Back around Christmas my cousin Rosalind found me on Facebook. What a delight it was to be in touch with her after so many years. This past summer Pam and I had the opportunity to visit with her in Kent, in the south of England, where she was kind enough to take us on a tour of the beautiful English countryside in her part of the world. Yesterday she arrived in Canada in order to attend our daughter’s wedding on Saturday.

Meeting Ros at the airport was no trouble at all. I even got to experience the famous East Coast earthquake while sitting beside a glass wall that was doing the wobbly while I was sipping my tea. Earthquakes of five and six are pretty common in KL; I think we have been through three or four in our time there, so I wasn’t terribly concerned, and I think most people at the airport weren’t even aware that it was going on. My waitress, who hadn’t noticed a thing, assured me that I simply had a wobbly table. Of course, dear. And I wouldn’t know the difference, would I?

After a little trouble finding the car we were on our way to the Skydome, and Al and Shelley’s apartment nearby where Ros would be staying for a few days. We negotiated the many layers of parking lot security and found our way to a lovely little apartment, decorated in Shelley’s tasteful style. I got caught up on the earthquake “disaster” gripping Washington while Ros freshened up, then we did a little tour of the downtown to allow Ros to get her bearings before parking in the Eaton’s Centre. A short walk brought us to Nathan Phillip’s Square where we witnessed the outpouring of love and grief for Jack Layton who had just passed away two days ago. To read the many expressions of appreciation from people from all walks of life was both touching and telling. Jack – which is the way most Canadians thought of him – was a rare politician who never lost sight of the plight of ordinary people, and never stopped giving them the encouragement of hope and optimism about the future. He was a unique individual, and he will be sorely missed.

Ros and I had a lovely Chinese meal at one of the few remaining restaurants of what used to be a thriving Chinatown on Dundas before heading back to the car and the apartment. I opted for the 403 going home as the 401 is just one long construction site at the moment. For me it had been a long day, and I will admit I needed a short kip in Brantford before getting back to London around midnight. The ladies were still up and chatting by the pool, so I just slipped quietly up to bed without interrupting them. This morning Liz’ fiance Greg arrived from Calgary, so the folks are gathering, and there is going to be a wedding soon!

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