Thursday, November 09, 2006

No Faithful Hound to Recognize Me, Sadly.*

It's great to be home. I missed blogging...I didn't have internet available where I was staying in Victoria, nor did I have time to do any writing while I was there. But, for your interest, I offer you the whole fascinating story... as an old boyfriend used to say, "I laughed - I cried: it was an emotional roller coaster." (Yes, I know he was quoting.)

We started out last Saturday, boarding the train in Courtenay at 1:00 PM. For some reason I didn't take pictures of the train trip at all. I actually remember thinking "I'll take some on the trip back." We had one-way tickets.

We stayed with a Friend in Victoria. She's one of my oldest and dearest - we met in 1993, when we both joined the UVic women's rowing team. BA lives in Rockland, one of my all-time favourite neighbourhoods in Victoria. This is the view from one of her windows:

and this is the view from another one:

This is Craigdarroch Castle, where I got married almost ten years ago...the preposterous but pretty residence of this chap, infamous Vancouver Island coal baron. It's a beautiful place - more of a house than a castle, but gorgeous. Well worth a look if you're ever in the city. I had intended to visit it again during our trip, along with the Lieutenant Governor's house, but the torrential downpour made this impractical. Next time.

This is Emily, playing with what to the casual observer may appear to be regular rocks: in fact, they are Arctic Rocks (regular only if you are a caribou, a kermode bear, or Inuit). My fabulous friend and her equally fabulous (read, smokin’ hot, charismatic and sexy) roommate are both kayak guides, of the “extreme adventure” variety. During the (northern hemisphere) winters they work on cruise ships in Antarctica, leading kayak trips from the ship onto the ice cap. During (northern hemisphere) summer, they go to the Arctic and guide tours there, in places like the Svalbard Islands. Roommate Phil collected these rocks from the Arctic when he was there.

Okay, enough small talk. Let’s get to the shopping.

On Sunday I made a beeline downtown, kids in tow. I was on a mission – a Buffy mission. Yes, I got it – the entire seven season, 40-disc “Chosen One” collection. And I am a happy, happy girl. I also picked up this great little disc, and a Christmas present for my husband. The husband in question does not read this blog, so I am perfectly safe mentioning it.

And then….then I went to Beehive Wool Shop. Here’s where the whole thing kind of went sour. I can sum up my entire one-hour shopping experience there in one word: RUDE. There were about four staff members on, none of whom was over 25 years of age, I’m sure. The Beehive has turned into quite a trendy place, with lots of novelty yarn for the scarf-knitting crowd, no toys or books to keep children occupied (you should have seen the contemptuous look when I asked about it), and, as it turns out, haughty staff. One of them snapped at, then snatched from, my two-year-old little girl, who was playing with a little stuffed alpaca she had found, and harming nothing. Another was intolerably snobbish to me on the matter of yarn choice, sneering at me because I was committing the idiotic mistake of looking at an aran weight yarn for a pattern calling for 16 stitches over 4 inches… “Well, first of all, you’re looking at the complete wrong yarn. You need a bulky yarn for that. BULKY.” [The tone here was loud and slow, as if talking to a particularly stupid and slow child, or to an ancient person with complete loss of both hearing and intellect.] The rudeness went on and on, and finally ended with me putting back all the yarn I had planned to buy, except one little skein of Fleece Artist merino sock yarn, and vowing to darken the door no more.

I proceeded to Boutique de Laine (no website) in Oak Bay, and gave them the $120 I had intended to spend at Beehive. They were polite, friendly, helpful, and perfectly respectful. It’s a fairly small store, with good stock, knowledgeable staff, and (apparently) a large storeroom downstairs, whence the staff unearth sweater bags at the slightest hint of interest. They really are wonderful. (By the way - apologies for the lack of yarny pictures. I sort of forgot all about the camera until I was outside, so I just snapped the window of the shop, decorated soberly for Remembrance Day.)

One of the best parts about Boutique de Laine is the block where they are located. I could have spent an entire afternoon there. There is a charming consignment store next door, a lovely fish and chip shop called “The Galley”, a home d├ęcor place that I was DYING to go into (but didn’t have time), a wonderful toy store, and this:

I was thrilled. Despite having no time, I dashed in and grabbed a total of 3.5 meters of the most divinely drapey interlock, pictured as the backdrop in the photo below, which shows all my acquisitions posing in their new home – my living room.

Clockwise from bottom left:
- pink interlock jersey fabric, 3.0 meters, for a halter-style, bell-sleeved, flared dress.
- Fleece Artist sock merino, lovely pink candy-striped colourway
- more Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, in dark moss
- Paul Simon CD (centre)
- blue interlock jersey, 2.5 meters, for a long peasant skirt.

I did some knitting while I was away, and have a finished object to show you. Maybe tomorrow. For now, good night unto you all! I have some DVDs to watch.

* A skein of sock yarn to the first person who correctly identifies the reference WITHOUT GOOGLING!


Kate said...

Sadly I must confess that I can't answer the title without googling it. Sigh.
Sounds like a delicious trip, and I'm sure the goodies will be enjoyed. So sad to hear about Beehive, they used to be a nice place.

Fun Knits said...

Glad you had a nice trip except too bad they were so rude at Beehive. They will loose a lot of customers acting like that.

karen said...

Glad that you are back from the BIG city..... ah, Beehive - they have at times been ok - and not at other times - so it was not a good go - all the better for my favorite shop "Boutique de Laine" - and yes one could easily spend a lot of time on that street - taking in all the great things - fabric, toys, clothes , things for the home and finally - some great fish and chips... and a stroll to the water if time and weather permit - it's a pretty perfect spot!! Looking forward to Wednesday - bring some of your loot if possible - love to see it! I'm off to knit - see you later, Karen