Category Archives: game of thrones

My Kingston Cana-diary. SNAKES ALIVE!!! WINTER ISN’T COMING.

I thought things were supposed to get cold in this land they call Can-a-da. Call this cold! Pah! I’m thinking of brushing the cobwebs off the flip-flops and ironing the Hawaiian shirt in readiness for a walk downtown (city centre). C’mon, let me feel that Ontario burn!! I know I’ll eat these words. Hubris does that to you. They tell me January can be particulary rough over here. The secret to keeping warm, I’ve been informed, is layers. If I must I’ll wear ALL my clothes in one go, including all my girlfriend’s attire too. I’ll wear hers over my clothing though – I’m not perverted. Apologies to all cross-dressers. Of course your tendencies aren’t perverted.


 I still haven’t received my work permit. I really want to blame someone for the wheels of bureaucracy moving so slowly. My application was made when the Conservatives were in power. Of course, there’s been an historic election since, and the Liberal party have been returned to power. Feck it – I’ll blame the Conservative’s civil service. Dickheads! In Canadian politics the Premier can remain in power ad infinitum as long as their respective party gains enough votes. So it was palpable relief when Stephen Harper’s Conservatives were beaten to the post by Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party. Harper had been in power for the previous 10 years, pushing his party’s agenda for increased austerity, ‘Merica style neo-liberalism and mild, but overt, Islamophobia. Check out this clip of Harper attempting to demonstrate he’s got the common touch and is a man of the people. Cringe factor +1000.

Anyway. Now that the liberals have formed a government, and before weighty subjects like migration, tax deficits and whether Canada Post will still deliver your mail to your doorstep – there’s a pressing issue that needs to be,  no, that must be, tackled first. The rubbish (Can. garbage) collection is, for want of a better word, rubbish. The recycling has to be divided into more than one bin. You’d need a degree in refuse-ology of trash-onics just to figure out what goes where. Do I put my Polymers in the grey bin? Does my ethylene glycol get put in the blue bin (Although it looks like a crate over here?) Nobody knows. Simplify that shit. One giant bin that you can stand a fully grown man in, that has wheels for ease of movement, and is green – the colour that denotes all recycling – is required. Then you can dump all your recycling materials into one receptacle without the need for a kitchen conference and a detailed PowerPoint slideshow.

I’m happy when I’m moaning. It’s an Irish thing. I’m still adjusting to life over here. Halloween passed off peacefully a few weeks back. It’s a big deal here. People really go to town decorating their houses. However, they don’t have the giant, unsupervised and dangerous bonfires we have in Ireland. The kids really put a lot of thought into their often very elaborate and extremely imaginative costumes. Of course ‘Trick or Treat’ is the appeal made by the throngs who make their way from door to door. I often wondered what the reaction would be if I replied; “I’ll take the trick option please”.

The week after Halloween, whilst walking on the pavement, I spotted what I thought was a rubber snake. A seasonal decoration. I tried to kick it and it came to life, frightening the be-jaysus out of me. I didn’t soil myself. I don’t care what you heard. Famously, there’s no snakes in Ireland. I was always happy with that state of affairs.


People still look at me funny when I tell them the time is half past [whatever the hour may be]. I think when I say it’s half 10, people must think I mean it’s 5.

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My Kingston Cana-Diary. Getting Chilli. Here Goes The Sun!

Whenever they mentioned ‘Winter is Coming’ in Game of Thrones, and the characters in said TV show speak of how bitterly cold past winters have been, I think, bleedin’ wimps, I could handle ANY level of cold people’s least favourite season could throw at me. Now I’m not so sure. Here in Canada the weather seems to change suddenly – not gradually. All I’ve been used to is sunshine and high humidity for three months solid. However, the last two days we’ve had heavy rain and an unmistakable and discernible chill in the air. I’m feeling apprehensive. My mind is now turning to squalls, ice storms, frozen lakes, snow drifts, white walkers and that proposed wall separating Canada and the US, as suggested by some nutty right-wing American Republican. Am I living amongst the Wildlings? I’m fairly certain that’s not wolves’ fur within the lining of my jacket.

Game of Thrones

Pronunciation of certain words over here still never cease to surprise me. Take the name ‘Craig’. In Canada it’s said as ‘Creg’. Vague is pronounced ‘Vaa-g’, not in the correct, expected fashion ‘Vay-gu’ :). There’s a smaller town close by too. Portsmouth. Canadians call this ‘Ports-mouth’ – not ‘Ports-mut’. Snooker is ‘Snuk-er’. Spuky isn’t it. I mean spooky.

We went to Ribfest a few weeks ago. A celebration of all things meat and beer. Plaid shirts and backward caps essential wear of course. People do love to eat Corn on the Cob over here. And the corn cobs are huge. Smothered with butter, it’s best to eat them with those little pins shaped like miniature corn. You know the ones, see below:

corn holder

I know I may have mentioned before how pungent the odour from a skunk’s emissions is.  I’ve only caught the scent after driving over the carcass of the dead animal, and it is strong, especially if the poor beast was recently run over.  I can only describe the smell as being very similar to the whiff you might get if you were socialising at a dub-reggae night held in a club over a coffee shop in Amsterdam with Tricky and Snoop in attendance. If you get that sprayed onto you – you’d better rearrange any impending job interviews.

I must mention that we were at Kingston’s Chilli Fest this weekend. Basically you wander about eating chilli, cooked up by various organizations and businesses, then, after you’ve eaten your fill, you vote for your fave spicy concoction.  Take that Mexico! Cold ain’t nuthin’.

Bye-bye, Summer.

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