Moving on…

I haven’t posted anything here for a few months and, because we moved from Elliot Lake to St Marys over two months ago, I have decided to retire Two weeks from everywhere. The title speaks more of life in Elliot Lake than it does of being in St Marys. We had a (mostly) great fourteen years in Elliot Lake and it will always be special to us in its own way, especially as that was where our son was born. However, in comparison, being in St Marys seems more like being two minutes from everywhere. Even though it is smaller than Elliot Lake it now seems like we are two minutes from everywhere – twenty minutes from Stratford, thirty minutes from London, just over an hour from the US border, and just under two hours from Toronto.

With all of this in mind, I have started another blog, Roads go ever ever on, which will be more of a reflection of life in St Marys. It’s a work in progress and it will probably undergo a few changes in the next little while. Thanks for following this blog and I hope to see you at the new one. I’ll leave this one up, but this will be the last post here.

Colin Jackson (1946-2015)

I just read the sad news today that one of my Rangers heroes growing up, Colin Jackson, passed away yesterday. Growing up in Orkney, I didn’t get to many Rangers games. However, one that I did get to was the Scottish League Cup final on 31 March 1979, when we beat Aberdeen 2-1. The winning goal came in injury time and was headed in by Jackson. We came from behind as well and I still remember the goal well. An added bonus to being at the final was that on the Monday, a couple of days after the final, my parents had organised for us to have a tour of Ibrox, which finished off with us watching the players train across the road from the stadium. I got to meet most of the player and had them sign my programme from the final. It was probably the highlight of our holiday. I think the programme is still in a box at my parents house.

Here’s the highlights of that Cup Final. The quality isn’t the best, but it’s still worth watching:

Sunday Round-Up (April 12)

IMG_2458The past week was a fairly decent week The highlight was probably turning 49 on Friday, although I’m not that sure what to think about being one year short of 50! The above picture shows the great gifts I received from my family. They know what I like and always come up with some great stuff. I’m looking forward to reading the book soon. It’s a sequel to one I received for Christmas that I really enjoyed.

This was also the week that the snow finally started to disappear. There are still some patches here and there, and our backyard still has quite the covering, but it is all slowly disappearing. The great thing about the slow thaw is that we haven’t had any flooding issues in our basement yet this year. Some years it just can’t handle the thaw, especially when there is heavy rain on top of the melting, but so far so good this year. Also with the snow disappearing, we’ve been able to get out for a decent walk most days this week.

I managed to get back to more reading this week. I finished a couple of books I started during Lent (The Little Book of Lent: Daily Reflections from the World’s Greatest Spiritual Writers and The Last Eyewitness: The Final Week). I also finished off Orsbornagain by Rob Birks. It was a great little book of daily readings based around the songs of General Albert Orsborn. It’s worth checking out, as is Rob’s latest book Someone Cared, which focuses on the poetry of General John Gowans. Rob is an SA officer in Western USA. A few years ago he introduced me to the music of Over the Rhine, whom we saw in concert in Winnipeg when we were both doing courses at Booth UC.

I spent part of Tuesday sorting through my books to see if there were any that I should get rid of. I surprised myself (and Pamela, too, I think) by coming up with just over 60 books. We’ll take them to Bearly Used Books in Parry Sound next week as we have to go south for a few days. The good thing about taking books there is that they give you store credit for them, so I’ll hopefully be able to get a few different ones to take home.

With the end of Lent last weekend I was able to get back to drinking coffee again. I’m not going to overindulge, though, and am restricting myself to three cups a day at the very most. The only thing I didn’t manage to get done for Lent that I’d hoped to was coming up with a set of meditations for The Stations of the Cross. Hopefully I’ll get that done sometime before next year.

All in all it was a fairly productive week. This coming week will be a shorter week as we head off to London on Friday for a few days. With the nice change in the weather it should be a pleasant journey. I’m looking forward to the time away and also being able to spend time with some friends. It should be a nice change anyway.

Before I close off here I have to share the following picture that Pamela e-mailed to me. I think it probably is quite accurate:

happy hour minions

World Autism Awareness Day

autism awarenessToday is World Autism Awareness Day, in fact the whole month of April is Autism Awareness Month. World Autism Awareness Day is something that has been observed every year on April 2 since 2008. It was designated by the United Nations General Assembly resolution “62/139. World Autism Awareness Day”; adopted on 18 December 2007, it was proposed by Qatar, and supported by all member states. The resolution had four main components:

  • the establishment of 2 April as WAAD
  • participation of UN organizations, member states, NGOs and all private & public organizations in WAAD
  • raise awareness of autism on all levels in society
  • to ask the UN Secretary-General to deliver this message to member states and all other UN organs.

We have lived with Autism in our household for a number of years since our son was diagnosed with being on the Autism Spectrum early on in his life. Initially there were a lot of struggles, as we came to terms with what we had already suspected and as we found ways help him grow up and become the teenager he is today. Nowadays it’s not as bad for us, but there still are some moments, although we have to work out sometimes whether what he’s doing is a teenage thing or his autism. Sometimes the lines become blurred.

Awareness is a big thing with autism, because the spectrum is so wide. Even since the time our son was diagnosed, perceptions have changed for the better, as people have started to understand more about what autism is, and even what it isn’t.

We’ve had lots of fun, as well as a few moments of frustration, with our son on his journey so far. In spite of it all, we wouldn’t change a thing, although perhaps it would be nice if he worked harder at keeping his bedroom a bit tidier. I think that’s probably more of a teenage thing than anything else, though!

If you want to learn more about autism, there are plenty of good resources out there. A few helpful websites are:

These sites all have lots of helpful links as well, if you are interested in exploring further. There are also plenty of great books out there, many of which are listed on this Books About Autism list at GoodReads.

Lent 2015 – Day 37

good dayAnyone who knows me knows how much I like U2. I’m going to see them again in concert this summer for the umpteenth time (I think in about 13 week’s time, but who’s counting?). One of their songs I like is ‘Some Days Are Better Than Others’. One of the lines in there is ‘Some days are sulky, some days have a grin’. Today was definitely one of the days that have a grin and I’m glad that’s how it turned out. Beyond that, there’s not really much that I can add.