I know it’s not Thursday but Saturday but I called Camp to meet me for lunch and have a chat about Trudeau’s latest move to punish travellers. He only agreed to join me when I promised to pay for the beers. I really wanted to know what Camp thought about these new travel requirements.
‘The new measurements enacted by the Canadian government yesterday amount to nothing less than a fine and punishment for travellers, no matter how long they’ve been away or where they’ve been to. The penalties are especially aimed at snowbirds, who remove themselves from the Canadian winter to sunny destinations like the Caribbean and Mexico,’ I said.
‘You live in Granthams Landing and are a member of the GWA, Granthams Wharf Association, aren’t you?’ Camp said when I stripped of my winter coat and sat down, at our usual place in our own local watering hole which is awfully quiet these days.
‘Yes, we are. You probably want to know what I think about the lodge proposal at the old Granthams post-office site. I’m in full support of the present owners and their plans. They are doing a fantastic job in renovating the historic building and improving the parking and access to the wharf.’
‘I thought you’d say that,’ Camp said, nodding. ‘Of course, there is a vocal opposition, claiming that the proposed lodge with 5 short term rental apartments, will forever change the character of the community as well as endanger and impact the lives of the present residents.’
‘Did you hear about the police patrolling the sleepy city of Sherbrooke observing a woman ‘walking her boyfriend attached to a leash, as he padded along the sidewalk on all fours?’ Camp asked after he sat down.
‘You’re kidding right?’
‘Nope, read it in the news. When the cops asked why she was breaking the curfew she replied that she was merely waking her dog. She still had to pay a hefty fine. Apparently, they’re not alone, people have been busted walking stuffed dogs or pet tortoises. People will do the craziest things to survive isolation and lockdown.’
‘Like zoom yoga or zoom concerts and plays?’
We decided to go back to our pub by the sea in order to support them and our servers. We sat at our usual table, surrounded by plexiglass partitions on wheels, even though there were only a couple of other guests, in the opposite corner. Vicky was happy to see us and when I asked her how her holiday was, she said: ‘What holiday? Oh, you mean the time off over Christmas and New Year. Like in: no work, no pay. Thankfully, I got the BC recovery bonus and we’re still open to the public. I missed you two.’
Once settled in, we decided to leave a big tip, a belated holiday bonus.
There has been a lot of outfall from the hooligan assault on the capitol last week. Arrests, firings of top officials, resignations at the White House, impeachment proceedings, bans on Twitter and Facebook for the chief hooligan and condemnations from around the world.
‘A journalist asked the big question during the assault on the capitol last week: Is this the end of an area or is it the beginning of a new movement?’ Camp said.
The world still revolves around the sun, weather happens outside and reactionary politicians make up new rules to catch up to the ever-evolving new reality. It’s the same old world but boy, did the rules ever change. From travel to office work, sports and performing arts; from school and university to family gatherings. It’s all different now. Nobody moves, nobody gets hurt or sick. Is that really a workable policy?
‘Will the vaccine be the magic potion, the panacea that people are hoping for,’ I asked Camp, who came over with a six pack of Coast Lager from Persephone, our local farm brewery.
Camp and Muriel came over to help us ring in the new year. For dinner I served up a Swiss Fondue, simple, tasty and very satisfying – Gruyere, Emmenthaler, Appenzeller, white wine, Kirsch, bread. I lit a fire and we all gathered around a pot of melting cheese and wine. We managed to stay up until midnight thanks to Clare’s and Muriel’s careful planning of the evening and mandatory afternoon naps.
‘Be positive,’ someone said to me the other day,’ I said, twirling my piece of bread in the bubbly cheese, ‘but being the cynic I am, I replied: ‘I’d rather be negative these days.’
‘Being positive has an altogether new meaning,’ Camp said. ‘The other truism that I hear bandied about is: ‘It will get worse before it gets better.’ Would I rather have the reverse? It’s a challenging time we’re going through.’