Category Archives: Blogs

Views from the HSR

Okay so let me first explain what HSR is – that’s the Hamilton Bus system. What do the letters actually stand for? Hamilton Street Railway (and yes I had to Google that because I was not sure about it haha).

The HSR has been working very well during the pandemic. They have had strict measures in place, while still keeping the transit system running 7 days a week. That’s impressive in my eyes.

But while the system runs well, there are some things about the people who ride the HSR that makes it always entertaining!

My first view is of the actual bus line. The buses, for the most part, are clean, they are making sure everyone is wearing a mask when they enter and are on the bus, and in my experience the bus is usually on time, with some exceptions to the rule, mainly to do with traffic. Koodos to the HSR for running a very good transit system!

Now, the exceptions to the rule, the big one would be the one line – the Number 2 – Barton Street. Barton Street has a reputation of not being the safest area for very good reasons. The homelessness, the crime, the prostitutes – it’s an array of unsafeness. But the thing about the No. 2 – is the smell. It has the nickname of the Garlic Express. I’m sure you all get the picture, or perhaps the smell – garlic! Body odour! General stinkiness. It’s one bus line that I really try to avoid taking.

My next observation, and actually this one goes out to ALL transportation systems throughout the world – can we please put a ban on cellphone conversations on the bus? I have listened, only because the person is speaking so loudly that it’s hard not to listen, to many conversations about the sex they had the night before (really not interested), their upcoming doctor’s appointment, the way they are being treated so unfairly at work – and then in the next sentence oh I called in today I want to go shopping instead! Perhaps that’s why you aren’t being treated well at work? Anyway – I digress. The most interesting one I have had heard recently was just yesterday – about their court case coming up that week and discussing what to wear in front of the judge. “Should I wear that cute dress I got last week, or just stick with jeans and a t-shirt?” I really had the urge to say go for the cute dress but I refrained, as I was on the dreaded Garlic Express and you just don’t say things to others on that bus for safety reasons.

It’s always interesting to take transit – I highly recommend anyone who is travelling to Europe to take the transit. They have, by far, the BEST transit systems in the world! Clean, on time, yes you are going to hear phone conversations but unless you know the language they are speaking you won’t really know what they are saying anyway!

So – for an amusing day full of adventures – take the bus! See the sites of the city for a cheap cost, and listen to some fascinating locals It is well worth the trip!

My first HSR Image of Hamilton... : Hamilton
The Garlic Express

Daily Thought – September 14

This past weekend has been a weekend of emotions, and of questions, and of great mood swings. Questions popped in my mind of many things, doubts resonated throughout my mind, and just a general unease this weekend.

My emotional well being took a toll and while I always strive to be positive, by Sunday morning I was on a losing battle with the positivity. My saving grace – my daughter – surprised me at dinner time with a visit with her and my grandson – some much needed love and cuddling were just what this grandma needed. It’s amazing how holding a baby can make every other thing in your mind just disappear. Just what I needed to end my stress filled weekend.

So my daily thought for today – and for every day – is remember – YOUR health and well being should always take precedent over anyone else’s, because if you are not healthy both physically and mentally, you cannot possibly help anyone else. And remember – treating people the way you want to be treated – a golden rule and one that is most often forgotten by so many of us – will reap more awards and benefits for both you and the other person.

Much love to all on this beautiful Monday.

Photo by ATC Comm Photo on Pexels.com

Daily Thought – September 11

This day will always be remembered as 9-11, to everyone around the world.

Nineteen years ago, we were all set back by the act of terror that had happened. Since then, I don’t really think we have learned much from this tragedy.

There are many people who live in fear every day, whether it is in the Middle East with the constant bombings that we hear about, to Americans who live in fear every day that they will be shot and killed by a fellow American (and yes Black Lives DO matter!), to the people of Chile who just had a devastating earthquake that have affected them.

I believe today should be set as a World Holiday – to not only remember the tragedy of 9-11 in America, but also to remember ALL of the tragedies that have besot this world, before that day and since that day. It’s a day that should be set aside for us to mourn together, to remember together and perhaps to get together and figure out a way to make mankind be kind to man.

I remember where I was this day – do you?

Photo by Lars Mulder on Pexels.com

Music soothes me…

I have two laptops – one is for work (blogging, Tupperware business) and keeping in touch with family and friends. The other one is for playing games on, watching movies and, when I think of it, listening to music.

I tend to forget that I can listen to music too. I like to relax at night and I know that music just makes me feel so relaxed and so good. I love singing along, even though I KNOW I can’t sing!

I love listening to almost any kind of music – soft rock, pop, country (which is my favourite), jazz, blues, 60s and 70s – I love a variety of music. Tonight I am listening to country music – it’s fun, it’s danceable (and yup I dance to it too! – curtains are closed though haha), and sometimes it just gets you. It just resonates with the feelings and moods you’re in that day.

So tonight, I’m relaxing to some Keith, Alan, Paul and many many others. What is your favourite way to relax? Do you listen to music? Do you go for a walk? There are so many ways we can relax. Pick your favourite, grab a drink of your choice, and enjoy your evening. Cheers!

Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com

Finding joy and love in our life

I went on a morning walk on this beautiful Sunday and I decided to walk through the park which is basically my backyard. I did a couple of laps and then went up the hill to the most spectacular cemetery.

I like wandering through cemeteries and reading the headstones – some are very interesting.

But today, as I wandered peacefully through the tombstones, a wondrous feeling came over me. A feeling of contentment, a feeling of joy. It seems strange to write that I had a feeling of joy while looking at tombstones but I did.

I am not the most religious person in the world, but I do believe there are spirits all around us. And today, those spirits were with me, leading me through the cemetery, showing me that life is so short and that while death may bring sadness to their families and friends, that these people found some joy in their lives while they were on this earth. Rather than feeling sad, I felt happiness that these people had so many that loved them, that they wanted to share with all their lives by putting up the tombstones, and showing their love.

I believe that we should all celebrate the time we have here, to see the joy in the world, to listen – really listen – to everyone, to love with all our hearts and to just find contentment in this world. We are not here long, so we should take the time to truly enjoy this life, this world, and listen, and embrace the world. Time is all we have, so let’s make the most of every minute.

An evening walk

I have recently moved to a new area and decided to take a walk to discover the area. Well it turns out I have been missing out all week on an absolutely GORGEOUS view of the valley! Enjoy!

The very steep stairs down to the park – and then you have to walk down a hill from there!
The steep road going down to where I will be working – good leg muscles are coming!
The beautiful cemetery at the end of the road.
I can’t wait for the autumn colours to come out!

The addiction continues…

When I was leaving China back in 2017 I had to get rid of most of my notebooks since they were too heavy for my luggage. It was depressing to get rid of them but I knew I had to.

Fast forward to my recent move and I have been unpacking just to discover that apparently the addiction is back haha. These are just a few of them. I have at least 10 more in my bedroom.

Again they are filled with journalling, lists, scribbles and many other ramblings. I have enjoyed collecting them again but I really should organize them to know what’s what.

Do you have a collection of things? Did you stop and start again?

Best Friends

Do you remember your best friends, from grade school, from high school, from college, from that first job? It’s someone we all have, sometimes in fact it’s the same person through every part of our life.

I have had many best friends in my life, I can remember their names and their faces (and even some of them I remember their phone number!). They all have a special place in my heart.

But there is one friend, who I met at the beginning of grade 11 way back in 1981 (yikes – almost 40 years!), that was my best friend almost instantly from the time we met. We just clicked. Well, time moved on and we kept in touch for a few years after we both left our hometown. Marriage happened for both of us, and then kids, and as it sometimes happens, we drifted apart. But then, on my 40th birthday, my mother had run into her and we re-connected at my party. And 15 years later, I can still call her my best friend.

Well this incredibly lovely lady, who has gone through many things in her life, is about to embark on a wonderful and courageous new journey in her life, and I am SO excited for her and I know she is going to be amazing.

We spent all afternoon together today, I was helping her pack up the rest of her place (which I am taking over as of September 1st!), and I helped her start up her blog. I want to share her story and her journey and this amazing time in her life with all of you, and I hope you will all enjoy her blogs, as much as I enjoy the best friendship in the world.

Her blog is https://leapingintotheunknowndotca.wordpress.com/about/ and I just know she is going to succeed in this!

Daily Thought – August 26

“Tolerance – the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.”

Tolerance is something I strive for in my daily life. I have tolerated a lot in my life, made me stronger. But perhaps tolerance needs to be used more during these pandemic times. Tolerance is something we all need to use daily.

I just spent the last hour on Twitter, reading comments about the RNC convention from last night, in particular Melania Trump’s speech. I listened to it for a bit and, while I am definitely not a fan of her’s (to say the least!), people are incredibly cruel and intolerant of her accent. There were many people criticizing her – saying she should speak English more clearly. She can speak 5 languages, as many people do in Europe. Europeans, especially those that grew up in Eastern Bloc countries, were required to learn many languages. And I know this from the many students I taught in the Czech Republic – they confirmed this to me. I would love to speak 2 languages fluently – 5 is incredible in my eyes!

So, sure, disagree with and criticize the many things she does or does not do, but do not criticize Melania Trump for not speaking English well enough. I am sure many of those critical on that issue don’t speak that many languages.

The world needs to improve on so many levels with tolerance of each other – let’s all try to improve ourselves and teach our kids to be more tolerant.

All you have to do is think positive!!

When I moved to Hamilton a month ago, I had assumed I had a job lined up but delays and more delays made me realize this job was not going to happen. So, I started job hunting right away.

I got resumes printed out, and headed out with them in hand. In a matter of a few days, I had a job interview. Another few days, and another job interview. Two job offers in less than two weeks!

And then today, a job that I don’t even recall applying for, one I had sent an email to in May when I was still in my hometown, became available to me, and I have an interview for tomorrow.

I have always been a positive person and even when it seems like things may not work out, my positive energy comes through and good things come my way. I have always believed in myself, and believed that if I stayed positive, things would go my way, and once again even at my age this has come true!

Stay positive, and you will have a positive life! I am living proof of this!