I am in an Absolutely Great Mood for All Kinds of Reasons; Quote of the Day Brings Laughter; George Orwell’s A Nice Cup of Tea; Not Enough Tea in China Explained; Notley Not Just Likable; Mega Sports Arena in Calgary an Unlikely Topic for This Blog; Eid at La Ronde; Second Shingles Shot; Fifteen Pound Weight Loss; Photos of Eid Dinner; Hand Exercise and Abu Dhabi Premier Inn Staff 

This morning finds me amused, not taking anything too seriously, laughing at myself and the foibles of existence for many reasons. 

I recently began to subscribe to ABToday, in the past would read the daily newsletter in the Legislative Library – now a copy appears on my computer. It is posted at 7:30 a.m.  morning, so it is possible to relish it with my morning coffee. The Quote of the Day can be very amusing – it was today. “She had done what I would have thought impossible: She’s made many Albertans long for the leadership of Jason Kenny.” Former Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi throws shade at Premier Danielle Smith in a column for CTV News. 

I do realize that many of my readers (the faithful and unfaithful) are not Albertans, not even Canadians, but hopefully of the planet earth. Therefore, the nuances may be missed. Jason Kenny was the leader of the majority Alberta UCP party, but he lost his luster  and ended up not being universally revered (to say the least). He manfully stepped aside and up popped Danielle Smith. She has managed to prove herself to be not exactly a nice cup of tea, shall we say. 

A nice cup of tea is an expression that means something that is good, nice. It can be amusing (as well) because it reflects a curious notion the British seem to have that a nice cup of tea can ameliorate any ill, malaise, tragedy or disaster. Where does the expression come from? 

“A Nice Cup of Tea” is an essay written by George Orwell upon the art of making the perfect cup of tea wherein he lists his own eleven “golden” rules which he believes if followed, would result in an excellent cup of tea. The essay was first published on 12 January, 1946 in the London Evening Standard, contains an in-depth discussion on the subtleties involved in the craft of tea-making. 

Here comes another phrase – there is not enough tea in China to ameliorate the malaise, ill or potential disaster of Premier Danielle Smith.So many synonyms for ameliorate: make better, better, rectify, put right, put to rights to, cure heal, patch up, mitigate.  enhance, help, benefit, boost, raise, amend, refine, reform; relieve, ease, mitigate. Not for all the tea in China is not for any price, never, not for any reason.  This term originated in Australia and alludes to the presumed huge quantity of tea in China. [Late 1800s]. 

For goodness sake, enough about tea. Back to Alberta politics. The two major political parties in Alberta (UCP and NDP) have women in leadership roles. The two women are as opposite as day is to night. This shall be explored at another time – but briefly, the Racheal Notley, the NDP leader is likable. 

“Notley’s likability is still there, but she is going into this campaign with a much stronger team.” Janet Brown as reported in the May 2023 Albertaviews

There is now an enormous election battle raging over the construction and fading of a mega sports arena in Calgary. AB Today, in its timely and accurate reporting had this to say about that. Notley went on to accuse Smith of hiding eye details of t’secret deal’ until after the election. “You wouldn’t buy a pick up truck after only seeing pictures of the body and cab with no details on the mileage or payment plan,” Notley charged. The fact that Danielle Smith and the UCP on this extreme level of secrecy is extremely concerning. In her initial statement, Notley emphasized the importance of due diligence. “We know the Calgary Flames inspire tremendous community spirit,” Notley said. “Still, we note that the cost of the proposed arena deal has doubled in 18 months, and (while) the original version laid out a 50-5- private-public  partnership taxpayers are now responsible for more than 70 per cent of the cost.” 

One cannot help but admire Notley’s analogy – the purchase of a pick up truck with no details on the mileage or payment plan. Smith’s promises are centered upon the source of funding for the plan, admittedly somewhat innovate, none the less, to continue the analogy – the sticker price of the pick up truck has not been determined, much less the payment plan. 

The Canadian Taxpayer’s Association weighed in. “The Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation’s Alberta director Kris Sims said politicians shouldn’t hit up taxpayers or big league sports teams for projects with ballooning costs. “Professional hockey plays are paid millions of dollars and the Flames franchise is worth hundreds of millions —they shouldn’t be taking money from struggling taxpayers,” Sims said.

It is not time for a reality check. I am reminding myself of the state if things in the real world, or the state of things in the past, present and future life of this blog. If anyone would have told me a year ago that I would be discussing a Calgary sports arena in this forum, I would be dumb founded. Back then, this would have been the conversation. 

Alter Ego: I have a crystal ball. I see you on April 25, 2023 talking about a the funding of a Calgary sports arena, laughingly comparing it to the purchase of a pick up truck. 

Me: Are you out of your mind?  

Alter Ego: Are you? 

Me: Well maybe, but if so sanity shall resume. Definitely after May 29, 2023, 

But onto to brighter and better things. My email contained a photo of a smiling me with this message.  with this message.

He: Alexis Thank you for dinner. 

Me: It was a sheer delight for me. I was going to send you an email thanking you for your company, conversation and conviviality (whatever that might be). I do think I shall put your photo on my blog of today. I do look cute – it is, of course, my fabulous hair that does it all.

The occasion was a delayed Eid celebration. Do not think there were any Muslims in sight at this celebration.  It too place at La Ronde restaurant. “Famous for its incredible City and River Valley views, LaRonde is Edmonton’s premier fine dining establishment and Edmonton’s only Revolving Restaurant.” The Food and Beverage Manager came to our table, inquiring as to our experience. 

Me: Well I suppose you could have asked for a clear night, perhaps with some autumn colors and a sunrise. It is cloudy. But, other than that, everything has been perfect. I have an amazing story to tell you about La Ronde, you will not believe it. 

He: Tell me. 

Me: The first time I came to La Ronde was in 1966. My first husband had just graduated from the University of Alberta Medical School and there was a celebratory party held here. The place had just opened. I do remember what I wore – still have the dress actually. My other memories are dulled due to the consumption of Black Russians. A Black Russian is a drink made with vodka and coffee liquor, not a Russian with Ethiopian heritage. 

He: That was the beginning days of revolving restaurants Now they are everywhere. 

Me: I know. I have been to many the world over. But I am so glad you are still here to help me celebrate this blessed event. 

This blog is crowded with good news. Two days ago marked the last visit to the Royal Alexandra Hospital Health Clinic. Mark, the best hand therapist ever, massaged and measured my right hand. 

He: You have made an excellent recovery. You have successfully completed rehabilitation. 

Me: That is great news. But it means that I will not see you and the team again. Well, unless I break my other hand. As much as I love coming here, it does not seem like a good idea. 

He: Probably not, much as we would love to see you again, Your recovery is complete – there is no evidence that you ever broke your hand, 

Me: I am leaving you this photo. You have a lovely painting of two hands making a heart shape. Just before I left the Abu Dhabi Premier Inn the housekeeping staff asked to have their photo taken with me. As you can see, I was not able to master the hand gesture, although they were. Their boss is the man on the left. His nickname was Boss Man, it was his idea. 

So I am fixed, not like a cat is fixed, but my hand is fixed. 

This afternoon brought more joy. It was off to the Allin Clinic for my second Shingles vaccination. Shingles is a gruesome disease – an itchy painful rash that lingers, sometimes for ever. 7 out of 10 Albertans have the virus. Vaccinations are recommended for those over fifty. My US PCP recommended one two years ago but it was unobtainable – manufacture of the vaccination had stopped. My Canadian physician recommended that the vaccination months ago. I got the first, now  the second today. Each shot cost $192.19. I could not think of a better way to spend my money. Getting old can be expensive and it is not for the weak hearted. Hahaha. 

Other great news. The pharmacist, such a helpful kind woman, placed me upon the scales for a weigh in at the time of the first sho, it was immediately before Ramadan. I jumped on the scale today to find I had lost 15 pounds. Ramadan is not, of course, about loosing weight – but it does help. One sees food as fuel,  as fuel, not a means to happiness and pleasure. It is an excellent philosophy of life. I was rather surprised by my recent lassitude but forgot this.  I was not able to complete the 2022 Ramadan fast because of illness  as I got sick, the UAE doctor recommended I stop the fast. Did complete the 2021 Ramadan fast in California under medical supervision. I did loose 20 pounds, that I remember and this conversation. 

Me: Doctor, what is wrong with me. I am exhausted, I have lost my energy. 

He: Alexis, it is going to take time for you to bounce back, to recover. It will take about two weeks. 

Originally I had made plans to return to Saudi Arabia soon after Eid. Thank goodness I postponed those plans. An eighteen hour flight, even in Qatar Air Business Class would have been impossible. 

Photos of Alexis’ Eid, an example of hand therapy in action and the photograph of the Abu Dhabi Premier Inn housekeeping staff shall follow.