KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
After such a hectic time travelling for the past several months and then driving back and forth the Edmonton, it was great to have a place of our own for the next five weeks. We have a wonderful arrangement with friends of Adia’s - Craig Fulton and Heike Schmidt. They are travelling in Europe visiting Craig’s relatives in Scotland and Heike’s in Germany and we were able to strike a deal that was a win-win situation for all of us. They didn’t really need a house-sitter as they have a tenant living in their basement suite so this meant that we weren’t responsible for the security of the house and could be away for part of the time they were gone without compromising the sub-let arrangement.
What can I say about this special little house on Roseberry Avenue? Craig and Heike built it themselves and I was privileged to watch it being constructed. For several months, every Monday morning I would receive an email with four photos of the work that had been done on the house over the weekend. I have always been interested in construction (an old engineer wannabe I guess) and was fascinated from the moment I saw the huge hole in the ground. I loved watching the house emerge and celebrated when the last nail was pounded and the paintbrushes were retired.
I first met Craig and Heike when Audrey and I joined Adia at Burning Man to celebrate my 50th birthday in August 2000. Craig and Heike were part of a group of twenty people making up ‘Camp Canada’ at this crazy festival out in the middle of the Nevada desert. They took a year off to travel the world themselves and have been following my journal as we visited many of the places they saw along their route. Once they were settled back in their respective jobs in Victoria, they began to search for a lot to build a home for themselves. Shortly after the house was completed, Heike gave birth to their daughter Mia, who is now two years old.
Somehow, during one of Adia’s visits to Craig and Heike’s it came up that we would be staying in Victoria for a while and were looking for a place to live. Our time line fitted perfectly with Craig and Heike’s plans for Europe and everything seemed to fall into place. I couldn’t believe it that we were going to have a chance to live in this lovely home that I had watched being built. They gave us a tour of the house and encouraged us to make ourselves at home. The icing on the cake was the fact that they have a great espresso coffee maker residing on the kitchen counter and I learned how to make cappuccino and lattes like a professional barista.
The house comes with everything we need to be comfortable – wireless internet, iPod adapted stereo system, television, washer/dryer and even bicycles. We were all set for a great stay. I especially appreciated the comfortable bed and the two easy chairs in a sunny corner of the bedroom where I could sit and read the paper every morning. The yard is planted with low maintenance shrubbery and we were encouraged not to water the little bit of grass in the back yard as it seems to tough out the dry climate in the summers and springs back to life in the wet winter and spring. This was great news as we have never had to look after a large yard and would be ‘landscape challenged’ at the best of times.
On one of our first mornings, I was sitting in the sunny spot in the bedroom reading a newspaper article about how the high cost of gasoline was affecting the people who travel North America in their RV’s and listening to music on my iPod. Suddenly, Steppenwolf’s famous song ‘Born To Be Wild’ came on with the lyrics – ‘Get your motor running, head out on the highway…’. I had such a laugh at the coincidence.
The weather was perfect for our stay in Victoria and we spent much of the first week riding bicycles and exploring the neighbourhoods and the roads along the ocean. We rented movies most evenings and barbecued simple meals for ourselves. After months on the road, it was almost enjoyable to cook for ourselves again although I am sure it will wear off soon and we will be happy to be free of the shopping, preparation and clean up once again. Adia and Geoff come over after work quite a bit and we are happy to have their company at meal times. They love to get away on the weekends to go camping with friends and when they do, we are available to go over to their apartment and give Maizie some cuddles and kitty treats. Adia was very excited to take care of her friend’s guinea pig, Luna for three weeks and we got to enjoy her as well when they were away camping. I don’t think I have ever seen Adia as excited as she was when Luna arrived. She kept shouting, ‘I have two pets, two pets, two pets!’. It was hard for her when Luna went back to her ‘Mom’ Kim.
During our first two weeks in Victoria we went a couple of times to nearby golf courses so that Anil could get in some practice on the driving range, and it was at the Cordova Bay Golf course that we discovered a delightful pitch and putt course with a great view over the ocean. Raj had encouraged us to borrow the new set of Golf Clubs that he had purchased for Vy so that I could give the game a try and one afternoon we hit a bucket of balls at the range and then played nine holes on the short course. I really enjoyed myself and Anil is a great teacher, not only of math and physics, but of golf too. He was so encouraging that I agreed to play again. In fact, it looks like he may have created a monster as I am getting the hang of the game and we plan to play a lot more this summer.