Saturday, 10 September 2011

Surprise for Ma, Ch'nook Scholars and the Sunshine Coast

I am on the Sunshine Coast, and it is actually sunny. As with Ireland, you don't get green like this without a lot of rain!

I was born here; grew up on the sea amongst apple trees. Here's a view from the core of an extinct volcano that's just behind the house. The house is right on the water, more or less in the lower right-hand corner. My dad would take us on his boat to visit neighbours on the island there, Keats Island.

The beach of my childhood is very different now: back then it had ropes, chains, fishing nets, and some scuffed-up boats that men worked on. Now it's all shining and clean and full of people with lots of money!

My brother's boat, ropes, chains etc are the last ones standing. Long may this continue.

Anyway, I came here for my mum's 70th birthday and surprised her by ringing her from a mobile while walking down her drive. This method was suggested by two Ch'nook Scholars sitting next to me on the Air Canada flight over here.

Pam said "Call her up. Ask her how the weather is."
I told her "She has call-display. I'm amazed we've managed to keep this secret from her so long. She's like Sherlock Holmes!"
Cherie said "That's easy. Take my phone-card."

So I did! She'd just got back from performing in the Sunshine Coast's concert of the Faure Requiem.

"How's the weather, Ma?"
"Lovely and warm!"
"I couldn't phone you earlier to wish you happy birthday...I'm sorry."
"Oh I was performing the Faure Requiem."
"Ah yes! I forgot. Well the weather in the UK is awful. Cold and miserable." (that was true)
"Well it's lovely and warm here."
"What should I do about it then?"
"Come over here!"
"What? When?"
"How about now?" and I walked in. She really is a soprano, no doubt about that. Her squeal probably  carried as far as Keats island.

This is Ma after the surprise, with my sister-in-law Jen. It was Jen's idea to keep it as a surprise. Visible on the table is a nice bottle of Moet, good for such occasions.

This was the second surprise my Ma had: her sister Jane also showed up at the door the week earlier, to spectacular effect.

I have two official gigs with Health Arts in Vancouver this week, and two unofficial gigs in Gibsons, at the two main nursing homes. More and more of my friends live in such places.

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