Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I got the music in me.

This afternoon we went to the launch of the 2009 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival line-up. My friend Brent Staeben and the crew at Harvest have put together another amazing and jam-packed festival - 350 musicians in 125 performances on 23 stages in four downtown blocks. My favourite four days in September!
Grabbed some 2 dollar burgers to support Music in Schools and enjoyed some sunshine and some jazz.
Continuing on a musical note we stopped by to visit our friend Brian at Tony's Music Box. Marie's been talking about taking up the cello since the Lovestorm show last month. Brian made a couple calls and here he is telling her: "Your cello is waiting for you."

As for me, I've been thinking of getting a ukelele for a while now. Now that I've seen this purple sparkly one, I think I have to. Time to work on my masterpiece: Sonata for Cello & Ukelele, Op. 1.
Jazz, blues, cellos and ukeleles. Just another Tuesday afternoon in Fredericton...

Here's one of the Harvest headliners, Nikki Yanofsky, from last week's Montreal Jazz Festival. She's 15 and she's amazing.

{The whole performance is good but if you really want to see her in action zip forward to the 3 minute mark.}


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Here's lookin' at you, kid...

One of my favourite summer rituals is the Under the Stars outdoor movies in Barracks Square on Sunday nights.
Tonight's film was a true classic: Casablanca. Marie and Cyn had never seen it before. I love watching people watching great films for the first time.
Aside from a few raindrops it was the perfect end to a wonderful summer weekend.


There are those, who seem to go through life with some sort of secret knowledge. Who have a twinkle in their eye or a sparkle in their smile that says: I know something about living life with my whole heart.
My great Aunt Phyllis was one of those people. She passed away in January at the age of 97. This past weekend family gathered on Grand Manan to celebrate her life. I wasn't able to be there since I was in Digby for a wonderful wedding (more on that later) but I did reflect on my favourite Aunt Phyllis moment.
When I was six or seven, after spending the night at Aunt Phyllis and Uncle Sumner’s in Moncton, I came into her room, hopped up on her bed and began chattering away while she finished her hair and make-up. To a little girl with unruly pigtails, perpetually skinned knees and a chronic inability to keep her fingernails clean, Great-Aunt Phyllis was the most glamorous creature…. Waves of up-swept blonde hair, perfect nails, clothes and jewelry always “just so.”
When she had finished readying herself to face the day, she turned to me and said in that musical and dignified voice of hers… “Come here, I want to show you something…” I walked over and stood beside her, breathless with anticipation. I watched wide-eyed as she reached for the drawer pull on her dressing table. I could smell the powders and perfumes: oh what great treasure or magical potion was she about to share with me?
As she withdrew her hand from the darkness of the drawer, there it was; clutched in her perfectly manicured fingers:


She could barely contain her laughter: “I want you to put this on the carpet in front of your father and act horrified.”
Oh I was horrified alright. No acting required. And I staunchly refused. How could my elegant Aunt Phyllis ask me to do such a thing?
But looking back I realize that the secret of Aunt Phyllis’ long and joyful life was summed up in that moment:

It is all very well and good to be glamorous and clever but the loveliest girls are the ones who know how to laugh.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Random Adventure Crew

Let's face it, there's an economic downturn and this is not the year for safari in the Serengeti or scuba-diving in Costa Rica. So there's never been a better time to discover plenty of fun, random adventures here in our own backyard. Last night Marie and I made a last-minute trip to the horse-races: good friends, $3 beer and the hope that your toonie bet will pay big?
I ask you, what could be more fun?
(Speaking of bets, I would wager that last night marked the first time anyone had decided to take cello lessons while playing the ponies. M & M, you guys are awesome!)

(pictures are blurry but fun)

Can't wait to see where we end up next! We take suggestions - I'd love to hear about some of your favourite Fredericton / New Brunswick adventures.

In the meantime, I'm off to Digby for a lovely Maritime wedding. I get to spend this sunny summer day sailing across the only Canadian "wonder" in the running for the New Seven Wonders of Nature : the Bay of Fundy. Can't wait!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Here comes the sun.

The sun finally came out today. Finally. So Henry and I spent most of this evening here. Reading (me) and people-watching (Henry).

Monday, July 6, 2009

We were never being boring

I'm always baffled by people who complain about feeling bored. As a friend of mine says, complaining of being bored is really just admitting you're so boring you're not even capable of entertaining yourself.

There has been little danger of feeling bored around here lately. Quite the opposite. If anything I am in danger of being so busy having adventures that I don't have the opportunity to write about them.

First there was the Cultural Expressions Festival at Officers Square celebrating Fredericton's growing diversity - two days of impressive performances and delicious food!
Then across the street to Regent Street Wharf to enjoy a lovely Saturday sail on the river. The fact that we were on a converted lobster boat made this island girl feel right at home.

Sunday night brought our first attempt at seeing Bard in the Barracks production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at Odell Park. See how happy and dry we all look? We are so ready to see some Shakespeare in the park... Mmhmmm...

As we were making our way to "A wood near Athens" for the start of Act II, we were caught in a Midsummer Night's Downpour... Show was cancelled and we were drenched but happy.

Tuesday night we fared better. Luke ruined a pair of Italian driving shoes, I fell in mud and my hair smelled like bug repellent but it was worth it. The Bard in the Barracks company delivered an entertaining and imaginative interpretation. I'll never see the woods in Odell the same way.

Wednesday was Canada Day. And for the first time in 15 years, I was in a parade. I joined dozens of members of Fredericton's arts community for 'Art on the Move' in celebration of the city's designation as a 2009 Cultural Capital of Canada.

Lori was one of the organizers. Here she is putting Leon's football socks to good use.

As you can see, Luke could barely contain his excitement.

Fun vantage point on the parade and really fantastic to see so many people turn out to celebrate.
My favourite part of the parade happened after it was over when a spontaneous multicultural drum circle broke out in the parking lot.
So that's just a little of what's been going on plus gallery-hopping at the Culture Crawl... hearing this guy ... and making these. The weather's been dismal but Summer 2009 is still off to a terrific start.