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My Canadian Experience
Canadian Thanksgiving and on through to December

As many Canadian don't actually know why they have a Thanksgiving holiday on the first Monday of October I thought I'd just mention it was the day where the Canadians gave thanks for the survival of Edward the Seventh as he recovered from a serious life threatening illness.  It was later kept up to celebrate the Harvest and today it's just a day to give thanks and have a great holiday :-)

I note also that this Sunday was the first day that stores were allowed to open on a Sunday in Nova Scotia.

One amusing item is that when we were going down to the Knight Templars Investiture dinner and me all dressed up in my kilt we got a call saying that Torrie's baby was in the sick children's hospital and could we pick up some nappies for him and drop them off.

Well you can well imagine that I've never shopped for nappies in my life so here was I in a Shoppers Drug Mart looking for nappies for a new baby and getting curious looks from the staff and other shoppers. I eventually found the right ones and then it was off to the hospital.  Having got there I marched in heading for the new baby ward when the security guy yells STOP!  Of course I didn't even think of security but of course there had to be some but just didn't think about it.

Anyway... I just said I was dropping off nappies and I guess because I was all dressed up in my kilt they didn't make any fuss and just escorted me in.  I did note a wee girl get all round eyed when she saw me in my kilt :-)

Anyway... I dropped in the nappies to Torrie and Craig and Nola was there as well and wee Graeme. They were just being moved to another hospital for sun lamp treatment so we all headed back out. It was then noted that the bag with the nappies where in fact not nappies but Knight Templar books and information.  I'd grabbed the wrong bag!  Sheesh.

We did get it all sorted out but can't help think what the security guard would have said if he'd checked the bag :-)

This is me carrying the Flag for the Grand Priory of Canada

We had an excellent dinner and I've posted up lots of pictures which you can see at

I also spend some 3 and a bit weeks in Kentucky and South Carolina during November. The first couple of weeks in Kentucky were to migrate my web sites to the new web server.  A lot of effort went into this as we were also taking time to upgrade the various programs.  Had huge issues with the latest versions of PHP and MySQL which in the end we simply could not get them to work together.  We noted loads of comments on the web with people having the same problem.  After 3 days we decided to give up and go back to the previous versions but a lot of time wasted. So at the end of the day while we managed to migrate over the site there was a lot that didn't get done.

I then headed down to South Carolina to have a wee visit with Beth Gay.  As you likely know Beth ran the Family Tree newspaper and so it was to touch base with her to see if we couldn't figure out some way of getting it back.  Beth is actually hoping to get a backer to bring it back as a newspaper and she was scheduled to have a meeting with this backer in December sometime when he was over in the USA. I have offered her the facility to post it up on Electric Scotland.

We also had a good time moving around seeing the scenery. We had a  great trip into the Blue Ridge Mountains and noted that as we headed into the mountains we went into Georgia and then North Carolina and then back to South Carolina.  I did post up some pictures I took while in South Carolina.

I headed back to Canada, through the Smokey Mountains, and did the 13 hour trip in just one hop and got back to Chatham around 1am. I might add that the roads are real twisty and up and down and a bit of hard work to drive. This was especially so when the run was setting and right in your eyes. Lovely country though and you can see why so many Scots settled in that area.

On the Sunday after my trip I had arranged to meet with Kirsty Duncan to take some videos of Highland Dancers.  My thanks to all the dancers for the excellent work they put it.  I can tell it is very hard work doing all those dances. I was told when you do the Highland Fling you actually jump 172 times during the dance.  I was quite amazed to find in Ontario that for every 100 girls doing Highland dancing there was only 1 boy.  Considering that before WW1 only boys and men danced that is a huge turnaround. You can see these videos at

I also got invites to go to an event in Toronto to meet with the Speaker of the Scottish Parliament where he was helping to promote The Scotland Funds.

I stayed on in Toronto for an extra two days so I could attend the Christmas dinner of the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada.

When I got back to Chatham I received a phone call from someone in Scotland, can't remember his name, but he was looking to relocate his business to Canada and the Immigration folk in Canada suggested he talk to me for some general advice.  I was able to steer him in the right direction but he was to email me so I could email him back with some contact details but haven't as yet received his email.

So now I am busy doing a huge catch up.  Being away for some 4 weeks I had to do a lot of work to build content for the site to make it easy to add it while I was away.  Now I am back I found I had run out of my buffer material and am working hard to build this back up.  I normally work a week ahead of myself so that if I need to head off somewhere I do have material on my hard disk to post up on the site... and so it's building back this buffer that is taking time.

I am enjoying working on a couple of new publications for the web site. The first is a collection of 1890 weekly issues of the Scottish Canadian Newspaper. As the issues are so large I am unable to scan them so am having to photograph them instead. It's at times like this that I could do with a camera that has that built in camera shake device as I'm finding I have to take several shots of each page to get one good one.

The other publication is the History of the Southern States of America which I wanted to do to explore the history of that part of the country to show what the Scots emigrants were moving into.

I have also begun working on the first of two counties in Canada. These are areas with significant Scots immigrants and so a history of these counties are in many ways the history of the Scots who emigrated there. The first is the County of Inverness in Nova Scotia and the other will be Bruce County in Ontario. I was sorry that the tourism folk for Bruce country were not interested in working with me on that one. I had hoped they would at least provide some up to date pictures to go with the book.

On 13th December I got a visit from Joel and Peter of Platinum Air Care.  I really was very interested in their visit as I did have some questions for them.  You may remember that I commented on the fact that I got these soot type things in my toilet and I'd only ever seen them in Ontario.  I had never seen them in Scotland and don't recollect seeing them anywhere else.  Well in short it seems that Ontario is the worst polluted place in Canada and 2nd only to Texas for air born pollution.  They left me a copy of an article...

So indeed there is a problem in Ontario.  They tell me if I install a particular type of medical air filter and then wipe away the soot type spores then with this air filter in operation I won't see it again. They also told me that as I am a smoker this air filter will also extract all tobacco smoke from the air.  Of course I do accept there is likely to be some sales license in all this but doing research on the web I can see they do have a point.

Anyway... just thought I'd bring this to your attention :-)

13th Dec. 2006.

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