Holiday Season 2021, Issue 65

What did I write last year? About the slow march from March 13 to December 25. I was hopeful that we would have a sense of normalcy by Christmas 2021. Mid-way through November, I remained hopeful. It looked like we would get to England for a couple of weeks and come back for a family Christmas.

Then, A New Variant discovered in South Africa!

Omicron means “little O” compared to “great O” as in Omega. Well, Omicron has caused a big mess. I hope we never see an Omega variant. It promises a “greater” mess? 

I cancelled our trip to England. The size of our holiday celebration has dwindled. We planned for 16 people and we are now down to five. Maybe this wild-fire COVID19 variant will burn out so that we make Paris at the end of February. I think any plans for Bordeaux are shot. 

There is much material to write a diatribe about the lack of real political leadership which has caused this outbreak to be worse than needed. But, I have spent too much time being angry and frustrated. And, there will be time for that in the New Year.

So Some Suggestions for this Holiday season:

Enjoy the outdoors
  • Don’t watch too many newscasts. All day news does nothing but raise anxiety levels. We can get all the information we need from one news show a day.
  • Dispense with the analysis. Analysts don’t thrive on making people feel better but on feeding paranoia. 
  • We all know – well, most of us know – what we should be doing. Masks, fewer contacts, get all of the vaccine doses offered, avoid crowds, used rapid testing. 
  • Get outside. Walk! Bring a thermos of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate to enjoy on a park bench or sitting on a snowbank. In a warmer climate – adjust activities!
  • Smile and be kind! It is too easy to be mad! 


Oysters – taste the sea

Contribute to the charities of your choice and only then…

  • Buy and, more importantly, drink Champagne
  • Splurge on better wine – it is such a shame to waste calories on bad wine
  • Don’t think turkey – think oysters, lobster, crab, shrimps, smoked salmon
  • Think roast beef with foie gras
  • Roast your potatoes in duck fat ….. black or white truffles anyone? or fresh and fragrant Rosemary?
  • Get fabulous cheese. If you can find it, buy Mascarpone Gorgonzola – very decadent
  • Prepare and deliver care boxes to those who should be celebrating with you in person 
  • Oh! and drink champagne with breakfast!


I don’t know about you, but I still feel guilty just crashing in front of the TV but I feel so good after “losing” an afternoon doing just that, so:

  • Take an afternoon nap
  • Indulge a guilty pleasure such as watching television sports or bad movies or whatever, as long as it isn’t illegal
  • Wear out your TV subscriptions
  • Get to bed early, get up late
  • And don’t forget the champagne

Holiday Season 2021

Don’t Forget the Chanmpagne

With apologies to the poets in the family: 

It is to easy to be sad or mad

As Omicron has stolen all our fun

Lets make an effort to be glad

And enjoy Holiday Season 2021. 

Cities are in Crisis

March 7, 2024

Anastasia Mourogova Millin, March 5, 2024 Earth’s urban population will grow by 2.5 billion people over the next 30 years. Over the same time period, urban land expansion put at risk the survival of 855 different species and will threaten the homes of over 30,000 animal and plant species. Add in the impact of climate […]

The Co-working Concept, Issue 80

January 22, 2024

Co-working space came to mean the notorious We Work model. When I had been asked to opine on co-working I tried to steer the conversation away from the Adam Neumann / Softbank  flimflam growth model. Instead, I suggested that property owners look at usage and users. While I doubted We Work’s ability to survive I […]

The Affordable Housing Conundrum

October 3, 2023

Before I fall completely into the trap of opposition politics, I have decided to take a break from never-ending criticism and to start suggesting solutions to the affordable housing conundrum. Do I have a plan? No, more a collection of ideas To start with, I think there are three key issues: Home ownership is not […]

We Should Know Better

August 26, 2023

I know! I am going to sound like a grumpy old man. Maybe that is because I am. I have been scratching my head in wonderment at the Taylor Swift phenomena. Is she an Incredible song writer, composer, and performer? I really don’t know! A discussion for another time? But probably not. At my age […]

Not in My Back Yard

August 4, 2023

Don’t build it! At least, Not In My Back Yard ! I acted as an advisor  in the sale of a beautifully natural, 14-acre urban waterfront estate. Existing zoning allowed for the development of 30 to 35 single-family homes, which after road dedication would leave very little green space. I did not think that was […]

Glasgow – That Dear Green Place

July 31, 2023

We were visiting Glasgow (literally that Dear Green Place in Gaelic) to see where my father was born, grew up, and went to University. Fortunately for me, my cousin John from Australia had just visited and had met with historians, Bruce Downie  and Norry Wilson.  So,  we too arranged to meet them in the Govanhill […]