We Are Staying, Issue 63

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 results. However,  more than anything, I was nervous about the possible acceleration of restrictions on travel, restaurants, museums, the theatre and cinemas, and  visiting family. And yesterday, the Canadian government:

  • Put more countries on its travel ban list 
  • Added testing requirements for all international arrivals except those from the US.

We would have had three weeks of suspense until it would be time to come home. And increasing restrictions?

Refunds

I have become pretty proficient booking air fare and accommodations to ensure they are refundable. There are many people waiting to get refunds for trips they meant to take almost two years ago. I have had 95% of the money that I had put towards this trip to the UK refunded.Two items remain:

  • Arranging for the refund for the 14-day Covid insurance 
  • Chronomics, a UK Covid testing agency has offered to upgrade our pre-arranged tests to PCR but will also be sending out instructions on obtaining refunds 

I don’t use agencies, and I read the fine print. 

Focus on the Positive

I had entitled this newsletter “We Are Not Going” but switched to the positive “We Are Staying”. A couple of reasons, fewer words make for punchier sentences. Second, I wanted to accentuate the positive rather than wallow in misery ofanother missed trip. If I had done that, some of you may have come looking for me on the Jacques Cartier Bridge.

We have to make the most of this found time and opportunity to focus on home, enjoying Montreal,  and on the holiday season. To that end, I have started to make restaurant reservations. It is white truffle season in Alba and Ristorante Bis on mountain has a celebration of this delicious, earthy gift until the end of December. I have replenished my wine cellar. Along with everyone else, the SAQ is having logistics problems so the selection isn’t quite as good as usual. Still I found, some really nice wines. Maybe I found these new purchases as  I had to work at it. I will go back to see if they have some of the great Sicilian wines that I love.

Milano’s in Montréal’s Little Italy

It will give me a chance to plan holiday season festivities carefully. I will make it to Milano and Little Italy on a weekday. Some fabulous Italian specialties will make it onto the menu. I may also get San Carlo potato chips, they are the best! An Aperol Spritz, some olives, a little salsicia, and these fabulous Italian potatoes chips – close my eyes and dream of Venice! Some really corny Laura Pausini  music might complete the atmosphere. 

Plan for the Summer

What is the one place in Canada that I enjoy most in the summer? I love the ocean area between Port Hood in Cape Breton and Cape George on mainland Nova Scotia. Look at a map and you will see Highway 4 and routes 337 & 19 form a horseshoe around St. Georges Bay. Beautiful beaches and I know, I have some convincing to do – very warm, swimmable water until the end of September. Antigonish, the home of Saint Francis Xavier University, anchors the entire area. 

St. Georges Bay

Maybe the travel clouds will start to clear out and open up the UK and Europe again. Scotland? London? or if not in the summer back to Alba and Torino in the fall. Maybe Tuscany in for the grape harvest season. There are a lot of positive experiences to think about!

So, we are staying …. but I am dreaming about a next great getaway. 

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 […]

Vienna on Top Again

June 25, 2023

Vienna on top again. This week both Monocle Magazine and The Economist unveiled their quality of life / most liveable city indexes. There are differences in the way each publication sets its index. So it is even more impressive that once again, Vienna tops both lists. I am a bit lazy today so rather than […]