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.


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!


Chris G Tuesday January 31st ’23


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’.


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

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

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

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

Don’t say goodbye…..

I’ve read a few posts where a resounding goodbye is made to old 2022, then door firmly shut and an optimistic face put forward.

I was thinking about that this morning in the bumbling about way my mind works, and it occurred to me that slamming the door on the old year, as one might on an old relationship might not be wise.

There are things I treasured about this year; events, people, lessons learned, and lessons relearned.

I don’t want to even forget about the difficult things, from which we learn and grow.

I sort of just want to gently shut the door, and give thanks.

This bit below says far more clearly my own thoughts.

Vedanta Kesari means ‘Lion of Vedanta’ and is a cultural and spiritual English monthly magazine published by Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai

No matter what you believe in, or do not believe in, (and truthfully it doesn’t matter), there is comfort to be found in these words.

So, that’s about all the wisdom here at North of 43. I wish a happier New Year for everyone.

If Wishes were horses..

‘All beggars would ride’

Comes that time of year when Resolutions fly fast and furious and may or may not be Wishes.

Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

I was about eight years old when my teacher made the quote about horses and wishes, and it stuck with me. Probably because it had made perfect sense, although I did not fully understand the implications.

I saw this posted today on Darlene Foster’s Facebook (she of the Amanda Adventure series). I don’t know who Butterfly Sand is, but I know enough about Darlene that she understands the importance of ‘our hands’. You know the doing part.

We can plan, we can hope, we can wish.

But it all goes for nought without the doing.

Here we are, JB and me. Partners in A World Apart, living on opposite sides of this globe. That’s us a year and a bit ago when we started this blog.

For years we have approached New Years not with Resolutions, but with Goals. All of them S.M.A.R.T. of course.

Then in June we review, reassess, refocus.

We usually choose five or six goals, and it is amazing how much we accomplish.

If you are a Resolution Maker, do it with gusto. Have fun with it. Ignore the Nay Sayers.ew

So from North of 43 I wish all a Happy New Year, a year of Success, year of Hope.

Chris G December 27th ’22

Wind, Ice, Snow, Not so HO HO HO

As much as I like snow, the couple of days before Christmas is not really prime time.

Say this photo from last year sure looks a lot like what is going on right now.

The airports are full of travellers, stranded, who really thought they would be spending the season in the sunny south. 146 flights have been shut down just in British Columbia and Ontario alone, and now Montreal has closed down more.

Families planning on getting together might not happen. Some folks stocked up lots of food for company and not too sure if there will be company.

Funniest thing on the weather news just now. The Weather person talked about the storm being in Canada and North America, and I laughed out loud at such ignorance. The North American continent is made up of both the USA and Canada.

But then I looked above at the satellite view and see it is labeled as being Canada and North America.


All I can say from here, North off 43 is that I hope all are safe and this Season filled with Joy!

Chris G Friday December 23rd ’22

Take my Merry Christmas without offence and Dinner Alone

A delightful time this morning catching up on blogs that spawned a couple of thoughts.

First from CAT who talked about Dinner Alone in a very poetic fashion.

At 75 my some of my friends and I are quite happy having Christmas Dinner alone. We have loving families but visiting and socializing and often staying overnight is quite exhausting,

Alone does not necessarily mean lonely.

I plan a special meal, as is another friend at 89. In fact, she suggested the meal this time. Rock Cornish Hen. And I suggested a recipe for orange sauce. A wild rice side. Some lovely vegetables. Some bubbles, probably a Prosecco or Henkel Trocken. And I think a nice mincemeat tart or pie!

Designed for one person and oh so lovely!

Now on the other note. PC (politically correct) has gone to extremes.

Do not take offence when I wish you a Merry Christmas. You don’t have to believe and you don’t have to accept. Just accept the good wishes those words intend.

If you wish me a Happy Hanukah I will feel blessed.

Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Pexels.com

Lighten up world. Please.

So from North of 43, I wish each and everyone a Blessed Season and A Merry Christmas!

Chris G Tuesday December 20th ’22

Back on schedule Back on schedule

Although I seem to be doing better than ever this year I find myself singing a bit of the same song of many of my friends. That time is flying, busyness seems, well, busy.

For the first time in years my holiday prep was completed a few days ago. No stress wondering what what I was going to give. But my days have been full. How about you?

I didn’t think that applied to me but when I hear just about everyone I know say the same thing, I have to wonder how wide spread it is.

Is it age related? Could be because of course many of my peeps are of a certain age.

I love many things about winter. (and every other season). But I especially love ice on trees. This was taken off my balcony the other day.

It thrills me. Trees are beautiful to me. Naked and in full leaf.

This tree is the last one left this close to the building. In summer it shades my balcony. I am on the third floor and it is like a friend.

My counterpart here, JB, mentioned her list for the day when we Facetimed, and I realized it had been a couple of months since I made a list. Funny thing, that. For decades I have made lists.

Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.com

Now that I think about it – it makes me feel in control. Even if I never complete the list. And it inspires me to take action.

The procedure is that I make my list before I go to bed. In the morning I review said list, and organize how I shall do it.

A great sense of satisfaction when it is done!

So I am off here at North of 43 to make a list. Yippee!

I do hope all is well with you. I have yet to catch up on your posts and JB’s posts and now that I have a list it will be accomplished!!

Chris G Friday December 16th ’22