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Life of Brian

Updated March 7, 2004
I am listing the chapters backwards, so that it is easier for you to see if I have add any new bits. But check for the  sign to see what's been added to the old chapters since January 26, 2001. Or, start at Chapter 1.

The Latest Chapter

I sit here at the beginning of 2004, I will be 64 in just 2 weeks, one of my 'Seward' granddaughters just turn 7 yesterday, the other 'Seward' one turned 4 just 2 weeks ago. It took me all day to make her Birthday Card (of course I sent it by email; saves the stamp and printing the card, but it should last her for ever). The Canadian/American family are now living in Monterey, California for the next two years. My son-in-law is now taking a Master's Degree at Naval Postgraduate School; there are some great alumni who went there.

Since my last chapter the second Harry Potter movie came out and the 5th book "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix ", and the third movie "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" due out on June 4th, 2004. I went to San Diego to go to the movie "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" with my grandchildren and their mother on November 16, 2002. All being well I will be in Monterey for the opening day. When I'm there I'd like to see Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Other things that happen last year was that I took a 10 week computer course in Visual Basic and Software Design. It was great to go back to college after  37 years; I had basically taught myself to program a computer back in 1970, although I did take a night course in 1987 at BCIT in Focus and an online course in dB2K (the 2000 Version of dBASE Plus) in 2002. But one thing at taking new education at my age is that my mind is not as fast as it was, nor can I stuff the new knowledge into my brain the same as I used to; like the saying goes "You can't teach an old dog new tricks". It is not fun getting old, but I'll keep on learning as long as I can. Like I say "Write a page a day and keep the psychiatry away".

This year I hope to have a better year than the last few years. I think I have learn enough to get my DOS based programs into a Windows platform, namely Microsoft's New Windows code named "Longhorn".

Chapter 12 - Harry Potter and the WTC disaster

We have arrived at 2001 and it is the year that I am officially retired. Summer is ending and I am getting excited about the release of the "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" movie on November 16, 2001. I suspect that J.K. Rowling will release the 5th Harry Potter book at about the same time, just in time for Christmas. I am going to San Diego to take my grandchildren to the opening day of movie. We introduced my grandson to golf, although it was only a putting green, so I have promised I'll take him to a pitch and putt course when I go down there, of course his sisters will make sure I take them on a treat too.

On September 11, 2001, I witnessed on the television the attack on the World Trade Center in New York. I was awake and watching CNBC and they cut in to show us that a plane had crashed into the 1st tower, then as I was watching I saw the 2nd plane come into the screen and the violent explosion as it hit the 2nd tower. In about an hour the 2nd tower collapsed and 18 minutes later the 1st tower collapsed. I was so sick at the total destruction that I was moved to sent the following email to President George Bush Jr., Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, Senator Hillary Clinton and Geraldo Rivera a talk show host on CNBC:

  Subject:  Vote of confidence from a senior Canadian citizen
        Date:  Fri, 14 Sep 2001 14:17:11 -0700
       From:  B Dodd <>

As the grandfather of two of your young citizens, my granddaughters who are descendants of William Henry Seward on their fathers side. Their father and my son-in-law is an officer in your Navy.

I would like to see you send the troops into Afghanistan to arrest Osama bin Laden and his henchmen, if possible to bring him back for trial in the USA. Even though I am normally opposed to the death penalty, if I was on the jury of his trail, I would vote for the death penalty when he is found guilty.

When I was young, my mother took us to Plymouth, England just after the end of World War II, and we when to the cathedral that was bombed out, but they has set up an alter in the shell which had a golden cross on it. Also, when I was 14 I went to Manchester in 1954 and they still had buildings that had never been rebuild after the war.

I am sending a copy of this email to Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in hopes that our country will support and help you in any way.

Brian Dodd

As my daughter says "they get so many emails, they will probably put it in the 'trash can'", but I think someone might read it. [next chapter]

Chapter 11 - My grandchildren on the Move again

The time flies by and the new century and millennium has arrived. Two events happen this year, one is that I am a grandfather again and I am now a pensioner. In February, my daughter had another daughter. She is a cute little baby, but then I'm  prejudiced.

In the summer of 2000, my daughter and grandchildren (now four, two Canadians and two Americans) moved to Fall River, MA. I had the fun of going with them to the East coast of the USA  with them. We went by van from Victoria, via Moscow to Fall River. Then I returned by plane from Boston, via Chicago to Seattle. I then boarded a helicopter at Boeing field and flew to Victoria.

Well the Hawiians/Moscovites have moved again, and are now living in San Diego.[Next chapter]  

Chapter 10 - My visit to England

In late February and early March of 1998, my mother and I went to England  I managed to visit all the homes I lived in England and Wales when I lived there [I am currently arranges the photos and organizing my notes and links].

Also,  watch for my adventure in walking "The Galloping Goose Regional Trail".[Next chapter]

Chapter 9 - Victoria again

I still live in Victoria  and travel to Vancouver to look after my business there once a month. When I am there, I stay on a small horse farm in Langley, the "Horse Capital of British Columbia". The farmeress (" Farmgirl") has two daughter's, horses, dogs, cats, chickens, a cow (now the cow escaped) and the farm manager (he escaped too). In Victoria I stay with a great family in a city house. But Victoria is such a beautiful of a city, it is like living in a garden.

My eldest daughter married a submariner in the Summer of 1995 and moved to Hawaii with her daughter and son.

In the fall of 1996. my granddaughter ("Little Mouse") came to visit us from  Hawaii, in her fall break. She and her grandmother ("Dale Evans") became hooked on chatting and surfing on the Internet while she was here. When she was here we went to the beach for a picnic, we build one of the greatest sand castles ever.

After a summer of them renovating the cave, I moved back in with Tedly Bear, Momma Bear and "VetteMaster". He liked my computer better than his so his mother bought him a new computer.

Never mind the Hawaiians have bought a better computer than all of use. Ahhh!!! now I'll have to buy a better one than them. But, the best thing is they also have a new daughter in March of 1997, making me a grandfather again. Good luck to you "Minnie Mouse". She takes some of her names from the city where her Mom and Dad met, Victoria and her great great great grandfather Seward.

My grandson came through on his semi-annual visit to his dad. I met him at Vancouver International Airport. We then went and had his picture taken in an Indy car and went to see the movie "The Lost World - Jurassic Park". Once we went to Science World.

In the summer of 1997, we had a great occasion. T. Bear and Momma Bear got married. They had a beautiful Teddy Bear Wedding.

Now the Hawaiians have gone to live in Moscow, I guess for next 3 years they are now Muscovites. "Out of the frying pan into the icebox".

In November the latest addition to the Dodd family arrived. My niece is the proud mother of Nick, now my brother from Alberta is finally a grandfather.[Next chapter]

Chapter 8 - Burnaby

In 1983 my latest family and I moved to Burnaby, a suburb of Vancouver. In 1986 Vancouver had it's greatest party ever "EXPO '86". The exposition went on from April to October; we each had a season passport, that allowed use to go at any time we wanted. There where many, many highlights in that 6 months. One was Princess Diane and Prince Charles came to open the exposition, and the children's "Variety Club Playground" in Centennial Park, in Burnaby on May 6, 1986. My youngest daughter and I were there, and where within 15' feet of them. I had not realized that Princess Diane was taller than Prince Charles. She looked more beautiful than in her pictures.

There where pavilions from over 70 nations in the world, including United States, Russia and China. The Russians had a real Salyut space station, the fore runner of the MIR space station;  we got to go inside and see how they live in space. The Americans had a model of the International Space Station (ISS), including full size models of parts of the station which we walked through. They also had one of the Apollo space craft's re-entry module. The Chinese had a replica of the ancient terra-cotta army (the original has more than 6000 life-size figures in it) found in the tomb of the Ch'in emperor Shih Huang Ti, who died in 210 BC..

The nightly fireworks display every night was fantastic, the best was on the final night when 350,000 people came to the expo site, and they used up a 3 night supply of fireworks.

In the spring of 1995 I moved back to Victoria (sans family). [Next chapter]

Chapter 7 - Victoria

Then in 1975 I moved to Victoria, where in that year I lost a wife an gained two friends. On of my fondest memories was when my daughter learned to ride her little red bike. [Next chapter]

Chapter 6 - Kamloops

At one point in my life, we moved to Kamloops. Here's where I lost one wife and gained another. I also added my favorite daughter to my family. We moved out to the country on 40 acres of land. We first built a small log cabin ourselves and with the help of some friends, then we pulled a travel trailer up beside it. We lived in there while we had a 2200 sq.ft. house built over looking the South Thompson river. We had some spectacular sunsets from our kilometer high ranch. [Next chapter]

Chapter 5 - Go west young man

Well this next move brings us in the summer of 1966 from the flat plains of the prairies to the mountain and sea of Namaimo. Here I went back to school "Malaspina University-College" to take accounting. I passed the 10 month course in 3 months. While in the picturesque city of Namaimo, I first had a taste of going into business for myself. My first try was to be a crab fisherman in Tofino and a salmon troller with my brother-in-law. The crabs where molting and then I lost all the traps. So much for my first try at business. [Next chapter]

Chapter 4 - the Prairies

In the Heartland of Canada, I moved from being a farm person to a city "slicker". I worked for the City of Winnipeg in my first full time job. I was an Junior Audit Clerk. Imagine me as a bureaucrat for 3 years. One of my first holidays was to visit my cousin in Missouri in the United Sates.

After staying on the prairies for 9 years, my new wife, our dog and myself  followed the saying "Go west young man, go west" and moved to British Columbia on the west coast of Canada. [Next chapter]

Chapter 3 - Trip to Canada

On June 6, 1957 our whole family set sail from Liverpool on the Empress of Britain and moved to Canada. I learn to swim in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean (in the pool on the ship). We saw an iceberg just a quarter mile away from the ship. We arrived in Quebec on June 13th, where we walked up to the top of the Plains of Abraham. Our floating hotel then continued on to Montreal.

On June 14th we disembarked from the Empress of Britain, and after going to the Notre Dame Cathedral and taking a carriage ride on Mont Royal, we boarded the Canadian Pacific Railway train at 8 o'clock in the evening. The train pulled out and the went west for three days. Up the Ottawa valley and past the nickel capital of the world, around the north end of Lake Superior and onto the open prairie. We disembarked in Winnipeg, Manitoba in the heart of Canada. [Next chapter]

Chapter 2 - Wales

In North Wales we moved to my uncle's mountain sheep farm. The farm house was over 400 years old but was not considered and historic site because it was to young by Welsh standards. In the six and half years we lived here I went to Ruabon Grammar School for Boys. One bus tour I remember taking with my father, took us to Snowdonia and Caernarfon Castle where the Prince of Wales is crowned and to Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch the village with the longest name in Britain. One day I was hiking across the mountain an I stumbled onto an unknown castle (I have now found out that it was Castell Dinas Bran). [In 1998, Wales was given it's own National Assembly]

1957 was both a great and sad year. My grandfather Proudlove passed away in March, and later in year my other grandfather passed away after a short illness. But granddad Dodd had a great "innings", as he lived until he was 84 years old. And the great news.... [Next chapter]

Chapter 1 - Cheshire and Devon
I was born in Bowden, Cheshire the son of a farmer in the early years of WW II. We lived at "Blackshaw Heyes". My father was an avid football (soccer) player. Before I was born he played forAltrincham FC and had an opportunity to play for Manchester United, but choose to marry my mother instead. My cousin Ruth came to help my father when I was born. Ruth later married an American soldier and moved to Los Angeles in the United States. When I was about 2 years old, the Dodd family (mother, farther, myself and my baby sister) moved to Devon in the South West of England.

We moved into the "Barton Manor" in Ashwater. There is a beautiful dell covered with bluebells near the farm. From there we moved to a small farm at "Larkworthy Bungalow" and back to the "Barton". When we lived here my mother had the twins. They where born at Barnstable in North Devon.

We moved to Germansweek, where I start school. I had to walk across a field and over a ford and up a long lane. Where the ford crossed a small creek, watercress grew. One time when I went to school, there was a herd of cattle coming down the lane, so I ran back home. To a five year old, those cattle where huge and they had horns.

Before my youngest sister was born we moved to Cheshire again, for a while we lived at "Oak Farm", then we got sent around to different relatives. I was sent to my Aunty Eva's at Wrenbury. My mother went to Chester to have my youngest sister. Soon after I had my sixth birthday while I was still at my Aunty Eva's farm. She had made custard for dessert (one of my favorites) and had put the bowl by the stairs to cool, then my cousin came downstairs and kicked the bowl over ... there when the dessert.

Next I remember being on a train off to Devon again. We ent to "Pinn Cottages" in 'Downtown' Pinn, which is between Sidmouth and Otterton. The cottages where surrounded by four local farms; including the Barton where my father worked. Sir Walter Raleigh was born near Otterton, at Budleigh Salterton,  which is the birth place of the American accent. . My friend Jimmy and I used to spend our summer at Ladram Bay paddling in the sea and climbing around the stacks (rocks). In the beginning of 1951 our youngest brother was born at Sidmouth. It was the year that war rationing was finally over. We went to school in Otterton, there I pasted the "11 plus" exam and went to Exmouth Grammar School. On a cold and rainy November day we moved to North Wales. [Next chapter]

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