around the world – part 30.1 (running of the restaurants brussels)

The paymaster sent me to Brussels to ride shotgun on a useless meeting (of course) which meant that I had plenty of free time on my hands.  Long story short – I accidently encountered a colleague from my regular German excursions and arranged to enjoy dinner tonight in the vicinity of the Grand Place. 

Holy smokes, what a mistake that was.  Turned down le petite rue de Bouchers near the Arcade and ran into the gauntlet of shills accosting us every 15 feet or so promising free beer, free appies and at least once, free girls (although judging by the talent I think they likely far exceeded my daily dinner expense rate).  What a bore.  After dodging the fifth or sixth fatish Belgian waiter promising the same as the previous I was pretty much ready to write off the entire district. 

Avoid le petite rue de Bouchers period.

We walked back towards the Hotel Leopold and the Place de Luxembourg where there are plenty of much less expensive restaurants, all offering excellent fare without the in your face hard sell of the Bouchers.

election hangover continues

Well, that was fast– the Lieberals are pushing Dion overboard with unseemly haste; nothing like loyalty eh?  And even Elizabeth (strategic voter) May is not immune from the implosion on the left.   Oh well, when the dust settles I guess we’ll see a McKenna or some such in charge of Canada’s natural ruling party, and some unknown unelectable in charge of the earth firsters…

Now, if only the NDP would do us all a favour and jetison the moustache my day would be made.

election hangover….

and so: 

  • another minority government:
  • dion about to be written out of the liberal script:
  • jack layton’s mustache fails to grab 24 sussex:
  • and elizabeth may is whinging about proportional representation (again!).

I actually don’t mind a minority government as it tends to smoke out the true intentions of each party.   And what an average lot they were.

The liberals demonstrated yet again that they will pander to soft socialism when it suits them, but will hastily ditch any policy which might actually get in the way of winning  – not that it helped this time around.  Does anyone even remember the ‘green shift‘?  It was so long ago.    Note to liberals – find a leader – but wait for the second coming a little while longer….

Layton wasn’t wrong when he whined about the liberals campaigning on NDP platform yet supporting the conservative agenda – but who cares -the NDP aren’t going to form a government in my lifetime.  Note to NDP – ditch the mustache (aka Talitubby Jack) and figure out a way that more than 18% of voters will actually care.

Elizabeth May – clearly not a serious candidate or a serious party (despite the ‘lets all play along nicely’ consensus which got her into the debates).  Whatever possessed her to run against a significant cabinet minister in a family riding?   If she really did want to get an elected (rather than wooing liberals undergoing crises of conscience) why not run in a riding where there was a good chance?  Bush league.

Bloc Q.  Duceppe provides the best entertainment in the English debates and then fades to the background for the remainder of the campaign.   I wonder how long Quebecers will continue to vote for no influence in government.  Like one big french speaking Danny Williams.

And then there are the conservatives.  The party better be thanking Mr Harper for hanging around long enough to develop some serious contenders when he decides to hang up the skates.  The problem with H, is that he has nearly no visible personality – and while I happen to believe that not all of our politicians need to prostitute themselves like Hollywood celebs – a little cutting loose from time to time wouldn’t be out of place.  Be smart and let a good three years go by before daring the house to an election.  It would be good to get through this economic cycle, let Canadians see that the Lieberals aren’t the only party capable of governing this country and please let the CBC know in no uncertain terms that their continual shameless cheer-leading for the liberals will jeopardise future funding.

Final thoughts – how is it that Canada has four parties on the left and only one to the right?  The election financing rules have smoked out the moonbats on the left into their respective sandboxes from friendly cuddly bear liberalism through to unapolagetic socialism to green wierdness with a dose of franco communism thrown in.   What hasn’t happened is a similar sorting on the right.

fall musings

Just returned from a lovely walk down by the river – what a gorgeous day!  The leaves have turned, but are mostly still on their trees, the sun is shining and warm, one of those days where summer (the one we never quite got around to this year) throws its last hurrah, as if to say “enjoy me now because in a very few weeks I you will wish I had stayed longer”. 

Everywhere neighbours are taking advantage of the warm weather and sunshine, windows cast open to welcome the warm breeze – plants being covered (but grudgingly) and leaves being corralled.  It is, perhaps, one of my favourite things – this turning of the earth.

The path takes us along through little ‘hundred acre’ woods and then on out into clearings before plunging back into the trees.  The fierce creatures run scuffing through the woods, kicking up leaves and revelling in the sound – followed by the parental units.  They dart towards the river, then stop quickly, falling over each other to pick the last hidden strawberries, and then just as suddenly turn and face towards home, devouring the experience in a way only children can,  knowing that there will be many more years of this.  Contemplation is still just a complex word for now….