Monday Morning Musings

Posted on July 29, 2019 under Monday Morning Musings with no comments yet

Paradise. Just up the road from Meat Cove

By the time most of you haul your butts out of bed this morning, I’ll be on my way to the Cabot Trail… by car. No, I’m not starting my walk today but merely going on a scouting expedition. I want to map out mileages from Point A to Point B and drop in on some people. This will be a totally different walk than the Camino as I will be walking alone and on the main highways rather than on trails.

Once I have a clear picture of what my days will look like, I will be asking for some help finding lodgings along the way. I realize that some people think we Scots are a frugal lot and reluctant to open our purses and wallets. Yes, I could stay in motels or B&B’s along the way and may end up doing so on the odd occasion but the whole point of this adventure is to stay in people’s homes and hear their stories. These will provide fodder for a book that I’m threatening to write.

My walk has taken on a sharper focus as I plan to dedicate it to my friend Simone MacDonald, a long- time employee of Sobey’s who suffered a devastating stroke a few weeks ago. I’m up with the birds and like to get my groceries before things get too busy. Simone has been working the early morning shift for more than 35 years. She is an active walker and a frequent visitor to the rink to skate in winter. She has a warm personality and we always seem to share a laugh.

The hills that I will climb on the Cabot Trail are nothing compared with those facing Simone. She has a long rehabilitation ahead of her which will require resources. I have started raising money for her to help with expenses that are due to accumulate very soon. If you would like to help out, you can send money anyway that suits you. The Cabot Trail is 300K so maybe you can pledge so much per kilometre or simply a flat amount.

I’m accepting e-transfers at You can also drop off a donation at Sobey’s or if you’re old fashioned like me, you can mail me a cheque or better still, meet me for coffee and hand deliver it. If all else fails, a carrier pigeon will do. So far, generous folks have sent along $1,100. I’m hoping by the time my walk ends, that we can raise $5,000. I’ll keep you updated.

I was in Halifax on the weekend. Our two 11 year old guests for the month of July headed back home to Montreal yesterday so we decided to spend the weekend in the city. The weather was glorious. Yes, we completed our mission of having ice cream on 30 consecutive days. The very last one was at the Booza Emessa ice cream store in Bedford. This establishment is the pride and joy of one of the province’s Syrian refugee families. If you’re heading down the Bedford Highway towards Bedford, they’re on the right hand side just past the Esquire Motel. There are several businesses with red roofs. You can’t miss it. Booza is the last one. The ice cream is slightly different than what we’re used to but they received rave reviews from the four of us.

I did my Sunday walk yesterday.  We were staying in Dartmouth so I had to walk across the MacDonald Bridge in the early hours of the morning. I watched the fog lift over Halifax Harbour. I sat and gazed at the beauty of the flowers in the Public Gardens. I walked through Point Pleasant Park listening to the coos of the mourning doves, the chatter of squirrels and the scuffle of joggers’ feet out for their morning run. I strolled up Spring Garden Road, still one of my favourite streets anywhere. So many good memories are associated with this street going back to the days of the first Atlantic Bowl football games at Wanderers Grounds. No visit to Halifax was complete until dining at the Garden View Chinese restaurant. I walked from the downtown out to the Armview restaurant at the rotary for lunch with my son. Speaking of legendary restaurants, we’ve been going to the Armview for decades.

The walk certainly wasn’t my longest by any means clocking in at 25K. On this day, I chose quality over quantity.

Happy trails.

Have a great week.



If you haven’t made a donation to Simone yet, it’s time to pony up!

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Monday Morning Musings

Posted on July 22, 2019 under Monday Morning Musings with one comment

“If you believed, they put a man on the moon.”

(With thanks to Bernice MacDonald Photography)


“Fly me to the moon,

Let me play among the stars,

Let me see what spring is like,

On Jupiter and Mars.”

Fly Me to The Moon. Frank Sinatra

Where were you on Sunday, July 20, 1969? If you weren’t born, you’ll be forgiven for not understanding the nostalgia felt recently by the 50 and over crowd. It was on this day, that man first stepped on the moon. While the moon landing is arguably the most important event of that calendar year, there were many other things that happened in the world that grabbed our attention.

I was playing in a golf tournament in the Annapolis Valley that day and on the way home, we heard the news on the radio. How about you?

The moon has inspired many songs over the decades.

“Moon River, wider than a mile; I’m crossing you in style someday.” Moon River. Frank Ocean

Richard Nixon became president of the United States in 1969 as the war in Vietnam raged. Joe Namath became a household name when he led his New York Jets football team to a stunning upset in the Super Bowl. The average income in North America was $8,500 and a gallon of gas cost 35 cents.

“I see a bad moon arising; I see trouble on the way.” Bad Moon Rising Credence Clearwater Revival.

The Beatles gave their last public appearance on the roof of Apple studio. Hard core Montreal Expos fans might remember that the Expos made their debut as the first major league baseball team outside of the United States on April 8, 1969

“And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too; I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon.” Dark Side of the Moon. Pink Floyd

I guess Montreal was the place to be in 1969. John Lennon and Yoko Ono held their second “bed-in” at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel during which Lennon wrote and recorded “Give Peace a Chance”. Woodstock, a generational outdoor concert held in upstate New York, dominated the headlines in August of 1969. A “Who’s Who” in the world of popular music (including The Who!) was there including Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, The Band, Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez and one of my all-time favourite groups, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

“Well it’s a marvellous night for a moondance; with the stars up above in your eyes.” Moondance. Van Morrison

The Beatles released their album “Abbey Road” in September of 1969. Many people consider it one of their best. Here Comes the Sun remains one of my favourites from that album. For those of you with a funny streak in you might remember the launch of Month Python’s Flying Circus in October that year. In what still ranks as one of the greatest upsets in baseball history, the (Amazing) New York Mets defeated the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series.

“If you believed they put a man on the moon, man on the moon.” Man on the Moon R.E.M.

The child in all of us will surely remember Sesame Street.  The first episode of this amazing children’s educational program was aired in November of 1969. The first ATM machine was installed in New York City.

“I love you to the moon and back.” Guess How Much I Love You. Sam McBratney

I have always wondered about this expression as I see it repeatedly on social media platforms. Apparently, every day, the heart creates enough energy to drive a truck for 30K. In a lifetime, that is the equivalent of driving to the moon and back. So when you tell someone that you love them “to the moon and back”, you’re essentially saying you will love them with all the blood your heart pumps your whole life.

Well, how’s that for some light fare during the dog days of summer?

I think I’ll just “moonwalk” out of here.

Have a great week.

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Monday Morning Musings

Posted on July 15, 2019 under Monday Morning Musings with no comments yet

Drove my Zevvy Chevy to the levy


“Baby you can drive my car,

Yes, I’m going to be a star.”

Baby You Can Drive My Car. The Beatles

I’m all charged up and ready to hit the open highway.

I attended the Art Fair last Friday and met three young men from the Clean Foundation. Clean is a non -profit, non-governmental organization. “Clean makes homes more energy efficient, restores streams and watersheds, engages youth on the environment, promotes green transportation, mitigates the effects of  storm water, helps communities reduce waste and contributes to public policy discussions.”

There was an electric car parked outside the Art Fair venue. Ben, Noah and Daniel have a pretty sweet summer job. They are employed by Next Ride. They get to travel around the province attending events and festivals educating people about the merits of electric cars. Let’s face it, the future is now and electric cars will become as popular as hoola hoops were back in the 60s.

These three guys obviously know their stuff and spoke in a language that I did not understand. They tried their damndest to help me understand the basic of electric cars. “Hey, throw in some quantum physics while you’re at it,” is what I felt like saying. I feel quite certain that if the car companies promoting this technology could just hook these lads up to the charging stations, they could fuel just about any make or model. Their energy was infectious.

They offered me a chance to take a ride in Zevvy, the car they are using to get around the province. I signed a waiver and Ben and I took it for a spin. It was a very quiet ride except for Ben who sounded like a buzz saw as he pointed out the many advantages of green energy.

Did you know that there are Federal incentives up to $5,000 to purchase an electric vehicle? There are currently over 100 charging stations across Nova Scotia including one in the parking lot behind Bloomfield Centre on the campus of St.F.X. University. Want to learn more? Check out this website and get yourself up to speed.

I got quite an education in the 30 minutes I spent with these guys. I didn’t want to burst their bubble by telling them that I have discovered a technology which is every bit as efficient as an electric car with very low overhead and NO carbon footprint, just real footprints: my two legs.

Last Friday night I got banished to my sister’s cottage as our tiny apartment was filled to capacity. As sad as I was to leave the chaos created by four young girls, I sucked it up and did my duty. I hadn’t spent a night at the beach in well over a decade if not longer. After a lovely, quiet visit at my brother’s cottage, I walked a few steps to my sister’s place. It was a rainy night. I took one of the beds in the upstairs, opened a window and put my head on the pillow. I listened to the pitter patter of the rain on the roof. I smelled the fresh salty air and could hear the sounds of the waves caressing the shoreline. Even on a rainy night, there’s something magical about a night at the beach.

Have a great week.

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