Tennyson’s The Death of an Old Year ; My Instagram Image Has Radically Changed; The Evolving Islamic Faith of Sheikha Fatimah; Fillip Defined; Covid Tests for Chinese Travelers Welcomed; Mail Brings Covid-19 Guidance by the Government of Canada: Snow Removal Information Proves Edmonton is Well Planned and Organized

This is a new day, this is a new year. “I love my coffee black and my mornings bright” is a quote that comes to mind. Not altogether accurate – the bright is right but my home made lattes contain a splash of milk. Brightly opened my Inbox finding a poem penned by Alfred Lloyd Tennyson which is most timely:  The Death of an Old Year

Full knee-deep lies the winter snow, 

And the winter winds, are eerily sighing;

Toll ye the church fell said and slow. 

And trees softly and speak low, 

For the old year lies a-dying  

Old year must not die; 

You came to us so readily; 

You lived with us so steadily; 

Old year, you shall not die. 

He lithe still; he does not move,

He will not see the dawn of day.

He hath no other life above.

He gave me a friend and a true true love 

And the New year will take ‘em away 

Old year you must not go;

So long you have been with us, 

Such joy as you have seen with us, 

Old year you must not go. 

He froth his bumpers to the brim; 

A jollier year w shall not see But tho his eyes are waxing dim, 

And tho’ his foes speaks ill of him, 

He was a friend to me 

Old year you shall not die

We did so laugh and cry with you 

I’ve half a mind to die with you 

Old year, if you must die. 

Old year, we’ll clearly rue for you;

What is it we can do for you?

Speak out before you die.

His face is growing sharp  and thin. 

Lack! Our friend is gone. 

Close up his eyes; tie up his chin 

Sleep from the corpse, and let him in 

That standers there alone. 

And waited at the door. 

There is a new foot on the floor, my friend, 

And a new fan at the door, mu friend 

A new face at the door. 

It does, so poetically say it  You must not go, the joy you have seem with us!. We did so laugh and cry with you! And tho’ his foes speak ill of him – he was a friend of mine. 

It, for me summarizes 2022, a tumultuous year for me. The year did arrive steadily – January 1 found me in Abu Dhabi, suffering under the illusion that I would find refuge in a Muslim country. 

It was not to be. Oh so, thankfully so. Much laughter, the tears of joy and relief as the Ethiad jet brought be homeward. There were tears yet again as Edmonton hotels were pushed to capacity with team sports and forcing a lone old lady to leave was by far the easiest to their overcrowding  But the joy of finding a new home, perfect in every way. Then the best of days, the worst of days signaled the end of 2022 – a treasured Umrah pilgrimage seeming so tasty but rotten at its core. (To be explained later). Greeted at home by a replacement coat, a gloriously clean apartment and as a final fillip – freedom from jet lag.

Fillip is magically the perfect word – I have no idea how I come up with them. Its definition:  something which acts as a stimulus or boost to an activity, definitely does describe what happens with your body adjusts to where and when it is (Edmonton) – not where it was – Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 

There is a new face at the door, news received by email and by post. The Globe and Mail reported: “Ottawa will begin requiring negative COVID-19 tests from travellers on Canadian-bound flights from China – a policy shift that joins other Western nations as coronavirus cases spike in the East Asian country. The test requirement applies to all travellers boarding flights from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau as of Jan. 5, according to a Saturday statement from the Public Health Agency of Canada. The update is similar to those in Britain, France and the United States, and follows a surge of COVID-19 cases in China after Beijing rapidly moved away from a longstanding zero-COVID policy.” It is good to see that my country is taking care of me.  “Our actions continue to be guided by prudence and we will not hesitate to adjust measures to protect the health and safety of Canadians,” Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said in the PHAC statement. “ 

This is a new foot on the floor, a new face at the door as this announcement make by feel  protected, Canada values me, values my health. The post contained similar news, the Government of Canada providing information and advice about keeping me safe from Covid-19. I will take a photo of it to spread the news. It does not look like there is anything that anti-vax Premier Smith can do about it. There was also news that she is not going to do a thing with her silly Act until after the May 29, 2023 election. (My 80th birthday by the way) The Health Minister is still serving in her cabinet, so that is encouraging.  

The day dawned beautifully. Recorded this for posterity by filming a video, putting it on Instagram with a Happy New Year message. I am optimistic that this shall be a good year, perhaps a momentous year. The year I cross over to definite old age – eighty is old. 

This was a year of change, slipping off an old identity and putting on a new face. It is reflected in my Instagram image. Now, rather than entertaining folks with my humour and antics I comment upon messages of hope, of knowledge, most comments are of the faith. The responses to my responses are amazing in number. Here are some examples. 

One Islamic scholar spoke of the miracle of his praising the Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) although he was a son of Greek and Irish ancestors, and was born in Washington State. My response: “I was born in Saskatchewan of Scottish ancestors. I totally agree with you. It is rather a miracle actually.” Was appreciated by 39 people,  

Another Islamic scholar spoke of the basic fundamentals of the faith. I responded: This is GREAT thank you. You spoke of the fundamentals of the faith so brilliantly. The Islamic faith can be so much more as well – for people who have a more intellectual bent. But the basics are simple. There is no excuse not to believe. “ 66 people agreed with me and let me know that they liked it. . 

In another reel, A pastor (formerly a Christian) spoke of how he began reading the Quran, it caused him to put aside his New Testament Bible. My comments brought 288 responses.  “Thank you so much for this. It is an inspiration. I am a recent revert and I agree with everything you said and in such a forceful way! I was so happy to find this – this morning after Fajr prayer.” 

Four people agreed with this heartfelt statement on my part. “Rather miraculous philosophy – while on earth do our best to mitigate the suffering in the world with the knowledge tha it is all that is possible. I understand and it gives me hope and direction for my remaining days here before I blessedly go to my Creator. “

A book review with this message: The world is not a place to stay. It is just a road back to the homeland. This from Shaykh Hamza Yusuf: And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed, “If you are grateful, I will certainly give you more. But if you are ungrateful, surely My punishment is severe.” I consider myself blessed with many gifts. I am most sincerely grateful – I would have to be stupid not to offer Allah my five daily obligatory prayers filled with gratitude.   


One woman wrote recently: 

She: Happy 2023 beautiful soul.

Me: You too!!!!!  

A direct message: “Definitely I agree! We have an affirmative duty to Allah to present the faith in the best possible way to others through example and speakings.” 

Some rather surprising words and gestures. EGG is back in touch sending a New Year’s greeting. That was a big surprise as I had not heard from him for several months. He, a resident of Abu Dhabi (although preferring Edinburgh). The letters of his nickname stood for Emerita Great Guy. He did fall from favor, catapulted actually. We shall not actually let bygones by bygones, which means: forget past offenses or causes of conflict and be reconciled.

Parenthetically ( by-the-way, by-the-by, incidentally) what do you people without blogs do? I have been using my blogs to break up and make up with guys for the past almost six years. Also to get even with people and countries and institutions. It works better than the legal system. Before, for example, I had to divorce the ex-husbands – now I would just escape and leave word on the blog. Similarly, with the UAE – once I found out the depth of their moral turpitude I escaped and then spoke of it. I read yesterday with dread that a man visiting his sister in Dubai, had spoken out against Egypt. UAE friendly with the bad guy that runs Egypt at the present time, had him jailed for six months.  I read it on Instagram and that is not always factual but it still was scary. I was told to shut my mouth and not speak of it on the blog, so I refrained. Thank you Mr. bin Laden (that was his nickname). 


Kindly note this is a positive blog and shall end in a positive way. Everyone knows that Edmonton is cold and that it snows and the snow stays around. I was actually extremely happy to get an announcement which shall be photographed and attached to this blog. Edmonton has a well thought out plan to get rid of the white stuff. Edmonton does know what they are doing and is very well managed. I cannot say the same about Premier Smith,  unfortunately. I was planning to be on Saudi Arabia on my birthday. Perhaps I should stay here and vote and hopefully celebrate. Hahahaha One of the gifts is to be back in the country of my birth.  

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