Thursday, August 4, 2022

Mom-Day Adventure: Gorge Waterway Park in Tulle and Swordfish, a Wee Shop

Hello, my friends! Mom and I had a lovely adventure today, in a new-to-us spot, the Craigflower-Kosapsom and Gorge Waterway Parks. I'll drop in links (all links 'cause I love!) about the areas as we get to them. 

We parked on busy Admirals Road, next to the schoolhouse. Selfie! 
As you can guess, it was a cloudy, windy day. 

Outfit time! I had no idea what we'd be doing (Mom likes to surprise me), but I know we'll usually be outside and walking for at least an hour. 
I decided to revisit my tulle skirt since I hadn't liked the last outfit withit, and it was time to debut my new Fluevog Swordfish shoes. 

  • Jacket - Dolcezza, consignment; last seen here (2nd outfit) for Winesday in June
  • Top - Scotch & Soda by Maison Scotch, thrifted; last worn here in September 2021 with a pirate skirt
  • Skirt - Adidas, consignment; last seen here in a wonky outfit in May
  • Shoes - Marquess Swordfish Floyd, Fluevog; purchased here for $399.99

The full ensemble. 
I have nylons on, plus a short black half-slip.

I was cheered to wear this velvet-flocked jacket again too. 
I don't mind the sheerness of tulle skirts. 

They let me indulge in my love of minis without being scandalous to the public. 
Jacket off - I only took it off to show Mom at lunch. I liked knowing I had double stripes.

The skirt has the classic three Adidas stripes down each side in white. 
I've got three pieces of Adidas now: this tulle skirt, my Stella McCartney daisy jacket, and my kooky black dress. That's officially a collection.

Masked up. 
I also debuted my awesome new Bruno Magli 80s purse. 

I wished at points that I'd worn a scarf - the weather was erratic! 

I adjusted the strap on the purse to be its longest so it would be more comfortable cross-body. I was pleased with how much it held: my wallet, two shopping bags, a mirror and lippy, keys, mask and my camera. 

  • Purse - Bruno Magli, vintage 80s, consignment; purchased here for $25.00
  • Mask by Mom

I wore two cat-themed items today - the mask is one. 

The stuff: 
I wore these shoes around the house in the morning, and then walked in them for an hour with Mom. After I bused to town after lunch, I walked home (after a browse at WIN) - these shoes were fabulously comfy! The black leather is softening up nicely. and there was no rubbing anywhere.

Bold bling: 
There's the other cat - I wore him pinned on the collar of my jacket. 

  • Belt - gift from Ruth
  • Cuff - Guess, thrifted
  • Steel/leather cuff - Rimanchik
  • Sterling silver pendant/earrings - M&M, consignment, Vancouver
  • Shield ring - Nine West
  • Silver/enamel ring - antique store, Sidney
  • Wood cat pin - Charmaine's

We started near the Craigflower Schoolhouse, the oldest public building in BC, built in 1854. Parks Canada listing here (facts about its history/construction).
There are a couple of large boulders on the property that explain its history too. 

Here's one. 
It says:

Built in 1854-1855 Craigflower Schoolhouse was one of several established and paid for by Vancouver Island's colonial administration. It was constructed with lumber obtained from a steam-powered sawmill at the Hudson's Bay Company's Craigflower Farm. Its one schoolroom served children from the farm and nearby districts while the upstairs provided living quarter for the teacher's family and student boarders. The schoolhouse operated from 1855 until 1911, and since 1931 has served as a museum. It is the oldest surviving school building in Western Canada. 

On the back, another plaque. 
Craigflower School House

Erected by the Crown Colony of Vancouver Island, March 1855, oldest school building now standing in Western Canada. This monument was erected by the British Columbia Government Travel Bureau, 1940. 

The Hallmark Heritage Society is the current occupant - the school is not open to the public. 
I still caught a good shot of Mom coming down the stairs. 

Oh, goody, another plaque. 
This one says: 

Unveiled by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, to mark the completion of the restoration of Craigflower Schoolhouse on the 130th anniversary of the first ringing of the school bell. March 3, 1983.

There's the bell. 
It's unclear what all the white beams are - I guess to draw your attention to the bell? 

We strolled through the park area towards the water. 
From a Gorge Swim Fest proposal (link here, I found it interesting): 

Until the 20th century, the entire length of the Gorge was dotted with settlements, cemeteries, sacred sites, and camas-lily farms of the Lekwungen-speaking First Nations now known as Songhees and Esquimalt. Kosapsom Park, where Admiral’s Road crosses the Gorge waterway, was the site of an important Lekwungen settlement. The Gorge itself was a source of food, a boat thoroughfare, and the dwelling place of sacred beings, such as Camossung (“Camosun”) beneath the current Tillicum Bridge. 

Victorian and Edwardian settlers gradually appropriated the lower and then the upper reaches of the Gorge, first for recreational activities such as swimming and boating, and then for commercial bird-hunting and industrial uses – eventually pushing out both First Nations and recreational users. After its heyday as a famous swimming resort area in the 1910s and 1920s, the Gorge went downhill due to sewage and industrial pollution draining into it from all sides. 

The Veins of Life Society, spear-headed by activist John Roe, ‘turned the tide’ on the Gorge in the late 1990s by starting a massive rehabilitation effort that continues to this day. Since then, the Gorge has been recovering from decades of pollution and encroachment. The Gorge Swim Fests and the Gorge Waterway Initiative grew out of those beginnings. Since its founding in 2012, the need for water-focused stewardship has become clear to the members of the Gorge Swim Fest Society, a recreational and social group that organizes monthly group swims and our annual Swim Fest, and sponsored the Gorge Waterway Collaborative—an attempt to bring together recreational and stewardship issues in recognition of their mutual interdependence.

There was a family down near the water.
Giant trees dot the area. 

It's low tide - lots of sand is exposed. 
Enjoy this blog post from 2012 here, which reviews this beach's swimming - I agree on the goopy bottom (yuck). I swam in the Gorge when I was a kid, as did Mom (and probably her mom). It's warm, shallow salt water - it connects to Victoria's downtown Inner Harbour, and out to the Pacific Ocean. 

We walked along the east side of the Gorge Waterway - the western side is full of ginormous houses. 
One of them had this ginormous unicorn float toy. It's the size of a truck!

From giant to tiny - Mom spotted this wee shell on the beach. 
I added it to my little grouping on a bookshelf, a souvenir of the day.

I used to jog along here when I was a teenager - the trees were a lot smaller in the 80s. 
We enjoyed a leisurely stroll that-a-way. 

Like many parks in Victoria, there's a mix of flowerbeds and wild flora. 
I "heart" these dahlias. They were the size of my hand. 

Oh, here we go, a map! 
Portage (pronounced "port-udge," not French "port-TAZH") Inlet is that big blob of blue at the top left, and the Gorge meanders down to the Inner and Outer Harbours in the bottom right/centre. 

Saanich on one side, the Town of View Royal, two First Nations area (Esquimalt = esk-WHY-malt; Songhees = SONG-hees). 
We walked the orange dots, about a kilometer each way. The circled orange section is the Japanese Tea Gardens park area, where Mom and I visited back in March (here). 

This was a lovely walk. 
I always grab the white chains and swing them. 

A giant thistle.
See the bee? 

A giant Garry Oak. I was stung by some insect near here on the way back - it got tangled in my hair and when I brushed it off... OW! 
It was good to see that the park was being used - there were loads of people out walking dogs, picnicking, pushing strollers and wandering around. 

Looking back - you can just see the white fence near the schoolhouse in the centre. 
A gaggle of loudly honking Canada geese swam past us - they're in the lower left. 

This whole area is accessible - like to go for a swim? 
Just walk down the steps! 

The clouds wafted by.
I lived in this neighbourhood until I was four years old. Mom reminisced about walking along here to get groceries at Fairways (I remember being bribed with licorice). 

So green and pretty. 
There are tons of benches to just sit and look at the water. 

I love this - Reefballs in the water! 
There are three giant (350 pound!) hollow concrete balls embedded in the sandy bottom to give the Olympia oyster (BC's only native species of oyster) somewhere to seed and grow. It's working! 

I skipped around this bunch of trees and bushes and met up with Mom. 
I found you! 

Coming to one of the points. 
Some folks having a picnic at a table, with their pup resting at their feet. 

Looking down the Gorge towards town. 
The far right is the Japanese Tea Gardens - their new visitor centre is open. 

A zoom in.
I caught one of the seaplanes in the upper left. 

I loved this plant! 
It's a Red Tiger Chinese Lantern plant (the red blooms). I don't know what the "fireworks" things are, but also very cool. 

Mom and I had a yummy lunch at Montana's.
In my favourite top, with that lovely silver Mexican pendant/brooch, purchased for a bargain of $20 in Tijuana, Mexico in 1976. 

Mom-daughter shot! Aw! 
I love you, Mom! That was so much fun - thank you! 

On the way home, I stopped at the Beacon Ave Thrift shop on Pandora - it's a pretty junky shop (a true thrift).
But I do find gems there once in a while. This time, I found an Etro tie.
For $2.00. New ties by them retail for $230.00. L loved it! 

I had a quick peek through WIN, but only a couple of things caught my eye. 
This is a tunic-length top/mini dress (just above the knee). 

I was running my hands through the dresses, feeling for quality fabric, when this got my attention. 
100% merino wool, you say? Machine washable and made in Canada?

It was half price due to the paw-punchout, so $5.00. 
Highroad Clothing still exists (link here), but they are on "hiatus." This is called the Mary tunic and retails for $199.00. There is slight pilling on the front of it - I'll be wearing it around the house in cooler weather. 

This long skirt made me gasp when I touched it. That is soft leather. 
It's a midi-length, but high-waisted and slim like a pencil skirt. I remember this style of skirt (with big rear slits for walking) from c. 1986-7.

It was made in Canada - woo! 
It's really old Danier Leather. 

That might be the oldest Danier label I've seen in a while. 
It also has a rear reinforced button instead of the snaps they gravitated to. I suspect it is from the mid-to-late 80s, due to the sizing. This is a modern size 10, so this is pre-Great Size Shift (c. 1988). 

I love that rich cornflower blue colour, and look at that pebbly texture! 
For $19.95? Get in my basket! I'm thrilled with that deal. 

Vizzini, I'm home! Where are you?
"Go away, I'm napping."

He's suddenly decided that the gold chair is his new spot - after ignoring it for a year. What a weirdo. 

And now, my friends, I'm going to sign off for the weekend - I'll be back on Sunday with tales of adventure! Have a wonderful few days, and take care. Thanks for stopping by.


  1. I'm glad to know you had a wonderful time with your mum. I love your outfit head to toe. The top and the skirt combo is beautiful.

  2. I always like a good outing where many people are about, but not crowded. The park is gorgeous. I forget Canada has the ties to the UK when reading the plaque on the stone.

    1. Oh, yes, and Victoria is named after Queen Vic, of course.

  3. Very creative! I like the look of tulle over a mini. I might try this.

  4. Love your outfit! I definitely wouldn't be brave enough to wear that sheer tulle skirt, and I am very much in awe of the fact that you were able to wear your new Fluevogs without any issues on their first outing!
    I loved joining you on your walk. Thank you for sharing the snippets of history and the pronunciation tips. That ginormous unicorn made me smile :-) Oh, and I am positively swooning over your new leather skirt! xxx

    1. Thanks, Ann! That's why I love Fluevogs - their shoes are so comfortable and yet so stylish! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Can't wait to wear that skirt but it's too hot right now.

  5. Oh Sheila, I think I missed a lot of your posts. For some reason I didn't receive any mails from blogger blogs. It was only when I read Ann s post that I thought, oh my word I missed Sheila's posts! Very sorry, it looks like I was logged out for some reason. I hope now is solved again. Enjoy your weekend!

    1. That's okay, Nancy - Blogger has stopped sending the emails. Please make sure you drop by regularly!

  6. Wow what a bargain on the skirt. My mom taught in several one room school houses when she first came to the states. I love your relationship with your mother.

    1. I love finding deals like that!

      That is so cool, Kim, what a great memory. I'm very grateful to have this time with Mom.

  7. Such a nice place for a walk on your day together and you did find some real gems shopping as well - that skirt is an incredible find! I can't wait to see how you wear it :)

    1. It was such a lovely day! Thanks - hopefully once it cools off.

  8. So much lovely scenery to admire, and your marvelous shoes! I love that style of Fluevog. As a non-swimmer I need one of those giant unicorn floats. Nice score on the Danier skirt

    1. I am really happy with the shoes - would recommend them! I'm thrilled with the skirt.

  9. Your Mum chose a fantastic place to visit, so lush and tranquil. The old schoolhouse looks like something from a film set and so perfectly preserved, too! I spotted a couple of plaques her maj had unveiled in Gloucester, it makes you realise how busy she's been over the last 70 years! xxx

    1. I would have liked to have seen in side the schoolhouse, but it was still fun to wander around. Yup, we've had a few visits here in my lifetime.

  10. I had forgotten that the locations for all your Mom Day adventures were surprises! What a grand idea Sheila’s Mom! Always heart warming to read about and see the photos, especially the selfies.

    Sheila, nice hauls at the thrift shop. Looking forward to seeing how you style the skirt. Would have said the same for the red dress but I believe you noted it will be a cooler weather house dress. Ah well, a nifty dress for home wear!

    Interesting outfit for your outing (can you tell it’s outside of my sartorial comfort zone ;)) though I do like the blazer!

    Cheers, Laurie

    1. Sometimes Mom tells me the night before, or when she calls to say she's on the way, but it's usually a surprise, which can make dressing so tricky!

      I'm waiting for cooler weather for the leather skirt, as it's so thick! I've been wearing the merino wool dress almost daily at home, and it's both flattering and comfy as heck.

      Lol, that's okay! What a boring world if we all like the same stuff! :) Thanks, Laurie!

  11. Fabulous outfit! I am watching Making the Cut at the moment (what Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn did after Project Runway in case you haven't seen it) and it reminds me of a fashion version of Grunge/ Rock'n'roll style.

    That unicorn float looks fun! Love the lantern flowers!


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