Some help in the search for the lady at the river

What if? What if I can find the lady who saved my daughter?

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30 years later – thank you, lady

Dear lady; It’s American Thanksgiving and – since I didn’t act on the impulse during Canadian Thanksgiving last month – I’m borrowing our neighbour’s holiday to say thank you. Some 30 years late. On our own Thanksgiving in October, I went to church with my daughter and her family. Each member of the congregation was…

What not to say to Sears employees

A little advice on what not to say to Sears Canada employees when you visit the death throes sales of the old girl over the coming weeks. Do not ask them if they’ve been screwed in their pensions. They will only tell you that they’ll be fine, thank you. Will your purchase be on debit?…

The return of mom jeans

It’s too bad mom jeans are back. This was Linda from the bow of the boat we row around the harbor on Sundays. You should write a piece about fashion and what people should and shouldn’t do at our age. Linda has a big public sector job that keeps her more or less paying attention…

Forgiving friends, trees, and a swoony jam

Here’s how you recognize a true friend. You set their kitchen ablaze (true story, told here) and months later they give you a heaping bowl of damson plums. Damsons are tiny and tart jewels of autumn fruits. The jam, beloved by the English isn’t as well known here in Canada. Brit-born Chris (of the flaming…

The tipping point on tipping. What’s yours?

Australians aren’t automatic tippers. I was reminded of this while enroute to Australia earlier in the summer when I shared a cab with a couple heading home to Brisbane. “I’ll get it,” said the man as the cab pulled up to the international terminal. The fare was about 15 times the cost had we taken…

Soccer and the meaning of life

Stoke City just scored a goal. I know because, despite being several rooms away, I can hear MrWI64’s excited roar of ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’ His fist will be pumping the air and he will be awash in excited emotion. What with it feeling like the End of Days with hurricanes chewing up the south and…

Behold, my tiny harvest

From time to time, I’d like to think I’ve provided useful information in this space. My summer heat-beating mojitos had a few people reaching for their muddlers, and a handful of readers produced fragrant crusty loaves from my easy peasy almost-as-good-as-it-gets baquette recipe. I thought my tip of placing a plastic fork barrier between the…

How to be a good guest

With visitor season in full flood here on Canada’s west coast, I’m reminded of a piece I wrote several years ago about how not to be a guest from hell. The rules were basic: Remember your mother’s caution that guests, like fish, stink after three days. Don’t impose. Don’t overstay. Be helpful. I’ve an addition…

Love letter to NSW, minus one hectoring cab driver

I sent this missive to the New South Wales Taxi Council and the Sydney Morning Herald this week. Just to get it out of my system. Here’s what happened when my daughter married an Australian and moved to New South Wales. I started traveling to Australia. Obviously, if I had my druthers, they and their…

40 years ago I had a baby

Courtney; Forty years ago, I had a baby. Something I’d no business doing, really, given that I had none of the traditional infrastructure in place. But, honestly, I wonder if I’d held out for the infrastructure and purposely gone about the business of planning my life, would there even be a you. And, as it…