31 July- 2 August Edmonton & Grande Prairie – the biggest job list in the world

31 July

Deciding that it would be good to catch back up with Shari & some of Brendas other friends, a day at the mall was arranged. The mall was West Edmonton Mall, which is so named as it covers most of West Edmonton. Or if not most, a lot of it. It proudly proclaims that it is the biggest shopping mall in the world & is complete with such facilities more women’s clothes stores than you can shake a credit card at, almost. as many souvenir shops, a wave pool, a rollercoaster and an ice skating rink. Now I can understand the reasons for all but the last. They tell me it gets a little nippy up this way in winter, so they have shopping malls so you can buy stuff without dying of hypothermia. But I still can’t quite see the reason for going to a lot of effort to have an ice skating rink inside when they happen by themselves outside.

Of course I went on the roller coaster, the Mindbender, which was was the biggest covered roller coaster in the world- they seem to have a thing about being the biggest here. Brenda decided that she would rather not go on the roller coaster, as when she was working in the mall one of the carriages fell off and bent more than a few minds. A flaw which they have obviously fixed, because it hasn’t done it again, but Brenda remained unconvinced. The roller coaster was pretty good, but alas did not bend my mind as much as it has been on previous occasions.

So after the ride we caught up with Shari, and learnt that while the baby was very ill, as they had known it would be, it was doing reasonably well considering.

Some news was not so good. My money card was still playing up, though this time the machine was polite enough to tell me to stuff off in english rather than french. When we returned home an email to the bank saying “help” was sent.

It was decided that I should be exposed to as many facets of Canadian culture as possible, so we went to a baseball game with Brendas father in the evening. To be fair it was more exciting than cricket, and may have been better still if the Trappers (the Edmonton team) were not losing 10 nil. But it had its moments, not least of which was the fact that if the batter only clipped the ball (which they did reasonably often), there was .a fair chance it would end up in the stands. This required some level of attention to be paid

After the game we went for a bit of a tour around the other side of town. This was much less suburban than the west side, probably partially due to the influence of the varsity being over here. We stopped for a quiet in the Suburban Hotel & listened to a great blues band. This place fair rocked, I would have loved to see it on a Friday or Saturday.

1 August

My bank, probably sensing the concern that the malfunctioning plastic was causing me, emailed me back sharply. Unfortunately, all they could say was “it looks OK at this end, please send us some details like the exact message & location of the machine so we can look into it further”. After this little bit of news we headed off to Grande Prairie. This takes about 6 or so hours, and there is not a hell of a lot to see (those prairies you understand).

2 August

After arriving in Grande Prairie & getting a good nights sleep in a bed for a change, I leapt up at the crack of noon and was promptly told to start on Brenda’s expanding to do list. This enabled me to see a little of Grande Prairie, on the way between places where Brenda had stuff to do. This town was getting a dangerous one to be in. Alas there was no time to start on painting Brenda ‘ s fence, a fact that disappointed me deeply.

In the evening we wandered out to the stables & Brenda rode Jim (her horse) for a while. He was a bit snakey because he hadn’t been ridden for a while. This was mainly because he frightened the girl Brenda had asked to ride him on the first time she attempted to do so. There is a perfect opportunity here to make comments about similarities between Brenda and her pets, but I won’t, even from this far away. Not that I am scared or anything though.