Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Words for the Wingmen
Well, this was a slower week, which was good because nothing could have topped my birthday weekend a couple of days before. There were several highlights, however, including being quoted in the Washington Post. Let me explain:
At the end of last week, Toblerone, the iconic chocolate bar, announced it would be changing its shape in order to lighten it. My boss joked that we ought to write a motion noting that, as Toblerone had blamed the fall of the pound, the change of shape was a result of Brexit and portended less-innocent changes still to come. I volunteered to write it though I don't think he thought I'd follow through. But I did, and the motion was submitted to the Parliament on Tuesday of this past week.
A note here on parliamentary motions: 100 of these pass through my inbox every day. They usually sound like this: "Congratulations to the something of somewhere for something." Were talking spelling bees and funeral homes ten year anniversaries. The news coverage they get is zilch, zero, nada. Writing a tongue in cheek motion, albeit with a serious subtext, is not disrespectful to the political system. At least not in this Americans eyes.
Within five minutes of being submitted, my motion was picked up by a local news service, not long after it was picked up by opposing party leaders, and then the BBC got wind. Within an hour or two we were on the front page of the BBC and every major newspaper in the U.K. from Scotland to Ireland and England. By the night we'd been picked up in Brazil, Hungary, Scandinavia, and the Washington post. Articles were generally on the harsh side. Oh well. Colin my MSP took it with grace. He's still getting calls for comment and I'm stuck replying to those that emailed in angry at this waste of their taxpayer money. Deep down I just wanted to tell them, "Look, this was written by an unpaid intern, the same one who is now replying back to you!" I didn't though, and learned a lot about politics at the same time. Today my boss brought me in one of the new Toblerone bars.
The other big event of this last week was a trip to Glasgow. We were specially invited to attend the Scottish Family Values Award ceremony at the Hilton in Glasgow. It was a fun and posh affair, with a three course meal LDS style, aka, no coffee or alcohol. Even better. We met mingled, and listened to a host of interesting people, members and non members alike, statesmen, general authorities, heads of charities, and mission presidents. We'd taken the bus there, which had showed up half an hour late forcing us to grab an uber from the bus station to the hotel. Luckily everyone else was running behind and we arrived in the nick of time. On our way out though we managed to hitch a ride with president and sister Donaldson presidents of the Scotland Ireland mission. We enjoyed a delightful time riding home with them and AnneMarie has even taken them up on their offer to help in the mission office! It took me back to all my trips with president and sister genaro, crisscrossing Brazil. Good times!
Two charities were awarded for their work, one was the sponsor of the singing children of Africa whom we had seen earlier. Generally the award was not given to members in order to encourage an interfaith exchange however the founder of that award was a member and she gave an inspiring speech. A mighty rousing speech too I might add for an eighty year old women! The APs from the mission were there and one was formerly in an LDS boy band called Beyond Five, I think, and he sang two musical numbers beautifully, as well as two numbers from the teachers of the singing children.
Okay, that's the deal, the rundown, the gig. Big week coming up this week so stay tuned right here. We've only got three weeks left. Time flies right on by us here! But we can't wait to come home and visit with family, in person or over Skype.
All our love,
Tanner and AnneMarie