Saturday, November 13, 2010

Guy Things and Remembrance

My wife is away in Montreal on a work conference for 3 days. I drove her to the airport at 4:45am yesterday morning. Luckily it was a day off for Remembrance Day so I could be relatively dozy for the rest of the day and not worry about work. My dad has been visiting for a couple of days while my mother has been out in British Columbia. As Cathy Webster stated in an email to me, "Guy Paradise!...eating greasy food, not putting the toilet seat down, just guys sitting about in their underwear...scratching stuff." Well said, Mrs. Webster. It's as if you were peeking through our window.

I should clarify...I was supposed to be working yesterday but booked it off. Remembrance Day is not a national holiday here in Canada and many people have to work. Many employers in Newfoundland give the day off as the roots of folk here run deep with military service in the First and Second Great wars. Many Newfoundlanders were lost.

As usual, Sean's sea cadet corp gathered in the village of Torbay just outside St. John's to help remember those lost in service of this great country. Sean was especially thrilled to be asked by his commanding officer to be one of two cenotaph guards during the ceremony. I'm sure you all recall seeing the men and women who would stand at the 4 corners of the monument in a solemn pose--hands resting on the stalk of the rifle with the end of the barrel balancing on the toe of the left boot. In the case of the Torbay cenotaph it's only two guards as the monument is very small with a hill behind it. Sean donning his spats and white belt with brass buckle managed to keep the pose for the 50 minute ceremony. His attention span is normally very short and I'm very proud of him for keeping focus and maintaining the solemn pose. I managed to take three photos of him with his camera before the battery died. Since V is away, and I am a technological moron, I made do with a pirated image from the web (see above) of an unknown cadet standing guard at a cenotaph. It's a fairly accurate representation of what Sean was doing.

The cadets were then treated to a hot dog lunch and many of them will be taken to the 4 Nations Cup women's hockey bronze medal game tomorrow afternoon. How Canadian is that! Well, it's very Canadian aside from the fact that it's Finland vs. Sweden. But it will still be a good game to be sure.

I hope you all had a fine Remembrance/Veterans Day yesterday and gave thought to the men and women who have given their lives in service of their countries. I did not have any relatives die in the wars. My grandfather was a career army man and served with the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders (2nd battalion) and served for many years in Jamaica, China, India, Palestine, and north Africa. His son, my uncle John, was a tail gunner on Lancaster bombers and was fortunate to have survived the war.

6 comments:

David Barber said...

Great post, Alan. I gave a thought while I was working. My grandfather served in the 2nd World War.

My niece is being christened on sunday so we're off down to Manchester for a few days. I'll be saying a prayer in the church.

Congrats to your son. It must have been quite an honour. Now, you get back to watching daytime TV in your underwear. Make the most of it while the boss is away!! :-)

Cathy Webster (Olliffe) said...

Good for Sean! I'm not sure I could stand in exactly the same spot for 50 minutes – I know for sure I could SIT on my arse for 50 minutes, not a problem. I hope you'll post his real photo when V gets back from her travels. It does sound rather fun, all three guys hanging out ... scratching stuff... right now my three guys are hogging the couch watching a tacky western ... scratching stuff ... so I've fled to the kitchen table where the testosterone isn't quite as thick.
Isn't the cenotaph right across the road from the post office where I almost fell down the hill? What a beautiful place that is.
Remembrance Day is so solemn. You can't really say Happy Remembrance Day but you don't want to say Sad Remembrance Day either.
To David, have fun at the Christening! I love those services. Babies crying. People in church who haven't been there since Christ was on the cross, little church-lady sandwiches. Good gossip. Tepid tea. Makes me almost want to get another baby Christened.

kathryn said...

Well, I'm damned proud of Sean! I don't think I could stand still for 50 minutes. Did he have to make sure not to drink any liquids before the ceremony?

I loved Cathy's email to you about "scratching stuff"! HA. I think I would start closing my curtains, regardless....

Bukowski's Basement said...

Veteran's Day IS a national holiday here in the US, but we rarely get it off. Municipal workers get it off I believe.

In my opinion, EVERYONE should be off, right?

Alan W. Davidson said...

David- Hope it's a great few days in Manchester. The daytime soaps were fantastic. *Scratches butt*

Cathy- That's correct, right across from the hill you almost fell down (glad we avoided that 911 moment...can just picture the Cormorant helicopter hovering, trying to pluck you from the rock face...)

Kathryn- I warned him to go pee ahead of time, but he had a back-up Coke bottle and hose just in case...

Ant- Right on, sir!

Laurita said...

Good for Sean! I really don't think I could stand that way for 50 minutes. Ten minutes would be my limit I think. That's quite impressive.

I hope you enjoyed your manly weekend. Don't forget to do those dishes before V gets home.