Sunday, 6 September 2020

I've Been Away For Five Months, September 6, 2020

Thank you for visiting recently. I've been adding posts to for the last five months. Please have a look if you wish; I think there is some value there.

We've included some of the meals we've produced in the oven and the Ninja Foodie that you might enjoy. But more importantly my son Rob and I celebrated our birthdays yesterday just with the two of us. We didn't take a cruise like we did in 2018 which is chronicled in this site, we just met and had a delightful Open Cork lunch and talked a whole lot about networking, getting ready for promotion in business, personal functions and more just like we did when he was 17 years old. Rob is 46 and living his life just the way he has structured it--and that is fine with me.
I spent an hour reading my own work/posts on our Back-To-Back cruises in December 10, 2019 to January 30, 2020. In years to come my hope is that this material will interest my grand and great grand children and so on. The concept of I owe to my oldest son Greg who planted the thought and set up the site for me originally in 1999. The was my idea midway through 2019.
Terryl and I will be doing more social distancing this afternoon with Pierre and Deborah Alcide in their backyard. I hope everyone does the same: it's safe and keeps one connected with their close friends during Covid-19 and all of its world changing protocols to keep us alive and well, Over 885,040 deaths have been recorded worldwide; the USA has 188,000 and Canada has 9,145 as of September 6, 2020. We are told that  the second wave is coming for sure and that we must not let our guard down in the fall of 2020 when the Flu Season hits us with its broadside along side the coronavirus killer.
I regret reporting my right knee went awol after a day of golfing with added exuberance. encouraged me to invest in their program that had produced excellent results. I was hitting it father, straighter, and chipping and putting better when it happened. I put a little more into the swing than I should have and wammo, it happened. I started to limp and knew I was in trouble. I'm on Hemp Oil and Cream and wearing a knee brace and had to delist myself from the club championships.
Brampton Golf Club went ahead without me and handed out the trophies on September 7, 2020:

Thursday, 16 April 2020

141,454 Deaths caused by COVID-19 worldwide as of April 16, 2020 @ 17:55

On April 16, 2020 we and the majority of the world's people are self-isolating in our homes. Non-essential business is shut down putting millions of people out of work. Most doctors, nurses, staffers and support people however, are run off their feet. Truck drivers, delivery people and grocery clerks are doing double duty while they too, remain six feet apart from any and all who approach.
Two blogposts ago Coronavirus COVID-19 was in its infancy and my account on the issues are there and dated March 12 and March 20, 2020. Today statistics will shock anyone into the realization that we are fighting a war against a formidable foe. Worldwide we have 2,127,873 confirmed cases...540,575 patients recovered...and 141,454 deaths. The upside of these numbers might be that the recovered patients are four times the number of deaths. [Also its worth noting that these numbers are incorrect as I write. The information I have recorded here is from a Google Search.] The USA now has 33,633 deaths and China with its population of 1.4 billion,  (the Pandemic started in January 2020 in the major city of Wuhan), claims only 3,342 deaths. I think it's safe to say that which I had uttered in March: the civilized intelligent communicators of today have a long way to travel in aid of our fellow man.
It has been said and reported that certain relevant information was kept from moving freely across this planet, with that dearth of political, transportation and medical knowledge shared across the continents the numbers went straight up and continue to rise. The Chinese could have thrown the world a parachute but chose not to. I copied the following paragraph from Robyn Urback's column in The Globe and Mail on April 17, 2020:
""Late last year, the WHO, along with the rest of the world, had good reason to receive initial information from China on the strange new virus emerging out of Wuhan with some skepticism. The extraordinary early measures the country was taking to contain its spread, after all, seemed wildly out of proportion with Beijing’s official numbers of infected and dead. Indeed, months ago, there was reason to worry that China might not be sharing the full extent of its outbreak, and information has emerged since that all but confirms China again deceived the world. And it did it while the WHO openly praised its commitment to "transparency.”"
As of April 21, 2020 here are the numbers as quoted in the Globe and Mail;
At least 2,440,809 cases confirmed around the world; with 639,877 recoveries and 167,628 deaths reported.
On April 21, 2020 as reported in the Globe and Mail:
2,553,359 cases confirmed around the world; with 679,791 recoveries and 176,285 deaths reported.
On April 30, 2020 as reported in the Globe snd Mail:
3,169,410 cases confirmed around the world; with 958,623 recoveries and 224,613 deaths reported.
On May 12, 2020 4,147,046 cases have been confirmed worldwide; with 1,428,338 recoveries and 284,037 deaths.
On May 15, 2020 4,405,365 cases have been confirmed; with 1,576,678 recoveries and 300,108 deaths.
On June 18, 2020   Worldwide, 8,173,940 cases have been confirmed and 443,685 deaths.
On July 1, 2020.    Worldwide, 10,302,052 cases have been confirmed and 505,505 deaths reported.
On July 13, 2020  Worldwide,  12,717,908 have been cases confirmed and 565,138 deaths reported.
On July 26, 2020 Worldwide, 15,792,390 cases have been confirmed and 639,652 deaths reported.
On August 25, 2020 Worldwide, 23,420,418 cases have been confirmed and 808,676 deaths reported.
On September 12, 2020 Worldwide, 27,863,733 cases confirmed and 903,686 deaths reported.

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Garfield L McDonald (aka) Alexander McPope has created another website

The fine fellow you see here is my son Greg who started me on this site in 1999. However, all of the posts between 1999 and 2018 are locked in the Cloud; I'm told they are findable and will be placed here at some future date by Greg who is also my tech support. Without additional fanfare Garfield of The Garfield Legacy Fund wishes to announce his second website that will focus on his search for refinement. The writer is Alexander McPope (inspired by Alexander Pope of poetic fame) who will carry on without a recognizable abode and is known for that which pen and ink have made his poetic personage famous. He has started a Corporation that is named InRefinement Inc. So, please click the link above for the real Alexander Pope, and of course the large link below for Alexander McPope's work  that is written for their amusement. If you enjoy/despise these musings please do leave a comment of one kind or another. Thank you. You may start by clicking the link below:

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Coronavirus disease, COVID-19 on March 12, 2020, and more on March 20

Human civilization has evolved one tragedy after another throughout its history. It has found our current status following wars, xenophobia, crime, corruption and disease inflicted in large part upon itself. But still it survives these vicissitudes. Today, and after several weeks the world claims to be united in the cause to contain and eradicate COVID-19. But is it really?
We have a communication ability with our telephones, our computers, our instant written messages using the Internet, our ability to share collective information and knowledge, both pictorially, written and transmitted instantly with systems using the Internet and Google. But do we?
Some spokespersons speak without basic underlying knowledge to an equally ignorant populace who must follow these dictates, while the experts remain silent. That doesn't make sense to this writer. COVID-19 is a world wide Pandemic, whose validity was proclaimed March 11, 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO). Only a few weeks ago the medical condition was first  diagnosed and treated in Wuhan, China. But the problem grew in places like Italy and then to other countries in the west including Europe, Canada and the USA. One spokesperson speaking with confidence made false claims that a cure and a vaccine would be ready in a month. That spokesperson was none other than the President of the United States; 'there's the rub.' (That's where the problem/obstacle is.) Fortunately, a medical expert from the CDC was close at hand to deliver the truth that a vaccine could be as much as 18 months away. There was no retraction by the POTUS.
That the POTUS continues to deliver monotone edicts that shall be followed no matter how seriously flawed they may be must cause serious concern for all of us. Today he cancelled all flights from Europe to the USA carrying Europeans on board. He made this proclamation to protect the safety of the American citizens. My issue is not that this edict is right or wrong, it is that he didn't discuss, or give his European counterparts a heads-up before he spoke? What we do know is the Markets for all kinds of related Industries nose-dived immediately creating economic problems on top of the medical issues facing us now. Did he listen to any advisors before he made the call?
I started this blog suggesting that civilization survives all kinds of man-made folly and otherwise. Am I confident that we'll turn this corner as well? When will we learn to listen to the experts and carefully consider that wisdom before a spokesperson acts? Without this principle firmly in place we'll repeat the same kinds of mistakes for as long as we last.

This should have been a Bat, not a Rhino
It's March 20, 2020 and the entire world is talking about Coronavirus COVID-19, the disease and its affects worldwide. Millions of us are self-isolated trying to avoid the spreading sickness. You can learn what you need to know by clicking This Link. 
In Port Credit, like all other places, we are seeing this insidious self-isolation and social-distancing everywhere. The stores have little on their shelves due to hoarding brought on by a frightened populace, and of course, the absence of goods on the shelves. Here are the main points as of March 19, 2020 from the World Health Organization

[[• Seven new countries/territories/areas (African Region [3], Eastern Mediterranean Region [1], European Region [1], and Region of the Americas [2]) have reported cases of COVID-19.
• The number of confirmed cases worldwide has exceeded 200,000. It took over three months to reach the first 100,000 confirmed cases, and only 12 days to reach the next 100,000.
• A new protocol to investigate the extent of COVID-19 infection in the population, as determined by positive antibody tests in the general population has been developed. The protocol is titled the Population-based age-stratified seroepidemiological investigation protocol for COVID-19 virus infection.]]

These are numbers that scare the pants off people who are in the know. Perhaps the truth can be spoon-fed to us, but it must be the truth.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

"You Can Vote But You Can't Choose What Is True" written by Yuval Noah Harari, February 3, 2020

On occasion I quote from others and include them here in my work. Y.N. Harari is a thrice published author of significant repute in 27 languages. He is also a lecturing Professor at an Israeli University, one who meditates for two consecutive months each year, and speaks around the world distilling his thoughts and ideas on a world eager for his insightful thorough examination.
The balance of this post will brew, boil and deliver his points on 'what democratic elections actually are.' This piece appeared in the New York Times, and I quote directly:

""The 2020 election season in the United States, which enters a new phase Monday, with the Iowa Democratic caucuses, will probably be among the most divisive and contentious in American history. The results will reverberate around the world, and will most likely shape the global order for years to come. As the political temperature rises to the boiling point, people on all sides should reflect on what democratic elections actually are.
Elections are not a method for finding the truth. They are a method for reaching peaceful compromise between the conflicting desires of different people. You might find yourself sharing a country with people who you consider ignorant, stupid and even malicious — and they might think exactly the same of you. Still, do you want to reach a peaceful compromise with these people, or would you rather settle your disagreements with guns and bombs?
Since elections are a method for reaching a compromise about our desires, in the polling stations people aren’t asked “What is the truth?” They are asked “What do you want?” That’s why all citizens have equal voting rights. When searching for the truth, the opinions of different people carry different weights. But when it comes to desire, everybody should be treated the same.
In the wake of the 2016 Brexit referendum, the eminent biologist Richard Dawkins protested that the vast majority of the British public should never have been asked to vote in the referendum, because they lacked the necessary background in economics and political science. “You might as well call a nationwide plebiscite to decide whether Einstein got his algebra right,” Mr. Dawkins wrote.
Yet his analogy is flawed. Holding a plebiscite on whether to accept Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity is a ridiculous idea, because that is a question of truth that should be left to experts. When discussing relativity, the opinion of one physics professor counts for far more than the opinion of a thousand history professors or a thousand lawyers.
But the question that appeared on the ballot in the 2016 referendum was not about truth. It was: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?” That’s a question about desire, and there is no reason to privilege the desires of experts over those of everyone else.
You could argue that desires are nevertheless formulated on the basis of facts, and that the Brexit debate hinged on proving or refuting certain economic theories. For example, would leaving the European Union result in an increase or a decrease in Britain’s gross domestic product? Most people are not equipped to answer such a complicated economic question. Therefore, you might conclude, Brexit really should have been left to the experts.
If G.D.P. was the only relevant consideration, then Brexit should indeed have been decided by a small group of experts. However, people may well have wished to leave the union for other reasons, even if such a step leads to economic disaster. In a democracy voters are perfectly entitled to prefer nationalist sentiments and religious ideals over economic interests.
Experts might decry such preferences as “irrational,” but allowing experts to dictate what people should want is the high road to totalitarianism. There’s a joke that a Communist activist once addressed a group of workers and promised them, “When the revolution comes, you will all eat strawberries and cream!” A worker raised his hand and said, “But I don’t like strawberries and cream.” The Communist immediately replied, in a slightly menacing tone: “When the revolution comes, you will like strawberries and cream.”

Outlawing the Truth
Since elections are about desire rather than truth, experts should not be given special voting rights. But for precisely the same reason, elected governments should respect the independence of science, the courts and the media. Government represents the will of the majority of the people, but the truth should not be subordinated to the will of the people, because people very often will the truth to be something other than it is.
For example, Christian fundamentalists very much desire the Scriptures to be true and the theory of evolution to be false. However, even if 90 percent of voters are Christian fundamentalists, they should not have the power to dictate scientific truth or to prevent scientists from exploring and publishing inconvenient truths. Unlike Congress, the department of biology should not reflect the will of the people. Congress can certainly pass a law declaring that the theory of evolution is wrong, but such a law does not change reality.
Similarly, when a charismatic leader is accused of corruption, his loyal supporters usually wish these accusations to be false. But even if most voters support the leader, their desires should not prevent journalists and judges from investigating the accusations and getting to the truth. Even if a parliament passes a law declaring that all accusations against the leader are false, such a law does not change the facts.
Of course, scientists, journalists and judges have their own problems, and cannot always be trusted to discover and tell the truth. Academic institutions, the media and the courts may be compromised by corruption, bias or error. But subordinating them to a governmental Ministry of Truth is likely to make things worse. The government is already the most powerful institution in society, and it often has the greatest interest in distorting or hiding inconvenient truths. Allowing the government to supervise the search for truth is like appointing the fox to guard the chicken coop.
To protect the truth, it is better to rely on two other methods.
First, academic institutions, the media and the judicial system have their own internal mechanisms for fighting corruption, correcting bias and exposing error. In academia, peer-review publication is a far better check on error than supervision by government officials, and academic promotion often depends on successfully uncovering past mistakes and discovering unknown facts. In the media, free competition means that if one newspaper avoids publishing a scandal, its competitor is likely to jump at the scoop. In the judicial system, a judge that takes bribes may be tried and punished just like any other citizen.
Second, the existence of several independent institutions that seek the truth in different ways allows these institutions to check and correct one another.
For example, if powerful corporations manage to break down the peer-review mechanism by bribing a large enough number of scientists, investigative journalists and courts can expose and punish the perpetrators. If the media or the courts are afflicted by systematic racist biases, it is often the job of sociologists, historians and philosophers to expose these biases. None of these safety mechanisms are completely fail-proof, but no human institution is. Government certainly isn’t.
There are of course other crucial reasons to protect the independence of academic institutions, the media and in particular the courts. Democratic elections are about human desire, and the one desire everyone shares is the desire to win. How then can we make sure that powerful political parties don’t rig the game in their favor?
In a football game, it is obvious that the referee cannot belong to one of the competing teams. When players argue whether there was foul play or not, they need an independent arbitrator to settle the matter. The same is true in a democracy. It too is a game with rules, and even a majority of voters should not be allowed to break these rules. For example, if 51 percent of voters pass a law barring the other 49 percent from participating in future elections, some independent referee should call “foul!” and strike down that law — even though the majority of voters support it. In most democracies, that independent referee is a supreme court, and if the supreme court’s independence is compromised, the democratic game turns into a majority dictatorship.

Damn the Bears
As an example, let’s consider the crucial case of climate change. The question “Do human actions cause the earth’s climate to warm?” is a question of truth. Lots of people wish the answer to this question to be “no,” but their desires don’t change reality. So it would be ridiculous to put this question to a plebiscite in which all people enjoy equal voting rights.
Instead, this question should be answered by the relevant experts. If most climate experts answer “yes,” while most voters say “no,” we should believe the experts. The majority of voters should not have the power to stop academic departments and media outlets from studying and publishing undesirable truths.
Of course, when it comes to making policy decisions about the climate crisis, in a democracy the will of the voters still reigns supreme. Acknowledging the truth of climate change does not tell us what to do about it. We always have options, and choosing between them is a question of desire.
One option might be to immediately cut down greenhouse gas emissions, even at the cost of slowing down economic growth. This means incurring some difficulties today but saving people in 2050 from more severe hardship, saving Bangladesh from drowning, and saving the polar bears from extinction. A second option might be to continue with business as usual. This means having an easier life today, but making life harder for the next generation, flooding much of Bangladesh, and driving the polar bears — as well as numerous other species — to extinction. In choosing between these two options, the desires of experts should not override the desires of other people.
The one option that should not be on offer is hiding or distorting the truth. If we prefer to take it easier today, and damn the Bangladeshis and the polar bears, we are entitled to vote for that in a democracy. But we are not entitled to pass a law stating that climate change is a hoax. We can choose what we want, but we shouldn’t deny the true meaning of our choice.

Strawberries Rule
Separating desire from truth is hardly a new idea. It has always been crucial for well-functioning democracies. But in the 21st century it is becoming more important than ever, because new technologies are making it easier to manipulate human desire.
The combination of biotechnology with information technology gives governments and corporations the ability to systemically hack millions of people. We are very close to the point when some governments and corporations will know enough biology, gather enough data and command enough computing power to know us better than we know ourselves. With the help of powerful new algorithms, governments and corporations will then be able not only to predict our choices, but to manipulate our desires and sell us anything they want — be it a product or a politician. When this revolution is complete, the algorithms could make sure not only that you will like strawberries and cream, but that you also will like the ruling party.
In a democracy, the government represents the will of the people. But what happens when the government has the power to systematically manipulate the will of the people? Who then represents who?
To make matters even worse, we are now seeing the rise of populist regimes that first gain power by inciting hatred against foreigners and minorities, and then systematically attack any institution that might limit their power. Their primary targets are exactly those institutions that protect the truth: the media, the courts and the academy. Populist regimes fear the truth because it doesn’t obey them, so they claim it doesn’t exist. The typical populist leader flatters people by telling them that the only thing that matters is their desires. Experts who point out inconvenient truths are rebranded as traitors who oppose the will of the people.
To safeguard the future of democracy, we must keep truth independent of desire. It is not enough to declare loyalty to the abstract ideal of truth. The key is institutions. However imperfect, only institutions can turn ideals into social practices.
Yuval Noah Harari

Yuval Noah Harari's previously mentioned books are readily available by engaging these links: 

Saturday, 1 February 2020

The Rational Optimist, by Matt Ridley February 1, 2020

The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley a book on evolving world prosperity

I completed this book January 29, 2020 and found TRO tedious at first. His opinions, I supposed, needed to review early examples of doing business, and he did that by looking at man’s pre-historic life without transactions with other men. Like animals, men ate what they killed, they wore the skins and built shelters; they did it all and relied on no one.
When man realized that he did certain things well, and other men did certain other things well, they could then trade their skill sets or their products for the other man’s skills or products. Let’s say one was a good fisherman and the other was a good tool maker. They worked this by bartering fish for tools and both benefitted from the others work. When one multiplies these actions many times over, with many different skills, one’s prosperity can be greater than when one does it alone. And instead of simple bartering, money was created to buy other men’s skills or products. And International Trade became the watchword where worldwide transactions using money increased the number of transactions possible. More transactions created more money in the hands of those who controlled these affairs; and they became rich and prospered beyond previous procedures could ever have produced. And the workers also prospered as a direct result, and they bought and sold amongst their neighbours. And then specialization was born where some countries and peoples were better than others with certain tasks and with their natural products like Minerals, because they had more of the raw materials and/or manufactured products like Spices, they could sell them abroad at less money than other countries and make a tidy profit. That made them unique while other countries were specialized in other ways. This led to increasing prosperity and so on into our times where profit, prosperity and confidence born from prescient characteristics recognizing issues and procedures that continually change the lives of all of the Earth’s people. 
The fine points of all of this are many and opined in this book with skill and ease, and that this skill makes this a great read right down to its last page.

Here's a good example: South Africa's Wine Industry, started by Groot Constantia Winery and created in the seventeenth Century, currently makes great wine and sells it worldwide. Constantia relies on French Oak Trees and French Craftsmen to make and supply their oak barrels, and they also rely on Portuguese Cork to supply the corks to seal the bottles. (Nothing else will satisfy their process.) One barrel will produce five barrels of wine over five years and that barrel is then replaced with a new one from France. The barrel is filled to the brim with wine and stored until perfect, bottled, corked and shipped around the world. What could be better? Full Stop.

Jacques loves his work at Constantia

Constantia Wine fermenting in French Oak Barrels 

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Cape Town, South Africa January 21 - 27, 2020

The morning opened to a blazing sun overtaking our room looking at Cape Town with its Table Mountain and three others reaching into the sky. One can only imagine what early Explorers thought when they discovered this jewel rounding the southern tip of this massive Continent. Today, the city is wrapped in the comfort and glory of its Bays and Mountains all provided by those incredible Tectonic Plates shifting and driving upward millions of years ago.
During and after breakfast we said our farewells to other guests and staff we had come to appreciate and headed for the Gangway. Not expected, but also not surprisingly, Captain Filip and Entertainment Director Earnest where at the bottom of the plank with stretched out arms for Terryl and the Azamara hand shake for me. Captain Filip and his wife Nickoleta had given Terryl their personal email address; they have also invited us to stay with them in their home in Greece. 

But first I'll need to call them
We checked into Mount Sierra apartments three hours ahead of time and Chantal (the front desk lady who is a gem) suggested a few sights we could see and off we went to Table Mountain, a magnificent sight outside our front window. This mountain and its Cable Car are a main attraction on this day; a very long line of ticket holders were patiently waiting to board, and, the line wasn't moving at all that we could see. Our position on the mountain was approximately 70% of its total height at the point where the lineup, that still wasn't moving, forced our decision to abort the ride to the top.
We came down and checked into our very comfortable one bedroom apartment that was fully furnished, fully equipped and met our needs perfectly.

January 22,  23, 2020

We are off on The Hop On Hop Off bus (this is routine for us in any new city) and from the city centre on the Blue Line head southeasterly on Rhodes Drive (could this be Cecil Rhodes the dude who started De Beers and his world famous uncut diamonds from South Africa in 1844?) and around Devil's Peak past Kirstenbosch and their National Botanical Gardens to our first stop. Hop on the Purple Line to Groot Constantia Wine Estate established in 1685. 763 Hectares of land were granted Simon van der Stel, and with slave labour he established this place which today is the quintessential South African Winery making 25% whites and 75% reds all in French made Oak Casks with Portuguese Corks - no screw caps or boxes sold here. Terryl and I enjoyed a tour of the estate and of course,  a wine tasting that excited our palates and our knowledge all supplied by Jacques, who really knew his stuff. The tour of the wine making and storage was given by Victor who was attentive, a little funny and a wealth of information. I asked about one of Terryl's favourites: an unoaked Chardonnay? And he replied oh yes, but we never make it at Constantia. Our casks are all French Oak. Here's a link if you wish on South African Chardonaay
We continued on along the southern coast past Hout Bay, Camps Bay, Clifton, Bantry Bay, Sea Point, Three Anchor Bay, Mouille Point and off at Victoria and Alfred for some food and walk-about (shopping). We are going back to Camps Bay tomorrow.
And so we did get off at Camps Bay and did a little walk-about and then sat down for a cool one. We are across the street from a magnificent sandy beach reaching 100 yards into emerald green water. On our side of the street there is one café after another and all of them appeared to be prospering on a sun-drenched gorgeous day. However, we had plans in Victoria & Alfred waterfront and off we went to buy some tickets to the Nelson Mandela Museum (and his prison for years) for January 25, 2020. The museum wanted to see our Passports and said in no uncertain words, bring them with you on the 25th or you'll be denied boarding for the sail over to Robben Island. We had a full day and this cough that came out of nowhere, except that Terryl had it for a week, is wearing me out; we hopped into an air condition newish taxi and told him that Chantal (of Mount Sierra apartments) wanted him to treat us very well. We were in his cab for twenty-five minutes, Donat from French Guiana is his name, and the cab fare was 850 Rand ($8.50 Canadian).

Table Mountain with the cloud sliding down like icing on a cake

January 24, 2020

Up bright and early with some OJ, coffee and fruit for breakfast, and down to the lobby where Chantal asked what’s up today. She called Donat for us and the three of us went to A Gem Store operation, secretly displayed in their driveway, and let them know we were here. The buzzers went off and in we go with Donat waiting for us while we looked at R250,000 (that’s $25,000 Canadian) diamond rings and necklaces for twenty minutes. Terryl simply stated that she wanted to think about it for a day or two. Of course I said okay and we politely excused ourselves and proceeded to the front door and out to greet Donat. Because of my nagging little cough I thought better of playing 18, or even 9 holes on Rondabosch golf course but that didn’t stop me from going there, entering the pro shop, buying the Tee Shirt, asking for a right handed 7 iron, going to the driving range, hitting 5 balls with my new Adam Bazalgette grip and swing, and in 25 minutes we went to the parking lot and hopped into Donat’s car and left to go to the magnificent Mount Nelson Hotel, only two blocks from ours.  
This place is steeped in tradition and old world style, comfort and tried and true service. We casually walked in and with Terryl at the helm they were all over us with an escort showing us around inside and out. I finally sat down in a nicely shaded easy chair while Terryl cruised with a camera in hand. When she returned we ordered a glass of local Chardonnay and beer: both were fabulous with some nuts, olives and chips served complimentary.
Our next stop was Tom’s Mozambique and Portuguese Restaurant just up the street from Mount Sierra apartments. This was lunch consisting of 3 glasses of South African white and a shared plate of Seafood & Spaghetti. We loved it, and all for the cost of R250 or $25.00 Canadian. Life is good down here. I hope you have felt that as you read. 

Just us and another Martini
This evening we ate at Café Paradiso only 50 yards north of our luncheon. We were served by a lovely young lady named Memory. We hit it off instantly when I said I love your earrings. In a flash Terryl starting talking about earrings to match her necklace purchased in Durban that she just hasn’t been able to find. Memory said that she was going to a shopping area that has just what she’s been looking for. Here’s the deal: she is working Sunday between 09:00 to 16:00 and Terryl will see her and buy those earrings from her no matter what. Pretty nice I thought.

The seaside road cuts through miles of rock

January 25, 2020

We have an early morning rendezvous with The Nelson Mandela Museum which will include a water ride to Robben Island where he was imprisoned for a long time. We can’t wait to see this valuable piece of South African history.
Donat picked us up and delivered us on time to see a brief moving picture of several of the former inmates including Nelson Mandela. The Tour at 11:00 was a sell out. While we were in line an attendant came to me an invited me to jump the line and take a seat; at first I said no thank you, but two minutes later I was in his offered chair. We boarded a rather large Catamaran and ploughed through calm water for thirty minutes, disembarked, and loaded into one of several buses to start the tour. As we drove a fine young man spoke and referred to us as my Good People over and over again. This place, Robben Island was discovered in 1488 and has had many uses; the most important was to lock away undesirables such as Lepers and Criminals. We passed by the Leper Graveyard with numerous comments from our guide and continued right around the island pointing out building after building and their place in the order of things over all of its history. All of this was labeled Part 1 of the Museum Tour. Part 2 started when we left his bus and were introduced to a former prisoner who had spent 18 years on Robben Island. He stood before all 60 of us and told of the detail involved in sleeping, eating, labour in the Lime Quarry, toilets, punishment and silence; and silence was most important for Political Prisoners who were the last group of inhabitants. The Real Criminals had far better treatment than the Political Prisoners. Nelson Mandela served 18 years with much of it at hard labour in the Lime Quarry where his eyesight was significantly damaged. We saw the tiny cells with a 1/4 inch thick mattress to sleep on, the bucket in the corner, and nothing else in these cubicles. We entered an open sky surrounded by four concrete walls that prisoners and their visitors lined up to talk to each other for ten minutes. They were ten yards apart as well. Additionally our guide mentioned that much of ‘A long Walk to Freedom’ was written between these walls by the one man who is exalted, praised and above all, the man who gave South Africa back to its rightful owners. That man, Nelson Mandela, and the people he encouraged to follow him, had used peaceful means - despite the blows and mistreatment they endured for hundreds of years - to bring about the democracy and well being that we see today.

Africa is all sorts of people from far away and original coastal regions, and with the migration of Africans from the interior to feed the Slave Trade, the coast of this great continent is now heavily populated. The Continent of Africa lost 25,000,000 men, women and children caused by the Infamy of the Slave Trade. The people that we have met on our journey are kind, friendly, fun loving, and go over the top to please. I said that to two black men that we were talking with, and one of them said straight out, “It’s in our blood.”

January 26, 2020

Today is the penultimate day in Cape Town and we wanted to do something relaxing and enjoy some fine wine and food. We were in Donat's cab heading to Cape Grace Hotel for a little look around during the noon hour. It is spectacular, with its Dutch roots and architecture in full display: attendants holding the doors open with a big hearty welcome, and two receptionist in place to answer any questions one may have. Terryl asked for a little tour before asking for the nightly rate. The receptionist happily took us around and when we returned to her desk, she hesitatingly discussed the rate with questions like the type of room required and when that would be because the rate depends on seasonal requirements. Basically it was from 9,000 to 15,000 Rand per night. Divide those numbers by 10 to have the equivalent in Canadian Dollars. We thanked her for her help and information and quietly left this beautiful place right on the Waterfront.
Only 100 yards away is a Food Experience place that looked enticing. All sorts of different foods by different vendors in a pleasant lively atmosphere was a good start when we dropped into a Sushi Place with the various coloured bowls circulating on a moving platform. We ate two dishes costed at $10 Canadian, enjoyed it and continued to explore. We stopped for a drink at Gingha restaurant and bar with outdoor seating and umbrellas. We spent three hours having cold ones and a little food; it was perfect and Terryl excused herself for 30 minutes to buy those exclusive earrings that will be perfect with her African styled hanging necklace. (Memory couldn't find just the right pair no matter how much she tried.) All is good and we left for Lord Nelson's Hotel and a final look at their beautiful huge Nassau Pink Verandah leading to a lovely garden and more sitting areas for their guests. It was the end of a perfect day.
Donat, the perfect example of, "It's in our Blood."

January 27, 2020

It's another weather perfect day in Cape Town with temperature around 22C, an approximate temperature for their winter time. We have been on this journey for 49 days and I'm a little tired;  we know that we have seen and learned about parts of the Globe that I had thought I would never see. Now if all goes as planned and prepared for we’ll be on an Emirates flight this evening at 18:25 and land in Dubai at 05:55 on January 28. We have a booking in the Dubai Airport's ‘sleep and fly’ for 7 hours only, and then find Terminal 1 for our Air Canada flight at 23:55 arriving in Toronto at 06:05 on January 29.

When I’m in my chair in Port Credit with my Cozy Desk and a hot toddy and biscuit in hand I’ll start to think about our trip and attempt a summary of sorts. But then, is a summary necessary?
Perhaps we’ll be on another adventure while the snow flies in PC.
Thank you for your interest; you've made my day.
Sincerely, Alexander McPope

I've Been Away For Five Months, September 6, 2020

Thank you for visiting recently. I've been adding posts to for the last five months. Please have a look if ...