Saturday, December 31, 2016


Where have Jane and Blanche been- you ask?
I dunno.
Away, I guess.
Anyway, here they are back again on my RobBlog
Relax and enjoy our two favourite Bleeker Street Gals.
It's 230pm on a Thursday afternoon in winter...
Jane: What in tarnation are you look at outside this window? ~puff. puff~
Blanche: Nothing, Jane Dear. Just watching life go by. It's a wonderful world out there Sister.
Jane: Wonderful?? For who? You? ~ drag, puff~ You are fucking this close to being stupid Blanche.
Blanche: Oh, now Jane. That's not a very nice thing to say. ~pause~ So, Jane how about making a plan to move forward. A plan to say- stop your filthy smoking habit and maybe another plan to reduce the amount rouge you smear all over your saggy cheeks.
Jane: Well, that is a fine howdy-do for someone who takes care of you day in and day out like a real sister. ~drag, puff~
Blanche: Blanche Darling, you are my real sister.
Jane: Oh shut the fuck up. Don't remind me.
Blanche: Jane, just look out there, it's a whole wide, wonderful world, see?
Jane: All I see are two birds sittin' in that Magnolia tree shitting and eating, shitting and eating. What good are they for. The only good bird is a big dead one roasting in my oven! Birds! ~puff, puff~ All they do is shit and eat.
Blanche: Just like you. ~chuckle~
Jane: Look Sister Dear, how be I shove you and that filthy, foul-smelling chair down the basement steps?
Blanche: Oh, come now Jane, you'd never do that.! Who's look after you day in and day out.
Jane: Yes, I know. I know. I'm a little bit crazy. ~puff, puff~
Blanche: A little bit??
Jane: Okay. A lot crazy but at least I got something going for me unlike you festering away in that coffin on wheels! ~drag, puff~
Blanche: Oh Jane ~titter, tee hee~ Make me a peppermint tea will ya.
Jane: %^$#  ^&%$ to you to Blanche!

Saturday, December 17, 2016



A Christmas Fable of sorts for your Holiday enjoyment. It's really a bit of a weird Holiday tale and I have no idea where it came from. I just sat at the keyboard and the keys magically did the rest.
Happy Holidays and Fah, Lah, Lah, Lah, Lah, Lah, Lah!
A Christmas Fable
You see, the day was Christmas Eve, a few years ago.
By that I mean it wasn't yesterday or last week. That's the idea I am trying to get across to you, Dear Reader. The weather was temperate yet a less than real, potato-flake snowfall clung to the lampposts and the Christmas Shoppers who were scurrying along Bleeker Street in Camden Town.
At the far end of Bleeker Street at number 172B, one found the dismal, store-front business office of Squeegee and Surly- chartered accountants. The sign stating the obvious was hung overtop the doorway. Below, inside the front window in this dismal piece of a storefront office sat old Ebenezer Squeegee. Surly left the company seven years before to become a WalMart greeter and Squeegee hadn't bothered to change the signage. Anyway, Ebeneezer Squeegee sat counting his money.
Not far away in another chilly, dismal office, sat a shivering Bob Scratchit, Squeegee's clark.
At least when Bob told folks what he did at Squeegee and Surly, he referred to himself as a "clark". It was probably just his accent, since in reality he was a clerk.
Bob's Bic pen scratched away on the paper in front of him.
"Fuck, it's cold in here. So cold that I have to pee again!"- he grumbled under his breath.
Setting the pen down he slid from the wooden stool where he was perched and left his office turning right down the hall to the gents. As he turned he saw Squeegee counting his money.
"Old Bastard"- he thought, even though Christmas was nigh.
After relieving himself in the executive outhouse in the back alley, Bob walked back towards his office. As he stepped towards his desk, he heard an unusually hearty laugh coming from Mr. Squeegee's office. Right then and there, Bob decided to grow a pair and ask for the following day- Christmas Day, off. Hell, he might even ask for the whole week as long as he didn't have to do any special favours for old Squeegee- if you know what I mean. Nudge. Nudge. Winkety-wink!
No! Not those kind of favours Dear Reader and tsk tsk for you thinking that way! It's Christmas after all. Now, pull yourself from the depraved gutter where your mind lives and read on with a light heart. What I meant was favours like washing his car or trimming Squeegee's ear hairs.
Really readers!
You all are disgusting.
May Jesus- if he existed that is, have mercy on your unholy souls!
Now back to this yuletide fable...
No, Bob would put his size 10 and a halfs down. This year there's be no bullshit favours performed. In that he was unilingually unanimous!
A shoe shine perhaps in the spirit of the season but he wasn't going to look down into Squeege's ugly, old, hairy ears again this year. He still shuttered when he thought about it.

Bob was still shuddering at the memory as he stepped into the doorway of Ebenezer Squeegee's office. He knocked respectfully on the door before he spoke.
"Excuse me. Sir?"
Squeegee stopped counting and turned off his Samsung Pad.
Old bugger probably looking at porn again, I'll wager- thought Bob Scratchit.
"Pardon Sir, but what with tomorrow being Christmas Day, I thought maybe you might just make the decision and close the office down for the next week so as both of us might make merry and enjoy the holiday period"- Bob Cratchit said meekly to his employer.
"Whaat? Who the fuck is this Mary you wanna make?"- Squeegee's tone was gruff and stinky. Actually the stinky part was probably his feet, since Bob could see Squeegee had kicked his shoes off.
'What do you mean Scratchit? Spit it out!"- Squeegee growled.

"I meant, will you be needing me to come to work, sir? and...and...maybe you could take a much needed repose yourself Sir. I mean you are looking rather old and tired."
Bob wanted to say he smelled as well but thought better of it.

"Old? Tired? Screw you Bobby boy!" Squeegee paused and had a think. Well, either he had a think or it was gas.
"So, you want Christmas Day. Christmas Day! Bah, humbug!" replied Squeegee.
Bob Scratchit started to tremble just a bit. He pee'd a bit too and after he had only just emptied his bladder.
Bah. Bumhug.

"I suppose if you must have the day off ya better get the scissors and trim these ears of mine and while you're at it sonny boy you can pluck away some of these nasty nose hairs as well. Maybe even a Brazilian. Now get to work! Heh. Heh." Squeegee started to smile.
"Wait! Wait just a dicky dongle Ebeneezer Squeegee! I am not interested in performing acts of personal hygiene on you once more all in the name of Christmas! In fact- I refuse to do so!" Bob was firm and it had nothing to do with the fact that he felt a little "turned on" thinking of giving his boss a Brazilian.
"Oh, All righty then. What do you have in mind Darling wee Bobby?" Squeegee suddenly sounded sweet as pie." Come over here and let me give you a hard Holiday hug."
Bob Scratchit suddenly started to feel a bit uncomfortable and he quickly blurted out-
"Perhaps, if I let you look at these selfies I took at the beach last year. I'm wearing my blue speedos!"
Bob pulled out his Samsung Edge phone.
"Would that be good enough kind, gentle master?"
He winced as he said it. His inside voice said- Damn, why did I bring up those Speedo photos?
Ebenezer Squeegee began to rise.
I mean from his chair you filthy, fable-reading buggers!
As he got up from his chair Squeegee looked Bob right in the eyes and extended his hand.
Bob looked at Squeegee's strong, hard fingers and said-
"Well now it takes a big boss to offer his hand to an underling. Thankee!"
"It's simply an show of thanks in the spirit of the season." crowed Ebeneezer.
Bob Scratchit felt small and awful. He grabbed Ebeneezer Squeegee's hand and gave it a hardy shake.
As he did so Squeegee cried out- "Ha Hah Bobby Boy. Gotcha! Just before you walked into my office, I just had this hand down the front of my slacks having a good old scratch.
Now you have my plum pudding scent all over your pinkies. Cripes Bob Scratchit! This is the best Christmas yet. Hah! Hah! Hah!"
Bob recoiled and smelled his hand. Sure enough! Squeegee was all over his palm. Yuck!
"Very funny Sir. Very funny. You sure got me this time- didn't you." Bob wiped his palm on his pants all the while cursing under his breath.
"So are we going to enjoy the holiday or not, Sir?" Bob asked again with a weak smile.
Ebeneezer Squeegee looked Bob Scratchit right in the eyes for a second time and extended his other hand.
"Of course. Now, have a very Happy Christmas Bob. I mean it. Maybe I don't tell you enough how valuable you are to me."
Bob looked at Squeegee's other hand and warmly reached out to give it a firm Holiday shake.
"Hah and Hah again Bob! You're just too easy. I got my stuff all over this hand too.
Hah. Hah. Ho. Ho Ho!"
Bob pulled back his hand reaching for a wet nappy from a package that sat on Squeegee's desk. Now he knew why they were there.
Yucky he thought!
Squeegee was still chortling as Bob finished wiping his hands clean and then disposing of the wet nappy in the garbage can next to Squeegee's desk.
"Okay, Bob my lad. Sorry. That wasn't as good as last year's Holiday prank when I poured crazy glue all over the toilet seat in the gents but I guess it'll have to do. Look Bob, take a good holiday break and just for being such a good sport and employee I'm going to double your wages but be sure you are here all the earlier the day after the Holidays are through. Christmas is not an excuse for being a lazy clark! It's a poor excuse in fact."
"Yes Sir! Yes Sir! I'll be here and earlier than ever! You'll see!"
Bob was ecstatic. He jumped up on Squeegee's desk and started to table dance to an old Cher song playing on a radio somewhere in Squeegee's office. He looked down at Ebeneezer Squeegee who was shoving his hands down the front of his slacks. Damn! He must have a radio shoved down there too!
Bob soon realized what his dancing was leading to and swiftly jumped to the floor!
Gaining some composure and slicking his oily hair back into place he asked-
"So, Sir. What are your holiday plans?"
Ebenezer removed his panty hands from his slacks.
"Well you remember that blonde lad Bruce who brought me the prize turkey a few years back?"
"Yes. I do and just to confirm that lad was legal and 19. He also brought the butcher back in record time- if I remember the story. Dickens of a day that was Sir!"
"Indeed." said Squeegee, "but now that lad is a sturdy 24 years old and built like a brick
workhouse. I've invited him over to sample my gruel tonight."
"Oh Sir!" Bob smirked. "Gruel. Is that a euphemism for....?"
Ebeneezer Squeegee scowled and glared at Bobby Scratchit straight in the eyes as was his usual way and said-
"Get your mind out of the Christmas Guttersock Bob!"
Bob smiled a wide holiday grin. "Good one. Sir! Merry Christmas! A very Merry Christmas Sir!"
He turned on his fashionable heels and headed back to his own office looking forward to the time when he could put down his scratchy pen and head home to his wife- Mrs. Beverley Scratchit. Beverley was a cross-dresser and her name was really Roger but Bob didn't mind. He didn't mind one little bit for Beverley could cook a turkey so moist it would make any Queen weep. Also, Dear Readers, her giblets were superb!
Beverley's giblets- not the Queen's, I mean.
That night, Squeegee went home to his huge manor house. He ate a cold supper of salad and oysters and waited for Bruce to arrive.
When Bruce finally did so, Ebeneezer Squeegee encouraged the brawny lad- who in deed was at the age of 24, not to waste a minute of time for the oysters were starting to have their desired effect on Squeegee's manly bits.
Later, in the middle of the night, Ebeneezer was awakened suddenly by a strange noise in his room. It sounded like huffing and puffing. Was it a ghost of Christmas Past?
He sat up in his bed and saw Bruce- who was 24 years old may I remind you, doing push ups on the carpet across the room in front of the roaring fire.
Seeing this vision of a man, Squeegee threw back the bedclothes and hurried downstairs to consume even more oysters. Then, as quickly as he ran down the stairs, he ran back up again taking the steps two at a time.
Silly old bugger. He was past being athletic Dear Readers.
Way past!
Ebeneezer needed to make merry once more- or at least in this case Bruce- and perhaps have a good old game of "Blind Man's Buff"!
No explanation required Dear Readers, if you catch my drift!
As Ebeneezer Squeegee hopped back into bed he began to sing ever so loudly his favourite Holiday tune of all time- O Come All Ye Faithful!
As Squeegee sang every note in the Spirit of the Christmas Season, Bruce- who was 24 years old you will by now remember, hopped back into bed, his massive chest ruddy-red from the exertion of the push ups on the floor before the flaming hearth.
Red just happened to be Ebeneezer Squeegee's favourite colour- the old Queen that he was!
As Bruce set to work Ebeneezer sang out in  the most perfect and wonderful High C ever heard-
"Merry Christmas, Everyone!"
The End.





Thursday, December 8, 2016


Here are a few of my favourite things!
Raindrops on roses- of course.
Whiskers on kittens.
That goes without saying...
Then there's the crisp smell of a December morning.
Lights sparkling on gold-bedecked trees in our parlour.
The windows on Oxford Street in London.
The Christmas Market on Paris' Champs d'Elysses.
Bing Crosby singing White Christmas.
The Harry Simeon Chorale singing The Little Drummer Boy.
The Queen's Message:
...when they all go home!
Hot chocolate.
Scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam.
Watching Home Alone2 and Holiday Inn.
The song Jingle Bells, Little Drummer Boy and Silver Bells.
A turkey Roasting in the oven.
Holiday Dinner with friends.
The 900 twinkling lights on our Keeping Room Tree.
The hundred or so glass ornaments bought at various shops at home, away and far away like London and Paris.
Browsing through Holiday magazines for Christmas ideas.
Walking our schnauzers- Missy and Koko, in a soft, gentle snowfall.
The Christmas lights in our neighbourhood.
Our Orange boys- Dickens and Doyle in the snow on the side verandah while they wait for puddy breakfast.
The Manger Scene my Grandma Reid started for me by letting me purchase three 29 cent figurines- hand-painted in Italy, bought at Orillia's Woolworth Store in 1962 or so.
The tri-coloured bell that hung on our tree at our Lake Simcoe Home in the 1950's, that now hangs on our Keeping Room tree in my own home.
My husband Tom in his Santa Hat.
The Holiday Tunes on my online radio stations- Swisssh and Starlite. 
Having a tea and apple fritter at Mariposa Market.
the quiet, peaceful, stillness of a Christmas Eve.
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


A pox on my Christmas?

Say it ain't so. If I were counting- and I am, this season was been wrought with electrical problems. No less than four strings of white mini-lights have burnt out. The last set- last evening, on a wreath that hangs above our "shed-mahal" door.
That's our garden shed.
We call it the "shed-mahal" because we got carried away with the design many years ago and from the street it looks like a small house, hence the "shed-mahal". The wreath made of grapevine requires a 14 foot ladder to reach it. So, last evening when the lights came on, a string of white lights on the huge wreath were dark.

A year ago I had also wrapped the wreath in a set of red LED lights. The red/white combination looked brilliant! Last night was a warm evening and it sure didn't feel like mid-November as I dragged the wooden ladder from the "shed" and propped it up against the door. As usual, I had to stand a couple of steps from the top on the ladder to grab the wreath from its hook and take it down. Luckily, I had found another set of white LED lights in the garage loft so I set about replacing the one that had turned black. I wonder if there had been a brown-out? I have noticed the lights dim during the evening a couple of times in the past week.
I dunno...

I set about removing the offending lights but the wire was entwined around the red light string and an artificial garland of green fir I had wrapped around the wreath, so, I got the pliers out and cut the wires! A "Tim-the-Tool-Man-Taylor tip"!  I mean that Tim Taylor knows everything about Christmas decorating and yes- I unplugged the set first before I cut! After removing the bits of severed light string, I wrapped the new LED set  around the wreath an  climbed up the ladder to hang the wreath in its place. At least I would be using less energy with the new lights but I still wonder why I have had so many sets go dark this season. The wreath looks great once more.

Now, I have to tell you there is a  fine line between classic decorating for Christmas and "tacky".
Tacky, as an example, would be those plastic, blow up figures once sees in some neighbourhoods- not ours thank goodness, around the city.

Now, don't judge me but I am a little hesitant to tell you this. You see, the past couple of holiday seasons, I have seen an Eiffel Tower up at the Home Depot that lights up and sparkles. Now, keeping in mind that not only have I seen the "real" Eiffel Tower "sparkle" on the hour a couple of times at Christmas and climbed to its very top, I had been tempted to buy this 7 foot replica in previous years. Well now, earlier this week when I was at what my husband and I refer to as "The Homo Depot" buying paint, I saw the replica tower again.
What can I say?
I had a weak moment and shelled out a hundred and thirty-nine bucks for this sparkling white version. I mean the lady at the cash said it would look beautiful with a bit of snow falling.
"Maybe so."- I said, "I just hope it doesn't look tacky."
"No. No. Not at all!"- she replied scanning the bar code on the box.
I noticed she couldn't look me in the eye.

Hennaway, last evening as well as dealing with the light string outage, I also put my "EffelTower" together and plugged her in. She looks good and to tell you the truth, her lights sparkle in the same manner as the lights on the "real" tower there on the right bank in Paris.

Here's a pic of the "real" Eiffel Tower sparkling a couple of years back
Now, this tower is treading the fine line between "classy" and "tacky" but I think I can handle it. My husband Tom's reaction was simply-
"Oh, Honey..." so, that's good- isn't it?
A neighbour from France saw the tower twinkling away last night and said it looked nice.
No, he's not from Nice.

Now, onwards and upwards and here's hoping my seasonal lighting problems will end and I'll "sparkle" through the season.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


Ohm, Boo Hoo Hoo.
America got "trumped".
I figured it would happen. I watched it happen here in Canada when Harper won big.
Grow up America!
You've got muscle.
You've got power.
You've got Hollywood.
You've got our "Will"- Eric MCormack I mean...and
You've got a plethora of memorials to sob over from Pearl Harbour to The Trade Centre.
This is just one more disaster.

So what if your country is being lead by a right-wing, racist, bimbo millionaire. At least, that's what I hear and believe me I don't read or watch that much associated with your magnificent country, so there must be some credence there from what I say because I pay such little attention. Besides, you people have gotten rid of Presidents before- haven't you? Or in some cases- attempted to. It right there in your history books.
I say "your" because you all tend to paint the world's history with your own brush. Give it an American spin if you will.
Now, I am not suggesting that something might happen but you have to be the first to admit with all the guns in your country it's not exactly off the list of improbabilities now- is it?

Up here in Canada...
Now, I have to laugh here. If you take the time to look at a map you'll soon see that a great bit of our beloved Canada is actually south of your Un-unified States.
Go ahead.
I'll wait..............................................................................................................................
.......................Oh, you're back.

A Typical American Family at Christmas

As I was saying, up here in Canada we had his royal dictatorship Mr. Harper for 10 years before our "Saviour" Justin Trudeau came along- handsome devil that he is. Fortunately for us he has a brain as well. You didn't hear us whining and crying and saying "Oh woe is us!" when we had to endure Harper's right-wing kingdom.
Okay, we did whine a bit but we still have a Queen to pledge our allegiance to so hah-hah to that one.

My advice kids?
Pull up your big boy panties and get on with it already.
I don't know Ms. Clinton or really anything about her except for the fact her husband in his "randy" elected years spewed sperm on an office gal.
Who knows?
Maybe sperm is thicker than water and people just can't forget about that tainted, painted rose and the painted and tainted "Mrs."
I mean honestly? Are you like me?
Every time I see a photo of Mr.s Clinton I think of that sperm stain- and it wasn't even her little dark dress. It was some strumpet's-wasn't it?

Maybe you'll all feel better about "Thumper" once he's hosted Saturday Night Live a few times or sends all the blacks back to Africa or the Mexicans to Canada. I mean really, the Mexicans don't want to go home to Mexico. That'll all happen before he builds the walls of course.

Did you know we have Mexicans in our area? They work the huge produce farms just east of Orillia  along Lake Simcoe's shoreline. They also work the fields of Holland Marsh to the south of us too. These hard-working folks can be seen strolling along Mississaga Street- our main street, on summer nights. A chance to leave the fields behind and come into town to have some fun.

So, that's about all I got for you. I don't really pay much attention to US Politics that would allow me to expand on what I've written here.
WTF you say?
"Yes", I say, I can still live in Canada and ignore your news and sports and political goings-on, if I choose to. Any Canadian can but some of us just get caught up in all your nonsense, just like the rest of the world.

Honestly, I can't wait for our PM Justin Trudeau to send an invite to Trump for a State Visit. By that time her Royal Maj- Liz, will probably get around to doing it too. I think she's just waiting for Justin to go first!

Sunday, October 30, 2016


That's it folks!

Sadie Flynn Comes to Big Oak has had it's closing night at the newly renovated St Paul's Centre in Orillia and now this fellah is done.
I bid a fond farewell to Orillia Theatre.
Double R Productions will continue for my Online stations Swisssh and Starlite- but not for theatre.

Why I am "retiring" from theatre?
Cripes, I could make a list.
Money, gossip, backstabbing, Divas, Diva -Dons, little support, few bums in seats...
I could go on and on but why?

I did a bunch of shows over the past decade or more and now it's time to bring down the curtain.
$27 dollars was our ticket price this season for both "All for Nun...The 2nd Coming" and Norm Foster's "Sadie Flynn Comes to Big Oak" and yet it was a tough sell. Cheaper for groups.

We took All for Nun...The 2nd Coming to Beaverton as well as Orillia. The Beaverton shows did us in revenue-wise. We barely made what one bus tour would have given us. My Husband Tom and I are in the hole several thousand dollars. That comes from our own pockets and being retired that comes off the top of our fixed income. Not to worry, all our theatre bills will be paid but at a cost.

Advertising tanked- both on radio and in Newspapers. It cost us plenty but it didn't give us the return we expected. For a small not-for-profit theatre company who donated to non-profits, we spent a bunch. I could count on one hand the sales radio brought and the newspapers maybe- maybe, a dozen ticket sales.

Now with another summer theatre company moving in to our former space next summer, I knew it was time to quit.

No tears.
I do feel defeated however. The support in the community just wasn't there. Now, someone else can worry about getting the "bums" in the theatre.
I am through.

A big thanks to the casts and crews and the volunteers and the freebees we got from local media over the years. It was a valiant effort. Sometimes we won. Sometimes we lost.
This time...we lost.

So, with a stiff upper lip I am looking forward to spending more time with my radio stations Swisssh and Starlite and of course there's Christmas coming and travelling a bit. I gotta get back to Paris. It's been a couple of years. London's Oxford Street and Christmas Shopping is calling me as well as the quaint Christmas Market of Mainz in Germany.

I'll still be writing here on my Rob Blog. Not to worry.

Hennaway, I just thought I would let you know what's up and now as the lights dim and the curtain falls, I bid Orillia Theatre adieu.

Friday, October 14, 2016


Busy. Busy. Busy.
Did I mention that I am busy?
It's October and our final Orillia Theatre show of this 2016 season is in production.
Rehearsals now and then our show- Norm Foster's "Sadie Flynn Comes to Big Oak" opens October 27th at the newly renovated St. Paul's Centre in Downtown Orillia.
This is exciting- partly because of this new space created by St Paul's. Double R Productions/Orillia Theatre will be the first "theatrical group" to use the new stage and space- and as Orson Hubble in "Sadie Flynn" would say- "It's big, right?"
Sure is.
Huge stage and a big, cavernous hall to fill.
We could put up to 400 bums in seats.
Now, that won't happen unless there's a miracle but we are hoping for a hundred or so at each of our six performances.
The cast comes includes Jim Dwyer, Gayle Carlyle, Teal Cochrane, Laurie Herd and yours truly. The cast comes from near and far- Huntsville, Bracebridge, Washago and of course Orillia.
Tom Ruechel is our Stage Manager and is assisted by Michael Abernethy, who you might remember from our fall show in 2015- The Importance of Being Earnest.
That show was performed at St. Paul's too, only in the "old" space.
So, if you are reading this and are close to or in the City of Orillia, come see our show and support our not for Profit Theatre Company- and St. Paul's Centre.
Opening Night October 27th we donate part of our door receipts to Green Haven Shelter. Friday Night the Cast & Crew is raising funds for "Dress for the Cause" (Breast Cancer).
Saturday night we offer our audience prizes for Best Costume- if they come in costume that is.
That should be a fun night preceding Hallowe'en on Monday.
Come and see the show and have dinner on Thursday October 27th and Saturday October 29th.
Our Lunch and Show is Friday October 28th at 2pm.
Our Box Office can be reached at 705.242.4092
Come and see Sadie Flynn. We'll be waiting for you!

Friday, September 23, 2016


Over the river and through the woods,
To Grandma's House we go...

or is it? Grandma's I mean.

M. Night Shyamalan's movie- The Visit, is about just that. Grandma's House and Grampa's too.
It's a goodie. It was released last year about this time

I always enjoyed going to my Grandma's House back in the 50's and 60's. It was a white stucco, two-storey home right next to Davey Park's barn. Sounds like it was in the country but it wasn't. It was right in Orillia where the Thor Motor's Service Department now stands. The house was bulldozed down- and the memories along with it, about 3 years ago.

Going to Grandma Reid's for Thanksgiving, Christmas and a assortment of other special occasions was a big deal. Not so much with the kiddies in "the Visit" who leave home to stay with their Grandparents for the first time- sight unseen, while Mommy buggers off for a week on a cruise with the new boyfriend. The kids video the whole experience.

The house is set in the pastoral countryside. A real charmer both inside and out. It's what happens inside and out that makes this M Night movie such a creepy thriller. Oh there are a couple of laughs too but when the unexpected happens look out. Grab your chair's arms and hold on for the ride.

You shouldn't be surprized at the tension in The Visit. It is M. Night Shyamalan after all.
I thought I had the movie figured out.
I didn't.

We watched it at home on our big-screen. I thought it would be safe.
I jumped about three times and my heart beat faster than a turkey's arse at fly-time.

It warmed me up for the Hallowe'en season I suppose.
I can't say too much because I will give the creepiness away and you should experience it on your own. I will say there are several bits when a hand-held camera gets to be a bit of a bumpy ride and because of my inner ear imbalance, I have to look away. I should make you aware of that. No need to get motion-sick watching a movie that is meant to scare you not sicken you.

For the most part you won't really recognize the actors in the movie. Makes it more real I suppose.

So children, stay out of sheds where creepy old Grandfathers go.
Don't crawl under your Grandma's house.
Keep your bedroom door locked after 930 pm.
Follow these rules and you'll be fine.

Or will you.....

Saturday, September 3, 2016


I've been busy the past few days.

I should say we.
My retired husband and myself have begun to de-clutter and purge- again.
From the house.
From the garage.
From the garden shed.
Oh and in the midst of all this purging and renewal I had to take my new Samsung Notebook 7 phone back to Best Buy- seeing that it had the capability of not only writing on the screen but blowing up and setting itself and our house on fire when in the charging mode.
I have another Samsung now. So we are safe. Friends were calling, warning me of the imminent danger of my Notebook phone.
How nice!
This time I have the Samsung Edge 7. Almost the same as the Note 7- without the explosions- but I have to write on plain old paper with a plain old pen instead of on a mobile screen.
Technology, eh?

Hennaway, back to purging and renewal, we put a bunch of stuff to the curb and a lot of it has been picked up for free by those who are hoarders. I had to move off the front veranda to the side veranda because I was making the punters nervous wondering. I guess my face was saying- "So, that's the kind of people that pick up another person's junk and take it home".
For free mind you.

We have a loft in our garage and once emptied, we had so much stuff it covered the garage floor and spilled out onto the deck.
There is still two Christmas trees in boxes, toilet paper and paper towels from Costco and a couple of bins of Hallowe'en decorations up top but I managed to use the shop vac and vacuum the rug and the bare floor up there. That's the first time I have vacuumed the floor in the loft. You know,  I think there was less dust there than what I see on tables and TV screens in the house in a normal week.
Dunno why but that's what it seemed like hennaway.

There are a dozen bags of clothes and comforters and stuff from past theatrical shows that are all stuffed into clear lawn bags and packed into the van. A trip to Value Village will soon rid us of those.

I have gone through a bunch of CD's and I have one more cabinet to go. I am however, still clinging to a stack of albums that I just haven't been able to rid myself of yet. Perhaps another day. Some of this purging it hard because the items being purged hold a bunch of memories. For instance, there is my Zenith Allegro Tuned Port speakers I bought- on time, from West End Radio back in 1972.
I loved to listen to CKFM 99.9- The Sound of Our Toronto on those speakers. The base was amazing and so was that radio station.
~heavy sigh here~

So, I thought I would update you on what is happening in my life right now.
Purging and dreams of moving to Vancouver Island- Parksville to be exact. More of Parksville and getting away from Central Ontario winters in another blog. Right now I have that stack of CD's to go through...

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


August Days and Nights.
From heat and a drought that lasted from May 11 until August 12th, today we find ourselves trying to remember how many cubits wide and long were the instructions that Noah was given to build the Arc.
I have a Wooden Arc. Not a full sized Arc but one I bought years ago at Wal*Mart, just around Christmas. It was there in the Christmas Decorations department at the "old" Wal*Mart in Orillia- before they built the super-sized version on Murphy Road.
I had always wanted an Arc.
Dunno why.
I did see Arcs in many Home Decorating magazines over the years and that piqued my interest. I thought it was quite the good fortune when I came upon this one at Wal*Mart.
They were never to be seen again,
Strange that it appeared at Christmas. The Noah story didn't involve Christmas since Christmas hadn't been invented yet.
This Arc has tiny, hand-carved and painted images of Noah and the animals. Yes, Noah is alone in my hand-carveds version of the story. The wife must have been shopping and the boys off pissing around instead of helping Dad sort out the animals.
Noah is a good story except for all the "bad" people who came to their deaths by drowning.
That couldn't have been much fun but you know God.
God likes to configure these huge disasters and get rid of a bunch of folks who don't see things quite his way.
Wouldn't God have a field day today?
I wonder who he would target first?
Women who mix various different fabrics together to make a Sunday outfit?
The Jews for killing his Son?
Gays for being Gay or the Lesbians for wearing too much plaid?
Ford for smoking crack/- although that one has resolved itself.
The list would be a long and involved one and any decision would require much thought and study.
Why, I imagine God would get such a headache from all the business going on down here on earth that he'd resign and concentrate on another planet that might only be half as much trouble as Planet Earth. Either that or he'd just take a day off to have fun and go to the CNE in Toronto where he'd eat a bunch of Candy Floss and stare at all the boys in tight, white tee shirts as they passed him by.
Oh. Wait.
That would be me.
Not God.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

RobBlog #603

Well it's been awhile hasn't it?
Where have I been you may well ask?
Directing and being in a show for the month of July is my answer.
Sister Mary Margaret and the Sisters at the Church of Little Hope have performed 14 shows over the past three weeks both in Orillia at the OCC and in Beaverton at the c.1910 Beaverton Town Hall Theatre.
The audiences have been super. ..for the most part. A couple have been like pulling teeth and one in particular in Beaverton on a Friday Night was like death warmed over. Fellow actor Claire Acott (Sister Murray Anne) and myself called time of death at 923pm in the second act. That was a tough be sure.
Sister Mary Margaret & Sister Murray Anne on stage at the OCC

Next, come October, rehearsals start for Norm Foster's "Sadie Flynn Comes to Big Oak". A rip-roaring, hilariously funny story about the goings on in a small town in Ontario called Big Oak. It's Norm Foster funny at his best and it runs at St. Paul's Centre October 27 to 30th! Look to our Facebook page for details:
In other news...
I turned 65 years old on Friday July 29th.
My husband Tom had a big Sunday afternoon soiree in honour of that milestone on Sunday July 31st at Casino Rama. 40 or 50 friends were there. The food was terrific and the chocolate birthday cake to die for. How can one go wrong with a 1/2 inch of fudge icing on top of a chocolate slab layer cake?Kudos to the dessert chefs at Casino Rama. You outdid yourselves. Everybody raved!
So between acing and turning 65, I haven't had a lot of time. Being all of 65 years old hasn't really hit me yet. I can't compute that figure. Like most baby-boomers my age, it just doesn't seem right. Our parents and grandparents turned 65 but not us. Not me.
However, my birth certificate does not lie. I was indeed born in July of 1951.
Older than least dirt born after 1951.
One birthday wish said:
"Growing Older is Mandatory. Growing up is optional".
That's me.
When I saw Peter Pan as a kid- before I knew that Peter was played by a "girl", I said to myself- I'm never going to grow up and I still haven't.
I try to deny the reality in many things and truly believe that Hugh Jackman and I could be twins!
Old phart that I am!
Hugh and Me- Can't distinguish the difference? That's Hugh above!
I may not be able to pull off a tight tank top any longer but I still have great legs, big tits and a kickass butt.
What more can an old fellah ask for?

Sunday, June 26, 2016


Everyone I run into these days is asking me the same question?
"So, how are ticket sales going for Orillia Summer Theatre Rob?"
"They can only get better"- the little voice in my head says, "if you get off your duff and buy some tickets!
The main focus of theatre producers today-
How to get bums in seats.
It never gets easier. Even for the big guys. That's why Mirvish calls you a thousand times to get you to buy a season subscription. Once they have your money, who cares if you show up or pass your seats on to someone else. They have your money.
For the little guys like us- Double R Production/Orillia Summer Theatre, it's twice as hard.
No wait.
It's endlessly hard.
One has to work at sales and promotion daily.
Talk. Talk. Talk theatre.
Interviews. Press Releases. Advertising. E-mails. Twitter. Facebook.
All social media and you hope that someone sees your tweet and passes it on to their followers.
Bus tours are down this year. Apparently folks are not booking daytrips- much to our chagrin, so we are focusing on groups.
PROBUS. Red Hat Ladies. Kiwanis. Church groups. Rotary. Irish Groups and even more PROBUS.
Groups get a discount and reserved block seating.
Our summer shows include one I wrote- "All for Nun...The 2nd Coming" a Habit-Centric Musical Comedy and Norm Fosters "Sadie Flynn Comes to Big Oak".
We have expanded this 2016 season and are performing our first show- All for Nun...The 2nd Coming at two theatres at the same time!
Two sets.
Two or every prop.
Only one of each actor.
We open at the Beaverton Town Hall Theatre on July 15th and at The OCC on July 19th.
We alternate locations for three weeks.
Friday and Saturday's at 8pm in Beaverton and Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday Matinees (2PM) and Thursday Night (8PM) at the OCC in Orillia. (64 Colborne Street, East)
We'll see how that goes.
Then, our second offering this season opens August 9th at the OCC- that's Norm's "Sadie Flynn"
Actors and crew come from Toronto, Barrie and Muskoka and well as points east and from Orillia and area too. We are Orillia's only Non-Equity (non union) theatre company providing work for actors and crew in central Ontario- and that's a big deal for us.
We audition and pull in actors (Non Equity) from many centres. This allows, good, professional actors to ply their craft without being union members. Being Equity does not make a good actor. Only an actor can be good in his or her own right- and with a lot of work and preparation.
Anyway, enough of that.
It's apples and oranges.
If you want a fun evening or afternoon out this summer comes see our productions in Beaverton or Orillia. You will have fun- and the theatre seats are comfortable too!
If you have a group of 10+ call Claire our Group and Tour Manager at 416.271.5751. If you want to skip the long distance charges- if applicable, call our box office (705.242.4092) and we'll have Claire get in touch with you.
Tickets are $27 pp at the OCC. $25 pp for a group off 10 or more.
The Box Office open in person daily from 11-2 Monday to Saturday.
Tickets are always $25 at the c.1910 Beaverton Town Hall Theatre. Get them at Maxine's Fashions on Simcoe Street-opposite the theatre, in Downtown Beaverton or call 705.426.7743
Get some friends together. Have dinner or lunch and come see one of our shows.
We hope you enjoy this 2016 season...oh, we're already planning the 2017 season- so stay tuned.

Sunday, June 5, 2016


The morning was bright and sunny as I walked from our tiny but efficient kitchen- gripping my coffee mug, heading for the balcony. The "husband" was still snoozing. He had a restless night. His knee was bugging him again so I best let him sleep. Late spring sunshine was flowing through tall casement windows that ran along the south side of our second floor home. I opened the French doors and stepped out. Paris was beautiful in the morning- well anytime to be sure.
I looked down into Victor Hugo Square to see folks scurrying along with baguettes and briefcases clutched in their hand.
I took a sip of coffee and smiled.
Ahhh.... Paris. I love you. Do you love me?
Of course you do!
Looking straight out from our second floor walk-up I could see the Eiffel Tower.
Almost unreal but truly Paris.
I pinched myself.
Yes, it was all real and I really was living in Paris.
Romantic. Special. Heart-warming.
We were lucky being able to keep our home back in Ontario as well as this wonderful Paris apartment where we have lived the past year.
Below me, kids were riding bikes and shop keepers were sweeping the pavement in front of their stores. Traffic was light this morning- but steady. Fiats everywhere and motorized bikes too.
I took another sip of coffee as the doorbell chimed.
I walked across the living room to the hall and opened the door.
There stood Madame Taggart.
"Bonjour Madame!"
"Bonjour Mssr. Clemenceau!" She always calls me that because it is a Parisienne name I dubbed myself with- Robert Clemenceau. A Metro stop in Paris is called Clemenceau. I saw it. Liked it. Adopted it. It's so Paree- n'est-ce-pas?
"Mssr. Clemenceau, I have brought you this number. It is the number huit (8) pour votre fenetre."
"Quoi? What? Pourquoi? Why? Madame Taggart."
"Par ce-que, the numbers of the flats are changing and you need to display this numero huit dans la fenetre for purposes of emergency etcetera."
"What emergency Madame?" I sipped at my café.
"Oh, it isn't an emergency immediatement, mais if one happens, you are prepared."
"Oh."- I say and Madame Taggart sweeps across the room to the window and affixes the number 8
with two pieces of cello tape.
"There. That is done! I bid you bon jour aujourd' hui " she called as she swept out the door and into the hallway outside our second story walk-up.
"What was that?" My husband Thomas was up and standing at the entrance to the living room scratching his head. He walked to the refrigerator and poured a glass of juice.
"That, My Dear was Madame Taggart sticking a number 8 on our window" I pointed, "Don't ask. I don't quite understand. The numbers are changing or something."
"Oh." he says as if it was too early to care and walked to the balcony and sat in a white wicker chair.

Once again the door chime rings.
Good God what now, I wonder?
"Bonjour Robert. Bonjour Thomas. It is us!"
"Oh Mary and Maureen. Bonjour, Hello! Ca va?"
M and M live one floor up. They too have adapted to living in Pars over the past year or so and like us, love the city and it's many moods.
"So Ladies, coffee c'est matin?"
"Absolutement." - says Mary.
"Any toast"- asks Maureen?
"In the kitchen. You know where. It's warming in the oven. Help yourself, I am going to the balcony to sit and watch Paris come alive. C'mon Mary." I linked her elbow in mine and headed for the sunshine and Paris air.
"How'd you sleep I asked my Husband, knowing the answer."
"Not too bad but this frigging knee woke me up once or twice."
"Just another month and it's being seen to." I patted his leg.
"What's happening with his knee?" asked Maureen coming from the kitchen with a tray holding toast and a coffee pot.
I looked to my Husband and said-"He's been complaining for a year and he's going in next month for a partial replacement. He'll be right as rain in a few weeks after that."
"Oh yes. I had forgotten. Amazing what they can do-isn't it?"- adds Mary.
"So what are you Paris trollops up to today?" I sipped at my coffee, smiling.
"We thought a walk around the Marais and then lunch or afternoon tea or something," Maureen says while crunching on brown toast and marmalade."
"Why don't you two come with us. It would be fun. We could stop in that flower shop around the corner from Le Bistro Paris. Their arrangements are beautiful." Mary loves flowers as much as Tom and I.
"I'm up for it. Husband!"
"Sure, I'll hobble if I have too."
"Good then that's that. We can take the Metro to Hotel de Ville and stroll from there." Mary clapped her hands in glee and poured another cup of hot coffee from the pot Maureen had brought from our kitchen.
Maureen looks at our number eight and says-"I see you got your new number from Madame Taggart. We did as well. That Madame Taggart certainly looks after us."
"Did you know her late husband was Canadian?"
"Really? I didn't know."- says Mary, "That's why she's like a mother "poulet". How do you say "hen"?
"Dunno."-mumbles Hubbie as he looked out across the square. He was watching Paris City workers clean the fountain. The algae must be getting thick again.
We all sat looking out across Victor Hugo Place towards the tower.
"Gosh we are lucky, eh Kids?" I was beaming and happy.
"Better finish our un petit dejuner and get ready. Times a wastin' and I have to shower"- says Tom, always the time keeper- even in French time.
We top up our mugs as Maureen slathered peanut butter on another slice of whole wheat while we laid out our Paris Plans for the day.
Place Victor Hugo.
La Tour Eiffel.
The Marais.
Bagettes and Madame Taggart.
Ahhhh, Paree.
Je t'aime. Je t'aime.