Thursday, 4 August 2016

Third Time Lucky

As you read this, I am nearing the end of Gishwhes: the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen. It's my 3rd time participating and it's my 3rd time having an absolute blast. I wish I could tell you more about the antics my group and I have gotten up this week, but we're not allowed to publically post our items until after the hunt is over (save for the items that require public posting to be completed).

While I can't talk about this year, I can tell you that past years have seen me try to cross the US-Canada border in a swimsuit and snorkel gear, have newspaper boat races complete with gambling, deliver baked goods to an office staffed by volunteers, send a note of thanks to a teacher who inspired me, have a drink named after Gishwhes at my local coffee shop, write ridiculous short stories, sing mistranslated songs in public, and just generally remember that life is more enjoyable when you take a moment for joy in the every day.

I'm also stuck deep into a project at work. When setting the dates for everything to be completed, my boss suddenly realised that I leave at the end of September and all the mid-October dates she had set would have to be updated. There may have been some swearing. 

This week, despite only being a 4-day work week in BC, has been crazy, busy, a bit stressful, and fun.

On the August Long Weekend, the Victoria Symphony hosts the Symphony Splash. The musicians perform on a barge in the Inner Harbour while the spectators sit on the causeway. I always make a point of heading down for the second half and the finale of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. The best part is that the army is there to fire off anow actual canon. (The 1812 Overture is the only piece of music to actually have a canon score. Granted, it's usually handle by the tympani because, hello, canon in an enclosed building? But it still awesome that Tchaikovsky actually wrote a canon part.) And, of course, fireworks.

You can't have Romans without the roads, and you can't have Symphony Splash without Tchaikovsky and fireworks.

There is also a tradition of the local pipe and drum band opening and closing the Splash. If you ever happen to be in Victoria attending the Splash (without me? How rude!), here's a tip that most locals don't even know: mill about Government St in front of the Empress after the Splash is over. Don't let your friends pressure you into leaving. As the crowd thins, the pipe and drum band will form up. You can follow them as they march and play their way up Government St until they find a pub they like. They will then detour into the pub to march and play.

Until you get to enjoy the Splash in person, here is a video of the 2015 rendition of the 1812 Overture.


P.S. Yes, some people come in canoes, rowboats, kayaks, dragon boats, etc and watch the performance from there.

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