Well another goal reached, I was at my doctor this week and talking about my weight loss, feeling so much better after shedding 24 pounds. This is a big amount for any human. I am on a roll and want to see if I can lose a little more. My nutritionist warned me that it might be a little more difficult as the body fights it. I would like to be around 168 lbs. not difficult since it is only 3 lbs. more. My nutritionist who is 25 yrs old named Austin obtained his degree in the field of wellness, nutrition and physiotherapy, he is excited for me.
The heat has broken after 9 days of hot sunshine in the 30C plus the humidity. Now we have returned to PEI weather with 23C in the day time and 15C at night. It’s not cold, no but cooler and more pleasant. The farmers are happy because we now have rain and it helps the crops. The Lobster Fall fishing Season has started and will end in October, only re-starting again in late April.
We are going to the cottage in 9 days at French River, in the New London area. We also reserved for next year this week, if you don’t reserve now, a year in advance, you will never find what you want. It is a tight market and the demand is very high for cottages all over the Island. Ours being by a very quiet beach on a dead end road surrounded by fields, woods, sand dunes and marsh land is great. Nice restaurants minutes from the cottage and sights to see. Walking along the red cliffs between New London Light house and Tryon Light house is also easy and relaxing. What love most is how quiet it is, the noise is the surf, birds of all kinds and the rustling of the wind. You really do not need anything more.
The food in the area is mostly seafood, mussels, oysters, clams, lobsters, scallops, some fish, halibut and haddock. I think that should do us fine and we also have the BBQ on the deck, something I really like.
I am told that it is Tuesday today, who knew. So this morning I went to see my nutritionist, and my weight is currently 174 lbs. meaning that I have lost 20 lbs in just 7 weeks. I feel much better now and people do tell me that I look slimmer. Though I do want to loose some more maybe 8 to 10 lbs. simply so that I can control more easily my weight. Unfortunately in my family we do gain easily, too easily really. It does help that I do not eat processed foods or prepared entrees, rarely will we have a dessert, coffee in demi-tasse with a bit of milk is usually dessert. I do not go to the gym but it is easy to walk around here and this is what I did today again. Usually walking about 3 to 4 Km. I wish I could like our friend in Fuengirola walk 12 km per day. The Costa Del Sol is an easy place to walk.
Since 2018 the Legislature has been closed and off limits due to the massive rebuilding and renovations initially costing $36 million and now at $100 million. The building known as Province House is at the top of Great George street looking down towards the water.
It was built in the Georgian Style and looks very much like a smaller version of the Legislature in Halifax. It was built in 1843 and has been used as a legislative building ever since. However when they started to inspect the building in 2018 it was discovered that the whole building was about to have a catastrophic failure and the 2 porticos on the North and South facade with their columns where about to tumble down into the gardens, taking the rest of the edifice with them. There is the story of the dispute between the architect builder and the politicians in 1843, the politicians demanded a columned portico, like Halifax, the architect had other ideas based on aesthetics. So he gave the politicos what they demanded but he built the two porticos without any foundation. The soil in very soft clay like. The problem has been resolved now. This photo taken this morning shows the building without its white sheet covering it. The rest will be removed in the coming weeks including the steel ectoskeleton. The photo is not very clear, I will have other later. Some 1300 stone blocks had to be replaced due to severe damage. So the new ones are light in colour compared to the original which are darker.
I went on to walk towards the water and a spot I love which is in front at the entrance to Victoria Park. A nice quiet area in the city.
Well yesterday I went shopping for new jeans because the old ones did not fit me at all, too big now, so on sale they had Levi’s 501 and I got a size 34 which is 2 inches better on my waist. That made my day and shows that the diet works. I am now at 80Kg and hope that by next week I will be at 79kg or my weight of 2011. Met with my nutritionist today and he also coaches fitness training. He suggested that if I did not have a glass of wine with dinner I could easily reach my initial goal. Wine has a lot of calories around 250 per 9 oz glass. If you have 2 glasses which I do then with a meal this makes for a lot of extra calories. I will try it and see what happens. Exercise like walking is also very important. This is my little project.
Canada Day is coming up this Friday and because of the major renovation work at Parliament in Ottawa the festivities have been moved to a large vacant site below the hill called LeBreton Flats by the Outaouais River. I never went to Parliament Hill for the show too many people, upwards of 100K. Here in Charlottetown 1100 km away, I am the BBQ guy for the party at the Club. Looks like we will get nice weather.
Today I stumbled upon this picture in the German Newspaper, Berliner Zeitung. It’s a photo of the Cartouche or great coat of arms that will be placed above portal III of the reconstructed Berlin Palace. It will be made of copper, the photo shows the model to follow. The undamaged original was destroyed by the communist regime of East Germany in 1958.
The artist is Andreas Hoferick on the left with Oleg Bessonov, both are responsible for many sculptures on the rebuilt palace, the cartouche is 8 meters high. The second photo is the middle part which is inserted. It is to be installed in November.
Learned today that Lauren Boebert, US Republican Politician and representative of 3rd District Colorado was a prostitute at one time and had 2 abortions. WOW!! The past is catching up with her it seems. Now she is anti-abortion and a gun advocate. Watch second episode of the Jan 06 enquiry, Trump is guilty as sin and should be prosecuted. He may plead insanity or I was taken away with the moment type of defence.
The good news in Canada today, is a bit of a funny story and oh so Canadian. For years there has been a dispute between Canada and Denmark over a tiny little rock of an Island, Hans Island way up on top of the planet where our borders meet. The dispute has to do with who owns it, Canada or Denmark. So our military and the Danish Military has been exchanging gifts of whiskey bottles for years and now the treaty has been signed and both countries will split the island in too, so Canada now has a land borders with Denmark. See map below, new land border between the 122 and 123 parallel.
Today I am also very happy to report that my weight is still going down having reached 80 Kg. or 176 Lbs. I am trying to reach 79 Kg as the first marker and then continue to my final weight of 74 kg or 163. lbs.
I had a bit of a scare this week, my old home scale started to malfunction giving me all kinds of crazy weight measurement from low to far too high. I bought a new scale but it was defective and I did not realize it until I visited the nutritionist who used his professional scale giving a correct weight, he could not believe that I would gain 25 or loose 30 pounds in 24 hours, it should have dawned on me. So I returned the defective scale and got another model and problem solved. Losing weight is a great feeling and gives you quite a boost. At least now all the beautiful clothes bought in Italy fit again.
This morning as in all mornings since I started on this new nutrition program I weigh myself, 5 week ago I was at the initial weight of 87 kg, today I am at 81 Kg. In pounds this is 191 lbs to 178 lbs. a lost of 13 lbs. I want to go down to 74 Kg, so 7 Kg to go. I am very happy with the results and the encouragement of my nutritionist Austin. This means I have 15 more pounds to loose, does not seem so daunting now. My next step is to get to 79 Kg. which was my weight 3 years ago and then the final leg to 74 Kg. or 163 lbs. Once a nutritionist in Rome told me that 70 Kg would be my ideal weight, that seemed to me as too low making me look ill.
Summer has arrived and so far it is has been a quiet time. We are going away in a few days to Iles de la Madeleine, (Magdalene Islands) which are 5 hours by Ferry from PEI in the middle of the Gulf of St-Lawrence. These Islands are a speck of sand and part of the underwater ridge from the last ice age. They are known for their scenic beauty, great seafood, they are part of the Province of Quebec, the population speaks French mostly and I think that if a visitor does not speak French they might have some difficulties.
It is a very seasonal place, it has a small permanent population of 12,000 but the tourist season is very short basically 1 June to 4 September. I have no idea what winters are like on the Magdalenes but I would think it is epic. You can fly to them from Montreal.
Will was there once, I have never been. Will check the weather to see what it is like at this time of the year, I think it would be cool.
As it often happens today I stumbled upon a video on YouTube from a fellow who travels on his motorcycle around the world. He lives in Germany and is a German Citizen but originally he is from Pakistan. His videos are in Urdu with English subtitles. I watched several of his videos, they are fascinating. He travelled from Germany down to Turkey and then on to Iran and to Iraq then to Kuwait and presently he is in Saudi Arabia for the EID. His name is Abrar which in Pakistan is a masculine name but in Arab countries it is feminine. Abrar is also a verse in the Quran.
He meets quite a few people and he is recognized by some people because his videos have gone viral. What I find interesting is the world he shows us in his travel and a lot of it I remember from my own experience and life in the Middle-East. The people, the culture, the food, also the kindness and courtesy of people, always helpful and friendly, this is what I remember. Seeing those videos I miss that part of the world. So I went across the street to DAL who sells Kumpir or stuffed potatoes and makes an excellent Turkish coffee with cardamon seed, such good coffee served in demi-tasse bought in Istanbul, so you get the whole experience. I have started to put cardamon seeds in my morning espresso, love the flavour.
City of Mecca, the Royal Clock Tower at 680 meters. Dominates the old city and the Holy Al-Haram Mosque.
Weight wise it is going very well, I started one month ago and was at 191 lbs, now I am at 180 lbs and the ultimate goal is 163 lbs. so if all goes according to plan I should be able to reach this goal by end June early July. I would love to simply maintain that weight, I will ask my nutritionist how to maintain it.
I have to say that so far I have not had any issue with feeling hungry, I also noticed that when suddenly I think I am hungry it is usually not hunger but tiredness or anxiety, a glass of water and a few raw almonds will solve the problem. Drinking more water minimum 1 Litre a day is not difficult, I can drink up to 2 litres, this also helps a lot with eliminating salt and washing away fat. I feel so much better now.
So far the cruise ship business has been very quiet. Some 3 ships came and went but I did not see many people, in fact I am told that most ships are about 25% full. Two cruise ships have cancelled stops in PEI. We may get more flights and car traffic this year. Several airlines have added flights to PEI and air traffic appears to be back to normal prior to 2020.
We also have a few new restaurants in town catering to a more up-scale crowd, which is a good thing, there is certainly a demand for it. One opened on Great George Street called Abbiocco which in Italian means relaxation. The restaurant has only been open for 5 days and has been a big success so far. The other one I am told will be called Rocket Fish at the corner of Queen street and Richmond street. It will be a up market fish and seafood restaurant. I know that the people setting it up will spend at least 2 million dollars to refit the space which was a tourist shop for many years and the building itself is 1880, all brick and built by William C. Harris, a famous architect who was also a musician. However this restaurant will not open until August given the state of construction and renovations.
There is definitely a change over in terms of restaurants in town, we appear to be catering more to the local crowd and less so to the tourist crowd, there is always the tourist restaurants with the typical fare geared to the budget of families or older tourists. Cruise ship tourists do not necessarily go to a restaurant since food is provided on board.
Lastly we are told to wait for Monday 9 May which is Victory Day for Russia marking the end of WWII. Apparently Putin will declare either victory on Ukraine or make a formal declaration of war and enact conscription to raise more troops. His side kick former Russian President Medvedev made a speech declaring that Russia will extend its territory from the Pacific to Portugal, sort of pie in the sky speech. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also made statements accusing Israel of supporting the Nazis in Kyiv. Israeli Prime Minister Bennett jumped at this statement. All in all this will not end well. Finally let us not forget that the Soviet Union under Stalin and Nazi Germany in 1939 had a secret treaty to divide the world, only in 1942 after being attacked by Hitler’s troops did Stalin change sides and asked for the help of the allies. Unfortunately I find that what I see and hear now is far too similar to events 80 years ago.
Ribbentrop-Stalin-Molotov in 1939 at the signing of the secret treaty to divide the world. Good friends and allies then.
*** 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.
Recently I was at my doctor and told him that I was unhappy with my weight and the fact that it appeared to be on an unstoppable upward trend. He suggested I speak with a dietitician, which I did last week. My goal is to return to the weight I had in Rome of 74 Kg. that was 12 years ago. So it is quite a challenge and I have no idea if I will be able to reach it. My father years ago followed a diet and he was very good at it, he lost 40 pounds and was able to maintain it until he died. I was able to maintain my weight while in Europe but in coming back to Canada, the diet changed and so did the lifestyle. My goal is to loose 13 Kg which is a lot of weight around 28 pounds. I am hopeful and will follow the plan I am given by Austin my nutritionist. Of course the other worry is how to maintain the loss weight and not just put it back on. A lot of discipline in all this, I did once before and lost 6 kg so here goes.
Monday I was at the dealership to get my car serviced and change the tires to Summer. By Noon time there was a terrible snow storm raging and visibility was zero. So I could not return to the garage to pick up the car at 2pm and told them I would be in the next morning.
This appears to have been the last hurrah for Winter, this coming week we will have much warmer weather sun and some rain. Very soon the Lobster Season will open and the boats will go to sea. Everyone is getting ready.
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