Life is too short to eat humble pie here in the first world

My mother saw the picture of the lorikeet yesterday and in response she emailed the photo below that she took on the weekend with the words: “you have the parrots and we…………..still have the ice in Hamilton harbour”.


When I used to live in Canada I used to think about how hard it must’ve been for the first Europeans who settled there back in the times of no central heating or imported out of season vegetables. Just goes to show how grim life must’ve been in Europe at the time for the peasants.

Every now and again I almost feel spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing things like what to eat or places to go to. When it comes to food, I’m not a fan of offal and every time I see offal for sale I think about how in the old days the average peasant (my forebears) wouldn’t have been able to afford to eat the better cuts of meat and that they would’ve had to resort to eating “humble pie”.  Now I know that some kinky types have developed a love of innards but all I can say when confronted with a plate with guts on it, is “get that crap away from me!”

I feel the same way about Canada in the winter. In this day and age of first world wealth where the average employed person living in a developed country can, without having to scrimp and save for a long time, buy a ticket to anywhere in the world, I find it difficult to understand living in places that are uncomfortable and unpleasant most of the year. Call me spoiled, but one month of nice days does not a good year make. In my parent’s defence, they live in the nice part of Hamilton near Battlefield Park (the site of the Battle of Stoney Creek), and Ontario does have good and free health care.

Manfed, Mum, engogirl and my sister visiting the actual Battlefield House in the park

On a side note, I can’t understand how Canada has a higher standard of living than the US, (which has the biggest economy in the world), and still be able to afford to provide free universal health care which the US doesn’t even seem willing to consider. I wouldn’t want to be poor and sick in the US.

It’s a bit of a mystery to me as to why some people, here in the developed world, feel trapped by fate in some kind of living hell like working a grave-yard-shift in a factory or being in a bad marriage. Some people claim that they don’t have any choice. Pish!  We’ve all got the ability (unless one is physically incapacitated) to change our situation and all it takes is the courage to make the decision to take action and then act on that decision. Back in the early 1980s  Direct Action used to gafitti the following equation all over Vancouver:


My wife and I have been thinking about going on a cycle trip down the Rhine and Mosel rivers next year and we were given a guide book to Germany by our neighbour Sandra. As we were looking through the guide book we though it might a good thing to find out what the regional cusine specialities were in the areas we are interested in, with a thought to trying them when we visit there. We were both very disappointed to note that every place we wanted to visit had offal based food as the regional speciality. Oh well, we’ll just have to live on swartz veldt kirschtorte (black forest cake).

3 thoughts on “Life is too short to eat humble pie here in the first world”

  1. I used to live quite near Hamilton, but on the stars and stripes side of the lake, in Buffalo. Not the best place to spend a winter. Six months of gray. But I still consider it to be my home.

    The US has the best standard of living…for those in the top income brackets. Universal healthcare won’t happen here for quite a while. Treating chronic disease is too profitable to give up. We’ve built a system on sickness for profit – another great outcome of privatization. And it’s only getting better. As diabetes rates continue to skyrocket (see: the Western diet), an ENORMOUS industry will sprout for diabetic supplies, foods, and treatment. Notice I didn’t mention “prevention”. Healthy people just aren’t profitable enough.

  2. >Treating chronic disease is too profitable to give up.

    How remiss of me not to realize that. I can’t believe I didn’t think of it, it’s so obvious. Thanks for the comment, it’s given me something to think about (which is a good thing).

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