Ron Hynes passed away this past Thursday. I have been watching snippets of the funeral service in St John's - lots of Ron's songs being sung by Amelia Curran, Allan Doyle and Ron's family. The Internet is full of beautiful tributes to Ron. I will just say that I was a big fan from the moment I heard Ron being interviewed by Shelagh Rogers on CBC. On that show he introduced two new songs (The Mother Who Bore Me in Pain and Dry), both songs about his ongoing battles with drug addiction. The songs and interview were so candid that I went looking for more Ron Hynes. I have remained a big fan. There is no video posted here. There are several videos posted on YouTube that you could browse around.
Jackson Allan Garland 10lb 9oz. A New Family Record!
Mother and son doing just fine. Everybody very happy.
Here is a photo that I just found from earlier this spring. It is of the tennis team that I played for in the BNP Paribas Indian Wells Seniors Tournament. We did not do well this year. Must have been over-confident from last year.
We are well on our way home. We stopped in Quebec City for our first night out of Moncton. Had a nice walk around the walled city including lower Quebec (walked down, but rode the lift up), found the old Anglican church founded by the Scottish troops after the battle on the Plains of Abraham (probably members of the 78th Fraser Highlanders), and took in a nice dinner.
Our hotel that evening was a bit of a surprise. When we first opened the door to our room we were hit with a blast of heat - the room was over 40 degree centigrade. The staff claim to have never seen this happen before. Fortunately they were able to find us another room.
This morning we woke up in Cornwall, ON. We stayed here so that we could visit Upper Canada Village for the first time in 40 years. I wanted to get some photographs of Louck's farm. The main farmhouse was moved from nearby and once was owned by a direct ancestor of Mary (Loucks) Lauro a good friend of ours. She has never seen the house.
Many of he 78th Frasers were Scottish survivors of the Jacobite rebellion and may have been present at the battle Culloden Moor in 1745. I believe that the 78th was recruited from the survivors of this battle and they were shipped to North America with General Wolf to ensure that they did not participate in any further rebellion against the crown, and that the regiment was disbanded in Quebec City after the Battle of the Plains of Abraham to ensure that they did not return to Scotland and take up their old ways. Further, Williams family history believes that an early member of the 78th was a Cameron ancestor of my mother. Wolf is not well thought of in Scotland for the butchering that took place at Culloden. We think pretty highly of him and he is enshrined in Westminster Abbey by the English - just different POVs
Home now . . .
Last time that we arrived at home it just did not feel right. This time when we arrived it felt very good. We were rested (actually unpacked already) and the home and community looked good - not grey and cold, but green and promising. We were hungry and thirsty so started dinner and cocktails (one should not withdraw from the travelling lifestyle too quickly; we would not want to get the tremors).
Canada Day, but nothing broadcast by CBC from Parliament Hill. I was counting on a live music broadcast from the Hill. When did this all change? CBC was showing the Dragon's Den - very patriotic - lots of flag waving and Kevin sang O'Canada, but still not the hill. I had to watch a Maple Leaf press conference explaining why Phil Kessel was traded. I did not know that he had been traded but I already knew why he was traded. Maybe the Food Channel will have a good show about how to preserve poutine (canned poutine - a great idea, not mine originally but a good idea).
We are home and that is good.
We are in Moncton. Carol and I just left Elwood Cemetery where there was a short committal service for Joyce. To our pleasant surprise both of Joyce's living sisters were able to make the trip to the service and we were able to meet some of Carol's cousins for the first time. After the service we went to Joyce's favourite restaurant for some lunch and to visit.
l-r Lloyd, Marie, Jean, Ray, Irene, Paul, Sandra, Carol
We are in Montreal. It is normal for us to pass through Montreal, but not actually stay and enjoy the city. Checking into our hotel, we were asked "are we sensitive?" Hotel 10 has an after hours club and they are shooting a video tonight. We might hear some thumpa - thumpa - thumpa from the dance floor. We were certain that we would be OK. We probably will not be fine.
Old Montreal (close to the hotel) is an area of Montreal that has been preserved from the early 1900s. I thought that it might be a bit older. Full of good restaurants. Lots of people walking and reading the menu boards. Really very nice. Carol thinks that she saw one of the FIFA women's soccer teams out for stroll through "Vieux Montreal". A minor disagreement occurred during dinner. Carol thought that the hostess was not wearing enough clothing. I just thought that it was warm out tonight. All of this disagreement because Carol would not go to Schwartz's Deli.
How about your daughters and their families making certain that you get to a beer festival for Father's Day. Good grand-parenting is what we call it.
We are happy to announce the birth of Eryn Llewellyn Neath, May 1st 2015, about 1:21PM. First daughter of Glenn Neath and Bronwen Appleton. Mother and baby doing very well in Guelph Hospital. For those in the Appleton/Williams family it is worth noting that Carol and I will be referring to our two grandchildren as "Billie and Lew". It will roll off our tongues really easy as that is how we heard everyone refer to my parents for years and years.
Apple announced recently that they were going to replace their photo enthusiast Aperture software with a more consumer oriented product targeted towards iPad and iPhone users. Yikes. This started me looking for new software to manage my 20,000 photographs. Although I am upset at Apple's decision, it has not turned out too bad. I have decided to move to Adobe Lightroom and it is better software. Apple has not been keeping pace with Adobe it turns out.
Another benefit is that I have been forced to look at the thousands of photograhs as I move them from Aperture to Lightroom. Now that has been fun. For example, here is a digital photograph taken in 1996 on a visit to North Caicos island to drink rum punch and play tennis. In the picture you will see our host Ron (left), a young Adonis (me), Dave and Bob. The unfortunate part of this picture is that it looks like there are four hands reaching for three rum punches. Perhaps that explains the anguish on Bob's face.
Oh, and did I forget to mention that Billie is visiting.
We are home. Had a great winter/summer. There was lots of opportunity to update the VOX but I am just a lazy pig - play tennis, drink beer and think about what I am going to have for dinner. The ride home was uneventful, the usual - Holbrook, Amarillo, Springfield, Fort Wayne, Collingwood.
Indian Wells PNB Paribas was good. We were treated to some of the better seats by our friends Ken and Carol. Carol and I had free tickets in the nose bleed section (I shot this photo from that section using a 300mm lenses.) Ken and Carol had tickets where you could order a glass of champagne and actually get it. It beats me but they wanted to arrange it so that Carol and Carol (yes) would watch the ladies final from the champagne section while Ken and Fred held Kleenex to our nostrils way up high. We would switch seats for the mens finals. See if you can spot Carol and Carol. The only clue allowed by the rules is that both were wearing sunglasses.
Home - what can you say. It is good to be here but quite a shock coming from the warm sunshine to the cold and cloudy. Canadians like to have their guilt rewarded and the last few days at home has felt just about right. There is still snow on the front lawn. The Japanese Maple has been clobbered by a snow plough and will not survive. There is ice on the pond behind the house. It is raining. I opened the garage today and a robin was shivering in the rafters. The house was standing though and we were glad to be here.
The BBQ will be used for certain in May.
Carol and I visited Bronwen in Guelph Monday and Tuesday and had a meal with our whole family. Kate, Jay and Billie joined us for an Easter ham dinner (recipe provided by Jim Johnson.) We are thrilled that Bronwen is in a new home. Unborn baby is doing fine and scheduled for very early May. Sentimental fool that I am - I am hoping for