Five Years Ago

I was in a meeting this morning when the news alert flashed across my phone: “shots fired on parliament hill”. Given the political climate right now it felt from the beginning that the outcome wouldn’t be good.

I got on the road and started driving, and other than a brief stop at McDonald’s (specifically chosen because there are televisions) my news has all been from CBC Radio. (Well, other than a couple of visits to Facebook and Twitter for updates from people in the area.) The few images I saw at lunch and online only supplemented the radio descriptions. Descriptions of places I’ve been fortunate enough to visit a number of times. One of the things that was mentioned time after time was how the Canadian parliament was very open for the public to witness.

Five years ago next month my then Member of Parliament invited me to visit his office for a tour of the Hill. I thought we would have the basic public tour that takes you to the door of various rooms that you can peak through to see what is inside. The tour I got was a “behind the scenes” view of Parliament. I remembering thinking at first we were going to be thrown out (or in jail, because I was pretty sure I shouldn’t be sitting at the desk where the Queen signed the Constitution).

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or in the Senate Speaker’s chair (even though he was there)

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It happened to be a Wednesday we were there, which is apparently Caucus day. We may have been in the Hall of Honour, I’m not sure but the photo op we snagged with a Newfoundland Senator was taken by a PEI MP.

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By the time we got to the Parliament Chamber, I was giddy and going with it. There were photo ops in Greg’s seat

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and the Prime Minister’s.

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We capped it off with a trip to the Parliamentary Library

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~~~

Back to today where there’s preliminary talk about whether security changes will take place on Parliament Hill. I know it will have to be reviewed, but I can’t help remembering how excited I was. For me, it was and is a travel hi-light. A girl from remote, rural Canada seeing government up close. Meeting decision makers you normally only see in the news. I only hope that others will continue to have the opportunity to see that version of Parliament Hill and not one from behind barricades and partitions.

Ahoy Matey

It sounds good to say homemade gifts come from the heart and are made with love, but when you are giving hand knits to a 3 year old boy who is obsessed with tractors and dump trucks, mittens and a sock monkey can seem a bit on the boring side. At the party today the mittens were left in the gift bag for his mother but the monkey came out; got hugs; and promptly left for adventures, including one on a pirate ship:

IMG_5790It’s always good when the love is returned.

Apparently I Like Green

Two pair of mittens

I’ve made a concerted effort this week to finish some of my “almost done” projects.  The fact the monkey and mittens are for a birthday party tomorrow helped for motivation.  Apparently green is a colour of choice for me – picnic table included!

Refraction

Refraction is the change of direction of a wave. This summer our island of 2,500 was rocked repeatedly by tragedy. No one began September as they were at the beginning of July. Tonight we came together to celebrate the community that we are. We tied ribbons on a tree and remembered. Remembered and hoped that we had changed directions from the summer that was. Hoped and believed that in a much bigger sense, we have all changed direction.

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Man Overboard Drills

I had the opportunity to attend “Man Overboard” drills in two locations this week. The concept is simple but effective: have someone go in the water and have local fishermen try to get him back aboard the boat under different scenarios: conscious, unconscious, etc.  While conditions in the harbour were better than they likely would be in a real life scenario, it did generate discussion about what worked, what didn’t, and for the fishermen watching from the wharf: how it could transfer to other boats.  Hopefully the techniques in these drills will never have to be used but if they do, hopefully these drills will have helped. It’s a practical approach that’s relatable for people on the water.