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My Canadian Experience
Sail Past

I had a great time on the Empire Sandy on Sunday 3rd September. I did a set of pictures and also some videos which you can see in the Scottish Studies section of the site.

On the previous Saturday night I went to the Windsor Arms Hotel in Toronto with Nola and Harold and two of their friends from Edinburgh. The executive chef there is Alex who is Nola's son-in-law and we had a fabulous meal.  I'm told the meal for 5 of us was over $2000.  Alex also gave us a tour of the kitchen and it's amazing how they can produce such meals from what is really a small kitchen considering how many meals they serve up.  They also have a separate kitchen under lock and key for when they produce kosher meals.

On the Sunday night went out to Kilgour's with Harold, Yanus and Michael and had a great time. And so my Labour weekend was most enjoyable.

I met one of the Highland dancers on the Empire Sandy, I think it was Kirsty, anyway she said she'd do an article on the history of Highland dancing for me and offered to arrange a video session at her dance studio so I can video individual dances.  Will look forward to hearing from her as that should be a great session.

As I am writing this on 27th September I am watching the repatriation ceremony for 4 more Canadian soldiers who died in Afghanistan on CTV. It's at times like this that you realise just how many people are affected by this just in the immediate family.  This of course will apply to Americans in Iraq and of course many Scots and British soldiers have lost their lives as well in both countries. The world seems to be a much more dangerous place these days.

I was back in Toronto for a meeting of the Knight Templars where we were organising the annual investiture for new applicants which is due to take place at the end of the month.  Also attended a board meeting of the Scottish Studies Foundation where we are looking at ways we might be able to help clan and Scottish societies around the world. 

I've also arranged a meeting with Michael Corish during October.  He's the representative of Scottish Development International (part of Scottish Enterprise) in Canada.

Have managed to arrange a meeting with Dr Kirsty Duncan who runs a Highland Dance studio in Toronto. She is going to do an article(s) about the history of Highland Dancing for me and I've arranged to visit her dance studio in November to take videos of some of the more popular Highland Dancing. The aim is to do a section about this and so some videos will be great to help tell this story.

Was back in Toronto on 30th September for the annual investiture of the Knight Templars to bring 12 new postulants into the order.  This is really a most enjoyable event and we had a banquet at the Royal Canadian Military Institute afterwards. Our own Prior received a surprise presentation :-)

LCdr Chev. Alan Williams, KTJ; LCol Chev. Ed Rayment, KTJ; His Beatitude Metropolitan Theodosius, Archbishop of Washington and Metropolitan of the United States and Canada for the Orthodox Church in America; and Grand Commander H.E. BGen Patrick Rea. GCTJ, GMTJ present H.E. Capt. Chev. George McNeillie, GOTJ with a 'small' token of esteem from the Priory of St. James.

I'll likely get some more pictures in of the event and will post them up when they arrive.

I had intended to return on the Sunday but when starting my car there was a nasty grating noise and all the lights on the dashboard started flashing at me.  I thus decided to stay another night so I could get the car checked out.  As it happened when I headed down to the garage on the Monday the car electrics just cut and the car came to a complete halt.  The power came back on after a couple of minutes so I continued as the garage was only a half mile down the road, mostly downhill.  It then cut off again about 100 yards before the garage and I managed to coast into it.  I shudder to think what might have happened if I'd been heading down the main 401 highway.

Anyway it took them to the Tuesday to fix the problem. They let me see the electric cabling that they took out of the car and it was a mess. Cable melting and wires just split so they could add another wire. As George (the owner) said... this is just pathetic and there is no way this standard of work is acceptable.  Anyway... he managed to find a replacement set of cables and got that fitted to the car with this time proper standard wiring. He also noted my battery was on its way out so that got replaced as well.  And so another $750 bill... hope this is the last significant bill I have for a while... this car is getting expensive to maintain.

As I stayed over on the Sunday night I did get to go out again with Harold and his friends for a night out which was most enjoyable.

I thus got back home around 7pm on the Tuesday.

Also received some old pictures of Chatham...

A Chatham Car!

House of Refuge in Chatham


King Street, looking West

Regular readers will likely know that my ISP, Steve, in Kentucky has loads of cats but seems he now is also taking in dogs...


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