Freedom’s just another word

Me and Bobby McGee

Following JB’s post of yesterday about world reaction to the United States Supreme Court’s most recent decision, I had a mind to follow up on that topic, but realized there are a lot of folk who need to express feelings, thoughts and anguish, and I would stand down for now.

And so my mind took me in a different direction.

I forgot my ear buds when I went walking this morning (early, as it is now 31C), and it gave me a chance to do some free thinking. Bounce my thoughts here and there.

Freedom came to the fore, of course. Well, at least the thought of it. And what it meant. Different folk, different slant. Different hope. Different anguish.

But, for this moment I am thinking about the losses of freedom we put on ourselves. Think, breaking self-imposed chains. Things that affect our everyday life. Things that have a good initially, and then we become dependent.

For instance;

I had to smile when I thought about conspiracists who said the government put tracking chips in the vaccine. (and were believed by too many of the P.T. Barnum ilk), and yet wear tracking bracelets and carry cell phones and other devices.) Chips not required.

When people – read ME here – sign up for self improvement programs that include weight loss, exercise, meditation – you name it. And carry on with them for years. **Note: I am not dissing these programs for even a minute. They are the reason I am healthy and active at 75.

No, my thoughts are that they have a purpose and I suddenly realized when I was preparing my food plan for the week and setting activity goals that I didn’t have to do this anymore.

I realized that the purpose of the programs had a training function. And there comes a time when one must ditch the training wheels of life. I know how to eat healthy. I know how much activity I require for good health and well-being. I also don’t need to know how much sleep and deep sleep I had.

So I have freed myself from such things as of today and it feels good. Of course that now leaves a lot of free space in my brain. Hmmm

So from here at North of 43, I shall ponder, and wish you all some kind of peace of mind.

Chris G June 25th ’22


I had another post in mind right up to the point of starting to type, but something else won out.

I have become enamoured of late with an old TV Series from Britain. It has started a once a day episode and I PVR it, generally watching in the evening.

It’s an old tale about love lost, and a reuniting thirty-eight years later, when paths cross again.

It’s a lovely show, starring Dame Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer, that makes me feel, sentimental, wistful, and comforted. I guess. Not sure if that really says how it makes me feel, but it’s the best I can come up with.

It’s a calming time, a laughing time, that ends with a sigh. (Mine not theirs)

Sometimes I find myself wondering if there had been someone who loved me all those years ago and I didn’t know it. Something to ponder.

The series originally ran from 1992-2004 I think.

Dame Judi Dench

The Dame is one of my favourite actresses. I love her style, her accent, her humour. Whether she is Jean from this series or M from the 007 franchise she emanates femininity wrapped around iron strength.

The Jean character and the Lionel character play off each other well. And none of this kissy sweet stuff. They grumble and gripe like most real life couples I know.

It just makes for a very pleasant half hour a day. And of course the lyrics and music brings back warm feelings of yesteryear. You know, mid-last century.

It all just feels like a soothing balm in a world that’s gone upside down.

As Time Goes By

Song by Dooley Wilson


You must remember this
A kiss is just a kiss
A sigh is just a sigh
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by

And when two lovers woo
They still say “I love you”
On that you can rely
No matter what the future brings
As time goes by

Moonlight and love songs
Never out of date
Hearts full of passion
Jealousy and hate
Woman needs man, and man must have his mate
That no one can deny

It’s still the same old story
A fight for love and glory
A case of do or die
The world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by

Moonlight and love songs
Never out of date
Hearts full of passion
Jealousy and hate
Woman needs man, and man must have his mate
That no one can deny

It’s still the same old story
A fight for love and glory
A case of do or die
The world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Herman Hupfeld

As Time Goes By lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

So from North of 43 I wish a bit of peace and calm for each of you!

Chris G June 23rd ’22

Grab pluck or seize – this is the day!

And what a day it is!

When I woke this morning at 6 and read the news –

Summer Solstice, Longest Day of the Year, First Day of Summer, Planetary Alignment I just knew it would be a special time. Lots of thoughts came to mind –

And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy

Next I thought SEIZE THE DAY!

Carpe is the second-person singular present active imperative of carpō “pick or pluck” used by Horace to mean “enjoy, seize, use, make use of”.[2] Diem is the accusative of dies “day”. A more literal translation of carpe diem would thus be “pluck the day [as it is ripe]”—that is, enjoy the moment. It has been argued by various authors that this interpretation is closer to Horace’s original meaning

Then I thought Tomb Raider ( the Angelina Jolie version)

Rare five-planet alignment to dazzle the night sky as per BBC Science Focus Magazine. By Holly Spanner

The five bright planets will be visible with the naked eye, and rather excitingly for stargazers, will appear in the same order as they are in their orbits around the Sun.

From the east-northeast horizon looking towards the right, you’ll be able to see Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn with the naked eye

When was the last time the planets aligned?

It’s not unusual to see two or three planets in the night sky, but planetary alignments of this kind are pretty rare. Because of the orientation and tilt of their orbits, the eight major planets of the Solar System can never come into perfect alignment. The last time they appeared even in the same part of the sky was over 1,000 years ago, in the year AD 949, and they won’t manage it again until 6 May 2492.

Photo by John Nail on

A day of great portent? Maybe. Maybe not. But I do believe in Magic! And Santa. The Easter Bunny? Not so much.

So here at North of 43 I shall wait. And see. But if there is magic to be had, may you enjoy it too!!

June 21st.’22

Duck Duck Goose

Duck Duck Goose is a children’s game, but not one that I played, but the term came to mind yesterday.

I ventured forth in mild weather (18C), to pick up just a few things. I thankfully took my cane, that I seldom use, but found it necessary after two days of heavy labour. And glad that I did. It would serve as a weapon.

After purchasing the necessities of life (Reactine, Apples, and Wine) I approached my bus stop, but could go no further.

In spite of 2 lakes (Victoria Park and Waterloo Park) a reasonable distance away, I came across Canadian Geese barring my entry to the stop with a gang of gosslings that are cute as newborns and beautiful as adults but truly the ugly duckling at this stage; Gangly and clumsy looking.

Now unlike the Canadian persona, Canadian Geese are very aggressive. You don’t mess with them. And if you accidentally kill one the fines are in the thousands.

I waited as they made their way past the bus stop. I didn’t want to wave my mighty cane so waited.

Now you should be able to google anything but cannot get a satisfactory answer as to why they would be on a city street pulling at the grass.

Then – they decided to cross the street.

It’s a busy street at the best of times. And of they did not all cross at once. In fact there were three group nail biting crossings but they made it.

And I said to a young chap they will probably all come back now, because watching them I believe the goal was not the journey but the power of controlling puny humans.

So those are the marvellous thoughts from North of 43 today!

Chris G June 19th’ 22

How The Light Gets In

Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack, a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in.

Leonard Cohen from ’Anthem’

A busy exciting day here at North of 43, mostly doing stuff I don’t usually do. See, it doesn’t take WHOOOOO WHOOO make life exciting around here.

And when I got home, showered after lots of physical work, went off to Crabby Joe’s for a hamburger and a beer, I kept thinking about this being my day to blog. You know because Judith and I alternate days.

Problem is that one of the books I have on the go, one that I have read by real book, ebook, and today audio book is one of my favourites and I just couldn’t put it down. Uh, or off.

Any way the book is:

Now I am, as you may know an ardent Louise Penny fan.

Not just of her writing but of her as a person. We are best friends. Okay, maybe she doesn’t know about it but we are. I think we are like peas in a pod, but it is doubtful anyone else would agree, but the thought makes me happy so…

How the Light Gets In is the ninth of eighteen Gamache books and my favourite. There will be eighteen when her new one A World of Curiosities comes out in November. I also liked her State of Terror she wrote with Hillary Clinton, but Three Pines definitely has my heart.

This book has it all for me. Suspense, love, flawed humans not cast out or cancelled. It speaks to me on a very personal level. Please note: having read a book does not decrease in anyway the suspense for me. Go figure.

So here it is, after 10, or 2200 hours and I have just finished the book yet again, and of course I had to talk about it. Except I am very tired. So no more talking for me, but you might want to give the book a read.

So goodnight from here at North of 43, just another flawed human striving. Hmmmm striving for what I wonder? Oh Oh. I will ponder that for a bit.

Chris G June 17th ’22

Sometimes you just have to laugh though the pain

Honest to goodness. Leave it to Canada.

I saw the headline:

Oh! Dear! Gosh. Shucks.

Accused of being evasive.

I would like to string together about a dozen expletives here, but out of respect for you I will not.

There is no point in saying this government lies because all governments lie. But this little cookie is one of the worst. No, I take that back because her boss and everyone in every are about the same.

This came up for discussion today at our Wednesday Cafe O get together. When did politicians get so crooked? And then it occurred to me that they have been crooked for a long time, but media more readily outs them.

So this is a short post because I cannot vent. It wouldn’t be good for me or you.

Instead I shall probably put on my Rose Coloured Glasses and get lost in a book.

If I have to live with fiction it will be one of my choosing.

So from North of 43, may your day be pleasant and bright – if you don’t look into the dark cracks out there!

Chris G June 15th ’22

OLD – Babes on a bridge and Ball in the Park

The perfect summer day – sun, but not too hot; domestic chores, mostly chopping up fresh veg for the freezer; and a lovely walk in the early evening.

But what about the title above you ask?

I got a card from my SIL that has been viewed with hilarity and very loud laughter by all who view it. **Warning, we have been referred to as TWO HOT BABES. Uh, by ourselves of course.

Sometimes when I am walking I come across a little league baseball game in progress and smile.

But a big smile happened the other day when I saw this:

Not little league but OLD league. I watched for awhile and was tempted to ask if I could play when I suddenly realized all these OLD people were probably twenty years younger than I. I did wonder if I could find a Septuagenerian League.

It’s Monday here at North of 43 and the start of a fabulous week and I wish the same for all of you.

Chris G June 13th ’22

Giving up my oven

Thought about it for ages. How would I manage?

And then today, I got exactly what I had wanted as a gift:

It’s a Digital Rotisserie Convection Oven. It also does toast and ordinary baking.

I had grown weary of using a family sized oven (a waste of energy I reasoned) and the occasional groans that emanated whenever I had to bend down putting food in, taking food out, and all the attention required between times.

Plus cleaning that monstrosity just requires too much energy. (See all the justifications I make?)

Truthfully it is mostly about the waste of energy and the fact that using a large oven in a small apartment can be a little too warming.

So clean and unmarred hahahaha

And this will be much much easier to clean – though I must still clean the beast one last time.

In addition I was treated to a delightful lunch at Browns Social House in Waterloo and it is several hours later and I am still not hungry. The food and service was outstanding.

Fact is, as I told JB tonight on our Sat/Sun FaceTime that I have been eating out for a week and I was glad this week of celebration was over. Then I remembered I am going out to breakfast tomorrow morning with my sisters.

I see a week of WW ahead and lots of zero point foods!!

Say, do any of you use Convection when baking? What are the advantages?

So from a very satisfied North of 43 I wish you all a wonderful weekend. Or what’s left of it.

Chris G June 11th ’22

Intrigue and Mystery

I love books, and reading and the blessings of technology (most days). One of the most soothing things I do is walk to my library, spend a couple hours just sitting soaking up the ambience, and of course reading.

My next favourite thing is getting books from the library on my iPad.

My tastes are somewhat eclectic and I generally have at least two books on the go.

Audio and ebooks currently reading:

Never Saw Me Coming is for my Bookclub. I tried the audiobook you see here but was glad when the hard copy became available and I picked it up today.

I am a huge fan of audio books because I can embroider or knit while listening, sort of killing those two birds. Not all readers suit me. But I do have favourites. Robert Bathurst now does the Louise Penny series about Three Pines. And Titus Welliver who narrates the Michael Connelly series Harry Bosch is also the actor who portrays him on film. Richard Ferrone narrates John Sandford’s Lucas Davenport series.

Okay it has just dawned on me that this could be a very long post – which equals less reading time.

So I guess the question from North of 43 tonight is – what type of books do you enjoy? Do you prefer ebooks, hold in your hand hard copy or audio?

My Four Thousand Weeks just came in so I am off to check it out!

Chris G June 9th, ‘22

Ten years later I’m not sure I am brighter

This evening as I write these words I am on the cusp of completing 75 years on this earth. Tomorrow I will awaken 75 years old and embarking on my 76th year.

I found myself wondering – have I changed? improved? gotten better? I mean I always talk about improving, learning, you know.

My life is more comfortable in many ways, but I still make mistakes, errors in judgement. Of course being human means non-perfection. I do wonder if I am any wiser? Hindsight is 20/20 as they say, so I guess there is some wisdom from lessons learned.

I thought it would be helpful to look back at a blog from my 65th birthday. Ten years ago on Bridgesburning. Below are actually interesting facts about my city which at the time of my 65th was celebrating its 100th.

History aside, I guess it matters less what I learned or did in the past, but what I do in the future. I am big on journaling so for this auspicious occasion I treated myself to a new leather bound journal to start tomorrow. Will I fill it with proof of wisdom? Who knows? And since our schools no longer teach cursive to students it is quite likely no one will be able to read it anyway. Someday probably Universities will include translation of cursive along with other dead languages. hahaha.

My new journal!!

Friday June 8th is not only my birthday but also that of the city of my birth, Kitchener Ontario.  The city was 35 when I was born and I think that is about all I will say of that.  Its original name was Berlin and it was renamed when the First World War took place.  I guess our city fathers felt Berlin was a little Germanic considering so it was named after Lord Kitchener.  It did not change the fact that the largest population was German.  The city apparently boasted a spectacular bust of Kaiser Whilhelm 1 and a few days after war was declared three young Berlin men (Fred Bolton, Alan Smith and John Ferguson) toppled the bust and dumped it into the lake at Victoria Park.  Unfortunately in 1916 there was considerable animosity from the non-German residents.

It has been interesting reading the history pages on line as many of the names we have for parks and streets are linked to the actual people living at the time.

In 1920 Charles How’s Royal Cafe was raided by Kitchener police who seized a large amount of opium and smoking equipment so I guess drugs in the cities have a long history.

In 1922 we were visited by William Lyon Mackenzie King who was then Prime Minister and a native son of our wee town.  Not so wee since 10,000 people came out to meet him .

Canadians are known to be generally a polite tolerable people however 1925 saw a clandestine attempt to oraganize a Kitchener chapter fo the Ku klux Kan that ended through disinterest.  The organizers met in a private home but two Daily Record reporters ‘were able to glimpse a’crowd’ of three around a table.’

In 1927 it seemed there were bootleggers to be caught and in 1928 the city’s Health Department found two gypsy families living in an abandoned store and shooed them out.

The first of the famous Five and Dime stores opened in 1932 by Walter Zeller.  I remember my mom still calling them Five and Dimes.  In 1936 specific mention is made of a shoemaker William Thoms who road his bicycle from home to work every day for a distance of 12 miles.  It was estimated he cycled a total of 131,400 miles.  The distance would have been much greater but during the winters he had to walk and they did not tally up those miles.  He stopped, or retired I guess at the age of 82.

One hanging was detailed in 1940.  Reginald White who was the third and final person to ever be so disposed of for a crime in the city.

1942 mention of note was that the local library reported many strange things found in books used as markers, but none so strange as a slice of bacon.

It was not until 1946, on December 24th that Canadian women were given equal status under the new Citizenship Act.

Neither of my parents, many uncles, aunts, cousins, and brother, and in-laws never got to see this, so I shall savour the getting-there of it tomorrow. So from North of 43 I bid all a long and good life, oh and courage. Lord knows we need it!

Chris G June 7th’22