Well it is a blessing in disguise that the tourists are leaving and every day is more quiet. This has been a busy season but overall there have been big problems the PEI Government and the Tourism Board are not willing to admit openly. The biggest crisis is the lack of staff everywhere, forcing restaurants to operate without enough staff in kitchens or on the floor. Many operators have forced staff to work very long hours for little pay and pushed prices up, gouging the tourist for very average product. One example box wine sold as premium bottled wine. Not uncommon to see $12 to $15 for a 5oz glass of vin ordinaire.
Menus have been slashed, keeping only the most expensive items and no dessert is offered, people are pushed out the door as soon as possible. The other down side with the large extension of the docks in the port, now very large cruise ships at 4000 passengers can come in. The city is simply not equipped to deal with thousands of people arriving in one day. Politicians simply continue to do the happy face and hope for even more people. Profits dictates the course of events. We even had some racist incidents and bear spraying of people and drunk driving at high speed on narrow city streets in the tourist area.
One of the major attractions of the City was the Legislative building Province House, it has been closed for 5 years now due to a massive $100 million dollar renovation program long overdue for a 188 year old building. The building will now be closed for one more year as the interior renovation and reconstruction takes place before it can re-open as a Legislature. Built in the Georgian style of the early 1800, it is a beautiful building.
This week the steel skeleton built on the outside to uphold the walls and prevent their collapse were removed. Thousands of stones had to be replaced due to wear and tear. The roof is slate and the flashing copper. All 103 windows also had to be completely restored to keep the original look.
This is the South Side of Province House facing Great George Street and the river. The huts and barricades will come down once the project is completed in 2023.
The North side of Province House facing Great George street and the war memorial.
*** I started to write this post on Friday and now it’s Monday 2 May.
The weeks go by so quickly, May is just around the corner and the weather is getting nicer by the day though still cold given we are an island in the Gulf and it will only get warm around 1 June. Tourists are few and the first cruise ship arrived this week however it only had 320 passengers. It would appear that cruising is not back and people are still shy about getting on those boats.
Major scandal in Charlottetown at City Hall, you see the problem with PEI it is very small and the everyone on the Island is related in some fashion and outsiders (non-Islanders) are kept out of Government jobs, so yes there is a small mafia running the show in every government department.
This time it’s the CAO or Chief Administrative Officer who was hired by the former Mayor 5 years ago, there was a cloud with that person stepping into what is an important job. Many problems have surfaced since and now the current Mayor and City Council are embarrassed and looking at ways of ditching the guy. The press as a field day with this story and an election is coming in 6 months. This guy is an albatross around the neck of Council and it will be difficult to get rid of him.
Other scandal involving the Premier Dennis King and his wife who got a huge grant for her business without going through regular channels. It made quite a raucous and so she returned the money. The Premier said he had no idea, of course.
On another note I have re-discovered the music of composer Johann Friedrich Fasch (1688-1758) born near Weimar and died in Zerbst, the home town of Catherine the Great of Russia, who was born in a noble Prussian family and married into the Romanov family. He held a very important musical position in Zerbst as Kappelmeister and would have known the father of Sophie von Anhalt-Zerbst, later to become Empress Catherine of Russia, as he would also have known her.
Fasch musical style is baroque and suits what is known as the age of Princes, elegant and beautiful. George Frideric Handel also a contemporary of Fasch wrote in the same style. As I am sure many other composers of that era.
On you Tube I noticed the number of site visiting so called abandoned mansions or homes. What I wonder is how many such places actually exist and why is it that in most cases it looks all very staged. One scenario is of a home that is fully furnished and it looks as if the residents just left a few moments ago. In some places you can see that the property are probably not occupied and water damage, vandalism has taken place. But I wonder what is the thrill of going through buildings which are closed to have a look inside, it is morbid in a way. It also gets you clicks on your site. Similar channels on cemeteries and mausoleums, abandoned burial places, old funeral homes etc.
On the other hand we have discovered a lot of great recipe sites and wonderful new cooking experiences. I have also started a diet with a nutritionists and have in the last 17 days lost about 9 lbs. which is encouraging, I hope to loose another 20 lbs. and mostly I do hope to keep it off. This way I can wear comfortably all those Italian clothes I have in my closet. I was at 87 kg and I am now at 82 kg. I am happy with the results – 11 lbs.
It seems that the Winter Storms in the Atlantic provinces are getting worse each year. This year so far we had 4 storms over 4 weekends. It is the same pattern, a mix of snow and freezing rain and very high winds in the 70 to 80Km range. This past Thursday night we had very high winds around 100Km and then rain, so much so that severe flooding all over the Island was wide spread, roads cut off, etc..
The rain and wind was so fierce that the windows on the West side of the house were leaking and the wind was pounding our 180 year old house. We did not loose electricity, we stayed in obviously. We could not take the dogs out for a walk, they would have flown away. The snow melted quickly and now we have a lot of green everywhere. Funny to see how in two days big snow banks disappeared. The weather also went from -29C to +9C. The next day it was sunny again but cold. The temperature has been fluctuating wildly from one part of the day to the next.
Today is Nora’s Birthday and next week it will be Nicky, both are 13 years old now. Incredible how time flies by so quickly. They are in good health generally and Nora is as feisty and talkative as always. Nicky has cataracts but he is getting eye medication twice a day and is doing well. With COVID we really spent a lot more time with them and developed quite the routine and I often think that they organized the routine for us to follow, one thing is for sure we cannot depart from it, they give us dirty looks. For her birthday Nora and Nicky got prime rib roast beef, just a few pieces, they also got home made liver treats, they enjoyed it all.
It is true that there is inflation all around but what continues to surprise me is the crazy sale and discount in grocery stores, often prices are slashed 50 to 70% for a week on various items. I know that they are still making a profit, so it is telling. There is no shortage, all this talk of shortages in grocery stores was nothing but pure nonsense, a lot of it spread by the Conservative party who truly hate PM Trudeau.
As for the situation in Ottawa today, well the occupation is over, the trucks are gone, many left on their own but the police made sure to get all their details, name, licence and insurance. They are free to leave but prosecution will follow at some time. Some where towed away. I watch live on CBC and CTV the coverage of the police action to clear the streets, the Media had unfettered access, many journalists commented on that fact, they could go where ever they wanted, film and record. The police presence was massive, including a detachment from the Sureté du Québec in their green riot uniform with steel helmets. Others came from all regions of Ontario and the RCMP also had a big tactical presence. The police were very polite, you heard them ask people to leave and move out, it was a little unreal but it was all very professional. Contrary to what FOX News, Reuters and the New York Times were reporting no one was injured or killed, no guns. The police did not use their guns or shoot at people, the New York Times had to retract that story. The cavalry unit separated the crowd to allow the police to form an inside line, one woman fell but was not injured otherwise. The protesters had lots of diesel and gas jerry cans, some had propane canisters and threw them at the police, they also threw firecrackers which could easily have ignited the fuel. The police responded with pepper spray and smoke bombs.
There is a hard core or protesters, some want to die for the cause and they are delusional. Some parents with small children and one lady with a small baby charged at the police line on Sussex Drive. That was unbelievable that anyone would do that to a child. The police managed to bypass her quickly without injuring anyone. The leaders have been arrested or fled, news tonight is that they are on their way to Quebec City, am not sure that this is a true story. During the police action, protesters, some of them in the USA flooded the 911 line of the Ottawa police with obscene messages. Some one called a bomb threat at two major hospitals in the hope of disrupting the police action. The media followed all this and reported as being malicious action on the part of protesters.
Tonight, Saturday, the streets of Ottawa are deserted, Parliament is still sitting until midnight to finish the debate on the motion of the Emergencies Act. The vote in the House could be Monday and probably in the Senate the next day. The Conservative Party with interim leader Candice Bergen are doing all they can to vote down the E.A. but it looks like the motion will pass with the help of the NDP for reasons not clear to me, possibly because their leader Jagmeet Singh is of Punjabi origin and saw the hatred and racism of the protesters. Many people living in Ottawa from residents to business owners said out loud that they were very afraid of the protesters. Harassment on the street and acts of vandalism against ordinary people and property is one hallmark. We had during the day, Friday 3 Conservative members of Parliament come out from the West Block to cheer the protesters and tell them to keep fighting to get rid of the Government. One Conservative Senator Michael MacDonald from Cape Breton berated on the street the Citizens of Ottawa and the Government, cheering the protesters as good people.
I don’t think this is the end of these protests, the extreme right, the white supremacists are spear heading a movement similar to the Trump Nation in the USA. However despite the lies and their rhetoric and their appeal to the Armed Forces and the Police to come and join them, they are very unlikely to prevail. Some protesters like Dwayne Lich the husband of top organizer Amanda Lich, quoted the First Amendment of the US Constitution in Court during a bail hearing. The Judge asked him what he was talking about, reminding him that we are in Canada and have very different Laws and Constitution. Dwayne was taken aback and then asked the Judge if the Government of Canada was legitimate, the Judge and the Crown prosecutors were in disbelief. Some protesters asked the police to read them their Miranda Rights, there is no such thing in Canadian Law. Truly sad to see so much confusion from people who watch too much Fox News. Dwayne Lich is from Saskatchewan and Amanda from Medicine Hat, Alberta. Both had jobs in the oil patch in Alberta.
Majority of Canadians are disgusted with what they saw in Ottawa and the 3 week occupation of the Capital. The people of the downtown core are proceeding with their Lawsuit against the organizers of the protest, money donated has been frozen in accounts. But what is also apparent now, some so called influencers on YouTube are very well financed. One guy who does videos of Downtown Ottawa got a donation of $40,000 last night (Saturday) from one donor and thank him publicly on his site.
This is what happens when you have a population who does not pay attention, watches to much foreign television and is illiterate in Civics. I feel anxious for the future, something has to give.
Yesterday I had an idea, I was watching someone’s video on YouTube where this person was talking about pet projects like interior decorating, cocktails, cuisine, books, etc. It started me thinking that maybe I should have a YouTube channel instead of a written blog. I could present whatever topic and it would be recorded live with graphics and nice background. Several people do it, from their kitchen, living room, bedroom, Office or with a moving scenery behind them like the ocean. It would be different I think. However I remember doing short videos for YouTube during my political campaign, I did 7 videos and each one took a lot of time. Writing a text first of all that was concise and to the point. Then filming it and editing it, several days could be spent doing this. So when you go to YouTube and you have someone presenting, remember that they did not do this in 5 minutes and it is not spur of the moment.
This is an example of what I did then. I had help because I am not fluent in the techno side of making videos. It was fun but it was work.
Another challenge is the content and visuals must always be different in a video. When writing it is a lot easier, you expand on one ideas and write it down, put up a few pictures and voilà.
The other challenge is the equipment, doing video requires a lot of equipment from the camera to the microphone, lights, etc. You can do it yourself yes but you can also require someone to help you out. I would really have to study the whole thing carefully and see if it is worth it.
Now that I have more than 1000 entries and close to 500 followers here on this blog, I feel I have written a big book about life and events.
In the last few weeks with the zigzags of international situations and the horrible nightmare circus of the Trump NO Foreign Policy, I am concerned for the safety of us all and for the stability of the World.
On my last visit to Damascus back in around 2002 just before the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, I was surprise to see the large number of Iranian visitors, business people and families living in neighbourhoods of Damascus a city before the Civil War of 2 million people. The official explanation was Shia Holy Sites which brought people to visit Syria. In the Southern Suburb of Damascus is the tomb and Mosque of Sayidda Zeinab daughter of Ali and grand daughter of the Prophet Mohammed. The Mosque in Persian Style was built in the 1990’s on the site of a much older mosque. The Iranian Embassy was also the next door neighbour of the Canadian Embassy in Damascus on Fayez Mansour.
The Assad Regime in Syria is allied with Iran for various complex political and military reasons and Iran is an important supporter of Hezbollah ( the Party of God) in Lebanon and these alliances are maintained to keep a foothold in Lebanon keeping the country unstable and ensuring the on-going influence of Syria in Lebanon. Iran can also maintain pressure on Israel with the help of its proxy Hezbollah.
Since the invasion of Iraq by the USA in 2003 and the final overthrow of the Regime of Saddam Hussein, Iran has moved into Iraq on the pretext of helping the Shia majority at the expense of the Sunni minority. It also helps control politics in Iraq and prevents the USA from dominating the region and helps Russia play a large role. Something Russia has been wanting to do since the 1930’s but was unable to do because of British and American interest in the area. Britain is now gone and the USA are in a weaken position.
Enters Trump and his simpleton politics of I know it all school of thought, who decided to abandon the Kurds who counted on the USA as an ally seeking protection from Turkey, Iran and Russia. Confirming the old belief that you really cannot depend on the USA as an Ally. Russia is consolidating its position in the region, having cultivated President Erdogan of Turkey by selling him armaments despite the fact that Turkey is still a member of NATO. Russia is undermining NATO and Trump in London said that he does not feel compelled to uphold article 5 of the Alliance of mutual assistance. This sends a strong message to Russia and China who understand that they can make a move with little fear of USA intervention.
Trump then makes threats against Turkey of sanctions thinking that President Erdogan will give in, which is unlikely given his own posturing at home and new found friends in Russia and China. This point escapes Trump completely and his arrogant attitude at the NATO Anniversary in London shows how much he is out of it, we also saw how the world thinks little of him and the USA. His leaving early in a huff or calling President Macron and Prime Minister Trudeau names like a school child did little to enhance his profile.
The Civil War in Syria will come to an end with Russia and Iran as the winners, the USA will be out and the Kurds will be reduced once again to living on the margins, because they backed the USA.
What sort of Syria will we have in the future, not a democratic one, more like an enhanced dictatorship with more grinding poverty, a powerful Russia with naval bases in the port of Latakia, something Russia has been wanting for more than a century. Iran will also get access to the Mediterranean and come to dominate the region, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq. This puts even more pressure on Israel and pushes out Saudi interests in the entire region, Iran is the winner. With Trump’s ever changing reasoning and attitudes, 60 years of complicated US diplomacy is gone. It leaves little Jordan alone with Israel to fend for themselves.
With Israel at the moment in a state of turmoil as Premier Netanyahu facing criminal prosecution for corruption, no clear winner after 2 back to back election. Trump may think he can just send in the Marines to clear things up, but it no longer works that way, this is not the 1940’s. The USA is running out of options but hey The Donald can’t seem to grasp this reality.
War with Russia is not possible, because Nuclear Weapons. A conflict with Iran is also not feasible, Russia again would certainly intervene on the side of Iran. Sanctions against Turkey will not work either and only push the Turks into the Russian camp further and undermine NATO on its Southern flank.
China has been moving for the last 20 years to displace the USA commercially in Africa, South America and Asia. China is having economic problems due to Trump’s tariffs but there is a limit to such tariffs, Stock Markets reflect the unease and worry of a trade war with China. Trump knows he is limited in what he can do without damaging the USA economy. What has been lost in terms of US Foreign Policy and influence in the World will not bounce back, it is simply too late.
Looks like the whole impeachment process is far to slow and uncertain and then the 2020 election another uncertainty. No it does not look good at all.
I was living in Cairo back in 1989, it was a very nice posting. Here I am on my terrace of my apartment in Zamalek on the Nile facing the vast metropolis. The view was wonderful. My little Dachshund Bundnie (Arabic for Brown Coffee) she was quite young then. She was born in Cairo and it was love at first sight, I got her when she was 4 weeks old, too early really but she needed a home and she would proceed to live 17 years and travel the world with us.
On November 9, 1989, I was at the Embassy in Garden City which at the time was near the British Embassy in Cairo. We heard reports of what was going on in Berlin. It was quite a surprise and at first no one really believe it, it was an aberration, how could that be after all those years of Cold War and stand off between the USSR and the USA. Surely we would soon hear that it was just a joke. But no the next day more astonishing news, I remember I wanted to fly to Berlin to see it, but I could not abandon my post. So we all followed (my colleagues and I) the news. Not really knowing what all this would bring, obviously the end was near for the rest of Eastern Europe, communism was on the way out. In December revolution exploded in Romania, on Christmas day Nicola and wife Elena Ceausescu were executed on television after years of terror and ruinous rule. What a year 1989. My Egyptians friends told me that when in 1952 the army officers with Gamal Abdel Nasser overthrew the Monarchy in Egypt, it was far more civilized. King Farouk and his family were given 3 days to pack their bags and sail away on the Royal Yacht from Alexandria. The King and his family were not really Egyptian but from Albanian-Macedonian stock. He died at 45 in Capri of a heart attack.
I would not visit Berlin until 1998 while living in Warsaw. Berlin today is vastly different and a great place to visit or to live.
There are so many things to blog about I feel like I should start one of the YouTube channels and talk endlessly about this and that, like so many people do. I have noticed though that they tend to attract the vacuous crowd who have angst about everything and nothing. It is also a way to make a lot of money easily. SO NO I won’t do that to you world wide readers.
In the last week we have had the demi-mondaine saga of Harry and Meghan, their lives remind me of La Traviata by Verdi. They have been milking the baby story for all it’s worth. Can they now receed into the shadows and invent a life that has meaning. How about Harry going back to being a soldier and Meghan doing sit-com or reality shows. The whole affair about the baby was beyond ridiculous and now the name Archie? Really? First thing I thought was Archie Bunker or Archie and Jughead, as for Harrison ok, it’s Star Wars and Harrison Ford, was he not a boyfriend of Meghan at one point? No title for the kid but will he be on the family payroll? I also found showing off the baby in the Great Hall of Windsor castle a trifle dramatic, a bit Downton Abbey like and Meghan saying she had just bumped into Prince Philip as if… I wondered why not meet the Press at their little servants cottage at Frogmore, more genuine if you want to play how simple and down to earth you are. The two of them, phoney baloney.
A book I have been reading is the life of Maud Lewis the folk art painter. Not really a biography as much as a chronicle of a very sad life and an even sadder married life with a parasite of a husband who exploited here and barely noticed her existence. Her own brother Charles cut off all ties after her unwed pregnancy and she in turn living in shame denied the existence of her own daughter. Severely handicapped she led the life of a recluse. In spite of it all was able to produce those incredible paintings. The author of the book is a relative, Lance Woolaver, he paints a picture of Nova Scotia and the Digby area, not pretty, a lot of grinding poverty, ignorance, lack of social services, isolation, racism, bigotry, the place appears pleasant to Summer tourists who have money and travel around, but that is a mirage, all very third world. Nova Scotia today still has deep pockets of poverty and scenic beauty and a rich history. It only makes her work even more wonderful when all these elements are taken in.
In Canada politically speaking the Government of Justin Trudeau is seen by pollsters of all stripes to be sinking and we could be headed in October for a Conservative majority with Andrew Scheer as PM. God help us, this is a man who has made lying his main political plank, has no policies on anything, he is a multi-millionaire, money all made from his political activities. Copies word for word Trump’s ideology, associates himself with hate groups and neo-nazis calling for the Prime Minister to be killed. Is a religious zealot and of course attracts basically the white supremacist vote. The popularity of his party right now stems from the political troubles of PM Trudeau. Conservative Senators in our Canadian Senate have been blocking through procedures crucial votes on bills knowing that the Parliamentary clock is ticking down to the end of the Session in June.
The Green Party in Canada is hoping for big gains, which is quite possible, but will not be able to form a government. Trudeau may still get re-elected simply because of the loathing Scheer inspires but if Scheer and his cronies get elected we will be in big trouble like Ontario is with former dope peddler Doug Ford (FordNation). Populism in Canada is making big strides, there is an evil wind blowing.
And on another topic all together and quite different.
Yesterday Jean Vanier died in Paris at the age of 90, he was a doctor of Philosophy and an Canadian Navy Officer who horrified by the Holocaust and the Atomic Bomb decided to dedicate his life to Peace. He is known as the founder of L’Arche which is a world wide organization which as Vanier described it as establishing the unique value of the intellectually disabled. The principle he established is very simple, he said; ”The most important thing is not to do things for people who are poor and in distress, but to enter into relationship with them, to be with them and help them find confidence in themselves and discover their own gifts.”
Jean Vanier (1928-2019) was the son of eminent Canadians, his father was General Georges Vanier, a Canadian World War One hero, a diplomat and Governor General of Canada. His mother Pauline Archer Vanier of Montreal, a lady of great distinction who came from a celebrated family in the history of Canada. Both his parents were nominated for Beatification in the Roman Catholic Church for their Piety, Faith and humanitarian work.
Jean Vanier had siblings and they too distinguished themselves in their respected fields.
I had the opportunity to meet him in 1996 in Amman, Jordan, he came to visit his cousin who was my Ambassador at the time and a little get together was organized at the Residence. I was immensely impressed with his quiet dignity and is words which gave another look at what the world could be like. What he proposed was not utopia, he proved it by the success of L’Arche around the world and the legacy he leaves. The World today needs more like Jean Vanier, we lost a great humanitarian.
“The fundamental principle of peace is a belief that each person is important. Do you believe you are important? Do you believe that we can do something to make this world a better place?”
Well it seems that we are in election season in Canada. Today Alberta elected an Alt-Right Government, but then that is Alberta for you, a wealthy province with a population known for its racism and bigotry and proud of it. The exception being the 2 large Cities of Calgary and Edmonton who tend to be more progressive compared to the rural areas. The new Premier is Jason Kenney, a closet case, former Federal Minister in the Harper Regime. He is a bigot, a racist, etc and when the media brings it up he simply scoffs saying he was misquoted. We all heard that before. Kenney wants to declare war on Canada, imagine the Premier of a Province with a 3 million population. Sad little man.
Newfoundland and Labrador is going to the Polls on May 12 and in PEI we are in the final days of our election which promises, if the projections hold, to give us the first Green Party Government. Very exciting for us in PEI it would finally break the old feudal system of a handful of families ruling the Province as personal property. The current Premier Wade MacLaughlan, Liberal, is very unpopular. A man who came in 4 years ago with lots of high promises and hopes that things would change and nothing did. The Conservatives are no where with 6 leaders in 9 years and a fear mongering agenda. The NDP have two or three candidates and no one believes they will be able to have even one person elected. This leaves the Green with Leader Peter Bevan-Baker who has done a superb campaign, people see him as a gentleman, polite and courteous. Addressing every issue and presenting a no nonsense approach to social questions. I have spoken with him several times in the last 3 years and I am impressed by him. I remember the first time I saw him in a coffee shop near the Legislature, he was busy talking to his staff and it looked like a meeting of sorts over coffee. I nonetheless went up to him, apologize for disturbing their conversation, we shook hands and he asked me a few questions and we had a short conversation but it was very natural and interesting. He also during my own campaign for Municipal Office, listen to what I had to say and engaged me in conversation. On the other hand I had a chance also to speak several times with the Premier but his manner is totally different, more aloof, distant and not interested. A very different experience.
Peter Bevan-Baker, Leader of the Green Party PEI.
PEI needs a change politically, the current system has produced nothing but stagnation for the last 100 years and the same people and families are always in power or in plum jobs. Corruption is rampant, the mafia could take lessons from the old style politicians here.
The hope is that with a Green party in power things can change. That is what we are all hoping for.
Also with this election, a referendum is being held to change the way we vote. Currently we have the old British system of First past the Post (FPTP) and the choice is to change it to MMP or Mix member proportional which makes every vote count and gives a more efficient level of representation. The old parties, the Liberals and the Conservatives are against any change to the voting system. If we adopt MMP system then we will be the first in North America to do so. If the Green’s are elected, the are currently leading we would also be the first in Canada to elect a Green Party Government. So this small island province of 150,000 people could make history.
Already with advance voting, some 30% of the electorate have voted, including me. The actual election day is Tuesday 23 April.
Well this trip had been planned half way through my campaign for municipal Office and we had decided that whatever the outcome, we would be off on a vacation away from PEI afterwards and somewhere in Europe.
So we departed on 19 November on Rouge, a division of Air Canada. We flew business class of premium I think it is called and despite all the negative press, I found it to be quite nice a flight, regular airliner and all the usual trimmings, can’t see what all the naysaying is about.
We found an Air B&B in Mouraria, one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Lisbon just below the thousand year old castle fortress of San Jorge formerly a Moorish Palace and citadel.
Lisbon airport is very close to the city centre, we were only 15 minutes away from our apartment. The joke is that Lisbon comes as a free gym, there about 12 hills and the city is small but everything is up or down hill some of them at a 40 degree angle.
this photo was taken from the Castle looking down on Mouraria where we lived, our building is in the middle of the photo.
From inside the Castle, the flag of the City of Lisbon and the flag of Portugal.
looking up to the castle walls.
Again from the Castle parapet looking towards the parish of San Vincente O Fora with the beautiful maritime pines providing the greenery. This church is the Royal Mausoleum to the Kings of Portugal. The monarchy was abolished in 1910 in a coup and the royal family of Braganza, retired quietly.
Some dates about Portuguese history you will here a lot about if you visit. In Lisbon 1147 Martin Moniz and a group of knights from England, Spain, France and elsewhere capture the Citadel and Castle from the Moors and expel them. Today a metro station is named after Martin Moniz who apparently according to the story wedged himself in a door of the castle allowing his companions to enter, he died in the process. The age of the Portuguese Empire starts with Prince Henry the Navigator and in 1497 Vasco de Gama,Count of Vidigueira travels to India and then to various points in Africa establishing colonies along the way. The Portuguese Empire spanned the globe and led to a Papal bull dividing the world between the Spanish and Portuguese Empires.
In 1644 the sovereignty of Portugal was restored and the Spanish Hapsburgs were forced to give up their control of the country. The Braganza dynasty becomes the Royal house in Portugal until 1910. Another metro station is named after the Restauradores (restorer). Another important date is 1834 when all monasteries are closed and confiscated and religious orders are dissolved. This happened because of a movement to liberalize society and give it a parliamentary and constitutional monarchy, the church chose to be on the side of the ultra conservative and fought the movement. In 1908 the king and the crown Prince were assassinated while crossing the Plaza de Comercio upon their return to Lisbon. This assassination shocked Europe, led to political paralysis in Portugal and two years later finally a republic was proclaimed. What is not much mentioned nowadays is the almost 50 years of dictatorship from 1932 to 1968 by the Estado Novo party and its leader Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, he died in 1970 but his government kept going, finally on 25 April 1974 the army ousted the party from power in what is called the Carnation Revolution and Portugal returned to democracy.
Plaza de Comercio, rebuilt in 1755 after the great earthquake destroyed much of Lisbon. What we see today is the work of the Marquis of Pombal. In this square facing the river Tegus, the King and his son the heir to the throne were assassinated in 1908.
We walked all over Lisbon, there is so much to see and do, it can be exhausting. Also many wonderful restaurants, good wines and lots of Port.
In the fashionable Chiado neighbourhood with the new Christmas lights. Love the sidewalks in stone mosaic pattern all over the city.
Today is Friday 26 October and advance voting has started in PEI on the municipal elections. By having a lot of days of advance voting PEI Elections hopes that more people will participate and vote. I have encouraged people in my speeches to vote, young or old, you must vote it is your Civic duty as a Citizen. I did so this week to a class of 16 year old at a school near us. They can vote in 2 years and luckily their teacher had prepared them well.
I voted today for a new Mayor and for myself as Councillor in Ward 1. It took all of on minute to do. I also finished thanking the people of the Ward for receiving me and listening to me and giving me their views.
All along I ran a dignified campaign according to several people who took an interest in what I was doing. I continually emphasized that it was about the people and not me the candidate, my wish is public service and what I can do for you.
I was the first to use YouTube to produce videos on issues, I ran an 8 month long campaign, most probably the longest in the history of this Island Province, however I wanted to attract the attention of the public who often was not interested. Would I do it again, yes but differently. I learned a lot about society in PEI and complex alliances amongst individuals. I also learned about the economics of the province and its social problems. I have now a far better understanding of the Capital and the Province. My past government work experience helped a lot.
In the oratorio Alexander’s Feast by Haendel, the aria None but the brave deserves the Fair = Success comes to those who dare and act. The proverbs which illustrate that success comes only to the people who are ready to work hard. This proverb means that one can attain success only when a person is bold enough to act and ready to give up every other enjoyment in life and sweat for his success. The goddess of success visits only those who dare to act and lay everything at her Altar. I hope the goddess will smile on me and Fate will reward my efforts on November 5. But who knows, I take nothing for granted and hope that it comes to pass. If not well life goes on and I have other plans. One being travel, we will certainly travel in late November somewhere and again this Winter. I also have my volunteer job at the Art Gallery and at Government House plus other volunteer work at the Fédération Culturelle as Secretary where I have been reconfirmed for another 2 year mandate.
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