Thursday, 18 April 2019

If Only I Could Remember His Name

A month or two ago my son and his wife gave me a couple of t-shirts. One was pretty good but I forget why and the other they suggested I could use it for a rag. Now, I always love free stuff, and free t-shirts will never go to waist unless my waist gets too big which has happened more than I care to admit. I had a plan for that rag t-shirt.

The shirt was bright red and the front was emblazoned with the Calgary Stampeders logo and name. It was a little big and was perfect for wearing when I walked down the beach every day. I knew that if and when my skin turned the colour of the t-shirt I could be certain that I have gotten too much sun and need to be slathered with aloe vera or some other off the shelf ointment. 

It is also quite literally a sign that I am from Canada, Alberta and I am a Calgarian. It is a wonderful ice breaker. People will make comments on the weather back home, how the Stamps did last year and what happened to the Flames last night. I try to avoid talking politics because more often than not my views and theirs differ slightly. I just mumble something about all politicians are crooks and I prefer to keep the current crop in power because their pockets are already full of my tax dollars. I have no need to mention that I also agree with their policies.

I have met more than a few Canadians this trip, some from the Atlantic provinces, some from Ontario, BC and Saskatchewan. The Quebecois are either stand offish or they don’t have a mastery of English. Little do they know that their English is far superior than my French.

Today I had a novel experience.

A couple about my age stopped me and asked if I were a Stamps season ticket holder. I told them that I just hold the t-shirt. We got to talking and it turns out that they live in Calgary and the woman was trying to convince me to volunteer for the 2020 Grey Cup which will be held in town. It’s a thought and except for the volunteering part it sounds great. We talked about what they have been up to since arriving in paradise and golf figured heavily in their to do lists. I suggested a couple of good spots for breakfast and they told me that they ate breakfast in their condo. To me it is more of a social thing rather than an eating thing, but to each his or her own.

We talked of hockey and the abysmal loss the other night and I told them I was used to supporting a losing team since I was originally from Toronto. The guy said “Me Too!”. 

“Where in Toronto are you from?” I asked.

“Scarborough” he replied.

I smiled and said “Me Too!”

As it turns out we grew up within a mile of each other, attended the same high school two or three years apart and knew many of the same people. I look forward to seeing him on the beach again before I leave because aside from the golf and not going out for breakfast, he was a nice guy. 

Now, if only I could remember his name…

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Carry a Mailbag

I am sitting on the lanai watching a palm tree swaying back and forth in the breeze. Nothing says paradise more than this.

Why then am I wondering just where it will hit the condo complex if it is uprooted by that same ocean breeze. I’m pretty sure that it will miss my condo, but I can’t say that with an absolute certainty. It’s only a foot or so in circumference but there is sixty or seventy feet of it which would be pretty destructive. Palm trees don’t have the deep root systems that trees have in Canada, they are more like small potted plants which will willingly leave the dirt for just about any reason.

I guess I shouldn’t worry about a palm tree falling on me, that is just stupid. It’s far more likely that a rogue shark will mistake my too white body for a seal while I am flopping around in the ocean. I doubt that I will taste very good, but by the time sharks figures that out I will be missing an important part of my body. Just to be clear, any part of my body is important as far as I am concerned. 

A shark is just me being silly, but there are these fish with wicked looking spines all over their bodies that I see washed up on the beach durning my daily walks. My hope is that they died somewhere out in the ocean and were washed up during the nightly high tide. Not knowing anything about mid Pacific fish this one might be a flying attack fish that launches itself at unsuspecting mammals that are walking along the beach looking for bits of sand glass and not paying attention to an attack from the ocean. Out of the blue yesterday Louise looked at me and with a serious look on her face she said “Never turn your back on the ocean!”  What the hell! I am on an island, so anyway I turn my back it will be pointed to the ocean. Sure there might be miles between the ocean and my back but who knows how crazy this ocean can be. Why would Louise do that? 

I am far more likely to get a thorn in my foot from the trees that line the beach. Why would they have thorn trees by the beach in paradise? Okay, all of this is just silliness because the real danger is from the sun. I have been feeling a warmth on my body for the past few days and even though I want a nice lightly bronze colour on my skin, I suspect that I am getting closer to fire engine red than chocolate tan. Well, I’m not staying away from the beach (I paid good money for this experience) so my skin will just have to suck it up.

At least I don’t have to carry a mailbag on my sunburnt shoulders when I go home…