Belt It Out Serena!

I really enjoy getting to know Canadian singers and songwriters.  I didn’t always appreciate it.  Probably because I listened to radio stations like Q92 or MIX96 which play(ed) the latest hits over and over ad nauseum, or CHOM that were stuck in their old “Classic Rock” genres.  You know the type of typical radio station?  Led Zeppelin seem to have only four songs, Aerosmith as well, AC/DC has two and Kiss has one.  Ugh.  As for new stuff?  Fuggedaboutit.  You never heard anything new.  Of course Classic Rock does imply they play the “classic” stuff.  But again, they would only play the same few songs from the same old groups.  Hey, I love me a dose of “For Those About To Rock” once in a while, just not necessarily once or twice a day.

Now, I’m not saying things are still the same over there.  I have occasionally tuned in and been surprised to hear a Serena Ryder song.  So, I’m thinking they are realising that we do have some really good Canadian rockers that are not old enough to be classics.  Yet.  As for Canadian content?  Maybe a little bit of Bryan Adams or Rush or Sam Roberts Band because they are actually known south of the border…

What doesn’t help is that here in Quebec, the English rock or folk hardly gets played at all.  Except on my now favourite CBC Music.   So I can actually watch the Junos (Canadian version of Music Awards) and know who is being nominated!

I digress.  I know, I know… I often do!  Back to my originally scheduled programming!  I bought my two Serena Ryder tickets ages, nay, eons ago, without knowing who would join me. Put up a Facebook message and one friend, Tony, agreed to join me.

We met at the Burgundy Lion Pub which is right next door to my now-favourite venue, The Corona Theatre, for a burger and a steak.  It was early so we got a table… right beside the courtyard.  I dunno man, I know we Quebecers will stretch out our eating outside as long as we can but heaters or no heaters, it was bloody cold.  And they kept opening the door – first to turn on said heaters, again for the fools to attempt to sit out there, and finally for those said fools to come back in once they realised how foolish they were being to find a spot inside!

The Corona is a first-come, first-served theatre so I didn’t want to go in last minute.  I figured there would be a line-up starting around 6:30-7:00 so we made sure to leave the pub by 7, latest.  Turns out, they were letting everyone in because of the rain.  Cool. Walk in.  Damn.  It’s a standing concert.  I am too old for that shit…  Kinda wished I was up in the balcony but that section was closed off.  Guess they didn’t sell that many tickets after all.

I had no idea there was an opening act for Serena Ryder.  What a wonderful surprise she turned out to be!  Jordane (Labrie), with her guitarist Clément Desjardins, blew me away.  The girl’s got a set of pipes on her!  Her first album comes out mid-January.

And, for a reason I cannot fathom, I did NOT capture any of Jordane’s original French songs but took two little snippets of her singing in English.

During their train trip across Canada, Clément’s guitar got badly damaged and he acquired the banjo from a pawn shop.  He was quite pleased with himself for learning how to play it 😉

And then Jordane had to sing that song that she had been listening to since she was a young girl… Patsy Cline’s Crazy:

A lovely twenty-minute set, I must say.  To hear her sing in French, just click here.

A short break and in came Serena by herself with nothing but her guitar.  She interacts with the audience and of course, she was right there so we felt we were in her inner circle.  She sang a few songs alone on the stage before her band of two came in… a guitarist and drummer (which, unfortunately I cannot remember their names and have given up with the Internets).

A little “Weak in the Knees”…

The Corona is such a great venue.  Would be fabulous if there were seats, but hey… I sat for Andy Kim’s Christmas special and I sat up on the balcony for George Ezra.  Now I can say I’ve had the full experience!  Numb toes and all (you realise after a certain amount of time that the floor is on a slight slant…)

Of course, I shall leave you with a few snippets…  “Oh What I Wouldn’t Do” and “A Little Bit Red”

I was most pleased to have been able to see Serena live in such a perfect venue.

 

 

It’s Subjective – Friday Fictioneers

Had me a little free time during my little getaway, so I figured I’d try to write a little quickie FF…  Thanks always to the lovely Rochelle for being the magnet to our metal and pulling us in every Wednesday.  This week Rochelle usurped acquired legally, J.S. Brand‘s lovely photo.

To play along, why don’t you click on the blue frog below and add your 100-word story with beginning, middle and end.  You’ll see, it is a good challenge, it’s fun and it’s quite addictive.  G’head, you know you wanna…

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It’s Subjective

That’s some kinda erotica you’ve got going there.

What?  No!  This is a piece of art.

Art, eh? Erotic art.  Pretty Picasso-ish, you ask me.  I mean lookit that.  You’ve got a pastie on one boob, and some kinda bandage on the other.  The belly-button is exposed and I do not know what the heck is up with the “nether regions”.  Some kinda fancy venus mons?

Get your mind out of the gutter, will ya?  Those are eyes, one with a patch!  That’s a hat, can’t you tell?

I guess it’s not what you look at, it’s what you see…

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #79 – Translucent

I seem to prefer the shorter challenges… Could not resist this one.  Thank you, Sammi Cox, for hosting this one.  I love it.

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.

Word Prompt

Translucent

Challenge

You cannot see it
An invisible barrier
Translucent
No less difficult to break through
Love, trust and patience required
No easy task, this conquest
Have you what it takes?

 

Hello – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday ridiculously early morning (for me, anyway) my Readers. I’m sitting in a hospital waiting room chair hoping someone will soon give a rat’s ass about my step-father, who’s been lying on a gurney in a hallway since 7:00 p.m. (it is now 2:00 a.m.), following a fall that cracked his head open. OK, OK, not that big but the confusion he expressed following said fall is what bought him an ambulance ride here.  So, while I wait why not prepare my intro?  I’m rambling on for you all, aren’t I 🙄.

*****

It is now 3:30 a.m. and I am back home and Rochelle’s email has just popped up so why not write my story before I hit the hay?  A thank you to Rochelle for keeping us coming back week after week and, thank you to Jeff Arnold for allowing us to use his photo this week.

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Hello

She slowly woke up, naturally, no blaring from a jarring alarm clock. Eyes still closed, she smiled and stretched, feeling the delicious tenderness that comes from a wonderful night of loving. Rolling over onto her side, she slowly opened her eyes. As her surroundings came into focus, she blinked once, staring into a pair of blue eyes.

“Hello. I’m Olivia.  Can you make pancakes?”

Now wide awake, she sat upright, her hand reaching beside her to feel a cold emptiness. She looked back at the little girl.  What the hell?

“Good morning. Sleep well?  I see you’ve met my daughter.”

 

Walktober 2018

The deadline is nigh but I have made it!  October was the busiest one at the golf club I have ever experienced.  Totally nuts and I’ve the bruises and fatigue to show for it.  When there was a day I could have gone for my official Walktober Walk, I ended up doing other stuff, or the rains came or… never mind.  That’s all moot now, isn’t it, because I am here!  Thank you, Robin, for hosting this fun challenge!

Between making salsa and apple jellies, baking a ham and doing laundry, yesterday afternoon, the sun decided to shine right into my face, basically yelling at me to get off my duff and out there into the “wild”.  I had timed it to coincide with the sunset, to boot.

First, before leaving the house, I was stopped by both my dried hydrangeas and my vivid burning bush – getting close to spectacular…

Zeke was beyond excited and when I opened the trunk of the SUV, realised we were going on a REAL adventure.  Now, if only driving in a car did not make him puke…

We drove first to Marie-Victorin Park which has a decent view of Montreal and is right on the St.Lawrence River.

It is sad that I missed all the bright reds of autumn but there were little snippets of red here and there…

Zeke and I took a forbidden path – what?  It was a path obviously taken often!!  I was surprised to see a visible section of white across a bunch of birch trees.  Does the water go that high at times?  Seems rather much but, who knows?  At the end of the path we arrived at what frankly looks like a swamp.  Zeke, though tempted, refrained from jumping in the water.  He did look at me once and figured it would not be a good idea…

Making our way back the light had become particularly beautiful.  All became so soft and glowing.  I took a bunch more pics of the geese and noticed this seemingly suspended branch.  When I zoomed in, I could see a fishing hook twisted near the top… but felt this pic was more fun 😉

 

It was nearing five o’clock and sundown was at 5:53 so I decided to make my way to another park, closer to home.  I figured I’d be able to get some great shots of the sunset from there.  Back into the car and.  Traffic.  What the??  NOT an area where I was expecting any.  I wasted a good 25 minutes where it should have taken but 10.  Still.  We did make it in time to Parc La Freyère, in Boucherville.

The light was fading fast so apologies on the duck shot… I just couldn’t  seem to get a clear shot… (my story and I’m sticking to it!)

It seemed Mother Nature was NOT on my side as clouds refused to allow any spectacular sunset…

So, no sunset for me and my hands were frozen.  Back into the car for our return trip.  I decided to drive along Marie-Victorin street as it follows the river.  Oh man!  I had to stop, park in a side street and get out.  Sorry, Zeke, you’re staying in the car.  Back in a few!

I walked onto the warf for one last picture.

And called it a day.

Hope you enjoyed my Walktober walk from Longueuil to Boucherville!

Never Again – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday afternoon, Readers… well, for those of you on Eastern Standard Time, anyway! Our wonderful leader Rochelle has once again left us with an intriguing photo, this time supplied by Roger Bultot. Dunno how my mind went where it went – just know that it is fiction! Should you want to try your hand at this lovely challenge, please click on Rochelle’s name for the rules and regs. It’s fun and addictive, I assure you! For more stories, click on the blue frog below. You are sure to be entertained.

©Roger Bultot

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Never Again

She lay on her back, eyes fixated on the ceiling. The lights wavered and blurred as her thoughts took her back to that time so long ago. A memory she was sure she had buried so deep it would never come back. But that’s not how it worked, did it? You could pretend something didn’t happen, even make yourself believe it didn’t; but it did. No amount of wishing it away would make it disappear completely.

She mentally shook herself back to the present. She was no longer that vulnerable girl. She would never allow that happen to her again.

Sunday Musings

I used to do a Gratitude Sunday/Sunday Gratitude/Weekend Coffee Share, in which I gave thanks for whatever happened during the week.  Somehow these posts have fallen to the wayside.  I think it’s time I brought it back, different format, though.  Doing challenges like Pegman and Weekend Writing Prompt are all fine and dandy but as a result, I was feeling a loss.

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
Marcel Proust

Maybe that loss is being felt because I’m frankly exhausted  – a term I find gets overused by those who are merely tired.  We seem to have entered the age of extremes so why should one not be exhausted instead of merely tired.  I must admit defeat.  I am bloody exhausted.  A co-worker and I were talking last night before the big 260-person benefit evening, that this October, in particular, has been particularly grueling.  It’s supposed to be the slowing down of things at the golf club.  Instead, it has been one event after another and we are just plain exhausted.  I just did a nine-day run and frankly, today could not come soon enough!

So what did I do on my one day off that is supposed to consitute my “weekend”?  Well, once I got up at the crack of 11:00 am (I worked until 1 am the night before…) I made myself a couple of coffees and had a bite to eat.  Then.  I have a fabulous brother-in-law, Sébastien, who changed my tires for me.  As I sat there watching Sébas and his son, Nicolas work together, joking and ribbing each other, innuendos galore, I could not help but smile.  I then drove home with tears in my eyes.  I couldn’t help it.  I couldn’t help but think that my boys did not get long enough with their father to learn stuff.  I will never forget Iain telling Mick, lying comatose, that he couldn’t leave yet as he still had so much to learn from him.  Broke my heart.  It’ll be four years and I can still hear this clear as day.

Could not decide between the following two quotes, so have included both.

“Boys do not long for fathers who will usher them through the gauntlet of psychological disconnect. They long for fathers who have themselves survived intact. Boys do not ache for their father’s masculinity. They ache for their fathers’ hearts.”
T. Real

“You can’t love your mother or father if you don’t also have the capacity to grieve their deaths and, perhaps even more so, grieve parts of their lives.”
Glenn Beck, The 7: Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life

I got home, unloaded my summer tires and Iain was clearing out the shed.  I asked him if he wanted to come with me to the market to get the goods to make salsas and jellies and he said that nah, he had some stuff to do…

“God know that a mother need fortitude and courage and tolerance and flexibility and patience and firmness and nearly every other brave aspect of the human soul.”
Phyllis McGinley

I hid my disappointment and went to the market.  It’s amazing… Just yesterday – I swear it was yesterday – it was September.  I had told myself I would get all the stuff necessary to make salsas, that we’d go apple picking and visit David at his Britannia Mills mini-farm to pick up hot peppers to enhance our goodies.   Well. So much for that.  Here we are October 21 and my hopes for getting anything besides pumpkins were, to say the least, slim at best.   Luck was on my side.  I snagged a couple of boxes of not-so-beautiful tomatoes for ten bucks, plus 2nd rate apples that are “not fit for sale” for $15 instead of $22, as they are not perfect (pffft!), a box of bell peppers, a couple of braids of garlic, onions, a couple of pumpkins, some honey – because, when in these markets, everything looks fabulous.  Was so bloody cold, I forgot to take a pictures of the market!  Darn.  Iain did go to David’s on Friday, so the pepper situation was taken care of.

Goodies to make more goodies

Home once again, I unloaded my stash and Iain was washing his car.  Brought in the goods and he moseyed over to see just what I had managed to find.  Was as pleased as I was so…  I canna lie, there was a liltle bit of pleasure on my front – again hidden.

I started chopping veggies for the salsa, asked Iain which peppers he wanted me to use and made two different batches of salsa.  I took it as a good sign when I went up to his room where a serious video game was going on with Aidan and his friend, gave him a spoonful, he took, coughed, and said “Was not expecting quite that much heat!”  Mom still can rock it.

While working on my second batch of salsa, Iain came in to chop peppers and ingredients that he planned to turn into hot oils and  sauces.  His dehydrator has been working on drying out one of the peach somethings (not sure if they’re ghosts, morughlas, reapers or what – all’s I know is they are friggen hot) so he can turn them into chili powder – not anything you’d find in your standard grocery stores…

I looked at him and said, “I know you don’t like anything mushy, but I really enjoy when we work on something together.”  I just got a look.

“Isn’t this the truth of any good mother? That in all of our lives. We worry only about those we brought into this world, regardless of whether they loved us back or treated us fairly or understood our shortcomings.”
Adriana Trigiani, Big Cherry Holler

I know I can never fill in their father’s shoes, nor do I want to.  I can give them what I can.  I can be there for them in my capacity.  There will always be those moments where I’ll think, “Damn, Mick should be here teaching them this lesson” but that is, I know, futile.  And I can hope that I’ll be enough.  And that one day, they will think back and say – Mom was there when we needed her and did the best she could.