Sunday: Hili dialogue

November 28, 2021 • 6:30 am

Welcome to Ceiling Cat’s Day, Sunday, November 28, 2021: yet another day to eat leftover turkey; in fact, it’s Turkey Leftover Day. But it’s also National French Toast Day, and I love the stuff. My mom used to make it for me when I was a kid, with Mrs. Butterworth’s (faux) syrup poured on the top.

Further, it’s Small Brewery Sunday, Advent Sunday, Letter Writing Day (when was the last time you wrote a real letter?), and Red Planet Day, celebrating NASA’s launch of the robotic probe Mariner 4 on November 28, 1964. It was the first probe to fly by Mars. Now we have robotic vehicles tootling around on the surface of the planet. 

Today’s Google Doodle is a gif with flashing lights, and links to many articles about holiday shopping (click on screenshot) . I’ve never seen them tout capitalism before:

News of the Day:

*The big news is, of course, the spread of the “omicron” variant of Covid-19, which differs from “regular” strains by some 50 mutant sites, 30 of them in the spike protein. It apparently started in Botswana or South Africa, but has spread to other African countries, as well as Europe, Australia, Thailand and Sri Lanka. It appears to be more transmissible than the Delta strain, but we know nothing about what kind of disease it causes. Stay tuned and keep calm!

However, Matthew sent me this tweet by virus bigwig Eric Topol, who refers to an article suggesting that Omicron might not be as bad as thought, causing only mild disease in the young and the vaccinated. We just have to wait, as the data in this article are very poor (e.g., infection judged by symptoms rather than sequencing).

I asked the other day how so many mutations (more than 50) could accumulate in the omicron strain. Topol suggests an answer here: many of them accumulate as simple neutral mutations, making no difference in the virus’s spreadability or resistance to the immune system (since the patient in which they accumulate is said to be immunocompromised.)

*And at the Washington Post, and in the face of the ignorance about the variant, columnist Megan McArdle has the temerity to write a piece called, “The U.S. must defend itself against the omicron variant—without resorting to lockdowns“:

That strategy can’t be “everyone go back home again and stay there.” The costs of further lockdowns would be heavy, from eating disorders and opioid overdoses to small-business failures and school kids falling behind. Besides, pandemic fatigue is setting in even in blue states. We must be more selective in our policies, opting for anti-covid measures that disrupt daily life as little as possible. And we should look for ones that sidestep contentious political battles, such as mask mandates.

McArdle’s solution? Building codes with better ventilation, travel bans, and better home testing kits. Somebody put her in charge of the CDC! (Only kidding.) Until we know what we’re facing, it’s premature to stipulate what we must and must not do.

*After treatment with insulin-producing stem cells, a 64 year-old man appears to have been cured of juvenile (type I) diabetes. It’s early days, and part of a long trial of 17 afflicted individuals, but read the NYT story to learn about the history that led up to this treatment. Imagine if it became standard procedure to cure a disease that has terrible side effects.

Diabetes experts were astonished but urged caution. The study is continuing and will take five years, involving 17 people with severe cases of Type 1 diabetes. It is not intended as a treatment for the more common Type 2 diabetes.

“We’ve been looking for something like this to happen literally for decades,” said Dr. Irl Hirsch, a diabetes expert at the University of Washington who was not involved in the research. He wants to see the result, not yet published in a peer-reviewed journal, replicated in many more people. He also wants to know if there will be unanticipated adverse effects and if the cells will last for a lifetime or if the treatment would have to be repeated.

But, he said, “bottom line, it is an amazing result.”

*It’s dire enough that contrarian biologist Bret Weinstein vigorously challenged Covid vaccinations and recommended ivermectin in their place, but now, over at Unherd, he makes “the liberal case for gun ownership.” He recounts buying a handgun during the pandemic, and explains why a bearded liberal would have a gun (h/t Hugh):

Most of those stocking up on guns and ammo belong to a culture, and like every other culture, it has its beliefs, suppositions and fears. That culture believes that tyranny may descend on us, even here in the freedom-loving United States of America, and that privately held guns are the key to fending it off. I’m not a member of this culture, but I believe they may well be right about this.

He defends the Second Amendment as left deliberately vague because “private guns may be decisive in a fight against tyranny,” and that tyranny could come at any time.

As a young man I regarded the second amendment as the founders’ biggest blunder. As we head into 2022, my position has flipped — I now believe history may well come to regard it as the most far-sighted thing the founders did, not in spite of its vagueness, but because of it. It’s like a mysterious passage from a sacred text that forces living people to interpret it in a modern context. The founders believed the people needed to be able to defend their free state — with deadly force — whether that refers to a geographical state, or a state of being, or both.

As for the carnage caused by guns in private handsd, well, that’s an unfortunate but necessary side effect of preventing tyranny. As for the coming battle of Weinstein vs. Trump and the army, he says this:

 in a head-to-head conflict between a treasonous, tyrant-led US military on the one hand, and freedom-loving Americans on the other, the military would trounce any number of militias, no matter how “well-regulated”.

But that isn’t really a persuasive argument, for two reasons. First, who decided this would be a fair fight? How many times will the US military have to find itself stalemated by inferior forces before we incorporate the lesson of asymmetric warfare into our national consciousness?

. . . The second reason an armed population might succeed against the military-gone-rogue is that it is exceedingly unlikely the entire military would accept immoral orders.

. . . A fox would almost always win a fight to the death with a domestic cat. But a house cat is capable of doing enough damage on the way out to dissuade anything but a desperate fox from trying it. An armed populace might not be able to defeat a tyrant’s army, but they could well punish it into retreat.

. .  . But if the dynamism of the West, the productivity, the ingenuity, and the quest for fairness can only be protected from tyrants at the point of a gun, then so be it.

Yeah, right. The thought of Weinstein standing in front of his house defending it against  only part of the Army makes me chuckle. The UK has far stricter gun laws than we do: aren’t they afraid of tyranny? After all, while we have Trump, they have Boris. It would do Constitutional Expert Weinstein good to read Garry Wills’s eloquent opposing view of the second amendment: “To keep and bear arms.”

*The Guardian tells a fearful tale. Zoos are overcrowded with an endangered subspecies of primate, and they’re proposing to kill the males rather than return them to the wild (h/t Jozséf):

Overcrowding of critically endangered western lowland gorillas in zoos has led the influential European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (Eaza) to consider killing adult males of the species. Eaza is the body that regulates most of the zoos in Europe.

In the wild they are critically endangered. The exact number of western lowland gorillas is not known because they inhabit some of the most dense and remote rainforests in Africa. Because of poaching and disease, the gorilla’s numbers have declined by more than 60% over the last 20 to 25 years.

Leaked documents seen by the Guardian reveal that culling, castration and keeping adult single males in solitary confinement for a large portion of their lives are seen as potential solutions to an overpopulation of the species in zoos. The gorilla population in Eaza zoos consists of 463 individuals (212 males, 250 females and one of unknown sex) at 69 institutions.

Granted, it might be difficult to put them back in the wild given the reduced habitat and the likelihood that zoo animals could spread disease to the wild ones, but why not in wildlife parks in Africa? And since gorillas are (or soon will be) declared as sentient beings in the UK, along with lobsters, crabs, squid, and octopuses, this could be murder.  The zoos were responsible for bringing these gorillas into being, and now they are responsible for their lives.

*Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 777,310, an increase of 955 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 5,215,057,  an increase of about 5,600 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on November 28 includes:

Here’s how Magellan found his way through the treacherous tip of South America:

That was a lot of dosh in those days! Here’s the entry for their bond of marriage in the Bishop’s registry. I pity the scholars who had to find that. 

  • 1660 – At Gresham College, twelve men, including Christopher Wren, Robert Boyle, John Wilkins, and Sir Robert Moray decide to found what is later known as the Royal Society.
  • 1811 – Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73, premieres at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig.
  • 1893 – Women’s suffrage in New Zealand concludes with the 1893 New Zealand general election.

An 1893 cartoon urging women to vote for the Conservative Party, because they owed it to that party:

Lady Astor served from 1919 to 1945, and her verbal ripostes with Churchill were legendary—and probably apocryphal. Here she is in 1923:

Countess Markievicz, an Irish revolutionary (below), was elected to represent Dublin and environs in the House of Common, but, following Sinn Féin’s abstentionist policy, never took her seat:

Here’s the chart on which Jocelyn Bell Burnett (cheated out of a Nobel Prize) first recognized the regular pulsar signals:

  • 1972 – Last executions in Paris: Claude Buffet and Roger Bontems are guillotined at La Santé Prison.
  • 1979 – Air New Zealand Flight 901, a DC-10 sightseeing flight over Antarctica, crashes into Mount Erebus, killing all 257 people on board.

Mount Erebus is on Ross Island, and the pilots experienced a whiteout, for which they had no training. The coordinates of the flight changed before the crash, and here’s its path:

  • 1990 – British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher resigns as leader of the Conservative Party and, therefore, as Prime Minister. She is succeeded in both positions by John Major.

Notables born on this day include:

Blake’s most famous poem, written and illustrated by him. He was okay at drawing felids, but not terrific: its snout is too short and the forelegs too massive. Oh, and the eyes are bulging.

Engels in 1879:

  • 1881 – Stefan Zweig, Austrian author, playwright, and journalist (d. 1942)
  • 1887 – Ernst Röhm, German soldier and politician (d. 1934)

Röhm was a nasty piece of work, head of the “SA”, the Nazis’ military wing. Hitler ordered his murder during the Night of the Long Knives in 1934, as part of Hitler’s scheme to consolidate his power. Röhm’s scars came from a face injury in WWI. Here he is with Hitler in 1933, little suspecting that his companion would order his death:

N¸rnberg, Reichsparteitag 1933.
Adolf Hitler und Stabschef Rˆhm.

Gordy, who produced some of the finest soul music of the Sixties and Seventies, is still with us at 92

Remember this picture that wrecked Hart’s chances for the Presidency? (It’s not his wife. Do you remember her name?)

  • 1943 – Randy Newman, American singer-songwriter, composer, and pianist
  • 1948 – Alan Lightman, American physicist, novelist, and academician
  • 1962 – Jon Stewart, American comedian, actor, and television host

Those who vanished from this Earth on November 28 include:

  • 1859 – Washington Irving, American short story writer, essayist, biographer, historian (b. 1783)
  • 1939 – James Naismith, Canadian-American physician and educator, created basketball (b. 1861)
  • 1954 – Enrico Fermi, Italian-American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1901)

Fermi and his wife Laura at Los Alamos, 1954. It was here at the University of Chicago that he achieved the first self-sustaining nuclear fission reaction:

  • 1960 – Richard Wright, American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet (b. 1908).

If you haven’t read Wright’s masterpiece, Native Son (1940), do so immediately. (It’s set in Chicago.) Here he is:

  • 1994 – Jeffrey Dahmer, American serial killer (b. 1960)
  • 1994 – Jerry Rubin, American businessman and activist (b. 1938)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn: Hili is upset because she hates cold weather and knows that falling leaves are a harbinger.

Hili: All the leaves fell off.
A: And?
Hili: They are on the ground.
In Polish:
Hili: Wszystkie liście spadły.
Ja: I co?
Hili: Leżą na ziemi.

From Not Another Science Cat Page:

From Nicole:

From Bruce: a meme for yesterday, but also today:

I found this one:

Yahweh himself explains Omicron:

From Luana. I think the tweeter’s interpretation is correct. Click on the text to read the whole thing. What a mess—it’s turning people’s brains to mush.

Ginger K. characterizes this tweet with one word: “True!”

Tweets from the eminent Professor Cobb. This doesn’t look like a baby to me! Juvenile, maybe, but that’s no baby.

I don’t know if this is real or staged, but the translation of the caption is, “I give this masterpiece of silent cinema a 10 out of 10.” Matthew says, “Write your own script.”

What else can you say besides the caption?

Translation: “When you pretend to play football.”

39 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili dialogue

    1. Pullman loaf, half an egg and just enough milk (with no seasoning) per slice that the bread completely soaks up all the milk-egg mixture, fry in lots of butter; then you can have savory (salt and pepper) or sweet (syrup or jam, maybe even whipped cream) French toast depending on your preference.

  1. I found Weinstein’s article about gun ownership almost satirical. He is under the delusion (perhaps caused by watching too many childhood westerns) that a few “good guys” will fight off a tyrannical government with their armies. He doesn’t identify who that tyrant could be. He doesn’t discuss the characteristics of the tyranny that would justify armed resistance by the freedom loving citizenry. I was under the impression that he was referring to a government controlled by the Woke, but I could be wrong. Maybe he was referring to a Trump-like government. It doesn’t matter. Nor does he give a hint as to what type of society would emerge if the patriots won. If he thinks that in the scenario he describes that somehow a “good” government would emerge, he is once again delusional. It is civil war that he is describing and the end result, after the chaos is over, would most likely be a form of fascism.

    1. +1
      I always learn from your perspective. You could publish an anthology of your posts as, “The Importance of Thinking Things Through…and the Folly of Not.” Do please let me know if you do (or have) so I can buy a copy.

      1. Thanks for your kind remarks. I’m just a retired guy that passes the time trying to better understand the world around me.

    2. When I read stuff like Weinstein writes here, I invariably flash back to the sorry tale of the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas.

    3. Yes, and irony too. Most of the gun owners are also the voters most likely to install the tyrannical government. Unfortunately, the joke will be on us poor defenseless liberals. We’ll be left to battle both the tyrannical government and the tyrannical voters. And, as Trump says, they’ll have all the guns.

      1. Liberal here, but definitely not defenseless. I like to take one of my assortment of firearms out to the shooting range in the back forty from time to time and add my own gunfire to the sounds echoing off the hills. Keeps my aim true and lets my MAGA neighbors know that I’m well armed if they decide to join the Stürmabteilung of whatever neofascist insurrection comes along in the difficult years ahead.

        I really do wish I were kidding. But I’m not, any more than my great-grandfather was when he wrote of his worries for his beloved Germany in the mid 1920s, after his daughter (my grandmother) and son (a decorated WWI vet but gay) fled for the U.S. while they still could. Her son remained behind and, when things went downhill there and he got old enough to be drafted, was shot by the Nazis for refusing to fight in their army.

        Anyone who is complacent about what’s happening in this country should read a little history and come out to the hinterlands and see the ISIS-style flag-waving pickup trucks for themselves.

    4. Agree. I found it astoundingly naive, but then that’s been the case any time I hear the excuse for the USA’s gun culture “We need a citizenry to be armed in case it has to overcome a tyrannical government.”

      It’s the naive vision of a tyrannical government vs “The People.” As if “The People,” Americans, are some united citizenry who agree on how the country should be run. When obviously the country has all sort of competing factions, with different religious and political philosophies. Arming everyone was never going to be “Well, now it will just be the good, decent people overthrowing the bad guys.”
      Insofar as the guns were ever going to be used in a political sphere, it would just be power overcoming power – whatever group of people were most outraged or most willing to cause the most carnage to “win” against others who THEY VIEW as being threatening to their way of life.

      The Jan 6 insurrection put the lie to any salubrious narrative. Those people thought they were railing against an anti-democratic government. Imagine if THOSE crazies took over. Would you want to live under their rule?

      And of course the militia groups who most fervently tout their need to be ready to overthrow a government are so often those with radical ideas of government that the majority do not share. Lots of them want to for instance install Christianity “back in to the government” which would be against the will of most Americans. How are those groups overthrowing a government going to be any better?

      All the spread of guns does is simply amp up the opportunities for deep disagreements to be solved with violence, turning more deadly, and for those most willing to use the guns to prevail.

  2. If Weinstein’s knowledge of Biology is as poor as his knowledge of history, including the second amendment, his credibility and chances of a real job are pretty slim. Oh well, probably shoot himself anyway.

    1. I wonder if he’s taken any steps to learn how to use his gun properly. If not, when the tyrannical army arrives, I predict he’ll be dead before he’s resolved the moral dilemma of killing another human being.

  3. Non USian here. What is a “magnet school for the gifted”? Is it a school that deliberately screens children to admit the gifted ones or is it one that just happens to have acquired a reputation for being good for gifted children, thus making it oversubscribed and allowing it to pick and choose?

    Either way, if you change your admissions policy so as not to privilege gifted children, the quality of your students will go down, no matter what colour they are. The observation that the new intake is more stupid is likely the truth, not racist.

    1. Yea, a magnet school is one that attracts (or steals, depending on your ideology) students from other schools. The ones I am familiar with usually focus on a narrowed education speciality such as the arts, foreign languages, or (rarely, at least in my experience) science. They are similar to charter schools, are still part of the public school system, but students do not attend based solely on where they live, as they are in regular public schools. Some have entrance exams and interviews, some are so competitive to require lotteries, others are desperate to attract students that they take anyone they can, and of course they vary wildly in quality. They were quite popular in the 1990’s, especially with the school choice crowd. Charter schools seems to be more popular these days and function in much the same way (differences are probably more in the legal than educational realm but I never bothered to dig into that).

  4. The reprehensible Leftist press are hell bent on destroying our history, and Magellan is no exception.
    The daily El Pais from Spain, in its coverage of the 500th anniversary of his voyage, uncritically quoting a local indigenous group hoping to rename the Straight: “our ancestors knew about it centuries before Magellan. He “discovered” nothing.”
    Did the indigenous populations who lived by the Straight before Magellan know about existence of the world’s largest bodies of water, the Atlantic and the Pacific, and that you could navigate between the two though the Straight? Did they communicate their knowledge about the existence of this waterway to the rest of humanity? Did they live through the privation of crossing the Pacific without food or water, proving in the process that the globe could be circumnavigate by traveling in one direction?
    To be sure, Magellan’s legacy is not one of unalloyed good. But that doesn’t mean he should lose credit for what he did.
    No civilization has ever been as obsessed with poo-pooing its own achievements as us.

    1. Calls to rename the Strait of Magellan, or anything else, are just an exercise in power politics. Even good-hearted people ought to resist on principle regardless of the moral rethinking of the namesake, unless they enjoy giving up power to those who will use it against them.

      Case in point: the City Council of Hamilton in Ontario recently voted not to remove a statue of our first Prime Minister from a city park despite angry denunciations during the hysteria over old neglected graveyards, which convulsed all of Canada through summer and fall. Less than a week later a mob toppled the statue and a local activist proudly took credit. The mayor has decided that the statue will be put in “storage”. All that has been accomplished here is that some power has been transferred from the elected municipal government to the mob. Useful information for the mob to know for next time.

      Cancel culture did not rename The Adolph Hitler Line in Italy. Allied armies broke it.

    2. Did they live through the privation of crossing the Pacific without food or water…

      To be fair, Magellan didn’t live through that either – not of you consider the Philippines as being in the Pacific.

  5. Omicron’s Wikipedia page seems to be the best place to follow it from. All the amino acid substitutions are listed there, for starts.

    It seems to me that we should be very happy for the seemingly Just In Time arrival of Pfizer’s protease inhibitor, Paxlovid, since none of he mutations affect the residues at the cleavage sites in the pre-protein that are cleaved by the protease, so its specificity should remain unchanged and therefore as well be susceptible to inhibition by the spectacularly non-toxic Paxlovid.

  6. “Here’s the chart on which Jocelyn Bell Burnett [sic] (cheated out of a Nobel Prize) first recognized the regular pulsar signals”

    A story commonly repeated, but is it true? What did she herself say?

    First, demarcation disputes between supervisor and student are always difficult, probably impossible to resolve. Secondly, it is the supervisor who has the final responsibility for the success or failure of the project. We hear of cases where a supervisor blames his student for a failure, but we know that it is largely the fault of the supervisor. It seems only fair to me that he should benefit from the successes, too. Thirdly, I believe it would demean Nobel Prizes if they were awarded to research students, except in very exceptional cases, and I do not believe this is one of them. Finally, I am not myself upset about it – after all, I am in good company, am I not!

    There are two claims: she was “cheated” because she was a student or because she is a woman. The above quote addresses the first claim. You can claim that she was cheated because she was a woman only if you think that it would be credible if she had added “So, even though I didn’t deserve the Nobel Prize as a student, they should have given it to me because I am a woman.”. But she didn’t say anything like that. Surely you can’t claim that she was cheated just because some woke pundit believes that, when she herself, who probably should know, has never claimed that. Or she is so under the yoke of the patriarchy that she is lying, perhaps not every realizing it herself. Which narrative is more believable?

  7. Building codes for better ventilation for tackling Omicron??? SMH! In short: spoken like someone with absolutely no practical experience/abilities/sense.

    1. I suspect the lack of commenters yelling “Donna Rice!” is due to apathy rather than ignorance. I didn’t much care then and care even less now. There is one interesting hypothetical though. Would a modern Gary Hart go down in flames when an extramarital affair is revealed? Perhaps as a Democrat but not as a Republican, assuming he played it as a testosterone-fueled culture warrior.

    2. Funny/peculiar personal observation: Gary Hart’s image pops into my brain from time to time because I live near and regularly pass by a Church of the Nazarene, the only church I know of that denomination, and when I see the church I’m reminded that Hart had studied to be a Nazarene minister—a fact I learned from a book by Garry Wills (mentioned in today’s Dialogue) titled Under God.

    3. I encountered Gary Hart behind sunglasses trying to be incognito, in the airport in Tokyo, summer 1988. I spoke to him very briefly, just to say that I was sorry about all that had happened. He replied simply, “That’s politics.”

  8. Also, stem-cell treatment for Type I diabetes – how fantastic! One of the players in development of one of the COVID vaccines (forgotten who, but this was in Greg Zuckerman’s “A Shot to Save the World”) is Type I, and apparently they would keep a can of Coke in his office refrigerator to have on hand to revive him when he would pass out from focusing/working too hard on the vaccine effort.

    The book is great, tho. One humorous bit: the execs involved in one of the efforts (again, forgotten which, but it may have been NovaVax) are sitting around with their cellphones following the session where the efficacy numbers were revealed. Tedium at first as the presenters drone on, and then fhe numbers show on the screen but without audio. The guys are all ca. 70y/o and can’t read their screens at first because the numbers are showing too small. Delayed elation until they finally figure out that it says 89%.

  9. The UK has far stricter gun laws than we do: aren’t they afraid of tyranny? After all, while we have Trump, they have Boris.

    Heck, they still have a royal family. What if Chuck finally gets his hands on (and head under) the crown and decides to reclaim some of the prerogatives the royals have been giving up since Magna Carta? Isn’t His (currently Her) Royal Majesty still technically the commander-in-chief of the British armed forces? It’s still called the Royal Navy, right?

    Per Weistein’s argument, the Brits’ strong gun-control laws would seem to render them much more vulnerable to tyranny than we Yanks would be with a sane interpretation of The Second.

    How ’bout it, Bret?

    1. If the Royal family ever tried to exert any kind of overt control over the country, the UK would be forced into a constitutional crisis and the only reasonable outcome is that it would become a republic. It’s not going to happen.

      We have strong gun control laws largely as a result of two mass shootings: Hungerford and Dumblane. Tyrants are one thing but having to bury your children because of a man with a gun that he acquired legally is quite another.

      1. … the UK would be forced into a constitutional crisis and the only reasonable outcome is that it would become a republic.

        Shoulda happened a long time ago. The notion of a hereditary royal bloodline is some medieval, feudalistic nonsense, you ask me.

        1. Nah. Our democracy isn’t in great shape, but it is in less danger than that of the USA. I think it’s far dafter that your judges are political appointees and frequently the people who run elections are political appointees.

          1. I’ll grant you the less danger, but that’s NOT because the US lacks a royal family (anymore than it’s because we lack a national church).

            I’ll take a republic (in which sovereignty rests with a nation’s citizens) over those freeloaders every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

    2. It is indeed the Royal Navy, and the Royal Air Force; but it’s not the Royal Army, even though many of the arms of the army, such as the Royal Engineers, and the Royal Regiment of Artillery, carry the “Royal” prefix – it was explained to me many years ago that this was a legacy of the English Civil War. Australia and New Zealand follow the same custom.

  10. I find it unconvincing that B.1.1.529 just happened to pick-up a few dozen unique mutations (without leaving known intermediates or ancestral variants to document its evolution) and is rapidly spreading worldwide for reasons unrelated to the new mutations and their effects in combination. The selfishness of rich nations in not going all out to vaccinate the world’s poor (typically 10% to 30% vaccination rates in African nations) may turn out to be a costly mistake. Hope I’m wrong.

  11. “when was the last time you wrote a real letter?”

    A couple of weeks ago. Since I am not in the shops very much because of Covid, I wrote my niece a letter instead of sending her a birthday card. (She lives in Montreal, I live in Ottawa). I decorated it with a few little drawings that I coloured with colouring pencils – a birthday cake, balloons etc.

    She loved it!

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