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This week the weather has taken a decidedly Spring like look. It is actually warm and even hot in the sunshine. There are traces of snow but overall it is mostly green. This is all good, but it is also a period of the year when you do not know exactly how to dress, warm in the day time and cool at night. Everyone on PEI is anticipating a big return of the tourists and the huge issue is a lack of staff, I have heard plenty about that from friends who own coffee shops, restaurants and bars. There is a need for Chef, short order cooks, dishwashers, wait staff, etc… So much so that many will not expand their business because they cannot find the staff. This problem is the low minimum wage, no benefits, little time off, and the cost of living which on PEI is the highest in Canada. Rents are impossible so if you are working on minimum wage then you starve. I remember years ago wait staff from restaurants in the old market in Ottawa would come to the local soup kitchen where I volunteered for lunch or dinner. That should not happen and then they go to work to get abuse from customers. Business groups have not been able to tackle this problem and governments do not appear interested despite the good words.

On Wednesday I drove to Kensington which is 45 minutes West of Charlottetown on Highway 2. At one time when we had a railway on PEI it was an important junction. It is a small rural community about 10 minutes from Summerside. I was going with Nicky and Nora for their grooming, a highly stressful affair for both of them. A beautiful day, the drive was quiet, it usually is. After dropping them off, much drama, I drove to Summerside for lunch at Samuel’s on Water street, the food is very good. Then to the little second hand book store, a block away. The selection is always changing and very good, I got 3 books for $12. One book is by Japanese author Haruki Murakami, it pass my test, if I read one page and want to read the next page then I will buy the book.

The second book is by the Artist Marc Chagall simply called My Life, he wrote his autobiography, a small book but I thought it would be nice to read about him in his own words. The last book is by John LeCarré, Smiley’s People, when it came out in 1980 it was a sensation. I never read it but heard lots of praise about it.

I bought 3 months ago another LeCarré book The Constant Gardener, after reading 3/4 of the book I simply lost interest, I could not finish it. I did not care for the characters or the story line.

When I returned to pick-up the pups at the groomer, well they could not get out of there quickly enough, they made a run for the car, like a getaway car. Get in quick let’s get out of here, come on!!! They slept the whole way back to town, had a short walk, then dinner and then went to bed immediately, they were exhausted. Though they look very nice now.

It was nice to drive out and see the countryside after the Winter, not much snow left in the fields.

We are still waiting for our T4 slips, it’s income tax time in Canada, I got one slip on my pension but not the other one on my CPP, OAS. The Canada Revenue Agency announced that they were late this year and it should arrive next week. You absolutely need your T4 to pay your income tax since all the vital detailed info is contained on them. In our case, we pay like a lot of people at the source, so reporting/filing means simply to confirm that yes this is correct. Will I owe some this year, I think so. Will see.

Kensington from the sky. The top right corner of the photo is where we spend part of our Summer in French River.