Not only is 2011 my year of books, it’s also a year of change. After almost four glorious years in London, exploring its history, its charm, and yes its literature – not to mention the wonderful neighbouring cities, cultures and cuisine that can be found throughout Europe, husband and I have moved to Canada.
It wasn’t quite what we’d planned for 2011, but when opportunities present themselves, one must take them. We’ve since arrived and the city of Victoria, which guidebooks have claimed is “more English than England”, has become our new home.
Situated on Vancouver Island, to the West of Canada and halfway between Vancouver and Seattle (for the geographically-challenged – me included!), the capital of British Columbia boasts palatial government buildings, very European in grandeur, architecture and style and a harbour filled with houseboats, sea planes and shacks advertising “Prince of Whales” excursions. A small downtown area has enough shoe shops and outdoor clothing stores to satisfy our two distinct appetites – for the first little while at least, and Beacon Hill Park provides some much-needed downtown greenspace, running tracks and sea views.
We’re slightly out of our comfort zone – though that isn’t a bad thing; and it may require us to view the next few years here with an open mind – which can’t be bad either. A friend enlightened me on the city of Victoria, explaining it’s for the “newly wed and the nearly dead”.
But I’ve vowed to come up with five positives each day and when it all gets a bit too much, at least I can escape into my world of books.