I’m still in bureaucratic limbo over here in Canada. In between worlds. It seems that the sizeable bunch of documents I submitted to immigration was not enough to satisfy their stringent checklists.This bunch of documents I refer to, bundled together, was as thick as a telephone book. Not sure if telephone books over here are thick or not, so for the Canadian reader, I’ll say thick as 5 hockey pucks piled on top of one another. Anyway, despite stating several times, within several documents, that I was not bringing any co-dependents in tow, I had to fill out a separate form listing all my closest relatives – in order to state that they will NOT be joining me. I think this form was C26IMM#ELLEVENTY9.

As I’m still without the paperwork needed to seek paid work; the only way to keep busy is to volunteer. Community is my middle name. Actually I’m not sure what my middle name is. I think its Rudyard. So it was then, I found myself in the old folk’s home yesterday. For a few hours I assisted in the home’s Santa Claus parade. This involved me pushing a 90 year old (a nonagenarian) Korean War hero, who was dressed as St. Nick, around every floor of the complex. His wheelchair was transformed into a train with the aid of three large painted cardboard inserts. Santa’s train led the parade which consisted of the elderly and infirm (mostly) pushing nativity scenes and differing festive displays on trolleys from floor to floor. Others shook bells, shouted Yuletide greetings, or just joined the troop with use of their wheeled Zimmer frames. Progress was slow. It’s a good thing I used up my last shred of dignity back in the early 2000’s.

*Just to qualify. It was only me who felt self-conscious. I felt like the grand marshal of a ticker-tape parade. It was great fun really.


I was introduced to the card game euchre last week. [pron. yooker (probably)] It’s a firm family favourite in Ontario. I’m still a bit hazy with the rules. These rules seem to consist of cards changing suits with partners, you must always face your partner during the game, winning tricks, producing a trump, and spades oftentimes turning into clubs. I know, sounds disgusting, right? I think people just make it up as they go along to be honest – in much the same way politics and Cluedo work back home in Ireland. You heard right it’s called Cluedo, not Clue.


Cluedo Board Game box art


It’s the time of year where it’s impossible to escape Christmas music. Entire radio stations appear devoting themselves to the stuff. Shops and supermarkets pump out the ear-vomit. You get home and think you’re safe in your own castle – boom, a bunch of Carol singers show up outside your door to give you a blast of Good King Wenceslas. Of course it’s exactly the same in Ireland. Problem is they choose all these songs from a finite pool of Christmas tunes – but since I’ve been here I’ve heard new ones. Horrible tunes I’ve managed to avoid all my life since far. This one I’ve heard on the radio at least 5 or 6 times. Agghhh!

José Feliciano – Feliz Navidad.


At least WHAM’s ‘Last Christmas’ seems to be largely ignored over here.

Oh yeah people don’t seem to say Happy Christmas in Canada. I think it’s like the word ‘happy’ is reserved for New Year and never the twain shall meet. You gotta say Merry Christmas. To do otherwise will most probably result in deportation.

That’s me done. The Grinch from Ballynahinch. Happy Christmas!!!

Tagged , , , ,

Lesser Spotted Neil Young


01. This Note’s For You.
02. On The Beach
03. Razor Love
04. Cripple Creek Ferry
05. Danger Bird
06. Vampire Blues
07. From Hank to Hendrix

30 dreamy minutes of the grouch-meister himself.