Posts Tagged ‘Canada Day’

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Summer Time

July 2, 2013

j1School is out and the summer has officially begun!  It’s a holiday today and everyone is out celebrating the Nation’s birthday with cottage trips, lake-side strolls and fireworks, of course. Where does the time go? (Can’t believe I’m starting to use phrases like that.) It’s incredible how you can think you’ve got all the time in the world and then suddenly realize there’s a gig just around the corner or you look through some of your old lyric pads and be shocked when you realize the date was from last year or older.

I was recently thumbing through an old notebook I carried around with me last summer, hoping to pick out any brilliant song ideas that were left cleverly, buried there. (insert snicker here.) And I came across the diary I kept when I traveled to the Azores. It was cool to read it a year later and remember what I experienced. I was still stuck with writer’s block back then and desperately trying to find my groove.  Thank goodness that’s passed – for now! Thought it might be fun to share, since I usually do with my travels.

So here it goes:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A very full first day in Sao Miguel. It’s been thirteen years since I last set foot on this island. I was just a kid. This island once so removed from my familiaritieIMG_0145s, now so removed from my memories of it. This place, this culture that used to stretch out its dirt roads to welcome you now presents its slick asphalt highway to get you from one end of the island to another. The main city now has its own doors (archways) to the city – or doors to the ocean depending on which side of them you are standing on.

7:20am the plane landed and it was a wonderful sight to see my favourite uncle, Nic, awaiting my arrival. Surprisingly a wave of emotion came over me as this is the first time I arrive here alone. It reminds me of the family that used to be here but is no longer as well as the family that didn’t come along this time.

It’s funny how our memories can keep our hopes and expectations frozen in another time – another era. But in reality everyone and everything moves forward. We arrive at uncle’s “garden estate” as I’ve decided to call it. Surprisingly, he no longer lives in my grandmother’s house (which is now his house but he has rented it out.) He now lives in a new property just outside of Ponta Delgada in a smaller township called Lagoa, which means lake.  And I call it his garden estate because it’s probably a full acre – if not more – of floral paradise. The long drive invites you up to the four bedroom homestead which I affectionately call “The Manor“.  All around are flowers and plants to a horticulturalist’s delight. Wild orchids, hydrangeas, hibiscus (the biggest I’ve ever seen), lemon trees, banana trees. A crop garden with rows of kale, garlic, tomatoes, exotic fruits like apple-melons (yet to try). And lastly an animal sanctuary where two geese roam free with their friends the chickens, a rooster, pigeons, rabbits, ducks, three pigs and a proper turkey to rule over them all. It’s like a mini version of Neverland Ranch without all the carnival rides!

Along the drive, when you look south, you are treated to breathtaking views of the Atlantic. On a clear day you can even see the next island over, Santa Maria. The air is fresh and swirls lightly in a welcoming embrace. The hillsides are lush and green. his man-made pIMG_1509ond full of frogs and lily pads bid you an inviting hello.

Home. There is an unspoken, settled feeling that I’ve come back home after so long.

After a neat breakfast and a brief tour, I promptly collapse onto the first bed I see and have a “nap” that will end up taking me seven and a half hours into the other side of heaven. I awake to uncle Nic’s friend AnaBela who is warm and charming despite her regular use of expletives. She instantly puts me at ease with her comedic ways and commentaries on frustrations of her day to day activities. With her, we take a quick trip into the city where new hotels now stand and a whole ocean front scene creating an Ocean Drive ambiance with an infinite row of open air restaurants lining the shore. It’s a new Sao Miguel I am seeing. Much more modern than the horse-back riding culture of when I was a child. The island always seemed to be a century behind the rest of the wIMG_1421orld but it’s clear to see that in the last two decades, the island is all caught up to 2012 with their internet cafes and ipad-toting intellectuals ordering cappuccino and downloading the latest Lady Gaga videos. This baby sister has finally joined the party of its older sibling, the main land.

We arrive back at midnight and proceed to do three hours of catching up, which always include Uncle Nic’s infinitesimal anecdotes that always leave you gaping or exploding with laughter. I’ve missed that. I’ve missed his story-telling, the sense of connection to my past, my grandmother, my family.

So at 3am we finally decide that we’ve got seven more days ahead to continue catching up.  And after biding each other good-night I am off to enjoy and much earned, full night’s slumber. Tomorrow will be another adventure, I am sure.

NG

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Fireworks

July 1, 2011

Today would be the most appropriate day for playing Katy Perry‘s Firework. They are certainly going off tonight as everyone celebrates the national holiday. I’m back from Hawaii and the weather has been great. Barbeques are ablaze and the parks and backyards are buzzing. Summer has finally arrived.

And I’m looking forward to a fun-filled summer. Musically and personally, I’m ready for some action!

In the mean time, I will be posting my written blogs that I kept while I was in O’Ahu. Absolutely beautiful vacation. I even saw a great 90’s cover band at a local Irish Pub! You heard right. An Irish Pub in Hawaii. Stay tuned for the entries to follow.

Have missed you guys!

Nowhere Girl

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Day 73 – Sunshine

July 1, 2010

It’s pretty quiet today. Most places are closed due to the national holiday. The sun is shining and I even hear birds chirping. The other great things about where I live is that my street is just behind the main drag and the low rises in front of me block out any city sounds. It’s like you’re not even in the city. Soooooooo Nice.

It’s days like this that should bring on waves of inspiration. But alas………nada. I had a late breakfast with a friend and was surrounded by weekenders brunching but at the end of the bar was a really pretty girl who, incidentally reminded me a lot of Serena Rdyer but it wasn’t, who was diligently writing in a journal. She was so intense. It was like she couldn’t get out her thoughts fast enough. I remember having days like that. It’s exciting and daunting at the same time because you are worried that you won’t get it all out in time before you forget. Then she’d stop and look around or she’d stare really intently at the brick wall beside her and I could tell she was looking for the words to describe her surroundings. I wondered what she was writing about. Maybe she’s a well-known local writer talking about her morning at the hotel cafe. Maybe she was talking about me staring at her when I didn’t think she was watching. We are a funny lot, us humans. Always wondering, searching, curious.

Hmmmmmmm. I still got nothing. I should be okay with that. I always remember that saying about not worrying about digging for the creativity but when it comes, I’ve got to grab it.

So here I will wait until it comes to me.

In the meantime, I am off to join a holiday barbeque that is already underway and enjoy the sunshine. Perhaps by tonight, I will find something to write a song about.

Enjoy the day!

Nowhere Girl