Welcome as the flowers in March

Another view

A couple of weeks ago while listening to the local morning news I heard the blossom count was down, I just about coughed up a Mini-Wheat®!

Was I hearing right or could there have been some kind of mistake?

The numbers were down but, enough of that… how were we going to deal with it?

Emails, phone calls and traditional postcards by the millions would have to be held back – the annual, friendly kick-in-the-teeth to everyone on the other side of Chilliwack, and especially the Prairies, had to be postponed.

Folks from Melville to Moncton would get the report from their news sources: we had fewer blossoms than in other years.

But Canadians are basically a caring crew, so it would have been heartwarming to be privy to some of the plans hatched in places like The Pas and Lloydminster for our benefit. A lot of imagination would have likely gone into these schemes designed to cheer us up… maybe some large greeting card-like efforts… maybe some videos of singing children? It’s nice to know we can count on their ongoing support.

Of course the nation has not likely been standing by with bated breath for updates on our blossom count. Do you think they might just be getting a little tired of hearing about the blooming tally, and maybe even thinking less of us because of it?

My family moved to the West Coast in 1966 so I can’t speak as a native. But I can vouch for never having noticed a lot of anti-B.C. sentiment during my formative years on the Prairies.

There was no bitterness around our southern Alberta home, for instance, over a March weather report delivered at -20 (F) and describing a 51 (F) high in Victoria that day.

I never noticed the contempt until later life when visiting points east. I found out that trumpeting the joys of Island residency is not necessarily the best way to make a good impression.

I wouldn’t suggest there can be no vague, isolated feelings of West Coast envy when cold weather grips the heartland like a vise, only that feelings of mild irritation are likely to spring up when things like record-setting blossom counts, December lawn mowing and winter golf are enthusiastically brought up.

But it’s not like there aren’t other things about “The Best Place on Earth” to slam. The labour movement may not be as strong as it once was, but that’s one. Then there’s the volatile nature of our political scene – as wacky as ever according to some eastern observers.

But the flower count makes us feel better.

A little bit of good-natured fun never hurt anyone, did it? A little bit of a competitive streak is good for productivity and team spirit… right? That’s why mayors always make bets with each other about who wears whose shirt after a championship. No one can say it’s wrong; after all, it’s not like an armed conflict or anything. It’s not intended to inflame… or incite.

In terms of region-to-region one-upsmanship, as long as it’s done without smugness it’s pretty well allowable. If you steer clear of smugness and malice you’ve got carte blanche. Smugness, malice, redundancy and annoying repetition… just avoid those and it should all work out.

Actually a bit of redundancy might not be so bad after all – we can just re-count a few billion of those blossoms then share the updated figures with the folks in Peace River. How do you think they’ll like that?

Jim Sinclair is a reporter at the Sooke News Mirror.

news@sookenewsmirror.com

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Check out the bells and whistles added to Westhills Stadium

Rick Stiebel/News Staff Clusters of tradespeople buzzing around busy with last-minute preparations… Continue reading

Saanich approves new eight- and 11-storey residence buildings for UVic

Residents also supported the environmentally friendly residences

‘Listen to your body:’ Saanich woman fights to have breast implants removed

Woman struggles to find doctor to remove Allergan textured implants, recently linked to rare cancer

Police find shoes, backpack of the man found dead in Saanich

Officers credit public’s help, continue to seek information

Ravens Crossing breaks ground on happy Hygge cohousing project

Speeches, music and a blessing as 80 people attend start of Danish-style development

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Sooke’s Old-Fashioned Country Picnic set for Saturday

The free event combines music, kids activities, food and fun

Vancouver Island RCMP hunt for man after pair of indecent exposure incidents

Elderly Qualicum Beach woman grabbed by man who had been masturbating in the woods

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Pile of wood mulch ‘spontaneously combusts’ at Vancouver Island industrial site

Business owner thanks fire department for quick response

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Most Read