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Hello from Canada!

Hello. My name is Mike and I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Looks like a nice website to meet people.

I'm trying to get my girlfriend to join as well but she's hesitant, so I thought I would try it out and then tell her more about it. I understand the majority of members are in the UK? How many Canadians are there? I like meeting people internationally. This is the second forum I've ever joined, the first was cancelled.

I look forward to making new friends and participating in interesting conversations.

Created By on 05/06/2020

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5th Jul 2020 14:09:57 (Last activity: 28th Feb 2021 22:43:59)
Thanks for voting!
Hi Mike, I am not a writer but love the written word. I've thought about it before but it is a big investment in time. I just noticed you said 5 books and short stories but had not found a publisher. Are there not on-line publishers now? Maybe even an amazon book? It seems a shame that you have written so much and it is not out there yet. Do you prefer writing fiction to non-fiction? Did you take up any courses first?
Response from MikeSt Original Poster made on 7th Jul 2020 03:57:58
Hi. I did try some self-publishing online but it seemed pointless as there are thousands of self-published writers doing the same thing. Without the marketing clout of an established publisher, or at least the efforts of a determined small press, self-published materials are often overlooked and destined for obscurity. After many years of fruitless self-promoting online, I realized my skills at advertising were insufficient. Publishing isn't what it was 20 years ago. The market is saturated with quality writing and garbage and how does the average reader discern? The time alone spent to familiarize oneself with all the available options to read makes it not worth the effort when time is better spent earning a living and enjoying oneself. I never pictured myself a bestseller, but it would've been nice to know it was out there. Other ventures await. To answer your question I prefer fiction. I'm fond of sci-fi and literary fiction alike, though the sci-fi I prefer is usually more Michael Crichton, H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, not Star Wars or Aliens. No, I never took a course, unless you count English lit in school. What about you? What kind of books or movies do you like?
Response from Dinabob4 made on 8th Jul 2020 16:19:54 > @MikeSt
Yes it sounds difficult in the writing market and as you say a lot of time is needed. This may not be available as of course you need to earn a living and need time to enjoy yourself too. I did a course in writing articles which covered the processes of how to approach the market and try to get your work in print with either a magazine or newspaper as well as how to structure the work. I just have the final set of questions to do. I've lost a bit of interest now though. There is no deadline on when to complete. There is so much writing out there now with the internet and more than ever discernment is needed, as a reader.

Glad you have other ventures awaiting. It is always good to have something new to be interested in. Book-wise - the types I like are probably the opposite to you. I like non-fiction such as biographies. I enjoy the real life element as long as the story is interesting and you can resonate some way with it. This applies to movies too, if I know it is a true story or 'based on one' I prefer it. I suppose I like educational books too. If I become interested in a new subject I like to buy a book on it! I like to dip in and out of books too. Then you get the ones you cannot put down and have to read it from front to back as you can. Movie wise -I like a good drama or comedy too.

I do not find kindle the same as having a hard copy of a book. Do you use kindle/E-books? Is the lockdown lifting now in your area?
Response from MikeSt Original Poster made on 9th Jul 2020 04:45:57 > @Dinabob4
Hi. By the way, is your name Dina? Just taking that from your profile name, I enjoy some non-fiction now and then too. Not so much biographies though, but I do like books and magazines on science, even though my grasp of science is superficial, it still interests me. I also enjoy documentaries and tv shows about nature, history and civilization's progress. I do enjoy a movie that is based on real life events, though often the basis is slim and the events are exaggerated. Still there is sometimes enough truth in them to add a substantial quality that pure fiction lacks. Even though fiction can mirror life, if it really happened, that gives the story meaning.

Good luck on the course. I never thought of myself as a columnist, more of a novelist. But short stories are published in magazines so maybe one day. I know what you mean about finding that one book that absorbs you so much you can't put it down. I think as I get older those books are fewer and farther between. I enjoy the classics, especially obscure ones, for thought the story is dated I think the writing is of a batter quality than today's writing. It's like movies. They used to film long scenes and the actors had to memorize and recite the lines flawlessly or start all over. Nowadays the camera angles change so often the actors barely say five words before the scene shifts. It's very distracting and makes it hard to feel immersed in the story.

I have an e-book reader, an old Sony, a gift from a friend. I never use it. I see the technological advantages in it. I still prefer an old book. Hardcover or paperback, it doesn't matter. You can't use a souvenir bookmark on an e-reader.

The lockdown is in stage 3 right now. Restaurants are starting to open their patios and very limited indoor seating capacity is next. The continuing status will depend on the ensuing numbers. How is it where you are?
Response from Dinabob4 made on 10th Jul 2020 21:58:30 > @MikeSt
Hi MikeSt

Yes I can see the technological advances in the e readers and just having the App downloaded on your laptop or device. It is so cheap to buy the kindle version of the book and you can get free ones too so it is temping but the reality for me is the paperback is much more appealing. It is tangible and you curl up and read it anywhere (with less eye strain and blue light!) and put a good bookmark in as you say.

Your short stories can be published in magazines too, so that is another avenue. You make some good observations about the movies I had not thought of.

In the UK the lockdown feels like it is practically lifted and the last few types of businesses such as gyms and nail-bars are going to be opening later in the month as long as they can be Covid-secure. There are lots of changes in the way things operate though. The government are trying to open up all businesses for the sake of the economy, in the safest way possible. Problem is that the custom is likely to be down (many will not take risks) so how long they will last is a big concern. I am afraid I am not keen to put myself or others at any unnecessary risk at the moment. Getting my hair cut, browsing shops or eating out is not a priority. It is a shame of course for everyone. Social lives are very limited, jobs are at risk and we cannot see an end in sight. Some people seem to be trying to regain a bit of a normal life. Everyone is different in what risks they are prepared to take. There are still limits such as two households indoors at once but that can be pretty much many people’s norm.
(I'll try not to get too political and just keeping to the social aspects).

How are you coping with the lockdown?

Response from MikeSt Original Poster made on 14th Jul 2020 03:48:17 > @Dinabob4
Hi Dina,

The lockdown is easing up here as well. While much of Ontario is preparing to enter stage 3, Toronto is still in stage 2. We only recently ate on a patio, first time in many months. Canada is doing fairly well in flattening the curve, especially when compared to our southern neighbour. I heard that there are over 120 vaccines in development and many are in human trials now, so hopefully soon...

Many people are suffering from Covid-fatigue, or pandemic fatigue, or Lockdown fatigue, whatever people want to call it. They are tired of it. As if that is a good enough reason to disregard safety.

Tell me a little about your area. Rural or urban? Quaint or modern? Not much to tell about Toronto, it's a major city with arts, entertainment (usually), sports, tourism, etc. Can't really come up with one word that describes it. I'm originally from Montreal. Being an anglophone I had to leave, it's hard to earn a living in Quebec when you don't speak much French. But I miss my city and all it's European culture.

Are you living in your home town or did you move to where you are now?
Response from Dinabob4 made on 17th Jul 2020 21:30:48 > @MikeSt
Hi Mike, Is eating on a patio going out to a restaurant? Over here in the UK we generally refer to a patio as the one in our own garden, usually the non-grass part of the paving slabs just beside the French windows/patio doors ! I’ve not heard of Lockdown or covid-fatigue but I am sure many of us have it here too! Your southern neighbours are not doing too well, we do hear it on the news.

It is quite obvious that even though the rates of infection are at a low in the UK, the economy is being prioritised so I do not feel ready to put myself at any un-necessary risk yet. Many people I know also feel the same but there are also those people that are socialising more and going on holidays. It is a shame, but when people have been made to feel for months it is safer to stay home it is difficult to start trying to live the way we did before. I think it will take time. I cannot wait for when there is some light at the end of this tunnel. Sadly I feel it will not be till at least next year.

Yes there is good news about vaccines I am hearing. The question then is how safe are they if they become ready so soon. You have to hope so. I live close to my home town which is considered popular but without city status. It is sort of a mixture of urban and rural so you are not too far from any amenities if you need them but I do need to drive a few miles! My home is considered modern although I do like quaint and more characterful properties to look at.

There are many nice places to visit in the UK and I have had many good holidays. I have also been abroad many times within Europe (to more sunnier climates). Have you been to the UK or any other countries by plane?
Response from MikeSt Original Poster made on 21st Jul 2020 04:48:02 > @Dinabob4
Hi Dina,

Over here we refer to the outside eating area of a restaurant as "the patio". It can range from a well-decorated square area with umbrellas and fancy tables to a narrow enclosed area on the side of a building of a corner diner. basically any part of the restaurant that is outside and has tables is the patio. Sometimes it's a refreshing experience and sometimes it's too close to streets and parking lots to be enjoyable. The non-grassy are of the back yard is also called a patio here. We were too lazy to come up with a new term.

Yes, a suffering economy is almost as dangerous as a pandemic it seems. people lose their jobs and become desperate, while others become bored at home and become reckless. The government spends without any revenue to replace the expenditures. The unemployment goes up and sooner or later so will the taxes to compensate. The longer the pandemic goes on, the worse it will get, but it has spawned some new and interesting entrepreneurs. From designer masks to new apps, some people try to make something positive out of a bad thing to help us get through it. I wish I had that kind of creativity.

Your town sounds charming. You're lucky. I hope one day to retire in a place similar to what you described, or a beach side mansion...whatever.

I always wanted to visit The UK and Europe, but never had the time, the money and the companion all at the same time. Perhaps some day. I have traveled to the Southern United States on occasion, and once to the Bahamas. I was a big fan of beaches in my youth. I would also often go camping and hiking. I enjoyed outings in the woods.

I'm enjoying our correspondence.

How would you describe yourself? Artistic, technically-minded, pragmatic, impulsive, anxious, mellow, inclined to curiousity or prefer to be uninvolved, observant, somewhat apathetic (sometimes), or any thing else? Choose all that apply and add your own self-descriptions.
Response from Dinabob4 made on 24th Jul 2020 19:54:56 > @MikeSt
Hi Mike

I see that patio is a Canadian term for outside area of a restaurant as you say. I have not ventured to a sit in restaurant as yet. I have had food in the garden socially though.

Yes in my youth I liked beach holidays in Europe but I think I grew out of that. Beaches are now only good for relaxation and as long as you are ‘not’ in the direct sun! Late in the day is better. I would prefer sight-seeing and looking at historic places of interest and there are many of those in the UK, that I have visited over the years. Camping was good fun growing up with the family but now I wouldn’t choose it. Not too keen on insects! Ha ha.

It is good to correspond and get to know people especially in this digital age! We have it at our fingertips.

From your list, I could probably be a little creative but not artistic. I am probably more cautious than impulsive, thinking things through. Occasionally it is good to be spontaneous though. I can be a bit indecisive as a result. That can cause a bit of anxiety at times. I am inclined to curiosity and love learning something new but it needs to be something of interest or I can sometimes feel unmotivated to finish it off. I usually get there in the end though. You have to push yourself sometimes. Yes I am observant I would say. I am probably on the scale of reflective and intuitive, although somewhat pragmatic too. I can be quite rational and organised. I am one for Lists! I would say I am detail orientated. I am not keen to be the leader but like to have some autonomy and authority as we all do I think. What about you?

I think I can be practical and technical minded enough to a limit so I can keep things working and to be functional. From there it doesn’t hold my interest enough or I would just want someone else more skilled or qualified to help out. For example with cars. I have always loved driving from late teens and took enough interest in cars to keep me from hopefully being ‘’ripped off! If I did have to go to a garage. My dad in his younger day could turn his hand to anything so I learned much from him and he would also help us all out.

Do you drive? Are you interested in working on your own cars. I suppose I have to say Honda has been my favourite make to date.

Cars can be expensive to run and depending on where you are, you may choose public transport. People who live in London usually travel by public transport. What is your preference?
Response from MikeSt Original Poster made on 31st Jul 2020 04:48:01 > @Dinabob4
Hi Dina,

You're lucky to have so many historic sites in the UK and, to venture further, Europe. If we see something in Canada over one hundred years old it's a special treat. Yes, camping is in the past now, though there are days when I wouldn't mind just sitting around a campfire with some marshmallows. Away from the city is the best place to see the Milky Way.

I agree, the digital age has so many benefits. Communication and information when we need it. When someone says to me 'we lost something' to computers and technology, I like to remind them of some of the things we lost, like waiting endlessly for a letter or having to walk for miles looking for a phone booth when your car breaks down on the highway. I don't miss those things at all.

I do drive. My girlfriend and I share a van, though I do all the driving. She can drive but prefers not to. I'm okay with that because I think she's a bad driver. I used to enjoy driving but now I see it as just a means to get somewhere. It's sad isn't it that we stop enjoying things we used to love just because we get older. I used public transport for years and I prefer driving for several reasons. It takes half the time to get somewhere, more often than not a third of the time. The seats are more comfortable. I can get right to the doorstep of my destination. I don't have to worry about people infecting me or annoying me. But I do miss one thing. Once in a blue moon you meet someone interesting and have a nice talk. That can make my day, but it's rare. So rare in fact that I probably miss out on opportunities because I've become visible unapproachable to avoid conversations with irritating riders.

I would describe myself as conflicted most of the time. Creativity is in my nature but practicality is necessary for my job and for living in general. I used to be impulsive and spontaneous, sometimes purposely when I felt ennui, but that happens less and less as the years pass. I was never overly curious, a little at times, but never apathetic. I suppose the how things worked or the why people are the way they are never interested me as much as learning to work with things and people to accomplish goals.

I too often lose interest in things and leave them unfinished, especially books of late. I used to read much more than I do now. I enjoy classics and yet though they still interest me they don't keep me interested as they used to. I suppose patience and perseverance are among the first things I lost to my youth.

I am introspective and try to be reasonable with myself and others. I can be a team player or even a leader if I must but I prefer to work alone, joining others sporadically rather than regularly.

So you like lists? Who doesn't? They help us organize and keep us from forgetting. Whether it's a long to-do list or a simple post-it note, we need them.

Do you have family with you? Someone special? Kids? Pets? Life-long friends? I used to have lots of friends wherever I lived, but lately, since I moved from Montreal to Toronto, my list of friends is pretty short. How's your social/support circle?
Response from Dinabob4 made on 16th Aug 2020 13:25:27 > @MikeSt
So over in Canada it is rare for any historical sites over 100 years. I suppose it is what you get used to though. You must have other things to do to enjoy. When people go on vacation (is that what you call it?) I just say going on holiday myself, what are the usual activities? Time on the lovely beaches, cafes, bars, sports and games perhaps.

I can remember the days of need to find an outdoor phone box, (usually of the red variety) to call someone back home perhaps if you are on holiday. You may stand outside and queue! Seems amazing now. Of course breaking down was a concern. I remember when mobiles first came out here and they were sold from the AA (Automobile Association) for keeping in the car if you broke down! They were a large piece of kit.

Yes, conflicts. Maybe many of us have them to make up our unique personalities. Being able to express your creativity fully is not something everyone can do in a job to make a living. Some are luckier than others. In the end you have to pay your bills. Maybe you can do something as a hobby perhaps. So you are introspective and like to work with things and be a team player but not always question the why. I could resonate with that. There are some areas of life I do question the why though. Maybe it is areas of interest or where the implications can be a concern.

I have friends and family scattered around. Some are local and some further away. I have lost many members of the family so that leaves a sad hole in your life. I have a social support but I think you can never have too much. There are people you can really talk to and others you cannot. A partner cannot meet every need. For me the most unconditional love comes from my parents and I have now lost both. I do not have any children that has not been a need for me. (I have many nephews and nieces and even great-nephews too and enjoy taking them out - pre-covid). I love cats and dogs and hope to get one in the future.

Do you have either of your parents still living or any siblings close by? Have you stayed in one job a long time (many years)? or have you switched a few times. You say you moved was that a need or choice for you? Do you watch much TV? perhaps to relax sometimes.
Response from MikeSt Original Poster made on 25th Aug 2020 00:37:16 > @Dinabob4
Hi Dina,
Yes, we call it vacation if it is a planned getaway (hotels, travel, etc.) or a holiday if it is a day or two off work at home. Although the two words are often interchangeable. Though we don’t have an ocean in Ontario we do have the Great Lakes, and even on a clear day you can’t see the other side of Lake Ontario, so it’s much like an ocean but without the salt and the sharks. There are many small towns by the Great lakes that have developed a beachfront tourism atmosphere, complete with cafes, bars, souvenir shops, etc. It’s not unlike going to Florida but without losing money on the currency exchange.

Yes, I get a little nostalgic every time I see a phone booth on a street. The ones nowadays don’t have doors on them anymore. I used to enjoy the privacy of going into a phone booth and closing the door. Lol, yes I remember the old car phones, they reminded me of the old fashioned military radios you see in movies about world war two.

I agree, conflicts make us who we are. Maybe it’s the duality within us that give us our range of emotions, imagination and purpose. I used to write, hoping to make it into a career but the competition is so overwhelming and the opportunities so limited that it’s a hard industry to break into. But I don’t regret the time I spent writing when I was younger. I’m proud of the work I did and it helped me express myself and learn about myself and gave me confidence. Perhaps someday I will get back into it, after I retire. The good thing about writing is that it is open to all ages.

Asking why to address implications…consequences…is a good idea. I suppose I do that too. Knowing why can help find resolutions.

My condolences on the losses in your family, your parents. I too have lost a few family and friends. The consequence of surviving getting older. You’re right that a partner can’t meet every need. Friends and family are essential, and even those friends you correspond with can be helpful. The anonymity is conducive to sharing in some ways that relationships deter. Like talking with a therapist or a bartender, or a stranger you meet somewhere. The internet brings people together around the world like never before. If you want unconditional love, get a pet. I had a cat once, he got me through the most difficult time of my life. (divorce and the loss of my parents). Unfortunately losing him was part of that difficult time when he developed kidney failure. From wherever comes the love, comes also the risk of losing it.

You chose not to have kids. So did I. I even went so far as to have a vasectomy when I was 26. I knew then I didn’t want kids. I knew earlier than that but I waited to be sure. It’s a decision I never regretted. I see some friends with kids, unhappy as to how their lives turned out because of failure to use birth control but owning up to their responsibilities. I too have nephews and some young cousins with whom I am not exactly close but still in contact. We see each other perhaps every five years at family reunions.

I have been a security guard for nearly fifteen years now, in-house and for most of it, union. In house means I work for the employer directly, not for a security company. I explain only because it might be worded differently there. Before that I was a painter (houses, not canvas) for sixteen years. I was good at it, doing mansions and museums, but eventually I grew tired of it and wanted to try something new. Security was an industry that was not only booking (due to September 11 in New York) but the training appealed to me. I’ve taken courses in first aid, cpr, use of force and law. And since Covid, security has been in even more demand now, so work is not hard to find.

I do watch TV, perhaps more than I should at times. People of our generation grew up with TV, before computers and the internet, and it’s a hard habit to break, even if the programming isn’t as good as it used to be. Still, an old movie now and then lifts the spirits, doesn’t it? Just like hearing an old song on the radio, it brings you back to younger days when life had more potential than experience.

I work now in a small college that teaches naturopathic medicine. Do you believe in that? I am skeptical of most of it, though I imagine some aspects, like massage and supplements, might have some benefits. The students are very nice, most of them are young women but there are some young men as well, and now and then we get a student that is older and looking for a new career. I chat with them and their positive optimism often gets me out of whatever funk I might be in, like say a rainy Monday, or sore knees, or both. Is there a source of, what the students here would refer to as ‘positive energy’ in your life? A person or people that renews your faith in humanity?

Take care.
Response from Dinabob4 made on 3rd Sep 2020 19:00:39 > @MikeSt
Hi Mike (St),

Thank you for your message. It was interesting reading. Lake Ontario sounds quite pleasant, looking out at the water and as you say no salt or sharks!

I can see you have the imagination or vocabulary to write, or both, or is it the ability to reflect on experiences and bring them to life too. One of many books I bought was ‘the creative writing handbook’. I haven’t read it all. I believe it includes exercises to do. (Like many books I buy, I dip in them!) I wasn’t sure if fiction was for me at the time, although they say you can think of an experience that is true and then adapt it or create a different ending to it. That’s one approach anyway.

I totally agree that cats and dogs too give unconditional love. Sorry to hear about your parents too, and of your divorce. There are many endings we have to go through in life and where we have to try to move on and build again. With bereavement of parents we can only build around that loss. I suppose your relationship with them can play a part.

It is good advice to have a cat or pet, thanks and strangely others have suggested the same. I will at some point. At the moment I am concerned a pet might hold me back for going away sometimes when this pandemic has eased up. I will definitely get one, one day, maybe even 2! It is also the sadness of losing them you would have to deal with as you point out. (I tell myself -at least with animals they do not have to suffer for long and can be given a release from it). Some people decide to get another pet to help the loss.

I am open minded to some subjects included under naturopathy I suppose. Natural remedies I prefer and I try to avoid pharmacological treatments where-ever possible or anything invasive, but of course they have their place and you have to get medical advice. Sometimes these remedies can be complimentary. I avoid popping pills but if you are in pain then sometimes you have to, I would use sparingly and just suffer a bit, with hope the issue will be resolved.

I believe treatment or healing needs to be holistic and think there is much evidence to show that the mind affects the body. If you are unhappy, troubled or harbouring resentment it can be shown in the body in all sorts of ways (is a belief). In that way, relaxation therapies of any kind including exercise are beneficial or finding ways of releasing emotions in various ways. There is scientific evidence of the benefits of relaxation such as meditation in that certain feel good hormones are released etc. The heart rate slows down and the blood pressure is lowered etc. They say stroking a pet can have this effect don’t they!

Yes I agree about supplements where needed. You need to know anything you take such as herbs, supplements or pills are reasonably safe and about side effects or interactions.
Massage is OK for many but made me feel nauseas once, so not for me. I prefer some meditation sometimes as that can be relaxing.

So you have been in the same job for 15 years. That’s good and you can always get work. Sounds like your work has always been fairly physically active which is good in some ways but tiring too!
When I’ve stayed in the same profession for a long time I may still change employers after a few years or perhaps to a slightly different role. Maybe you have. I do get itchy feet with work. I was with one employer for 12 years and then we were all made redundant due to closure of the network when the work was going online! We were given redundancy money so that was a bonus and then got a new similar role. At the moment my work is linked to training and is mostly done on line or remotely at the moment which is of course possible.

Yes a movie can lift the spirits sometimes. I think TV is relaxing in small doses and depending on what you watch. What brings out my faith in humanity? All I can think of at the moment is seeing genuine acts of kindness. People giving up their time for others. Seeing people get the help they need or things work out for people. Being really interested in a new subject like the students you mention is great. I have been there before a few times but it is sometimes hard to sustain. Sometimes cynicism can set in. I wish I could get that new enthusiasm again about a subject.

I am just thinking what actors came from Canada, and Jim Carrey comes to mind. I believe he was born in a suburb of Toronto, Ontario. He is a favourite of mine and like his earlier films of Liar liar and Yes Man. I can re-watch and still laugh. He is so expressive and zany. He is an impressionist though of course. Going back I like Tom Hanks too and some of Denzel Washington’s films.

Do you have any favourite actors? Do you have any pets at present?

You probably really are out there in the land of the living with your job.

(Where I have worked once it was security who had to try and get workers out of the building at closing time! Lol. So they could secure the building, which I think can be a bit tiresome for them when people do not want to leave, i.e. the workaholics.)

Best wishes.
Response from MikeSt Original Poster made on 17th Sep 2020 04:39:54 > @Dinabob4
Hi Dina,

Sorry I’ve been away for a bit. Work has really picked up lately. Students are back in school albeit at reduced numbers, and the extra precautions have us all working harder.

Thanks for the nice things you said. I’ve always enjoyed writing. The occasional twist of words or ideas that make you think, or better, make you feel. I’ve read those books, the writing exercises. They’re written by writers trying to sell books. Just write what you want, what you know, what you feel you want to write about. Whether it’s fiction (whatever genre) or non-fiction (history, biography, etc.) it should be something that interests you.

I like your idea of adapting a true experience and changing the ending. I believe they call that revisionist history, or at least it’s close to that. Nothing wrong with that as long as people don’t try to sell it as real history. Science fiction does it all the time. Stories where the enemy won the war, or someone wasn’t born, and so forth. Makes for fascinating speculation.

I agree that with every loss comes the opportunity to move forward, using the end of one relationship to strengthen or forge new ones. They say tragedy brings people together. It’s true.

Pets unfortunately have limited life spans, so adopting one does bring a lot of love into one’s life, but we have to be prepared for a painful loss in the years to come. And you’re right, a pet comes with restrictions to travel, work, new relationships, adventures. It has to be a commitment.

I know what it’s like to lose a job due to management decisions. I had a union job that, while wasn’t much fun, paid very well. The new owners decided not to renew out contract. While my current job is a much healthier safer place, I do miss the big paycheck.

Many actors come from Canada, too many to list. Many British actors have come over here. I remember Jim Carrey from a movie called Once Bitten. Favourite actors? Can’t say I do, though a few more than others.

You sound both smart and strong. You keep an open mind and you would suffer just a bit to avoid taking too much medication. Both traits are indicative of good character. I agree that healing starts with a positive attitude and a healthy lifestyle. I used to practice both very well. I find of late my attitude becoming more cynical than I would like, and my will power wavering when it comes to comfort over restraint. Do you feel this way sometimes? It’s so much easier to practice balance and focus when you’re young and nothing hurts. You mentioned wishing for youthful enthusiasm again. I know that feeling. Sometimes I get it, in weaker doses, when I pursue something that interests me. What interests you? Something that you are passionate about?
Response from Dinabob4 made on 4th Oct 2020 22:38:53 > @MikeSt
Hi there Mike,

I understand you have been busy as your students are back. My work continues and I generally feel a bit busier so sorry it’s a been a bit longer too, since a reply. These seems to be more things in the diary of late, which I suppose is a good thing, even if it isn’t face to face contact always. It might be video call or telephone calls sometimes. Time seems to have picked up in speed again. It is just a perception of course. The busier you are, time seems to go quicker. In the earlier months of covid it felt like it slowed down.

Do you worry about picking up the virus? or are you trying to be level headed about it and take all the necessary precautions. It is a low risk I suppose. Perhaps you recognise the benefits of living a life as close to normal as possible?

Do you sometimes get your groceries delivered or do you prefer to go into the supermarket? We have a smart shop where you can pick up your own goods and scan them as you go around the supermarket so you do not need to go through the checkout with a worker. I use click and collect mostly lately.

I am in a bit of a dilemma. I recognise the benefits of seeing colleagues yet still try to maintain all work from home as long as I can. Infections are high again even though fatalities are quite low, perhaps because it is mainly younger people getting infected. Our prime minister has announced a return to the message of: ‘’if we can work from home, we should’’ for the next 6 months, yet my employers still seem to want everyone to return to coming into the building (even though we all carry out different roles). I will be sticking to my principles on this, because it is a public health message and I would rather get through the winter being as careful as possible.

Yes, it is a shame that there is a bit of a commitment with having a pet, but one day, again I will! Thank you for your comments.

You say about ‘comfort over restraint’ being more of a struggle. Do I feel that? I suppose, yes. I feel I live in a bit of balance and moderation though. I do not overeat but have what I enjoy. I actually like healthy food plus a few treats sometimes. I could go to the cupboard and eat 2 slabs of chocolate and put it back and maybe have a bit another day. I do not go the gym anymore it has dwindled off over recent years due to practicalities and now covid, but I make sure I get walks and do a bit of exercise in other ways. I have a cross trainer I use sometimes. Whatever I do I seem to stay a reasonably healthy weight and it may be hereditary. Of course it is not just about weight and I do not exercise for that reason, it is for your overall health (physically and mentally) and to try and maintain mobility and strength and stamina especially as we get older. Because I do not do a physical job I probably am a bit more sedentary than I should be and have to make sure I get up and do things! Even if it is housework (vacuuming the whole house is quite energetic) or to go for a walk.

I do not remember once bitten of Jim Carrey’s. I looked it up and it was before he became as popular and as funny I think!

I do not feel passionate about any subject at the moment. I am still curious though about many subjects as long as they are in the best interests of people. I am open minded to a spiritual life and that we are all part of something. I like reading books on mind, body and spirit. As I have read and experimented with astrology and seen such evidence of accuracy in birth charts I do believe in it having an influence.

What type of food do you enjoy? Is there anything you are passionate about? Are you doing any new courses or writing?

Stay safe,

Response from MikeSt Original Poster made on 8th Oct 2020 04:47:48 > @Dinabob4
Hi Dina,
I can’t recall if you mentioned it before but what kind of work do you do? My work will be entering another slow period soon as the students have almost finished their condensed practical classes and will be returning to online education only. We’ll be busy with basic stuff and looking after the students who live on campus but it will be a long autumn and winter. They don’t expect another on-site period until January at the earliest.
I wouldn’t say I worry about getting sick but I practice caution. There are those at my workplace that have anxiety about it. I don’t feel that way. Though at my age I suppose I should be a little more concerned than I am. The way I figure, I could get hit by a bus or killed by a horde of squirrels, so why worry about things that might happen? Does it concern you greatly?
We still go grocery shopping once a week, masks on. I’ve never been one for online purchases, I very rarely use my credit card for anything. Credit card fraud and identity theft, now that concerns me. I know, everyone tells me it’s safe. As long as I can still pay cash I will continue to do so. There’s a privacy factor about that which I enjoy. No need to give out personal information if I don’t have to.
The government here is also stressing people stay home and avoid gatherings as our numbers are going up recently. Though Canada is number 26 in the world list of countries affected by Covid, that could change easily and quickly, so we’re trying to stay ahead of our current second wave.
My job is considered an essential service, so I have both the pleasure and the danger of going to work. If I could work from home…would I? I don’t know. I think it might be nice at first but eventually I might get cabin fever. Motivation would also be a challenge. Then again, working in pajamas and bare feet would be a nice day at work!
I envy you your will power when it comes to fitness. I used to be very fit. Exercise always, very active. Two back injuries and arthritis in my knees and changed me and now I am more sedentary than active, looking forward to a good rest as opposed to a walk in the park as I used to very much enjoy. But I never give up trying. Another thing that holds me back is that my girlfriend is disabled and therefore cannot exercise with me. Once when I did a push and lost a significant amount of weight she was getting worried that I might leave her if I found someone more active. The result was a slow erosion of my will power ending in weight gain. Sometimes, even though I love her, I feel resentful that her disability is influencing me negatively, though I don’t blame her for it. It’s not her fault, and she’s a good person. Have you ever felt this way? It’s a conflict with no way out.
Perhaps when I said passionate I was unconsciously exaggerating. Passion is not high on my emotional list of accomplishments anymore, though I do miss it. Nothing gave me more pleasure than writing a good piece through the night, watching the sunrise and then going to bed feeling fulfilled. Curiousity and passion are two sides of a coin. They are interdependent. Fuel and fire.

I can’t say that I’m a believer in astrology but I think there may be some self-fulfilling circle of truths in the way such divinations are examined. When I was young I toyed with tarot cards and realized that with a little observation, some personal insight, common sense and a little expressive flair, I could interpret the person I was reading for in a way that appeared very intuitive yet wasn’t. I felt guilty and stopped after that. I’ve yet to see anything to convince me that psychics and other similar phenomenon exist. I truly wish though that I could because I desperately want to know that there is more to life than working, eating and dying. But I am unable to take it on faith. When people expect faith, they expect you to have faith in what they are saying but all I see are people asking you to have faith in them, and for me that faith must be earned with a lot more than words.
Foods I enjoy? I suppose I was brought up in Montreal by a family that enjoyed restaurants so I am a product of burgers, pizza and egg rolls, but I do enjoy healthy foods too, even vegetarian meals. I do have a sweet tooth which causes me no end of pain and pleasure.
No, I have not written in a while except bits and pieces for fun. Nothing substantial. I would love to be able to retire and get back into it. Maybe when I turn 65, if I can afford it.
What, if anything, do you look most forward to upon retirement?

Keep safe.

Response from Dinabob4 made on 24th Oct 2020 14:18:01 > @MikeSt
Hi there Mike, I hope you are well.
I hope I have mentioned all things in the last message here.

We have 3 Tiers now in England and my area is 1 the lowest. Infections seem to be rising everywhere but more so in some areas and they are in Tier 3 which is pretty much a local lockdown. Wales and Ireland are using short term circuit breakers which are like full lockdowns for 2 to 3 weeks. The government still recommend you work from home if you can.

I prefer to practice caution as I feel I need to rationalise that I have not taken unnecessary risks if that makes sense. Rather than being scared of getting the virus, (I don’t want to get it of course, even a chest infection is not pleasant and this virus can be unpredictable) I need to feel my decisions are not risky as I would have to live with taking a silly risk that ends up giving me the virus or even if I gave it to someone else and that is a responsibility. You have to have a standard that you follow. Infections are rising again and we need to get through the winter. I hope there will be a time when I can be more relaxed about it, next year

Sorry to hear about your injuries. The body can let us down as the years pass and it gets much wear, it seems. I see the conflict both you and your girlfriend have, and hope you can find a balance. I think you should be able to maintain your health to some degree to be able to maintain your abilities, also so you can be there for her and to support her and your wellbeing is important. Both of you are important. Maybe walks in the park are something you can both attend. I do empathise with people who have these challenges to deal with in life such as having a disability that affects mobility and needing to be reliant on others (if that is the case). Being out in the fresh air and having some movement must be good for her too, with whatever aids she uses (if she does).

This can work out and you can all learn and grow from the challenges you face. I do understand the feeling you describe of having a conflict with a perceived feeling of no solution. Sometimes it is just a frame of mind and it is the way you look at a situation. You can sort of feel trapped but the feeling passes. I would always be looking at all sorts of options where everyone could still have their needs met within the situation. It is not always possible to find ideal options. The way you feel about it can change from one week to the next. It is all about the way we perceive things. Sometimes you can feel quite happy, as of course you would if you have love for the person.

I wouldn’t say I have a lot of will power but I have some because I think of the result of not taking the action and it can be worse. I try to do as much as is necessary as I know getting out for a walk or doing a session on the cross trainer will make me feel better mentally and physically. I feel it is more like a maintenance or prevention strategy.

What you say about online ordering I can relate to as I had that view to start with. Worried about fraud etc. and privacy. I have now let practicality and convenience take over. I have never had a problem and used online secure methods for years. I feel the sites I use are reputable and secure and I always use only cards that give fraud protection. If there was any fraud you would be compensated and the money would be reimbursed. I know of a couple of people who have been unfortunate and they are reimbursed by the major credit card company. There are lots of additional levels of security even with banking. You have a device you put a code in and that gives another code etc. It has become so convenient and many people do it.

With Covid some stores do not want to take cash as it involves much handling and we even use contactless where possible, on small amounts. (I never used this method before until covid! But now I have.) This is all to minimise handling.

Since Covid I have moved to online ordering and click and collect as it minimises the risk walking around the store. I didn’t at first, I walked around with my mask but now I feel safer not going to the supermarket. It is so convenient, I can even order online by 11pm in the evening to collect the next day! And free of charge as long as you spend over £40. It is quite straightforward. I am not worried about paying this large supplier. You could even have deliveries, but I am quite happy to pull up in the car park and collect my groceries. Deliveries are harder to get and I will leave those available for those who really need them. I did have to weigh this up as to what is the most safe method as I used to go in the store and pick up my own groceries and use a device to scan (Which avoids the need for a check out assistant touching your shopping), but realise not going in the store is the safest. I do even wipe over the goods packaging or leave some for a couple of days if they are just boxes etc that do not need to go in the fridge or freezer. (Bit over the top to some maybe) We all do what makes us feel comfortable I suppose.

My work is sort of an essential service I train either one to one or small groups of adults and it can be done with video call. Some of the courses can involve reading up on a subject and then answering written questions through an online platform.

I agree totally about tarot cards and think most people could read them in a very generic way that could fit and it is quite concerning about how many people claim to have psychic gifts as it is totally unregulated as of course it would be. I do not advocate ‘divination’ of any kind. I do not believe in reading sun sign predictions in the daily newspaper either.

It was in fact an interest in psychology that drew me to learning about character analysis within astrology as it was a way of trying to understand why people have certain traits such as introversion and extroversion and I found within astrology all the ways we live our life and think and feel can be accounted for. Two of my siblings also read about it and we shared our views. I started to see some accuracies and then continued with it. Within the signs, planets, aspects and houses most characteristics can be accounted for. You seem to make sense of it, which I like to do. No-one is just a sun-sign and no two are the same, because we have moon signs and mercury signs and all sorts as well as positive and negative aspects between planets in the chart. We are all unique of course. I do think also think we are influenced by genetic factors and social environments and our life experiences as well as our astrological blueprint which gives us some tendencies. We can work with those strengths and weaknesses. I do think we have a soul as well. You say faith in something has to be earned and I agree. Our own experiences of whether there is truth in something is what I go by.

You could compare this to these personality tests that exist that psychologists or employers use in trying to understand people. The results are gained from filling in a questionnaire. Such as:
‘’The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator is an introspective self-report questionnaire indicating differing psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. The test attempts to assign four categories: introversion or extraversion, sensing or intuition, thinking or feeling, judging or perceiving.’’ You end up with a four letter code. Many people are into such things and there are online groups.

Sounds like you enjoy moderation with food, a mixture of treats and some healthy foods too. You are right that working from home means motivation can be tricky and you have to have a bit of a routine. I am part time which is something. On one hand I am glad I can work from home to feel safe, and on the other I know it is not so good for our mental wellbeing.

In reply about retirement I hope to still be able to do whatever I get some sense of purpose from. I hope to still have my brain! I am not sure I want to totally give up all work, maybe do a few hours of something as I please on a freelance basis. It will be nice to go out sightseeing and just generally enjoying life and seeing the people who mean the most to me I suppose. I hope Covid is over by then!!
I did think writing could be an option but I am not sure.

What would you like to be doing in your retirement years? How would you like to picture it?

Stay safe.
Response from MikeSt Original Poster made on 10th Nov 2020 04:51:44 > @Dinabob4
Hi Dina,

Apologies. Work and life got a bit hectic. Nothing bad just busy and time-consuming. I fell behind in my correspondence as well as a few other things. I hope you are well.

Ontario recently introduced a colour-coded system that is replacing the stages. I don’t fully understand it yet as there is a lot of material. Someone in government really sat down and did some thorough work. Each color has contingencies and specific restrictions. It is impressive but also a little confusing for the average person to follow.

Canada’s 2nd wave seems to be on the rise. As expected but still disappointing as we were managing it so well before. I look forward to the day when we can call it history. Then again some scientists are saying the pandemic might become endemic, meaning that we will need annual vaccines, like the flu shot, and that covid will never truly go away.

This looks like it will be a tough winter. Early November was unseasonably cold but we just had one week of warm summer-like weather which gave everyone a much-needed break. I wonder though if that will introduce another spike, or if the next spike will come following a surge in indoor activities.

Thanks you for your advice regarding my injuries and my girlfriend’s disabilities. We try to manage as best we can. Her late husband was disabled and she sometimes admits she feels like taking care of him is the reason her health suffers so now. I wonder if one day I will be saying the same thing. Caring for someone often means putting oneself second, and that can have consequences.

For example, just to be open and blunt, forgive me, we haven’t had sex in years. She is no longer able to without experiencing pain. I feel for her, though she doesn’t miss it as much as I do. I was never a Casanova but I have had girlfriends and I enjoy the intimacy. Without it, I feel stressed and if I can’t blame her, and she is to a degree blameless, then I blame myself for wanting what I have already accepted as unavailable. Sorry if that was TMI. Part of wanting to correspond with people was to be able to share openly and honestly. And it’s not just sex, it’s also going for walks, going to the beach, bike riding, camping, etc. All the activities I used to love and never get to do anymore. Do you know what I mean? Have you ever experienced something similar?

You mentioned you train adults. What training do you provide? It’s interesting. I often train security guards. The one thing I not more than anything else is the damage Hollywood has done to the image of the security guard. Young people new to the career expect to be sitting drinking coffee and eating donuts and watching videos on their phone all day. They are surprised when they are told they actually have to do real work. Some of them are lazy and never get past the floater jobs on night shift for minimum wage. Unfortunately there’s such a high demand for security these days that they will always have jobs. More’s the pity as it perpetuates the stereotype.

Something you wrote made me think. We all have souls. I always thought that we didn’t have souls as much as we are souls. Having a soul sounds like something we can get, lose, leave behind, maybe even not notice its absence. I think the soul is another word for our identity. Some call it the mind. Whatever word is used, it signifies our existence. Whether it’s astrology, psychology, science or some endevour not yet practiced, our corporeal identities have many definitions from many different viewpoints. What we choose to believe doesn’t necessarily change what it is, but our comprehension of it is still pretty limited I think, until all the viewpoints coalesce into one universal understanding.

How would I like to spend my retirement years? Hard to believe I’m even thinking about them. I’m fifty-eight going on twenty-five. I want to travel and run on the beach and ride a horse and listen to music and make love. Most likely I will spend it watching tv and writing in forums. Age is the great boundary by which we adapt our lives. I only hope I can one day fall in love once more, without reservation or resentment. Retirement should not be a lonely experience. I hope the same for you my friend.

Take care, and again, sorry about the delay. Time management is not always one of my strengths.
Response from Dinabob4 made on 28th Nov 2020 14:39:21 > @MikeSt
Hiya Mike

Sorry a late reply. Time seems to go quickly at the moment. It may be because work is busier. Each day just blends into the next!

Yes we are all well into a second wave and it is being managed in many different ways. Like Canada, here in the UK we have many Tiers, 1, 2 and 3, and we are in a 4 week lockdown which is about to come to an end on 2nd December when we move into Tiers again. There is not much difference between them and people get confused. In this lockdown education is still open and it wasn’t before and many types of work are still going on that cannot be done at home. It hasn’t been as strict. Overall hospitality is being hit the hardest. We have something called ‘furlough’ in the UK, so the government pays workers such as hospitality 80% of their wages when unable to work due to government restrictions. It stops and starts and will not go on for ever. The amount of government expenditure and borrowing has been astronomical. People need to be careful at Christmas as there is a worry for hospitals coping in Jan and Feb. The government has given 5 days of relaxation of rules but everyone is saying they will not see people indoors as it is only one year out of your life and it is too risky, particularly for the older adults.

Caring can be tough and you need breaks for yourself to recharge. I have carried out the role for parents primarily. I wouldn’t say you are destined for health problems as a carer but the body and mind are complex and any type of psychological stress can affect the body, but hopefully whatever it is it can recover and heal in time. They say having a positive outlook helps, but that can be hard at times.

Sorry to hear you cannot go for walks or to the beach. I don’t know the exact circumstances but is there not a way that can be done, even with a wheelchair? Maybe the bike riding or camping you could do yourself or with a friend (once in a while). That could be some ‘you time’ for a break. I do not think you can give up everything you enjoy as you need to stay well. Are you able to encourage your girlfriend to pursue or spend some time doing hobbies or things she is interested in. They say a little time apart is beneficial for a relationship and then you come back together and have something else to discuss.

I understand and agree that people should be able to somehow share openly and honestly, to who-ever that may be, and usually someone not in your close circle. It is healthy to release what you want to say or feel. By doing that you can often find your own solutions or a way to work with what you have. Sometimes different perspectives can help. I can only say there must be many couples who are together a long time and get to a point where one of them will before the other, no longer be able, or have the physical need. It can be any age. I am not a man, but I know people can go without. Many people are single. Maybe if you are single the expectation is not there and that is easier than if in a couple when it is difficult.

As I’ve got older I personally value good companionship more and mind to mind connections but certainly agree a good hug is good for you to show love as are many other ways. Maybe the stress can be released in other ways too, such as exercise. You need to do some things you enjoy. A cycle instead. That is all I can say.

I assess vocational courses and sometimes it can (or did before the pandemic) involve observing in the workplace to evidence skills. I’ve moved to online courses mostly now. You can do training sessions online with individuals or groups with videocall. Subjects vary from social care to leadership and management and business administration. I like the variety and as I loved learning myself it suits me. I do see what you mean about the perception of the security guard role. Some may misinterpret what is involved or hope it is an easy life unless something kicks off! I realise, there is much more involved and it sounds interesting. As you say you need to be aware of legislations, first aid and CPR for a start. I remember doing a control and restraint course once! Trouble is I thought, would I remember these techniques if every in the situation. I follow safe practices though that courses teach you including one called: violence and aggression. You would not park your car in an unlit quiet place for example and return alone. I always do check the back seat if it Is dark!

I hope next year you can get a break when the better weather is here.
Time management! Yes, umm. I am a bit of a last minutes sometimes, but I can be organised too!

What do you get up to when not at work? Do you go for walks yourself? Did you get on with your siblings? I assume you do not live near them now.
You said your sweet tooth has caused problems before. Was it at the dentist? I hope that has now settled down.
Stay safe.
Response from MikeSt Original Poster made on 1st Dec 2020 04:37:11 > @Dinabob4
Hi Dina,

Yes, I suppose that work is coming into a busier time for us both, although come the holidays my work will slow down significantly as classes stop and students go home for the holidays. It will pick up again in January though.

Toronto entered a 28 day lockdown. The numbers were rising too fast. It’s really hurting the small businesses. Big box stores are cordoning off their non-essential shelves to be fair to the small businesses as their products were being sold while small businesses had to close up. Of course that just means that everyone now is getting things shipped so the online stores are cleaning up. And everyone expects a huge spike after the holidays. Hopefully the last one for a while.

We have similar programs to furlough to provide assistance to people hit hardest. The government even established a new one-time only tax law to allow for deductions for work-at-home expenses. Wish I could cash in on that but I still go to work every day.

Interesting what you said about carers being destined for health problems. My girlfriend cared for her late husband and it took its toll on her, and I cared for my parents and it took its toll on me, as I now care part-time for my girlfriend in some ways. Caring for someone can have consequences. And I agree, it can be hard to be positive. I think faking a positive attitude can be worse than not having one. What do you do to keep your attitude as positive as possible?

I understand what you’re trying to say about physical need. Maybe men have it more than women, or maybe it’s because women are so much more attractive than men. Or both? Lol. I don’t know. Maybe it’s an individual thing. And not necessarily consistent either. There are days when I crave physical intimacy and days when I want to be alone and untouched. Boy, getting older sure gets complicated doesn’t it? I don’t know if I want sex, a hug or a bigger personal bubble!

Exercise is a good release of stress and anxiety, but not a substitute for intimacy. Well, unless you exercise together. And laughing with someone can be great for stress relief too.
I’m glad you practice common sense safety practices. Much of personal safety is just being aware and prepared. We tried to hold a free course to teach the students, who are 80% young women, about safety. It was taught by a female police officer. Only four showed up. We never did it again. Many of them walk down the street wearing headphones with their eyes on their phones, completely unaware of their surroundings. Don’t wear ear buds, look around frequently and stay away from places that look dangerous. Talk on the phone with someone if you’re alone and tell them where you are so that if anything happens they can call 911 and report your last known location. And checking the back seat…great idea! Doesn’t hurt to have a panic alarm keychain as well. They can scare off potential attackers.

What do I do when off work? Not much these days I’m afraid. I used to walk a lot, ride a bike, go to the gym, play pool, swim, play board games with friends. Lately I’ve become a hermit with my girlfriend. Like my girlfriend. My sweet tooth? Well, let’s just say it’s made me a bigger person. Hee hee hee.

What about you? What do you do to lighten stress and enjoy life? And are you missing intimacy with someone special?
Response from Dinabob4 made on 22nd Dec 2020 16:48:32 > @MikeSt
Hi there Mike,
The days are flying by and it is almost Christmas.

We are still in the thralls of the epidemic which is in a third wave and now they have identified a new strain, causing problems as they believe it spreads faster, but not that it causes more illness apparently. The south east of England has now moved into a new Tier numbered -4 where non-essential shops have closed and mixing over Christmas is limited only to bubbles and your own household. The vaccine is going to take time to be rolled out in reality but about 600,000 have been done. The plan at the moment - includes the elderly first and health and care workers and then down to over 50’s at the youngest end, as well as those who are clinically vulnerable adults younger than 50. Problem of course is hospitals becoming overwhelmed.

To keep as positive as possible, I try to think of things I can do to have some quality of life and make the most of things. Sometimes it is being hopeful that things will be better soon.. say next year.. or in a few months etc… probably false optimism! If you do something towards it then that is productive and having some ideas is good. We are always told that thinking positively is beneficial for our health and getting out in the daylight here and there and trying to have some fun, mixing with people where you can, even if on the phone or video call. Do something you are interested in! They also say that those with a spiritual belief i.e. they feel part of something larger than themselves is good, and helps with purpose and psychological wellbeing.

I generally always try to find solutions but you can still have days when you are just down in the dumps a bit, and it’s hard to pull yourself into a better mood. It may be that sometimes you just wake up the next day and your outlook is better. I enjoy meeting different people. I have been out today for a walk with a new friend I made this year in a local online group.

No, I don’t have any missing closeness with anyone. I feel like I sort of see life in a different way and all types of love are good including the ‘unromantic’ kind which can be more calm and stable and has a lot of value to me. I am not keen on the ups and downs that come with intense connections. I like partners to be a good friend and companion and a sense of humour helps.

I think laughing is very important to wellbeing. It releases endorphins probably. When you are feeling down, advice is to put something funny on to watch, like a good comedy. Or maybe put some music on that gets you swaying or dancing around. I love watching the old 70’s British comedies. The other day I watched for the first time in ages: ‘some mother’s do ‘ave ‘em’, with Michael Crawford. It was so ridiculous it really had me laughing out loud – lol! He was on the driving lesson from hell! And ended up in the sea!

In general, it is good to have a partner if is worth it for you both, otherwise I think being single is better than being in the wrong relationship.
I think there are people who feel that is what they must do, as soon as possible, to settle down with someone. Many also drop friends and other parts of their life. It may be because children come into the picture and they are very busy. A partner should enrich your life I think and you have something to offer each other, ideally. That’s my take anyway!

Thanks for the safety advice. I agree and wouldn’t wear earbuds walking around. As you say you wouldn’t hear what was going on around you. It doesn’t bode well with road safety either.
I do look around, if I am on my own. I look behind to know whose around. Especially now with covid anyway! as I want to keep my distance too! Lol.
If I had to I would walk into a house and up the garden if I felt it was needed. Oh the personal panic alarms. Good point! I have one that I should get out. Someone bought if for me when I was doing a different job but I do not do that job now.
Good idea to get the alarm out though.

I hope you can think of somethings to look forward to and to plan to do, with your girlfriend when things improve.

How do you feel about the vaccine? Are you going to have it when offered?
Do you feel better when you have had a productive day? and ticked a few things off your list! I find if I have been a bit productive the rest of the day is better! It is good to have a few things planned in some days and other days you then can have no plans which I quite like! So you can chill and take the day as you wish.
If you like writing, do you like putting pen to paper in any other way? Keeping a bit of a diary or journal perhaps. I like to be able to check back on what date certain things happened!

Have a safe and merry Christmas.

Happy new year, and lets hope 2021 is a better one!

Response from MikeSt Original Poster made on 25th Dec 2020 03:01:06 > @Dinabob4
Hi Dina,
Happy holidays to you and your whole social circle. Family, friends, animals, acquaintances, neighbours, etc. After weeks of no snow we’re getting a lot of it tonight. I’m sure those who love a white Christmas will be thrilled. I’m just hoping to not have to shovel tomorrow.

We are also in the midst of another wave and another lockdown. Despite being in a regional lockdown the numbers kept going up so the premier ordered a province wide lockdown in the south and a short term lockdown in the north. The vaccines are being distributed her as well but I don’t think we’re as far ahead as you are. I think we’ve inoculated about 10,000 so far in Ontario. But I’m sure the numbers will start to slow globally as the vaccinations increase.

How do I feel about the vaccine? I look forward to getting it so I can contribute to a covid-free world and get back to normal life. I’ve been taking the flu shot every year for decades and haven’t had the flu for decades. Vaccines eliminated smallpox from the world. We’re better off with as few diseases as possible.

I’ve heard of false hope but not false optimism. Can optimism be false? I suppose, if it is an intentional pretense. I don’t believe positive thinking has the healing effect some claim, but rather that it might lead to positive actions and they will have a healing effect, whatever it fixes. If you’re broke, earn money. If you’re lonely, meet someone. If you’re hungry, eat something. Actions fix problems, and fixed problems make you feel better. Granted it is often easier said than done. I didn’t mean to imply that it was either simple or always successful, but the results are worth the effort. If we try, something good might happen or something bad might happen, but if we don’t try, nothing happens.

That said, I may be a hypocrite as I of late have often not tried to fix things that I have long come to accept as unfixable. I don’t always practice what I preach I guess, at least not in my recent years, and I chastise myself frequently for it. But I am stubborn too and don’t always listen. 

What you said about not being keen on the ups and downs that come with intense connections. My girlfriend has a similar philosophy. She has been betrayed by friends in the past and that has made her adopt an attitude of being uninterested in making new friends. In the past I have always had several friends, but since being with her I have precious few. I miss that, but I can’t convince her to socialize more. I am her whole world she tells me, and that is a responsibility I am not sure I can always accommodate. I know she would be happier if she had a few friends, even one, to socialize with during the week while I am at work, instead of staying at home with her computer and cat being bored. But jumping the first hurdle, putting oneself out there to meet new people, can be daunting and as she is disabled, doubly so. People can be cruel and she has met her share of those, to the detriment of her courage.

It’s funny that you should mention watching old 70’s sitcoms. I also enjoy old British TV shows I used to watch when I was younger. My manager is British and he recently gave me three seasons and some specials of The Two Ronnies. I enjoy an episode with breakfast during the week. We talk about old shows, some I knew and some I’ve never heard of. I used to enjoy Shelley, Mind Your Language, Are You Being Served, Doctor At Large, The Goodies, and others. I’m currently in season two of The 2 Ronnies. I’m not familiar with some mothers do ‘ave ‘em. Of course we didn’t get all the shows, just whatever they decided to show us on cable back when there were only 4 or 5 networks.

I’m glad you have a panic alarm. Those things are surprisingly effective. Not as much as a German Shepherd of course, but it will do. I hope you never need to use it.

I have considered taking up writing again. The itch never goes away, but the power of perseverance is often absent. When I wrote in my younger days I had more free time. These days the writing would be sporadic and I don’t feel I do my best work that way. I have many short stories on some old 3 ½” discs that I have tried to salvage but I fear I may have lost most of them to disc corruption. The days of writing on paper, by pen or by typewriter, was better for long term storage as they didn’t require anything more than a good pair of reading glasses. No constantly updated software or hardware needed. Do you keep a journal or diary? Does it help you understand things or connect thoughts to feelings? Or do you do it simply to record special events?

I often thought that if I had a house of my own I would dedicate a room or a section of basement to a small indoor artificial beach, complete with sand, sun lamps and a fake palm tree or two. Recordings of surf and seagulls as well, and a bamboo bar with coconut cocktails with little umbrellas. If you can’t always have warm weather you can enjoy a simulation.

What is your ideal dream vacation? A tropical beach side paradise? A romantic city? A quaint country village? A big metropolitan city with lots of museums and shopping malls? Trekking through mountains or forests? Canoeing down a lazy river? If you could have any vacation you want, what would you do?

I confess I am not sure which one I would pick. I suppose it depends on the company. A romantic traveling companion means a romantic vacation or a tropical beach. A platonic friend means hiking and camping or maybe Las Vegas. A group of friends could mean a big city with lots of options. What about you? And which sort of company would you prefer?

Take care, stay safe, keep warm, be happy.
Response from Pattybakes made on 23rd Jan 2021 15:45:28 > @Dinabob4
Hello Dini I live in Bristol Uk the town which John Cabot sailed from to Canadian also the man who made the famous construction suspension bridge across the River Avon Isabel Brunel was born here
Response from Dinabob4 made on 28th Feb 2021 22:43:59 > @Pattybakes
Hi Pattybakes

I know of Bristol and the River Avon, because I am in the UK. Others on this post are in Canada though. It seems amazing that this navigator could undertake such a journey of exploration.
Thanks for sharing.

Have a good day.
MikeSt Original Poster
2nd Jan 2021 04:46:46 (Last activity: 28th Feb 2021 22:34:59)
Thanks for voting!
Happy New Year Dina! I hope 2021 brings you laughter, fulfillment and wonder.
Response from Dinabob4 made on 28th Feb 2021 22:34:59
Hi Mike
A bit of a belated happy new year back to you!

It's been a bit hectic since early January in different ways. I've not logged on here.

Hopefully I will do a longer reply sometime soon.

Hope 2021 brings you some laughter, joy and new experiences.

Our vaccine roll out in the UK is going well and they are planning for all adults to be done by end July 2021. That could be the start of something closer to a normal life.

Best wishes
2nd Feb 2021 17:27:06 (Last activity: 17th Feb 2021 00:32:20)
Thanks for voting!
Hi Mike

I just joined and I live in Ottawa

I have been home since last March when I stopped working at a local cigar store.

I use facebook daily so you are welcome to join my friends list

I worked in High Tech for 45 years in sales and enjoyed the client relationships.

I am 72 and in good health normal aging diseases

I am a fitbit user and try to get my daily walking goal sometimes cold weather
stops my walk

love to chat

Response from Sally - Silversurfer's Editor made on 2nd Feb 2021 18:09:57
Hi cliff72,

Welcome and many thanks for your first comment in our Forum.

If you already know your way around, then we will leave you to it.

If you are looking for some lively discussions, head on over to the Forum homepage to see what's trending right now and feel free to join in the discussions, with all our friendly members, perhaps ask a question or even start your own post.

Response from MikeSt Original Poster made on 17th Feb 2021 00:32:20
Hi Cliff, I had replied to you before but I didn't see it today and was surprised. So I will retype it from memory. I live in Toronto. I used to smoke cigars, mostly the small ones. My usual brand was Dannemann's, but I would try new ones from time to time. You stopped working at the cigar store because of the pandemic? Must've been a nice-smelling workplace.

I'm 58 and I'm struggling with weight gain but I still work. I am a security guard in a small college.
I have a girlfriend I see only on weekends, we live apart and my work is closer to my home than hers.

I've never used fitbit but I try to exercise regularly, usually in random ways. And my job is pretty active, lots of walking.

How are you holding up during this time? Still in lockdown?
23rd Jan 2021 15:32:15
Thanks for voting!
Use to chat in the a Canadian chat site until it closed down still chat to some on Facebook was called patty
18th Oct 2020 22:55:16 (Last activity: 23rd Oct 2020 04:09:10)
Thanks for voting!
Hi Mike. This is my first step into chat rooms. I'm AnnieLaurie. I am interested in connecting with Canadians. Perhaps eventually single men in their late 60's to early 70's in southwestern Ont. but for now it's just good to talk with a fellow Canadian. I'm down the road in London Ont.. I LOVE Canada.! It's my home. My background is mostly English and Scottish. My grandmother came over from England as a little girl at age about 10 around 1912. She made a friend in her new country an school and ended up marrying that girls boirether when she was about 17 and he about 21. He had been born in canada in 1890's. I don't know how I got on this topic it just came to mind. Perhaps I should also seek out people from Britain and discuss my english heritage. Anyway, this is a start. See where it goes from there. Nice chatting with you. Now I've gotten my toes wet! : ) What is your heritage? Where were you born?
Response from Sally - Silversurfer's Editor made on 18th Oct 2020 23:10:06
Hi AnnieLaurie,

Welcome and many thanks for your first comment in our Forum.

If you already know your way around, then we will leave you to it.

If you are looking for some lively discussions, head on over to the Forum homepage to see what's trending right now and feel free to join in the discussions, with all our friendly members, perhaps ask a question or even start your own post.

Response from MikeSt Original Poster made on 23rd Oct 2020 04:09:10
Hi Annie. Nice to meet you. Is Laurie your middle name? Do you use both or is Annie okay? I lived briefly in London (Ontario) back in the 80’s. It’s a great city. I was born in Montreal but being that I was hopeless at learning French I moved to Ontario when I was a young man and except for a few short periods, spent most of my adult life in Ontario. My heritage is Polish/Ukraine, but I don’t really know anything other than that. I am 3rd generation Canadian by my father’s side, and 2nd generation by my mother’s side. She came over from Kiev when she was around 4 years old, or so I was told. Never knew anything about my father’s parents. I’m currently living in Toronto for about 17 years now. You certainly know a lot about your heritage. I wish I did. Family history was not a big topic growing up. Have you ever been to the UK? I’ve always wanted to go. Never did. You mention you’re looking for single men. I assume that means you’re single. Have you ever heard of Plenty of Fish? It’s a pretty good way to meet singles. I met my girlfriend on it, though considering how things turned out, well, let’s just say you should try to be sure your lives are going in the same direction or your future will be not what you hoped for. I wish you luck in your search. For now, my hand is extended in friendship.
3rd Sep 2020 23:42:42 (Last activity: 24th Sep 2020 04:43:38)
Thanks for voting!
Hi Mike

My best friend lives in Toronto, and I try to visit once a year. I love the place. I would happily move there if I could. You have some great restaurants there. Do you go to The Fork and Spoon? We also like the Manderin for a buffet. You also have the most amazing ice storms:) Anyway, I just thought I would say Hi, from the UK
Response from MikeSt Original Poster made on 17th Sep 2020 04:44:33
Hi BTP. Sorry this reply is overdue. Work, you know. I have not heard of the fork and spoon, but I will check it out. I could recommend some places for your next visit if you tell me what you like to eat. The Mandarin has amazing spare ribs but the noise and crowding make it hard to enjoy. Try Hong Kong Gardens instead for good food and peace. So nice to meet you. Hi from Canada!
Response from BTP made on 22nd Sep 2020 23:39:05 > @MikeSt
Hi Mike. Sorry for the delay in replying. I shall mention the Hong Kong Gardens to my pal, and hopefully she will take me there next time I am over. How are you finding lockdown over there? Are you making use of the time for anything new? We are looking at a possible second lockdown soon. I am dreading it. But I am starting to think about how I might use the time. I, (as I am sure many the world over) am so sick of Covid and can't wait to get back to some sort of normal life where we can visit our love ones with out fear. Go about our business with out a mask! Plan a holiday. It hardly seems possible it was only 6 months ago that we all had a 'normal life' what ever that means. Stay safe.:)
Response from MikeSt Original Poster made on 24th Sep 2020 04:43:38 > @BTP
Hi. We’re not in lockdown at the moment but we do have several restrictions in place, such as limiting the number of people in public gatherings, something some people choose to ignore. We even have foolish people protesting down Yonge street condemning the wearing of masks. I wonder if their opinion would change if they or a loved one got sick. Fortunately (?) my profession is considered an essential service so I am expected to go to work every day, even when a full lockdown is in place. So I get out and keep busy. Yes, covid fatigue is a real thing and many people, especially the younger crowd, are feeling it. The summer was essentially stolen from us because of lockdowns and fear. Now with winter coming, the idea of another possible lockdown seems hard to bear. Fortunately we have the internet, something we didn’t have 25 years ago, to make things a bit easier. And there’s talk of many companies, Johnson & Johnson for example, that are in the final testing stage of a vaccine. They are distributing it to 60,000 people and if it works, it won’t be long before millions are vaccinated. And if J&J can’t do it, there are hundreds of other companies working on it too, so keep thinking about that. Normal will be normal again and we will all have stories to tell about how we survived 2020. Keep well.
MikeSt Original Poster
13th Jun 2020 04:47:48 (Last activity: 23rd Jun 2020 02:23:48)
Thanks for voting!
I'd also settle for making one acquaintance and having a not too boring chat. Anyone?
Response from PepperMostly made on 22nd Jun 2020 03:03:26
Lol. Pretty dry here. OR the seniors are not very tech savvy. Mike I live in Milton, ON. I joined yesterday. My name is Gini (pronounced Guinea). I am 52. Getting bored sometimes, I was hoping to find some chat buddies.
Response from Sally - Silversurfer's Editor made on 22nd Jun 2020 08:05:49 > @PepperMostly
Hi PepperMostly,

Welcome and many thanks for your first comment in our Forum.

If you already know your way around, then we will leave you to it.

If you are looking for some lively discussions, head on over to the Forum homepage to see what's trending right now and feel free to join in the discussions, with all our friendly members, perhaps ask a question or even start your own post.

Response from MikeSt Original Poster made on 23rd Jun 2020 02:23:48 > @PepperMostly
Hi Gini, Nice to meet you. I was beginning to think everyone was in the UK. Chat buddies sounds good. My job is boring and thanks to covid so are my weekends now. How are you coping with the pandemic? This is the 2nd website I've joined, as the first one is now defunct, but I enjoyed corresponding with the people there. It was a site for aspiring writers, so we all had something in common. That was then. I don't aspire so much any more, except for a comfortable retirement (aka 649) and maybe a little something to restore, to at least a small degree, a little youthful wonder. What are you looking for or have you already found something?
MikeSt Original Poster
18th Jun 2020 04:42:45
Thanks for voting!
Okay, maybe more about me then. I'm 58, I work as a security guard in a small college in Toronto. I used to aspire to being a writer but after five books and a bunch of short stories not being published, I gave up. maybe I will resume trying when I retire, if I can afford to retire. Any writers out there?

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