Crossed Wires

Perusing the media this morning, I read an item about an impending royal visit to Halifax, Nova Scotia. “Aha,” I say out loud, “the Queen is coming to town.”

Noah and Nellie are right beside me. They are surprised at the announcement.

“McQueen,” they shout one after the other. The excitement has their eyes shining bright. I am the bad tidings guy. Neither one of them are to excited about this Queen person.

I haven’t been invited to tea but I’ve seen her a few times over the years – Paris, Halifax, Ottawa. The Hippodrome de Longchamps in the Bois de Boulogne was the first sighting in 1972. I was in my early teens and genuinely excited. We were directly across from where she was sitting with the other VIPs in the reviewing stand. She was clearly visible with binoculars and the whole family had a few gawks at her.

On that same Paris visit, my brother and I saw her again just off the Champs Elysées. There were big crowds out to see the Queen of England and her trademark royal wave. Our last sighting was her cavalcade driving by Trocadéro at high speed as we were making our way home after s sumptuous meal chez Jean-Nöel and Marie-Thérèse.

If we’re here and get anywhere close, perhaps Noah will sing out his customized, bilingual version of O Canada. He loves to sing the song. Each note is deeply ingrained in the hockey experience. He sings with pride and ends with a flourish as only he can ringing out his last words – ‘O Canada we stand on guard for free’.

Well it ain’t McQueen but she’ll have to do.

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