It’s Sunday afternoon and the news from Germany shows a big splits between the 2 candidates to succeed today as Chancelor Angela Merkel. The Candidate Olaf Scholtz currently Finance Minister who belong to the SPD and Armin Lashet of the CDU and favoured by Merkel are neck and neck in the vote. The party of Merkel CDU has lost in this election several points and her favorite Laschet may not win. There is much talk of coalition government with other parties like the Green.
Yesterday I went to the Mackenzie farm which is about 6 minutes away from our house. It is pretty nice to be able to simply ride out of the city so quickly and arrive at this farm which is well known for its quality produce. They have beautiful Sunflowers, Mums, a variety of tomatoes, a great variety of squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, etc.. The Corn is particularly good, it is cut off the stock and very fresh. So much better than what any big chain grocery store might offer.
I bought corn, and a variety of pumpkins, the very big ones and also small ones for the tables.
It is a lot of fun, a throw back to childhood years. The farm is quite large and with large fields dedicated to either growing corn, pumpkins or a variety of produce. Seeing the large number of pumpkins I am told that many will be use as feed for animals for winter and that it is very good for them. So nothing is lost if they are not sold for Halloween or eating at home. The Weather in PEI this September has been quite warm average around 25C and with the Humidex around 30C. This is more proof of Climate change. So far this year we have 100 days and counting of warm days over the usual average.
I also finished by latest book reading by John LeCarré, The Tailor of Panama, first published in 1996.
Like all of Le Carré’s books, a cast of imperfect people, mixed into a world of international politics, spying and deals. Most of it having to do with the foibles and personal complicated lives of the actors in this drama surrounding the Panama Canal, USA artificial Canal Zone and its complex history. The end of the book like all of LeCarré’s leaves the reader to imagine what happened next. The main character is marching down a hill amid a firefight involving the British and Americans fighting for control over Panama, trying to prevent a imaginary Asian takeover of their assets. An entertaining read. Le Carré said that he would not have had the idea for his book, had he not read the book of Graham Green, Our man in Havana (1958).
I am starting now another book entitled the Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. I will have to tell you more about this one.
Well we got our FLU shot, it can be administered by pharmicists, nurses at the clinics, doctors. It’s FREE and anyone over 65 yrs of age gets a super boost shot. The Government is really encouraging everyone to get their shot and it is so easy, it takes all of 15 minutes, no waiting. What I call civilized!
I also went to Mackenzie Farm across the river from Charlottetown, it is one of many farms selling fresh vegetables and pumpkins usually you can buy a small one for $2 and the big ones are $4. I also bought other produce, its fun and we have had a lot of really nice cool days with sunshine.
We still only have 3 cases of Covid 19 in PEI, all from travellers who came back from other parts of Canada and who isolated upon return, the Health Dept and our Health Chief Dr Morrison is in daily contact with them.
Pretty lucky when you think of Quebec with 1400 new cases today alone, Ontario with 600. Alberta is not doing much better. Canada’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Tam says that some parts of Canada are in un-chartered waters and things could get really bad meaning that hospital system could be overwhelmed, Quebec is almost at that point in the Montreal region. Most cases are under 40 yrs of age and young people who a few months ago were laughing at the pandemic are now coughing. What is most disturbing in Quebec with a population of 8 million people, is the popularity of QAnon amongst certain segment of the population and the conspiracy theories. Anti-mask demonstrations in Montreal attracting 10,000 people when in the rest of Canada such demonstrations would attract at most 200. There is also in Quebec City the phenomenon of Radio poubelles (garbage) stations with their shock Jock hosts, one such station is CHOI-X who has for a long time promoted every nut job and conspiracy theory on the air. It got so bad 2 weeks ago that Mayor Regis LaBeaume pulled all City publicity from the station after CHOI-X refused again to air public health messages on Covid19, the owners stating it was propaganda. Now many other private sponsors have pulled their publicity. So the owners of CHOI -X are suing City of Quebec for diffamation instead of simply airing the public health messages. It shows a sad side of society and this anything goes attitude, selfish and self-centered, pampered society.
New Brunswick which has the border with Quebec unto the Maritime region has closed its border to prevent Quebecers coming in. As for the border with the USA it remains closed until 1 November but it is not likely to re-open before 2021 or until the USA has a firm control on the pandemic.
In other news: Thanksgiving weekend is coming, Monday 12 October being Thanksgiving. We had thought of doing a different menu this year for our Annual T-giving luncheon, but turkeys are on sale and I got a nice one, 12 lbs for $20. I think we will start with smoked Salmon and shrimp, for dessert, Monsieur Will is going to make is roasted bread and Irish whiskey ice cream and a bread pudding. It will be a small affair this year, we celebrate on Sunday.
Taking a lot of walks around the neighbourhood, in the last 3 years owners and developers have slowly but surely gentrified old Charlottetown. Many of the old homes built around 1820-1880 period are being renovated usually for $1 to 2 Million dollar budget. The area which is 9 city blocks by 6 city blocks is saturated with 825 Air B&B mostly illegal or under the radar., though this year many have been converted to long term rental. Several Bed and Breakfasts have also changed hands and bought by Chinese investors who cater mostly to Mainland Chinese tourists. This year was bad, no tourists and many businesses restaurants, bars, hotels are really struggling if not dying out right. Some hotels downtown and in the suburbs have closed until May 2021. It is going to be tough for the service/hospitality industry. If the cruise ships do not return in May 2021, and borders are still closed, PEI will have to think of a Plan B for tourism. The so called Atlantic bubble did not produce the economic results businesses were counting on. The Atlantic region in Canada has a total population of 2.5 million people spread over 4 provinces. It is not a wealthy area, the average income is about $40,000 per family or less, many are Seasonally employed. So the whole service industry sector needs out of province visitors, PEI alone gets one million visitors between May and October in a normal year. It does not affect us living here in retirement but I can see how anyone who is working now is worried. It seems however that dentists/doctors, our 2 plastic surgeons, our 2 psychiatrists, pharmacists are busier than ever.
I have been posting a lot on Instagram and enjoy this new medium much more than Facebook.
Here is our Nora enjoying the deck this morning.
Here they are Nora in the background and Nick, waiting for their dinner, it’s the look dachshunds are known for, where is my dinner!!!!!
Love this view of the Hillsborough river from the boarwalk looking towards the opening to the Strait of Northumberland and Nova Scotia coast beyond. On the right is Rocky Point and Port LaJoye the original French fort. On the left is Keppoch (pronounced Keppick) both are affluent out of town areas.
Our morning today started with this view looking South to the Hillsborough River from our kitchen window.
Meanwhile in Ottawa in Parliament, the Central Column of the Hall of Honour was decorated with Christmas greenery.
Back in PEI in the countryside this view
While in Rome on Piazza Navona they are having a Christmas Fair.
This evening I was at the Art Gallery of the Confederation Centre of the Arts for a Vernissage of works by Rachel Beach from NYC.
Interesting works, she told us that Matisse was one of her inspiration and that her work is all about texture, context, ideas on fabric and colours, forms and shapes and language. Think of ethnography, archeology, symbolism used by all cultures to communicate.
Telling the stories of the history of the port of Charlottetown and the marine heritage of Northumberland Strait on Canada's East Coast. Winner of the Heritage Award from the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation and a Heritage Preservation Award from the City of Charlottetown