Saturday, May 22, 2010

General Update

No big news today, just a quick note.

It seems I have missed one of the main events of the Cookham social calendar. Let's Rock the Moor is happening as I type this. I thought it was free in the afternoon, only costing in the evening. This was incorrect and you need tickets for the whole thing. By the time I realised this, they were sold out. It was starting to become embarrassing, with everyone I met asking me if I was going. So, no I didn't go.

The weather has been fantastic this week. Today saw the first use of the paddling pool this season and Mitchell's first ever go in it. I'm very pleased with my 6 pound pool; I didn't think it would last one summer, but this is the start of its third. Both Lena and Mitchell really enjoyed their splash around this afternoon, as you can hopefully tell from these pictures.

Now I have to leave you and get back to the football. Bayern Munich is in the final of the Champions League and I do have a soft spot for them in big games. 1860 is my team of choice for Munich, but you don't see much of them on the international circuit. Which reminds me, I have to decide who to cheer for in the World Cup. Australia, Germany or England?

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Election Day

Today is the general election in the United Kingdom. It's the first time EVER that I have been living in a country and allowed to vote in the election, which actually made it a bit exciting for me. In case you are wondering, all Commonwealth citizens residing in the UK are allowed to vote. So both colonials in this house have voted.
I had just moved to Germany when the first election happened in Canada in which I was old enough to vote (the previous one I was 17). Since then, I've not lived in Canada and therefore even the times I voted, it didn't seem to make much impact. Living in Germany as a foreigner, I was not allowed to vote, which really cheesed me off. Taxation without representation! They kindly allowed me to use the roads and public transport and all those other things my taxes went to, but it still felt unfair. So today is quite a remarkable day for me in exercising my part in the democratic process.

I won't tell you who I voted for because part of the great stuff in this democracy is that I don't have to tell you. I will tell you that I found it extremely odd that waving my polling card was enough to ID me at the polling station. What if I had dropped it on the way and someone found it and decided to use it? What if someone had stolen it? Sure, it's only one vote, but it's MY vote and only I should be allowed to use it. Why don't I have to prove who I am?

I was excited as I went out this morning to vote, but it was also coming from other people. There definitely a slight feeling of excitement around. I'm not sure anything will change around here, we are in a pretty solid Conservative seating (hee hee, I'm glad I checked that link and didn't just guess at it, since there is also a Teresa May), but the Liberal Democrats have been gaining momentum so it could be interesting results. And just so he doesn't feel left out, the Labour candidate link too. Whatever the result here and overall in the UK, I am very happy I have finally had the chance to exercise my vote. You may consider it a right, but speaking from experience and from knowledge of the many undemocratic places on the planet, it's most certainly also a privilege. Go out and use it.