Lisbon – A City on the Rise?

March 7, 2023

Lisbon’s seven hills and waterfront make it visually spectacular. The second oldest capital in Europe, the city has energy. Busy streets and squares, full restaurants, and vibrant night life – the city pulsates. And, the population seems young. All signs of a city on the rise? Earthquake A 1755 earthquake destroyed 85% of the city […]

Was It Inevitable? – Issue 74 

March 30, 2022

We spent four weeks in France. We were in airports and train stations; on the Metro, buses, trains, airports, and airplanes! Restaurants and museums! No Covid-19! We get back to Canada and my wife, unknowingly, visits an infected family member! A few days later she has Covid, and two days later I test positive too. […]

Have you Missed Me? – Issue 73 

March 25, 2022

Have you missed me? I have just finished a four-week trip to  Paris and Strasbourg. I started to write this newsletter three or four days ago in Strasbourg. At the outset, I meant to discuss the disgusting invasion of Ukraine by the gangster, Vladimir Putin. But, for such a difficult topic I need to be […]

Week of January Tenth

January 14, 2022

What caught my attention the Week of January tenth? Appeasement Did you notice that this week,  the US and NATO are taking the lead in Ukraine negotiations with Russia? If my memory of history serves me correctly, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain  left Czechoslovakia on the sidelines  while negotiating the Munich Agreement of 1938. As […]

Chaos! Issue 67

January 5, 2022

The Oxford Learners’ Dictionary defines chaos in five words – a complete lack of order.  Well, a complete lack of order defines global Covid-19 responses. The scrambled reactions to the Omicron surge do not leave many world governments looking good.  Confusion I don’t know what signals your governments sent you when the Omicron variant emerged. […]

Happy New Year, Issue 66

December 30, 2021

Happy New Year! or in Scots Gaelic, Bliadhna Mhath Ùr! Phonetically, Blee-a-nah Va Oor!  The History of Hogmanay Until the late 1950’s most of Scotland worked through Christmas, even Christmas Day. Immediately following the Protestant Reformation in 1640, the Church of Scotland (the “Kirk”) declared the Christmas celebration a Catholic / Papist fabrication. The Kirk […]

I was born in Scotland, Issue 64

December 9, 2021

I was born in Scotland. However, my family left our home in Dundee for Canada when I turned three. So, I am more Canadian than Scots. The double “o” sound in spoon is the only remnant that I have of any kind of Scots accent. But, I do a better job than most in understanding […]

We Are Staying, Issue 63

December 2, 2021

We are staying! That is the short answer to the question in The Fairest of the Seasons : “I want to know do I stay or do I go And maybe try another time” We are staying! It was a tough decision. I didn’t like the thought of the quarantine time waiting for PCR test […]

Oh My! Cron! Issue 62

November 28, 2021

Oh My Cron! I do know! We spell the fifteenth letter of the Greek alphabet o-m-i-c-r-o-n. And not the emphasis on the second syllable. However, we are scheduled  to leave for London, England on December 3 so maybe “Oh-My-Cron” is a more apt spelling. The discovery of the B1.1.529 Covid variant weighs heavily on a […]

The Dreaded Covid Test, Issue 61

November 22, 2021

The dreaded Covid test! I had gone twenty months without being tested. Then I made the decision to accompany my sister to Houston for her 87th birthday and that of her twin, our brother, who lives there.  Different Tests: One kind of test to board a plane from Canada to the US – C$80 each […]

I Am Curious, Issue 54

July 21, 2021

I am curious, so I have some questions: Would you visit Iraq as a tourist?  Iraq has started promoting itself as a tourist destination. It portrays itself as home to an incredible cultural history, beautiful green parks, and monuments. The intent: for the world to see it as open and welcoming. Visitors will require an […]

Paris as the sun sets

Paris is still Paris! Issue 39

March 5, 2021

We had rented a cottage near St-Gilles  in the Occitanie region of the south of France.  Our flights there and back were through Charles-de-Gaulle , so we decided to break up our trip  with four days in Paris before going south. We took another four days on the way back. We had spent time in […]