Harley Hay

Long haul to Vancouver, empty room at home

2.327 km. I know, on account of I counted every one of them. Well, my tripometer in my jalopy counted them, but I felt every single one of them.

My lifetime love affair with Agatha Cristie

I used to have a personal relationship with the famous British mystery writer, Agatha Christie.

One learns to be careful on entering a barn

What does this dusty golden harvest season mean to you? Does it mean stocking up on a variety of powerful anti-allergy medications?

Summer ain’t summer without a trip to Canola

It’s the same every year, thank goodness. For 15 years now, the four of us Hays have made the epicly enjoyable journey to Canola. Or, as it’s known in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley and the rest of the world: Kelowna.

Do dogs count as distractions while driving?

OK, so everybody who’s not driving a vehicle right now put up your hand if you’ve ever driven a car, truck, motorcycle or any other street-legal motorized vehicle whilst engaged in one or more of the following acts: talking on a cell phone, texting on a cell phone, adjusting your radio and/or stereo in an aggressive fashion, eating messy fast food, reading a newspaper, knitting, welding, playing Texas Holdem, playing a musical instrument, grooming your dog, putting on makeup, taking off makeup, playing Mario Carts on a Nintendo DS, or sleeping.

I was an addict casualty of the cola wars

OK, I’ll admit it. The PepsiCo Co. has its hooks in me. And if it isn’t Pepsi, it’s Coke (as in Coca-Cola). I’m hopelessly addicted to cola, the kind that Canadians call “pop” and Americans call “soda.” I have been all my adult life, and most of my teenage life. In other words, a really long time.

Red potatoes in la belle province

Last time we talked (well I wrote and maybe you read) I mentioned that my BH and myself recently made a visit to the island of Montreal. Thing is, up until a year or two ago, I didn’t even realize the City of Montreal was an island — that’s how clueless I am about my own beloved country.

Inspired by Sir Paul

Every once in a blue moon, a person gets to do something special. Something they’ve wanted to do for a long time, wanted to do for a lifetime. Cross a big one off the ole bucket list. And last week it was a big time blue moon for me and my Better Half.

I’ll miss the space program — by that much

It’s over. No, I’m not talking about the crash and burn of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, or the latest surprisingly predictable celebrity marriage meltdown.

What’s become of St. Mary’s?

From what I remember of Douglas Cardinal, I’m positive he would be positively livid. I’ll bet he wouldn’t come out of his sweat lodge for a week.

Watch out for the Easy Bake Oven in the sky

So if by some miracle we get rid of the rain, the wind, the various storms and the relentless attack mosquitoes and we are finally rewarded with a blazing hot, pavement-melting, bikini-baking day or two of something called “summer sunshine”, then guess what happens?

School’s out and I’m thinking about french fries

“No more pencils, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks”. It’s a happy ditty that’s been around since schools (and pencils) have been around. Although I’m not even sure if schools still use pencils.

April: when your kids come back – with all their stuff

This week I borrowed a truck from my buddy Dave, loaded it up with bungee cords, old blankets, garbage bags, tape and tarps and headed north. No, I wasn’t going camping, working on the rigs or going to set up a booth at a craft fair.

It’s Easter, have some chocolate and fly a kite

Is it Easter already? I thought it was still February, the way things have been what with spring gone AWOL, and winter still breathing its icy breath down our necks.

Remember your priorities in Freedom 6/49

What would you do if you won $4.3 million in the lottery? Would you immediately get on the phone and quit your job and without a moment’s hesitation, book a flight to somewhere exotic, first class all the way, so that you can spend a week or two or three on a sun-drenched beach, sipping glamorous concoctions with little umbrellas in them while contemplating outrageously decadent ways you would spend your windfall?

Five ways to deal with a too-long winter

What can a person do when winter never ends? When the snow falls as often as gas prices rise? When it’s dozens of degrees colder than it’s supposed to be?

Everyone eventually needs a scope in their space

Lots of people are doing it. Nobody particularly likes it but it’s something that, sooner or later, everybody should do.

Shake your pom poms, the sun will return

As usual this winter, I stepped outside the other day dressed like the Michelin Man sporting long underwear.

Don’t you hate it when you lose the keys to your plane?

Last time we met in these pages, I was blabbing on about the “Big Find” — stories of those memorable times when you find something unexpected and it turns into an interesting (or just plain weird) adventure.

Good fortune, bad beer, and doing the right thing

I’ll never forget it. It was a warm fall morning and I was on my way to South School.