Monday Morning Musings

Posted on April 29, 2019 under Monday Morning Musings with 6 comments


“All my bags are packed; I’m ready to go…

I’m leaving on a jet plane; don’t know when I’ll be back again.”

Leaving on a Jet Plane. John Denver

Actually, I only have one bag packed and it’s a backpack. And I do know when I’ll be back again unless I get lost in The Louvre in Paris.

In a few days’ time, I’ll be off to Spain to do my Camino walk. The plan is to walk across northern Spain from east to west, a total of about 700 kilometres. I hope to cover 25K each day. If I make it to the end, I’ll head off to Paris for a few days to recuperate before coming home. A friend asked me if I was excited about the trip. There are very few things that excite me at 67. Coconut cream pie or a feed of lobsters will get my juices flowing pretty quickly. Seeing a new country has piqued my curiosity for sure.

It is essential to travel light. Taking just the basics will still amount to 20 pounds. Taking my laptop computer is not an option so publishing regular posts on the road might be tricky. I will try and send some updates from my phone which may not look like a typical post. I don’t know what internet connections will be like. There won’t be any Thursday Tidbits this week.

CBD oil update #2.

I’m still not certain if it is the CBD oil that’s making me feel better or that my body has finally recovered from the injury I suffered six weeks ago. My pain issues haven’t disappeared entirely but they are not as pronounced. As mentioned in an earlier post, I am sleeping much sounder since I started taking CBD. As a matter of fact, the other morning I woke up and checked my clock. Alarmed, I rushed into the living room and opened my Chronicle Herald app to see if my name was in the obituaries. I checked both local funeral homes as well. You see, it was 6:30 when I rolled out of bed. I’m an early bird and never sleep in this late.

Readers write.

I get all kinds of interesting messages in the run of a week. My Monday post contained a glaring error and one of my loyal readers was gracious enough to bring it to my attention. I had started my column with the numbers 12:8:6. At the end of the post, I informed people that these numbers represented the seat count from the P.E.I Provincial election. Inadvertently, I had the Liberals winning the election with 12 seats and the Liberals also coming in third with 6 seats. My hawk eyed friend noticed this glaring error which I corrected immediately.

However, it got me to thinking which is always a dangerous exercise. Was she the only person to notice my mistake? Was she the only one who actually read the entire post? Were the rest of you too polite to tell me that a political party can’t place first and third in the same election? Or did your eyes just glaze over this?

I received a lovely note from someone who was flying out west to visit a family member. He purchased a couple of my books to read on the plane. He admitted that he found some of the stories quite amusing and was actually getting weird stares from passengers and flight crew who wondered why a grown man was guffawing out loud for no apparent reason. Luckily, they didn’t toss him off the plane.

Have a great week and see you in June.

Enjoy this? Visit the rest of my website to enjoy more of my work or buy my books!
Highland Hearing Clinic

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Thursday Tidbits

Posted on April 25, 2019 under Thursday Tidbits with no comments yet

The winds of change blew across the Island on Tuesday.



The remote control got a severe test of endurance on Tuesday night as I tried to watch three sporting events at the same time. I clicked every few minutes to check the progress of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Raptors and the P.E.I. provincial election. You’re probably humming “One of these things is not like the other” but truthfully, politics is sport for many of us and a serious blood sport for hard core partisans. Oh yes, the Toronto Blue Jays were playing too but trying to watch 4 events simultaneously is a stretch, even for me.

Let’s dispense with the hockey game first. While not a Leaf fan, I was certainly doing my patriotic duty cheering for Toronto as the only Canadian team left in the N.H.L. playoffs heading into Tuesday’s tilt. Sadly, today, there are no Canadian teams left. Toronto played well enough to win this series against their fierce rival, Boston Bruins but there is a very fine line between winning and losing in an era where parity rules.

The Raptors were expected to prevail over Orlando and even though they were giving the Magic a good old fashioned butt whipping, I still flicked back and forth. I’m sure this is a character flaw but I guess it’s no worse than going to a car race and praying for a crash.

It was a good week to be “green”. Monday was Earth Day and Canada’s own “Mother Earth”, Elizabeth May, chose this day to get married. I saw some of the wedding photos and I swear to god she looked like a tree! The Earth Day wedding was billed as a low carbon affair. Guests were asked to come on foot, by bike or some other carbon friendly mode of transport. My invitation arrived late otherwise I may have walked to Vancouver Island!

The Prince Edward Island election was fascinating. Democracy in the free world seems to be undergoing a massive stress test. Ordinary citizens around the world appear tired of “politics as usual” and are electing some people with rather extreme views. The recent Alberta election was a bruising affair. Backstabbing, internecine warfare, high sticking and elbowing were all in evidence. And this was just among the supporters of the winning party! I was particularly interested because I know Rachel Notley, the outgoing Premier. She was a young teenager when I first met her in Fairview, Alberta back in the late 70s where she grew up (and I taught school).

To be honest, I didn’t get engaged in the P.E.I election until 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday when CBC provided live Election Day coverage. I didn’t know much of the back story other than the fact that polls had the Green Party showing up strongly. Now, Islanders are a pretty conservative lot. That’s “small c conservative, by the way. The last time they had a minority government was in 1870. In a province where horse racing is huge, elections in P.E.I. have always been a two horse race. The Liberals and Conservatives have taken turns holding the reins of power. That is, until Tuesday when the landscape changed precipitously.

I watched a bit of the interview with the Premier elect.  There had been some criticism of him and his party’s election strategy of NOT throwing red mud at the sitting, long in the tooth, Liberal party. His approach was civil and he appeared very modest moments after winning one of the most exciting horse races in Island history. Maybe Canada’s smallest province can lead the way in a revival of democracy that actually works and is not rife with acrimony and small mindedness which is too often the norm in modern democracies.


These are not partial lottery winning numbers. They are not Kawhi Leonard’s stats from Tuesday’s basketball game. These are the final standings from the P.E.I. election 2019:

12- Conservatives; 8 Green Party; 6 Liberals.

The “Road to Avonlea” should be fun to watch.

Have a great weekend.

Enjoy this? Visit the rest of my website to enjoy more of my work or buy my books!
Highland Hearing Clinic

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Monday Morning Musings

Posted on April 22, 2019 under Monday Morning Musings with no comments yet

Artistry in the window of The Plum Tree

Another Easter season has come and gone.

I checked earlier this morning and there were long lineups at every chocolate addiction centre in the province. Liquor stores are breathing a sigh of relief and bakeries are re-opening after 40 days and forty nights of denial. People have returned to Facebook. Yes indeed, Lent and Easter are in the rear view mirror for another year.

I’m not sure how young families celebrate Easter these days. I imagine that Easter egg hunts are still popular but I wouldn’t have a clue what the Easter bunny is leaving behind in the way of gifts.

Our mother kept the makers of hula hoops, jacks, red, white and blue sponge rubber balls and kites in business for decades. Oh yes, and those bat-a-ball gizmos.

When I think about Easter as a child, the overwhelming sense I get is that everything revolved around church which is not surprising when you grew up in “The Little Vatican.” When you were an altar server back in the 60’s, you may as well have camped out in the sanctuary of the church. From Palm Sunday to the mass of chrism, followed by the sacred triduum (the period from Holy Thursday to Easter Sunday), an altar boy saw a lot of Tigh Dei. One of the highlights was getting to wear a red surplice over your white soutane.

In the days of large families and unshakeable faith, getting a seat at any of these services required careful planning as empty seats were non -existent. Most Easter Saturdays meant a trip to midnight mass. Before attending, ten pairs of shoes would be lined up on a piece of newspaper, waxed and polished until they shone like the sun.

In later years, I witnessed all of these events from the comfort of “the perch”, the choir loft at St. Ninian’s. The choir has been a mainstay at the Cathedral for over a century. A family member who was in the choir before me mentioned that quite often, members of the tenor and bass sections (men) would disappear during parts of midnight mass. No, they weren’t checking to see if the Easter Bunny had arrived but rather to celebrate the end of Lent with a small drink of rum… to keep their vocal chords in good working order.

Has there ever been a Good Friday that wasn’t steely gray, cold and wet?

Of course, food is always a big part of major celebrations and we couldn’t wait for Easter Sunday to have one of our mother’s famous pineapple squares. I noticed a FB post a few days ago where a friend confessed that she had eaten half of a lemon meringue pie in one sitting at the conclusion of Lent. I thought she showed amazing restraint.

I almost forgot about confession. Atonement is a key feature of Easter week. In case you missed it, here’s my recollection of going to confession. (


One is advised to never “put all their eggs in one basket”. There is one exception: Easter morning.

Have a great week.



Enjoy this? Visit the rest of my website to enjoy more of my work or buy my books!
Tri Mac Toyota!

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.