An iron, a fox, an olive and two hundred thousand welcomes

I’d like to tell you about an interesting (or perhaps just plain stupid) habit I’ve developed. Have you ever taken great care to iron a shirt, but then after you’ve put it on and tucked it in all nice you look in the mirror and notice unsightly wrinkles on it? What would you do? I think most people would take off the shirt and iron it again. Not me! No way, I’m a bit lazy, so what I do is just iron the shirt again while I’m wearing it! It’s not as bad as it sounds, really. If you do it quickly it hardly hurts at all. Just don’t press too hard. It works with pants too, but please be careful around those sensitive areas.

I’ve typed out a few really great posts since creating this blog (well, great to me anyway, maybe you’d find them silly). However, only a couple of them have actually made it to the blog. That’s because Internet Explorer sucks. OK, it doesn’t completely suck, but just like everything else with the name Microsoft on it, it has some serious security flaws. Even with a half-decent firewall (Zone Alarm) and a half-decent understanding of Internet security, I seem to be a punching bag for viruses, spyware, adware, etc. The Internet is so full of such crap that it’s a miracle if someone doesn’t get nailed at some time or another. Anyway, I’m normally pretty good at getting rid of these things, but because of all the crap banging at the gates before I managed to get the security under control, there’s still some stuff lingering in my computer. As a result, lately IE has been shutting down whenever I try to publish or submit things on Blogspot and some other sites. The only way around it was to post things from the computer at work, but I’m usually too busy there and the computer’s a piece of junk anyway. MY IE at home always crashed when I tried to paste a lengthy post from Notepad or Word, but sometimes it would let me submit if I typed something really short. But I’m not good at that. There’s an old Gelic proverb: “Abair ach beag is abair gu math e”, which basically means “say little but say it well”. I try to say things well but saying little is not one of my talents. Anyway, a couple of long posts on various topics just couldn’t be published, so I’ve given up on IE. Now I’m using Mozilla Firefox, which is a lot more secure and so far seems to work OK. It lets me publish my posts without crashing, so it gets my thumbs up.

Ever thought about someone and then you hear from them out of the blue? Well all the talk about Gaelic in my blog got me thinking about my ancestors, particularly my great-grandfather, William MacVay. No, I haven’t heard from him, he died in 1932. I was thinking about some useful information I obtained on him (that he loved the bagpipes and Highland dancing, which leads me to believe that even if he didn’t speak Gaelic the family might not have been living away from the Highlands as long as I’d previously thought), and this information came from someone who actually knew him, my cousin Olive Tetford. Well this morning the phone rang and it was…my mother. And who was with her? Olive Tetford! Olive is one of the most remarkable people I’ve ever known. She’s 88 years old but sharp as a tack. Talking to her is like talking to someone my own age. She’s intelligent, witty, independent, open-minded and really nice. And she’s definitely not your average 88-year-old lady. She is the epitome of growing old gracefully. The last time I saw her was about three years ago, before Leen and I got married. Now that she’s contacted me again I want to make sure we can keep in touch. So she asked me for my e-mail address. Like I said, not your average octogenarian.

I’ve noticed in the past that the Gaelic phrase for ‘a hundred thousand welcomes’ has at least two different spellings. In Scotland it’s often ‘ceud mile failte’, but in Cape Breton I’ve also seen it written ‘ciad mille failte’. The latter is the way it’s written on the Destination Cape Breton site. Not sure whether I should change what I’ve got on my site or not…we’ll see!