7-1, but on Friday they came up against a determined North Island team who held them scoreless for the first 30 minutes. By this point the Columbus team – mostly Italian, with a few Scots and East Europeans thrown in for good measure – was starting to lose its composure a little and one of the forwards swore loudly at a team mate after a misplaced pass. I blew my whistle, jogged over to the offender and told him to cut out out the swearing. “But Mr. Referee,” he said in a strong Italian accent, “he’s on my team.” I explained that it didn’t matter, and that he couldn’t swear at anyone – not me, not the fans, not his opponents, not even his team mates. “But Mr. Referee,” he said, in a voice loud enough for everyone on the field and the sidelines to hear, “he’s fucking useless!” I tried really hard not to burst out laughing, but failed miserably.

Mid way through the second half, with Columbus now ahead in the game and a little more relaxed, I had to give a gentle reminder to one of the other players about the no swearing rule. I suggested he swear in Italian, as no one outside the team was likely to understand what he was saying. He grunted something unintelligible and ran off. After the match ended and we were going through the post game handshakes I asked the same player if my suggestion about swearing in Italian had worked for him. “No bloody good at all ref,” he said. “Why’s that then?” I asked. “I don’t speak no Italian,” came the reply. “I’m Croatian”.

That’s all for this week, except to offer my congratulations to the Chief who became a grandfather on Thursday. As it happened, Adrian was on the golf course when he heard the news and had just made an excellent putt for a two at Glacier Greens’ par 3 17th. He’s decided on his own special nickname for his new grandson: ‘Birdie’.
I mentioned this to my daughter a couple of days later and, predictably, her response was to say “aah, how sweet”. I then pointed out how fortunate it was that I hadn’t been on the golf course when I found out about the birth of her son Eli, now five weeks old. “How so, Dad?” asked Kate. “Well,” I said, “the way I’ve been playing recently, I’d be calling the poor kid ‘Double Bogie’ for the rest of his life.”

All da best,

Dave B.

For Bagger Dave, read Grandpa Dave

17 08 2010

I know, Eli - that's how I feel about my game too!

I may have mentioned in my last post that I would be coming home from the Canadian Tour event in Saskatoon to make sure I was in time for the birth of our first grandchild. It was quite the voyage, through thunder, lightning and hail, and involving an unscheduled three day stopover in Edmonton due to mechanical troubles with my beloved Eurovan. My journey, however, was a breeze compared to that of our first grandchild. On Saturday August 14th, nine days overdue – and after 38 hours of labour on the part of his mum – Eli Joseph Fisher, weighing in at 7 lb 4 oz, finally made his keenly anticipated appearance on the world stage. Naturally, Scottish Wife and I raced down to Salt Spring Island to make his acquaintance as soon as we were invited. The above picture is not typical of his first three days on Planet Earth – he’s equal parts smiling and burping so far – but it does encapsulate how his grandpa feels about the state of his golf game. And looking at Eli’s unorthodox grip on the pitching wedge in the above picture, he may have problems down the road as well…

Connections between the birth and golf are obviously somewhat tenuous although, no doubt inspired by the news of Eli’s arrival, I did in fact shoot a better than usual 78 on Saturday Men’s Morning. I’m also happy to note that Brian Benedictson – no longer encumbered by me as his caddie – shot four decent rounds at the Clublink Jane Rogers Championship in Ontario to finish just outside the top 20. I’d told Brian on the Friday that if he shot a couple of 65’s on the weekend I’d put in a word to name the new baby in his honour. Perhaps it was for the best that he shot a pair of 72’s and I didn’t actually have to pass on my brilliant idea to my daughter…

Anyway, that’s it for now. I have grandfatherly duties to attend to. I’m not exactly certain what they are, but to this point they seem to consist of drinking beer and modestly accepting congratulations on the (small) part I’ve played in young Eli’s arrival. Later I may be put in charge of his golf swing – and that’s when the trouble is really likely to start…

All da best!

Grandpa Dave