Well this weekend we celebrate Thanksgiving, despite the Pandemic and numbers of sick people surging in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta and a new and developing situation in New Brunswick, we can be thankful in Canada for so many good things we enjoy. First and foremost everyone has access for FREE to Healthcare, Covid 19 tests are Free and easily accessible. You need healthcare it is available and you have no worries about it. Even the Seasonal Flu Shot are FREE. When you have your health, you got it all.
Here in PEI we have no COVID and anyone who has been sick total 61 have stayed at home and have received help and follow-up from Health PEI. No deaths and no hospitalizations.
We live in a peaceful and stable country, the Government of Canada has numerous programs for help and support financially anyone who needs help during the Pandemic. This is more than we can say if looking at other countries where people are left to fend for themselves.
We live in a nice house, we have friends and a good social life. We have our two puppies who are demanding but we love them, hey their Dachshunds, what do you expect.
So we have a lot to be thankful for and appreciative of our blessings in this life.
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.
Yesterday 28 September I got a call from my cousin Gilbert in Montreal letting me that his mother, my aunt Laurence had died aged 92 after a very long illness. She was the elder sister of my mother and my little sister reminded me that our mother had died 5 years ago on this day. What a strange coincidence, both died in their sleep after long illnesses. I have two aunts left on my maternal side, one is 93 and the other is 88.
My aunt did not want any funeral service and her ashes are to be buried in the same cemetery in Saint-Laurent beside her son Louis and her ex-husband Jacques. There will be a memorial service some time in the future.
Such news brought back a lot of memories of childhood and it seems almost unbelievable that aunts and uncles all aged and now are gone. In my mind though time passed I never really thought of them as getting old, they seemed frozen in time.
I remember my aunt Laurence coming to visit me in Chicago back in 1994 when I was working at the Canadian Consulate in the Prudential building. But I do not remember much more than us going to a steakhouse for dinner.
Today more of the same, only 38 days left in the campaign. I can’t wait for it to end. I fear the vote will be very split with 4 candidates on the ballot. Two of the Mayoral candidates opened their campaign offices today with sandwiches and cake, photos and a few speeches. The weather is still pleasant for canvassing, some people are interested in the elections other could not care less. Apathy is out there and it is difficult to counter, there is a belief that voting is meaningless. A lot of young people are either mildly amused or indifferent to the elections, I am trying to point out to them the difference they can make by getting involved, not an easy task.
Win or loose, I want to take a vacation afterwards, we are discussing where we might go. Lisbon, Portugal came up as a possibility. Just a week might do a world of good.
Thanksgiving in coming up on 8 October, I think we are doing turkey, no stuffing, some vegetables, a pumpkin soup to start and apple pie for dessert, lots of apples this time of year.
Life in Charlottetown is never dull, small town like Mayberry but lots to do. This week we had invitations from every night of the week and people to meet in the day time.
First there was pumpkins to be bought at 0.99 cents to $5.00 for a giant one requiring two strong men to lift into the car trunk, a bargain. It comes from a Farm just minutes away from our home across the Hillsborough river.
We also had Farm Day on Queen Street which is the main street of Charlottetown running from the river’s edge up North to the far suburbs some 5 Km away. The Farm Day was held in the old town core between Water street and Grafton Street.
Lots of farmers present most of whom can be found at the Farmers Market on the weekend. I bought some fresh flowers.
We were invited by the owners of Dunes at Brackley Beach to their annual Fall party which takes place at their home, a very modern construction which blends in perfectly with the surrounding area by the sea. Here is a photo looking out unto the gardens towards the sea. The garden is part of their Art Gallery and restaurant and features Asian sculptures most from Indonesia. A very beautiful and unique place. http://www.dunesgallery.com
While we were on the rooftop a full moon appeared, at first as it was rising it was orange and then turned yellow.
We also went to a housewarming party in Saint Catherines PEI our neighbour Kendra made the cake, it was so good, Kendra is an excellent pastry chef. The cake had real flakes of gold on it.
Leaving the house, because it is in the country side the only light was a half moon, I made a left turn instead of a right turn on the road to lead me back to the highway and suddenly I was on his red dirt road in a dense forest, I thought am I lost, I could not recognize anything. However as is often the case in PEI rural roads they lead you back to the main road, suddenly I was on the highway near Bonshaw.
We are still having cruise ships visiting Charlottetown until 28 October. Today we had 2 one docked at the pier and the other out on the river.
I am so glad we did not buy a Palazzo on the Gran Canal in Venice, living here is the same feeling, look at this one turning around in front of my window. They are closer than they look.
They turn around a lot faster than you might think. This is a Princess cruise ship. All cruise companies visit us.
Finally today was Thanksgiving Sunday so here is our table, do notice the open window, it was quite warm around 22C which for the 8 October is not seasonal at all. But I am not complaining.
The turkey was perfect and so good, Just enough left over for a casserole or a few sandwiches. We also had 2 pies, one Buttermilk pie and the other a Gala apple and PEI Cranberry mix.
Well another year has past and Thanksgiving in upon us, time to look back not just at the year but life in general and take stock of what we have. So many have so little, I have been fortunate in so many ways, with my family, friends and life in general, living here on this beautiful Island of PEI.
May you all have blessings in your life, best wishes for Thanksgiving.
Well August has ended and in 24 hours the weather changed from Summer to Autumnal, the tourists are gone, the city is quiet and rain clouds have rolled in and rolled out, giving us trees that glisten in the Sun light, a radiant green. It’s early evening and the setting Sun is casting long shadows, here and there a smell of wood fire burning. I think of upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday on 9 October, my personal favourite Holiday of the year. When I was on posting abroad, every year the Ambassador and other senior officers at the Embassy would get together to choose which Holiday Canadian and local we would observe, Thanksgiving was always on that list. On the other hand we always worked on Canada Day, not because we were disrespectful, no, but it was a day when a lot of things would happen and we had to be on hand to help out with Official functions.
But Thanksgiving was a designated holiday and we would all go to the Official Residence for dinner, hosted by the Ambassador. We always managed to have turkey on the menu even in countries where turkey was really not a known commodity. In Mexico where turkeys come from, we had the wild ones, black in plumage, they were quite good. In Egypt, they were flown in from Denmark, in Jordan we got them from Israël, kosher birds, quite good. In China we had beef brisket, turkey are designated as a capitalist bourgeois bird, hey China is the main alley of North Korea, need I say more.
Anyway I digress, this is about Charlottetown PEI! not about turkeys, but I wonder could you have turkey in PEI with a lobster and oyster stuffing? Oh!!!! that sounds so good and decadent and God knows this Island and food is a little paradise.
City Pools are closing this week, tour boats to watch whales, seals and do to tune fishing are all ending this week, boats are already pulling out of the Marina for Winter storage and the tourist restaurants are closing now at 8:30pm instead of 10:30pm. Soon they too will close until Spring. But many Festivals are on going this month and in the months to come, geared to Islanders.
What is great right now is the fact that peace and quiet has returned and for that we are truly thankful.
Prince Street nice and quiet in the setting sun of this Saturday evening
This week we had the first TUI cruise ship Mein Schiff 6 arriving from Hamburg Germany, an all German speaking cruise about 3000 passengers. A much larger ship than usual, very nice people and big spenders. Many came to the Art Gallery, it was a pleasure talking to them.
The garden on the East side of our house, our landlady has done tremendous work
Thanksgiving, l’action de Grâce is upon us once again, my favourite Canadian holiday
This year in Charlottetown our first Thanksgiving with friends, no turkey, we have decided instead for Cornish Hens which are much easier to cook and serve.
What a wonderful year it has been, a new life in PEI, new friends, a wonderful house on the water, new volunteer opportunities, travel to Europe for our Anniversaries. Many things to be grateful for both of us.
Hoping everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend.
Therefore I shall sing praise to you and I shall not be silent. Lord God, I will give you thanks forever! Psalm 30:12.
I think of Thanksgiving, my favorite Canadian holiday, as an end of year celebration. I am thankful for all the good things I have now and all I have received during my life. How Fate has been generous in what is often a game of fortune. A relationship old of 38 years, so many things shared both happy and sad.
We travelled to PEI and discovered a new Province of Canada we did not know at all with its many charms. Friends visited us from far away, there were good books to read, fine foods and wine to enjoy. There was Art and art study, exhibitions, more appreciation of beauty, discovery of artists whose name are known but I finally had the opportunity to study and know them better, in the case of Alex Colville through his daughter Ann.
2015 I will also remember as a year where Death came visiting, my father died suddenly on a Sunday afternoon in July. He had a long and prosperous life, he taught us, the children, many life lessons and was there when we needed him. He was a good friend to many and he is remembered well. Where would we be without him and with my mother, both good parents.
Thanksgiving the Holiday we call l’Action de Grâce in French, a Harvest Festival in Canada, give thanks, rendre Grâce, for the bounty in all things, past and present. I am thankful.
With the arrival of Autumn, days are noticeably shorter and the weather cooler, so it is time to look at wardrobes and make a switch to Fall-Winter clothing. I cleaned up my wardrobe, gave away what I no longer wear. I also cleaned my library and made four boxes of books to give to the Ottawa Library, not to worry I still have books for 45 boxes. What I want to do next is go through all the dish ware and glasses, a lot of it we have not used in years, best to sell it or give it away. I also reorganized my 50 mm lead soldiers and packaged all those I no longer wanted on display. It is a long task to box them up and put them away, that alone took 2 days.
I bought a big pumpkin for $5 dollars which I believe was a bargain. Next the small garden on the balcony will need cleaning out and put away for winter. But that can wait until after Thanksgiving on 11 October. This year we will share the preparation of the meal with friends, much easier that way and a lot less stressful.
We got our Voters cards from Elections Canada, so we are registered to Vote in the Federal Election come 19 October. We have to also bring photo I.D. with proof of home address, like a Driver’s Licence. A wind of panic is now blowing in Canada, this very long campaign has people frazzled and politicians making desperate promises for a vote. What is assured now is a Minority Government but who will win is not certain, all 3 major parties are tied at 29 or 30% which is far to close to call. This is truly depressing, it looks like the issue is about a piece of tissue, a veil worn by some Muslim Women. With all our problems you would think that there are more pressing problems facing us but no, oh no, it’s all about Muslims women who wear a head covering. It does not help to point out that Muslims in Canada represent just 1% of the population of 36 million and are no threat to any of us. Hysteria is the order of the day and Mr. Harper is doing a fine job of it. Someone said in the 1950’s it was the Communists now it’s the Muslims, how true. Canada has turned into a version of the book 1984.
As for the refugee crisis Mr. Harper calls them Bogus refugee, that is the only way he refers to anyone claiming to be a refugee, you are bogus, a free loader. What is interesting is how this line of attack has woken up the sleeping beasts of ignorance, racism and xenophobia. Someone pointed out that in the past you had the Tavern drunk who would rant about this or that, but you could always ignore that guy sitting at the end of the bar. Now he is on the Internet and trolls around with his petty insults and outrageous opinions, not so easy to ignore and in the meantime infects others into thinking it’s Ok to be hateful. All the while saying he is a supporter of Stephen Harper and the CPC. I have not heard the Conservatives or Harper contradict or distance themselves from such statements. The other day I was looking at Jeb Bush’s platform for the US Presidency and realized it was the same as Stephen Harper in Canada, scary stuff. What strange times we live in who needs excitement.
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