Posts tagged ‘road trip’

Life and Times of a Famous Native Canadian Artist, Vol. 3

ha ha!  joking of course.  we’re not booked to be at the MET any time soon nor do we have important pieces over at the NGC.  we are the classic:  legends in our own minds!  and so yes, with a chuckle:

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the “Black Framed Originals” we’ve been working on this autumn, preparing for a pop up flash art show in November.  that is an 18×24 inch canvas board, Mother Earth sketch,  and it is one of 20 we have ready go!  the painting just above it i have been looking at for about a year.

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the painting just above, Detail: Who Is She?, 30×48″, on canvas.  the original painting of the girl on the lake, winter, 1990, yeah it was a peaceful scene but i just had to HACK it!  5 years ago it came back from where it was on display and by that time i had opened up the “art bridge” and re read a few articles on Jackson Pollock!  so this canvas was just begging to be re worked.

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yes yes it is not the classically painted face but that wasn’t what we were going for then nor is it what we’re going for today!  fact of the matter is: hey i like this one.  like i said i’ve been looking at it for a year, hanging on my wall over here in Ottawa, and i’m starting to think maybe i’ll keep that one.

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Striking a Pose, in Whitedog, Ontario, sometime in the spring of 1991.  that was on the Toronto at Dreamer’s Rock National Tour, Debajehmujig Theatre Group, and we’re about half way into that tour.  i had friends who are now long dead and gone, dust and bones, from up there, who hadn’t been home in years, and when i told them i might be passing through their old starting point they told me to get some pictures.  this of course was not the photo they were expecting!  (story of my life, ha!)

i recently saw this old photo and others when muddling and “muggling” the idea about the next writing project:  Fighting In Hell, an anishnabe’s art journey.  the title for that writing project is still in the works and the stories within: an artist story, what to leave in, what to leave out?

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that is the great Gabor Mate and his lad, in Toronto on Friday night, October 18th.  they were in town to make a presentation on parents and their adult children and the business of healing.  very interesting!  but my question was and is this:  what if the adult child has had several sets of parents from bio parents to foster parents to adoptive parents of a different culture, all within the first 7 or 8 years of life?

175 participants signed up for that 3 day presentation and you can bet any time Gabe opened the floor for questions about 80 hands shot up, and usually the same 80 hands!  so i didn’t get to ask my question.  you see Gabe is a genius.  you have questions along these lines, he has answers.  google his name if you’re not in the know.

175 x 350 = 61 250.  nice work!

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half of the “artist uniform”, at the conference, front row.  you can bet the other half of the artist uniform had things to read/say and that place being 98% women participants, there certainly were a few readers!  Nature.  Cheaper than Therapy.

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back in Markham before the bug out: wiggling the toes!  the boss man is up on the 9th chilling and i’m in the lobby switching out of the artist wear black boots for some basics: the new car has a standard transmission and folks i like to have my barefeet on those three peddles.  this being mid October, black socks will have to do!

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blazing down the 401, east bound, Sunday night alone, in the brand new limo:  put the radio on and up came 10cc, I’m Not in Love.  it being the oldies FM station they weren’t cheap and played the 6 minute version.  sweet.  kooky too, riding through the mild autumn night, all those heavy duty thoughts from the conference stewing, all those heavy duty memories from what seems like another life time ago, stewing, the open road, the wiggly toes, and the here and now…

kind of peculiar how things work out…

as a refresh: here are the opening few lines of the original life and times of, Vol. 1, posted way back in the autumn of 2017.  ah but what a beautiful September it was in 2017:  6 weeks of Indian Summer on the open range, a paint brush in my hand during the day, a glass or a key pad at night.  30 C during the afternoon, 20 C at night, for 6 wonderful weeks, down in the cosy back country of Tehkummah: no light or noise pollution.  no neighbours.  nothing but a suitcase full of 20 dollar bills and the artist with an agenda.

Life And Times Of A Famous Native Canadian Artist…

ha! i say that jokingly! because i’m out here on the range, going on 21 days now without a note of art conversation, idea expressed verbally, or hint of a hand to hold while under the mighty Milky Way. she’s new moon boys. and so, alone under the almighty, with eagles roosting down by the river (what music they make first thing in the morning!) and the great wide open: there is room to stretch the “art making arms”. we have some good looking pieces but we’re also getting down to the bottom of the paint barrels.

so last night around 7 i stowed the gear, set a table for one, lit a candle, cracked open a Paul Jaboulet Aine Cornas Domaine de Saint Pierre (2012), sparked up the youtube for a little dinner music and instead got attracted to a documentary about alien abductions. i watched the nutty scenes, heard the kook house stories, heard the so called experts blabbering on about all this stars and moon and space stuff and…

From the twinravens blog:  September 2017.

now i have no idea what i did to the comments section here,  see it is turned off.  but you can always email at twinravens at hotmail or twinravens at gmail.

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Fun Scenes!

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sunrise on the range, Saturday, May 18:  wowza!  and this was just a piece of what was going on out there.  when i rolled in around 4 a.m., it was full moon and clear skies!  decided i would wait up, watch the moon set and the sunrise: time well spent!

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good ole Bleue Eyes, chilling on the range, Saturday afternoon, May long weekend.  and gosh it was chilly alright!  i had a birch blaze going full on all through Saturday and Sunday too!  nice to cook a pot of soup on the wood stove top!

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Ten Mile Point, Manitoulin Island, Monday afternoon, May 20th.  on the road back to the slab, singing the blue blue blues…

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blazing east bound on highway 17, heading into the night, listening to “Ace of Spades” and wondering where is it all going…

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Pages 32/33, Book 3, Found Poetry.  i’m making some fun and very weird poems from Robertson D’s big words!  i’ll share one with you soon.  i’m also drawing pow wow dancers in this one seeing how Bob’s rambling on about Sioux Lookout, “natives”, “indians”, and the snooty Toronto idea in the Ontario North West.  i wonder if Bob met a real indian…  i mean really, where’d he do his research for this one?

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Book 3, Found Poetry, using The Cunning Man.  we’ll have some fun with this one and we won’t be in a fuss around it.

on the range

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before sunrise:  May 4th, and gosh darn cool!  me and poochie were out there on the snoop, i was shivering as i came over here in my city jimmy slap, poochie was decked in full on winter wear, and folks it was:  QUIET!  nothing but the river.  what change from the madness that is the capital city in full manic human madness.

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that’s pretty telling…   (downtown Tehkummah this afternoon…  )

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its where i got my Ph.D.!  thesis:  how to win friends and influence people and where it all went wrong…

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untitled:  sharpie marker and ball point pen on bristol board, 22×28 inches, art work by yours truly.  April 25.  not sure where we’re off to with this composition so like my instructor (RIP) used to tell me: do more than 10.

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dream landscape:  sharpie marker and ball point pen on bristol board, 18×24 inches, artwork by yours truly!  May 2.

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Indian Fighter, acrylic on canvas board, 18×24 inches, summer 1999. artist collection.  (one of my personal faves)

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there she is: the mother of my children, famed daughter too, MSW, historian, and ceremonialist, high priestess.  we shall remember Mother’s Day which is coming up fast.  you ladies out there who have been blessed with sons and daughters, i am there with you as a father.

(photo:  i think that is up there on highway, well i know they call it the James Bay Road, but Jimmy Boy runs east of the almighty and you can visit places like Eastmain, etc., we went all the way to Chisasibi for a gig.)

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a real indian in indian country: father’s day is coming up too and i happen to be one of those!  i’m fine though on one of those limestone beaches on the south shore of Manitoulin Island, or on my own stretch of water front, where we can, indeed, stretch our legs!

a Walk Around the Block

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Deer Clan sketch, 7×9 inches, acrylic on canvas board, February 019.  Folks we are getting close to saying good bye to Stevensons Brand acrylic paint…

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Black Cat and a Raven, sketch, 9×12 inches, acrylic on canvas board, February 019.  Based on a true story too!  Back on the range, one autumn afternoon many moons ago, good old “Whitey”, the cat with blue eyes, climbed a very tall tree out by the waterfalls and yup:  along came a few crows.  I switched out the crows for a raven.

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I thought she was holding out on me.  Turns out…  what I thought was a roll of 20 dollar bills, ready for our trip to the downtown yesterday, was nothing more than dog poop bags…

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Nice work!  At the “How to Breathe Forever” show, Onsite Gallery, 199 Richmond St. W., Toronto.  “Onsite Gallery offers powerful, thought-provoking exhibitions of art, design and new media to stimulate conversations on critical issues facing Toronto and the world.”  (Corporate pitch just inside the door)

Also just inside the door:  “OCAD University acknowledges the ancestral and traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the New Credit, the Haudensaunee, the Anishinaabe and the Huron Wendat, who are the original owners and custodians of the land on which we stand and create.”

I got to thinking: folks around here (Toronto) have better luck seeing an Indian on the skids, half snapped on Boone’s Farm, up there on University and Queen, than a live beaver, which of course is on a useless nickel.

As for the artwork, speaking of beaver, it was created by an artist from Waskaganish!  I didn’t see the details on the cards but I’m guessing they are a student at OCA.  Nice work, beadwork too.  I wonder how they’re liking the big leagues of downtown, a far stretch away from the mighty woods just east of the James Bay.

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Ink, colouring pencil on super duper high end paper, unknown North Country artist, Onsite Gallery.  The show runs to April 14th so you still have time!

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A genuine fake Norval Morrisseau, front window, unknown gallery just east of Onsite Gallery, Richmond St., Toronto.

They’ve got the scam artists front and centre in this swank place!  You can bet two Indian Head nickels that a fella like me, actual and authentic, and an active artist, couldn’t get through the front door with his work, into this joint.  You can also bet two more of those nickels that the folks in here don’t sport the same pitch as the OCA guys when it comes to the “acknowledges the ancestral and traditional territories of…” bit.  As in: if I were to walk in there and question said phoney in the picture above, how long before they’d be dialling up security to “escort this ‘gentleman’ to the door…”?

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“Indian Residential School Blues”, 36×48 inches, acrylic on canvas, by Anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  (alive and active, authentic too!)  Here at twinravens.com we aim to cause a fuss.

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Acrylic on Canvas board, 9×12 inches

Ah yes…  a twinravens landscape, going back to the mighty ranges just west of the town of Tehkummah, Ontario, Canada.  (We also aim to go above and beyond the woodlands!)

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Mark Seabrook, outside J.E.H. MacDonald’s house, Thornhill, Ontario, Canada, last spring, before the Scotland gig.  I knocked but Jimmy Boy wasn’t home.  (I could have passed myself off as one of the “Indian Group of Seven”, ha!)

Well this old Anishnabe boy and artist keeps rolling along, paints and brushes at the ready.  Maybe some day I’ll have my name on a window in Toronto, announcing a twinravens show, with folks waiting in line, hoping to meet the artist.

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From August 2, 2018, on Dundas St. E.  Beauty day and evening in the city.

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At his studio way back on June 20, 2017.  Did I ever tell you the story about seeing his fancy give away doctorate paper work from OCA?  It was there at his studio, in an amusing display space!

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Rubbing shoulders with the famous:  that is the mighty Jen B., lead singer of the great Anishnabe rock and roll band:  No Reservations, on July 6, 2017 (back stage, a half hour before show time!).  Not only is she a classic rock and roll vocalist and show woman, but she’s a super talented First Nations visual artist as well.  Hopefully we’ll cross paths again, sometime soon!

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Speaking of great First Nations artists: The great Jazzy Moon, on the last evening of summer holidays, Labour Day Monday, September 2, 2013  It was just me and Jazzy Moon left on the beach, Providence Bay, Manitoulin Island, the night before the start of Grade 6.  We had the beach to ourselves and the swings too, the sand, the water and the sky.

You see I’m a father who stayed pretty close to his daughter.  I was there when all those important things happened.  But here today, March 10, 2019, I am up here on the swanky 9th, Markham, Ontario, Canada, and she is in Paris, France, viewing up close and personal the likes of the Mona Lisa, the tower and the cathedral.  How I wish we could have seen it together.

(There should be some ceremonial or ritual thing for us old boys whose daughters are powering up to fly away.)(Empty nest looming like never before…  )

a walk around the block

and so!  a walk indeed!  and in this town…  oh my goodness there are mad capped scenes at darn near every turn and pretty much down every straight away.  the noise is what we can’t share here, online.  you have to come here to these mad streets.  five minutes will do it.  yes we are a long way from the river, the blue and the green.

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unknown artist and paint station, outside the Rideau Centre, November 3rd.  it was clear to me she had talent and if you took her up a notch, switched out the dollarama paint and canvas for some big leagues gear, i’m certain she could show something in one of the many indie galleries in this town.  she wanted 40 bucks for that little picture she was working on.

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invisible man?  around here you never know…   outside the Rideau Centre, November 3rd.

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spooky window display, Somerset West near Spadina, November 6th.

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more weirdness in the same shop window…  Somerset West and Spadina, on the mild night of November 6th.  me singing:  i’m an Anishnabe in the Capital City…  (sung to the tune of Sting’s Englishman in New York)

when you’re out walking and sporting the “artist’s eye”…  goodness gracious, so many “things”.

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what form!  with a silver hand…  shop window in the St. Laurent Mall, November 7th.  those super stretch fabrics, now i wish they had those when i was young!  (ha ha!)

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ah yes…  what form.  put some heels on there and you’d really have something.

if you have 8 minutes, here is a song i wrote and performed back in the summer of 1995, recorded on a 4 track Fostex, one night in a diff city, many moons ago.  before the internet.  back when my rock and roll band:  NR, was planning on being something.  ah but nothing makes the Great Spirit laugh more than a man with plans.

for the youtube video: i went out one night, twenty years after i wrote and recorded the song, in this very city, camera in hand, and shot those pictures:  headless figures (children too!), lifeless eyes, bare heads, flashy clothes, big lights, right next to the dispossessed, the have nots, the sick and the old, and the grey, placed next to a little First Nations “made in China”, thrown in for good measure.  military medals along side a public service message showing a cigarette pack filled with bullets and someone’s scrawl:  Funding natives to buy back their land 1 acre at a time…  yes it was my attempt at Anishnabe movie making/story telling.  (oh yes!  that first and very long 2 minutes of yours truly in his pow wow dancing gear-i plugged that in (just ahead of the Joseph Boyden scam which became an amusing and a down right hilarious news item right around Xmas 2016) as a confirmation that yes indeed, yours truly is an actual indian as defined within the terms and conditions of the indian act, and handled by indian and northern affairs Canada)

so where was i going with all this?  oh yes.  what i mean to say is i’ve walked these streets before.  and some things seem to never change, all we’ve done is switched out the characters and moved in some new ones.

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back to the walk around the block:  the cops on Blake, November 8th, where hookers roam, sometimes pimps, and men alone in all makes and models of cars cruise very slowly up and down the streets.  you don’t need warning signs to tell those boys to slow down on our quiet neighbourhood streets!  all we’re missing with this scene is the background NOISE.  the roar, the sirens, the continuous horn honking…  sheesh!

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unknown young man who has clearly lost his marbles, sitting in the very cold wind outside a Rotten Ron’s, Montreal Road and St. Laurent, November 9th, at noon.  he was out there for an hour, smoking his stuff, listening to whatever he had on those flashy headphones.  it was like…  zero degrees out there.  and they might be his brightest years…

i was inside looking out, wondering if it was safe to show a photo like this:

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that’s me and what’s his name, on the movie set, back in June, in Scotland.  we signed a non disclosure thing about not posting but here we are after the release date of the picture so i hope its safe to post this!

they had me so uglied up over there i was sure i could never come home.  the look was totally Hollywood Indian.  the only way i got the gig was, well, beyond that i was clearly indian, was that face of horror:  they asked me to scowl and snarl into the camera at the casting (my interview was all of 15 seconds at the Native Friendship Centre in Toronto) and boom!  they called me up and so i went.  now that was a serious walk around the block!

that chrome dome of mine, it hadn’t seen the light of day in over 45 years!  over there though, those charming hair and make up girls shaved me a fresh one every morning around nine.  i walked out of there thinking the boys are going to have a field day with this when i get back to the club!

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that’s the photo i snapped with Joe’s camera, that he smuggled onto the set one day.  that’s the two stars of the show, chilling between takes.  not sure who that other young snot nosed punk is but he was main frame with the other two.

and so if you were reading my blog back in late May and June of this year, this is what i was going on about: making movies in Scotland.  a grand adventure, something i’d do again, but next time…  i think i’ll take a pass on shaving the dome.  yes, it is growing back, but we’re a long way from the look of confidence, when sporting the Dark City Boy outfit, which thank goodness, is back in rotation, out here on these mad city streets.  i lost the “gut” i was sporting on that shoot, but being away from the 9th and all the good cooking over there, certainly helps in the weight losing department!  ha.  kooky stuff.  silly stuff too but at the end of the day, if you’re going to run with the wolves, you have to keep up AND look the part.

photo of said Dark City Boy outfit!

artist in October

 

crappy grainy photo but that’s the idea (i’ll get an updated, soon).  super fun black boots to go with!  many moons ago, on another walking around the block adventure, i drew a picture of the then “dark city boy” outfit, an idea for some jackets i wanted to make, the idea stolen from the costumes department over at Debajehmujig Theatre Group (another story we can save for later!)

photo of said picture, drawn many moons ago:

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2000 Man, Dark City Boy in front of Treasure Island, Lake Mindemoya, Ontario, Canada.  March 1, 2000.  Bic ball point pen on 98 pound paper.  yes…  we need to maintain the maintenance department…

what i’m getting at through all of this is this:  if you’re going to take a walk around the block, you might as well do alright with it.

(psst: more movie set photos to come if i can get away with posting these!)

 

Tuesday at Kingussie

the boss cut me some slack on Tuesday!  nice day for riding the rails.  to get there i had to take the local bus which only comes around this way ever few hours!  found myself at the train station at 11 a.m., booked a ride north leaving at 11:50.

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Pitlochry train station, north bound platform.  the next three stops are Kingussie, Aviemore, and Inverness.  going south would be Perth, Glenealges, and Stirling, but those will have to wait for another day!

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riding north bound, what scenes and my how the landscape changed in what seemed like a few short miles.

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no castles on those hill tops!

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i wanted them to stop and let me out!  i’d like to walk that road, walk it into the distance, going west.

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you can’t see them but there are sheep out there!  lots of them.  got me to thinking about lunch how i’d like a rack of lamb when i got there.

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the corner of A86 and King Street, Kingussie, Scotland.  not much happening in this town!  nor is there a rack of lamb on the lunch menu!  (frowning face goes in here!)

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heavy duty cemetery just down the street from the diner.  went in for a little snoop and the dates on those stones, wowza!  they’re going back a few, i saw one with the date: 1824.  you don’t see numbers like that in the Mindemoya Cemetery back home!

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how many years have you been here?

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that black one was so far gone you couldn’t read an anything on it.

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Ewan Mack, KIA, WW1.  hey i’m going to look up where the 7th Cameron Highlanders were on July 31st, 1917.  a fella like me wants to read a story like that.

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walking around in there, i saw quite a few names that you’d see up there in the Mindemoya Cemetery:  Mackenzie, Robertson, MacDonald, just to name a few.

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south bound, blazing back from Kingussie to Pitlochry, a 45 minute ride, 20 bucks there and back, local currency.  a fun and simple way to spend an afternoon off duty.  i was thinking about going up to Thurso, super in the boon docks but it was all rain in the forecast up there.  that would have been an over night, we’ll save that one for another time.

instead it was the Coach House saloon at 430 p.m., what a wild bunch of local boozers in that joint!  ah but it is an adventure!  there will be plenty of quiet days come July when we are looking at something like this:

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my front yard, sunset in September 2017, big time thunder storm happening to the south south west, during that wild and beautiful heat wave!  remember that one?  3 weeks of blazing sun, 38 C during the afternoon!  wowza indeed!  when i get back home, i’ll be sitting at this very spot, on a Friday evening, thanking my lucky stars and looking back at this little road journal.

but we are here and it is NOW!  time to see about that afternoon adventure seeing how the boss cut us some slack, 2 days in a row!

Thursday in Ayr

they cut me some slack so i hit the Glasgow Central Train Station for a ride out of the city!  Ayr is just a short one hour ride west and i certainly enjoyed that one!

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Firth of Clyde as seen from the Low Green, Ayr, May 31, around noon.  looking west south west.  hey!  you could sail all the way back to Canada from here!

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feet in the ocean at Ayr:  holy CRAP!!!  that water was ICE COLD!!!

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i think that’s the Ayr town hall, as seen from around 14 Sandgate Street.

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of course in my travels i managed to find the back alleys of this old town: here is a beauty view of just how spooky this old and very creepy place can be.  imagine trying to walk through there at night!

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Glasgow Central Station, 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 31.  got back to town and what a day trip it was!  i went into a tavern in Ayr, wearing my HBC black hoodie with CANADA written on the front in big red letters.  an amusing conversation followed.  those old boys have a pretty heavy duty accent and truth be told, i couldn’t understand a word they were saying!

they loved my story, chrome dome to boot, about why i was in their big country.   amusements at every turn!

we shall continue.