I've mostly been working
very hard on my web site getting more history up which actually includes a
history of Inverness County in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. I'm also working
to create a new Scots-Irish section on the site.
I've been getting in lots
of emails from Maggie in Sarnia which is an hour up the road from me.
In several of these emails she is copying various newspaper articles and
I'd noticed several to do with fire alarms. Seems if your house needs 2 of
them and you don't have them when the fire engines arrive you get a $200
fine for each one missing or not operational. I then got another email in
this time telling of a person in a trailer that had been woken by his fire
alarm and was able to get out in time with his pets. I think that
decided me so off I went to Wal Mart and purchase 3 of them as I have
three floors. Got one special one that also detects other gasses. A
couple of days later I got them up and so am now legal and hopefully now
protected. Actually, as I am a smoker this makes good sense.
I also took time to replace
the plastic sheet extract from my hot air drier with an aluminum one which
I was told would make things a lot more efficient.
Have also taken the first
steps toward getting personal arms. Just got to find out if I can do
this in Canada or need to go through the Lord Lyons office in Scotland.
On Monday 9th April there
was a ceremony in France to re-commemorate the Canadian monument at Vimy
Why it's important to
reflect on Vimy Ridge - From Monday's Globe and Mail
The deaths yesterday of six Canadian soldiers from the Royal Canadian
Regiment on a dusty road west of Kandahar city represent this country's
largest single-day loss in war since May 1953. A solemn Prime Minister
Stephen Harper broke the news to veterans gathered in France for
commemoration of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, which began on Easter Monday 90
years ago. Said the Prime Minister of the casualties: "Our hearts ache for
them and their families." The loss gives Canadians today added cause for
reflection on the bravery and sacrifice of their soldiers.
Vimy is important for many reasons. It was the first time that Canadians
fought for king and country as a distinct national army, with all four
divisions of the Canadian Corps entering the battle together. Their
determined walk across no man's land, behind a creeping artillery barrage
-- the largest in history up to that point -- called for almost
unimaginable courage. The risk of death was extreme, and the losses were
horrendous: more than 10,000 casualties, including 3,598 killed. Yet it
ended in a monumental victory.
Canadian soldiers captured a strategic high ground, a fortified German
position that French and British troops had repeatedly attacked over two
years but failed to win. Not only did the victory at Vimy Ridge, along
with other great Canadian sacrifices at the Somme and Passchendaele, help
to turn the tide against Germany in the First World War, but they also
helped to lay the groundwork for Canadian independence, resulting in
Canada becoming a separate signatory to the Treaty of Versailles. Vimy
Ridge is aptly characterized by historians as representing Canada's
"coming of age."
All Canadians need to be aware of that poignant fact and, with the deaths
in Afghanistan yesterday, aware also that it is the sacrifice of soldiers
that keeps Canada strong and free.
You can read more about
Vimy Ridge at
April of course is the
month when you need to pay your tax in Canada and confess I got a bit of a
shock when I got in my results from my accountant. I was nearly correct on
what tax I was due to pay but then I was told that now that my tax has
gone over $2,000 I now need to pay tax quarterly as I am self employed.
That means in 2007 I am in fact now paying 2 years tax in one <gulp>.
April is also the month
that we celebrate Tartan Day in Toronto and this year Jean Watson, the
mother of Tartan Day, got the Scot of the Year award. As it was
myself that suggested her I was of course delighted for her. I got to pick
her up in a stretch limo :-)
We also got a write up in
the Sunday Post and they even pinched my picture!!!
Thanks to Ranald McIntyre for sending this to
April also saw me visiting
the optician to get my eyes tested. Back in Scotland I got a full eye test
every six months as part of me attending the diabetic clinic at the local
hospital. Since being in Canada I haven't had an eye test and so
when I mentioned this to my doctor she arranged for me to have a full eye
So... I will be returning
in May to pick up two pairs of new reading glasses and I am to have an
additional test with another specialist to check on some diabetic spots I
have in my eyes and so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
And so that completes my
summary of things over this last couple of months.