Oh dear, what has Canada done now?

We went to see the Lost King”. These words are from the previous post, by my co-blogging partner JB. I love history and whilst I do not learn large amounts I do retain tidbits, making me one of those who recounts a lot of useless information at the drop of a hat.

The previous post by JB recounts the search for the lost remains of King Richard 111 the last Plantagenet King of Britain. Fascinating. The only missing historical body I know of, is that of Samuel de Champlain, known as the Father of New France (Quebec). He died Christmas Day in 1635. And I first learned that in a Louise Penny novel, her sixth, titled Bury Your Dead.

Well, enough about historical trivia. Today I want to address an article in THE GLOBE AND MAIL, a large Canadian Newspaper. Not an article but a letter to the editor.

Some of you already know that I have a LOVE/HATE relationship with my country. Only in the last few years.

This is what happened. When COVID-19 shut downs began about three years ago, the government began pouring money to The People through a program called CERB, and it was made clear to apply, not to worry. It was to replace wages lost.

It was a pretty stupid idea, even from the perspective of one so fiscally challenged here. It gave …oh never mind, the details are so depressing.

After COVID, the CRA (Canada Revenue Service) decided to track down those who should not have applied (though there were no safe-guards in place), and recoup what they figured was $15-Billion. Oh they rattled their sabres, and growled and did nothing, then news came that it would be too much work to track it down.

You know, because 15 billions is throw-away-money. So the headline to the letter to the editor above tells the story. A normal citizen was audited by CRA and ended. up having to pay $57.12.

BUT IT’S NOT WORTH THEIR TROUBLE…?????

Of course this is a government that likes to spend – mostly on themselves. We have a Governor General (Trudeau appointed after his last choice had to be booted out with her lifetime pension intact) who lives very high on the proverbial hog and who does not speak French – requirement-, does not represent the Anglophones either. She only focuses on the Indigenous, as she is Indigenous). She is known as the Queen’s / now King’s representative, but I suspect her only focus is rich food, rich meaning costing a lot) and an entourage who don’t do anything but eat and drink and fly high)

Oh my, I must close now before I really begin to rant and that is not a pleasant sight. The whole world is falling apart, it seems, so I think we must find some joy, purpose and pleasure in our tiny little lives.

So from North of 43 I bid you adieu and bon soir with a promise my next post will be filled with mirth!

OH AND SINCE MY ATTEMPTED DRY JANUARY TURNED OUT TO BE RATHER WET, TOMORROW I BEGIN DRY FEBRUARY. HHAHAHAHAHA – really.

Chris G Tuesday January 31st ’23

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The Day That The Rains Came

Photo by Olivia Basile via unsplash

We have had no rain here in Wellington for the past couple of weeks we have been enjoying long hot summer days sitting outside with a glass of cold wine or a G&T well into the evening

But on Friday morning, Mother Nature decided to let us know who was in charge and the skies opened and the rain poured down.  And all that day and the next it continued. The gardens all appreciated the rain but not so those still on holiday. You may have seen on your local television the floods that have been hitting the upper North Island. Chris told me she saw it on her news.  So, what we’ve had in Wellington is the tail end of that storm.

Today has been mainly dry and hopefully, that will give those people who have been flooded out of their homes time to sort themselves out before the next onslaught which we are advised will happen in the next day or so.

But for me, this was a full-on weekend. On Friday evening with a friend, I went to see Ottolenghi the Israeli chef who has taken the world by storm.  Before the show, we had dinner at a newly opened restaurant.  This restaurant really lived up to all that was promised on its website.  The show itself was a little disappointing.  I’m not sure what I expected. Obviously, he couldn’t prepare and cook food on the stage in front of us. In fact, he did prepare one cold dish made-up of a variety of items that he had on hand and of course, we could all see this on the large screen that was up above the stage. 

Then Saturday dawned and it was still raining.  it was a friend’s birthday and so we had planned to all meet for lunch. We went to a favourite cafe set in the beautiful Botanic Gardens here in Wellington. It’s a very pleasant place to be particularly when the sun shines but yesterday everybody and everything was drenched, but the weather couldn’t dampen the spirits of the “birthday girl” and her three close friends.

It was decided that it was such a terrible day that we would go to the movies in the evening.  The birthday girl’s husband would join us and once again he would be the only man with four women three of whom are widows.

We went to see the Lost King. This tells the story of Phillipa Langley and Michael Jones’ hunt for the resting place of King Richard III, the last Plantagenet king of Britain.    It certainly was a fascinating tale of this woman, Phillipa Langley, MBE, who got engrossed thinking about Richard III and from there she spent all her time searching until eventually, with the help of Michael Jones and others, and against the advice of most other people they discovered the resting place under a car park in Leicester. I n 2012 the body of Richard III was exhumed and laid to rest finally in Leicester Cathedral.  

And once again, it shows what a single person with a purpose can achieve.

Note – According to the BBC ” Richard III, who was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, was reburied at Leicester Cathedral. He was originally interred at the church of the Greyfriars, a 13th-Century monastic friary. The church appears to have been demolished during the reign of Henry VIII.

JB Wellington, NZ – January 29, 2023

Disclaimer follows

*It probably isn’t necessary, but what follows is my opinion and POV. It may be different that yours and you don’t have to agree. I celebrate all differing views.

A long rambling chain of thoughts brought to mind some observations this week as I was celebrating a run to freedom.

I first thought about stressors we voluntarily put on ourselves, unintentionally of course, and frequently in the name of self-improvement.

You see, this week I had a couple of epiphanies.

The first being that I ditched my Fitbit. (Probably not permanently as I am Gemini)

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In the beginning it was to set goals of activity and monitor sleep etc etc. And it was wonderful. At first. Then I began to feel stressed; if I didn’t make a certain number of steps in a day, if I didn’t sleep a proper percentage of each stage for seven to eight hours, if I didn’t, if I didn’t, if I didn’t…

Mind you doing the steps did increase my sense of well-being and was a natural way to lose pounds.

My doctor had ordered a medication for me, and a side effect for ten percent of patients was insomnia and you can guess where I fell. Insomnia triggers the very condition for which the medication was designed to aid.

Anxiety each night wondering if I was going to sleep well, and then the disappointing result in the morning gave rise to increased stress. Then I considered not wearing the bracelet to bed. Immediately I felt better. Not because I was sleeping better, and I think I was, because negativity wasn’t the start up emotion of my day and night.

And I realized I had learned how much activity to do in a day without needing the bracelet.

The conclusion was clear: constant monitoring is a stressor. Once you learn the tools for activity and health then just do it.

I have given up some social media. Why? Because success in something for others is often reflected as failure in yourself.

Remember the old saying about keeping up with the Joneses? Participants in social media, in my opinion, often means trying to keep up with so many, not just the Joneses. And that is stressful and creates some level of paranoia.

I had a hearty chuckle, okay loud laugh, when the next thought passed through my brain – people who spread the fear that the vaccines contained trackers put in by the government were the same people who willing wear trackers, carry cell phone, and stay ‘connected’.

NO ONE HAS TO CHIP YOU TO KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING 24/7. IT IS ALREADY KNOWN THROUGH YOUR DEVICES. AND IT ISN’T JUST THE GOVERNMENT WHO CAN TRACK YOU.

Do I suggest giving these things up – nope – because it is a reality of this world now and cannot be stopped in its progression to things we can barely imagine.

So for now, here at North of 43, I am on a Fitbit free kick. I must say though I do feel a little lost. We almost need these things to give our life meaning. Maybe there should be a Challenge for this?

Chris G Tuesday January 24th ’23

Socialising on Sunday

I have written before about some poems I have read that see that seemed to have been written just for me. This poem by James Rainsford is a particular one:

“Please put down that book you’re reading now
and gently close its pages.
So no harm shall come to damage its cold thoughts.
Look up.  Please, look up and see
what little there is left of me where you felt loved.

© James Rainsford – Author, poet, photographer.

I often think about that poem and hear my late husband’s voice each time.  How many times did I hear words like that in the 41 years we were together?  

Today, I had lunch with friends in their garden on a lovely summer Sunday.  I commented on how good the garden was looking. 18 months ago there was no garden when they moved into their new house, just hard-packed earth, mostly clay,  that had been compounded by the trucks during building, and delivery vans once they took possession.

These people have a good life and share many things but not a love of gardening and the comment was made by the wife that her husband spent much of the day engrossed in a book.  Her complaint was that while she was working in the garden (which she loved) she would often call him to come and look at a particular plant. 

He doesn’t always respond by putting down the book.

Many of my friends, all avid readers, have been guilty of ignoring calls to put down that book.  Think about it. I know there were many times when the call disturbed my concentration. I didn’t care about the rugby game playing out on the TV.  Now, I wish  had read the poem while my husband was still alive.  I hope I would have heeded the call. 

Thank you, James, for permitting me to reprint your poem on my blog Growing Younger Each Day 12 years ago. 

JB Wellington, NZ
January 22, 2023

A BOLT OUT OF THE BLUE

A lovely Summer’s s day here in NZ. A quiet cup of coffee in the sunshine was disturbed by Breaking News. Our Prime Minister is resigning.

Jacinta Ardern, the Darling of the world press, and many of its leaders and politicians will resign “no later than February 7” The announcement was received by the general population here with shock and some might say, disbelief. There had been no indication to the Hoi Polloi of this before the announcement. She made the announcement today in Hawkes Bay and at the same time announced the date of the General Election as October 14th.

Now we have the usual jockeying for the position as Leader of the Labour Party following Ardern’s decision.

There’s nothing more for me to add. Just 

Image via Linkedin

JB Wellington, NZ, January 19, 2023

The things we see on a walk

Christmas decorations were alive and well around the corner and down the street. I see now that I didn’t edit it very well, but the home is surrounded with every kind of lawn ornament possible. It was a rather nice surprise as this was the first day of real sunshine in weeks (well it felt like weeks) and it took my breath away and made me smile! As I watched the gentleman of the home came out to start packing it away. He is somewhere in that picture.

Then I came across this:

And the smile disappeared.

When I was young (think mid-last century) there was cause for celebration when Kitchener was voted the cleanest city in Canada. And we were.

No such thing as litter. This photo is taken at a bus stop. There used to be containers at every bus stop for this refuse, and I had noticed many were over-flowing.

Rather than schedule a more frequent pickup at these spots the city REMOVED ALL THE REFUSE CONTAINERS.

l am disgusted with the way things are done these days. At least somethings like this.

Okay, that’s enough from North of 43.

Chris G Tuesday, January 17th, 23

Sunny Sunday Sensing

“Lazy Sunday afternoon
I’ve got no mind to worry
I close my eyes and drift away-a”
Small Faces  1960s –  an English rock band from East London 

Sunday afternoon and it’s here before anywhere else in the world. Well, this Sunday was great.

The day started with a late rising, followed by a chat with my daughter and then another chat this time on Facetime with my alter ego/good friend Chris.  You know that we regularly chat and although we’ve never met in person, we are firm friends. Maybe if one of us wins the lottery we might get to meet. Waterloo, Ontario is far from Wellington, New Zealand. Aren’t we lucky we live in a time when the internet makes connecting with friends so easy?

After being picked up by another friend and lunch in the coffee shop at my favourite garden shop, we took a ‘short’ run to the supermarket for a very few things. As my daughter says “Why go to the supermarket on Sunday afternoon when you have all week?” No answer to that one.

Then it was time to unpack the groceries and take the opportunity to sit in the sunshine with another book from Tony Park, the author I recently discovered. Another book set in South Africa, about game viewing and poaching.  I am enjoying learning more about this fascinating country. Off now to continue reading. 

Then after lunch, a ‘short’ run to the supermarket for a very few things. As my daughter says “why go to the supermarket on Sunday afternoon when you have all week?” No answer to that one.

Back to reading my book.

JB January 15, 2023
Wellington, NZ

Yeah! It is Friday the 13th!!

It was a treat to read the previous post by JB in which she gives great information on this day throughout history! A little bit scary but information I did not know!

I once had a boss that if she was going to fire someone she did it on a Friday and so it became known as Farewell Friday!

But for me this has always been a lucky day. At least that is the way I see it. You know the old ‘perception’ thing.

Perhaps it is a Canadian trait. Here, in Ontario, we have a world famous celebration on every Friday the 13th regardless of season, where thousands ride motorcycles to Port Dover (google it), though the numbers are fewer on cold wintery days such as today.

Link to article

Something about us makes us/let’s us, see the sunny side of things, at least some of the time.

** Please know I and none of my WOW (Wise Old Women) attend but we do chuckle about the brave souls who do!

That’s about it from North of 43!

Chris G Friday January 13th ’23

Friday the 13th

Tomorrow is Friday the 13th in New Zealand. It will shortly be at your place too. 

Friday the 13th is the most widespread superstition in the Western world.  Some people refuse to go to work on Friday the 13th; some won’t eat in restaurants and many would not consider setting this as a date for a wedding or other large celebration.

According to our good friend Wikipedia “The fear of Friday the 13th is called friggatriskaidekaphobia (Frigga being the name of the Norse goddess for whom “Friday” is named and triskaidekaphobia meaning fear of the number thirteen)”  So we have a name for this phobia. But from where did this superstition arise?  The number 13 has been considered unlucky for centuries. Some say the superstition began with 13 people who attended the Last Supper, but ancient Babylon’s Code of Hammurabi omits the number 13 in its list of laws, so the superstition dates back to at least 1700 BC.

It appears that Friday’s bad reputation goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden.  Apparently, it was a Friday when Eve tempted Adam with the forbidden fruit.  We are told that the Great Flood began on a Friday; God tongue-tied the builders of the Tower of Babel on a Friday; and it was on a Friday that the Temple of Solomon was destroyed.  And Friday was the day of the week on which Christ was crucified.  In pagan Rome, Friday was execution day and later Hangman’s Day in Britain

But the association of Friday with the number 13 didn’t arise until the 20th  century.  In 1907, Thomas Lawson a Boston stockbroker published a book called Friday the Thirteenth.  This told the story of one man’s attempt to crash the stock market on the unluckiest day of the month.  The book sold nearly 28,000 copies in the first week.

Wall Street’s superstitions about Friday the 13th continued and in 1925 the New York Times declared that people “would no more buy or sell a share of stock today than they would walk under a ladder or kick a black cat out of their path.”

Even today most tall buildings don’t have a thirteenth floor.

So are you superstitious about this day?  In 2023 Friday the 13th will occur twice – January and October – so if you are superstitious you will have to watch out on those two days.

“How many things served us yesterday for articles of faith,
which today are fables for us?” 
Michel de Montaigneone of the most significant philosophers of

the French Renaissance. 1513 – 1592

JB Wellington, NZ
Friday 13 January 2023

Scarred Desks and Rosie O’Grady

When the children were young, think forty-fifty years ago, we had cats and dogs. Well actually only one of each; Candy who was the colour of a halloween candy, and Fagan, a black and white Lab mix.

For a number of reasons I decided to get a cat. I had firm rules in place – must be healthy, perhaps a couple of years old (you know – past the teething crazy stage -). So I decided on a rescue.

I won’t go into the the frustrations of adopting through some Rescue programs, but, one had an application form, needed photos of my home to make sure it was suitable, involved and interview for the same reason, and a commitment to pledge any number of things and to consider putting it in my Will etc etc etc.

Anyway through another Rescue I sent an email related to a photo on the site, spoke with someone on the phone, and arranged to go see the pet and to take a cat carrier if the interview went well.

My first impression was that she looked rather mangy, but I looked at her and wondered what some comfort and good food and the prerequisite loving would do. A vet has placed her at about two years. She is tiny at seven pounds. By what we know of her history, life has not been easy or kind for her.

I have had her three days and she is not perfect, like me. She is an excellent match. Well tempered, as am I. (haha)

She likes music, it soothes her. It soothes me.

I always thought I was happy living alone, but it is quite amazing the different she makes.

Her name is Rosie, and I have given her a last name, O’Grady. Rosie O’Grady. I thought this Scots mixed house could use a little Irish in it.

You see in the above photo a very scratched scarred glass desk. I have had it a long long time. Occasionally, it crosses my mind to get something new and shiny. The glass is nice because my apartment is very small (perfect for me), and the glass gives the appearance of space.

But, I like the old desk. It feels like comfort, inspiration.

So, that’s what is new here at North of 43 where I am missing our fine winter snow which has been washed away by lots of rain, but, we have a few more weeks of winter to go!

Chris G January 10, 2023