Tuesday, May 20, 2014

It’s My Birthday Week

Week?  Your birthday takes a whole week?

Well, yes, in fact it does.  Ever since I can remember, my birthday celebrations have been strung out over several days. I was born on May 24th, which is the same month and day as Queen Victoria.  I have always loved the name and when I was a child I pretended I was named  Victoria, and called Vickie.

Queen Victoria was born on May 24, 1819. Following the death of three uncles and her father, she became Queen of the United Kingdom on June 20, 1837 and reigned until her death on January 22, 1901. Victoria is still the longest-reigning monarch of the United Kingdom.

During Victoria's life, the British Empire expanded considerably. She was a great force to be reckoned with and I have always admired her and take great pleasure in the love story between she and her consort, Prince Albert.  However, her powers as Queen of the United Kingdom were reduced as the House of Commons became more important and powerful in British politics.

Since 1953, the Monday that falls on or before May 24 has been known as Victoria Day, and is a Canadian statutory holiday.
For most of my life it seems my birthday has fallen on the actual stat holiday, or on a weekend.  When I was in school, it was often my sports day or track and field day… I can not recall ever attending classes on my actual birthday.  We often had fireworks on Victoria Day, and I always knew they were for me!
Since The Captain and I sold our house and moved onto the sloop in the Summer of 2002, we have pretty much given up buying gifts for each other for birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas and so on.  There was not a lot of extra room on board for stuff so we decided to forego traditional gifts… we both prefer experiences to things, and even the simplest of those bring lots of pleasure and smiles.  After you have spent the better part of 12 years in managing the day to day basics of living… water, power, refrigeration… even long hot showers and ice for your drink still often seem like miracles.  I am easy to please and have a great appreciation for the simplest things.
So, we like to string our birthdays out over a week, and do some little thing each day that is especially pleasing or special.  So far my week has shaped up quite nicely.
Sunday began with an hour of yoga practice and then a lovely breakfast…
May 18 breakfast 001
Later we walked along the Strait and the breakwater and on into the Inner Harbour – about 90 minutes of brisk walking – and found a newly opened Starbuck’s location. We made a stop and enjoyed coffee in the sunshine while tourist-watching.  It was a long weekend here so lots of extra people in the city, and the Norwegian Sun was on the cruise ship dock all day so that also brought in a couple thousand more folks to the area.  It almost felt like a carnival, with the buskers, and street vendors, horse-drawn carriages, and tour buses.  The city is certainly at her pretties this time of year.
And this is going to be our new favorite Starbuck’s… only a few blocks from home.  Honestly, most of the Starbuck’s here are in crummy locations… shady, busy streets, small patios, etc.  So hurray for finding  a good one.  And the staff are wonderful. Bonus.  I am saving my Reward treat till later in the week.

Later, we spotted the first ducklings on the lake across the street from our apartment, but haven't been able to snap a picture yet.  Proud Mama swimming them around and I think I counted 12 babes.
Monday was the stat holiday and we thought we might go to the Victoria Day Parade, but after breakfast…
May 19 Breakfast 001
we opted to avoid the crowds and go for another long walk. We drove for a couple of miles up the Strait to the nearby village of Oak Bay, where we had ran our half marathon, and walked along the waterfront there for about 75 minutes.
I spotted this pretty little deer in someone’s driveway and was quite surprised she didn’t scamper off before I could snap a picture of her.
May 19 walk 001
We also spotted a brood of 4 goslings being closely guarded by 6 adult Canada Geese.  Another observer told us there were originally 10 of them...darned crows!

May 19 walk 005
We have always admired these brightly painted chairs that someone has set out on the rocks for passers-by to enjoy.

May 19 walk 006
And it was such a beautiful day…
May 19 walk 004
we decided to stop and check it out.  Too bad someone has vandalized them a bit.

Before I sat down in the chair I noticed that someone had left their wallet on it.  The Captain placed it in his day pack and after we finished our walk and arrived back at the car, we drove to the Oak Bay police station and left the wallet with an officer there.  I didn’t want to go through it looking for id and to be honest, I really didn’t want the hassle of trying to find the owner.  I hope that if I lost my wallet, whoever found it would do the same for me.

Then we picked up some lunch… sushi rolls for me and burgers for The Captain, and drove up to the lookout on Mount Tolmie to enjoy some eats and the 360 degree view.  Honestly, I never get tired of the view.  We could see the snow-capped peaks on Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic Mountains in Washington State, and that is just spectacular.  And we could look back to Sidney and see the mountain peaks over the North Shore as well.

Today, Tuesday, The Captain had to see the dentist again.  He needed to have a check up on the surgery/extraction from last week and a filling repaired.  So, that meant a trip to our marina town.  I packed a lunch for us both… apricot smoothie for him, and a chicken salad for me and put them into the cooler. 

While he was visiting the dentist I paid a visit to my regular hair salon, just a few blocks away, to find out if they had any idea about when my stylist might be ready to return to work after the birth of her first baby in December.  Much to my delight she is coming back on a part time basis starting May 31st… so I booked an appointment for the late afternoon of June 4th. The Captain will have his teeth cleaned that afternoon so works well for both of us. 

Then I stopped into a thrift shop to have a browse at dishes… and came away with 3 pasta plates and a little painted ceramic salad plate.  I paid under $5 for all 4 pieces including taxes!

May 20 plates 002
These will be perfect for pasta, zoodles, chilis, stews, etc.  The centre bowl is about 8 inches wide and the whole thing, about 12 inches wide.

May 20 plates 001
I don’t know what this will be used for but it was cute and for 50 cents I couldn’t leave it behind!

After I met up with The Captain, we found a lovely little spot at a waterfront park to enjoy our lunch and then made our way back to the city.  We stopped to purchase a fan to keep things a bit cooler this Summer, and picked up some paint chips… there is a wall in the apartment I would like to have painted a darker color… and then we picked up a basketful of fresh produce at one of my favorite markets before driving the scenic, meandering route back into the city and home.  Mmmm… freggies!

Tomorrow we have tickets to see a couple of IMAX films… and then we are going to have lunch… the rest of the week is loosely planned… a visit to an oyster bar, a martini, and perhaps a curry buffet.  Swiftsure begins on Saturday so The Captain might enjoy a waterfront pancake breakfast there too.  We shall see how it all pans out.

How do you like to spend your birthday?


  1. Happy Birthday WEEK! What beautiful pics, especially the one of the deer!

  2. Sounds like such a perfect birthday- so relaxing!

  3. I LOVE you celebrate you for a week.
    you have me mulling as mine is kinda soon too.
    I NEED A WEEK :)

  4. I love that you extend the festivities over an entire week! Looks like you're making the most of it. I've always loved the name Victoria and am quite surprised one of my girls did not get the name.

  5. Happy Birthday week! I too like celebrating for a whole week rather than just one day. :)

  6. Fun! I love the idea of a birthday week and try to implement it at home, but it doesn't always go my way;) Glad you have been having nice weather for your special week:) Happy Birthday!

  7. I thought I was the only one who did the Birthday Week thing! Some years I take it a bit far and try to pull the "Birthday Month" celebration! <3

  8. Happy bday time! I love spreading birthdays over days! We deserve it! :)

  9. Happy Birthday week! Sounds like you are having a lovely time!

  10. A super belated Happy Birthday!!! So sorry I missed it. Sounds like a wonderful week. Everyone deserves a birthday week!!!! Or month!!!

  11. Happy very belated birthday!!! So sorry I missed it! Looks like a wonderful week, everyone deserves a birthday week or even month!


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