Outlander, Mr. Peabody and Time Travel

  Having binge watched the first two seasons on Netflix, my wife is now reduced to a single weekly episode of Outlander. The hugely popular historical time travel series is in its third season, with a promise of a fourth to follow. …I have never really been able to grasp books or films that includeContinue reading “Outlander, Mr. Peabody and Time Travel”

REPOST: World War One Centenary – Family Lore and Family Loss

I often wonder what those men who managed to survive the “War to end all wars”, my grandfather among them, felt when twenty-odd years later they watched their sons go off to the battlefields of Europe once again. With countless media reports and background pieces regarding the centenary of the start of World War One thisContinue reading “REPOST: World War One Centenary – Family Lore and Family Loss”

World War One Centenary: Family Lore and Family Loss

I often wonder what those men who managed to survive the “War to end all wars”, my grandfather among them, felt when twenty-odd years later they watched their sons go off to the battlefields of Europe once again. With countless media reports and background pieces regarding the centenary of the start of World War One thisContinue reading “World War One Centenary: Family Lore and Family Loss”

Scots Vote NO; We Still Have A United Kingdom; Now The Fun Begins

By garnering a 55.3% share of the votes cast, the NO side in Scotland’s independence referendum assured that country’s place within the United Kingdom. As is so often the case, the old adage that claims the only poll that counts is the one on voting day was borne out. For the most part, polling leadingContinue reading “Scots Vote NO; We Still Have A United Kingdom; Now The Fun Begins”

Referendums: What Can Québec Learn From Scotland?

With the September 18th voting day fast approaching, the BBC recently published a piece on what Scotland can learn from Québec’s experience with referendums on sovereignty. I would like to put the shoe on the other foot and look at what Québec can learn from the Scots. To paraphrase John F. Kennedy: Ask not whatContinue reading “Referendums: What Can Québec Learn From Scotland?”

Clutha Pub crash in Glasgow brings memories of Montreal’s Blue Bird Cafe fire

Sadly the death toll in Friday night’s tragic crash of a police helicopter into a popular Glasgow Pub has risen to nine, and may go higher as the building is searched. The Clutha Vaults Pub, on the banks of the River Clyde (the name is the Latin word for Clyde), is a hotspot for liveContinue reading “Clutha Pub crash in Glasgow brings memories of Montreal’s Blue Bird Cafe fire”

Hand-drawn envelopes; works of art that probably wouldn’t be delivered today

My maternal grandmother’s brother, which I believe makes him my Great Uncle, Earnest Deegan, was a well traveled man. During the early part of the last century he was what was then known as a “Gentleman’s Gentleman” – a butler or valet. This profession took him to places far and wide, exotic and remote. HisContinue reading “Hand-drawn envelopes; works of art that probably wouldn’t be delivered today”

Hand-drawn envelopes; works of art that probably wouldn’t be delivered today

My maternal grandmother’s brother, which I believe makes him my Great Uncle, Earnest Deegan, was a well traveled man. During the early part of the last century he was what was then known as a “Gentleman’s Gentleman” – a butler or valet. This profession took him to places far and wide, exotic and remote. HisContinue reading “Hand-drawn envelopes; works of art that probably wouldn’t be delivered today”

Brood II Cicadas in the news and on the move; non-Brood II Cicadas feel slighted

Yesterday the temperature on the dashboard thermometer in my car here in Montreal hit 31 degrees Celsius (about 87 Fahrenheit); evidently we have skipped spring and jumped right to mid-summer. There was even a hint of humidity in the air, and we all know what that means! Yes indeed it’s Cicada time. Those little buzzing insects who sit inContinue reading “Brood II Cicadas in the news and on the move; non-Brood II Cicadas feel slighted”

Celtic dourness; Irish and Scottish

As we enter the period of solemn preparation – no not Lent, that started weeks ago – the week leading up to St. Patrick’s day, there’s a great piece in the New York Times by playwright John Patrick Shanley. The Darkness of an Irish Morning recalls the author’s trip to Ireland with his aging father to visit relatives andContinue reading “Celtic dourness; Irish and Scottish”