Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Gratitude

Thank you Lord for another day. Thank you for the dreams of living waters. Thank you for my friends Gilbert and George.

Help me to be less anxious. Help me to be less judgemental. Help me to be less of an ‘activist’ in my mind. Thank you for all that you have done. Help me to live and let live. Help me to be less likely to find fault in beurocracy and beurocrats who are to the most part doing their best and in the most part are good people,  Help me to let go of some of the  thinking that I learned too much from “Universal Soldier” Buffy St Marie and Peace Activism. Help me to accept that others see things and do things their way.   That others may be good intentioned and not necessarily corrupt with different priorities and a different course to get to the same place that I profess to be going.

Help me to be more forgiving, less negative, more understanding, more the person I am at work when I’m not working.  Help me to see that others are hurting too and that it’s best to see the enemy as sick and wounded rather than as dehumanized and evil.  Help me to grow in character and be the person you were and I would be. Please protect me from persecution and help me to hold my tongue when that would be politic. Help me to be more diplomatic and less adolescent in my response to those who are callous and uncaring but hypocritically present as true when they are false and seem likely to know they live the lie.  

Help me to take the log out of my eye and focus less on taking the sliver out of the other fellows. Help me to focus on what I can help here and now rather than like an adolescent have all the solutions for the world but be unable to make his bed. Help me clean up my own room.

Help me to be less afraid and less resentful.  Help me be of more service to others.  Help me to be less self centred and selfish and self seeking. Help me in all my endeavours.  Thy will be done not my will.  Let me see your foot printts today and feel your breath on my cheek and hear your wee small voice. Let me still myself so that I can hear you.

Thank you for the wonders of creation. Thank you for the air and sun and rain and clouds and trees and green and blue and sea gulls and robins and crows. Thank you for my little car. Thank you for the traffic design and the engineers and the police that patrol the roads. Thank you for ambulances and hospitals and governments and nurses and doctors and courts and judges and construction workers and unions and professional associations and learning. Thank you for music. Thank you for the 60, 70’s and 80’s music especially Lord. Thank you for Praise .  Thank you for poetry and novels and text books of Neuro psychiatry. Thank you for philosophy and theology. Thank you for history.

Thank you for theatre and plays and story telling. Thank you for my father and mother , family and friends.  Thank you for this day. Help me to see it as another adventure with opportunities rather than wrapping myself in the safety of my own limitations and view the unfolding as ‘same old’ same old’ with the cynicism and despair of lack of creativity. Help me to see that I need a new pair of glasses rather than believing that others need to change.  Help me to celebrate traditions and see the good in all.

Thank you for this day Lord. 

Sunday, November 18, 2018

St. Andrew’s Ball 2018

Each year the St. Andrews Ball is hosted by the Saltire Society of Vancouver. This year it was held at Pinnacle Hotel Waterfront.  It’s a lovely affair and grand occasion.  I’ve been a few times before and truly enjoyed it each time.
Laura looked simply ravishing in a new Ralf Lauren ball gown. The ladies are supposed to wear dresses that reach their ankles or below. A tartan sash is ideally draped over a shoulder to declare the clan.  I did love one beautiful lassies full length skirt in her clan tartan.  The men wear their Scottish attire or black suits or tuxedos.  I was thankful I fit  my blue Hunting Hay kilt. My  Red Royal Hay kilt, over the years,  somehow shrunk.

I loved the stand up bass and violins in the lounge area playing classic Scottish tunes.  What a thoughtful touch.  We all entered with a Grand March.  People watching was made easier that way.  My God the Lassies were lovely, all ages.  The men looked suitably washed.  I couldn’t help but feel some what at home.  

Alison Moen,  the Scottish Country Dance Director, was remarkable providing  clear and concise instructions as to where she wanted us all to go in groups of 4 and 8 and as a whole. Next thing we knew we were actually participating in country dances.  These were the highland source of the modern rather lowland square dances.  

Thomas Budd was the very fine piper  and Alec Robertson, the drummer.  The Haggis was piped in and a marvellous Robbie Burns Toast to the Haggis was given with great flare.  A notably thrifty Scottish prayer preceded the very fine steak meal.  Laura and I sat at a table with a delightful mix of guests.  The conversation ranged the world over with talk of travel, politics. religion,  children and grandchildren.

When we were full with fodod and barely capable of waddling, the band began to play again.   Alison Moen encouraging  us all to join her on the floor for another round of Scottish Highland dancing. So many of us didn’t know what we were doing in one dance so  the laughter nearly drowned out the music. What fun!

A thoroughly delightful evening. 

Thank you olden St. Andrew’s Saltire Society of Vancouver and Pinnacle Hotel Waterfront.



















  


Friday, November 16, 2018

The Morality and Psychosomatic Pain?

Why do bad things happen to good people?
This is the central question of religion. It further is a central question for understanding ‘pain’ in psychiatry.  
All pain is a ‘psychosomatic’ phenomena.  Psychosomatic means that body and mind are involved in the experience.  Psychosomatic does not mean speak to cause and effect but does speak to associated phenomena and potential contributing factors and possibly a different approach to solution.
For example a child is caned and strapped..  I pick this example because being caned and strapped was a recurrent experience of my own attending Viscount Alexander and Vincent Massey High School in Fort Gary Manitoba.  Fortunately this was not a routine occurrence though physical punishment by school administration was normal for a previous generation. Death by school caning was a social problem that preceded Japan’s embarking on WWII. It should be noted that while Nazi brutality has been extensively documented so that the word Nazi conjures up brutality, Japanese brutality is similarly understood in the east in all the countries which Japan invaded.
What is good. What is bad are questions of ‘interpretation’ and ‘morality’ not at all so obvious as some would argue.
The Japanese perceived their corporal ‘punishment’ of students as did the administration at my school in Winnipeg.  The Nazi’s felt the same.  The history of the world tells us that corporal punishment was indeed the norm for all nations with rare exception.  Consider simply the history of punishment in the Royal Navy, the leader of civilization and guiding light of the world, until the redistribution of power in the early 20th century. Records of hundreds of lashes slowly are reduced to tens of lashes and it was not uncommon for sailors to experience permanent mainming or death from their ‘correction’.  Further minor faults were very aggressively punished and only slowly was the ‘rod spared’ for worse crimes.  In Islam today according to Islamic laws , which some describe as barbaric, since the punishments went out of vogue sometimes hundreds of years past, the cruelty and offence of punishment remains as a historic note for all nations.
Hollywood would have us believe in the chivalric notion of the loving kind mother showing great sentimentality by heroines when faced with unpleasant punishments on the live screen.  Unfortunately this marketting to the ‘fairer sex’ for the pure purpose of selling dish soap is a travesty of abuse of public education as propaganda.  Attending my first boxing match I was shocked to see how lustful and violent the women audience were.  Historically matriarchy as opposed to patriarchy has been associated with torture and punishment.  
What did occur historically was that race horse trainers did note that a different approach to training from whipping gave better results.  Doystoyevski’s portrayal of the man beating his horse to death is an obvious example of the limits of corporal punishment. The Japanese government actually had to have committees to look into the death rate of children in institutions from corporal punishment.
Further modern psychology especially forensic psychology became interested in Sadomasochism, an ongoing issue of Hollywood and the upper classes in general. Just as today we know that pedophiles flocked to the church for access to the children so sadists flocked to positions such as prison guards and police for their access. Not much different than alcoholics seeking work as bar tenders or sex addicts seeking work as prostitutes.  Obviously the majority are motivated by money and more lofty aspirations or driven by need rather than greed. Still this significant minority are attracted to these positions of power simply for the means to act out their aberrant tendencies or desires.
Now move forward a half century and note the advances in what people historically called civilization. I remember being strapped by teachers in elementary school and while others in my class probably don’t remember the day I certainly remember when the strap was removed from the classroom, teachers denied the right to corporally punish students and this moved to the sole domain of the Principals Office. I graduated before Principals were denied their bit of physical activity and would only be billy clubbed by guards and surreptitiously physically punished in custody.  It was frowned upon by even my early 20’s when I was involved in demonstrations to leave evidence of injury.  It has been decades now since anyone in authority has physically abused me though I continue to be exposed to repeated verbal abuse and public humiliation and exhaustive shaming.

Raising white chickens I learned that the chicken with a black feather was visciously attacked by the other chickens. This is natures way of removing aberrant genes from the gene pool and one of the reasons that Utopian Darwinism is questioned as genetic difference is removed rather than celebrated in nature normally.
In my study of the Canadian school when I was interested in birth defect, IQ and school drop out I found that public schools punished the slow learner and the fast learner.  Not surprisingly the slow students dropped out. What was offensive to those who’d asked me to study the matter, where I first learned that politics funded research was my finding that the students smarter than teachers and administration, the high IQ kids were also dropping out of school.. The public school faced with ‘one shoe’ for all served the masses but not the “deviants.”, euphemistically termed “outliers” by those secure in their mediocrity. 
Apparently I had a high IQ.  Whatever that represents, blessing or curse.
But I was beaten repeatedly for correcting teachers and to this day am punished for pointing out that the Emperor has no clothes.
I’m kind of autistic in this regard and have taken delight in a new Canadian television show called the Good Doctor.  I self identify and story tellers have long known that even children love a story in which they can see themselves. I’m delighted with the excellent ratings of the show because I expect that it speaks to Canada as a ‘colonial’ nation more than it speaks to medicine.
In a Colonial nation there is a fixed upper class. Here in British Columbia, the game was rigged in the last generation for the English immigrant to win. In Quebec the French born person is a Royalty and Canadian life has it’s apartheid but it’s not so much by colour but by class, origin and family. When I lived in England I saw very quickly that upward mobility and wealth in society was relatively easy if your family was wealthy for generations and you’d been to the proper school to get the right education.

Dr. Jordan Peterson has pointed out some 10% of students due to lower IQ or even lower emotional IQ are ill fitted for modern society and unlikely to find even work easy.  The rise of the peasant class. Brutal maniacal killers like Lenin were able in an earlier generation to claim to represent these ‘masses’ and there by gain fortune and power for his own deeply evil designs as a mass murderer. Hitler similarly used this means to elevate himself. Today the closest we compare is late night shows with people begging for money for a variety of species of cuddly animals without any concern for reptiles and insects and certainly not the very underprivileged bacteria necessary for life.
How I perceive pain is best seen on a scale 1-10 with the contribution of mind and body being apportioned.  Chronic pain is separated from acute pain as acute pain, pain that lasts minutes or days isn’t the burden on society that chronic pain has. Chronic pain is more ‘mental’ as well.  
Men who have been caned in studies have been known to experience pain, the same objective physical injury 10 times another person who has not been caned in youth.  There is no ‘greater sensitivity ‘ for the upper classes as the white feminists argued when the black feminists challenged them about their relatively safety and security.  The universities at the time were doing ‘take back the night’ dances in which more lighting was put on the campuses to protect the privileged upper class feminists when the threat of rape on university campuses was the least in America. By contrast nearby black ghettos were the hotbed of rape and were not funded for ‘lighting’ or even much of a concern to the ‘take back the night’ crowd.  This idea of ‘sensitivity’ is itself a luxury of psychological value but not at the physical level.  The innocent is immediately more impugned by violence but their background of relative safety and comfort also gives them the means to be resilient and flexible.  There is a reason in history for the officer class and the tendency for race horses to be trained with the best of food, shelter, exercises, discipline and training. 
Women who have not been informed about menstrual cycles or have been sexually raped by painful intercourse early in life or had negative genital experiences are at great risk of having many times more genital complaints, cramping, abdominal pains etc.  
So the question is best considered if the sum total of the pain is 10 and 5 is assumed physical and.5 is assumed psychological is the physical component ‘5’ or 2 and the mental component 1 or 5.  
The example of a gunshot wound would appear straightforward ‘physical’ but if the gunshot was occasioned robbing a bank it’s a different ‘experience’ to a gunshot experienced saving the life of a child.  The body of a poor or rich man, the actual physiology will have similiar impact. However if a person has been beaten as a child they will fear the pain as greater than a person who has not. 
Add to this consideration my patients who are masochists. A group of people for whatever reason have found that inflicting pain while masturbation or during sexual orgasm heightens the perceived enjoyment. There are some neurological components as well as psychological components to be considered but it remains that this person may indeed feel ‘pain’ differently than a person who only experiences pain as a message of harm.
If a professional fighter experiences a blow as compared to an innocent the professional may well ‘know’ the blow was not ‘disabling’ and ‘will heal’ based on previous experience of fights as compared to the ‘shock’ of the innocent who experiences the blow and believes wrongly they are disabled , near death and rather than continue the attack reverts to a fetal position and prays.  I rather like the latter though have found when that didn’t work I’ve been forced to salvage what remains of my pride and body by actually fighting back which as original as it seemed the first time has significant historical precedent for stopping the pain.
In my work doing hypnosis and hypnotizing people for surgery I further found that distraction could well ameliorate the experience of pain. I was cutting a person with a knife but I had used hypnosis like I’ve used xylocaine injection to stop the pain.  Acupuncture distracts the body.  Mentalist apparoaches may work as well as physical approaches. Paradoxically with chronic pain exercise reduces the pain in the long run.
Now this addresses the existence of psychosomatic pain. So pain mostly is bad and good people and people designated as bad can have pain. It’s been said that pain is mandatory but suffering is optional.  
If a person considers themselves as bad they will indeed experience or perceive greater pain. Depression prolongs and worsens pain. indeed at one time chronic pain was called ‘somatic depression’.  All pain is psychosomatic.
Good people have pain.
Bad things happened to good people. However religious people who perceive negatives in life as ‘lessons’ from God rather than as ‘punishement’ or even as ‘random bad shit’ do better with recovery in general.  Chronic pain is addressed in the context of how does it affect what I do compared to what I did. IF I perceived myself as a good person because I was a surgeon and I loose my hand in a criminal minds episode to a cannibal I am more likely to have ‘phantom limb’ pain than perhaps a man who has his hand chopped off in Saudi Arabia for stealing a piece of bread to save the life of his dying child.  Understanding the ‘meaning’ of a person and their purpose and the meaning of the ‘pain’ and a person’s ideas of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ do alter the perception of pain.
Disability is a further issue because it appears quite surprisingly people who are high paid as beauty contestant judges appear to not experience the disabling pain that people who have similiar injuries do when the latter works 12 hours in a cold stinky outdoor fish plant.  
Just some thoughts about pain and perceptions with some ideas about past and present and the understanding that these factors can have and influence and change outcomes and indeed help us to understand better why bad things happen to good people.
This doesn’t even get into the issue of ‘secondary gain’ where a person injured or claiming to be injured when they weren’t even injured can be rewarded for the ‘drama’ of pain presentation.  Today some 40% of claims are ‘false claims’ and knowing that should explain to some extent why insurance companies are so slow to ‘assume’ a person is good , despite every special interest group insisting their group doesn’t lie.   
In Canada a convicted  terrorist who maimed an American soldier was rewarded  10 million dollars. 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Remembrance Day and St. Barnabas Anglican Church, New Westminster, BC

I loved to go the Remembrance Day services when my RCAF father was alive.  One of my fondest memories is of him sitting with the WWII vets at the Vancouver cenotaph. I was so proud.
Yet the Rembrance Day  services were outside ,I was down with flu, and back pain made standing for a service level less appealing. Attending church seemed the more physically wise decision.
Laura and I like St. Barnabus Anglican Church because they are dog friendly.  It was the right decision.  Gilbert and I had met Rev. Emilie Smith but Laura hadn’t.
 “I really liked her.” Laura would later say.  “She’s so uplifting but also so down to earth.’  Gilbert liked her dog and Laura liked that her dog had it’s own pillow bed.  The congregation was small and intimate.  There’s a sense of community.  We’re outsiders but we felt welcomed.  
I loved that Rev. Smith talked about the ‘war to end all wars’ and that Remebrance Day was not to glorify war but to honour the men and women who made such sacrifices for peace.
In a very inspired and moving moment, Rev. Smith walked away from the altar to the walls where there were plaques recalling the men of St. Barnabus Congregation who had fought and some who had fallen in the war. She read the names. She shared of her own experience of Remembrance Day growing up in BC Interior and asked others to share of their experience of those who’d been in war.  Some did.  In her sermon she spoke of the women and orphans and the call to Christians to care for the widows and orphans.
I felt at home as she spoke of love.  I felt the living water of Christian spirituality wash over me.  Grace.   I enjoyed the Prayers of the people. During the service Laura pointed up as we heard the planes flying over as part of the Remembrance Day fly overs.  I thought of my RCAF father and mom and all the air shows we attended as children. My neighbour Mack who had attended the Langley Remembrance Day service would name off the old war planes that had participated. I told him Laura and I had heard them in church.
The piano was vibrant.. I loved the hymn ‘Come and Fill Our Hearts.’I was sorry we arrived late as the first hymn’ Be Thou My Vision’ is one of my all time favourites. Seeing it chosen gave me the sense I really was in the right place that morning. 
Gilbert loves the Peace when everyone greets each other individually. A little girl clapped her hands and greeted him.  He was also able to get enough leash to sniff the reverends dog.   Laura and I smiled and shook hands with all the fine and welcoming people.  
Eucarist.  Communion. Breaking of bread.  Partaking of the Blood and Body of Jesus. Finally the Sending out.  Reverend Smith, said “Go forth in peace and love, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit.’ And we all said, “Thanks Be to God”. 
There was coffee after and I was tempted but with a cold and feeling tired I was glad when Laura said another time as we had to get home today.  
Such was another great Sunday service.  






Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Wolves - Pacific Theatre Play -Oct. 19-Nov. 10

The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe was a fantastic play about a college girls soccer team.  Incredibly intimate writing, I was reminded of the Quilters.  Sometimes I was taken back to teen years eves dropping outside the girls’ locker room. Not really getting half the nuances.
 My friend Laura said, “the estrogen of all those young women was overpowering. I was timid and shy as a girl and the atheistic women with all their energy kind of frightened me at times.”
 It was the energy, a  brilliantly crafted play.  The choreography of running and warm up and passing ball and  dialogue between stretches a masterpiece of art.   A powerful drama driven by exercise and relationship.  
I loved the transformation of the girls as they moved from reserve  to friendships to a team.  There was  a whole array and depth  of emotions  sparked with silences.  
Director Jamie King got the timing and pathos perfectly.  So much going on.  I was riveted. 100 minutes and no intermission. An emotional roller coaster of ideas and theatre.   The spell wasn’t broken once.  Magical.   The final darkness and  audience bursting with applause.  Now that’s theater. 
Nicole Weissmiller, the lighting designer, got it just right.   I felt I was in a foot ball stadium the whole time. The green Astro turf glistened.  
Danielle Klaudt and Paige Louter were the producers.   Victoria Snashall did an awesome job as stage manager.  
The costumes were simple but more than met the eye.. The beautiful girls despite the sexual content of some conversations never were ‘sexy’ thanks to the clunky school sports uniforms.  Throughout they were team mates,  sisters,  daughters.  So much depended on the costumes.   Matthew Macdonald-Bain did sound.  Again it was just right, perfectly in sync with the emotion.  Everything came together to maintain this amazing surging flow.
Kim Larson, Amanda Sum, Danielle Kaludt, Georgia Beaty, Jalen Saip, Ali Watson, Montserrat Videla. Shona Struthers and Paige Louter were the actresses. The Wolves.  The young women.  The Team. Each was distinct , endearing and an incredible character.  I loved them all. Tania Dixon Warren the soccer mom was amazing.

Wow.  

Thank you Pacific Theater and Rumble Theatre for an unforgettable play.  









Tuesday, November 6, 2018

New Day

Thank you God for this new day
Unblemished, unused, a blank slate
Let me colour it with love
Celebrate it with friendship and peace
Shout out it’s very being 
And say thank you all the way to nightfall.

Thank you, Thank you, Thnk you.

God I would know you more.
Jesus, servant king, may I wash your feet
Serve you as you serve me.
Let me always be aware of grace and sing the sacred
Open my eyes to the mystery and show me the true way.
Guide me in all my endeavours.
Make life an adventure rather than a chore.

Change my attitude and change my thoughts
Mould me and touch my soul
Holy Spirit come.
Help me help others
All glory is yours Lord.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you

Monday, November 5, 2018

Pemberton November Hunting Weekend



If I didn’t say we were hunting, this would have been a truly idyllic fun weekend.  Hunting weekends are only the ‘best’ when you shoot some game. I didn’t see or shoot anything alive. I did have a great time shooting a perfect little pattern on a hundred yard target with the Winchester 300 Short win mag.  It makes a big boom even with my ear protection on.

Laura and I left Friday afternoon from Vancouver driving my F350 white Ford pick up with the crew cab full of gear. I really didn’t need the chain saw.    Gilbert, the intrepid blind cockapoo sat on the front seat  between Laura and me.  We listened to an audio tape on the way  up the glorious Sea to Sky Highway.  Sunshine and great views of Howe Sound.  Blue sky and wonderful cloud formations.  

 In Britannia  we stopped at Mountain Woman’s fish and chips. I love her fish and chips.  A rainbow greeted us there pointing us north. Again we said we’d have to take the Britannia mine tour. Everyone says how they love it.  One of these years.

On ward and upward,  we passed  Whistler and Blackomb before arriving a half hour or so later in Pemberton where the really cool kids go.  

I’d made reservations at the incredible Pemberton Valley Lodge. It was as terrific as it’s always been. I’ve been coming up for decades.  Gilbert first came here when he was only a few months old more than 8 years ago.  More than a decade back Laura and I came through a couple of times on the Harley Roadster .   Vancouver to Pemeber on the  Sea To Sky Highway then Duffy Lake Road to Lillooet then down the  Coquahalla back to Vancouver is one of the greatest circle routes passing through some of best views and terrains BC has to offer.  When my parents first came out to visit me in the 80’s thats’ the 3 day trip I took them on.  Later I loved it best on motorcycle.    

At the Pemberton Valley Lodge I have always loved the underground parking for motorcycles, cars and trucks. They even have bikes for guests.  The rooms are spacious but cozy, the decor,  elegant. The service is the finest. I love the hot tub and pool and the snow capped mountain views.   with some They even showcase great local art. 

 My favourites 5 star elegant country places near Vancouver are Chateau Whistler, the Harrison Hotspring and Spa, , the Princeton Castle and Pemberton Valley Lodge.  “I love it here, “ Laura exclaimed as she settled down on the comfy couch. 

I headed out to the woods for the night hunt finding a perfect moosey area up the Duffy Lake Road in hunting zone 3 where spike fork were legal.  In zone 2 where Pemberton is moose are off the books but instead of the 4 point buck requirement of zone 3, any buck is fair game.  That evening I was hoping for a moose and enjoyed an hour and half hike and stalk, Tai Chiing along the back wood trails ,remembering times I’d thus creeped up on elk and deer getting within a hands reach, startling them something fierce when I said “boo”. But no moose, no bear, and no 4 point buck was out this evening..  But a  truly serene and beautiful evening in the forest it was. .  The air was sweet and after a hectic work week I found a touch of peace and even a moment of joy.  

On the way home, I picked up some great Back Country Pizza, a must when in Pemberton. I also stopped at the fabulous Pemberton Valley Supermarket. By the available selection you can tell Pemberton is an upscale tourist destination. They had my favourite lime drinks and Laura’s favourite herb triscuits. They even had Hagen Daz Ice Cream.

Laura doesn’t mind when I don’t return with a dead animal just so long as I bring her something to eat. So she was happy.  Gilbert got meat bit treats off the pizza.  Laura and I watched Hawaii 5 0 and NCIS  on the big screen cable tv.     I swallowed several Robaxisal tablets.  Binge exercise after a week of desk life upsets my body causing it to groan.

I woke to the alarm in the dark.  I dressed warm  for hunting.  Hauling rifles and ammo back to the truck I enjoyed looking up through the layer of clouds. In a break I saw a few remaining stars. . Fog was low as well.  All day it would drizzle.  I stopped at the MacDonalds in the gas station.  It was still dark as I drove up the valley munching on egg mcsausage and hash browns.  I had a thermos full of the best MacDonalds coffee.  I stopped to take a couple of pictures of the spectacular fog.  Then it was pot hole road slow driving.  Still dark.  I headed up to Gold River. 

In the snow and sleet and ice only a couple of years ago without traction I’d been unable to ascend  I’d stopped and tried to get the winch out only to have the cable break, I was with Tom and the truck was without the emergency brake for a moment,  beginning to slide back down the mountain angling  towards the shear cliff. Without thinking, I ran after it, pulled the door open and jumped in the cab, slamming on the emergency brake. It held.  Then with Tom’s help I backed it down the hill with one half the tires in the mountain side ditch and the other on the icy road.  Scarey stuff. This day it was  absolutely innocuous by comparison.

At the top I passed where Laura and I another year had begun to slide off this road because of ice, choosing to turn around rather than going through. .  Not a place to go off the road. I’ve shot deer up here though. I’ve seen bear.   I remembered lying in a sleeping bag with a beautiful young nurse waiting for dawn light to come up to hunt.    I shot blue grouse up here too.  Another time I tracked deer  in the snow along the ridge all day climbing and hiking.  Now I’m older and  stay close to the truck.   I’ve done my years of packing out game on back boards.

The area around Gold Bridge really is moosey. Great swamps and old forest.  This day, despite my waiting,  no moose appeared. .  No grouse either. I did get some pictures of Gold Bridges and the environs, I liked . The water is unforgettably blue there. 

With the morning gone and me hardly able to walk because of the binge of exercise Friday night I was glad to get back to town.  I dropped off my guns and picked up Laura and Gilbert. They’d been taking walks around the Lodge. Theres’ a great trail along the river that goes for miles and a perfect dog place with poop bag dispenser.  In the room they had a water bowl and food bowl for Gilbert along with treats and a great pillow bed he loved. 

I needed new jeans. I’d ripped the crotch in my old ones doing the splits  jumping across a stream. I feel fat. It’s unfair. I am fat.  

Pemberton General Store is one of those really really really incredible places. It has everything in no particular order.  I’ve bought many things there over the years as it caters to all the Pemberton crowd.  Great men’s work wear. Lots of Stan field long Johns. Leather goods. Pemberton Valley is a famous farming valley reknowned for the tasty Pemberton potatoes.  It’s also very equestrian with rodeo and western horse riding throughout. So the clothing is the real thing.  

I used to come up to Pemberton for riding in Mount Currie.  I ’d done Man from Snowy River down a mountainside following my friend, Wayne Andrews, the former world champion  aboriginal  rodeo rider,  A truly wise and great man.  

The Pemberton General Store caters to the riding community, the farming community, the work community, the cyclists, the motorcyclists, the hikers and climbers and passing through tourists.  The  very best of cowboy boots and ladies boots.  Lots of Millworks brand.  Also ‘tourist’ stuff, toys, and trinkets and kids stuff and kind of a western store in the mixed up Asian market ordering system.  

I found the perfect wool pants with a tear proof crotch and some waist room.  I’ve been looking for slip on boots for riding  my KTM 690 enduro and sure enough I found just right Australian boots . Laura loved the ladies boots,  a short version of the tall lace up boots I bought her in Milan. “Now I’ve bought you boots in Milan , New York and Pemberton.”  I said. Laura loves her boots and shoes.

Back at the lodge I loved the hot tub and more Robaxisal.  Somehow I dragged my weariness out to the truck with my rifle.  I drove back up the valley to a logging road that thankfully became too iffy with washouts for my beloved truck.  I turned around and headed for the Pemberton Valley Supermarket.  “I shot a barbecued chicken in the supermarket but have to pay for the rotisserie” I told Laura. I had potato and bean salad and fresh buns.  A feast. Lime drinks and Hagen daz ice cream bars.  Too decadent.  Death in Paradise on TV. . A late night hot tub and a great night early to bed.  Silly day light savings was about to begin.  I’d decided against a morning hunt. Gilbert woke at the same time.  So had a wake up hot tub experience and swam a dozen laps before Keurig coffee.  

We thanked the perfect staff.  “They’re so European, “ Laura said, “Not a bit intrusive,  always friendly and  always ready to be helpful.”  We both remarked on how quiet our rooms were, the sound proofing such we never heard anyone in halls though we’d meets guest coming and going in the lobby.  

The Sea to Sky Highway was particularly beautiful coming home.   Howe Sound was perfectly flat, more like a skating rink than the ocean. . I’d sailed it in all conditions and loved motor sailing  under auto pilot on days like this. “I remember when I was learning heaving too and would come out in Howe Sound when it was blowing 40 and 50 knots to test this weird sail arrangement ,” I reminisced with Laura.  I found  that true enough I held my own in the high winds though when I was actually faced with hurricane winds I chose bare poles. When I could I ran ahead of the hurricane so I could hide up the Columbia River another time. 

Lots of good memories along the coast. Black diamond skiing Whistler.  Wreck Scuba Diving Porteau Cove  All the motorcycle trips up to Squamish and back. 

It was only early afternoon when we arrived  home  in Vancouver.  Laura loaded up her Smart Car and headed back to the West End.  I left Gilbert to snooze after his adventure and hopped on the KTM for a spin around New Westminster.  Sunny days are to be cherished now before the rainy season descends completely .

A perfect weekend.  Great company.  Great lodge. Swimming. Hot tub. Hiking and 4x 4 ing. Great photography opportunities.  I loved target practicing. Then hiking and meditating in the woods.  Great tv. and great pizza. Great shopping.  A perfect weekend.  

Who was hunting? Not me.