Sunday, August 13, 2017

On Being Bullied

More than a month since the last blog, but I've been busy, and council goings-on are quieter in the summer.

What I've been busy with mostly is, as usual for me in summer, house renovations.  In this case, the side porch on the west side of the house turned out, when I started what appeared to be minor renovations, to need total reconstruction.  Floor, walls and other parts of the structure were rotting, due to less than adequate renovations of more than thirty years ago, which meant tearing down the whole structure, right down to the brick pillars.  But I'm now down to the painting of the interior, which means that the end is in sight.

Renovations tend to be messy.  But I was quite surprised to get a visit from Bylaw Enforcement a couple of weeks ago, citing me for having an unsightly property.  No details.  But considering that a six-foot fence surrounds most of the yard, and a hedge the rest, I was rather surprised, since you actually have to come into the yard to see the messiness.

Now, I make no secret about the fact that yard work is not something that I enjoy.  That was Andrea's area of expertise, and now, of course, she doesn't have the energy for it, plus she is not supposed to be digging in dirt due to the risk of infection.  So she was rather upset by the visit from Bylaw.  As I've said before, your family is more likely to be upset by the actions and insults of others - I always put it down as one of the costs of being in public life.

Then, a week later, another visit from Bylaw, although they didn't even bother to come in the yard this time.

Prince Albert is just a big small town, and it didn't take much to find out who the complainants were - not individuals who live in the neighbourhood, but elected officials who don't live anywhere close, using their authority to try to make my life miserable.  Sorry, guys, but you're rank amateurs in that department if you think that something like a baseless complaint to Bylaw is going to be the worst thing that's happened to our family in the past year.  And I find it rather pathetic that rather than attending to your actual jobs, you make this a priority.  I mean, just look around the neighbourhood and you'll find plenty of properties more unsightly than mine.

But that's what bullies are like - they don't think about all the ramifications of their actions, they're just trying to make people feel bad, as if in some way that makes them look better.

But, as always, the actions of friends more than made up for the actions of a couple of bullies.  I was able to borrow a truck from a friend to take the renovation materials to the dump.  And last Friday, my invaluable media consultant, who is also a close friend, spent most of the day here, helping me to pull weeds and clear out other garden debris.  These kind of actions speak volumes, and I don't know how to adequately thank these people.

Somehow, I doubt that the bullies have that sort of support from friends.  Sucks to be them.

"Courage is fire, and bullying is smoke." - Benjamin Disraeli

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