Photo by Geoff S.
Every year, so far able to be said to be “like clockwork”, we have Afternoon Tea on New Year’s Day. So far, every time has been at a Fairmont hotel (three times at the Banff Springs, once at the Hotel Vancouver), and I don’t suppose that tradition is likely to change any time soon. Though we’re definitely needing to branch out to other Fairmonts, and my sights are definitely set on the Empress in Victoria.
This year’s event was quieter, being just the four of us. Whereas last year we had more guests than the combined attendance of all previous NYTs, we intentionally kept it light and simple.
In fact, this year’s annual Tea almost didn’t happen.
I’ve turned into my dad. Really. I’ve got to be the hardest person on the planet to buy for. My poor wife pestered me for weeks to expand on my Christmas list (she pre-populated it with: “If you don’t add anything, you get a vasectomy!”), and I amounted to two things: sweatpants, and a new silicone scraper for the kitchen.
So leave it to my sister to — yet again — pull off a miracle. She has a knack for this. I don’t know where she’s acquired this skill, but she’s got it down and I’m fairly envious of it. (I struggle every year to return the favour. I suck at it.) Last year it was the most comfy sweatshirt I’ve ever owned. This year? She delivered to me one of the most whiz-bang things I think I’ve ever been given:
When I have those moments when I think I’ve gotten too old, and I think I’m starting to feel like my age, I’m thankful for sudden sustained bursts of activity that remind me that, really, I just lead a much duller life than I used to, and my exhaustion is usually due to lack of sleep than from trying to do too much.
Heck, it even makes me feel a bit young! Ish. Sort of.
Except for the prolonged yawning, anyway.
Dear Mr. Trudeau,
First off, thank you for putting yourself on the line for leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada. Names notwithstanding, the act is one that is necessarily of self-sacrifice, since the job of leading is often thankless, rarely appreciated for what it delivers, and may very well likely make you age before your time. It is the call of duty that is more admirable, that you would take on a responsibility that most Canadians would prefer to avoid. It will be refreshing to have a younger perspective on what has become a party bogged down in its past mistakes, real and perceived, and how that party could be transformed into something more relevant.
It is that relevance of which I am concerned. I am currently sitting in Calgary Centre, awaiting the outcome of a by-election. It’s been an interesting contest, and to some degree, has become even a microcosm of what we’ve seen across Canada. The same messages, the same tactics, and the same mistakes. It will be a turning point, of that I have little doubt, even if (regrettably) the “status quo” is maintained — there are lessons to be learned, here, Mr. Trudeau. And a very important one to which you need to pay very close attention:
Votes do not “split”.
[Ed. Note: I've stripped out a bit of unnecessary bit at the beginning, and it was suggested that I sanitize it for sensitive eyes...]
So last week, I was huddled with my mom back in Oakville, Ontario. No, I didn’t publicize this because — and utterly no offense meant to anyone — I didn’t want to see anyone but my Mom (and by extension, my sister and her family).
The story here isn’t the journey to Oakville, or even the events in Oakville. This is about my trip home to Calgary.
Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that today’s news totally threw me for a loop. I, like almost no-one else, saw that coming. I, like everyone else, immediately wondered what was going on, and what could it mean?
The first thing that came to mind was that the last time a major media mogul sold a widely-loved empire to Disney, he died not long after.
Okay, so the deal fell through at the time. Bear with me on this, already!
I don’t know if you’ll remember today by the time you read this, but today you lost your first tooth. Literally. In both ways you can take that sentence.
And man, is Mommy sad about that…
It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, and as the waning hours peter out, I look back and see it as a far more interesting weekend than I’ve had in recent years, notably with the things we managed to do.
In particular, three things that I did. Notably, things I had never previously done before, and there was some concern (on a couple of them) as to how well they’d turn out.
As for how I turned out, that’s … well, part of the story.
Ten years ago today, I boarded a shuttle bus from a hotel in Vancouver, and met some of the most amazing people I’ve ever had the pleasure — nay, honour — to know and work with. (Believe me, I’ve worked with a lot of people over the years. This does not come lightly.)
It was a chance of a lifetime — something I knew then, and greatly appreciate now. A chance to connect with thousands of fellow Canadians, and experience our nation in a now-unique way. The memories were fond when it ended, and they’re stronger and more wonderful with every new day.
I’ve had people ask: Would I do it again? Damn right, I would!
You’re 5 now, Monkey, which means a pretty big change for all of us. You won’t be around all day long, anymore. Day camps and whatnot aside, you’ve been a major presence — especially in Mommy’s life — since the moment you’d grown big enough that Mommy needed maternity clothes, and every day since then.
But it’s coming to an end. Your infancy, as it were, is nearly over. You’re about to go to kindergarten. You’re officially growing past us.