I updated the blog I posted on 25 January 2013: More Thoughts on Quebec. My comments were incomplete. For me, Quebec separatism is a very sensitive subject. Several members of my family, the Quebec branch, are supporters of Madame Marois’ Parti Québécois. However, my family also has a west coast branch. They are not sympathizers of any indépendantiste (separatist) movement.
However, there was a disorderly students’ strike between March and September 2012 and my comments now reflect greater disapproval of the strike. But I do not understand why Quebec did not sign the Patriated Constitution, 1982. I love my country, but it is a house divided (Abraham Lincoln).
An anecdote: an older Quebec
When I was a child living in Quebec, Friday was market-day, but we sometimes shopped on rue Wellington, before going to the market. Most of the shops on rue Wellington did not belong to French-speaking Canadians and they have disappeared: an exodus. The architecture, however, is a remnant of a prosperous past.
In the past, as I walked down Sherbrooke Streets with my mother, I kept seeing the word Real Estate everywhere. Réal is a French name. So I ended up telling my mother that Monsieur Réal Estate (Es-ta-te), was probably the richest man in town. He owned so many shops! Mother told me the truth.
We had English-speaking friends and we visited with them. I was a keen observer of interiors from a very young age. I therefore noticed that the difference between French-speaking and English-speaking Canadian citizens had to do with houses. Our English-speaking friends had a fireplace in their living-room and bay-windows. How brilliant! I therefore decided that when I grew up, I would own an English house.
I did grow older and, by then, we lived on the west coast. We therefore had an English house, a house with a fireplace and a bay window. Victoria was a marvellous place at the time. Our house was near the sea and my mother had enrolled me in a private school for girls: St Ann’s Academy. It was located within walking distance of the house and it had an extraordinary garden, tennis courts, everything. But my father decided to move to Vancouver and they settled so far from the University of British Columbia (UBC) that I chose to complete my B.A. at the University of Victoria.
I left Victoria to get a graduate degree. I married and, four years after leaving Victoria, I lived in Toronto, where my husband had found employment. For two years, we lived on the lower floor of a lovely little house in an area of town I had chosen. I then started teaching and we bought a house, an English house. I loved that house.
How Micheline lost her Blue House
But my favorite English house was the Blue House, my Nova Scotia house. It was your typical cottage-like, two-storey house and it had 22 windows. It also had the essential fireplace. In fact, it was perfect and located across the street from the campus.
The New Course
I may have told you that I suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I can handle a normal workload, but not the workload I was assigned in 2001-2002. I started to feel overwhelming fatigue and presented a doctor’s note. But despite the doctor’s note, I was not allowed to leave the classroom. My students no longer had a teacher, so I dragged myself to work and completed my teaching assignment while applying for permanent disability benefits.
My father had come to visit and could not understand why I would stay in Nova Scotia. Nor could my sister-in-law.
Enters the trickster…
In the eyes of my case manager at the Insurance Company, my having completed the academic year was proof positive that I was an imaginary invalid. She had me see a doctor who requested, in writing, that I be told not to leave my home as I would be able to return to work after an indefinite leave. He diagnosed Depression, not Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
However, all my case manager told me was that my application for disability benefits had been approved. She failed to tell me I had been granted an “indefinite,” rather than permanent leave. As well, although she had been directed by the doctor I saw to tell me not to leave my Nova Scotia home, she did not relay the message. I no longer wanted to sell the house and selling the house was conditional upon my being granted a permanent leave, which I was never granted.
So, I no longer live in an English house. I own part of a small apartment building: one ninth.
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In short, my story takes one from house to house. During the Bush years, I could have bought a house, but I was surrounded by terrorists who kept repeating that if I left the apartment, I would die in poverty. “You do not know how fortunate you are, and you also have a pension fund.”
I believe in God and I love members of my WordPress community and my cat. So it could be that the next house will be an English house and that I will be at liberty to play the piano and look after a small garden.Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) The most prominent Dutch painter and etcher of the Dutch Golden Age, the seventeenth century The music is by L. van Beethoven (baptized 17 December 1770 – 26 March 1827) It’s one of the 32 sonatas for piano. Micheline Walker© January 26, 2013 WordPress