If you are looking to have some fun while waiting for the bus, or doing a mundane task, look for patterns in the everyday. You will see faces or animals, or a host of other things if you are imaginative.

Pareidolia is seeing faces in objects, but you can see most anything. It is akin to seeing pictures in clouds, only a lot more fun.

So I had this kinda disgruntled pole watching me while I waited for the bus.

If you really use your imagination for this snow bank, you can see a cat lying on their side sleeping, splayed hind legs and bum facing you. If you have a cat you have seen this position often.

As you can tell, I have long waits for buses.

Don’t get me started.

There’s a Spot for Me

Whenever I feel overwhelmed with life (practically a daily occurrence) I am extremely fortunate to have places within walking distance that I can go to, at least, in the summertime.

Ah, to be at that picnic table, under that big tree, unapologetically doing absolutely NOTHING.

It is dead quiet there. Sigh.

No office politics. No doctor visits. No missing in non action buses. No telephones ringing. Just me, the tree, and the occasional bug, chipmunk or curious sparrows.

In the winter time, I have these pictures of solitude, and a slight anxiety.

We all need a sanctuary. I hope you find yours.


In my hometown, you have two choices with winter weather.

Either it is warm with a lot of snow and no sun, or freeze your ass off cold, no snow and sunny.

This year has been the picture postcard white winter. Even at the bus stops. Especially at the bus stops because you are going to wait forever for a bus. Might as well take pictures to pass the time.

You don’t need to know what the bus sign says. You just go out and wait. Maybe pray.

I love snow storms, I just don’t like being out in them.

Waiting for a bus.

Look Outward

Recently I was pressed by a well meaning person to check out a ‘must read’, best selling self help book.


I wasted decades of my life (and a considerable amount of my pay cheques) on self help books and gurus and I have said it many times before, they did not help me one iota.

Looking inward is constrictive. It is like curling up in the fetal position. It’s being a frightened porcupine, an armadillo, or even one of those woolly caterpillars curled up in itself. With your head tucked between your knees you aren’t going to see anything, save maybe, lint on your trousers.

The problem, and the answer, is not inside of you.

Look outward first, and then try some introspection on what you have seen and heard and experienced. Reflect on experiences. Learn from them.

Looking outward is expansive. It is eye opening. It is mind blowing.

Be worldly.

Spend your money and time on experiences. Do things. Ask questions about things and people. Listen to and think about the answers. Take your nose out of self help books and your navel, get out of your living room and comfort zone and go outside!

And when you are inside, go to the learning capital of the world. The LIBRARY.

No, not the internet. The LIBRARY. A brick and mortar building. Introduce yourself to hold in your hands books, real paper and cardboard, things that make your wrists ache and your head spin. Nothing beats a book in your hands – not a self help book, but a book that is going to make you see the world.

Read about things you know nothing about. Read biographies. History. Science.

Try these on for size: The Lost Pianos of Siberia. Bono’s biography Surrender. Michelle Obama’s Becoming. Bob Stanley’s Let’s Do It. There are great fiction stories too, check out Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, The Day of the Jackal, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

And please, don’t insist I read any more self help books – especially if you think I need it.


It seems that the older I get, the more regrets I have.

A friend of mine, many years ago told me something that I never forgot.

His mother had just died. He was in his late fifties at the time and it hit him very hard. But he told me that the shock made him realize life was finite in a way he never considered before and that he would be the next one to die. He was not being morbid, he had an extreme epiphany and he wanted me to know that I would too at some point. Someday I would realize it is all over. He hoped I would have that awakening soon enough to make changes in my life. But I didn’t. He did, but he had money. That does help things quite a bit.

At the time, I did not understand what he felt. My own Mother died many years later, but I did not have that emotional realization he talked about.

It came much later when I had to return to work after two years of being retired. Doing that made me lose hope, and that tweaked something in my soul.

It was a slow realization that this is it. There is not much future left, and there is nothing I can do to make a life now. As they say, too soon old, too late smart. I just wasn’t paying attention I guess.

Now I have a lot of regrets.

Waiting for the Cake!

My family were friends with an excellent chef. She weighed a good three hundred pounds because she made the most fabulous desserts you could imagine.

One evening we were invited to her home for dinner. Oh, we were excited! We had been to her dinner parties before and the food was five star fare.

We were seated at a long linen covered table, replete with silverware and crystal. At the head of the table was perhaps the most incredible five story high, chocolate frosted cake I ever laid eyes on. It awaited us on a silver cake stand, heavy on a white paper doily.

My whole family sat through the entire meal with our eyes riveted on that cake. We were drooling.

When at last it came time to slice into that decadence, we all requested as big of a piece as she would give us.

Watching that knife cut through at least a hundred layers of cake and frosting was dizzying.

We dove in, our forks clacked the plates.

Madame chef stood expectantly at the head of the table, arms folded, knife in hand, face beaming, waiting for the ensuing praise.

And all of us, at the same time, gagged.

That cake tasted like dog shit!

I was only maybe ten years old and I swallowed hard. Being polite and grateful guests, we chewed that leather ball and drank lots of water to get it down, all the while praising her effort. We were all quite warm and dabbing our foreheads by the time we finished our slices.

“Oh!” She delighted. “Please have some more!”

We were suddenly all quite full and refusing like mad dogs.

She explained she had made it out of sauerkraut. Which for the uninitiated, is fermented cabbage.

I still think she was trying to poison us.


During the Christmas holidays I decided to cheer up my bedroom a bit and buy some Christmas flannel bed sheets.

I don’t know what I was expecting, exactly, perhaps Christmas trees, or snowmen or brightly coloured presents, or?

I was met with a selection of GREY flannel sheets, with all of the above printed on them.

Grey, reddish brown, slate blue or ominously – black! was all the choices I found.

I searched and searched and finally found one single package of a white set with brown pine cones.

What a disappointment!


Some cities are hell bent on making their architecture the ugliest possible. Perhaps it is a competition?

In addition to the hideous, tallest condominium building in our city, which I have pointed out on several blogs, we have an eye sore that I see every day on my way to work.


This is just so unsightly it defies words.

Please do something with this – like tear it down.

Totally cringeworthy.


We do not have a housing crisis.

We have a homelessness, mental health, poverty crisis.

Building more houses that people cannot afford is not the solution. People are homeless because, DUH, they don’t have enough money. You can build as many houses as you like, but if a person doesn’t have money – well, shit, I shouldn’t even have to explain that!

Supplying tents makes me want to throw up. Seriously? Tents are for camping on vacations. Not for living in. You try living in a tent when there is weather – and there is always weather. Don’t tell me it is better than nothing. It is very well next to nothing, and definitely not a long term solution.

Creating laws to banish homeless people from public places is not the solution.

Arresting them, and to fine them (fine a person who is broke? Seriously, people, get real here) makes it now harder for a person to get a place to live and a job. Having a criminal record isolates a person further. It also encourages more criminal behaviour, because people are desperate and have nothing to lose if they already have a record.

If you’re already in debt what is one more fine? If you are in over your head, it doesn’t much matter how much deeper the pond is.

Every single animal on this planet needs a home of their own. We are no exception.

Having your own little cubby hole in the world is one of the most important things in ones life. Having your own sanctuary, where you can go, close the door and be safe is step one to improved mental health.

Step two, is having enough money to live on. Pay people living wages. Provide basic income for everyone.

Step three, is having compassionate professional aid to get you back on your feet again. This means gentle guidance to improving your lot in life. I know there are exceptions, but I think on the whole, most people want to live well and are not resistant to help. Most people don’t want free handouts. They want to be self sufficient and proud of what they do and who they are. Most people want to make a positive mark on the world. Sometimes they just need a little boost, a direction, HOPE.

The solution to homelessness, is free accommodation, money and help to get back on your feet and back into society, until you can make it on your own again.

Homelessness can happen to anybody, because life happens. Divorce. Bankruptcy. Illness. Jobs that pay shit. Losing your job. Being a senior. Being a woman. Being another nationality. Having a lot of mental and physical issues. And a host of other reasons all falling under the category of being alive and living.

Homeless people could be you someday.

It is time for us to be responsible citizens and do what is right for our fellow humans.

Provide housing to those in need.

Supply a basic income, to everyone. Because working people too are not making enough to survive.

Increase social programs that get people education, jobs, and all the help they need.

Do whatever it takes to HELP people. Not banish them. Not make their lives harder.

We could benefit by examining what other countries, who successfully have tackled these issues, have implemented to make life worth living.

New Normal

I went to the same store a few times to buy some Christmas gifts and found it closed. Not because it is out of business, but because they don’t have enough staff.

Since the pandemic (although, truthfully, the pandemic is still on) I have noticed that shops and restaurants have not returned to normal hours, and can be closed at various times of the day for differing amounts of time. This is the new normal.

It is not because staff are out on break. It is because there is no staff.

I have listened to such establishments whine about people not wanting to work.

Truth is, many businesses treat their staff like slaves or worse.

They do not pay a living wage.

They demand long hours.

They have the audacity to police their employees on their time off, and micromanage and monitor employees while they are working, so an employee is under constant surveillance, almost 24/7.

They take their tips.

They have crazy rules and regulations, but don’t provide safe environments.

They treat their employees like children.

The jobs offered are dead end jobs. There is little or no opportunity to advance. Raises are miniscule, if ever.

You want people to work for you?

Pay them a decent wage. Treat them like adults. Leave them alone on their days and time off. You are not Big Brother. Have them work less than 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Money given to them is theirs. Trust your employees. Provide a safe place to work. And here is the best tip of all:

Compliment your employees efforts, no matter how small. Every employee. Don’t play favourites. Even if it is one small thing they do, praise them for it. Stop looking at the faults and beating them up. And see what happens. They will reward you.

Treat your employees like human beings.

You are not entitled to anything. These people are not your property. They are not slaves. If your business goes belly up because you think people should crawl over glass for you, well, you deserve to go broke.