On Friday I had a really stressful day at work and left at five o'clock tired, out of sorts, and with a tension headache which I couldn't get rid of despite taking several Advil over the course of the afternoon. While on my way home, one of my sisters called and said that some of the family was getting together at another sister's house for an impromptu dinner. Despite feeling worn to a frazzle I went and was able to unwind under the influence of good food, good conversation, and the antics of my nephews. After supper we drove down to the waterfront in Eastern Passage, walked along the boardwalk, and got some ice cream. Walking in the crisp sea breeze with a two scoop cone of Oxford Blueberry, the last twinges of my headache faded away completely. Thank goodness for family and ice cream! Below is the ice cream song from Anne of Green Gables: The Musical. I saw it in Charlottetown, PEI years ago and of all the songs in it, this is the one that sticks in my head:
Speaking of family and odds & ends...or odds, anyway... my brother-in-law (the one with nine kids) finished the laundry the other day and, feeling ambitious, told the kids to bring all their odd socks so he could try to match them up...
Lastly, I'm going to try something a little different: having a themed week (or two). Recently, purely by coincidence, I found myself watching a couple of movies set in space while at the same time being immersed in a book about the space race. I was also watching some Star Wars: TOS. Since I was accidentally following a theme, I thought I might have a go at doing it on purpose. So, for the next little while, I'm going to be reviewing/discussing some space-based works of fiction and nonfiction.
Leisure WHAT is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare?- No time to stand beneath the boughs, And stare as long as sheep and cows: No time to see, when woods we pass, Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass: No time to see, in broad daylight, Streams full of stars, like skies at night: No time to turn at Beauty's glance, And watch her feet, how they can dance: No time to wait till her mouth can Enrich that smile her eyes began? A poor life this if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare. -W.H. Davies
I took my parents' dog Jack down to the lake on Sunday afternoon, which was beautiful. The water was still too cold for him to swim but he enjoyed wading and splashing around...
I will arise and go now, for always night and day I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore; While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey, I hear it in the deep heart’s core. -W.B. Yeats
It's almost time for our choir's spring concert which takes place on Sunday night. We had our last practice on Tuesday night, except for the dress rehearsal on Saturday. We're combining again this spring with another local choir for the concert; we'll do a set of our music, then they'll do their songs, and then we'll combine in a mass choir to sing two numbers. One of these is Africa by the '80's rock group Toto which, unlike most 1980's soft rock songs, is still popular today. It was written by group member David Paich who, at the time, had never been to Africa; here's what he had to say about his inspirations in an interview he gave to the Guardian:
"One of the reasons I was in a rock band was to see the world. As a kid, I’d always been fascinated by Africa. I loved movies about Dr Livingstone and missionaries. I went to an all-boys Catholic school and a lot of the teachers had done missionary work in Africa. They told me how they would bless the villagers, their Bibles, their books, their crops and, when it rained, they’d bless the rain. That’s where the hook line – “I bless the rains down in Africa” – came from.They said loneliness and celibacy were the hardest things about life out there. Some of them never made it into the priesthood because they needed companionship. So I wrote about a person flying in to meet a lonely missionary. It’s a romanticised love story about Africa, based on how I’d always imagined it. The descriptions of its beautiful landscape came from what I’d read in National Geographic."
Thank goodness he wrote it before the P.C. brigade started screeching about "cultural appropriation" or else poor Mr. Paich probably would have been chased by torch-carrying, pitchfork-waving mob instead of having a hit song, because that's the level of stupid we're at now. There have been many covers of this song, and the one I've heard most often is by the a cappella group Straight No Chaser, because a couple of my sisters were addicted to them and played their songs over and over. The version we're doing this weekend is the one which can be seen on YouTube, sung by the Angel City Chorale. We're doing it the same way, complete with the choreography and sound effects:
April has brought to Nova Scotia not showers but torrential rain and high winds. Here are a couple pictures of my nephews playing outside after the latest storm:
One of my nephews is fascinated by all creepy, crawly things. Here he is after the rain, rescuing worms stranded in the driveway and carrying them over to the lawn.
Below is a poem by Dorothy Aldis, who wrote children's poetry and stories in the early 1900's. Her poem Brooms describes the appearance of trees in stormy weather, bending in the wind and brushing the sky.
On stormy days When the wind is high, Tall trees are brooms Sweeping the sky.
They swish their branches In buckets of rain And swash and sweep it Blue again.
We had a girls' night out on Saturday: we went out to dinner, went axe throwing, and then afterwards went for coffee and talk. The entire evening was really enjoyable, and axe throwing was super fun. Much to my surprise, I was rather good at it and posted the highest score in our group. The picture below is of the first time I buried the axe in the target. The trick is keeping your wrists straight and releasing the hatchet at the right time.
Here's a couple of other pictures from the event:
The vignette below isn't technically about lumberjacks but about log drivers, the guys who would transport the trees felled by lumberjacks from the forest down the river to the nearest sawmill. This was shown on Canadian TV for years, so most Canadians know it well. Plus, the tune is really catchy.