Category: Omnium-Gatherum

One week into the New Year and…

Well, it’s always darkest before the dawn, even if it takes the sun three years to rise.

“Cold and closed” sums up things nicely right now. But at least the pandemic isn’t spreading with the speed of Omicron and the lethality of Delta. My view is, let’s hunker down for a few weeks more, and get in line for the fourth vaccine, and another one every year from now on. Meanwhile, read on…

The best of times. The worst of times. The list of times.

This last collection of oddities from 2021 is awash with lists because, as one psychiatrist believes, lists satisfy four needs: catch-up, containment, crafting and creating ritual. That may be a little over-analytical, especially on this sleepy New Year’s Day when, for the second time, we’re locked down when we don’t want to be.

But what better way to pass the day than to dig deep into the first Omnium-Gatherum blog of the year?

Happy Birthday Jesus

Even though we’re late risers on Christmas Day, Santa still hasn’t arrived. We hear there were long delays since he has to show his vaccination certificate at every chimney he climbs down. Then there’s the gifting pandemic which is so bad this year that Jesus is asking God if he can shift his birthday to July to avoid the clash with Christmas.

Oiye and Oh Well…….here’s the Christmas Omnium-Gatherum blog post to bring comfort and joy to your day and your life.

“Christmas is at our throats again.”

Thank you for that, Noel Coward. It’s what oft was thought, but ne’er so well expressed for lots of people this time of year. But this year, the predations of the season take on a new and feverish tone. It knows if we’ve been bad or good, so we’d better watch out, we’d better….well, before we open any gifts, let’s make sure we get our booster shot, okay? 

Deep and Crisp and Even

That’s not how the snow’s lain round so far this year. Where are the snows of yesteryear? I remember growing up in Edmonton, we would

5th Wave, 4th Vaccine?

Here I was, so proud of my three jabs, and going out to a concert, and dining with friends, and getting on a plane and not feeling it was a flight into danger, and looking forward to Christmas. Very looking forward to that part.

Maybe they were right when they said the virus will always be with us, ever-mutating, one step ahead of science, faith and hope.

Oh well, at least we can still read at home on weekends.

Themal Winters

Electrically-heated parkas, socks and gloves are all the rage this winter. But so are parkas with onboard Wifi Hot Spots and heated battery packs. Which begs two questions: Will our grandkids hear in disbelief that our winter outerwear wasn’t electrified? And, why go south for the winter?

Meanwhile…here are some things to warm your soul indoors.

BC Is Raining Words

The weather this year in BC has been so extreme that it’s sprouted four new forbidding phrases: heat dome, weather bomb, bomb cyclone, and atmospheric river.

They may not be new to meteorologists, but they are to most of us. So, aside from fleeing for our lives, are we going to have to learn a whole new lexicon of fear when it comes to sticking our noses out the door?

But I digress. Here is this week’s Omnium-Gatherum.

Passport, Password, Pass By

I view our vaccination certificates the way I do my computer password. It’s the key to an infinitely magical kingdom. With one I can get on my e-mail; with the other I can have dinner out with friends. Since convenience has always trumped values when it comes to privacy, health and welfare, I still don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t get their vaccine with its dizzying array of social benefits. It’s too bad only 97.5% of Torontonians agree.

But I digress…Here’s this weekend’s Omnium-Gatherum.

It Snowed Here Last Night

A single cold night in one tiny place on earth tells us why it’s not called weather change, but climate change. And as we’re all learning to our shame and sorrow, the arc of our climate is long, but it bends towards warming. But there is hope the fires of hell may be postponed at least until we leave the earth. And on that note…..


What a strange country we survive in. There’s a hotel in Tofino, BC, the Wickaninnish Inn, that markets “storm-watching” as a reason to check in. It’s a huge success, packing in guests in the worst weather possible precisely in order to see the worst weather possible. Meanwhile on the Atlantic coast at this time of year, Newfoundland’s Fogo Island Inn sniffs its nose and says: “There’s a reason their ocean’s called pacific.”

Wherever you are this weekend, and under whatever weather, here are some things to keep your mind warm and dry.

It’s Not Fall Everywhere In Canada

On Fogo Island, off the north coast of Newfoundland, there are seven seasons in the year, not four. Late October marks the end of Berry Season, when Fogoers spend their days “scooping up handfuls of blueberries, raspberries, marsh berries, and partridgeberries.” But fear not, winter does come – and with a vengeance.

Meanwhile, back here in Ontario, here are some ways to while away your autumn days.……


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