Sunday Evening Reflection: Celebrating Robert Burns

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January 25, 2020, the world celebrated Robert Burns, affectionately known as Rabbie Burns, the great Scottish poet and lyricist.  He has been given the honoured titles of National Bard, Bard of Ayrshire and the Ploughman Poet. Whenever I join in the chorus of Auld Lang Syne, I feel a debt of gratitude to Robert Burns, who penned the words in 1788.  In a letter to the Scots Musical Museum, Robert Burns indicated Auld Lang Syne was an ancient song that had never been put to paper.  Auld Lang Syne, or days gone by is a reminder to celebrate and remember times past, even as we look forward to a new day.

Auld Lang Syne has greeted many New Years through the centuries. Friendship, camaraderie, compassion and hope come together. “And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!”  We are not alone but share our time with others. Whatever life has in store, friendship will see us through even the most difficult time.

Life does bring about an ending, but words cannot be contained.  They live on and stoke fires in the hearts and minds of those that follow.  When we read William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Percy Bysshe Shelley, we are reading words that hold the influence of Rabbie Burns.  When we listen to Bob Dylan, it is good to know that he was motivated by Rabbie Burns’ “A Red Red Rose.”

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp!
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
We twa hae run about the braes,
And pu’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot,
Sin auld lang syne.
We twa hae paidl’d i’ the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin auld lang syne.
And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
And gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,
For auld lang syne.
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp!
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

 

Celebrating Robert Burns, National Bard, Bard of Ayrshire from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

Sunday Evening Reflection – Canada in Winter

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Canadian winters are legendary.  Think Snowmageddon St. John’s Newfoundland this past weekend and Edmonton, Alberta’s coldest morning of this century: Wednesday morning (January 15, 2020) when the temperature set a record  of – 37.8 degrees Celsius.  I grew up in Northern Manitoba where the average temperature in January is considered “severely cold.”  So, when Vancouver had a winter storm warning this past week, it felt like we had joined the rest of Canada.

I love our winters – the snow, cold air, the fresh smell.  Yes, I can smell when snow is in the forecast.

Canadians know how to embrace the cold!

  • Buy boots with removable liners and be sure that your feet don’t feel cramped.
  • Wear a hat and cover your face. I learned firsthand what it felt like to have frozen cheeks.
  • Buy a thermos so that you can bring along a hot drink if you are walking. You will notice that I have a stash of regular and herbal tea on hand in winter months.
  • Protect your hands. While I love gloves, mittens are even better for keeping your fingers warm.
  • And if you are in cold, cold, cold weather, check out those fashionable fleeced-line leggings. Your legs will thank you.

Vancouver’s snow is disappearing with the rain, but I captured the moment.  Join me on my snow walk.

Celebrating Hat Day on A Snow Day

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“Some hats can only be worn if you’re willing to be jaunty, to set them at an angle and to walk beneath them with a spring in your stride as if you’re only a step away from dancing. They demand a lot of you.”

Neil Gaiman

January 15th is National Hat Day, an unofficial holiday that celebrates one of the most essential accessories invented centuries ago.  Even the Egyptians sported sassy headgear, along with the Ancient Greeks and Romans.

Think of Winston Churchill’s hat, the homburg, a felt hat with an elegant curved brim boasting a grosgrain ribbon.  And recall Napoleon’s bicorne, which he wore sideways to stamp his brand for all to see his courage on the battlefield. I remember Jackie Kennedy’s pillbox hat, classic and elegant.  Then there was the famous Panama Hat worn by President Theodore Roosevelt when he was visiting the Panama Canal excavation.  My most favourite “hat” fashionista is Queen Elizabeth II, long may she reign.  Her signature style of matching hat and gloves with a string pearls is timeless and graceful.

Vancouver was under snow today and there is more snow in the forecast.   Winter has arrived and I had the perfect hat to keep me warm on a snow day!

 

 

Sunday Evening Reflection: Klapa Music in Croatia

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The Vancouver winter storm was to be over in an afternoon.  And yet, here I am in the late evening looking out my window onto a street full of snow, with more coming overnight.  It is a lovely sight, especially from my warm perch with a cup of tea close by. Tomorrow, everyone (including me) will be out with their cameras determined to capture the layers of snow.

Tonight, I chose to leave Vancouver and head over to memories of Croatia, where I discovered Klapa music.  Well, to be honest, I did not know it was Klapa music until a few days ago when I met up with my Croatian neighbour.  When I showed her my video, tears came to her as she remembered her homeland. It is a magnificent blend of voices that resonate with exuberance and power.

Klapa is a form of traditional a cappella singing that comes from Dalmatia, Croatia. In 2012, Klapa was inscribed in UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Klapa speaks of love, life and home.

“Klapa singing is a multipart singing tradition of the southern Croatian regions of Dalmatia. Multipart singing, a capella homophonic singing, oral tradition and simple music making are its main features. The leader of each singing group is the first tenor, followed by several tenori, baritoni and basi voices. During performances, the singers stand in a tight semicircle. The first tenor starts the singing and is followed by the others. The main aim is to achieve the best possible blend of voices.”

UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Welcome to a new week.  May your days be filled with music of love, life and home.

 

 

 

All Aboard

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It’s January which means resolution time.

And of course, my exercise program is firmly in place, set to begin tomorrow, or the next day or the next.  You know how it is when the winter sets in and the tea, cozy chair and stack of books are in desperate need of our immediate attention.

But I was inspired by the “All Aboard” crowd at Granville Island.  Now this would be an amazing exercise program.

All Aboard, Mini-Ramp Pilot Project, Granville Island

I was even more impressed by the “All Aboard” pilot project that “demonstrates the need for a publicly accessible, dry, well lit, safe and fun skateboard facility in Vancouver during the winter months.

Happy exercising! (And reading, too!)

All Aboard from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

Sunday Reflection: Walking the Red Willow Trail

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“There comes . . . a longing never to travel again except on foot.”

Wendell Berry, Remembering

Red Willow Trail, St. Albert, Alberta

I live in Vancouver.  It has been my home for many years, and it is highly likely that I will grow old in a city that has always been kind to me.

And yet, St. Albert, Alberta, the city that is known as The Botanical Arts City is an enticing possibility.

Founding in 1861, St. Albert is the oldest non-fortified community in Alberta and is now the sixth largest city in Alberta.  It is home to the International Children’s Festival, the Arden Theatre that hosts over 150 performances a year,  and The St. Albert Botanic Park, dedicated to the collection, cultivation and display of a wide range of plants labelled with their scientific names.  And have I mentioned that the Outdoor Farmers’ Market, held in downtown St. Albert, is Western Canada’s largest outdoor farmers’ market.

Now you see why I am tempted.

Red Willow Trail, St. Albert, Alberta

The Red Willow Trail system stretches down the river valley connecting to the City’s major parks and neighbourhoods. Join me as I walk the Red Willow Trail System heading down to the farmer’s market

Walking the Red Willow Trail from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.