Quand on partait de bon matin When we left early in the morning Quand on partait sur les chemins When we left biking on paths À bicyclette Biking
Nous étions quelques bons copains We were a few good friends (lads) Y avait Fernand y avait Firmin There was Fernand there was Firmin Y avait Francis et Sébastien There was Francis and Sébastien Et puis Paulette And then Paulette
On était tous amoureux d’elle We were all in love with her On se sentait pousser des ailes We could feel wings growing on us À bicyclette Biking
Sur les petits chemins de terre On little dirt roads On a souvent vécu l’enfer We often lived hell (as though in hell) Pour ne pas mettre pied à terre Not to put a foot on the ground (Trying not to put a foot down) Devant Paulette In front of Paulette
Faut dire qu’elle y mettait du cɶur Must say she put her heart in it C’était la fille du facteur She was the mailman’s daughter À bicyclette Biking
Et depuis qu’elle avait huit ans And since she was eight years old Elle avait fait en le suivant She had (biked) just following Tous les chemins environnants All the neighbouring paths À bicyclette
Quand on approchait la rivière When we neared the river On déposait dans les fougères We’d put (our bikes) down on the grass (literally: fern) Nos bicyclettes Our bicycles
Puis on se roulait dans les champs(se rouler: to roll) Then we rambled in the fields Faisant naître un bouquet changeant Creating a changing bouquet De sauterelles, de papillons Of grasshoppers, butterflies Et de rainettes And tree frogs
Quand le soleil à l’horizon When the sun on the horizon Profilait sur tous les buissons Profiled (drew) on all the bushes Nos silhouettes Our silhouettes (shadows)
On revenait fourbus contents We came back exhausted but pleased Le cœur un peu vague pourtant But our heart a little confused (vague) De n’être pas seul un instant Not to be alone a single moment Avec Paulette With Paulette
Prendre furtivement sa main To steal her hand (unseen) Oublier un peu les copains To forget our friends a little La bicyclette The bicycle
On se disait c’est pour demain We’d say, perhaps tomorrow J’oserai, j’oserai demain I will dare, I will dare tomorrow Quand on ira sur les chemins When we go/ride on the paths À bicyclette Biking
The above is a copy of a Susor-Coté of still life entitled Nature morte avec oignons(Still life with onions). It is the work of Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté, a prominent Canadian artist and a friend of my grandfather’s family. The legend goes that my grandfather met my grandmother when she was an employee of Suzor-Coté. She was an artist. Would that I could interview her. She died many years ago.
Medicine in Quebec
I have gone to a hospital emergency room five times. I did so whenener I felt I would go into cardiac arrest because my heart was queezed as in a vice and my blood pressurce was climbing rapidly. I am suffering from pericarditis, from inflamed muscles in the rib cage as well as a musculoskeletal condition on the left side of the rib cage including a damaged schoulder and pain from the shoulder to the fingers. Using a computer is well nigh impossible, but I will try to carry on as soon as I can use my left arm again. I am left handed.
My visits to Emergency Rooms gave me the opportunity to see that medicine in Quebec was facing great difficulty. At the time of the Quiet Revolution, a prosperous Quebec planned to be a Welfare State (un État-Providence). Canada could be described as a Welfare State. It should be noted that Welfare States cannot sustain their programmes without levying taxes, nor can Welfare States afford extremely high fees. When Quebec declared it would be unilingual, Bill 22 (1974), and passed Bill 101, the Charter of the French Language (1977), affluent English-speaking citizens of Montreal left Quebec. I may be wrong, but I believe Quebec’s status as a unilingual province inside a bilingual Canada and ensuing laws caused well-to-do English-speaking Quebecers to leave. There cannot be a unilingual province in a bilingual Canada. It makes no sense.
My visits to the Emergency Room in Magog’s hospital provided me with an opportunity to witness what could be the impending breakdown of the medical system in Quebec. For instance, it surprised me not to be asked to remove my earrings and necklace when X-Rays were performed. Only one radiologist asked me to take off my jewellery. I could not lift my arms, so he helped me. I was also surprised that very scant attention was given to the severe pain I felt. If my mother had been subjected to this much pain at the age of 77, I do not think she would have survived. I have aged more slowly.
Yet, my worst experience was watching an old lady who had taken her number and was waiting her turn. At one point, she went to the wicket to ask when she would be seen. She was told that she would have to wait for her number and her name to be called. She sorrowly returned to her chair. Never in my life had I seen so immensely sad a face. What, in Canada? There are no doctors in Magog. The clinic closed when the doctors retired. If one is unwell, one must go to a hospital Emergency Room, take a number, and then wait, however dire one’s needs.
It could be that some doctors will attempt to leave Quebec, but one wonders whether doctors who do not hold a Bachelor of Science degree would be hired elsewhere. French-language universities do not require a Bachelor of Science degree for admission to a medical school. Future doctors spend two years in a Cegep: Grades XII and XIII, and then enter medical school. Yet, there are excellent doctors in Quebec, but many, if not most, are good technicians. They know how to send a patient for a test and probably count on the test to determine a diagnostic. They also have a book listing medications. As well, outside Quebec, a pregnant woman may be delivered by her obstetrician. In Quebec, one goes to a humble birthing-room, however complicated the pregnancy and childbirth.
I should also note that when a patient enters a hospital, he or she will not be treated by his or her doctor. Doctors do not leave their office. I have already mentioned that medicine is more successful if there is a trusting relationship between a doctor and his or her patients. One must be able to reach one’s doctor if a crisis occurs, such as the death of a child. There is no center in my depiction of medicine in Quebec.
Quebec’s Premier François Legault is trying to get doctors to work a little more, but they are protected by powerful syndicates and command very large salaries. I fear the premier will not succeed. It has been about fifty years since doctors worked under the best possible conditions.
I do not know what caused my sudden heath problems. It could be solitude and my not finding help to remove books from my apartment and settle comfortably. It has been a very stressful time in my life.
I wish to thank you for being my community. I hope to continue operating my weblog, but I will not be at the computer for as many hours as I used to. Lying down and using the swimming pool will now be more important. I will also require help performing household tasks. Everything has to be simplified.
We will be returning to a question I have not been able to answer. I have been wondering if separate schools from sea to sea (A Mari usque ad Mare) had been created west of the Red River Colony, would French communities have flourished from the Atlantic to the Pacific, therefore making Canada more bilingual. In 1867, the year the British North America Act or Canadian Confederation was signed, half the citizens of the Red River Colony were anglophones and half were francophones. As a member of the Orange Order in Canada, John A. Macdonald opposed separate schools based on language mainly. Confessional schools would be created, but they would be private schools. According to Articles 93 and 133 of the BNA Act (Canadian Confederation), schools would be uniform schools. After the Red River Rebellion (1869-1870), Louis Riel (22 October 1844 – 16 November 1885) would oppose such schools, but John A. Macdonald had little tolerance for Catholics, and, less so for Catholics who were also French. Moreover, many émigrés priests who had fled to England to escape the French Revolution accepted to serve in Canada, where they revived the waning Catholicism of the French in North America.
A Third Visit to an Emergency Ward
On Sunday morning, 7th November 2021, I asked my friend to call an ambulance. The pressure on my heart barely allowed me to breathe. He decided to take me to the hospital because it was a short drive and he wished to be with me. When we arrived at the emergency room, I was so weak and in such pain that I simply lied on the floor. My friend and other men lifted me and sat me in a wheelchair. Pericarditis and inflammation made it difficult to breath and medications quickly lose their effectiveness. I was given strong Tylenol and a kind doctor with experience saw me as soon as possible. My friend wheeled me from test to test, but the diagnostic was consistent with diagnostics determined during my two earlier visits to the emergency room. However, my condition had deteriorated. After various tests and a study of my computerized file, the doctor came back. He prescribed a potent anti-inflammatory to be taken immediately and a less aggressive anti-inflammatory to be taken for two years. He also prescribed a supply of hydromorphine and asked me not to leave my friend’s home until this crisis was over. Everything else could wait.
Medical Studies in Quebec
My adventure, which is not finished, made me reflect on the education provided future doctors. After Grade XI, Quebec students enter a Cegep. After completing two years of study, they obtain a diploma allowing them enter medical school. I do not know if they write an entrance exam, but medical tuition fees in Quebec are inexpensive which means the province can train a large number of doctors. About five years after they enter medicine, they graduate, except specialists.
The doctor I saw on Sunday was an experienced doctor who had accumulated competence working in an emergency ward. But I had never met my personal doctor because the pandemic kept me indoors. He was very young. He prescribed a mild anti-inflammatory and suggested I had sustained a neck injury, unconsciouly. He wanted my neck to be ex-rayed, but my nephew was waiting to take me to Magog. So, I was tested on Sunday, in Magog.
Pemier Legault, the “doctors,” and the doctors’ syndicate.
Premier François Legault of Quebec is currently trying to give more work to doctors, i.e. a few more patients, so everyone has a doctor.
I cannot provide a definitive and absolutely correct conclusion to this post. Some Quebec doctors are excellent doctors despite brief training. They gain experience. But, in Quebec, medicine appears one of the fastest ways to a plump income and a privileged life. Doctors are protected by powerful sindicates, labour unions. Syndicates provide medical professionals with the best possible working conditions and, at times, they may also eliminate the hours a doctor should work in a hospital and shorten their work week considerably. Such conditions, i.e.very little general education, rapid training, and the best of salaries will unavoidably travel outside Quebec and lessen the quality of the care patients receive. Pressured by syndicates, doctors make more money forcing governments to eliminate resources previously covered by a citizen’s income tax dollars. For instance, persons injured in an automobile accident and requiring physiotherapy will have to pay for that service
Once again, Francisco Goya’s “the sleep of reason produces monsters” applies. Unjustified privileges may cause patients to medicate themselves and harm themselves. It would also be my opinion that the relationship a patient grows with a devoted and consciencious doctor reduces stress and promotes healthy communities. Just how many yachts should a doctor own, not to mention luxury cars and the very best of everything. Not to mention that, in the United States, a doctor’s wife simply travels to another state to get an abortion in the case of a pregnancy that could have been avoided. I have never undergone an abortion.
Love to everyone 💕
I plan to continue my blog but devote more time to the fine arts in Canada nnd to current events.
I finished part five of the Princess de Clèves yesterday afternoon. I was told to use the Classic Editor but was also told to use the Block Editor.
My post did not look as do my other posts. The height of letters was too short. It looked awful.
I decide to rebuild the post using my Word backup, but I lost a quotation. Monsieur de Nemours tells a prediction to Madame de Clèves. Something went wrong in Word. I went back to the novel, but could not find my quotation.
After several hours, I turned off the computer. The post is in the trash, including a new post I was building to replace the original post.
I think WordPress is telling me to write very short posts. Moreover, my computer is unstable and given the pandemic, it cannot be repaired.
We are in confinement and we must observe a curfew. Life ends at 8 pm or 20 hours.
Microsoft will disconnect me on 15 October 2020. No, I can’t remember my password. My memory is failing me and Microsoft is a monopoly. They have suggested I purchase Office 365 once again. But I can no longer purchase Microsoft Office. That will not work. They will still ask for my smartphone number which is disabled. I cannot operate a smartphone. I need a cell phone for seniors. I have been up until 4 o’clock in the morning trying to remember. I have a phone number: 819 791-2447, if my memory serves me well.
I would like them to phone me until I purchase a cell phone I can operate. Smartphones will not work for me. I’m at a loss with technologies. I’ll have to purchase a phone for seniors.
My friend John sent me an email. He says I must return my hair to a dark colour. It was jet black. My hair and my face do not match. I’ve aged slowly. That picture is the real me. I’m not even wearing make up.
There is more to say about Confederation. Precedents influence a new constitution. The Constitution of 1867 is online. Article 93 and 133 of the Constitution stem from precedents. They were repeated in the Act of Union (1840/1841).
Given that I am long-winded, paragraphs were eliminated from the post I published yesterday. It doesn’t harm the post and the current length probably means that it will be read be very few people.
Lord Durham resigned his position because his report was criticized by Parliament.
The most violent event stemming from Lord Durham’s report is the terrorist branch of the FLQ (Front de libération du Québec). Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau put an end to what could have generated more violence. Prime Ministre Pierre Elliott Trudeau was an extraordinary leader. That unfortunate event is known as the October Crisis.
I have inserted my latest posts on Quebec in Canadiana 1. It’s a page.
My posts can be very long.
We cannot change the past, but we have a future we can shape.
I have no way of reaching you and reading comments. The toolbar is on the right side hiding the button I hit to read your posts and your comments. I wrote a post on the Duplessis Children. It is in Word. My mouse has been mostly disabled. My computer will have to be repaired or replaced. It’s a mess.
Would that I could understand. I start writing using the Classic Editor, but I am writing using the Block Editor.
As Quebec was starting to reopen, Premier, lePremier Ministre, François Legault urged the population of Quebec to wear face masks. His audience was not entirely patient with him. Was this a change of policy?
Let’s see. Two months ago, after the Government of Quebec announced a lockdown. I saw residents of my building huddling by the mailboxes, less than two feet apart. As I was rushing down the hallway to safety, I walked past a woman who was saying that she didn’t believe in this virus. To my knowledge, take-out restaurants, such as McDonalds, were locked down, but I knew about the remains of a chicken that were thrown down the garbage chute, naked. As you know, my neighbours are mostly perfect, but these particular neighbours are not. The remains of a chicken should had been put in a bag and then dropped into one of the composting bins.
After two months of isolation, one may be confused. So, I phoned the authorities in order to ask if a policy was in place regarding the delivery of food to persons living in a condominium or an apartment building. I explained that sons and daughters, holding bags filled with groceries and other supplies, were ringing mother’s apartment and waiting for her in the lobby. Mother came down and picked up the bag or bags. However, delivery men were riding up and down elevators and walking along corridors carrying take-outs. If they came to my building, they also went to other buildings and various houses. They could spread the virus during a lockdown.
The authorities, or the person who took my call, did not know whether a policy existed, but she felt that social distancing precluded the delivery of meals to an individual’s apartment. Owners were to go to the lobby and pick up what they had ordered. I therefore suggested to the Committee that, during a lockdown, it seemed somewhat risky to let people circulate in the hallways. In fact, I wondered why we did not have a concierge monitoring access to apartments. The telephone and television system did not go the distance. Could we presume individual owners would be cautious? No, I thought, not if they threw down the chute, unwrapped, the greasy remains of a chicken. These neighbours must be newcomers.
We now return to Quebec’s Premier. I reflected that if François Legault was urging people to wear a mask, it was not a change of policy, but altogether consistent with lifting the lockdown when the coronavirus remained a genuine threat. The government feared that allowing untested people to return to work may lead to flareups, hence the Premier asking, but not dictating, the wearing of a mask. This led to more impatience. Why wasn’t the wearing of masks compulsory (“obligatory” said monsieur Legault)? He explained that it was not “obligatory” because masks were not easily available. Canada had ordered masks from China, which had arrived, but which were defective. They were not approved by Health Canada. Ironically, Canadian-approved N95 masks were being sought by Chinese counterfeiters. In short, some Quebecers do not have access to masks.
As you know, Covid-19 caught everyone unawares. For instance, the novel coronavirus hit Montreal like a bomb. It was a Canadian version of the “tsunami” Milan’s doctor Giacomo Grasselli had described so aptly. (See The Coronavirus. 3). The outbreak of Covid-19 surprised Italians just as it surprised Canada’s doctors, in Montreal especially.
The outbreak has therefore led to decisions, some of which were revisited and reversed. I should tell you that the Quebec government will not reopen schools, Montreal schools, in particular, until September. Some daycares remained open during the lockdown. Given flareups, reopening schools on May 19th was not appropriate. Flareups herald a second wave of Covid-19 that could be the same as the second wave of the Spanish flu of 1918, deadlier than the initial outbreak.
In Quebec, Muslims cannot wear the burqa, but the government was approving the wearing of facemasks. Was this another contradiction? A burqa conceals the face and the body. It can therefore be used to conceal a weapon. Masks cover the nose and mouth as do certain Islamic veils, but the purpose of masks is protection from a virus one can inhale. The virus is a weapon.
No, it was not a contradiction. The coronavirus enters one’s nose and mouth. Coughing has therefore become a potentially lethal weapon. If one is infected with the virus and coughs without wearing a mask, one may inadvertently spread the highly transmissible coronavirus to a person who does not wear personal protective equipment. If everyone wears a mask, everyone is protected to a significant extent. The mask is not a violation of a person’s privacy, but protective personal equipment, which explains why Premier Legault is urging Quebecers who are re-entering the workplace to wear a mask. The virus may be with us for a very long time and it is coriace, tough, coriace as coriace can be.
Distancing saves lives. It would therefore be my opinion that until our top doctors and scientists find a vaccine or a cure, good masks are our only protection.
I agree with Premier Legault. If one re-enters the workplace, one wears a mask. A mask could allow us to revive our hope and let us rebuild our economy. We can now see the Himalayas, not to mention the stars. The new economy should be a different economy, one that does not pollute the air and cause global warming. However, Premier Legault linked the wearing of a mask to a revival of the economy we know. The two are inextricably linked:
Opening up businesses could hinge on Montrealers wearing masks in public — something Legault has been pushing for several days.
“We will still give ourselves a few days to take a decision on retail businesses,” Legault said. “A crucial element that would help us to reopen is for the majority of people to wear a mask in public.” (The National Gazette)
It may be years before the coronavirus is defeated. Scientists may find a vaccine and a cure, but this may not happen in the near future. Working from home can be extremely difficult and it is at times impossible. So if masks can protect us, let us wear masks.
Que c’est triste Venise (Que triste está Venecia) es una canción escrita por la novelista Françoise Dorin y compuesta e interpretada por Charles Aznavour.
Se lanzó como un single de 45 rpm en 1964 y fue un éxito internacional, especialmente en los países latinos gracias a su versión en español, titulada esta vez Venecia sin ti.
El vídeo, con la versión que grabó en francés Aznavour en 1964, recoge imágenes de otros publicados en YouTube en los que vemos Venecia estos últimos días prácticamente desierta a causa del coronavirus.