If we were having coffee: Guest post. Life and Death

Life and Death

Afternoon Tea (The Gossips) by Sir John Everett Millais 1889

Recently acquired by the Winnipeg Art Gallery

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 inside Willow’s home where it is nice and toasty, tending to your for a cuppa, and sweets. We’ve moved inside to beat the winter cold in the garden. I’d be pleased to bring a pot of whatever beverage you prefer – we have a wide range of teas and coffees to satisfy our world-wide readership. We can relax with a cuppa an calorie free electronic sweets while we discuss the affairs of the week both personal and/ or worldwide. How has your week been?

 

This week I have been closely following Sue Jones blog as she and her family go through the loss of her granddaughter. Their strength and emotional fortitude is inspirational. I cried often while reading the real-time series of blogs that describes the premature birth of the little girl, then her subsequent death and burial. My heart goes out to Sue and her family. My prayers are with them.

 

Photo Courtesy of: TOM HANSON / The Canadian Press

Remembrance Day was unseasonably warm this year as Canada paid tribute to all who fought and died to secure our freedom. The recent memories of the deaths of two Canadian soldiers here at home by murder – one at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier– have weighed heavily on the ceremonies. How did Remembrance Day go in your country? Was the weather decent? Were any particular ceremonies memorable?

Would you like another cuppa? Perhaps a sweet (remember these e-sweets are caloriefree)? Moving along then, the week here had one very warm day – November 11, Remembrance Day – sandwiched between below freezing temperatures with dark, threatening clouds and brisk winds. Friday afternoon and evening it snowed fast and hard for short periods of time. Sitting in the handicap bus waiting for another passenger on my way to dialysis, the snow swirled around and the world disappeared from view. It felt very peaceful, as if nature was covering the sins of the world in a clean white blanket. The mini blizzard slowly died down leaving a slight dusting of white on the ground and trees.

Mini Blizzard

So, the doctors finally got my medication right in order to control the restless legs in dialysis. As a result, this week’s treatments have been going very well. I was a little stiff after Friday’s treatment (not being able to move around during dialysis does that sometimes), but a good sleep cured that. My energy levels are up and I feel more positive.

Here in Canada this week all eyes have been on a developing story in Winnipeg, Manitoba (on the plains in central Canada). As a bit of background, there has been an increasing clamor about the worrying increase in the disappearances and deaths of First Nations Aboriginal women. The province of Manitoba has been the worst, with Alberta not far behind. The statistics are a bit confusing and the government has been hiding behind those statistics. Over the whole country, the deaths are slightly above average for the general population – nothing worrying. But when the small geographical area is taken into consideration and the history and increasing numbers – the picture is very, very bad. A number of high profile groups have been demanding an inquiry.

Eagle and Wolf Tattoo

Earlier this week a young 16 year old First Nations girl by the name of Rinelle Harper went for a walk with two young men down by the Assiniboine River in Winnipeg. She and friends had met the men earlier and when her friends left she decided to stay chat with the men. They then beat her, raped her and threw her into the very cold river to die. She managed to scramble out downstream and while lying there, the young men came by again and beat her once more. Seven hours later some passers-by found her and rushed her to the hospital. She is recovering – against all odds. The absolute horror of this behaviour – the inhumanity of the men – is resounding around the country. In order to find the perpetrators, the police got permission from Rinelle’s parents to release her name. It worked, and the two men responsible were arrested on Friday and imprisoned.What are your thoughts on this horrendous behaviour? Can someone exhibit this behaviour and still be sane? What do you think should be done with the young men? (They will be tried and sentenced here, likely on attempted murder charges as well asother charges.) Meanwhile the really BIG question remains – Why is this happening to our Aboriginal women? What are we doing that is failing their safety?

Would you like another cuppa? Willow and I are honored that you dropped by 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 for tea 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/ 

 

43 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. saminaiqbal27
    Nov 16, 2014 @ 00:47:08

    Very touching and informative post. Yes Remembrance day here in Canada was a very emotional event this year, as Paul has highlighted the facts behind the sadness. The other stories of young aboriginal girls are heart wrenching. All of a sudden our peace and security have become the hot topics of every conversation. Extreme cold weather is no help at all. Wishing Paul wellness and health. Thanks for inviting us to a nice cup of tea. I feel so much better now. The painting is awesome. Take care and God bless my friend Willow. 😃

    Reply

    • willowdot21
      Nov 16, 2014 @ 07:12:56

      Hi Sami thanks for dropping into Paul’s ‘If we were having Coffee’ he is an excellent and interesting host. You too take care and God Bless you too!xxxxx

      Reply

    • Paul
      Nov 16, 2014 @ 07:40:31

      Hi Sami! Thanks so much for dropping by. I am honored that you joined us here today for a cuppa and a chat. Yes, the cold weather is making the abuse of first Nations women even worse as they take rides from strangers or go with someone to get warm. It is horrific and needs to be addessed.

      Reply

  2. Paul
    Nov 16, 2014 @ 01:29:38

    Hi Willow! Thanks so much for the guest post opportunity. It was fun as usual and i look forward to seeing our visitors this week.

    Reply

  3. markbialczak
    Nov 16, 2014 @ 02:58:37

    Hearts and prayers to Sue Jones and her family, Paul. As you say so well, that is a heart-breaking loss in life, that of a grandchild taken away from the start.

    I think those men who beat Rinelle Harper should be imprisoned for life. They are savages. They may be insane. That is no matter to me. They deserve jail, not mental care, for this heinous act of cowardice and hostility. I think their must be a pocket of hatred toward Aboriginal women in Canada, and that scared me, because there is no difference between your First Nation people and our First Nation people, and all deserve the same respect, rights, priveleges, everything, as you and I.

    I am glad to hear of the correct balance on your meds for the restless legs. Let’s end on that positive note today.

    Reply

    • willowdot21
      Nov 16, 2014 @ 07:09:37

      Hi Mark My prayers also go out to Sue Jones and her family. I agree with everything you have said here Why is it that original peoples of all countries where a second nation has moved in, become second class citizens? As for the men who attacked Rinelle Harper they are animals.

      Reply

      • markbialczak
        Nov 16, 2014 @ 12:32:42

        The First Nation issue is eating at me this morning still, Willow. It’s awful. Where I live here in Central New York state, there are many Native Americans, First Nation people, if you will, and the thought of the disrespect turns my stomach.

      • willowdot21
        Nov 16, 2014 @ 12:48:52

        Yes it it awful do you know that until the 1970’s the Australian Aborigines children were forcefully removed from their families by the government.read here http://www.nsdc.org.au/stolen-generations/history-of-the-stolen-generations/the-history-of-the-stolen-generations and sadly the disdain still exists in small pockets in all countries .

      • Paul
        Nov 16, 2014 @ 13:17:42

        Good morning Mark. The history of the treatment of Native Americans (First nations) peoples by the European races, has been absolutely abysmal on a good day. We’ve engaged in genocide (wiping out some tribes completely here in Canada), abuse, oppression, etc for many centuries. The story is gut wrenching, but not popularly told. Here in Canada, even though our government has been doing better – there is still a lot of hatred and prejuduce against Native North Americans. They are a kind and trusting people whose cultures and beliefs operate very differently than our European transplanted cultures.

        There is a Canadian blogger Robyn Lawson at http://blog-woman.com/ who often posts about Native American affairs. She is Canadian but is well informed on Aboriginal affairs.

        It is a truly sad, sad story if you wish to read up on it Mark. And over the centuries has been repeated in numerous other countries like Australia. The solutions are difficult and complex.

    • Paul
      Nov 16, 2014 @ 07:51:10

      Thanks for dropping in with a comment Mark. Have a cuppa and relax in the warmth for a bit. You are right, the men that did that to Rinelle are animals and, in my estimation should be treated as such. This type of horror show rarely happens here in Canada and when it does it is often to First Nations women. I hope we can figure out why and stop it.

      Sue Jones’ loss of a grandchild this week was also heart rending. It has been a sad week in general. Thanks so much for your thoughts Mark.

      Reply

  4. willowdot21
    Nov 16, 2014 @ 13:30:54

    Hi Paul what a range of emotions in your blog this week. Firstly so sorry for the loss to Sue Jones and her family. To lose a baby at any stage is so so painful so I am sending out love and prayers to them all.
    As to the attempted murder of Renelle Harper those men are nothing more than animals, jail is too good for them! Imagine the poor girl attacked not once but twice by the same fiends , twice left for dead. Poor girl, she obviously has a strong will to survive! I cannot understand why all original nation people of all countries that have been taken over are treated as second class and worse! Look what they were doing in Australia as recently as the 1970’s http://www.nsdc.org.au/stolen-generations/history-of-the-stolen-generations/the-history-of-the-stolen-generations and they are by far not the worst country Look at South Africa. Anyway I shall not go on!
    I am very pleased to hear that they have got your meds under control. I do hope that this situation continues.
    Our Memorial and Poppy services were all held under extreme security alert after an Islamic Terrorist cell was discovered in West London about a week or two before all the services were to begin.
    Lets think happy now life is bad and we must find good where we can !
    Big smile in a cup and a piece of naught cake to you !

    Reply

    • Paul
      Nov 16, 2014 @ 13:50:20

      Yum! Yum! Cake and coffee – no better couple has been invented. Thank you so much Willow.

      It is true that as Europens spread across the world, they did some serious damage to indiginous cultures – both accidently (spreading of diseases like small pox) and deliberately. The abuse has continued for many generations and has only begun to be addressed in the last half century or so.

      I’m glad that your Remembrance Day activities took place without incident. These types of celebrations attract terrorists and other like minded people. I’m glad you are safe.

      I hope your next week goes better Willow.

      Reply

  5. Exile on Pain Street
    Nov 16, 2014 @ 13:46:43

    Good morning, Señor Barista. Thanks for the link. Such powerful stuff.

    Here in the U.S. it’s called Veteran’s Day which, I have to admit, I like better than Remembrance Day. Get the word in the title and it’s got more impact. It was so very, very warm. I wandered around art galleries in the city. A beautiful day. I’m a veteran! Six years in the Coast Guard. First on a search and rescue team and then as a court reporter and legal clerk. Loved every single moment of it. Sometimes I question the wisdom of leaving.

    Glad your meds are on track. Good Lord. What did they do before science was this advanced? Suffered, I suppose.

    I had to stop reading the Harper story. I can’t take it.

    Reply

    • willowdot21
      Nov 16, 2014 @ 14:19:44

      Welcome Paul will be with ASAP.

      Reply

    • Paul
      Nov 16, 2014 @ 14:53:33

      Hi Mark. Thanks so much for dropping by for a cuppa and a chat. I had forgotten that you were a veteran – thank you for your service. Is Veteran’s Day a holiday in the US? Here in Canada only the gov’t are off. That was awesome that you got to wander around the art scene on NYC on such a warm day.

      Yes, the Harper story is the makings of nightmares. I find it hard to believe that such actions occur here in quiet Canada. You know there are certain violent illegal actions that will always occur – like theft or fights or acts of passion,etc – that I would never condone but can understand. But this horrific rape and beating of a defenseless young girl for no other reason than they could – that is beyond my comprehension. This is something that even anilmals will not do – they will kill to protect or feed or establish order (i.e. wolves fighting for pack leader) but never simply for fun or to destroy.

      Well, thanks agian for dropping by Mark – please have another coffee – would you like a dollop of something stronger in it on such a cold day? It’ll warm the cockles. Ha!

      Have a great week Mark and please drop by again.

      Reply

  6. Let's CUT the Crap!
    Nov 16, 2014 @ 14:17:00

    The world is not an ugly place, it’s the people in it who are sometimes ugly.

    Reply

  7. socialbridge
    Nov 16, 2014 @ 16:04:26

    Thanks Paul for being such a great host, as always.

    Reply

  8. 1jaded1
    Nov 16, 2014 @ 16:30:06

    Hi Paul. Happy your meds are regulated. I don’t know what misfires in the people who act that cruelly to other people. It sickens and scares me that we are the same species.

    Our office helped to celebrate Veteran’s Day with a memorial of 300 flags around our walking track. It was spectacular both day and night.

    Reply

    • willowdot21
      Nov 16, 2014 @ 17:03:46

      Paul will be with you in a moment have a cuppa.:)

      Reply

    • Paul
      Nov 16, 2014 @ 18:23:31

      That was spectacular with the flags 1J1. Cool thing for them to do in honor of our Veterans.

      Yep, the meds are good for a while – the affects do change over time, so we’ll see. I agree with you, there are entities walking around this world that look like humans but inside are not. I think they may be Rigualian killing bots. We have to find the Mother ship and nuke it.

      Thask so much for dropping by for a chat and a cuppa 1J1.

      Reply

  9. suzjones
    Nov 16, 2014 @ 20:24:56

    Glad that the meds are sorting themselves out for you Paul. I didn’t realise you had regular dialysis. That must be horrid.
    Thanks for the mention. We are all putting one foot in front of the other and that is all that we can do right now.
    That is a terrible story about the young girl. Taking race out of it, it is terrible anyway. No woman (or man) should be treated so appallingly. I am concerned that these men may plead mental illness or some such thing in order to receive (in their opinion) a more lenient sentence. This also makes me angry because then those who have a true mental illness are then tainted with the same brush.
    I am aware of the ‘stolen generation’ here in Australia and our nation’s leaders have been working toward reconciliation ever since. We have had a national ‘Sorry Day’ and apologies have been made. However there are many who believe that sorry needs to be said over, and over and over again which doesn’t help the cause of the Aboriginal people in any way.

    Reply

    • Paul
      Nov 16, 2014 @ 22:55:55

      Hello Sue. Our prayers are with you and your family.

      Yes our government has apologized too but the issues go on. And the prejuduice and, in some cases, hatred, continues as well.

      Thanks so much for dropping by Sue.

      Reply

  10. MamaMickTerry
    Nov 16, 2014 @ 23:17:03

    Hi Paul,
    Thank you for sending me the links to your guest posts. I’m glad that your meds have been stabilized and that dialysis went better this week.
    I absolutely love learning more about Canada through you. I didn’t know that we celebrate our respective soldiers on the same day. I have a huge soft spot for our men and women who served and have served.
    Always great to read your stuff and add to my knowledge…even if some of it is very sad.

    Reply

    • Paul
      Nov 17, 2014 @ 07:10:06

      Hi Mama! Thanks so much for dropping by for a cup of tea and a chat. I too have a great deal of respect for this who served. It is an honor to me to have you visit and comment. thak You very much.

      Reply

  11. simon7banks
    Nov 17, 2014 @ 09:43:22

    Those three little girls – the one on the left looks butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-my-mouth thoroughly evil. She’s plotting something to get the other two involved…

    Remembrance Day? The weather was mixed, autumnal. Nothing special this year. But some years ago I was a local councillor and used to represent the council at a small ceremony (there were several ceremonies in the council’s area because it was an amalgamation of older, smaller councils).

    One year as the old, straight-backed men gathered and the reading began in the little park, I saw a young Black man in jogging gear had joined us, standing on the other side. He stood to attention throughout. When the procession moved off, I looked for him but he’d vanished.

    Reply

  12. Paul
    Nov 17, 2014 @ 11:20:36

    Hi Simon! Thanks for joining us. That’s an interesting story about the black man. In my experience (at least here in Canada) the younger generation vets will not speak about their time in the mid-east and frequently do not want to be officially attached to any ceremonies or the like. There was a pride of participation in the first two World Wars. We (Western 1st world countries) did not start the wars, we had no choice but to fight to defend and to stop the wars. They were fought in the true spirit of Sun Tzu – we fight to stop the war. Many of the wars since we have started or were none of our business (Vietnam) and we shouldn’t have been invovled. Many of the “battlefields” we leave worse off than when we started. There hasn’t been a war “won” for a long time. (Many would consider the stopping of Saddam as winning but that was just the opening bid that devovled into a competition between Islam and Christianity or Eastern and Western cultures with no end.)

    So, it wouldn’t surprise me to see a young vet join the fringes of a Remembrance day celebration to honor the vets, without wanting to participate.

    Yes, the girls look less than cute, don’t they? That look, though, was typically considered beautiful in the Victorian era when the painting was done. Our visceral perceptions of facial expressions, dress, behaviour, etc, have changed greatly over the years. Many of the plays, shows or modern reflections of that time, show things as we would see them in the 21st century – not as they actually were. Many cultural conventions have changed- for instance overweight women were publically considered more beautiful – likely because it implied they were rich enough to get the food to become overweight and fertile. These days, unhealthily skinny is the new public impression of beauty – to the point where some countries (and organizations) now require a certain minimum BMI in order to keep women from starving themselves to death to become public fashion figures.

    I actually used that painting of Afternoon English Tea partially because it is owned by the Winnipeg Art Museum – in the same city where Harper was so inhumanely brutalized and left for dead.

    Thanks so much for dropping by for a read and comment Simon. It is great to see you here visiting.

    Reply

  13. tesscol
    Nov 17, 2014 @ 15:34:55

    Hi there again Paul
    the Millais…such a great picture. A member of the pre Raphaelite circle and sponsored by Ruskin whose wife he married after she had endured 6 years of an unconsummated marriage. The girls in the picture may even have been his own.

    Remembrance Day here in the UK was beautifully sunny. her majesty and other members of the family all in attendance despite heightened security.
    Special due to the Centenary.
    I almost forgot….if we were having coffee I would enjoy a cake with it.

    During the week I spent a day in London with my younger brother. He took me to Lunch at the headquarters of The Honorable Royal Artillery Company in the City of London. A very exclusive venue. Then we visited The Shard a very tall building where we travelled up to the viewing platform. He is a qualified battlefield tour guide and was due to leave the following morning with a group of people who were to visit the town of Ypres.

    I would tell you how almost every day we hear in the news of Child abuse and exploitation……so very depressing.
    Talking of which I find myself at ‘the bottom of the pit’ quite often these days. Strange, as I want for nothing, have a wonderful family and a comfortable home. Some days I wonder what it is worth getting up for. I am governed by a partner whose life is ruled by the clock……meals at a certain time shopping on set days bed at 10pm!!! aaargh!
    Another cup of coffee might help me relax.

    Good to know the medics have sorted your medication.
    This evening I am off to choir again……Christmas songs will be practiced!
    Whilst buying birthday cards today I heard one playing on the radio in the shop!!!!

    Thanks for inviting me and sharing your interesting news

    Reply

  14. Paul
    Nov 17, 2014 @ 18:35:35

    Hi Tess! Thanks so muc for dropping by for a coffee, a piece (or more) of cake and a chat. You had a very busy week. Your visit to your brother sounds like it was fun and very interesting. And what a neat place to dine.

    Persoally I often find the change if seasons and temperature and weather gets me down a bit. It could possibly be a normal adjustment to the changing time as well (dark earlier).

    It is neat that you are in the choir and are practicing Christmans songs. It must be difficult to deal with a partner who is very controlling. You must be a strong woman to be able to deal with that.

    I’m glad you enjoyed the post today. Would you like a refill of your coffee, or perhaps another piece of cake?

    I hope this week is more relaxed for you and that your blues pass away.

    Reply

  15. carrythemessage
    Nov 19, 2014 @ 00:01:54

    Hi Paul. Unfortunately, I am familiar with the Rinelle story and of course the missing Aboriginal women (and considered dead, for the most part). My adopted son is part Cree, so this hits a bit harder, even though I know that he is safe right now. There is a lot of mistrust and hate towards the Aborginal people, and they are considered “less than” by a very small part of the population. I would hope that it’s a very small part.

    Anyway, thank you for offering the coffee. I will take one – room for milk please. No sugar. 🙂

    I thank you for the wide range of things to talk about here. You are always asking about us, so it’s nice to know how things are going with you. Lots there to mine, my friend, and you have so much to give to and share with us all. I can only speak for myself when I say that your words on my blog have changed how I see things.

    And yes, I will take some cake. There is always room for cake.

    Glad you are feeling better, kind sir.

    Blessings
    Paul

    Reply

    • willowdot21
      Nov 19, 2014 @ 06:58:42

      Welcome carrythemessage lovely to meet you Paul will be with you ASAP. Xxx

      Reply

    • Paul
      Nov 19, 2014 @ 08:11:03

      Welcome Paul! It is wondeful to see you here. Please have coffee (with milk) and some cake. Please help yourself to refills – there is lots.

      It must be hard to see the deaths of so many First Nations women through the eyes of a tribe member.It would hit much closer to home. You know I have always found First Nation people to be kind and giving and peace loving. I cannot for the life of me understand how anyone could even find any reason to dislike, let alone hate them as a group. And you are right, it is only a small group of Canadians who are guilty of such hatred. I guess there are a few assholes in every group.

      Thanks so much for the compliment Paul. Your blog is pretty amazing. You are very honest and real in your writing – so it is possible to see both your joys and your demons simultaneously. Few people will make themselves vulnerable like that. And yet that is the only way that we can truly understand what you are feeling and find the lessons in ourselves. my hat is off to you my friend for your honesty and perseverence. I have learned a great deal about myself from reading your posts.

      Thank You and please drop by again.

      Reply

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