Saturday, July 31, 2010

That was a warm one, more to come according to the forecast, of course +20 days and +8 nights is not what is called warm in some parts but for us it is about ideal for summer.

There was a meeting yesterday in the NG board room between some NG departments, local government and service groups and volunteers.
Purpose of the meeting was to discus the recent tragic events and to strategize on future interventions and possible solutions. {Maybe they need to reconvene this morning as there has been another suicide overnight}.

It is no one person or organizations fault, but for reasons that are beyond my comprehension we can’t seem to come to a cohesive agreement and strategy to deal with the social issues. Nunatsiavut is not alone in that area.

This blog article by James Bell is about Nunavut, to my mind the issues facing Nunavut are parallel to issues that will face Nunatsiavut in the near future and some are relevant today.

I have no knowledge of what transpired at the meeting but I believe there will be a press release issued on the results. Agreements to hold more meeting, agreements to approach other governments for help perhaps.

I have some questions to ask, but first I offer up this scenario: The scene is a small general store selling various items, also it is a retail outlet for selling beer, much like hundreds of such stores all over the province.

Inside the store are two tills, one that services the general items of the store and the other that services just the beer.

There is a line up of about 8 people at the beer till waiting patiently, as is the norm, for their turn to purchase their goods.

In walks a person who walks up to the head of the line and with a sickly grin on his face asks the person at the head of the line if it is”OK for me to go ahead of you”.

The person at the head of the line says it is “OK”. The person second in line then says to the person third in line “he says it is OK but he really means it is not OK”. Much joking and frivolity takes place amoungst the people left in the line after the butteriner leaves the building.

My questions are; 1. Was the person butting in at the head of the line doing the right thing?
2.Was the person at the head of the line correct in letting the butteriner go ahead.
3.Was the silence from the rest of the line a correct response, after all the butteriner was not only going ahead of the person at the front but the whole line.

Just wondering as back in the day that butteriner would have received short shift from more than one person in the line up, unless that person had a valid reason for butting in.

Friday, July 30, 2010

After several days of unpredictable and varying weather we have a fine summer sunny warmish day, just like a fine winter’s day in old Sydney town.

Of course with that comes the inevitable flies and the dust, but hey you can’t have everything.

I must apologize to children. Thursday morning, and I presume Wednesday evening, saw loads of people in an intoxicated state out in public. In the most part it was the usual suspects doing the same thing.

It is sad too as most of these people in the main decent folk. They are not criminals, they just have issues that need dealing with and consider making a fool of one self in public is no big deal.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

If there is a positive way to cover the tragic fire of last Saturday evening then I guess Jeremy Eaton managed to do it. Here & Now has a piece filed from Nain. The relevant article starts around 44:42 of the show.

I managed to have a chat with Jeremy; it is his first visit to Northern Labrador and he is very impressed with the geography of the whole area [he came up on the milk run]. He seems blown away by Nain and the surrounding mountains and the way the community is nestled in between the mountains and the water.

Jeremy also mentioned the friendliness of the people who are constantly greeting him as he makes his way around town. “You don’t get that at any of the places I have spent time in recently” Jeremy added.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

After finely making up there minds the weather spirits produced a not too bad of a day yesterday, sunshine, scattered clouds rolling in and a nice breeze.

It was a great afternoon to take the dog up the hills for some exercise and to take some photos, today of the new water line construction on the hill opposite to where we were.

The aftermath of the tragedies of the past months still resonates, I know with me it has made me very jumpy and grumpy and a lot less tolerant, I need to talk about it, but with whom? I am sure others feel the same and with more reason.

The aftermath affects people in different ways, one loses one gains. For me I do not understand what would be gained in asking the bar and the retail beer outlet to shut down for several nights.

If people want to drink they will find a way, and let’s not forget the drugs that are available.

I would understand if they closed for funerals, treating people like little children and in a paternalistic manner is not an answer to the problems facing this community.

I understand the CRT is doing their best under very difficult circumstances, if more help and resources was available year round perhaps?

A real nice sunrise this morning, wonder what the spirits will send our way for the rest of the day.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Home wanted for husky dog, no offer over three thousand dollars not considered.

No not this one.
The aftermath of yesterday is, the airlines managed to get in during a small window from 3 to 4 pm, it was a rush getting our German pancake makers down to the strip but we made it. Of course they missed their connections out of GB but that is one of the joys of northern travel.

With all this sad news NG turns around and surprises us with this good news tit bit.

I feel confident now that the present members of the Discipline Committee will not do a one eighty and vote against their own recommendation during the assembly vote, like it did happen in a previous similar case.

Monday, July 26, 2010

With the planes on weather hold our guests decided to have a German pancake breakfast.

A special recipe from our friend Karl’s grandmother, Karl mixed up the batter and his son Gerrit did the cooking. We all did the eating.

We had to have the traditional [Karl’s] fillings like jam and cinnamon and sugar, no lemon and fine sugar or maple syrup for us this day.

They were fine pancakes and it was nice to have someone else cook.

Temperatures are decidedly cooler with the north east winds, no big deal for us but people from away find it cold for July, then there is the waiting for planes to arrive, this sort of puts a wrench in peoples travel plans.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I realize it is not the norm to openly discuss tragedies of certain kinds here in Nain.

None the less over the last several months the tragedies keep happening and increasing in there intensity leading one almost to despair.

Three suicides, one young boy drowning and now last evening fire destroyed two homes and taking three lives in one of the homes.

An older male and two young children perished with an older female in hospital.

My heart and sympathies go out to the families of those lost last evening.

The fire commissioner’s office will be sending in an investigator this morning to try and determine the cause of the fire.

What is and will continue to bother me is the fact previous serious fires have been investigated but the public never ever gets to hear of the results of these investigations.

This is serious stuff, along with the previous tragedies I mentioned the amount of despair that has befallen the community as well as individuals is unfathomable

Yet all the while the mental health department that deals with these tragedies is seriously understaffed and has been for several years. The few people on the ground who staff these offices along with a very dedicated group of volunteers do yeoman’s work whenever these tragedies strike. Added to this is the way the community comes together during these times.

But is it enough? Can more be done?

The understaffed mental health office is a good place to start in dealing with the issue.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Work started on the town’s new water supply several weeks ago. The plan is to run a new line up Trouser Lake and connect the new line into the existing lines.

Some big pipes for sure, there are smaller diameter pipes which I presume will be used towards the town end.

The Trouser Lake dam will not actually be a dam but a reservoir, just using the existing lake.

Today is another bad flyday, just like yesterday was a flyday only it is Saturday today.

Hope the weather holds as we have a crew removing the old shingles and laying new ones. Started at it at 8, hope there is a slight breeze on the roof as there is nary any at ground level.

Lucky me with my bad back, I can duck inside whenever I feel like it. I will let the younger blokes to the grunt work and just help out getting the rubbish out of the way and the like.

Friday, July 23, 2010

As the chines gentleman said, today is a flyday. Flydays in Labrador are also wave days, everybody going around waving their hands around their faces.

Nain was the warmest spot on Labrador this morning, 14 at 5 am, up to about 18 now. With the heat [relatively speaking] and very little wind it sure is annoying with all those fly's.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

It was down to the dock this AM in the pre dawn light, or there would have been light but for the fog and the drizzle, and do you think the flies weren't bad?.

I had to drop off Karl and his son for a trip north to Hebron aboard the people carrier.

Karl had arrived yesterday on the Northern Ranger and had pre wrangled a return trip up to Hebron. Karl being a well known photographer in Germany can do these things.

The rest of the company aboard was crew, bear monitors, NG cultural staff and 4 free loaders from Newfoundland.

I think the main justification for the trip was to take safety supplies and other items for the Merkuratsuk family who will be stationed there for the remainder of the summer as care takers.

The safety equipment seemed to consist of water pumps and hoses; they lost one of the cabins to fire last year so that adds to reason.

The Murkuratsuk family was to leave on the Wanderbird a little latter in the day. The owners of this vessel volunteered to drop them off in Hebron on the Wanderbirds odyssey to Greenland and back.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bury my bones in Zoar.

Regional Media is carrying a story about graves dug up back in the early 1900's; there are various views on this type of behavior as shown in the comments on the CBC site. By righting the wrong there is admittance of a wrong.

I also like the way the new minister of culture, recreation and tourism for the Nunatsiavut Government responded in a timely manner to interviews.

Lot of activity down the dock this morning, the Astron was in last evening so local people still picking up there freight out of containers, the Wanderbird is at the dock on her journey north, and people going off in speed boat etc.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Looking back: Some pictures from the drive down from Helensburgh to Bulli [Bull e as Fran pounces it] with Pam and Neal.

The walk along the Sea Cliff Bridge and the meal at the Scarborough Pub were the highlights. We parked the car on the south end of the new construction and walked back for some amazing vistas and views for picture taking, alas the day was overcast but you get the picture?

The first picture was taken from Stanwell Tops with the bridge section in background and Wollongong way in the distance.

Some shots of some activity going on in the water and rocks below, some people take too many chances with the unpredictability of the oceans waves, many become victims but still they come.

The bottom photo is of the hundreds, if not thousands of locks that are on about 100 meters or so of the railing of the bridge. It was a mystery to us for awhile until Pam inquired about them, a mystery no longer.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Another sailing adventurer has made our shores temporarily. This one is heading for the north west passage. The Cap'n Lem was undergoing some small repairs carried out by the skipper when I took these photos.

Coincidentally so is the Gypsy Life heading north, you will remember the GL who overwintered in the ice near here.

Harold Paul the skipper of GL had a bit of an accident near Goose Bay and had to seek medical attention. No broken bones and he has continued on down to Newfoundland while waiting for favorable ice conditions up north.

So the sunny dusty days were short lived, all weekend and into today [and beyond by the look of it]. Fog, Light rain, rain, cloudy overcast, good to be home.

We were catching up on chores most of the weekend so the lousy weather was not really an issue, did not go out Saturday except to the store [to check the empty shelves] but managed to take Siutik for a short walk yesterday, first one since our return.

Boy was she antsy; she did not pull on the leash on the outward journey, being the good dog she is. After releasing her she took off like a bolt and did not stop until it was time to leash her in. Then she pulled like the devil, she was still full of vim and vinegar, it was funny watching her run up and down the edge of the water, through reeds and the lot. I tried to coax her into deeper water but no go.

We had a couple of foreign visitors drop in for some coffee and lively conversation both days. One of the visitors [lets call him Bruce] asked me the best way to cook smoked char. I said there are several ways but my favorite was to poach it lightly. Bruce asked how I did that. I said put a little water in a pan, heat it up, place the fish in for a few minutes each side.

Bruce then challenges me on my description of poaching; Bruce says he thought poaching was putting the fish on a rack that was over some boiling water.

No says I, that is steaming, after some to a fro I threw up my arms said “whatever’.

This being a slow day I decided to put the argument to rest by researching ‘poaching’ and ‘steaming’ and writing about it.

Also included in the conversation was the best way to poach eggs. Bruce says it is easier to use those little non stick cups that have water under and a lid over them. I agree it is one way and easier as I have one of the pots.

But it does not give the best results. I discovered an almost fail proof way to poach eggs submerge in a pot of water, after all the non stick pot thing is actually steaming in it?

For those interested; you half fill a medium pot with water and bring it to a low boil. Lower the heat until no bubbles break the surface. Add a little white vinegar and a dash of salt. Circle a spoon around the water in a circular motion, wait until the motion almost stops then drop the eggs one at a time into the water.

Poach to desired doneness and remove carefully with slotted spoon.

I have had good results the last half dozen times, that does not mean next time will be the same now that I have broken the silence.

The last evening meal before leaving Oz I cooked up some pork loin for the others but I had a hankering for meat pie, veggies and tomato sauce.

The Australian tomato sauce is a lot darker and a lot less sweet tasting than Canadian ketchup, takes some getting used to.

The meat pie was purchased by the way.

Friday, July 16, 2010

On the Wednesday before departing Oz we were invited out for morning tea to an old buddy of my fathers.

Frank is an ex boxer, cab driver and bon v vont back in the day. Frank and his partner Beryl gave us a good nosh and Frank reminisced overly about the good ol days.

Their garden at the back of the house at West Hoxten Park has some interesting plants, chickens and a view as fare as Sydney 25 miles away. In my day this area was all rural with many small to medium size farms, not now, freeways and homes are almost upon this semi rural enclave 5 miles from Liverpool.

Some of the plants include stag horns top, passion fruit and chokos, and this amazing orange trumpet bush. That is my mom next to Fran.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Holey fossil fuels Batman !!!!!!

If the oil spill was off the coast of Nain then it would cover an area of Labrador like this.

As Batman would say, holey shit!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ve are back! The land down under was great but nothing beats home does it, even if it is the most backward province in Canada [thanks partly to the Danny Williams Government].

Hot as Hades in GB and humid too, fog and rain in Halifax while we were there so we stayed on the Dartmouth side.

Our trip up from GB yesterday was on the newest in the Air Labrador fleet, a shinny refurbish twin otter, smelled all shiny and refurbished too; I think we [six of us] must have been the first passengers on her.

Wish I had the same positives to say about the rest of the return journey, alas not.

Our flight left Sydney 45 minutes late, then we were held up on the ramp in Vancouver because, get this, a domestic flight had disgorged it’s passengers across the international arrivals territory in the terminal and ‘contaminated’ the area.
So despite the 14 + hour flight we still may make the connection to Halifax [11/2 hours]. That is if our luggage had not been the very last to hit the conveyer belt, and if Air Canada had seen fit to hold the on going flights for maybe 15 minutes. The barstards knew we were coming and who was connecting to where, yet they only offered up other flights, and they had the paper work all ready when we arrived at the check in.

Any way we took that in stride and went to TO for a connecting flight to Halifax. The TO flight left late as well and it was a rush to get to the gate in TO for the Halifax flight, but no worries, that flight was delayed for half an hour so that gave us time for some nourishment and a beer.

Arriving late in Halifax in the fog [it was foggy when we left there a month ago] we patiently await our luggage, not there, go to happy friendly Air Canada lost luggage service provider and fill out appropriate forms.
Wait quite awhile for taxi; finely get a limo with very friendly and sympathetic driver who asked “no luggage”.

So needles to say we were a little drained of energy after the 14 ¾ hours from Sydney to Vancouver, the couple hours there then the 6 hours to TO and an hour or so there then the 31/2 hours to Halifax and the news of no luggage and then the wait in the fog for a cab.

On the bright side the friendly and supportive lady at the Supper8 hotel in Dartmouth sort of brightened our souls a little; she could not do enough to help us.

Our luggage arrived around 12 next day; just in time to prevent an outburst from someone who shall remain nameless in the interest of not wanting incriminate myself.

And the warm weather has finely arrived on the Labrador, up to 23 yesterday and for several days previous I hear.

Not much has changed while we were away, still same old troubles with marine shipping, a milquetoast NG government; an incompetent provincial government, stuff like that never seems to change.

We were greeted in a very friendly manner by lots of people, sort of makes ones day.

There were also two tragedies in recent days, the sort that yanks at the heart. More on that later perhaps.

My apologies to ExSham on the comments, only had access to my hotmail account and for some reason the comments were not showing up as they should have.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

We were invited over to Ralph and Paulenes Tuesday afternoon, Jerry and his daughter [who is visiting from LA] there too.

Fran could not get over the stunning beauty of Paulenes garden, and it's winter.

An amazing amount of work must have gone into it for sure.

A pleasant and enjoyable afternoon with old buddies, and not a drop of drink but lots of cake and sweets, great stuff

Fran wanted to see a koala so Monday morning we headed for a koala park not too far from Pam's place.

We not only saw a koalas but Fran got to touch one.

While this park may not be the bees knees it was sort of hands on with many animals roaming free, or you could go into pens to feed some.

Fran enjoyed it so that is the main thing. Later we headed to the very large Whitfield's Mall at Hornsby for a quick shop and some lunch then back to Pam's for a rest before going out to tea supper] with Terry and Louis Byrne who have been to Nain three times on the Northern Ranger, well traveled folks these two.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Our hotels reflection [lighter building] in the building opposite, Sunday morning.

Then some general shots taken at Watson's Bay. The Gull with the fishing line around it's leg, part of the extraction ops and after the ops.

It may not be St.John's but it still is not a bad looking harbour is it? wink wink nudge nudge.