Friday, 20 March 2015


Name: Mr. R.O. Bin (A.K.A. Red, Red Breast, Early Bird)

Wanted for Acts of: Cheeriness and chirping at dawn, crossing Canadian/U.S. Border without a passport, lawn trespassing, juicy worm theft.

Detailed Physical Description (Mr. R.O. Bin):  Toothless, red/brown jacket, reddish shirt with no tie, white chin, pointed yellow lips and throat. Is bipedal. 

Detailed Physical Description (Spousal Accomplice): To divert attention, attempts to dress in camouflage. I.e. dresses like a faded photograph of Mr. R.O. Bin.

Detailed Physical Description (Juvenile Accomplice): prefers speckled buff-brown shirts and pants. May exhibit bulging eyes at early age. In constant state of hunger.

What to do if found: Do not approach - flight risk. Report presence to James Audubon.

Reward: No financial reward is offered as I am cheep, cheep!  Enjoy if found - Mr. R.O. Bin is a highly reliable harbinger of spring. 

Friday, 13 March 2015


Balls for the sand traps. Balls for the water hazards. Balls for the rough. Yup! To play golf at my level of expertise (choke), it takes balls.......a copious supply of balls! So prone am I to land in the water, that a dear friend once suggested I store flippers and mask in my golf bag. 

It wasn't until 2010 when Jim and I played "at" a golf game in Arizona that we decided we would like to persue the sport a bit more. The operational definition here for me is "a bit more". Lessons at the Golf Dome in Markham and coaching at Arizona's Rancho Mañana ensued.  

Wasn't it Phyllis Diller who once said, "The reason a pro tells you to keep your head down is so you can't see him laughing. I love to relate the tale of the Rancho Mañana golf pro, who after analyzing my drive said, Mrs. Lockett, even if we hadn't discussed it, I would know that you are a Canadian.
Chest puffing, head swelling, and eagerly anticipating the compliment, I sweetly said, Oh?
Yes, he smiled, because your drive is like a hockey slapshot.
So much for a career on the if.

Viewing the sport on TV, golf appears deceptively simple. Ha! Not only is the game complicated, for me, my battle with that little white ball is a mind game, a matter of concentration. Strings of horrible shots are interspersed with rare shots of brilliance which occur only when I concentrate and mentally repeat my coach's words. I play my best when I relax and remind myself that it is only a silly game.

True golf devotees would be horrified, but what I enjoy most are golf cart moments of conversation and laughter with my husband, sister or good friends.  Whether it is the rolling hills of Uxbridge or breathtaking vistas of my favourite Rancho Mañana Golf Course, early morning tee offs or twilight rounds, being out in the fresh air is what it is all about.

And so I am in countdown, looking forward to my battle with that little white ball, time with my husband and dear friends, and Arizona's incomparable vistas. Don't worry! I have balls!

Friday, 6 March 2015


I once overheard an investment advisor joke, If you want to become a millionaire, invest $3,000,000 in an airline. Having owned and operated my own business, I totally appreciate the importance of curbing costs and keeping focus on the bottom line. I understand the new baggage fees, increased rows, and more narrow seating introduced by airlines, most particularly on North American routes. You want to fly inexpensively, ladies and gentlemen, then something has to give and I, for one, do not want it to be maintenance. I'm fine with these changes.........that is, until the turkeys board. No doubt about it, close proximity increases travelling turkey issues.

Recently returning from Tampa on WestJet, Jim and I booked Plus seating at the forward bulkhead.  Do not confuse these WestJet Plus seats with Air Canada Executive Class seats or pods.  Plus provides welcome extra leg room, but little added width.  Cosily ensconced in our seats, yours truly in the window seat and Jim in the centre, we happily watched passengers embark. Happily, that is, until an obese, at least 400-pounder plunked down in the seat beside Jim. Watching the immediate horror on his face, I made some lame excuse about sunshine making my iPad difficult to read, and changed seats with my darling, in-shock husband. Please know that this not so svelte writer also appreciates that we are not all alike and that my new, very, very close seat neighbour is likely a lovely person, but I still do not know whether to laugh or cry about what then transpired.  The armrest between myself and the new passenger was immediately raised, allowing some of the four hundred pounds to swell onto my seat. In an automatic defensive motion, my shoulders and upper body scrunched into the most narrow position I could physically take and remained so for the three hours journey, gate to gate.  I stored my coffee and water on Jim's tray; there was no way in heaven that I could possibly raise mine. I, of course, survived the short flight, but now ask myself why it was me who attempted to scrunch up while my happy seat pal blithely spread into neighbouring space, not in the least concerned about my discomfort. Hey buddy, want to pay for the 25% of MY seat that you so enjoyed?

On a return flight from B.C., a little girl in the seat behind us entertained herself by kicking the back of Jim's seat. After showing about an hour of admirable self control, Jim finally turned and calmly asked the mother to restrain her child.

Unvelievably, ignoring Jim's discomfort, the woman defended her daughter, It's a long flight you know.

Oooooooo! Not what you want to say to a retired school principal, I thought and held my breath.

Yes, Ma'am, he glowered at her. For both of us.

Why, I ask myself, did the mother give no thought to the passenger in the forward seat?

My personal favourite flying turkey incident took place on a May flight into Newfoundland for iceberg season. The gentleman beside me coughed and sneezed continually, using neither his elbow, sleeve nor a handkerchief. The resultant spray was as strong as any shower. Had I known, I would have worn a hazmat suit on that journey. Ultimately the cold took me as a victim. Go figure!

Heavy perfume, overhead bin violations, seats reclined 100%, unpatrolled children, and, and ........ ain't flying with turkeys, grand? Not! 

Friend, Jackie, wrote about an unrelated problem in Newmarket, Pretend it is another blackout and bring that thoughtful, considerate, caring person you really are back to life again. Do you hear that, Turkeys? Take heed! With a little consideration for fellow travellers, travelling turkey incidents could be reduced to zero! Just sayin'.

Now where to, Hon?