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These diary pages are mostly part of my letters to family and friends, usually in B.C. and Europe. The pages all read in reverse chronological order. i.e. Most recent first.

Saturday 27th November 1999

It is beginning to get seriously cold now. Went to Fergus Market this morning. Was surprised how quiet it is on a Saturday. Had to get a back-pack to carry all the stuff I need when walking the dog. Far cry from when I lived out in the sticks .. All I needed to walk the dog was the dog!

This is a poster from the Royal Winter Fair (see other pictures below). The house is a typical old country farmhouse. The trim around the eves is called gingerbread. The porch is essential in summer - a place to sit in the evening, to recover from the fierce summer heat.

Tuesday 23rd November 1999

For the past few weeks I have been taking Sue (short for Tsunami, because she was always so destructive), to training. She is doing very well. I am sorry that I didn't take myself to training with my other dogs though .. I would have done much better with all of them if I'd had a professional trainer.

I've been looking at Java On Line. The first lesson in every case seems to be "Hello World" .. so I have made a file as instructed at Java1.html. I know this will not work this time, but need to put a ref in somewhere.

It was unusually warm today, so I walked the Tsunami down town to see if they had any books on Java at the Library. They had quite a lot, but the Information Desk informed me they were all out. Only "Java For Dummies" was available. I didn't see any of the titles which had been suggested by the On Line courses.

Monday 15th November 1999

Took another bus ride with Cherry Bus Lines/Maxey Travel. Very pleasant day. First we visited Sherway Gardens. To get there is quite complicated: Take the 427 off the 401, turn West on Dundas and next South on West Mall. I was glad I didn't have to drive that way myself.

Sherway is an up-market mall, beautiful expensive things, lovely Christmas decorations, fountains in the middle. On the upper level is one large restaurant area, with many different shopfronts selling all kinds of foods - from Vietnamese or Indian to ordinary Canadian and the ubiquitous Tim Horton's.

Next we went to the Dixie Factory Outlet Mall, where just about everything is on sale. I bought some trousers from the Sears Discount for $9.00. and a very interesting design winter hood (arctic fleece) for $20.00. more for the design than anything.

By this time it was getting dark and we were hungry. The last stop was the Ikea Store (I think that was at Mississauga) and have no idea how to get there. I bought some towelling scuffs for $3.00. and a couple of skirt hangers. They didn't have the light fixture I particularly wanted.

There is a restaurant on the upper floor at Ikea, so that was very welcome. They serve a variety of supposedly Scandinavian-type food at reasonable prices. I had barbecue wings with new potatoes and salad and a coffee. That was about $5.00. A glass of wine would have been $4.50 so I didn't order that.

Sunday 14th November 1999

Sorry I haven't written for a while, but I have visited numerous interesting places in the meantime and have been waiting for my pictures to come back. Following the unpleasant weather at the beginning of the month, the summer returned, with temperatures up to 74. So, that was very pleasant. November is usually such a cold, damp miserable grey month.

Monday 8th November 1999

On Monday I went to the Royal Winter Fair at the Toronto Exhibition Centre. It is a bit like Dorchester Show, only much larger. We stayed for the Horse Show finals and jump-offs. That went on for rather a long time, so I didn't get home until 1:00 a.m. on Tuesday. I took a few photographs:-

This fluffy white creature I am addressing is an Alpaca. I have seldom seen such an attractive face on an animal .. but it was impossible to photograph. Every time I pointed the camera at it, the Alpaca came over and kissed the lens.

This magnificent Shire horse came from England. It was flown to Canada when a foal. It now appears each year at the Royal.

An entry in the miniature donkey class.

This colossal pumpkin was in a class of its' own, as it resembles a bean-bag chair.

The largest of the pumpkins had been taken already to another competition .. but these were really impressive.

After I had walked around all the Show exhibits I decided to go across to the Titanic Exhibition. That was very interesting and so terribly sad.

They had retrieved many personal artifacts - a gentleman's suitcase with his suit and wallet. Even personal letters and tickets had been preserved in the leather cases, compressed by the undersea pressure.

In the middle of the exhibit there is a scale model of the wreck. There are many parts of the ship - from wash-basins to coffee cups. They say that the huge chandelier is still hanging in the wreck, but they have not yet recovered it.

There is a Gift Shop (of course) where one may buy reproductions of the jewellery or many of the artifacts on display. There was also a competition (naturally) where one may leave comments (and one's name, address and telephone number) to win $200 in merchandise from the shop. ... I was hoping to be able to win the attractive 1st Class Lounge dinner service! - but will doubtless receive junk mail from innumerable sources forever more for my pains! The marketers in North America have really taken the selling of address lists to extremes.

Thursday 4th November 1999

The weather cleared up today, the sunshine is beautiful but the wind is still very cold.

Tuesday 2nd November 1999

"Have you hugged your cat today?"
A Message from The Guelph Humane Society,
500 Wellington Street West,
GUELPH, Ontario, Canada.
Tel: (519)824-3091.

Guelph Humane Society are also advertising a site at http://www.guelph-humane.on.ca This is a newer address and does not appear on the search engines just yet.
This afternoon I had to drive to Kitchener for my aviation medical. What a miserable day. It was simply pouring with rain and blowing a gale. The traffic was very slow and I became stuck behind a smelly truck. Then the rain turned to snow. I had allowed plenty of time - so arrived half-an-hour early. Of course the Doctor was running behind time, so I had to wait in a nearby coffee shop. Unfortunately it was not a Tim Horton's, so had a large smokers' area which was thick with stinking stale smoke. When I eventually spoke with the Doctor he said "of course, you're not a smoker and never have smoked?" It occurred to me afterwards that I must have been thickly coated in fumes and he might have thought I was not telling the truth! Oh well, I'll know better next time.

This was the first snow of the season. The temperature had dropped from 74 three days ago, to 30, or somewhat below. The wind was howling and snow billowing across rooftops. A huge area just to the north of Guelph was without electric power for a couple of days, as the heavy snow broke the power cables. Why would anyone in their right minds emigrate to Canada? It's like the humid jungles of Africa here in the summer and like Siberia in the winter. Guelph is still being allowed to grow - even though it has insufficient water, too few police, no available doctors and no further space for rubbish disposal. They are hoping more people will ease the tax burden. I have attended many planning meetings when the participants had made this suggestion. It never works. More people need more services.

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

Return to home-page of OFICSERV Computer Office Services & Drafting at http://www.sentex.net/~oficserv

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

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