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    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @missy ‘Allo allo was, I think, very much in the traditional ‘music-hall’ style – full of cartoonish characters, double-entendres and risque jokes. That’s not normally my favourite style of humour – too obvious – but Allo Allo did it so supremely well I couldn’t help but like it. And (SPOILERS!!) I loved it that Rene finally got to elope with Yvette Carte-Blanche in the final episode.

    I agree that American remakes of British shows rarely work. Probably because, if a British show is successful (and they wouldn’t remake it if it wasn’t), it will have developed its own characteristic personality or flavour, and it will be playing to its strengths. And Americanising that completely changes the flavour, and probably won’t be playing to its strengths. It certainly doesn’t ‘work’ for aficionados of the British original. If the general idea is borrowed (without trying to copy the British show too closely) then it will probably do better.

    Deep Breath and Capaldi – I love it too when he goes all Scottish. What’s with Clara’s tartan skirt, by the way? Or is it a kilt?
    (By the way, I notice a strong Scots flavour in Who – David Tennant, Amy, Capaldi, Moffatt. I suppose numerically there are far more non-Scots people, but it’s the Scots that seem to be prominent. And there’s nothing wrong with that (Englishman speaking).

    winston @winston

    @dentarthurdent  The country that is Canada is quieter and more reserved than the States but individually we are party animals!

    Stay safe and party on eh!

    winston @winston

    @missy  Glad to see you are good.  Our covid cases were going down so things were opened up a bit and now our numbers are on the rise again. We have a really good vaccine rate so that is good but the Delta variant is still finding those that are not jabbed and some that are. We still have to be very careful and are still behaving like we did at the start of it. Stay home if we can , wear a mask, stay 6 feet apart and wash our hands and sanitize. Nothing would dare live on my hands.

    Some people are starting to act like it is over and we are now facing some criticism for avoiding social gatherings but we are not ready yet. I feel like we have all gone through so much for so long that there is no way I am going to get sick now. I am positive that some day we will get back to normal.

    Stay safe.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @winston     Thanks!   Currently in lockdown, so just me and Mrs D.   Actually I had a birthday a couple of days ago, according to my dentist (or rather his computer system, which knows altogether too much about me.   If he drops down dead, his computer system will live on, making appointments, sending out Happy Birthday emails on the appropriate days…)   I’d completely forgotten about it but I just suddenly got a year older.   Ah well…

    As it is, lockdown isn’t too bad (for me).   We live in the suburbs, I can go for a walk to the local park (carefully avoiding getting close to anybody), to the supermarket (all masked up), and I’ve got the Internet.   I hate to think what it would be like without the Internet!

    nerys @nerys

    @missy Generally speaking, I agree with you that the U.S. should not redo British shows. They’ve managed to ruin a fair number of them. However, The Office is one exception, maybe because I started watching it before I watched the British original. I enjoyed the U.S. version, but toward the end it seemed to be chasing its own tail and wasn’t funny anymore.

    @dentarthurdent Belated happy birthday wishes to you! COVID Alert is Canada’s tracker app. Like yours, ours only runs on more recent smartphones using Bluetooth. I have it installed on my smartphone. I’ve never received any exposure notifications, but then my county has had no cases of COVID-19 (that we are aware of), and our region has had only 19 cases total, with one case currently active.

    On a completely different topic: We watched the fourth season/series of Unforgotten, which aired recently on PBS’s Masterpiece. What an amazing series! I have liked Nicola Walker ever since we saw her in Touching Evil back in the late ’90s. Had no clue Unforgotten was going to end the way it did. I don’t want to spoil it with any details. We hadn’t seen any of the previous seasons, so now we are catching up by getting the DVDs from our local library. We just wrapped up Season 1. I’m sure we watched it with a very different perspective than we would have before seeing what transpired this season.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @nerys     Thanks!

    Last time I looked online at the ‘places of interest’ they were scattered all around us, though not at the time(s) I’ve been there.   Feels a bit like dodging bullets   🙂   But of course wearing a mask and avoiding people helps.

    You’re lucky at the moment, as far as covid goes.   Currently we’re in the middle of an outbreak, several hundred cases which all started from just one case a couple of weeks ago.   Hopefully our lockdown will contain it within a couple of weeks.   Mrs D and I are due for our second vax shot in a week.   But I guess we’ve been lucky to have been free of covid for most of the last year.

    ‘Unforgotten’  I don’t know anything of.   So many series…

    I did watch Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’ the other night, with Scarlett Johansson in the title role.   Started of as one of the most hair-raising thrillers, with Lucy in the grip of Chinese gangsters none of whom spoke English but just shot anybody at the drop of a hat.   There was a funny-scary moment when they ordered her to open the briefcase she had been forced to deliver and she looks up and sees them all sheltering behind bomb shields.    After that it goes a bit like Kill Bill and ends up all mystical and 2001.   Doesn’t make a heck of a lot of sense but quite diverting.

    winston @winston

    @dentarthurdent    Happy Birthday!   I love that it was your Dentist who reminded you. My Doctor called me on one of my big birthdays to remind that at my age it was time for a few tests, Thanks Doc!

    I hope your country gets a hold of the covid because you have done so well keeping it away.

    Stay safe.

    syzygy @thane16


    unforgotten is brilliant!

    Also, another comedy/drama (possibly genre switching) is The Good Place.

    – one of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time of that nature.

    puro and Thane❤️❤️

    MissRori @missrori

    Hey you guys!

    I have the misfortune of living in the U.S. and working an “essential” job, so the past month has been pretty demoralizing for me.  After all me and my family have been through — going through the illness, then my taking personal leave to better recover (which, at least I had that), getting our jabs as soon as we could, still wearing masks, etc. — we do have some travel plans for the back third of the year, the first I’ve had since the pandemic started.  I’m really looking forward to them, which makes it all the more frustrating that things are dragging on the way they are and nothing seems to be moving the needle to get more people jabbed.  The most I’ve been able to do besides work-and-home is visit with my out-of-town boyfriend twice.

    How can I keep a positive attitude and look forward to my future when all the news is out to bring me down?  Any advice would be welcome.

    winston @winston

    @missrori  Hello, It is good to know that you and your family have recovered from the virus. I also feel your frustration with people who won’t get the shots that will help us all recover. It seems to have gone on for a long time and like most of us I wish it were over.

    Being positive is hard these days but my Mom used to say “this too will pass” when we hit hard times and they usually did. A friend of mine used to peeve me off by saying “we will laugh about this in the future ” but we usually did.

    This pandemic will either  be over some day or we will have to learn to live with it some how and one the few things I am positive about is that we can do it. Humans are very adaptable and you are a very strong person. You have had the virus and recovered while looking after your family and then going back to work! You have worked through this dangerous time to help your community while I hid in my house relying on people like you. I am proud of you and I admire you as do many others. Most of all I thank you. Your future will be bright.

    Stay safe.



    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @missrori I assume you’re young (or at least younger than some of us old relics who saw the first episode of Doctor Who when it was screened and yes I do mean old Who 🙂 So you can take the long view. You have the time. The world will gradually recover from Covid, one way or another. Most people want to travel and commercial imperatives will cause the world to open up, and adapt to Covid the best it can. Not to get too political but most of the anti-vaxxers will realise they’re only disadvantaging themselves and quietly get the jab. Hopefully Covid will fade into the background like the Asian Flu and AIDS.

    I know it sounds hackneyed, but I guess just count your blessings (and though they may seem curtailed right now, I would guess they’re still considerable compared with anyone in Afghanistan right now, or Saudi Arabia, or East Germany in Cold War days, or New Orleans right at this moment, or almost anyone at all in the 19th century). It sort of works for me. And the Internet is a marvellous window on the world.

    Will you excuse a short digression? When I was a teen I read a short story by Robert Sheckley entitled ‘The Store of the Worlds’ (which I have *just* realised was a pun on H G Wells’ The War of the Worlds. It only took me 50 years to notice that! Mind like a supercomputer, that’s me). Anyway, the synopsis is, the ‘store of the worlds’ was a shack that offered an experience we’d call ‘virtual reality’ (this was written long before VR was a thing). Experience the world of your dreams – any dream you wanted. Mr Wayne was hesitant about this, the price was extremely high. So… he walked out of the store and thought about it, all the way home on the train. And in the following months, while he did the household chores and helped his son with the boat and tolerated his office job and worried about the international situation with H-bombs everywhere (this was the 60’s) and coped with the odd household crisis, it occasionally crossed his mind, but he was too busy with daily life… “How was it?” asked the store owner. “Quite satisfactory, thank you” said Mr Wayne. And he paid up – a pair of boots, two coils of wire and three cans of corned beef – and walked out into the radioactive rubble that was his world now.
    So – that story had quite an effect on me. Not so much the ending as the fact that Mr Wayne’s dream world was – the boring everyday life that he’d lost. What I took from that was, I should appreciate what I’ve got, while I can. That doesn’t stop me trying to make things better, of course, but enjoy the good bits, whatever they may be.

    I really don’t know if that helps. I can’t put myself in your place. My only excuse is, you did ask and that’s the best I can manage. If it all seems irrelevant twaddle please just ignore it.

    janetteB @janetteb

    Firstly some old responses that I have been copy/pasting for days.

    @dentarthurdent Belated Happy Birthday. Getting older is a misfortune we all share, like lockdowns. Hopefully yours will soon be over. At least you have a responsive government and have lots of water between you and N.S.W though Delta has a way of infiltrating. I believe that we had some infected truck drivers pass through the state a few days ago so we might be back in lockdown by the end of this week.

    @winston I don’t think our leaders have yet worked out that it is not safe to relax lockdown until there are no cases left because it only takes one to start a whole new outbreak. The current outbreak that is spreading from NSW was caused by one man, (who I feel very sorry for), but it shows that one case is too much. They seem to look at statistics and see that it is below a certain percentage and think, “oh now we can open up, we have it under control”, and of course that is not possible. I hope you are getting some cooler weather at last. You story of cooking outside made me smile. The original European settlers here had the same idea and built seperate kitchens to keep the heat out of the main house.

    @missrori Basically I don’t think I can add anything to what has already been said. @dentarthurdent, that is a lovely story. All too often we fail to appreciate just how good our lives are. It is important to be happy with what is rather than depend upon what is not for one’s happiness. Many years ago when the S/O and I were considerably younger and more care free we found ourselves on a platform of Prague station without luggage. I had saved for this “great adventure” for years and in that moment I made a decision, not to let the misfortune of having just been robbed ruin the holiday. After shedding a few tears we braced ourselves and set out to enjoy the remainder of the adventure and discovered that travelling without luggage opened up so many possibilites. Adversity happens to everyone. It is how we deal with it that makes the difference.



    syzygy @thane16


    as I know others & @janetteb is already aware, @missrori has been told “advice,” stories and help many, many, many times.

    None of it is followed. It reappears every few months when people suddenly show up again.


    MissRori @missrori

    @dentarthurdent No, your suggestions aren’t irrelevant.  I know I have a lot to be grateful for, and that I can keep my head above water with my job isn’t nothing.  The last few years have felt unusually rough, though, partially because most of my interactions with the outside world are via the Internet and it’s clear how much rougher a lot of other people have it — especially when I don’t have a lot of influence on what’s happening, or what’s going to happen down the line.  Frankly I appreciate the opportunity to vent to others, which I can’t do with the people I live with. 🙂

    MissRori @missrori

    I think the most depressing thing about the pandemic is that “Groundhog Day” feeling of the light at the end of the tunnel never arriving — that we were looking to move past Covid into a bearable, “background” situation like other illnesses we have vaccines and treatments for, but thanks largely to vaccine hesitancy that’s not happening.  Saying “it gets better” (and I hear that a lot in my work/life circle) can feel hollow if it never does, and thinking of how others have it worse can just make everything seem intractable, especially if you have a one-track mind like mine is.   Of course that’s my fault more than anybody’s.  😀  The other advice I get (take up a new hobby, night school, etc.; I’d really like to finally learn to drive) is good but tricky because I work a night shift on a schedule that has odd days and I sleep during the day.  My local library won’t even keep full hours right now; they close ridiculously early.  Also the people who get me around are usually busy with my sister’s kids when I’m free.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @missrori    I have somewhat of a one-track mind but I find I can influence, to a moderate but useful extent, which track my thoughts are going on.   Just occasionally, maybe once a year, I find myself unable to sleep at 4a.m. with my thoughts going round and round like a stuck record.   All I do then is give up any attempt at trying to sleep, accept I’ll be pretty useless the next day, and read a book to derail my morbid train of thought.  That’s far less painful than struggling futilely to get to sleep.

    But learning to drive is certainly worth the effort if you can fit the time in somehow.   It’s not something you have to do to a set timetable, even if you have a couple of months gap in your practice, it comes back as soon as you start driving again.   And it vastly increases your potential mobility if you can rent a car (or drive a borrowed one) should it become necessary.

    MissRori @missrori

    Ugh, I hate not being able to get to sleep but I’ll keep that advice in mind.  🙂  I’m in my early 40s now but still live with my parents.  (I pay rent!)  They’ve never had a problem getting me around; the anxiety issues I had behind the wheel as a teen led us to mutually decide that maybe driving wasn’t for me.  (I am on the autism spectrum – diagnosed in 1994 – and while I can handle a lot, I still have anxiety issues when stress gets big.  Having other people to live with helps, though I spend most of my time alone.)  But we’re all not as young as we used to be and public transport isn’t a thing in my town so we’ve been thinking about at least getting my license.  It does seem the local driving schools are opening up again, so maybe next spring – fall and winter are tentatively occupied with some family projects for now.  Thanks for your encouragement 🙂

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @missrori    What I did find helped a lot with my driving test was, I left off taking it for quite a while, just getting in practice driving with my father in the car.   So by the time I took the test, I knew very well how to drive, didn’t even have to think about the mechanics of driving, all I had to concentrate on was answering the questions right.    Which took a LOT of stress out of it.

    I’m up for another test in a year – it’ll be my first in 47 years.   Have to re-learn all the bits of road code that I’ve long since forgotten.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb I like that Prague story. When I plan a visit to Europe I spend dozens (maybe hundreds) of hours on the Internet checking timetables and fares and booking travel and accommodation down to the last detail. It isn’t a chore, I enjoy it. And the plan works 95% of the time. The other 5% is often the interesting bit 🙂

    Probably the nearest I came to disaster was in 2017, when I arrived in Montpellier main station on the train on Friday afternoon. My pre-booked Fiat 500 was all ready at Europcar, everything went smoothly till the last little detail, when they swipe your credit card to reserve the damage deposit. I proffered my fancy new-style Visa card with the electronic chip – sorry, Msieur, the machine cannot read that. It required the old-style card with the raised lettering. There was no way around it, I offered to get cash from a machine, or could they enter the account number by hand – no way to do it. Didn’t I have *any* old-style card on me, not even one from a chain store? (I think by then the clerk would have tried a video rental card if I had one on me) – nothing. I asked all the other rental desks (they’re all next to each other) – they all use the same model of terminal. That was the low point. So I booked into a cheap hotel near the station, run by a black North Countryman, phoned a friend in Auckland to see if he could get my other credit card from my wife and courier it to me after the weekend, and resigned myself to spending four or five days in Montpellier watching the gaily painted trams chasing each other round in circles. Then I rang my wife – who reminded me that I’d tossed my old superseded card in a hidden pocket in the bottom of my suitcase. Which the Europcar desk accepted next morning with great relief, never mind that it expired in a week (long before my rental would finish) and had technically been voided as soon as I used the new one.


    winston @winston

    @janetteb  We have had a break in the heat, thank goodness. As a child my family spent most of the summer at “the camp” doing everything outside, except sleeping. We also had a camp in the woods of a good friend so our kids could experience the same life.  I  have tried cooking or baking everything over a fire including my pickling. Results vary and are sometimes pretty funny.

    Most older farmhouses in my area have a summer kitchen that used to have a cook stove just to keep the heat out of the house. They are attached to the house but can be shut off and often had a door on both sides as well as windows for air flow. Imagine having to bake bread,make 3 meals and make a winters worth of jam next to a wood cooker in the middle of the summer. Those women were amazing but I suspect their work was expected and taken for granted. Thank you Grannie for passing down some of your skills to me.

    Stay safe.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @winston Yes, voting! Loved your praying mantis election story. Not sure I have already told this story, but as an immigrant from Australia, living here for…eight years now, I had applied for citizenship ages ago, but Covid slowed everything down, and I only became a citizen about three weeks ago. Two weeks ago I found out that I could register to vote at one of the electoral offices so I jumped in my car, drove over, asked to be registered, flashed my driver’s licence, the computer verified me and, presto, I was registered. I was then asked if I would like to vote early since I was there, and did so. It all took about 5 minutes. I got back in my car feeling outrageously virtuous. And, reading about the chaos south of the border, decided that Canada has a pretty effective democratic system.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @blenkinsopthebrave    Congratulations on your citizenship!

    I’m a Pom (English), but I have dual nationality (NZ citizen as well).   For a couple of decades I was basically an immigrant with ‘permanent resident’ status (or whatever it was called), but then the Prime Minister of the day, Muldoon (think mini-Putin), started getting all nationalistic and I was concerned that I might come back from a holiday one day and find that all ‘permanent rights of re-entry’ had been revoked by diktat.   (So far as I know they never were).   What decided it for me was that Britain and NZ both allow dual nationality (very civilised of them) so I didn’t have to renounce my British citizenship.

    Voting is quite easy here too, the Electoral Commission takes the view that everyone should vote, and should be encouraged to vote by making it as convenient as possible.   Unlike certain areas just to the south of you   😉

    janetteB @janetteb

    @blenkinsopthebrave Congrats on becoming a bona fide Canadian and just in time too. I recall the first time I voted. I was in Dublin and went to the Australian embassy to vote. (they used to do that kind of thing back then. Sadly a service no longer on offer.) Next day I was hitching around Ireland and continually told that Australia had a new P.M who had won a beer drinking contest in Oxford.

    @dentarthurdent Voting is easy here too, and compulsary but our current government would love to change that. They are of the view that anyone who does not vote for them does not deserve to vote. (Actually I must confess to being of the opposite view, that anyone who does vote for them does not deserve to vote. I just want everyone who votes to be well informed and not lied to. Then we would have much fairer elections but have a few issues with media to deal with before that is possible.)





    winston @winston

    @blenkinsopthebrave    Congrats newbie Canadian.  You are now an official Canuckle head eh! You can now swill some maple syrup, wear red plaid and eat all the poutine you want. I am seriously happy for you.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Thanks @winston, @janetteb, @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb,  A prime minister who had won a beer drinking contest in Oxford. Let’s face it, they were the days. It wasn’t just beer and skittles, it was beer and leadership. Particularly compared to the current incumbent, who offers prayers and no leadership.

    @dentarthurdent, Yes, I too get to retain my Australian citizenship, and who knows, if this wretched pandemic ever ends I might even be allowed to fly back for a visit.

    @winston, I confess to still swilling Australian shiraz, and while I am open to wearing red plaid (pyjamas), I am afraid that poutine is, well, let’s just say…no.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @blenkinsopthebrave. Those were indeed the days. We have “Save the Franklin” posters up on the walls of the room in London we were living in for a time. There was so much optimism then. It was not a bad time to be young. It makes me sad when I compare those days and the possibilites we had to what life has to offer the young now.



    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @winston I must report that tonight Mrs Blenkinsop made a salmon dish with a sauce that included…maple syrup! I just thought I should let you know.

    I should also add that this evening we sat in the sunroom as the light faded and the sky had this lovely pinkish hue. It may be because we are close to the ocean, but the only place I have ever seen it quite like this is here in Canada.  And it is pretty wonderful.

    nerys @nerys

    @thane16 The Good Place comes highly recommended. Thanks for adding your praise of it! I will have to look it up once we finish Unforgotten.

    @missrori There’s not much I can add to what’s already been said. I’m glad that it at least helps for you to express your thoughts and feelings here.

    @blenkinsopthebrave Congratulations on your Canadian citizenship! I took that step in 2014. I don’t guess that you had the privilege of a citizenship ceremony, as I did. Several years before I got my citizenship, I accompanied two friends to their citizenship ceremony in Ottawa. I was quite moved by it then, so I really looked forward to mine when it happened in Halifax. It was every bit as moving as I remembered. And isn’t it great to be able to vote? I didn’t think I would appreciate it as much as I do. I still vote absentee in the United States, and I vote here.

    @winston Maple syrup is the best! And not just on pancakes. Hubby uses it as in ingredient in many dishes (salad dressing, glazes, etc.).

    @janetteb and @dentarthurdent Your travel stories remind me of two travel mishaps my husband and I had (and how trivial they seem now). In 2007, we had a flight booked from Denmark, where we had chosen to celebrate our 10th anniversary. At that time, we lived in a small town in southeastern Ontario, right along the New York border. Our departure was out of Syracuse, only a two-hour drive from our home. However, we had to cross the border. We’d never encountered any problem before. It was a Sunday afternoon, and wouldn’t you know it? As we approached the highway ramp that would take us to our border crossing, we saw traffic backed up almost to the highway. We knew we would never make it, so we tried backtracking in the other direction, trying to figure out a way (sans GPS) to get there in time. Long story short, we didn’t make it. Our flight took off while we were still on the road. After much hand-wringing and cursing, we stopped by a hotel, booked a room, and hubby called to rebook our flight. Luckily for us, we paid only a few small penalty charges and got our flight rebooked out of Montreal. At that moment, my husband sighed, visibly relaxed and said, “OK, our vacation starts now!” And so it did. It was a glorious August afternoon, and we enjoyed a lovely dinner, slept well, then took off the next morning in glorious weather to drive to Montreal, and away we went. Denmark is one of those very special experiences that neither of us will ever forget. If Denmark is my only trip to Europe, it will always remain one of my favourite memories.

    Our other mishap happened when we took our second trip to Newfoundland (the first, when we visited the northern peninsula, was an experience just as magical as our Denmark trip). We had bookings for a week-long driving vacation all around the southeastern part of the province, but somehow neither of us had remembered to book a rental car! We were sitting in the airport, when hubby thumbed through our travel folder containing all our printouts and asked, “Where’s our rental car reservation?” I’m sure I had a blank look on my face. We went through the “I thought you took care of that/No, I thought you took care of that” back and forth, and then he got on his cellphone. Nothing was available. Turns out St. John’s, Newfoundland is one of those places where it’s almost impossible to rent a car at the last minute. So, all through our flight, we felt quite anxious. After we arrived late on Saturday, none of the car rental places were open. And, unbeknownst to us, they were also closed on Sunday. It’s a good thing we didn’t know that. Hubby tried calling some of the local car rental places early Sunday morning, but got no answer. At 10 a.m., I went to his notebook and called the first place on his list. Luckily for me, a young woman named Andrea answered the phone. I explained our situation. Andrea told me that technically, they were closed. The only reason she was there was to tabulate intake from the previous night’s rental returns. She didn’t think she had anything available. (My heart dropped.) But if she found a car, she would make sure we got it. I thanked her, hung up and felt pretty pessimistic. Twenty minutes later, hubby’s cell phone rang. Andrea, our guardian angel, had found us a car! I think we literally got the last available rental car in St. John’s. The feeling was much like when we missed our flight to Denmark, then discovered we could rebook with only a few penalties. Both times, the relief was overwhelming. Now our vacation really starts!

    Nova Scotia is in a relatively good position because Dr. Strang, our chief medical officer (Nova Scotia’s director of public health), has taken a slow, cautious, measured approach to the pandemic. All along, his approach to reopening has been based on two things: the number of Nova Scotians vaccinated, and the epidemiology. We would enter Phase 5 reopening (our highest level during the pandemic) only if 75 percent of Nova Scotians are vaccinated, and the number of cases we have is low enough to support fully reopening. We were scheduled to enter Phase 5 on Sept. 15, because we are almost at 75 percent vaccinated, but unfortunately our case numbers started going up the week before. Most of our cases now are unvaccinated 20- to 40-year-olds. So we are still in Phase 4. Sadly, our neighbouring province, New Brunswick, has gone back into lockdown due to skyrocketing case numbers.

    Even once we get to Phase 5, people will need to show proof of vaccination to use any non-essential services (eating out at restaurants, etc.). So there will still be restrictions on what people can do, to protect the public health.

    Nova Scotia’s case numbers, while higher, still are not nearly as alarming as other places. We currently have 169 active cases, with two active cases in my particular health network (which covers three counties; neither case is in my county). So I am fortunate to live in a rather protected bubble. But there’s a reason why it’s protected; it didn’t just happen by accident. It’s due to that reluctance to reopen until the vaccination and case numbers justify it.

    On that note, I am driving to the States late next month to visit my family. Three and a half days there, three and a half days back, through four provinces and seven states. (How I wish that ferry between western Nova Scotia and Maine was running!) Also, two different routes there and back, because I must stop where family lives six hours south of the border to get my PCR test done in order to be allowed back into Canada. So it will be interesting, to say the least. But I have to do it. My mother is 90, with health issues. My stepmother is turning 90. With all she did, taking care of my father, and all she has been through, I want to be there for her. Especially since I could not be there when my father died. So it’s time. I just have to be as careful as I can be on the way there and back.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @nerys Yes, it was a pity about the lack of an in-person ceremony. Back in Australia, when Mrs Blenkinsop (originally Canadian) became an Australian citizen, her citizenship ceremony was both moving and rather wonderful. But when it came to be my turn, it was a Zoom event, which like all Zoom sessions, lacks the chemistry and emotional electricity that a live ceremony brings. Indeed, it had its bizarre side, as one of the pre-ceremony instructions was to have a sturdy pair of scissors on hand so that the authorities could see me cut up my permanent resident card when instructed to! If anything, the best moment emotionally had to wait until I received my statement of citizenship in the mail, at which point Mrs Blenkinsop was able to finally take a photo of the proud new Canadian.

    nerys @nerys

    @blenkinsopthebrave Oh my, I can hardly imagine a citizenship ceremony as a Zoom event. And having to cut up your permanent resident card in full view during the ceremony? Wow! I didn’t have to do that at mine. Seems to me they instructed me to do it, and I did. But I think they just trusted me to do it. One nice thing is that you no longer have to renew your permanent resident card every, what was it, every five years?

    What motivated me to become a Canadian citizen was finding out rather late in the game that the United States is one of only two countries in the world whose tax system is based on citizenship, not residence. So a U.S. citizen’s income is subject to U.S. taxation no matter where the person lives. The good thing is that there is a tax treaty between the United States and Canada. Because I pay more taxes in Canada than I would in the States, I owe no U.S. income tax, but I still have to fill out a U.S. tax return. Oh, and I must also submit that form in which I report the highest yearly balances in all my financial accounts. (Thanks, but no thanks, to Americans far richer than I who hide their money in offshore accounts.) I have more protection from this in Canada, as a Canadian citizen, than I did as a permanent resident, so that was my motivation for getting my Canadian citizenship. But I’m so glad I did. Citizenship does confer a greater sense of belonging, somehow, than permanent residence did.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @nerys     Oh yes, that tax thing is bizarre.   Considering the popular ‘Murican mantra that taxation is a form of theft, and their scorn for other countries (like Europe) that supposedly tax their citizens for social benefits, I’m surprised they stand for it.   But then I suppose the ones who are subject to it are overseas so can’t protest.    You can get out of it by renouncing your US citizenship but I believe they charge you for that, too.

    Cutting up your permanent resident card seems a bit odd, too, since it presumably becomes ineffective.   As a matter of interest, what do you do about passports?   Here, we have to send our old one in and they clip a corner off the cover and return it, presumably in case I want to keep it as a souvenir or something (my old one does have a most beautiful ornate full-page Russian tourist  visa stuck in it, which almost makes it worth the bother of acquiring it).

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @nerys    Wow, that’s a lot of writing.   Covid – we’re slightly eased to Level 3 now.   (Level 4 is highest, almost everything shuts, 3 is very limited opening, 2 is fairly relaxed and 1 is virtually normal.   The biggest jump for most people is between 2 and 3).

    Okay, I’ve got another travel oops.   2016, I was taking the wife, daughter and grand-daughter around Europe in a rental car.   Going from Italy to France over the Mont Cenis Pass, the customs house was open (which is odd, Schengen means they’re normally closed), so I got out my passport just in case and sure enough a gendarme waved us down but all he said was ‘seatbelts, madame’ to my daughter.   We stopped shortly after that for a picnic by Lac Cenis.   That night, after a good day’s drive, we stopped in a pension near Bourg St Maurice and as I put away my laptop at 1a.m. I casually checked my passport – not there!   I walked down to the car to look on the floor – nothing there, nor the second or third time I searched.   I certainly wasn’t going to spend all next day driving back to Mt Cenis to hunt around the picnic area.   I tried the NZ Foreign Affairs website (which was no help, mostly what they wouldn’t do to help NZ citizens).   So next morning I rang the NZ Consulate in Paris and got a French secretary who was as helpful as the website wasn’t – she recommended I report the loss at the nearest police station, get a receipt, then apply online for a new passport and they could have it ready when we reached Paris in ten days, and I should have no trouble at the borders (we were looping east through northern Italy) because Schengen.   So, somewhat relieved or at least resigned, I drove down to Bourg St Maurice and found the police station, which had its own garden fence with a locked gate and a button to push, and I was just reading the sign beside it when – my daughter called out from the car “wait”.    She had just spotted my passport which had slipped down the gap alongside the seat – where I’d already looked three times – in such a way that it could only be seen from the back seat.   (This is the absolute honest truth, I was literally about to push the button for admission when she called out).

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