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/ 




Lest we forget

Lest we forget? a war  to end all wars

Yet everywhere  you look there  are more  and more!

We preach  peace, we say no more

Still somewhere, on every  continent,  someone is at war!

Neighbour  against neighbour  brothers and sisters  too

Always it is  the innocents  who do the  suffering.  What are we to do?


They are erecting giant Poppies to commemorate the start of  the first world war.

It started  in a foreign land, a duke  was shot  the result we know and  more.

The first world war started in 1914  on the 28th of July

Sadly looking round the  world , we have learned  nothing . Can you tell me why?



Today was a special day a date carved in my mind. Today it is time for us to remember the soldiers who died for all mankind.

Walking up to town today my poppy on show just a little reminder, my reverence to show. The high street was busy full of people to and fro and traffic rushing through as motorists on their journeys go.

Today it will be different, today is not the norm, though busy roads and people about their business go. Outside the Town Hall and in the Market Place  groups of people gather some smile and wave the older men embrace.

Now the clock hands approach the eleventh hour and through our town surges gratefulness you can feel it’s power. For every shopper stops and stands and every coffee shop and bar is silent now because the clock bell tolls the hour.

The tills in the supermarkets and every shop are silent and with stationary shoppers filled  and even the mighty traffic is in it journey is stilled. In silence I stood and watched this strangest but most merited tribute and as ever I shed a tear as the old men took a salute.

Two minutes and it was over all trace of silence gone, the shops are once more busy the stilled traffic now moves on. I meet my friend and as in to Costa we go I say a silent thank you to all those brave men and women who I do not know . They fought , some gave their lives for me so I could be free, in Flanders , Turbrook and Tripoli, on the Somme , Leningrad, Pearl Harbour, Goose Green, Helmand Province, Iraq and Iran and many, many other places defended by a brave woman or a man.

I make no apology I will be politically in-correct for so many have offered up their lives and my life they still effect!
I shall not forget them and neither should you for without them you would not be free to do most of the things you do!They fought against what ever foe that threatened our freedom to take and they often had to give the biggest sacrifice anyone  has to make.

So on this 11th day of this 11th month in 14th year of this millennium I stood at 11o’clock with many others to salute our soldiers, sailors and our airmen and many, many others. For they have given their all for us my sisters and my brothers.We owe them a THANK YOU.


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