Silent Sunday: The Romanian Music Played in My Heart

In Grade 12, I lived two provinces away from the Romanian Dance Ensemble I had performed with as a child. But the Romanian music continued to play in my heart.

And when asked to submit an art assignment with the topic of my choice, I chose to paint the Senior dancers from the Eminescu Romanian Dance Ensemble. I sketched the figures from a photo taken in Regina, Saskatchewan, in the 1970s.

The dance is called Oaș after a region in the northern part of Romania.

I didn’t get the faces right. People are notoriously hard to draw, at least for me! But I spent a lot of time on the fabric, trying to capture the movement.

And in the silence of the room, the music played in my heart while I sketched and painted.

Memories of Closed Captioning and Magnum, P.I.

One day in 2000 I was offered a very cool job recommended for people who had a knowledge of linguistics and experience playing the piano. It involved using machine shorthand to create closed captioning transcripts for television programs. Since I love TV and anything involving language, I was immediately intrigued and didn’t hesitate to accept the offer.

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Christmas Beauty in Victoria, BC

As much as I brag about the mild weather on Vancouver Island, I have to confess there’s a part of me that misses the snow at Christmastime – its delicate sparkle in the sunlight and street lamps that echoes the sparkle of tinsel on Christmas trees.

I wonder if that’s why Victoria’s downtown seems so magical during the holidays. A bit of sparkle is added to even the most common places. This is what The Bay Centre mall looks like right now. Read more

Sweet Saturday and My Moose Jaw Home

If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll know that I like to talk about Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. As one of my good friends said, “You can’t not write about a place named Moose Jaw.” 🙂 The older I get, the more I appreciate this city on the prairie and my family’s history there. Read more

’90s Nostalgia and the Ogden Point Breakwater

In April 2017 the University of Victoria Alumni Association published a post called “YouTunes” that talked about students’ musical memories from their time at UVic. It’s a fun post to read if you love music and the memories certain songs and bands hold.

It got me thinking about the ’90s again, which is the era when I attended UVic. I often think of the ’90s with fondness, and most of the music I listen to is from that decade. It isn’t that life was necessarily easier back then. But there was a certain excitement and freedom about being a student with an unwritten future still ahead of me. And there was a certain comfort in the familiar routine of school.

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Remembering Stuart McLean and the Vinyl Cafe

Like many Canadians, I felt a profound sense of loss last Wednesday when I found out that Stuart McLean had passed away. He was a bestselling author, journalist, and host of The Vinyl Cafe radio show, a wonderful program that introduced us to a series of humorous, heartwarming stories about a fictional family and their friends and neighbours. Stuart’s storytelling brought these characters to life and made us love them and relate to them.

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With Courage and Grace, Too

Last weekend I did what millions of other Canadians did – watched The Tragically Hip’s final Man Machine Poem concert broadcast on CBC Television.

It was hard to overlook the significance of that evening. Lead singer Gord Downie was up there performing with the same passion, wit, and wisdom as usual, but with one difference – we all knew that he’s been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. What a courageous, generous man. And what love there was between the band members who stood up there with him.

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