• James Parry

Parrywinkle, April 27, 2017

Quick question dear readers – what time is it? If you have instinctively glanced at your right or left wrist like me, you would be checking out your watch. Right? Well, not so fast.

It struck me this past week in my perambulations around town that watches are apparently going the way of the Dodo, fountain pens, cufflinks, ties, cigarette lighters, photo albums, and landline phones in the house. Why? Because people I asked told me they just don't need them anymore.

In this post-analogue era, just about every appliance and electronic device in the home has a digital clock, all blinking like mad after a power outage. Clocks in cars are now standard. Then there are cell and smart phones, iPads, and tablets. Wanna know what time it is? Click on a button. Wanna know what the weather is right now? Or likely to be over the coming week? Click on a button. Wanna know what the …? Well, you get the picture.

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TIMES ARE A-CHANGING - Seriously folks, I checked out 10 guys at random and only one of them was actually wearing a watch. Because it was his father's, he told me, and he would never dream of taking it off. Which got me thinking once again about how the times they are a-changing.

There was a time not too long ago, for example, when a watch was an investment to be treasured as long as, like the wearer, it kept on ticking. Retirees were even given 'gold' watches in honour of their service to a company.

When I immigrated to Canada back in the 1960s and long before smokers became social pariahs, I was given a leather-encased Ronson Varaflame lighter by my fellow journalists as a going-away present. I treasured it for years. Sheesh, now you can buy three plastic cheapies for a buck at any dollar store providing exactly the same function.

Watches? Brand new for $10 and batteries included at just about any flea market. Ditto on cruise ships. And replacement batteries installed for about the same price. As for fountain pens, I still have two but the cost of replacement ink boggles the mind. If you can find the cartridges, that is. And ties? I must have about 75 of every description that I have collected over the years but rarely have an opportunity to wear as I no longer work five days a week in the big city.

Ah well, such is progress I guess. Although I do wonder sometimes whether it is for the better. And besides, I'm running out of time to complete this column!

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LAND AHOY? - Meanwhile, concerned residents and business owners are sure watching the rising floodwater along the banks of the Ottawa River and Lake of Two Mountains here in Hudson, as well as Rigaud and Vaudreuil-Dorion.

According to Rigaud Mayor Hans Gruenwald who declared a state of emergency in his community while ordering the evacuation of some 500 homes there last week - although not everyone was moving out - our region has been hit with some 145 mm of rain so far this year setting a decades-old record.

PHOTO BY JAMES PARRY

What’s wrong with this pic? Well, the boats, seemingly floating in water, are actually on cradles in the flooded parking lot.

I popped by the Hudson Yacht Club last Friday and couldn't believe my eyes. Boats docked on trailers in the parking lot just after the main gate appeared to be awash in water. (See photo below). Some lakefront gardens are underwater almost right up to the house. And irony of ironies, it has been impossible to launch both the Hudson-Oka Ferry and the one operating in Carillon-Pointe Fortune because the water level is just too high. Go figure!

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BOOK THE DATE - In closing, the clock is fast ticking down to the annual blockbuster book sale at Hudson's Wyman Memorial United Church, 513 Main, open from 6 to 9 p.m. this Friday, April 28, and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with all proceeds going to several local worthwhile causes and outreach projects of the Mission and Service Fund. A great decades-old initiative and the perfect time to stock up for summer reading when the rain ain't falling – or even when it is!

And that's wrap!

E-mail: creation@videotron.ca

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