Merry Christmas!
Happy New Year!
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!
He's spellbound by the brilliance of . . .
Volume 24 of the Eley Yuletide Newsletter!
Here we go again! Another twelve months have rushed (frequently) or ambled (sometimes) by, and here I am once more facing a blank page and waiting for genius to sneak up and bite me in the ass. I thought maybe an appropriate quotation might set the tone, but having just watched the BBC News, all I could think of was “These are the times that try men’s souls.” So much for my pathetic attempt at humour for this year. I could have tackled the Brexit/US Election burlesque shows, but how can you satirize satire?
From Bob and Margaret
Phone 705-653-0864 (Bob)    website
And how was your weather through 2016? According to the Beeb, this was the warmest year since we said bye-bye to the dinosaurs. It certainly was in Southern Ontario. It’s now mid-November, and a 
Margaret and I had some interesting plans for the summer, including an air force reunion and a visit to friends in New Hampshire, but . . . unforeseen circumstances forced us to substitute a winter break in Cancun, Mexico.
A routine doctor’s appointment in February, during which I fessed up about some symptoms I’d been hiding for years, led to a specialist, some exploratory surgery, and the happy news that I had “aggressive bladder cancer.” His words, not mine! Then followed a summer of chemotherapy, major surgery in late September, and finally a less than blissful fortnight in hospital, from which I am now happily but slowly recovering.
Well, unless you really want a detailed description of my surgery, that’s it for 2016. Not one of our best years, I guess, but we’ll make up for it in 2017. Probably by car or train. It’s a big continent, and both of us have had it with planes and airports. If we do make it across the pond again, it’ll be either the first tramp steamer or First Class Air!
      Just room to once again paraphrase the usual heartfelt wish that all of you have a cheery and fulfilling holiday, and that the next twelve months will be happy ones. Do remember that our invitation to come visiting is always open—there’s a warm bed, a well-stocked fridge, and an ample cellar waiting on you.
Happy occasion: Margaret's 80th birthday dinner!
Takin' a break on a cool morning; sidewalk still needs clearing!
Family review time. As our  children get older—hey, they’re all over 50 now—their activities seem to be less adventurous. Gill’s travels were confined to Ontario (which still gives her lots of scope!), and she labours long and arduously at the same Executive Assistant job. Brian’s new profession—managing sporting events—keeps him busier  than ever,
,sunny 15C (60F) on the supermarket display down the street. In years gone by we used to reckon on the first snow-storm by now! (The shovels and de-icer are already primed for action!) Kindly note that the Winter Scene was shot in February—our river is frozen!
he avers; but driving a truck is more fun than sitting behind an office desk! Carmel, besides working full-time, met with one of life’s misfortunes, and is currently undergoing treatments for cancer. As you can see, she's handling it with flying colours.
And what, you may well ask, was Margaret doing all these months? Working her butt off, is what. Driving me around, nursing me thru chemo, feeding me, putting up with my lousy moods, and still managing to meet all her volunteer commitments. And all the time having to nurse her still ailing eyes. I owe my dear lady big time.
Now comes the really dramatic part - the Unforeseen Circumstances!
Having a room to oneself means you do a lot of window gazing. At least I had an interesting view - even an occasional chopper!
Just before my operation, when we were both getting fed up with the numerous one hour drives to the cancer treatment centre, we spent a fabulous weekend at one of our favourite places: Haliburton is about 60 miles north, in the heart of Ontario's lake and cottage country. While Margaret walked and shopped, I did my last bike ride for 2016.
I n t e r l u d e