Happy New Year or Life is Great

Happy New Year everyone


Don’t read the news. Don’t watch the news. Get out there and enjoy nature.

I am 72 years old and I just finished the 800 kilometer Camino Frances, 26 September. I am planning to do the Le Puy en Venay to St Jean Pied de Port next August to September, when I am 73, God willing. These Caminos give one a focus and a goal, not to mention the physical conditioning that goes along with it. And while doing it you tear yourself away from all the stresses and anxiety of the world around us and immerse yourself into God’s creation. Nature’s masterpieces. Beautiful!

Meet great people for memorable times.

Including the “SHADOW”


Life is beautiful

Get out there. You will not regret it. Your anxiety, stress and worries will wash away.

A good start to a Happy New Year


Red Jewel

An excerpt from my latest book: “Red Jewel”

Ruth was excited and beside herself as she ran up the shallow slope to Castle Road. Looking east and then south she became enamored by the sight of a long dark tree tunnel that was formed by a canopy of leaves and deciduous bushes and hedges that lined both sides of the road, as if they were, according to Ruth, ancient guardians and sentinels of the medieval castle itself. A broad imagination Ruth had.

“Oh daddy, daddy, look, look at this.” she said, excitedly. “A wondrous tree tunnel that goes on and on forever and ever. To our magical castle estate. Oh King Sommers.” lowering her voice. “Come your highness, King of Wessex itself. And I am Queen Matilda, or Empress Maud, a woman who would be King of all of England.”

“Yes you are my darling Ruth.” Mr Sommers said, laughingly, looking at me with a high browed grin.

“But who am I your highness?” I mocked at her.

“Oh…oh” she paused, unsure of herself for the moment. “Well never mind you…you…you are just my servant boy, my peon from East Meon. You shall do as I say…as I order you or you shall curse the day that you were born. To the chopping block and off with your head if you refuse my bidding” She laughed then giggled and then ran down the shadowing laneway, happy and excited, exuberant. I followed suit while Mr Sommers walked slowly behind us, enjoying and savoring this moment with his daughter.

You could see the shadows dissipate as the tree tunnel ended with a burst of brightness of the mid afternoon sun. There we were, at the entranceway to the castle, in the gathering area just outside of the main gateway…or drawbridge as Ruth would refer. We were the only ones there. She ran ahead as we followed her into a narrow passageway that was lined with ancient stone walls, ramparts and buttresses. It was almost 600 years old and along with a castle on the Kingswear side Dartmouth Castle protected the entrance to the Dart estuary from French invasion. It held an array of cannon in its tower as well as a mechanism to use a cable that was employed in conjunction with Kingswear on the opposite bank to halt the ingress of enemy shipping.

The castle was imbued with many passageways and lookouts that were focused on the entrance to the Dart and approaches to the estuary from the channel beyond. There were gunrooms and powder-rooms, storerooms, quarters, cooking houses and various laneways. Many of the rooms were connected by narrow, dark passageways with low hanging stone ceilings. It was very cool, almost cold in these dark and damp rooms that were only lit by the natural light that came in from the outside through cracks and doorway openings. In one spot Ruth became frightened and held on to my arm. As her anxiety lessoned with my presence beside her she moved her arm down until she could feel the warmth of my hands. There, she entwined her fingers through mine. We were holding hands. I felt a slight tinge and weird sensation through my entire upper being. It felt strange but wonderful.

We held hands and felt our way back up a flight of stone steps and then out and into a small open square that was surrounded on all sides by old stone walls. They were only about four feet high except on the southern side where the wall formed part of the gun tower. We walked over to the east side of the square where we could look out at the expanse of the English Channel. It was so bright and clear that you could almost see across to France or Guernsey. We looked around and back up where we could see Mr Sommers above us on a stone rampart. We waved.

“Let’s eat.” He yelled down at us. “Meet me outside the gate.”

Ruth and I left the square to make our way back up through the various rooms and passageways to the outlying path that led to the entranceway to the castle. On our way, Ruth abruptly stopped and turned toward me then gave me a peck on my cheek, and then another. She smiled at me and said. “You may be a poor peon from East Meon Nigel but you are my peon and I like you very much. You may be my knight Mr Filtness. Rise Sir Nigel.” as she tapped me on my shoulder. And with that she ran off ahead of me giggling and excitable like the young schoolgirl that she was to meet with up with her father.

We spent the next hour or so having a picnic of mutton chops, some salad, chips butty, tea sandwiches and some tea. I could not remember how that went or if the food was good for my mind was racing with that short memory and sweet innocent embrace from Ruth. I may have only been thirteen years old but it did not feel as yucky to me in the least. I was smitten.

As we sat down to our late lunch on a grassy embankment close to the outer western wall of the castle, Mr Sommers told us about the history of the place and the role it played during the many wars with France including our most recent past of World Wars I and II against Germany. It was a fascinating account of adventure, bravery, fools, pirates, kings and queens, smugglers and rogues. He also touched on the varied history of Dartmouth and Kingswear as well as the advent of the Royal Naval College and Britannia. Ruth would look at me from time to time during this discourse to steal a glance and to share a smile. I was beginning to see Ruth in a different light. It was wonderful to know her and Mr Sommers. Indeed it was wonderful to be alive I thought if even for a short respite on this perfect, sunny August afternoon in Dartmouth. For soon reality will bite me squarely in the ass as I make my way home. I tried not to think about it.

We sailed back hardly saying a word. We were exhausted. The wind had come up somewhat but ours was a run before the wind, so it felt as if it was a nice comfortable leisurely sail. A few times Mr. Sommers had to grasp the tiller firmly in this wind and following sea so as not to lose control. Nevertheless the strength of the wind never became apparent to me until we altered directly into it as we came to the mooring buoy on the Kingswear side. It was brisk. Finally, safe and secured to our buoy, Mr Sommers guided the punt to take us ashore one by one. Saying goodbye to Ruth and thanking Mr Sommers for everything I made my way home.

Check out my books via the links at the top of the page. Support a struggling Canadian author. They would make great Christmas gifts. Thanks.

Forget Covid, Climate Change, BLM, Antifa. Woke-ism.

Relax. Go for a long walk. Consider doing a Camino. I have done two now.

Badfinger classic. Sad story surrounding this group. Two guys on the left committed suicide. The group was ripped off by American music suits. Almost penniless.


Harvard’s president is in a whole heap of anti-semitism trouble. She says this:

Harvard’s “Student Handbook” is pretty clear that, “Discrimination based on race, colour, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, creed, national origin, age, ancestry, veteran status, disability, military service or any other legally protected basis is contrary to the principles and policies of Harvard University.”

But not Jew hatred!

What’s left. Reading that every person on the planet is racist. If everybody is racist then nobody is racist.

Don’t go to university in today’s academic climate. Learn a trade or learn to code. Do not learn to be a fool. We have plenty of them already in academia and politics.

All of the US and Canada’s so called “Ivy League” places of learning should be renamed “Poison Ivy.”

Black Olives Matter. On pizza they do!

Quote of the day:

Exercising in cold weather is dangerous

No, it’s dangerous in all weathers. My quote of the day:

No pain…no pain!

Explain whales to me?

After seeing the series Lillehammer, Ukraine’s Zelenskyy visits Norway for potential witness protection program.

A stock image of a festive nog drink. An Illinois dairy producer has issued a recall for a batch of its Holiday Nog drinks over concerns of undeclared egg in the product.

Christmas Drink Recall as Dire Warning Issued Over ‘Serious’ Reactions.

The dumbing down of America and Canada. It has egg in its drink. Duh! It’s called “egg nog” for a reason.

And here I thought it was because if you drink too much of it you can get “hammered.” Ah…silly me.

Other quote of the day: the other night I had an organic pizza. It was Green!