Seven things I discovered whilst in Canada

Jessica Pare - French Canadian star of Mad Men

1. Montreal is interesting, alive and vibrant, Ottawa is not, but does have a great Museum of Civilization.

2. Canadian politics right now is pretty dull, but it has had some gargantuan personalities in the past, a biography of MacDonald and Trudeau are now on my reading list.  Who knew that Newfoundland’s former Premier  hosted a radio program every week for the citizens of the province, called The Barrelman, beginning in 1937 that promoted pride in Newfoundland’s history and culture? I have more Canadian trivia where that came from.

3. My 5 year old stepson who has never shown any interest in football, is now obsessed with ice-hockey.

4. MagicJack is a worthy competitor to Skype over there.

5. Almost every Canadian will ask you the population of the town you live in, of the capital city and of the UK.  So go armed with stats.

6. No Francophone Canadians understand me when I use my French, however hard I try.

7. French Canadian women, perhaps because of the French sense of style, the melting pot of cultures, the native Indian in the bloodlines of many, are some of the most beautiful looking in the world. For example, Jessica Pare in the pic above (and my own wife who is French-Canadian!).

Finally, check out these wise words from my deceased Canadian grandfather-in-law Pierre Sevigny on the video below.

He served in the Canadian Army during World War II, and lost a leg in the Battle of the Rhine. He was awarded the Virtuti MilitariPoland‘s highest military decoration, for his involvement in the battle at Hill 262. Along with his Polish comrades of the 1st Polish Armoured Division, he denied access to Panzer divisions trying to break out of the Falaise pocket in August 1944. The action resulted in the encirclement and capture of 50,000 German troops. He also received France‘s Croix de Guerre and Belgium‘s Croix de Guerre.  The equivalents of England’s Victoria Cross. After the war he wrote a book Face à l’ennemi about his experiences. It won the Prix Ferrières de l’Académie française in 1948.

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