See photos on my Flickr
If you’d asked me a week ago whether I was missing the UK I would have said no, but after our weekend in Victoria I’m awash with nostalgia.
It’s not just the obvious things like the Union Jack painted on the Clipper, the hanging baskets on every lamp post, the serried ranks of English authors in the bookshops, the bandstand in the park or the cricket being played on the cutest pitch.
It’s to do with the scale of the place, the details of the architecture, the layout and width of the roads (all named, not numbered), the smooth lawns and flower gardens in the very English parks, the undulating softness of the landscape and the lack of huge pick-up trucks. Victoria reminded us of an English market town or an English seaside resort, say Oxford without the medieval architecture crossed with Eastbourne without the pier.
A fabulous time was had by all. The Butchart Gardens are well worth a visit – the landscaping, Japanese garden and mature trees were wonderful, the overuse of bright red and yellow bedding plants even in the perennial borders slightly less so.
We rolled down hills, went walking with big dogs, cycled, brunched and lunched excessively, drank far too much wine, did crosswords in the garden (the Times cryptic appears in the local paper!), saw the sea round every corner and explored the quayside.
Our trip back was astonishingly beautiful. The sea was smooth and calm, we were treated to fabulous views of Mount Baker and the Olympic mountains and the sky was filled with an apricot and raspberry sunset.
Almost made up for the last time.