Sunday, October 19, 2008

The World in Miniature

Right behind the Empress Hotel in Victoria is a tiny entrance to a huge world of tiny things. The following pictures don't do it justice -- we didn't try to photograph the train layouts, for example -- and they rather tilt toward toy soldiers (for Starman's brother's sake) and Dickens tableaux (for Starman himself). Still, I owe you some photos, and these are next up in the queue.

If anyone can tell me more about these soldiers, that would be helpful. I'm sure there was some sort of caption, but as Starman has just said (on the other side of the room, looking at these pictures to identify the Dickens ones below), "In a time long long ago, in a world far far away." In other words, we just don't remember what the heck we saw then that caused us to take a photograph that I now can't identify.

(Truthfully, I just think the detail is cool.)

Not Dickens, so I'm guessing I photographed it just because I liked it -- Great Gatsby, perhaps? Actually, what it makes me think of is some Southern (U.S.) college. I don't know why it makes me think of that, but it does. The automobiles are all suggestive of the 1920s, so Gatsby's a better guess.

David Copperfield, I'm assured. The blacksmith's house is on the left.

Pickwick Papers.

Nicholas Nickleby.

Oliver Twist -- that's meant to be the Thames riverfront.

No, not a diorama. This is the actual water in actual Victoria. This was taken around from the southwest of the downtown area. We went to a brew pub (our hosts at the B&B were a bit horrified that of all the great restaurants in Victoria this was the one we were eating at, but we had a fine time) to meet up with a fellow crossword chum of Starman's.

The chum, Julian West, was just about to start a busy campaign season, as he was standing for a seat as a New Democrat. Unfortunately, a couple weeks into the campaign, it was revealed (no pun intended) that Julian had once stripped naked at some sort of bucolic retreat to go skinny-dipping. You wouldn't think that was career ending, but he did so in front of some teenage girls. This was all 12 years ago, but a couple of the women who were there recall it and claim that he was "aroused." Hmmm. I'm afraid in politics in Canada as here, impressions matter -- whatever actually happened, that impression is pretty bad. He withdrew from the race. We were very sorry to read about this -- and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.

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