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Very often, in writing this diary, we tell of the less pleasant things, as well as some of the good things about the area. Our purpose in providing this information is to enable buyers to beware. No-one else will tell you the unpleasant things about an area. We have never seen information like this made available before. Buying a home is the most expensive investment you will ever make. We are not sales people. Apart from our own homes, we do not own any property in the area. Please do not write to us telling us the good things about this area .. any sales person or the local tourist office can provide that information. Of course, they are only interested in selling. That is the only information they want you to know.

Wednesday 24th May, 2000

What a beautiful day. Last weekend was the Victoria Day long-weekend. This is the time when Canadians in this area either go north to fix up their summer lakeside cottages, or do some serious gardening. (Victoria Day refers to Queen Victoria's birthday).

On, or about, the 24th May one can realistically hope that there will be no further frosts. Therefore I worked hard on the weekend, planting out some Impatiens "busy lizzie", tomatoes, green peppers. A friendly gardener gave me a few "chinese lanterns" and a ribbon grass (arunds donax variegata, I think he said) - both these are said to be extremely invasive, so I have put them in an area where I hope they will not do too much spreading. I also seeded some cucumbers, zucchini (I think they're called courgettes in England. I like to make ratatouille, with tomatoes and onions etc. with them), green and yellow bush beans.

To create perfect conditions for planting, the splendid cool sunny weather of the weekend was immediately followed by two days of steady rain and showers. Now today, the 24th is really warm and sunny again. Oh dear, spoke too soon, there's a thunder storm coming over.

My clematis have finally come to something. I put them in two years ago and thought the puppy had destroyed them, but they have come back. Also, my neighbour had put in a couple which promptly looked as tho' they had dropped dead, but they are there this spring and I hope they will flower next year. Here are a couple of pictures of mine. The purple flower is called Mrs. P.B. Truax. I don't know what the white one is called, as the puppy ate the label! I've had a look around the Internet and I think it is called Henryii.

At 6 a.m. this morning there was a 3 tremor in the Scarborough area of Toronto. As I said earlier in my diary, this entire area is criss-crossed with fault lines. It's surprising really that there are not more earth quakes.

Also, an entire town (Walkerton) has had the water supply contaminated with cattle manure, "E Coli bacteria". This has flooded the local hospitals with the sick. (By 25th May four adults and one child had died. Many more were in hospital, critically ill). E Coli can destroy the kidneys and liver etc. Once contracted it can also be transferred from person to person. This is the bacteria we had in our water at Eden Mills! I really don't think they should have been allowed to build all those houses on wells .. without treatment or advice on the risk. It still continues. They say "let the buyer beware" .. but how can the buyer beware when the information is not made readily available? As you may see at the bottom of this page, many acres of farm land are being put down to "development". Will proper provision be made for safe water supplies - or will it, yet again, be "buyer beware".

Tuesday 9th May, 2000

Was a perfect day for a 'bus ride, not too hot and pleasantly cloudy, without being actually dull. We had booked with Maxey to visit Dundurn Castle and The Royal Botanical Gardens. They have their own Web sites: Dundurn is at www.city.hamilton.on.ca/cultureandrecreation. RBG is at www.rbg.ca and has email: events@rbg.ca if you have any horticultural questions. I took a couple of digital photographs which follow and some ordinary photographs which have not been developed yet.

The tulips at the
Royal Botanical Gardens
rock garden section.
The Rose Drawing Room
at Dundurn Castle.
Part of the Dining
Room at Dundurn Castle.
We had a luncheon at the Garden Dining Room of the RBG. Unfortunately I had not told Maxey that my friend cannot eat garlic or dairy products. The chicken was heavily flavoured with garlic! Next time I book I must remember to mention this. It's makes catering very difficult for a set number of people if one or two forget to say if they have special problems.

These places are not far from Guelph and make a very pleasant day outing.

Monday 8th May, 2000

As usual, the temperatures suddenly soared into the 90s, (with humidex considered). Everyone says it's "unusual for the time of year" - but they always say that and it's always the same!

Over the weekend I took a drive over to Long Lane Orchards, about 20K east of Guelph. There are some pleasant walks, with local wild flowers, so I took the following photographs:-

These are all pictures taken
in the trillium woodlands

After the woodlands, I passed by my most UNfavourite place, where a massive destruction of the countryside is taking place. I don't have a panoramic camera, so I took these pictures side-by-side to give an idea of the scale. The distant background of the pictures, I would say, is about a mile away:-

These pictures all fit together to give a panoramic view.

Even with the pictures side-by-side you can't really see the enormity of this project. The vehicles are immense. We complain about the destruction of the rain forests - but the crushing destruction by these huge implements can be carried out in a fraction of the time. These hundreds of acres have been destroyed in a few weeks.

The local people are also concerned about the provision of water and proper sewage for such a large project. One supposes these homes will all be on septic tanks and wells - much the same as Eden Mills. In that case we were using infected water, especially in the spring and other times of heavy rain. No doubt the same will happen here. Then everyone wonders who is responsible when tragedies such as Walkerton happen (see above).

Return to other months of Diary from Canada at http://www.sentex.net~oficserv/Canlet.html

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Link to the Movies Pages at "movies.yahoo.com"

Visit a site for many photographs of North American Birds and animals.

Rhona Raskin Home Page at http://www.rhona.com.