Well, you may have noticed that there wasn't a 2009 newsletter and card. I was a little distracted around the end of the year. In October, long time acquaintance Gabe Saulnier invited me over for dinner and a movie. Both were spectacular, and he's been my main squeeze ever since!

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2010 started out with a road trip to Gabe's childhood home in Saulnierville (left) and continued around the French Shore to Barrington Passage, where mine is; the current owners, Rosemary and Norm gave us a complete tour of the lovingly restored house I'd last seen in the mid-1970s.

Gabe took the summer off and returned to work on November 29th. We got a ton of work done around the house during the summer including a new kitchen door and replacing the furniture in the living room to make it hang-around-able and kid-friendly.


Last summer I finally got an iPhone and am lovin' it. It has replaced my pocketbook sized bedside radio, my GPS, my Palm Pilot and... I do occasionally use it for a phone. Gabe got me a boombox for it; I have a strap so it can hang around my neck; there's a car mount for it in the Volvo, and I made a mount for it for between the handlebars of the bike. I do try to not update my Facebook status too often while riding.

Arts stuff? Lots: Operas Carmen, Tales of Hoffman, and Sondheim's Into The Woods; Cirque de Soleil's Alegria, recording a live concert by Paul Pitre's chorus, Choer Louisbourg, Valentine Day Flamenco at FRED, Samba Nova, Intro To Jazz Dance class at Halifax Dance, the AMAZING Kent Monkman exhibit, Michael Kaeshammer and Jill Barber at the Cohn, tea with the Lieutenant Governess, and Gabe's first hockey game - wait, is that art?

Halifax has (or had) a Dinner And A Movie group, and in March, we presented a movie that was important to us both as teenagers: the 1970 Boys In The Band. We served the food in the movie: "spaghetti and meatballs, all flattened out," salad and cake, at the same time as it appeared on screen - and the drink, too, a Blue Whale (vodka, blue curaco, and pineapple juice.)


My highlight for June was the Membertou 400 celebration ending with seeing Her Majesty the Queen on the Halifax Commons.

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We did two big camping trips this summer: Victoria Day weekend at the walk-in campsites in Keji, and a week in Blomidon Provincial Park. I hadn't camped at a site for more than one night for YEARS and it was amazing to have time to do... nothing. We took Doug's heavy Dutch Oven and baked bread nearly every day in Blomidon, and in celebration of Victoria Day, we baked a Victoria Sponge!


On July 27, Gabe and I took off two-up on the motorcycle with no clear destination! We had 11 days of freedom, and we planned one day at a time, and stayed with friends and family whenever possible. Three thousand kilometers later we were back home and had visited Pictou, Kensington, Moncton, Dalhousie, all around the Gaspé Peninsula, Ripple, NB, checked out a WWII Prisoner of War camp, attended a birthday party for a dead lesbian, two pow-wows, found the abandoned Woodleigh Replicas on PEI, and visited a gravel pit thanks to the iPhone's almost infalliable GPS.


Scampering WAY north to miss Hurricane Earl on the Labour Day Weekend, we dropped anchor in Petit Rocher, NB, at the GNG "camping" (we stayed in a cabin and ate in the cookhouse) weekend, as I've done for the last ten years or so. Mike Teal got a ride with us, and en route, we spent a couple of days in Burpee, NB doing handyman work at a friend's offgrid home: Gabe doing the carpentry, me wiring, and Mike landscaping. It was brutally hot, we stopped for a swim every couple of hours and a friendly eagle ("kit'pu") watched over us from the tallest nearby tree.

Back in Halifax, I realized that I'd spent most of August camping or on a roadtrip - what a great summer!

Work: The first half of the year was busy with preparations to install a new registry of motor vehicles software system for the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago; I'm currently doing some smaller projects while we wait for the second phase of that project to pick up.

Around Union Street: Doug's kids, 7 and 9, spend part of the time here and we have fun with cooking, science, words, and music. We've moved the Murphy bed into Doug's room, and a bunk bed into what was originally the third bedroom of the house, then Norval's office, then the dining room, then my study. Trish is still in the basement apartment; brother Gary's working in St. John's and still has his Westie, Michael is esconced at UBC, and Joe's driving truck in Calgary.

For our first anniversary, Gabe used airmiles and coupons to get a free weekend in Charlottetown and GREAT tickets for Hairspray. We managed a quick visit to Earl and Eileen's place near Kensington too.


We were back there for what we thought would be a pretty routine Thanksgiving, and had a very good time catching up with Eileen's daughter and son Kathy and Bobby and his wife Deb. Jaws dropped, however, when Earl was about to say Grace: he announced that he and Eileen had... wait for it... ELOPED the previous Wednesday!

Earl's been diagnosed with COPD and has an in-house oxygen machine but gets out lots. We've been visiting frequently, and racking up lots of kilometers on the 1991 Volvo 740 and Gabe's Sonata.

For the first year since 1998 or so, I haven't been on the board of the Halifax Pride Committee. It's time for me to be a spectator! My involvement with Wayves Magazine has picked up which I'm finding pretty rewarding. Lots of exciting things are going on with Solar Nova Scotia too.

In other vehicle news: my '96 Pacific Coast is as trusty a steed as ever; Wolf and Jim have moved into a much more spacious house, so I haven't used the Winnebago for the last year; plus, Gabe has his own Winnebago, the same model as mine, but ten years younger, so mine is up on the chopping block.

Norval's spending December & January at his condo in Costa Rica. If you need a place to stay there, his is available for rent; drop me a line or visit CondominiumMana.ca. I'm looking forward to showing Gabe my favourite places there- but not this year!

All the best to you for 2011. Hugs - dan

Top Photo: Gabe and I and Zara and Roxie on our back porch, October 27. Thanks for the beautiful photo, Anita Martinez!