Geared up for another kayak adventure on the B.C. coast

The equipment has improved and been refined over the years, but the thrill of the backcountry remains the same

Geared up for another kayak adventure on the B.C. coastIt all started in 1978 when we decided to fly to Haida Gwaii and borrow our friends’ kayaks for trip into Gwaii Haanas (then known as the South Moresby wilderness area). We were just married and finishing grad school, with plans to move to Alberta in the fall. Our pals in Queen Charlotte City offered…

Small cities like Duncan, B.C., steward great artists

Reflecting on Canadian culture at the Dog House Restaurant and small businesses dedicated to local artisans

Small cities like Duncan, B.C., steward great artistsAs cities go, Duncan, B.C., is pretty small. In fact, it’s the smallest city by area (2.07 square km) in Canada. In 2016, it had 4,994 citizens. It was incorporated in 1912, as the star of Vancouver Island’s Cowichan Valley, an agricultural, mining and logging centre first visited by Vancouver Island Gov. James Douglas and…

Confronting retirement with thought and planning

Give yourself some time to evaluate options. Be honest with your ego and let your imagination troll through deep waters

Confronting retirement with thought and planningA lot of my friends are retiring. And there are many retirement models being thought about, reviewed, argued and applied or avoided. But it doesn’t really appear to me that any of them were exhaustively analyzed before selection. In fact, many seem to be derived from previous family practice (i.e. what parents did), simply made…

Applying the stages-of-dying model to climate change

The change we need in half a generation is before us. Each of us can play our small part to end the cycle

Applying the stages-of-dying model to climate changeThose of us who signed up for Introductory Psychology 101 as university students were likely exposed to Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s model on the five stages of dying and death. I admit I had to look them up again to write this. But once found, I immediately recalled struggling with their ordered sequence in a lecture…

A magnificent Cornish pub dinner to top off a day of discovery

We walked back to our lodgings simply wondering if a better day could be had – anywhere. And already tomorrow was beckoning

A magnificent Cornish pub dinner to top off a day of discoveryWe crossed over the stone causeway connecting the mainland to St. Michael’s Mount, just as the tide waters were beginning to lap at its seaward foot. We decided to walk along the beachfront to Penzance. It looked about five km on our map. All along the beach, as far as we could see, there were…

Onwards to St. Michael’s Mount, across fields and marsh

We had a destination draped in history and instructions on how to get there offered with a smile and pride of place

Onwards to St. Michael’s Mount, across fields and marshWe were on foot on our first morning in Cornwall, walking from the tiny village of Ludgvan in search of St. Michael’s Mount. At Crowlas, we turned right onto the motorway headed to Penzance. A narrow paved footpath followed the right side of the road, which cut through the green fields on either side of…

Looking for the Pirates of Penzance in Cornwall

With St. Michael’s Mount on the horizon, a grand walking tour awaits

Looking for the Pirates of Penzance in CornwallPenzance! Already associated in our minds with the famous Gilbert and Sullivan 1879 operetta The Pirates of Penzance, it’s also the last town of any size on the southwestern tip of the British isles. I was alerted early on by my Cornish-born grandfather to its magnificent white sand beaches, mild, sunny weather, and a human…

Never shirk responsibility for honest, forthright observation

The rules of writing opinion pieces haven't changed through the generations in the Robinson family

Never shirk responsibility for honest, forthright observationOne day in 2004, Doug Firby, then the editorial page editor of the Calgary Herald, took me to lunch. I was the CEO of the Glenbow Museum and I had no idea what we were going to discuss. It turned out that he invited me to write occasional “op-eds” for the paper, on culture and…

Localized and personalized: how to keep culture relevant

The world of arts and culture offers lots of examples of gross expense and imported notions of what’s important. But there are alternatives

Localized and personalized: how to keep culture relevantHow are the National Post and the Globe and Mail doing in your neighbourhood? In Powell River, the big Toronto newspapers are on their last boomer gasp at the newsstands. In their place, piles of the weekly Powell River Peak and monthly Powell River Living fly off the counters and adjacent distribution boxes. The local…