Monochrome Madness 2-18 – and a heat wave

Mark it on the calendar everyone, I have stepped out of my comfort zone of mossy forests and misty old bogs.  I actually was downtown at dawn (to catch a coach to the mainland) and snapped some architectural delights including all two of Victoria’s sky scrapers! (wink).   It’s true we don’t have many but we do have the grand old lady “The Empress” which I present for Leanne Cole’s MM.

grand dame sombre

The Sad End of Lord Rattenbury

The Empress opened in 1908 and was designed and built by architect, Lord Francis Rattenbury. Sir Francis was from England but his most  impressive work was done when he lived in the colonial town of Victoria. BC . He also designed the beautiful Parliament buildings and the famous Crystal Gardens.

The Empress has many stories one of which is a tale of love, money and lust. Back in England, Lord Francis was murdered by his beautiful and much younger wife’s lover, -you guessed it- the chauffeur! The chauffeur was sentenced to hang but was given a reprieve due to his young age and the petition signed by people who believed that the teen aged boy had been manipulated by the more mature and exotic, Alma Rattenbury.  Alma, grief stricken and mad, later stabbed and drowned herself in the river. There have been those who say that Rattenbury can sometimes be seen gazing out of the  upper windows of his beloved masterpiece, the stately Empress Hotel. Certainly, local historian, John Adams includes this tale on his popular Victoria Ghost Tour walkabouts.

The Empress Hotel is still host to the the grand high tea tradition in the afternoons and to the Queen when she comes to the island.

On a more somber note, we have been suffering from an unusual and persistent heat wave on the north west coast and throughout BC (25-40C) which has created a multitude of devastating forest fires. Many people are evacuating their homes!  I woke up yesterday morning to a slight overcast and haze which reflected an eerie amber light. It was very strange and I felt as though I was on an alien planet. The sun shone copper through the ecru coloured clouds and the air quality was poor.  I don’t like to pray for rain as we usually get a lot of it, but the reservoir is down and we have been dry for a month.

32 Comments Add yours

  1. sixpixx says:

    Great photos and a story. Visiting your blog is always great value 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. so glad you enjoy as I do yours and your walks about the town and countryside there!

      Like

  2. An impressive edifice and an intriguing story behind it Cybele. I hope that you got some of that rain and that the fires have eased and that you’re all safe over there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. she is the grand old lady of Victoria ( as old as we get over here!! lol) but she is intriguing!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. PS yes it’s cooling at last!! and perhaps rain today!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Norma says:

    The Empress looks stunning. I love, love stories with an angle. 🙂
    What a terrible weather. This year the weatherman is not doing a good job. That sun surely looks like it is shining in mars. Hope you soon have a good weather. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks Norma! and yes on Mars! No rain yet!!

      Like

      1. Norma says:

        Oh, that must be terrible. I hope you get some rain or at least the temperature gets pleasant.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. they say it’s coming! reprieve!

        Like

  4. What a beautiful image, I adore it. Sorry to hear about the fires, hope rain comes soon. We are experiencing a heat wave too, so I can imagine how you feel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. you are on the Adriatic? Yes it’s been very strange weather for our climate. Thanks for stopping by Lore!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I am. But in the continental part of the country, so no swimming for me.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. katieprior says:

    The old hotel is very beautiful and I like the moody element you add to it, you could imagine its from an Agatha Christie book!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think so too Katie!! Thank you !

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice work, Cybele! I had to look up “ecru” — a strange word!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. it is !! I only recently added it to the palette! Thank you Crow!

      Like

  7. sheldonk2014 says:

    These are beautiful,hope you get some relief soon,we have the heat today here in the states

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ann says:

    The whole feel of the photo turned eerie and haunted when you monochromed it! Lovely clouds!

    I’ve been reading about wildfires in Saskatchewan, but I hadn’t heard that BC was also hit very hard. (With an election only a year and a half away, real news has been banished from the headlines to make room for the incoherent rantings of politicians.)

    I hope you get some rain soon – and a little relief from the heat, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lol! so true Ann!! Thanks so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Mysterious and, at the same time, beautiful building. Hope the weather improves. We’ve been lucky here. Unlike other European countries farther North, and to the exception of a few days, summer has been warm, but not feverishly hot. Hang in there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. trying!! that building is quite a landmark here – not old like in your part of the world but old for the colonies like us lol! quite a tale about poor Lord Rattenbury too. Thanks LIzzie!

      Like

  10. sedge808 says:

    what a beautiful building

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really is elegant!! Thanks Sedge!

      Like

  11. Beautiful light you captured on the Empress. It’s so sad about the forest fires. I hope they are contained soon! Often times sunrises, and sunsets are gorgeous from the stuff in the atmosphere. Go figure!

    Like

    1. so true- it was such a strange light! Thank you Deborah!

      Like

  12. Maverick ~ says:

    Your image needs no improvement but hope your weather does.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you Maverick!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. lauramacky says:

    You daredevil you! I like your Empress image! It turned out beautifully. The heat has been intense although we are cooler now. I hope these fires get under control. Very scary.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks so much Laura!! I rather do too! Yes it’s been very unusual weather!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. lauramacky says:

        Same here with the weather only without the fire. Knock on wood!! It is soooo dry.

        Liked by 1 person

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