The Timms Times

53rd year

The 2020 Issue

last updated February, 2021

HEADLINES in this Issue

May 2020  Goodbye

Sep 2019  Hello

Nov 2019  New Granddaughter

June 2020  No Job

Oct 2020  Teenager

Oct 2020  Creativity


Strong opinions ahead.

People keep talking about wanting things to be “normal” again. I really hope they don’t mean ‘normal’ in the sense of ‘the way things were’, because they way things were wasn’t good. ‘Normal’ was 20% of the children in Canada living in poverty. ‘Normal’ was only having access to high-quality child care if you could pay the price. ‘Normal’ was whole indigenous nations living without drinkable water. The list goes on.

If there is one thing we’ve learned during this pandemic, it’s that our personal well-being depends on our connection to other people — to our families and friends, sure, but also to our pharmacist and our hairdresser and our grocery cashier and the pet store clerk and our neighbours and even the people on our streets — and our connection to them depends on their health and well being.

Who would ever have suspected that our personal health would depend on people shopping at a market in Wuhan, China?

So, if our personal well being depends on all those people we are connected to having enough to eat and a place to live and a school or daycare for their kids to attend and a health care system to look after them if they get sick, let’s make sure that the world we recreate after the pandemic does that.

For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it.

If only we’re brave enough to be it.

                       Amanda Gorman

Feeling nostalgic?

Indulge yourself by reading an issue or two from our archives.

The 1997 issue

The 1998 issue

The 1999 issue

The 2001 issue

The 2002 issue

The 2003 issue

The 2007-8 issue

The 2009 issue

The 2010 issue

The 2012-2015 issue

The 2016 issue

  Any comments?

Please send them on to us.

Simply put any of our first names in front of

For example:

Goodbye to Living in the Country

May, 2020

Coates Road

     Although we moved out in September 2019, the house didn’t sell until May, 2020. So, that was a few months of incredible anxiety, which made the new pandemic anxiety seem minor. We lost a few pounds, many hours of sleep and a lot of money. The bank made a nice little profit, though.

©2020-2021 Kathleen Timms

Well, It’s Been A Year!








Hello to Living in the City

September 1, 2019


     A day that was not only our 52nd wedding anniversary but the day that we left 31 of those years behind as we moved back into the city. And what’s the first thing we did? Started turning our city-type front lawn into a country garden.

     The second thing was to invite all our neighbours over. Such a pleasant surprise -- having neighbours you can see from your front porch is so much fun.

They Have a New Daughter in the House

Big brother Fionn is a phenomenon. He can build any kind of fantastical Lego creation on his own. He is going to on-again, off-again kindergarten, and astonishing his grandparents with his chemistry homework. Chemistry formulas in kindergarten! What will they think of next?  He’s a wonderful big brother, helping Freya celebrate milestones, learn to walk and to decorate the Christmas tree.

They Have a New Teenager in the House

October 3, 2020


     Alex’s 13th birthday. Can you believe it? We can’t. And Ellie turned 10 in December. As I was saying about time ...

    Stefan has been working from home since last March, and home has been their 2nd house near Collingwood, where they can all indulge their passions for sports of all kinds. Swimming, cycling, running, horseback riding, golf, archery, cross-country skiing, etc. etc. etc. Which Alex and Ellie somehow fit into their daily online school schedule.

     They were back at their Toronto house for a while, for in-person school during Sep-Dec, but have been staying in Collingwood since Christmas.

     We see them often on FaceTime, but you know what? It’s well-nigh impossible to hug your granddaughters through a video screen.

Family Day, 2021


     Or, more like four years really, since we last published. What’s happened to time? The older we get, the faster it goes, and it bends and it twists and it frazzles you when there’s not enough of it and then bores you silly when there’s too much, and suddenly it’s four, or ten, or thirteen! years later. And a lot has happened in those years. Forget the pandemic (don’t you wish we could). Look what has happened to us.

     We are living in a different place. Roger has retired. We have one new granddaughter and one newly teenaged granddaughter. We have grandchildren doing real science in kindergarten. We have seen Skara Brae.

     So, here it is Family Day, February 15, 2021, and what better day to update you on what’s been going on in our family.


Roger Has Been Told Not To Come Back To Work. Ever.

June 7, 2020

<<< FROM THIS                  TO THIS>>>

    In the midst of the first pandemic shutdown, Roger turned 75.  His employer, the Gov’t of Canada, said “Okay, out. You’re done”.  Apparently, people aged 75 or over can no longer make decisions.

     So, no birthday parties. No retirement parties. No visit from the Irish side of the family to celebrate. No gold watch.

     And did they care that they left Kathleen to cope with a bored, restless, 24/7 housemate? Not much.

November 12, 2019


Freya Grace Veale Martin Timms

is born to Orla and Arran. Sister to Fionn, whom she adores.  We’ve watched her grow via photos and FaceTime -- first smile, first tooth, first steps, first birthday, first and second Christmases.

I’m sure she thinks we live in the video screen, because she smiles and waves when she sees us there.

We can’t wait to celebrate a

milestone with them here in

Canada. Maybe next Christmas??????

However, he has turned his mind to learning new skills -- making a garden, mowing the lawn, vacuuming, finding new recipes online, using Zoom to meet with friends and take Pilates classes. And next Spring he’s planning to fix that pathetic lawn -- in between golf games, of course.

Creativity Conquers  Calamity

Hmmm. Must be some new kind of sport.

October, 2020

A cardinal, a blue jay and the apple tree they are nesting in -- otherwise known as Laura, Steve and Fern.

The totally hand-made Halloween costumes are just one example of the creativity that has overtaken the Timms-Walker household as they cope with this pandemic.

Both Laura and Steve are working entirely from home, and following a shared but alternating child care schedule which takes some considerable planning. While missing her daycare friends, Fern was not at all unhappy to have both parents on hand all the time.

Now she’s in kindergarten at her Montessori daycare/school, doing science and art and math and reading. She’ll probably be coding computer programs next month.

Kathleen and Roger

  We hope you and your family are well, healthy and content, and if you have time please send us a note. We would love to hear from you.

Practicing boxitecture in our backyard.

The structure has since become a cafe offering numerous cups of imaginary tea; a grocery store specializing in fruits and vegetables; and a mail drop where an invisible owl delivers letters through the chimney stack.

Becoming Elsa.

Not just the costume. All the songs. All the dialogue, with all the other characters. And woe betide those of us who sometimes mistakenly address her as Fern, when she’s ‘akshally’ Elsa.

On his second day in Kinder-garten Fionn learned the chemical formula for water and that it makes up most of our bodies’ mass.

Another chemistry project.

Creating a graph of her results.

And there you have it. More people like rainbows than unicorns.

For Fern’s 4th birthday in July, who should blow in on the east wind but Mary Poppins -- Grandma’s all-time favourite character.

Following in Dad’s footsteps (finger steps?)

Fern conducting a scientific survey of her classmates’ preferences.

Just look to the right. There’s enough sport going on there for anyone. Alex golfing, and ready to ski. Ellie shooting her bow and riding Smokey.

And that’s only a small selection of their favourite activities.

Before the pyramids were built Neolithic farmers were living in a village on the west coast of Orkney. Its houses were quite sophisticated, built of stone complete with stone furniture and indoor toilets. After 300 or 400 years they abandoned the village and over the next 3500 or so years it gradually disappeared under the blowing sands. Then, in 1850 a huge storm uncovered the village and Skara Brae was discovered.

It’s long been a dream of mine to see Skara Brae, so in September 2019 we went to the Orkney Islands for a tour led by

an actual archaeologist, Dr. Caz Mamwell of Orkney Archaeology Tours.

You may think, as I did, that Orkney is out in the middle of nowhere but you’d be wrong. From prehistoric times up to WW II, it was a happening place; on the well used shipping trade routes from Scandinavia down the west coast of Europe, and with a population of stone engineers who built the most astonishing, beautiful structures, of which Skara Brae is not even the oldest or the most beautiful.

Do yourself a favour and check out Orkney archeology, and when you are ready to book a tour, here’s where to go.