What would my parents think?

I’ve been thinking about my parents a lot, which isn’t unusual. I’m often triggered by memories, lovely happy ones. This is a different kind of thinking about them though. I wonder what they’d make of the times we’re living in and how they’d cope.

My dad passed away first, many years ago, in 1987 so I think the adjustment to this world would be more shocking for him. My mom is just gone 14 years and although the last five or six years have seen massive change, she’d be less surprised than my dad.

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Not a day goes by …

Sunday was Mother’s Day. I’ve dreaded it ever since my mother passed in 2007. But this year was a bit different. I realized that the “official” Mother’s Day, the second Sunday in May, is just one of 365 days in every year when we can, and should, honour our mothers, thank them, appreciate them and love them.

Really, the only difference between Mother’s Day and any other day is, the florists and restaurants are super busy and Hallmark does a booming business.

I think of my mother every day. I miss her every day. I miss her belly laugh. The glint in her eye. Her sunny Continue reading

I hesitate to say this out loud, but …

… increasingly, when it comes to Toronto I’ve got a case of the blahs. I’m sorry, I know a lot of you are fans and staunch supporters — which I certainly have been — but I’ve got to be honest.

While I do believe that Toronto has tons of potential I also feel that too much of it is still untapped. And yeah, it frustrates and disappoints me.

I moved here from Montreal 32 years ago (wow, time sure does fly). As North American cities go, Continue reading

Day 261. Canadian Arrests

For all the Canadians who think terrorists don’t target us, think again.  Seems the police have had two alleged terrorists under investigation since August 2012.  Andfingerprints a couple of days ago, April 22 to be precise, a special joint tax force of RCMP and CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) anti-terrorism units, in partnership with provincial and municipal police forces in Ontario and Quebec arrested them.

Thankfully, long before they could carry out their plot, which was still in the planning stage.

Thankfully, long before countless numbers of innocent people were killed and injured.

Their plan?  To blow up a VIA passenger train in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area).  When?  No one is saying.  Why?  No one is saying.  But do terrorists really need a reason?  And if and when they have one, does it make a difference?  Does it, somehow, make it make sense?

Of course not.

Which train?  Apparently it wasn’t a specific train they were after.  It was a specific route.  Although no details have been Continue reading

Day 210. Oh, Merde !!

I am so frustrated I could scream.  I AM screaming, actually, but you can’t hear me.  So this is as close as I can get to let you know exactly how I feel.  Can you hear me NOW?

Sorry.  Didn’t really want to deafen you for life.  I’ll try to keep it down to a dull roar from here on, in.  No doubt, you’ve got my drift, by now, anyway.  And if you’ve glanced at the drawing, and how could you avoid it, fingeryou now also know what I’d like to say to Pauline Marois, the recently-elected Premier of Quebec; and the leader of the Parti Quebecois.

She, and her merry band of zealots and language police won’t be satisfied until they have driven the final nail into the coffin of La Belle Province.

The latest is, the language cops (L’office quebecois de la langue francaise) are cracking down on small businesses in Montreal.  They are harassing restaurants, forcing them, for example, to remove ‘English’ names like ‘pasta’ from their signs and menus.

Have you ever heard of anything so preposterous?  So absolutely asinine?  So moronic?  So Saturday Night Live worthy?

One chef was told to re-write his own personal shopping list.  He’d written ‘steak’ instead of ‘bifteck’.  Another restaurateur was told to cover up the print on a hot water switch because it said “on/off”.

In their infinite wisdom (yes I am being sarcastic) the OQLF have also decided that ‘cafe’ is no longer an acceptable term to describe establishments selling coffee.  When challenged by the owner of one such ‘cafe’ he was told it had become too Continue reading

Day 103. Parlez Vous?

I’ll bet there are a lot of you, who’ve been saying to yourselves, “Just wait ’til she gets to the letter “Q”. This whole alphabet thing’s going to go up in a puff of smoke. To hell in a hand basket.” Well, guess what?

Surprise, surprise.

What better topic could there be, but my home province? Quebec. Yep, on second thought, let’s make that ‘oui’. I am a born and bred Montrealer (slightly to the right of Ottawa on the map, in case you’re trying to find it). A Montrealaise. A Quebecois.

And quite frankly, if it hadn’t been for all the political nonsense that’s plagued both the city of Montreal and the Province of Quebec since the late Rene Levesque first came into power in the 70’s, I’m not so sure I’d be living in Toronto.

What political nonsense?

To cut to the chase, there is a very large group of idealistic (and quite militant, not to mention extremely emotional) French Canadians who want nothing to do with the Queen. They are totally anti-monarchy. More to the point, they

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