Peter’s News of the World

While I was considering the topic of this week’s column, I looked at several options. For example, I could have written the entire column about Mr Duck. I then thought about writing about the online reaction to the news that Airfix, the iconic British plastic model company, has announced that they will be releasing a 1/24th scale Supermarine Spitfire Mark IXc later this year. Let me tell you, Loyal Reader, the electronic outrage has run the gamut from “too big and too expensive” to lamenting that Airfix won’t be producing a Spitfire IXe ! (Definitely a first world problem, in any case.) I also could have written about the unspeakable burden of having a birthday firmly wedged between Christmas and New Year’s, but that would have sounded really whiny 😉 .

So after some consideration, I decided that this week’s effort will be a “potpourri” of the various and sundry experiences which have been part and parcel of Life, at least as I have been experiencing it lately. 

-First off, I have turned 67! How did that happen? ( Note that this is a rhetorical question.) Anyway, I am coming to grips with the challenges which this advanced age presents. I am staying active both mentally and physically.  I am getting out and about in a safe manner to get all of our local errands done, allowing us to function relatively smoothly. Every day I print off the Globe and Mail cryptic crossword and do my best to complete it, and I am happy to say that I have been able to complete it correctly on at least one occasion. ( A small victory, granted, but a victory none the less. I find that most of us are too hard on ourselves. )

I have come to acknowledge that I may need some “assistance” in performing some daily tasks successfully, so I now ( reluctantly) take a shopping list with me when I go to the grocery store. I find myself occasionally having trouble thinking of a word or a name, but I don’t “beat myself up” about it, as it has been my experience that much of Life consists of trivialities and irrelevancies.

I am happy to have been able to adjust to the various challenges that Life throws my way, and a supportive partner has made a great difference to me in this regard.

-Further to that supportive partner, we are following the COVID guidelines as a couple, looking forward to getting our booster shots next week. I personally have an optimistic feeling about the progress of the pandemic. People are doing the right things by getting vaccinated, by washing their hands, by wearing masks and simply “being smart” when they go out.

-As far as “the book of face” is concerned, I have been getting Friend ™ requests from a variety of individuals. Many of them appear to be young women who have set up dating/hook up sites. I have found that a wonderful relationship building activity is to have Betty “zap” the offending requests. Very cathartic, let me tell you.

I have reported these interactions to the “proper authorities”, as I believe that they go against “community standards”. ( I know that I certainly didn’t join that site in search of Love…….or Lust.) 

Well, Loyal Reader, it has been the decision of the “authorities” that these posts do not, in fact, violate “community standards”.

However, I got a warning recently about a video I posted several years ago. I was frostily informed that this video most definitely “violated community standards”. 

I know that you are “on the edge of your seat” wondering what the subject of this particular video is. 

It was “10 ways that cats are better than dogs”. Sometimes words are simply inadequate.

-I was horrified to learn that the Saskatoon chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will soon not be able to investigate reports of animal cruelty or abuse because of a lack of funding. This situation has to be addressed, and I hope that the money can be found to ensure that this vital organization can continue its efforts.

-I am finishing off this week on a positive note. There was a house fire in Mississauga last weekend. ( I know, great start!) As the fire developed, the scene rapidly became confused. Imagine the heat, the smoke, the noise, people milling around, the fire department arriving, the hoses being hooked up, sirens blaring, lights flashing, radios cracking with distorted directions….and that’s just on the outside.

Now imagine what the scene was inside the burning house. It would be chaos magnified, means of escape limited by the physical confines of the house. Difficult enough for an adult to deal with. 

How much worse would it be for a child? Frightened, disoriented, having to deal with the situation equipped solely with their limited knowledge and ability. 

It sounds like a hopeless situation.

Except that someone rose to the occasion, someone from the neighbourhood.

18 year old Adam Attalla made several unsuccessful attempts to effect a rescue, but persevered and was able to save the  lives of 3 children.

I found his comments afterwards to be most interesting. Don’t forget that he had just saved three lives, reassuring and calming them in the middle of an extremely dangerous and undoubtedly frightening event, leading them to safety. 

He was very calm and matter of fact facing the camera. You might find some of his words interesting.

“…It had to be done…”

“…Somebody had to do it…”

“…I just had to go up there…”

His attitude was that someone would have done it, it just happened to be him….on that occasion.

In an era when a video which states that “…cats are better than dogs…” is deemed to “…violate community standards…” I find his attitude to be not only refreshing, but it gives me a sense of optimism.

See you soon 


A confirmed Cat person, Peter dabbled with being a water boy, a paper boy and an altar boy before finally settling on a career with the Canadian federal government.  Once, in his youth, he ate a Dutch  oven full of mashed potatoes to win a 5 cent bet with his beloved sister Mary’s boyfriend. (Of course he was much younger and a nickel went a lot farther!))

He has retired to palatial “Chez Montreuil”, which he shares with his little buddy CoCo the Fashionable. He is blessed to have the beautiful Betty in his life. He is not only a plastic aircraft modeller, but a proud “rivet counter”. Military aviation and live music are among other interests of his, and he tries to get out to as many shows as he can. He will be here for your enlightenment whenever the stars align. Profile photo courtesy of Pat Blythe, caricature courtesy of Peter Mossman.

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