Today I had one official and one unofficial reason for traveling to Canso. The unofficial one was the weather; a bright sunny day would be great to get a photo journal around town. The official reason was to interview the Health Minister who is in Canso today at Eastern Memorial Hospital to discuss the John Ross report and the future of the emergency room at this hospital-or so I assume.
On the 50 minute drive down to Canso from Guysborough I saw lots of interesting things that I could have taken pictures of but as usual there was a car behind me and I did not want to get rear ended.
Once in town I headed to the new fish plant to see what sea-cucumbers would look like in production. Outside of the plant I saw a truck with pink ice hanging off the tailgate and a spreading pink ooze on the gravel and ice in the parking lot. I walked up to some fish boxes and saw … a couple hundred pounds of frozen gelatinous cucumbers.
I have seen sea-cucumbers before, in their live state, and was a little disconcerted to see them bleeding in boxes on a freezing day in Canso.
Inside the plant I asked for the plant manager hoping to get a picture for the paper but she didn't consent saying there was nothing anyone would want to see in the paper happening there today.
The floor in the processing plant was full of an oozing slime with occasional surreal pink blood that was not exactly blood; not in the terrestrial sense. There were about 6 lines of workers with 4 or so to a line with what looked like clipboards mounted on a drafting table. Clipped to the boards were the sea-cucumbers which were being flayed; IE processed. It looked so much like something out of a 1960's industrial promotion film that I almost laughed.
The workers wore bright blue aprons and one of the men complained that although the apron was fresh on Tuesday, there was no amount of washing that could get the pink blood stain out of it now on Friday.
The smell was fiercely obtrusive as well. All I could think about was a comment a co-worker once made to me about the smell of the fish plant wafting over our archaeological dig site on Grassy Island, just offshore from the town of Canso, “That, my dear, is the smell of money.”
From the plant I went on a little drive and took some pictures.
Up to the camp road where I used to depart for work each day over to Grassy Island,
to the town office,
out behind the museum
and down a few streets to capture some local flavour.
Anchors and boats weighted in snow.
I stopped in at the newest restaurant in town, The Dockside Grill,and found what I was looking for- chocolate cheesecake. The Dockside always has great cakes. There I chatted with the manager and got the gossip on the local celebrity, J.P.Courmier. None of which I will write here as I hope he'll grant me an interview at some future date.
Then I headed out to the hospital where I am now siting waiting to interview the health minister; although I don't really know about what and I would rather be out taking more photos.
I have never been in this hospital before. Just in past the front desk they have a trophy case with all the trophy's they have won over the years in the Canso Regatta. There are also some newspaper clippings and a telegram detailing the closing of the outpost hospital station here in Canso by the Red Cross in 1951. There are pictures of the old hospital too. The building- I think- now houses the local daycare centre next to the inevitably closing high school. There are several clippings from the former incarnation of the local paper called, The Guysborough County Advocate, from 1948.
Just past the trophy case and down the hall to the left is a large painting done in a style reminiscent of Alan Siliboy.
A very nice piece. And there is a plaque commemorating the service of a former doctor.
They should be out of meeting in 10 minutes. Let's hope the minister has time for me after all the time I have invested in her today.
Saw the minister for all of 8 minutes but that is how it goes. Listening to her discuss how hospital budgets will be frozen this year, I wonder if this will be enough; probably not.
After that I stopped in at the MLAs office which is in the old Post Office. It's a great building like our old Post Office in Guysborough. It has had many incarnations since it's postal days and some nice art work on the Bell Aliant building next door.
Then back to Guysborough with a few photo pit stops.
I stop at my dad's to pick up H-Bean.
Then it is off to the store to buy a birthday present for a party tomorrow. Home for the fiddle and music. To the babysitters to pick up S-girl. And the Guysborough Intervale to Eddie's for fiddle. Long day.