Finally! After a decade and a half of coming to Canada I finally made it to a Maple Syrup “Sugar Bush”! I remember reading about maple syrup in a library book as a kid and being both excited and intrigued about the idea of tapping a tree for the sweet sap then boiling it down to make syrup that could freeze in the snow into candy. Well today's experience didn't tick all those boxes but it certainly didn't disappoint!
Whenever I travel to my in-laws in Canada, there are a number of things I like to do. One is go to the local mall. Something about wandering around it periodically over the last 14 and a bit years is comforting. I like to see which shops have changed and which remain the same. Eat in the Food Court (or the Timmies). Wander by myself, or with my wife, or with one (or both) of my parents-in-law. Although I'm evidently not a local, it's the kind of ordinary, grounding activity that somehow signifies I'm not a tourist either.
We're in Canada now, introducing our little one to my wife's side of the family. It's her first time encountering snow and so far she loves it! The highlight being the pure joy in her face as I pulled her and her Mom around in an orange plastic sled in the local park, especially sliding down the gentle slopes.
I'm a big fan of Eurovision – but their decision to allow Russia to still compete after invading Ukraine pissed me off. Glad to see they've caved into the pressure and reversed said decision. Must be comforting for the people of Kyiv right now to also know that the Champions League Final and Grand Prix won't be taking place in Russia later in the year. Sigh. These are correct actions to take – it's just that like many others I'm feeling bemused, angry, sad and powerless sat on my sofa while military action creates bloodshed in Europe of all places. It's 2022! Are we ever going to be able to be mature enough as a species to stop wasting lives and energy in this way? Probably not.
...are not for me lol! Undeterred by my impatience setting up the Alpine terminal email client, I read a couple of articles last night about using terminal-based web browsers. They seemed simple to install so why not give them a go?
Expect this list to change with time! One of the fun things about putting this together is that while I do like and drink a very wide range of beer, the number of beers that have stayed with me down the years and cemented themselves as favourites is much smaller, and does not encompass every style. These favourite beers span different chapters of my life, different sides of the Atlantic, real ale to craft beer. What they do have in common is they all have stories to tell and conjure up when I drink or think of them. Cheers!
I managed to get 89 posts completed within the allotted year but the remaining 11 took me another 8.5 months! Still, the challenge did get me writing again, which was the main thing. During the time period of the challenge I became a father, moved from an apartment to a house, and started a new role at work, all while a global pandemic raged. My posts varied from slices of daily life, to more considered articles, to rediscovering the joy of writing poems (especially haikus!) for the first time in many, many years.
Messing around on the web one night last week I went down a reminiscing rabbit hole that took me to the terminal based email client “Pine”. My mind conjured up fond memories from the late '90s of the winding route to the computer room at Van Mildert College in Durham University – left past the high table in the dining room, along a narrow corridor, before queuing up to go down a few steps on the right for my time to surf the fledgling internet with Netscape, or access my email via Pine instead.
The software I use for writing markdown blog posts on my computer, Typora, has moved from its beta testing phase into a commercial offering. Whereas it was free before, it now needs a licence, enabling the user to download it on three separate devices. This gave me pause, as I hadn't twigged it was a testing phase piece of software when I originally downloaded it – or maybe this was something I quickly glossed over... it's hard to remember now!