Thursday Tidbits

Posted on July 19, 2018 under Thursday Tidbits with one comment

Hands at work at The Arts House

 

Show of hands. How many of you have read all 900 of my Week45 stories? The odds of that actually happening are similar to those of being struck twice by lightning. I should be careful as I have been struck by lightning once already. To prove it, here’s the story I published when it happened https://www.week45.com/a-bolt-from-the-blue/.

Based on this survey, there is a very good chance that you didn’t read my Monday post. You’re forgiven! I’m helping raise money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. I am participating in the Big Bike Ride next Tuesday, July 24th. I am part of the team from the RK MacDonald Nursing Home. Someone who read my post on Monday thought I was doing a big bike ride, like going around the Cape. Nope. With a wonky back and neck (and mind), that’s not happening. I’ll be climbing on a BIG BIKE that carries about 18 passengers and we’ll take a cruise down Main Street at 7:00 p.m.

I’ve set a goal to raise $1000 and I’m at the hallway mark. If you’d like to make a tax deductible contribution, please go to my page with the Heart and Stroke Foundation: http://support.heartandstroke.ca/site/TR/BigBike2018/BB_General_2018?px=2165881&pg=personal&fr_id=5878. Might even wear my kilt if I exceed the $1000 mark!

The Antigonish Arts Fair is expanding its wings adding a new and exciting program. The old Visitor Information Centre beside Boston Pizza is now the home of The Arts House. Antigonish has been a hotbed for artists for decades. Many successful artists honed their skills under the watchful and caring eyes of Mary MacGillivray. Here’s a piece I wrote about Mary a few years ago. https://www.week45.com/the-art-of-being-mary-2/. Mary is still very much alive and well, recently passing the century mark. She is one of my favourite people and love our chats at the RK.

Do you have a child who is creative and wants to learn various forms of art this summer? Check out their website: http://antigonishartfair.ca/the-arts-house/ . One of my grandchildren is attending this week and from all accounts, it is awesome. Kudos to the visionaries at the Art Fair.

And speaking of the Art Fair, I have been pressed into service this Friday (20th) and will be playing some tunes at 7:20 p.m. at Chisholm Park… across from The Wheel. You know the place? It’s where Prime Ministers get their pizza when they’re passing through Antigonish!

Apparently a few of the featured performers are sick. The best they could do on short notice was a balding 66 year old man. I promise I won’t play any of my original songs. I’ll stick to the tried and true. Maybe a few Neil Young tunes and some singalong stuff. Oh yes. I have donated some of my books to The Arts House and I think they’ll be selling them on Friday night. 100% of the proceeds go to the Arts House.

How do you cure a pain in the neck? Wouldn’t I love to hear your remedies. There is no cure for annoying people but I’m working on getting relief for neck pain. My latest stop has taken me to an osteopath. We’re not 100% sure what’s wrong with my neck but it’s possible I don’t have my head screwed on properly. (Pause for the cheap shots). He did a lot of manipulations with my head and neck. It’s a little too early to say how things are going to go but I definitely notice an improvement after only two sessions.

Weather’s looking great for the next few days.

Hope to see you at the Art Fair tomorrow evening.

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Thursday Tidbits

Posted on July 12, 2018 under Thursday Tidbits with 5 comments

The wharf at Bayfield

 

The rutted, tree lined dirt road leading to the cottage is a harbinger of things to come. It’s as if the road is asking, nay demanding, that the driver of the vehicle and its passengers slow down and decompress from worldly cares.

A day at the beach on a hot summer day. Is there anything quite like it?

I’m traveling with two ten year old girls. They are summer friends. One is from Montreal and the other from Antigonish. They met at a summer camp a few years ago and have become buddies. Summer friends. They’re not like regular friends.

We park at the cottage and change into swimming gear. The somewhat rickety stairway down to the beach has seen better days. It feels like I’ve been having a few brews as the entire structure sways this way and that.

A few weeks ago, an Atlantic storm blew in and encased the first fifteen feet of the beach with seaweed. The girls are wearing sandals but I am barefoot. I normally look for an escape route but decide to walk over the rotting algae. Having never done this before, it’s quite difficult to describe. Try it yourself some time. It’s not unpleasant as it sounds.

The air is hot, the wind is up and the waters of St. George’s Bay are a tad on the cool side. I decide to be brave and get ducked. I do a slow waltz with the rippling water, trying to get acclimatized rather than doing the manly thing and plunging in. I decide that two ten year olds wouldn’t acknowledge machismo. They are too busy looking at jellyfish and crabs.

I finally muster the courage and take the plunge. Every fibre of my being takes notice. I persist and swim for ten minutes. Usually this does the trick and the body’s thermometer regulates the temperature making the water feel warmer. Not on this day. It’s cold and I have goose pimples to show for it.

The girls start digging a hole in the sand and I wander down the beach chatting with neighbours and swatting horse flies. I’m sure the Creator had a purpose for these annoying creatures (the horse flies!) but at the moment, this escapes me.

It is too hot to remain outdoors for any length of time. Mercifully, my sister’s new cottage has air conditioning as we head inside for a cool drink and a snack. The girls make their way to the loft to play some video games and I head out to the deck. My sister is reading a book. I know what it’s like when I’m engrossed in a page turner and someone wanders by and wants to talk. I do the honorable thing and stretch out on a folding beach lounge chair.

I often wonder about the afterlife, Nirvana and perfect bliss. It’s hard to capture in real life but on this day I come close. I am lying in the shade, with a warm breeze wafting over my body. Just enough to keep the mosquitoes and horse flies at bay. I can hear the gentle rolling of the waves and the giggles of youth from the loft above. I close my eyes and start thinking about the coconut cream pie at the Brownstone. And nod off for twenty of the most delicious minutes imaginable. I always thought the letters P.S. meant post script. For seniors it means power snooze.

Before leaving the cottage, we start to make plans for a sleepover which will include a lot of swimming, barbequing hot dogs and making smores at the fire pit, a bonfire, singsongs, and probably very little sleep. Sleepover seems to be a misnomer.

There’s a new ice cream stand at the Bayfield Wharf. One of our goals this summer is to visit every ice cream stand in this neck of the woods. Mallory dishes up scoops of Scotsburn’s finest and we sit on the veranda looking out at the fishing boats in port.

A summer day in the Maritimes. There’s nothing quite like it.

 

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Thursday Tidbits

Posted on July 5, 2018 under Thursday Tidbits with one comment

Syperek painting of James MacPherson

 

Everything is set for the pastoral Airs concert at St. Ninian’s cathedral this Saturday, July 7th at 8:00 p.m. The concert is being dedicated to the memory of long time organist and choir director, James MacPherson who passed away November 8, 2017. Members of the MacPherson family will be on hand to listen to wonderful music and to unveil the Anna Syperek painting commissioned by James before his death. (Shown above).

I have been attending rehearsals for several of the performers and the St.Ninian’s Senior Choir. I can assure you that people will be more than pleased with the depth of the talent that has been lined up by the organizing committee. There are many familiar faces and some that you might not know but they are all accomplished musicians.

Tickets are still available at 5 to $1.00 and MacKinnon Pharmasave as well as the St.Ninian Parish office. If you are coming from out of town, you can order your tickets on line by going to the Antigonish Highland Games website (https://www.antigonishhighlandgames.ca/ ) and clicking on tickets. Tickets are $20.

All of the proceeds of the concert will go towards art restoration at the cathedral. If you want to see firsthand what is being done, check out this short video: http://www.saintninian.ca/history/artrestore.mp4

Please share this if you would.

Have a great Highland Games weekend.

And…. Stay cool!

 

 

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