If We Were Having Coffee
Your Barista – Paul
Welcome to Willow’s weekly coffee and tea garden. My name is Paul, I’ll be your barista today and I’m happy to be here once again. This week Willow is unable to access her Internet so we’ll be meeting here at Mark Bialczak’s Little Bitty in Syracuse, N.Y. Please come in and go through to the backyard. Mark, his wife Karen and their pooch Ellie B have prepared a nice, comfy place for us outside on the newly mown lawn of the Little Bitty, so I can tend to your needs for a cuppa, and sweets. The weather today here is hot at about 84 degrees Fahrenheit with an 80 percent probability of rain.
If the showers start we can move inside. As usual, 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 worldwide readership, and adult beverages for those who wish something stronger. We can relax with a cuppa and calorie-free electronic sweets while we discuss the affairs of the week both personal and/or worldwide. Ellie likes to be patted, so please indulge her when she greets you. How has your week been?
This week has been positive for me with warm and sunny weather. I haven’t moved yet as the manager and his crew have been very busy –- it being the end of a university year and the beginning of summer classes. This necessitates a lot of moving in and moving out as many of the units are rented by students. Each unit has to be cleaned, painted and/or renovated between renters. May and September are their two busiest months. Meanwhile, I’ve been cleaning (to try to avoid any extra charge) and organizing. This I have to do in small increments as my physical strength is limited. Besides it is a lot easier to get motivated when the tasks are small and manageable. Even with just a studio, it is amazing how much stuff one accumulates. Ha! I’ve been throwing things out all week.
Would you like another cuppa? Perhaps a sweet? So, on the international front, I see Britain has chosen to give Cameron and his Conservative party another term by awarding them 331 seats in a 650-seat house — a clear and comfortable majority. Scotland was swept by the Scottish National Party, which will definitely give the government some headaches in the coming years. The win was so unexpected that the leaders of all three of the other major parties resigned. One large complaint about the outcome of this election is that in Britain (as in Canada as well) the winning party that took the majority of seats actually only had 36 percent of the popular vote. The Labor party had 30 percent of the popular vote and now has no say in government policies.
Many are upset that this outcome is not representative government. The one biggie that Cameron has to deal with by 2017 is a referendum to determine the continued participation in the EU. A large number of the voters think that the EU is having too much control over Britain’s policies and economy. That would be a major shift in the European political scene. Time will tell. What are your thoughts on forming a government? Should it have to be representational? Some countries –- like New Zealand –- are set up so that the make-up of their government reflects the popular vote. Any thoughts on Britain in the EU?
On the topic of elections, we had a really surprising election outcome in Alberta — the central Canadian province that is the source of most Canadian oil and is currently driving the country’s economy. This whirlwind of business and oilfield development just (Wednesday) elected a socialist leaning (called left here) party –-the NDP (New Democratic Party). The surprise was that the Conservative party ruled Alberta for an unbroken 44 years –- a right leaning party that is pro-business.
The NDP leader is a woman who is the daughter of an ardent NDP politician and grew up with politics. She is 51, well-educated and smart. It blows me away (as it did most Canadians and Albertans, for that matter) that the NDP formed the Alberta government. Typically the NDP comes in third after the Conservatives and Liberals in both the provincial and federal political landscapes. The best they normally do is form the official opposition. This is a very monumental and historic win and may very well be the harbinger of a political swing to the left in Canada. The Federal NDP has been basically leaderless since the premature cancer death of their charismatic leader Jack Layton. Possibly Rachel will end up as their leader and maybe even as our Prime Minister sometime in the future, if she does well in Alberta (which won’t be easy as their economy has dropped with world oil prices).
This is a very interesting scenario that is developing in our Canadian oil heartland. Any thoughts on the meaning of an electoral body putting a socialist leaning party in power in oilfield territory?
That’s about all we have room for this week, so it’s time to settle in with another cuppa and pat Ellie B. Sweets anyone? Please join me in thanking Mark, Karen and Ellie B for their invitation to tea. We are all honored that you dropped by today to visit. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself and the conversation and please look around at Mark’s other posts while you’re here. Have a great week. We look forward to seeing you for tea next week back at Willow’s.
Our Gracious Hosts this week have been, in order: Ellie B. at top photo, and Karen B., and Mark B above.
Thanks, Paul! And, everybody, be sure to drop in for a cup at Willow’s always interesting blog by clicking here. Thank you for sending Paul our way this fine Sunday, Willow.