Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Home with an Overview

We are back to our digs after a week in the country. The week began with torrid heat which was a problem because I did not bring summer clothes for a Canadian autumn in mid-October. I went for a walk -- two actually -- and returned sweat-drenched. My dear sister-in-law found a pair of shorts for me. That heat lasted for two days; a day or two later, we had frost.

I am going to present -- in photos, of course -- a brief overview of the week. There may be more detail later.

We take the backroads to the cottage when feasible, although no route is exactly a turnpike. This adds an hour or two to the journey but allows us the occasional stop if we are so inclined. We only stopped once on the way. There were better photo-ops that this, but even on the backroads, pull-offs are not always ubiquitous. The colour was very nice for much of the week even though for the most part we were past the peak and much fall had taken place.

There are acres and acres of forest at the cottage. I took this shot of one of the paths that Brian, my brother-in-law, has cut through the woods. It was a gloomy day for the most part, but a patch of sunlight caught the path. Gotta love the leafy carpet.

We took a few little trips from the cottage. This is Eels Creek taken from Apsley. I wanted to get a little blur on the rapids, so I used my neutral density filter for a long exposure -- a short long exposure of one second. I like the patch of red at the end.

Another day saw us travelling in the other direction, which included a trip up to Eagle's Nest in Bancroft. We could drive most of the way to the top and just needed to hike the last little bit. I took this on the trail to the outlook.

Back down in the town, we found an old truck with vegetation growing out of the trunk.

One morning we had a touch of frost, so I got my macro lens out. I haven't used it much all summer as there are landscape scenes to shoot, so I found myself stumbling a bit in my attempts, but here is a close-up showing a leaf rimmed in frost.

My sister-in-law, Heather, got into the bird-feeding mode, and set up a different station every morning. This was the first station, on a set of old wagon wheels. They were attracted to a loaf of bread that Brian had baked. Heather added some peanut butter and seeds, and the birds, mostly blue jays, loved it.

After a week, it was time to return home yesterday. The day was cloudy and drizzly (see the blank sky in the photo), but we still saw some wonderful colour. As per usual, we mostly drank-in the beauty as we drove past, but I did make a few brief stops. This is the Madawaska River at Camel Chute.where the Matawatchan Road becomes Centennial Lake Road.

Knowing me, I will likely post more photos in the coming days, but I wanted to publish an overview post. In due course, I will get to your blogs, but I can't promise to actually catch up: maybe just pick up.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Heading Out

We're off on our almost annual, autumnal trip to cottage country. I say almost because we didn't make it last year because we still had that doddery old but much beloved cat, Bella, who required much care. She passed on a few weeks later, which enabled us to get up there for a few days in November, much too late for autumn but just in time for the first snowfall, which was rather pleasant.

Autumn is proceeding apace now, but due mostly to weather, I haven't yet taken one single solitary lonely photo. By turns, it has been either too windy, too cloudy, too rainy or too cold, or even some mixture of those sad conditions.  Last evening, for example, it poured cats and dogs while it thundered, and lightninged.

Even as we head out today, planning to take the prettier backroads with the hope of catching some nice photo ops, it promises to be dull and rainy This is not really such a wonderful promise, not one I want the weatherperson to actually keep, but probably the kind that s/he will make sure to deliver. Further to that gloomy outlook, two of the next three days are predicted to be even duller and rainier. Seeing that colour has likely already peaked around the cottage, this doesn't augur propitiously for my camera and me.

So what I will do in this farewell-for-now post is leave you with a few photos from our last autumnal trip, two years ago. My farewell rather makes it sound like we're embarking on a lengthy round-the-world trip, but we'll probably be gone for only a week, give or take. So it's not actually so much a farewell as a see-you-soon.

From the cottage property

Near the Cottage

On the Way

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Linda's Wondrous Walking Tour

A few days ago, I showed you this photo of Linda lip-syncing at our Pride event last Saturday.

I decided to put it on Flickr, and it got noticed and put on their Explore page. It took off from there, and as I type this, it has garnered more than 85K views.

As I said then, she is running for town council and promotes the town. On Friday night she led us on Linda's Wondrous Walking Tour of downtown. Given the time of year, the theme was ghostly if you know what I mean. We stopped in front of many downtown buildings while Linda recounted many stories to the delight of the participants.

It's challenging to take photos in the dark, bur I ratcheted up the ISO and did my best. Here are a few, including some b&w, which I don't usually think to do, but I think they worked well. I will present them without further comment.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Danica Does Pride

It was a great pleasure to have Danica accompany us to both Pride events — the raising of the flag on Friday and the Lip Sync event on Saturday.

She wore the pride ring that Sue made for her and gladly waved the flag. She also got a nice face-painting.

After I took the above pictures, she orchestrated this photo — both the composition and, later, the editing.

And then, she insisted on posting it on my Flickr site. Someone would have to be very special for me to allow that. And in her description, she wrote this: "So basically, we were at our local farmer's market for the first annual PRIDE festival in our town! It's great knowing that all individuals are accepted in our small town, no matter what they identify as or who they love. We're all people here!"

Gotta love that girl.

More Danica photos, mostly of her dancing at the end of the performances.

If anyone wants to see more (and why would you really?), I posted a big photo album on FB with the above photos and many more, including many crowd shots. (I trust that the link will work. I've never done it this way before.)

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

A Matter of Pride

Our Pride event was put together pretty quickly -- in five weeks. I don't know why or how, but it was quite wonderful.

After the flag raising on Friday, there was a lip-sync event at Market Square on Saturday afternoon. With many booths and vendors also around, it was a great event. There was such celebration and joy.

Just being there gave me an appreciation of why a party such as this is so meaningful. Some gay people have lived in fear in the shadows while others have been abused terribly for being who they are.

I don't think many understand that the celebration isn't about proclaiming your sexuality but rejoicing in new found freedom and pushing the boundaries of tolerance.

During the performance, I was sometimes almost tearful to think what some people have been through just because they are who they are, and I found it very meaningful to celebrate with them in some small way.

There were drag queens and other performers in the lip syncing event, and I have pictures because Sue secured a front row seat while I was still roaming around the perimeter, which is when I got the first photo, below. The others were taken during the performance.

Linda ↓ is a terrific asset to our town. She writes much of its history and promotes events such as this whenever she can. She sponsors informative, historical walks in town and also led the Halloween cemetery walk which we participated in a few years ago. Despite running for Council in the upcoming municipal election, she doesn't take herself too seriously and was willing to dress up and participate in the lip sync contest: this despite not being in the best of health. What an asset to the community she is!

Another stalwart performer that I will leave you with. What expression!

Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Piano and the Media

It has been a busy two weeks, which featured two quick trips to Toronto.

It's a long story, or could be, but I am going to write only a very brief summary here: both for the record and as a place to store the various links that I will post as we go along.

The story actually began back in the forties, or maybe even the thirties, when Sue's parents, who were not yet her parents, came to know the Goulds. The Goulds had produced a little Gould named Glenn, who would go on to become a world-renown pianist.

As a girl, Sue took piano lessons from Glenn Gould's mother, and Sue's family ended up purchasing Glenn Gould's first piano as he moved on to finer instruments which better suited his prodigious talents. At the time, although they didn't realize it until years later when they first peered into the inner recess, he inscribed the piano to Sue.

As, you can see from the inscription, that was in 1955, and Sue would faithfully practice on the piano for many years. But Sue wasn't Glenn Gould, and as time moved on and her interest waned, and she lost touch with the instrument.

Without going into the piano's meanderings from then until now, let's just say that it arrived at her sister's house a few years ago. But what to do with this bit of Canadiana? It shouldn't be left sitting unused and unappreciated in someone's private living room.

And then, connections were made with the Glenn Gould Foundation, and Sue and Heather gladly donated the piano to them. The foundation wanted to know it's history as well as the whole family connection to Glenn and his parents, so Sue and Heather spent a lot of time piecing together their memories. Sue had her personal memories, while Heather, the youngest who remained in the family home or close to it long after Sue had moved away, had learned more background from her parents.

For weeks, the two collaborated, and Heather wonderfully wove the two threads together into one narrative, which will be unveiled in installments on the foundations website. Once this is completed, I will likely post of it here.

Although this complete written narrative is to be unveiled later, it was completed in time for the inauguration Glenn Gould Day in Toronto on September 25th, Gould's birthday. The foundation also wanted to make a bit of a splash for that day, so in preparation, they asked the sisters to come to their office for a video interview. And so, we made our first foray to the big city a week before the official unveiling.

Before recording the video, the ladies visited with Glenn outside the CBC studios.

They then visited the Glenn Gould display inside, where Sue posed with Glenn's later piano.

In this next photo they are standing next to a photo of a very young Glenn Gould playing what they believe became Sue's piano: the one that they have now donated.

Then, they were off to the very cramped Glenn Gould Foundation office for the video interview.

This is the full video as posted on the Glenn Gould Foundation website which, I warn you, is 33 minutes long. The cover frame is of Heather and her dad, for he plays quite a part in the story.


It had been a nerve-wracking ordeal for Sue to prepare for and then sit through an half hour video, but the interview was done soon enough, and home we came.

But in point of fact, it was not done, for the CBC got hold of the story and wanted to run with it on September 25th, Toronto's very first Glenn Gould Day. First, they called Heather for a phone interview (sorry, no link), but that wasn't enough to satisfy them. No, they decided that they wanted both ladies to appear for interviews both on radio and television on the exact day.

For the second time in a week, or just slightly over, we made the four-hour journey to Toronto, and Sue and Heather took the train to downtown the next day.

But first: on the night prior to their media appearances, Sue's sleep was interrupted by a CBC reporter whose job it was to post a web page. This is the link; while it isn't as complete as the piano's history that will eventually be published, it is much fuller than my brief overview above. It recounts more of the relationship between the girls' parents and Glenn's parents and, among other things, how their father, Louis Morton, would help to make sure that Glenn's piano got to their family cottage on Lake Simcoe, for Glenn didn't want to be without it, even for a weekend. It also mentions the since-lost postcard that Sue received from Glenn from Vienna while he was on his European tour.

On September 25th, Glenn Gould Day, they were interviewed for the news Toronto: At 6:00. This is the link for the whole televised news hour, which I wish I could embed, but I can't. Their interview is only two minutes, which you can see by advancing to the 48 minute mark. It will take a few minutes to buffer to that point, but it beats listening to 48 minutes. (I wish I could capture just their short segment for posterity, but I haven't been able to manage that feat yet.)

They did the radio interview next although it aired first. link

That about wraps up the media frenzy for this blog, with the fuller written account yet to come, but there was also one more bit of exposure for Heather in her local paper. This link contains a few more photos as well a clip of Glenn Gould.

I almost forgot about the chair: Glenn's special chair, the chair he took with him for concerts all around the world. You see, it was made by Sue and Heather's father, Louis Morton who was an extremely gifted DIY-er. There is a photo of Glenn in his unique and somewhat famous chair at the CBC Glenn Gould Studio. It is between Sue and Heather in the following photo.