Sunday 9 August 2015

A Jane Austen Holiday

My family recently took a holiday through the Okanagan.  I had to ask myself, as a Jane Austen-themed writer, if there was anything about my holiday that would be similar to a holiday in Austen's time.  Surely everything is entirely different, but when I squinted through my imagination, I came up with a few ideas.

1.  "The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." Northanger Abbey

Before going on holiday, I checked out two library books in preparation.  I knew we'd have plenty of beach time in Kelowna and so I found The Brutal Telling, by Louise Penny and Bellman and Black by Diane Setterfield.  I know Austen was incredibly fond of reading and made use of private libraries in her father and brother's house.  I believe she also made use of a subscription library where she paid to borrow books.

2.  “A little sea-bathing would set me up forever.”  Mrs. Bennet  Pride and Prejudice, volume 2, chapter 18
While Kelowna is situated on the Okanagan Lake rather than the ocean, I believe sitting along the shores and wading into the warm waters can safely be compared to sea-bathing in Austen's time.  We tried out two of the beaches in Kelowna - Gyro Beach and Hot Sands Beach.  Gyro Beach offered a larger shallow area which was excellent for letting the kids go out to swim.  It also has a larger sandy area, two zip lines, a park and large leafy trees.  My kids and husband enjoyed the Wibit feature offered at Hot Sands Beach and there were certainly interesting people to watch near the downtown core.

3.  "To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment." Jane Austen

My hubby is big on finding the shade.  We enjoyed several picnics along the beach and at the park while on holiday.  I imagine the sandwiches, fruit and water we enjoyed could be compared to a Regency picnic, although we were missing the servants and cooks to prepare and serve our humble meals.

4.  Fruit Picking

"When you are tired of eating strawberries in the garden, there shall be cold meat in the house."  Emma

Strawberry season in Kelowna had passed, but we did have the pleasure of picking peaches and Golden Plums at Paynter's Fruit Market.  It was a lovely way to spend a morning and, unlike picking strawberries, we had plenty of fruit in no time at all.  I imagine a peach would taste the same served in Jane Austen's time as it would in ours.

5.  Coming home

As nice as it is to be on holiday and try new things, for me it is always a relief to come home.  This holiday has been a little different in that we are somewhat "homeless" right now.  Like Jane Austen, we are living with family while we wait for a new home situation.  I love staying with my parents in Banff and having access to all that the mountains have to offer, but I am looking forward to settling into our new home at the end of the month and finding 'real comfort' once again.

1 comment:

  1. What a fun way to view your vacation memories! It's going to have me musing on things as we take off tomorrow. :)