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My Canadian Experience
Report for March to June 2022


Well I note fuel and food are certainly getting much more expensive these days. Gas has gone up to over $2.00 which is very expensive and almost double what it was. 

I've commented on the Canadian Government not doing more to encourage building more oil refineries and getting pipe lines built to take our oil to the coast.  Seems to me that this is the reason we're not benefitting despite Canada having the third highest reserves of oil in the world.

I note also that thanks to COVID many more shops are doing home deliveries these days.  Using Instacart I can now purchase online from grocers such as Walmart, Canadian Superstore, M & M, Giant Tiger and other outlets such as Shoppers Drugmart, Staples and also the LCBO, Dollarama and Michaels Canada (Art Suppliers).  Sobey's and No Frills still don't offer home deliveries.  I've only used No Frills once but used Sobey's a lot but now hardly ever use them.

I have pointed out that in Scotland I could order groceries online for home delivery over 20 years ago now. So at least something has improved due to COVID.

Like every country in the world we're still having issues with COVID but we're now no longer required to wear masks and a lot of the other restrictions have eased.  Still required to wear masks when visiting hospitals and on doctors appointments.  I have had the two vaccine shots and one booster but still to get my second booster shot and I've also had the flue shot.

On the food front the war between Russia and Ukraine is having an affect on food supplies as they are both major exporters of grains, fertiliser and cooking oils. 

Also I note that China is cutting supplies of rare earth minerals which are needed to make processors for computers, smart phones and other devices so that might be an issue. Canada does have large stocks of rare earth but currently doesn't process much of it.  Canada has some of the largest known reserves and resources (measured and indicated) of rare earths in the world, estimated at over 14 million tonnes of rare earth oxides in 2021. See https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/our-natural-resources/minerals-mining/minerals-metals-facts/rare-earth-elements-facts/20522 for more information.

I tried using an air fryer and it's good for some things but I confess I prefer cooking with oil.  Tried doing fries but they just don't come out very well in my opinion.

When it come to watching TV I hardly ever watch it these days apart from the news programs.  I much prefer to watch YouTube and while I have Netflix I am not watching it that much these days and am considering cancelling my subscription. 

I'm a lot more into watching documentaries and real life series such as off grid living and farming and YouTube offers me lots of choice.

I have created a page on my web site to list the programs I enjoy watching and you can get to this at:
https://electricscotland.com/lifestyle/youtube.htm

House prices are very high in Chatham right now.  If you remember I paid $75,000 for my detached home with another $15,000 in renovation work and they tell me it is worth over $500,000 now. Rents are also well up with a one bedroom flat at around $900 a month. My neighbours across the road paid around $650 a month for a 4 bedroom house but as his landlord sold the house he had to move and is now paying around $2,300 a month for a similar sized home. Mind you he had lived there for some 25 years so some correction was bound to happen but that's a big increase in times when food and fuel and inflation are all heading up quite a bit.

I note also that getting trades people is more difficult and very expensive.  Like in a recent storm a major branch of one of my trees came down and did other damage to it.  It's costing me $850 + tax to put it right and that's just for 1 hours work and no heavy equipment being used. 

In my opinion the trades in Chatham are no longer fit for purpose.  They are expensive, dishonest and poor quality on the whole. Numerous times after getting a quote and agreeing a price they simply don't turn up and often when they do they don't do the job to the standard you expect and leave bits unfinished. It's also rife in Canada to be asked to pay in cash thus saving on the tax.  I do wonder how much money is lost to Canada in taxation as a result.

I might add that Canada should do much more to promote apprenticeship training rather than put more people through University.  It's a lot cheaper for students and most of them are likely to earn a lot more than many get with university degrees.

Having said that weather wise Chatham is probably the best city to live in as we do avoid almost all the extremes of weather.  While we do get snow it's never very much.  Windsor (on the Canada/US border) and London, 1 hour each side of us get much more snow.

While I am no longer in the Knights Templar's I thought I'd check to see how they are doing since I left.  Since my friend Nola stepped down from being Grand Prior of Canada it seems they have done nothing at all.  I have been unable to find any communication from the new Grand Prior and not a single newsletter over the past 2 years. Seems to me that they should have allowed Nola to serve for another 3 year term.

Nola is doing a regular "Thoughts on a Sunday Morning"  each Sunday on YouTube.

Had my visit to my Doctor on 15th June and she said she was exhausted.  She was not a fan of Booster shots and was quite dismissive of them.  She made a point of saying I should be drinking at least 1 litre of water each day and that she personally drinks 2 litres. So I pass this on for what it's worth.  I was telling her how the lab had difficulty in taking blood from me the other day and the person that took my blood said I needed to drink more water. In actual fact I generally only have a couple of drinks a day, a coffee in the morning and then either another coffee or tea or diet pop with my dinner and that's it.  She also said that lack of water was likely why I had the odd dizzy spells.

So that's a bit of an update for you.


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