Where are you from? It’s a question that makes me wince because it often leads to a conversation that I don’t feel like having. Over the years however I have decided that the best approach is the direct approach, and now I just tell it like it is. I spent my formative years in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Although lately memorable as a war zone, one that was infamous for ‘child soldiers,’ it was a country of great promise in the 1960’s and 70’s. Newly independent and with visionary leadership, the legacy of it’s first Prime Minister, Sir Milton Margai stands in stark contrast to that of other leaders that followed. We lived in the middle of this small, freshly minted country, my mother and father engaged in humanitarian pursuits while my brother, sister and I roamed the village, in a constant quest for companionship and entertainment. It was an idyllic childhood in many ways (if you ignore boarding school) and focus on the holidays spent mainly at the beach.
Eleven years later our family returned to Canada where I was promptly immersed in the teen version of culture shock. I spent those years in rural and small town Ontario just trying to fit in, fixated on the day I that I would finish high school and leave for University. When that did eventually happen, I moved to Guelph. My first real job was at the Bookshelf Café in Guelph Ontario and it was there that I learned how to cook and run a restaurant. It was also where I met my partner. We have been married now for more than 25 years and have a daughter together. She is our best work. This is the same Allie that you have been enjoying on this “life and nonsense” website.
My work at the Bookshelf was followed over the years by a corporate management job with Versa Foods, my own restaurant, my own catering company, administrative and human resources work with a largish local co-operative. After sidestepping the food business I finished a Masters degree in adult education and went to work in the non-profit sector as a general manager in a continuing education organization and following that, at a research centre at the University of Guelph. I currently do web development, editing and writing and am always happy to share my opinion whenever anyone wants to mull over a wicked problem.
My main leisure activity is travel. We have visited many a far flung destination with, and without family members and friends.
Several months ago Russell and I received a Facetime call from Allie telling us about some exciting plans she and her partner Ryan had made to move from Alberta to Ontario. Part of the discussion centred around where they would live while they got themselves situated. It seemed sensible that they would live with us. This site is about that journey.