1. knowledge acquired by reading books, as distinguished from that obtained through observation and experience.
2. formal education.
Given that the practical elements of my education concerning the west coast of Canada cannot commence in earnest until I am actually in residence, the best that can be managed in the meantime – other than the well-established practice of mounting daring expeditions to the heart of the InterWebNet – is a resort to literature.
I am much aided in this endeavor by the attentions of loved ones both here in the UK and in BC, recently being the grateful recipient – through the agency of the Christmas ‘stocking’ – of two works essential to the education of the incipient immigrant to the Pacific north-west coast.
The Kickass Canada Girl brought back for me from Canada a copy of Margaret Horsfield and Ian Kennedy’s excellent history of ‘Tofino and Clayoquot Sound’. This magnificent volume – published in the dying months of 2014 – promises to provide the definitive account of the evolution of a part of the coast of Vancouver Island much-loved by all who have ventured to this furthest extremity of the continent. Be your interest in the complex histories of the indigenous peoples of the area, or in discovering more about the children of the counter-culture who followed the tarmac though Sutton Pass to the Pacific Rim, you will indubitably find what you seek within these pages.
My love of the area has already been well documented in these postings – from my rhapsodising over Adrienne Mason’s wonderfully evocative ‘Long Beach Wild’ to the description of the celebration of my sixtieth birthday at the Wickanninish Inn on Chesterman Beach last year. In addition to Margaret Horsfield and Ian Kennedy’s tome and to the aforementioned paean to Long Beach I would further recommend to the gentle reader who wishes to locate a slightly more… off-the-wall account of this part of the world – Andrew Struthers scurrilously funny autobiographical comedies – ‘The Green Shadow‘ and ‘The Last Voyage of the Loch Ryan‘.
And whilst humour is at the forefront of our minds (as we aim for it to be much of the time!) I must reference an invaluable Christmas gift from our dearest friends in Saanichton – Will and Ian Ferguson’s authoritative guide – ‘How to be a Canadian‘. OK – one might not discover therein much of truly indispensable value regarding the transition from European to North American land masses, but one will – as did I – fall about laughing – which is way more important.
I effected this part of my studies in the bath and I fear that the Girl grew just the tiniest bit weary of being summoned down the hallway to have yet another chuckle-inducing passage reported to her. She can occasionally give me the sort of look that is the equivalent of fingers drumming on a counter-top – at which point I know to shut up.
Like now – for instance!