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Sunday, January 30, 2000

Today we drove over to Long Lane Orchards. This time I bought Mutzu apples. I took a few photographs again:-

These are a couple of tree faces
which the owner's daughter made
Long Lane Orchards is on a side road about ten miles south-east of Eden Mills. The Orchard shop had many local people who were talking about the "creeping urbanization" in their area. Apparently 33 houses were being placed on a good piece of farm property nearby.

On my way back to Guelph I passed by this property and was really shocked to see the destruction and desolation of the stripped land. Whoever would use good farm land in this way? To me there is only one answer: short term profit!

No doubt the people of the "moraine lands" will have the same fight on their hands. Country people cannot afford the legal costs to continually face-off with developers. Farmers will always be tempted to sell their land for development.

Recently I visited the Cullen Gardens. The ‘bus host pointed out the total degradation of the lands: so far as one could see, to the north of the town, the soil had been stripped and was being put down to townhouses.

On other recent trips to Niagara Falls and St. Catharines, the ‘bus host pointed out similar sites. One in particular I noticed; where an orchard had been leveled and a mall was being constructed.

I had the privilege of immigrating to Canada in 1969, from the U.K. One of my reasons for emigrating was to escape the overpopulation, with all that entailed. Even with the Green Belt laws which had then recently come into force, the farmlands and forests of Britain were continually under pressure. I don’t know what the answer can be for Ontario, where, I have read, the population has now reached and possibly exceeds that of Southern England.

Saturday, January 29, 2000

After a week or more of extreme cold, with windchill down to -35ºC, it was a beautiful spring-like day. -3ºC felt really warm by comparison. I took the Tsunami for a long walk. The trees were so pretty, covered with shiny fluffy blossoms of frost, which fell sparkling through the sunny air as they melted. What a lovely morning! Here are a few pictures:-

A pleasant sunny Canadian January morning
Saturday, January 15, 2000

Sorry I haven't written for a while. As you know, I had to go into hospital on the 10th. In spite of the cutbacks, the hospital took me and the surgeon made an appointment very quickly. I was certainly glad to be over that.

Fortunately my friend was able to drive me there and pick me up afterwards. They did everything right on time. When I said I was cold someone came and covered me with a freshly heated blanket. I don't have any complaints at all.

Last time I had this surgery was in 1973. I don't know what they did differently, perhaps it was the lasers, but this time there was far less pain and I have taken a fraction of the time to heal.

Tuesday, January 04, 2000

Repeat of yesterday, weatherwise. Overnight the temperature again went up to 12ºC. Then this morning the wind went about with a couple of cold fronts. Now we have ice pellets.

Monday, January 03, 2000

The weather has been amazing. Yesterday there was a thick fog and the temperature went up to 12ºC. Today the snow and ice have almost all melted.

Saturday, January 01, 2000

Thank you so much for calling me last night. As you could probably tell from my letters, I was quite worried about the year 2000. It wouldn’t have been so upsetting if I at least had a fireplace in this house, but I’m completely dependent on utility services. Even with a fireplace it wouldn’t have been much better .. On the occasions when the utilities went off, I could never get a fire to light. I was always freezing cold in Alton Pancras and in Eden Mills I wouldn’t have survived another night if the electricity hadn’t come on.

It has been a lovely day. Brilliant sun and blue skies. The temperature must have been about 50ºF, which is most unusual for January. This morning I walked with a friend and her two dogs. Tsunami was full of beans as usual and welcomed a young animal to wrestle with. Then I watched the Californian Rose Bowl Parade. I think this is the most beautiful parade I have ever seen. After lunch I went for an even longer walk along the spur-line trail and through a park into the centre of Guelph. That was a bit much and I’m completely worn out now.

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