I love the idea of reading this book when I see it in Vancouver but somehow what should have been a nippy, one-week witty read turned into a three week test. Anyhow, it’s probably just as I had a lot on my mind during the three weeks leading up to the largest event I have organised in some time.
The book illustrates a little of the history of Canada written in the guise of a travel book with a many insightful and/or witty snippets:
On Tim Horton, the Canadian hockey player who started a chain of doughnut shops, “thereby combining Canada’s two great passions: toothless men on skates and fried dough glazed in sugar”.
Unlike the Basques in Spain or the IRA on Northern Ireland, the separatists in Quebec have long since abandoned violence as a political tool. (This book is published in 2004)
“Jackie massages my scalp and temples and even my ear lobes (which is nice, although honestly, my earlobes hardly ever get fatigued)”.
On Shania Twain “…had to become a country–and-western singer, a name like that, what else could she possibly be?”
“When it comes to the English, they are either absolutely insufferable or disarmingly endearing.”
Stay Well Back from Cliff Edge
Parents: Children Are Your Responsibility!
By 1803, most blacks in Canada were free (it wasn’t until 1833 when all forms of slavery were banned thought British territories).
There is a fascinating chapter about the heroic volunteers who lead slaves in America to safety in Canada, especially Harriet Tubman who had escaped slavery herself.
On the song, ‘a sweet chariot’ was an underground network, ‘to ‘swing low’ was to come down south and ‘carry me home’ meant an escape to freedom.
Inspiration factor 6½/10