Monday Morning Musings

Posted on July 15, 2019 under Monday Morning Musings with no comments yet

Drove my Zevvy Chevy to the levy

 

“Baby you can drive my car,

Yes, I’m going to be a star.”

Baby You Can Drive My Car. The Beatles

I’m all charged up and ready to hit the open highway.

I attended the Art Fair last Friday and met three young men from the Clean Foundation. Clean is a non -profit, non-governmental organization. “Clean makes homes more energy efficient, restores streams and watersheds, engages youth on the environment, promotes green transportation, mitigates the effects of  storm water, helps communities reduce waste and contributes to public policy discussions.” https://clean.ns.ca/

There was an electric car parked outside the Art Fair venue. Ben, Noah and Daniel have a pretty sweet summer job. They are employed by Next Ride. http://nextridens.com/. They get to travel around the province attending events and festivals educating people about the merits of electric cars. Let’s face it, the future is now and electric cars will become as popular as hoola hoops were back in the 60s.

These three guys obviously know their stuff and spoke in a language that I did not understand. They tried their damndest to help me understand the basic of electric cars. “Hey, throw in some quantum physics while you’re at it,” is what I felt like saying. I feel quite certain that if the car companies promoting this technology could just hook these lads up to the charging stations, they could fuel just about any make or model. Their energy was infectious.

They offered me a chance to take a ride in Zevvy, the car they are using to get around the province. I signed a waiver and Ben and I took it for a spin. It was a very quiet ride except for Ben who sounded like a buzz saw as he pointed out the many advantages of green energy.

Did you know that there are Federal incentives up to $5,000 to purchase an electric vehicle? There are currently over 100 charging stations across Nova Scotia including one in the parking lot behind Bloomfield Centre on the campus of St.F.X. University. Want to learn more? Check out this website and get yourself up to speed. https://www.evassist.ca/

I got quite an education in the 30 minutes I spent with these guys. I didn’t want to burst their bubble by telling them that I have discovered a technology which is every bit as efficient as an electric car with very low overhead and NO carbon footprint, just real footprints: my two legs.

Last Friday night I got banished to my sister’s cottage as our tiny apartment was filled to capacity. As sad as I was to leave the chaos created by four young girls, I sucked it up and did my duty. I hadn’t spent a night at the beach in well over a decade if not longer. After a lovely, quiet visit at my brother’s cottage, I walked a few steps to my sister’s place. It was a rainy night. I took one of the beds in the upstairs, opened a window and put my head on the pillow. I listened to the pitter patter of the rain on the roof. I smelled the fresh salty air and could hear the sounds of the waves caressing the shoreline. Even on a rainy night, there’s something magical about a night at the beach.

Have a great week.

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Monday Morning Musings

Posted on July 8, 2019 under Monday Morning Musings with 2 comments

Why? Why not.

 

I got a tattoo.

There. I’ve said it.

Guess what? I’m not the first person in their 60’s to get one so it’s not a big deal. As a matter of fact, according to my tattoo artist, older people are becoming one of the fastest growing segments of the population deciding to fling off the shackles of giving a crap, and adorning their bodies with art that in some way represents who they are.

So when did I have my epiphany and decide to become a rebel?

It really started 8 years ago when I ran the Boston Marathon for the first time. I really wanted to get a tattoo so that I could inflict more pain on my body, as if I hadn’t already done enough on the 42 kilometre run from Hopkinton to downtown Boston. For some reason that I can’t explain, I decided not to proceed with a discreet Boston Marathon tattoo on my lower leg.

During the month of May, I walked across Spain. I completed the Camino putting one foot in front of the other over a million times over 713 kilometres. At the end of a long day on the trail, I was sitting in a bar with fellow walkers. No doubt we were talking about our blisters. The guy to my left was sporting a Camino tattoo and in that instant my mind was made up to get one exactly like this when I got to the final destination in the city of Santiago de Compostela.

Several days later, in the village of Hontanas, I found myself once again drinking beer. A group of us were out on the patio of a bar soaking up the sunshine after what had been a fairly cool day on the Camino. There was Clementine from France, Lily from Russia, Noah from the Western Sahara, Jordi from Barcelona and Rami from Finland. I loved these kind of encounters meeting interesting people and hearing their life story.

I believe it was on our second beer that I told Rami about my tattoo plan. I didn’t ask him his age. It’s not polite to ask a man his age (!) but I’m guessing he was in his 60s. He immediately toasted me and said that he would also get a tattoo when he returned home. A pact was consummated at the bottom of glass #2.

Aleksandra Ferek is a young woman from Poland. She is a lawyer and an architect. I walked with her on a couple of occasions. After mentioning my tattoo idea, she said that she would design a Camino tattoo that reflected who I was. By the time I reached Santiago de Compostela, the destination city, I was anxious to immediately get the tattoo done before my courage wavered. I had been given the name of a reputable tattoo shop. My walking partner for the last two days of the Camino, Virginie from France, accompanied me. After chatting with the tattoo artist, I decided not to get it done there. Virginie didn’t like the feel of the place.

So, I put the idea on hold and reckoned that getting it done back home made sense on many levels.

I asked around and was given the name of Sean Brophy, a local tattoo artist with an excellent reputation. I had an initial meeting with Sean to discuss the process. I found him very engaging and sincere. I was so taken with him that I published a story about his life. https://www.week45.com/faces-in-the-crowd-making-an-impression/

On June 26th, I got my tattoo. I can’t lie. I found it painful but this kind of pain is temporary. The tattoo is permanent!

Let me briefly explain the tattoo. The primary feature is a scallop shell which is the official symbol of the Camino. This goes back centuries and there are several theories on the significance of the shell. Most of them have their basis on religion and the proximity of Santiago de Compostela to the ocean. The figures of the hiker and the musician are self- explanatory to anyone who knows me. The word “ultreia”is believed to have been used by medieval pilgrims who walked these same paths centuries ago. It means to keep going or reach beyond, a word of encouragement to fellow travelers.

Not everyone is a fan of tattoos. I would hardly consider myself a raging proponent of them now that I have joined the “rebel” class. But like so many things in life as I age, I just refuse to get my knickers in a knot about things that are just not all that important. I received one private message from someone who saw the picture of me and Sean in the story I posted. This person seemed to think that I was somehow grandstanding and trying to draw attention to myself. I thanked him for his comments and told him that I was respectful of his opinion. But I couldn’t leave this alone and replied to him that I was a) simply having some fun; b) I wanted a reminder of one of the greatest experiences in my life and c) that I wasn’t trying to be cool. I am far too old to be considered cool. Cool rhymes with fool. I’m just an old fool having a bit of fun.

On the very same day that I received my badge of honour, some 6,242 kilometres away in Finland, Rami got his tattoo. We shared pictures and some laughs. We hope to meet again someday.

Thanks to my dear Polish friend, Aleksandra for creating my tattoo.

“I am a canvass of my experience. My story is etched in lines and shading, and you can read it on my arms, my legs, my shoulders, and my stomach.” Kat Von D.

One out of four ain’t bad. I’ll stick to one tattoo for the time being!

Have a great week.

 

Rami’s tattoo

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Monday Morning Musings

Posted on July 1, 2019 under Monday Morning Musings with no comments yet

Happy Canada Day from Week45

 

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