On having a heart and using my voice

I recently updated the photo on my UK drivers license, and had the new card sent to my parents’ address. They received it a few weeks ago and couriered it back to me (along with the original marriage certificate I’d had to send with the application to get my name changed), but the associated updated NHS* Organ Donor card only showed up at their place in the last few days. My Dad informed me of this fact during our regular Sunday Skype, and asked me what I wanted to do:

Dad: “Shall we send it over, or keep it here?”

Me: “I think it makes more sense for it to be in the same country as my actual organs”

Dad: “So you want us to send it?”

Me: “Well, I’d send you my organs to put with the card, but I’m using them”

Dad: “Cheeky bugger. Now, shall we just bring it when we come over in May, or do you need it before then?”

Me: “…”

(I know the card has no formal meaning in Canada or anywhere else outside the UK, by the way – but because I don’t drive here I don’t have its Canadian equivalent, so the presence of the NHS card in my wallet might be helpful to the people who’d have to make any organ-related decisions, regardless of their location.)


In other weekend news: who do we have here?!**


There’s a longer shot of me in the video embedded in the news story itself. Mostly I just look a bit stupid because I was walking along talking to the colleague I’d just spotted (I also ran into someone I’d met at Vancouver Change Camp, someone who recognised me from Twitter, and David Suzuki), and only saw the CBC cameraman – standing stock still in the middle of the flow of people – at the last minute, and thought I was going to walk right into him. But before and after that I looked all chanty and angry and such.

It felt damn good to get out there, make some noise, and demand that someone bloody well DO SOMETHING (i.e. hold a prompt and thorough inquiry that has serious consequences for anyone found guilty – consequences that include holding byelections in all affected ridings) – but even better to realise that I’m not alone, not the only one who’s paying attention, and not the only one who’s as mad as hell about it (the apathy among most of my friends has been almost as depressing and infuriating as the allegations themselves). I think this issue has legs – I’ve heard people talking about it who don’t usually discuss politics at all*** – and hopefully Saturday’s protest was just the start.

Watch this space!


*Sign #127 that Cath is now fully Canadianised: typing NHL instead of NHS. Twice. For shame, for shame!

**Sign #128: being on the CBC news

***My favourite comment, regarding unwanted dining companions during a conference: “just get the government to call them at the last minute and send them to the wrong restaurant. Problem solved!”

About Cath@VWXYNot?

"one of the sillier science bloggers [...] I thought I should give a warning to the more staid members of the community." - Bob O'Hara, December 2010
This entry was posted in activism, bad people, Canada, current affairs, family, medicine, personal, photos, politics, Vancouver, videos. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to On having a heart and using my voice

  1. U.K. Drivers’ Licence? Presumably you’ve been here long enough that you couldn’t use it to drive in Canada even if you wanted to?

    I have never been on the CBC News, as far as I know. I’ve been on a TV sports broadcast though. You can see the top of my hat in a screen capture here.

  2. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Thanks Richard, that was entertaining! Nice hat.

    Yeah, I can’t use my UK license to drive here because I’ve been here too long without converting it, but I like to have it with me so I have photo ID on me that’s not my citizenship card (I still get IDed from time to time) and in case I want to rent a car in the States or something.

    I should probably get around to getting a BC license at some point. When I moved here on a two year work permit it didn’t seem necessary, and then by the time I’d decided to stay it was too late to convert my UK license over – I’d have to take various rounds of tests etc. Given that it’s now been 16 years since I drove on a regular basis (I never had a car as a student), I’d have to take refresher lessons… it’s all just a massive hassle. I don’t like cars and I never enjoyed driving – it was always just a means to an end – and I’m lucky enough to live and work in a city with excellent bike lanes and transit, so I don’t need a car on a regular basis. Plus Mr E Man likes driving 🙂

  3. For completenes (presuming I can actually get the link right this time), here’s the best of the photos I took from that event:


  4. Cath@VWXYNot? says:


    This is excellent.

  5. Completenes. The ancient Greek god of proofreading.

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