lady with a plunger moved in and started sloshing away energetically at
the pan! Over coffee Susan and I discussed the perils of being female and
the usefulness of the title "Doctor" for squashing patronising people. Feeling
suitably feminist after all this we went shopping.
Shops in North America are open at all sorts of useful hours, all
Saturday afternoon, at night until 9.30 every night, and even on Sundays!
Therefore as well as visiting a gallery, which one might expect to be able
to do on a Saturday afternoon, we were able to go shopping for clothes
at Eaton's,' a large department store. I needed a sweater, because the wind
was cool, and was pleased to discover that there is no sales tax on children's
clothing in Canada - unfortunately just about everything else was cheaper
south of the border.
There really wasn't time for Susan to cook dinner before the BCSFC
meeting, so we ate at an Indian restaurant called "Heaven and Earth".
The decor of the place was weird I formed the suspicion that it had
previously been a seafood restaurant, which would explain the fishnets mixed
up with the Indian artworks. We ordered "mild" curry, and maybe the cook
misheard or maybe what was served really was their idea of mild curry.
I assured Susan that Carey would love the place.
The BCSFC meeting was in full swing when we arrived. I bandied
insults with one Gordon McNab, and discovered that the easiest way to
insult Canadians is to tell them that to the untrained eye they cannot
be distinguished in any way from Americans. You should make sure first
that your victim has a sense of humour. I introduced an angry penguin
into the club story, a regular monthly meeting feature typed by anyone
who feels like doing so, and sat enthralled before "Saturday Night", the
sort of T.V. show I never thought Americans could make and which nobody
in Australia in the dark days of 1976 would have dared to make. It was
at this meeting that I was introduced to Henry Gasko (now an established
Melbourne fan), whose head had been filled with all sorts of misinformation
by the helpful people from the Australian Department of Immigration.
On Sunday the weather was perfect and the haze had blown away,
so we picked up Lyn Dollis and went for a drive north along the coast.
All the way I gasped at spectacular views of mountains meeting water.
After pausing at Shannon Falls we finished up at Squamish, a little logging
and tourist town that seemed to be the base for a restored steam train
that takes people for day-trips. We had lunch at a Dairy Queen, which
had various sundaes illustrated on the walls in glorious technicolour, but
all the passengers from the steam-engine made a lemming-like rush for
the premises, so I never did get to try a Maple Walnut Sundae,
Back at the house I turfed all the junk out of my shoulder bag. By
now I had the transporting of my possessions down to a fine art; valuables
in my handbag, bulky souvenirs and things that I wanted quickly (like writing
paper and sunscreen lotion) in my shoulder bag, and the suitcase reserved
for clothing, the towels I bought in San Francisco and things generally
which I could do without if by some mischance they were off loaded at
Winnipeg. For my visit to Seattle I decided to take only necessities, and
to buy another carrying bag for any further purchases. Therefore I left
my suitcase and a neat pile of assorted souvenirs on Susan's bedroom floor,
Finally I managed to find room for my jar of Vegemite in the shoulder
bag by removing the suncreen, which would have been quite superfluous
in Seattle. At the airport, having assured the baggage clerk that I was