Labour Day

Elizabeth May

We drove back to Ottawa, my daughter and I, in our new Prius. Ordinarily, being car-less for so long, we would have flown or taken the train. We have had to fly for the last few years since VIA Rail stopped having facilities for pets. The new Renaissance equipment from Europe, among other disadvantages, has baggage cars not designed for our climate. So no pets are allowed in baggage as they would not survive the summer oven-like conditions. Despite years of promises, VIA has not gotten the ventilation and air conditioning working for baggage. That forced us onto air planes, but Air Canada has been up in the air (no pun intended) about the status of pets in baggage, so we decided to bring some household stuff up from New Glasgow which allows me to bring other household stuff back home with me.

The Prius is a treat to drive. I keep trying to improve my average fuel economy. We averaged 4.9 litres/100 kilometres. Not bad for a 1,000 kilometer trip. So the whole trip cost under $75 in gas, from New Glasgow to New Edinburgh (in Ottawa), with a few detours for garage sales and scenic excursions.

I head back to New Glasgow later this week, as the Prius will live there. There are just a few things I still need at our new house in Pictou County. Our housewarming party was Friday and as people arrived bearing flowers, I realized I had a shortage of vases. Little things like that pop up now and then go onto the household “to do” list. So far we have gotten part way through the insulation of the house, confronted by the problem of the walls being stuffed with 80 year old wood chips that have to be vacuumed out to make room for the cellulose insulation. The solar panels are on the roof to pre-heat the water. All the rooms upstairs are repainted and the furniture, broken by the moving company, has been repaired. A busy summer all in all! (I reflect on the summer tomorrow morning on CBC “The Current” along with the other political party leaders.).

Meanwhile, the sense of the end of summer and impending fall are upon me. Routine activities of the non-summer months are renewed. So home made organic whole wheat bread is in the oven, so my daughter will have something good for the first school lunch of the year. The fall colours will be increasingly accompanying my drive home to Nova Scotia. And we can brace ourselves for a renewed political furour whenever the House resumes.