If We Were Having Coffee: Guest Post: – Oct.26/2014

If We Were Having Coffee – Oct.26/2014

Shoot Out in Ottawa

Paul your Barista

Paul your Barista

Welcome to Willow’s weekly coffee and tea garden. My name is Paul and I’m happy to be here once again in the garden marquee tending to your needs for a cuppa, and sweets. I’d be pleased to bring a pot of whatever beverage you prefer – we have a wide rangeof teas and coffees to satisfy our world-wide readership. We can relax with a cuppa and calorie free electronic sweets while we discuss the affairs of the week both personal and/or worldwide. How has your week been?

Janet Kruskamp ‘Afternoon Tea ‘






Shooting at  the war Memorial

On Wednesday, October 22, at 9:50 am EST, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau walked up to Cpl. Nathan Cirillo who was on ceremonial guard duty at the National War memorial here in Ottawa and shot him dead with no warning. Zehaf then proceeded to the Canadian Parliament buildings, across the street, and entered shooting. He was shot and killed by  the Sergeant at Arms of the Parliament before there were any injuries.

At first glance this appeared to be a terrorist act as Zehaf was a self-identified member of Islam and because of the targets attacked. Truth be told though, he was a very disturbed young man of 32, who had recently switched to Islam as his life fell apart around him. He was described by friends as a troubled man who followed no religion. He was Canadian born, although his father is a business man from Libya who owns companies in Montreal and his mother is a high ranking member of the Canadian Immigration Ministry. Zehaf had been involved in drug use for many years, had a difficult time holding a job and had a criminal record for property crimes. He had been estranged from his parents for many years and had drifted around the country doing odd jobs, ending up in Ottawa to try and get a Libyan passport from the embassy here. His Canadian passport had been revoked. The Libyans turned him down partially because of his criminal record and partially because he appeared physically unwell and mentally unfit.

I actually live about 2 miles (3 kms) from the War Memorial and Wednesday was a hectic day with road closures, lockdowns of all public buildings and a huge police presence. At first it was said to be a terrorist attack but it eventually turned out to be the work of one sad mentally disturbed individual who happened to be in Ottawa when he suffered a breakdown. He did not plan the attack, did not have an automatic weapon (they are banned in Canada) and was dispatched by the first armed officer (the soldier’s weapon was not loaded) he encountered. Zehaf had previously tried to get arrested by police at one point by confessing to a crime that had never been committed. Whenasked why, he had said that he wanted a roof over his head and a meal in jail. The police declined.

Aerial View of Parliament Buildings and War Memorial (war memorial is on the V-shaped traffic island at lower right)

Would you like another cuppa? Perhaps a dollop of something stronger to warm the cockles? Please try the sweets- these electronic versions are very tasty and calorie free. So, instead of the terrorist attack it first appeared to be, it was yet another mentally disturbed person with a gun who had needed help and had been denied. How long will it take our society to realize that denying help to those who need it always ends badly for all?  This is just another example of the lack of attention and funding to mental health issues. How is mental health addressed in your country? Is it adequate? Has treatment improved over the years or gotten worse?

Whew, anyway, that was the excitement of my week. Personally things are looking up as some new medication seems to be working well and has reduced my joint pain and muscle weakness that comes with dialysis. That’s very freeing to be able to move again with less pain. No side effects yet. How have you been feeling this week? Being well into fall, I find that my sleep patterns and eating patterns have changed somewhat with the cooler weather and shorter days.

Would you like another cuppa? I think I’ll have a sweet as well. Willow and I are honored that you dropped by the marquee in the garden today to visit. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself and the conversation and please feel free to look around at Willow’s other posts while you’re here. Have a great week. We look forward to seeing you here in the garden again next week.


IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE: I would ask you if you would  like another  cuppa, or  another cake . !   If we were having Coffee  Original idea  from  http://parttimemonster.wordpress.com/     

26 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Paul
    Oct 26, 2014 @ 01:54:47

    Thanks Willow!


  2. markbialczak
    Oct 26, 2014 @ 02:14:48

    I of course was upset by the shooting in your hometown capital of Canada and all of the upset it caused, Paul. It was a tense and reflective time for my good neighbors, and myself, subsequently.

    I am glad to hear of your new medication that is making your life more manageable after dialysis. I hope there are no side effects, ever.

    To answer your question, yes, my sleeping and eating habits are changing with the sunlight and seasonal changes also. Sleeping later, staying up later, perhaps eating a little more, feeling like a bear readying for hibernation. I’m unsure about the hunger games. Have a good week, my friend.

    Thank you Willow, for giving Paul this forum again. I see you moved indoors this week, but he kept us out on the mezzanine. I loved your poppy visit in London. Quite memorable, Willow, quite so.


    • willowdot21
      Oct 26, 2014 @ 03:58:02

      Firstly you guys are not out in the Marquee unless you want to be the house is open so come on wander in there is room for all! Yes it was an awful shock about the shooting so glad that the death and injury count was minimal, that said it is a tragedy that anyone was kill. I reckon I could hibernate too! xxxx


    • Paul
      Oct 26, 2014 @ 04:22:33

      Hi Mark! Thanks for dropping by. Yes, it was a sad and scary day Wednesday. Thank you for your thoughts and concern.

      I too feel like a bear getting ready for hibernation. Ha! Good analogy Mark.

      I see Willow is tempting my guests into the house for tea and hot chocolate. I guess it’s gettng to be that time of year – it’s just that i love the cool air , it is refreshing. Next week, we shall have to meet inside as well – almost time for snow..

      Have a great week Mark and thank you for visiting and commenting.


  3. tesscol
    Oct 26, 2014 @ 06:45:14

    Hello there again Paul. Here in UK many were shocked to hear of the shooting . Of course we thought it was terrorist activity as this is in the forefront of the news these days. It was good to know it was an individual act..maybe a ‘cry for help’ on the part of a disturbed mind. Thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those who died.
    We too have questions being raised about the way those with mental health issues are helped.
    We are truly into Autumn as our clocks went back overnight
    Willow saw the magnificent Poppy display last week. I have plans to do the same in the coming week. I will be meeting the Nottingham branch of my family in London on Wednesday.
    I enjoy taking up your invitations to coffee and cake…….Thanks once again!
    Have a good week.


  4. Paul
    Oct 26, 2014 @ 08:04:17

    Welcome Tesscol, it’s great to see you visiting. Yes, we were concerned about “terrorism” as well. Turns out it wasn’t, but it was instead a sad lesson on our mental healh care.

    Our clocks haven’t gone back yet, I think it is early November that happens here. We used to do it about a month before, but the Americans moved the change in order to try and capture more daylight and decrease energy costs. We followed suit. Turns out there was no saving captured.

    I hope your visit to London goes well this week. Thanks so much for dropping by for a cuppa and a slice. I hope all is well with you and your family.


  5. TanGental
    Oct 26, 2014 @ 08:18:40

    Thanks Paul. We heard all about e shooting the lockdown and the terrorist atrocity. Commentators used it as another example of how by involving ourselves in the Middle East we bring terror to our shores. What we didn’t hear, in the UK was the lone individual with mental heaoth issues so thank you for that update. We deal clumsily with mental health through the NHS and sadly it is not headline grabbing in the way it should be. If only that side of the story would come out.


    • willowdot21
      Oct 26, 2014 @ 09:00:31

      Yes the fact that lone gunman was not a terrorist but a sad and sorry soul let down by a country’s sadly lacking mental health care system. No that’s not as sexy a headline as terrorism.


    • Paul
      Oct 26, 2014 @ 09:35:41

      Hi TanGental! thanks so much for dropping by for a cuppa and a chat. Yes, terroism makes much better headlines than lacking mental health resources. Imagine, he went to the police and tried to confess to a crime so he could get shelter and a meal. Surely they could have found him some help, even if it was just a social worker. Ah well, we all know that work is needed on that area and it’s just another stpry of the same problem.that doesn’t make sexy headlines.

      Thanks again for dropping by and leaving a comment. i hope we see you here next week when we’ll be enjoying our cuppa inside out of the chill. Have a great week!


  6. simon7banks
    Oct 26, 2014 @ 09:06:01

    Actually some terrorists have similar profiles – a background of rather unsuccessful petty crime, substance misuse, clutching at one false dawn after another. Ruthless people exploit this weakness to fix them on a killing course. From what you say about his weapon, it’s unlikely he was one, because a serious terrorist cell would manage to get hold of the illegal weapons it needed.

    In any case, a terrible tragedy, but could have been much worse.


    • willowdot21
      Oct 26, 2014 @ 09:24:53

      Yes Your right the profile does fit both.


    • Paul
      Oct 26, 2014 @ 09:49:16

      Hello Simon and welcome! Yes, the weapon was a hunting rifle (we call them long guns and anyone can get one after passing a firearms course and getting certified to buy weapons – courses that are readily available but take time to do). Carrying a rifle in public is difficult to hide and si they are not the choice of terrorists. Besides automatic weapons are banned in Canada as are even large bullet clips.

      You are right, there are nuts everywhere who will join terrorists if given the chance. They are recruited regularly. Here in Canada they are usually displaced young people and thank God, they tend to be careless and easier to catch. Our federal police and secret service have broken up a number of groups that planned bombngs in the last number of years. They are so used to living in a free country they think they can plan terorist activities in plain sight and no one will bother them. I guess it means we Canadians make lousy terrorists – just as well.

      Thanks again Simon for visiting and I look forward to seeing you again next week.


  7. Trackback: IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE: PEPYS AND POPPIES. | willowdot21
  8. Let's CUT the Crap!
    Oct 26, 2014 @ 17:37:46

    Last Wednesday’s unfortunate events are not usual for us, although on the Monday before, someone ran down a soldier in Quebec, killing him. I feel for the families left behind. The young boy without a father. Devastating.


  9. Paul
    Oct 26, 2014 @ 20:30:58

    Hi LCTC! Welcome. You are right that doesn’t happen much here, but when you look behind the scenes it is a wonder it doesn’t. Mental health care is really in shambles – long term care facilities have closed and the remaining facilities are sadly undefunded. Do you know that when a person with mental health issues ends up in front of a judge here in Ottawa, that they have a good chance of being remanded to the Innes Road Correctional Facility? And the reason why is because there is not room in the metal health facilites for them , so they are put in jail.

    The young soldier who was killed in Quebec was also sad, I agree LCTC..

    Thanks for dropping by LCTC for a cuppa and a read,


  10. Exile on Pain Street
    Oct 28, 2014 @ 09:41:22

    I thought about you this past weekend. Hoped that you and your folks are okay. I think his mental illness is a significant factoid that many news reports bury in the fifth or sixth paragraph. He was no more a fundamentalist that I am. Just a sick, sick man. But fanaticism triggered this attack and I fear it won’t be the last. I wish automatic weapons were banned here. I mean, really, what’s the use?


    • willowdot21
      Oct 28, 2014 @ 11:31:13

      If I could add my 2penny worth, I agree in fact I would like all guns to be illegal with stringent criteria and tests for allowing anyone to use them. I am a realist though and I know that will never happen! Yes he probably was just a sad and mentally ill young man let down by the health services… that again is a world wide education. Mental illness of any type is the poor relative in the health service, boxed away and forgotten.In the news here, the UK , they are sill saying it was a terrorist act though they do sale he was a loner . I do not have the answer, No One has the answer they do not want to! x


    • Paul
      Oct 28, 2014 @ 13:33:59

      Hi Mark! Thanks so much for dropping by. I actually watched a special documentary done by our national TV station -CBC- yesterday,and they are saying he was a terrorist. That’s bull puckies. A terrorism specialist categorized him as a “Lone Wolf” – a terrorist who is working all on his own. They were all serious about how hard it is to stop such a terrorist becuase there is no trace- as in he has no affiliation with any known group. They also inteviewed “his” imam who seemed rather confused and said the young man wasn’t really a dedicated follower. All this means exactly what you said, Mark, he was an idividual acting on his own but saying he was affiliated to terrorist groups. He was mentally ill. They would not say that on the documentary but they did use: troubled, confused, needing help, loner, etc. They will never admit that this type of behaviour is a direct result of a failing in our society – in our mental health system. He specifically asked for help on numerous occassions and even had a psych eval done that said he was fine. Bull. At one point he asked to be imprisioned to get rid of his drug dependency and was refused.

      You are exactly right Mark, they will bury this until the cows come home and call it terorism – the problem being that terrorism has a reason, a political statment that vilifies or hates a particular group or country or system. He had no such agenda and no orgamized group takes responsibility. He was no more a terrorist than a murderer is He was just nuts and used terrorism to justify his behaviour. That will never be accepted as the reason because it means the problem is ours, the system’s, and needs to be fixed.

      Anyway, thanks for the read and comment Mark. Great to see you here and I hope you’ll come back.


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