Re-rockin’ the 902: Met an old friend for the first time, and ushered for the final time.

Saturday (10/19/13) was an exceptional day. I met up for a cup of coffee with my friend and fellow blogger Leah Noble, of the blog Dream Big Cape Breton (follow it, folks, it’s awesome). In addition to blogging Leah is hard at work, as both a full-time student and an entrepreneur. But she was kind and gracious, and carved out some time for coffee. I’d been reading Leah’s blog and swapping emails with her for a year now: it seemed like we were already old friends.

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Exactly one month from today: Re-rockin’ the 902.

Yeah, I can’t wait.

My sister Colleen and I have often discussed how we both seem to get through the days easier when we have something we’re heading toward, something to look forward to. A mission, if you will. I’ve quoted Tyler Tervooren previously when he said, “I’ve never come home from a trip feeling anything less than a better, stronger person.”

It certainly makes day-to-day bullshit more tolerable to know there’s something worthwhile waiting on the other end of the heap. Eyes on the prize, as it were. To paraphrase the brilliant blogger laidnyc: picture a man spending all day striving and sweating to get to a mission, going home at night with his mission still on his mind. Someone gives him some drama. Does he even care? Not just no; hell, no. He derives his self-esteem from how well he is pursuing his mission, not from the actions of anybody else. Got important owl shit to do, after all.

As regular readers know: this trip is another step closer to a bigger plan. Again from laidnyc: the root cause of neediness, social anxiety, unworthiness, and lack of confidence is not having a mission. I’m at my unhappiest when I don’t have a mission, like a ship without a rudder. My sister Kathy told me once that in our family, we’re not happy unless we’re working on something. Or toward something, I guess.

One month away. Please stand by.

Song of the night: “I’ll Tell Me Ma” by Brak and The Chieftains

One step closer, maybe?

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Without a doubt, this day has been a mixed bag. So I was needful of some good news, and I got it: I’ll be a volunteer for this fall’s Celtic Colours festival in Cape Breton.

I’m more hyped up about this than I can tell you. I attended the 2012 Celtic Colours last fall, chronicled it here, and had one of the greatest experiences of my life. Wasn’t that a time, as they say. I knew then that I want somehow to be part of this. And it looks like I will be. So far I’m signed on to help at gigs in Port Hawkesbury and Wagmatcook, with more possibly to come.

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Maybe this is, or maybe this isn’t, one big step closer to my goal. Feels like it could be. We shall see what we shall see. But, no matter, I get to be a part of Celtic Colours.

Great Scot! The Bob Marley of his time…

Image from The Vancouver Sun

From The Daily Mirror:

Robert Burns is believed to be the inspiration for many famous figures and celebrities throughout history. Abraham Lincoln had a lifelong admiration for the poet’s work, and some claim the poems helped him to win the American civil war and abolish slavery. Bob Dylan also claims Rabbie’s song “A Red, Red Rose” was his greatest source of creative inspiration. Michael Jackson was a huge fan of Robert Burns, and recorded an album with concert promoter David Gest setting the Bard’s poems to music.

From Wikipedia:

A Burns supper is a celebration of the life and poetry of the poet Robert Burns, author of many Scots poems. The suppers are normally held on or near the poet’s birthday, 25 January, sometimes also known as Robert Burns Day (or Robbie Burns Day) or Burns Night, although they may in principle be held at any time of the year.

Burns suppers may be formal or informal. Both typically include haggis (a traditional Scottish dish celebrated by Burns in “Address to a Haggis”), Scotch whisky, and the recitation of Burns’ poetry.

Ah yes, haggis. Just when you thought there was nothing worse a Scotsman could do to a sheep.

From Toad’s awesome blog To The Manner Born:

Americans hardly know and little care that today is Robert Burns Day (or Night), the anniversary of the birth of the Scottish poet and lyricist, the Bob Marley of his time, Robert Burns. We canna do the accent, and as long as 95% of us can make up the lyrics to “Auld Lang Syne” as we go and Scottish distillers remain in operation we are mostly OK giving Rabbie a miss.

On this side of the pond is a powerful fear of eating haggis, which is rather sad. True haggis is difficult to obtain. And in the US sheep lung, a key component, is considered unfit for human consumption. We canna import from the UK either.

We should know a bit about the Bard, if only to be neighborly. Rabbie took to poetry when he found it a good way to chat up birds, at which he became quite successful. His first book of verse was sold when he was 27 to raise funds so he could hightail it to Jamaica with his girlfriend, Mary Campbell. Burns hoped to escape the mother of his first daughter Elizabeth, and Miss Jean Armour who was pregnant with his twins.

Raise a glass tonight to Mr. Burns. He deserves to be remembered for his poetry, his storytelling, his love for and hopes for a republican Scotland, and his love of fine lasses. May his memory live forever.

And a part of his poem “John Barleycorn,” a tribute to one of his favorite pastimes:

John Barleycorn was a hero bold
Of noble enterprise;
For if you do but taste his blood
‘Twill make your courage rise.

‘Twill make a man forget his woe;
‘Twill heighten all his joy;
‘Twill make the widow’s heart to sing,
Tho’ the tear were in her eye.

Then let us toast John Barleycorn,
Each man a glass in hand;
And may his great posterity
Ne’er fail in old Scotland!

Happy Hogmanay to all

Last night in Edinburgh. Wish I could have been there!

And from a year ago:


Tossing the caber

Some cultures have sports where you carry balls. Other cultures have sports where you toss balls.

The Scots have a sport where you carry a tree and toss it. Hindered only by the incredible size of your balls.

That is all.