Summer Adventures In My BackYard

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Grand River

With the official kickoff of Summer happening tomorrow June 21st, many of us are busy planning our summer vacations.  What plans do you have this summer?  It is such a short season, and we have had alot of rain and not as warm as usual.

Some of us will be jumping on a plane and travelling to far away distant lands.  For others like myself, we will be staying around locally and discovering the many hidden “adventures in my backyard”.

Sometimes you don’t have to travel far to feel like you are in a far away land.  Often times just travelling around the neighbourhood can feel like a new escape.  It is all a mindset, or perhaps taking a different road on your daily commute.  We are so lucky to have so many beautiful places in this little part of the World.

Elora, Fergus, Elmira, St. Jacobs and Guelph are just a few of the great little Towns and Villages to go exploring this summer.  Pack a picnic, test out the local cuisine, farmers markets, jump in the local Lakes, or take in an event there are hundreds and watch the world go by.

Here are some great links to place in the area to discover, https://www.wellington.ca/en/business/EDVisitWellington.aspx.  Follow us this summer as we go exploring discovering new places and people this season!

Talk soon,

Nancy

Summer Trail Adventures

ADVENTURE AWAITS

The Beauty Queen of Leenane

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Are you looking for an escape from the January Blahhhs?  Check out the 1st show of the 2019 season production at the Guelph little Theatre.   The Beauty Queen of Leenane, written by Martin McDonagh is playing until February 3, 2019, with the entire cast of just four fabulous characters.  It was an entertaining afternoon sitting among the almost full house matinée performance.  It seemed as if we were transported back in time to a shabby sparse kitchen set in the hills of Western Ireland.  The inhabitants were the 40 something spinster Maureen who was the caretaker to old housebound Mother Mag’s.  

Act I we meet the bully Mother subtly pestering her daughter Maureen continuously.  She reluctantly fulfills her request of yet another cup of tea and offerings of the Irish Kimberly biscuit.  It was evident their relationship seemed rather unhealthy, as the two didn’t seem very fond of each other as they bickered back and forth in a thick Irish.

My daughter and I were grateful for the glossary of terms used in the play as it was at times hard to understand their thick Irish at times.  An example was the word  “Feck”, which was used thru-out the play.  It is a polite and socially acceptable profanity used by the Irish.  I must say it does sound much nicer than some of the profanity we use here in Canada.  

Maureen lived her day-to-day life looking after an ailing miserable Mother who seemed to enjoy that the daughter’s sole purpose in life was taking orders from her,  all the while tending to other household duties. Mag’s seemed to enjoy dishing out snide remarks to her and kept her focus on tending to all of her many needs.

I sympathized with Maureen’s character at times thru the play when the Mother made bullish remarks to her.  An example was when she told her new suitor Pato that she had spent time in the mental hospital and that in fact she was the care giver to her daughter.   The audience was left wondering then who was the more needier and perhaps more unbalanced, the daughter or the mother? 

Maureen had a chance at escaping her miserable life in Ireland when news came in the form of a letter her lover had written her.  In the letter he asked her to move to Boston, USA with him.  The smitten lover read his letter to the audience and suggested that he would understand if did not forgive him for some of the remarks he made that she took such a disliking to.  One of the the questionable remarks he said was, “put some cloths on!”, as she stood with her under garments on in the kitchen the morning after their encounter in the kitchen.  She was outraged and took this as a personal insult and told him at once to leave.  He abruptly left with the Mother shaking her head and glad for him to be gone.

After some time the brother Ray came one day to deliver a handwritten note which had been addressed to Maureen.  The delivery of the mail did not go as requested.  The Brother eventually lost patience while sitting with the chatty Mags and decided to leave it in her hands with a promise to give it to her daughter.  The audience saw all hope of the daughters chance at happiness vanish as the Mother immediately read the lovers note and threw it into the nearby fireplace. 

However the plot had its twists and turns when Maureen became outraged at the Mother’s knowledge of private information shared only between her lover Pato and her was revealed.  She knew her Mother knew something of their relationship and scolded her Mother’s hand with hot burning water demanding her to tell her what she knew.  When the daughter did this, and threw her to the floor the audience was left wondering what type of person would physically harm another, especially their mother!

The last Act was Maureen coming into the deserted kitchen with no sign of her Mother.  Her lovers brother stops by the house for a brief chat and mentions to her, “Oh did you hear, my brother got engaged?”,  and then promptly left.  Maureen sat in the now empty rocker staring at the four walls.  As with any story there is always more, but you will have to purchase your ticket to find out what happens in this little Irish Town.

This play was being adjudicated for an upcoming Festival, I am sure they will have a great chance at winning some awards.  It is another great production by the great Guelph Little Theatre, directed by Robin Bennett and produced by Liz Dennis.  There is still time to enjoy the show as it runs until Feburary 3rd.  To purchase tickets call the theatre during box office hours at 519-821-0270, or go to the website to purchase online, http://www.guelphlittletheatre.com/tickets.

Talk soon ~

Nancy

A Walk in the Park

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One of my favorite things to do is take a walk in the park.  Anytime I am feeling life’s stresses or wanting to just take a few moments to remember what is really important, I love to walk around my favorite park in Guelph.  Riverside Park is my park, it is the Park I grew up in, it is the park I like to watch bridge to-bridge as my father calls it.  

I always love to think of the various conversations that take place on one of the many park benches I walk by.  I love the park in all seasons, with Winter just upon us, I love the stillness and the quietness of the image of this lonely park bench set amongst the river bank. 

When I take time just to spend 30 minutes in nature, I always feel better for doing so.  Why is so hard to get going sometimes, I often spend more time thinking of doing something rather than doing it at times.  This happens often on weekends when my paper arrives at its doorstep, coffee in hand and I plan my day.  My plans always include a little walk or two but often the day floats into night and I am still on the couch serving the internet or changing the channels on the TV.  

Why is so hard to get outside in the Winter weather at times when you know you will feel better after a little stroll around the block.  I put pressure on myself at times when the wind is howling and the snow is blowing to get outside for a little fresh air, as I know I will feel better for even the most basic of steps in the Winter months.  Clearing the car of snow, and oh the drag of shovelling can be overwhelming at times.

I am already counting down the days till Spring but know that we must first endure the quiet and stillness of the Winter.  Maybe just maybe I can be OK with not being so hard on myself this time of year to get outside more.  As it just looks so much prettier from inside.  The snow glistening on the fence, or the kids building a snowman.  

I have some gift cards for the ski hill which I know the kids and I would really have fun at.  I just have to find the courage to get outside and get going on those days when it just seems simpler to stay inside.  I used to ski but have not been in many years, and last year I had promised my Mother I would take the kids downhill skiing this season.  I guess I still have a few more months to accomplish this task.  Or maybe I could make it a fun outing rather than a task.  I guess it is all how you look at things.

Winter I LOVE YOU, I WILL EMBRACE THIS SEASON!

 

“When you change the way you look at things…. the things you look at change.” ~ Wayne Dyer

 

Talk soon~

 

Nancy

Fergus Highland Games

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This community is so amazing there is just always something going on!  Centre Wellington was once again hosting the Annual Fergus Highland Games this August weekend.   I had the privilege of attending the opening ceremonies on the Friday evening. 

Ahhhh… the sound of those bag pipes, it was truly soul-stirring and when the Tattoo began, my heart seemed to have skipped a beat.  I found myself getting rather emotional, almost in tears which surprised me, however I don’t think I was alone in my thoughts as I looked around everyone was standing still and appeared to be just as in awe as I was.

I had the honour of meeting and chatting with Graham McTavish,  the Scottish Actor who portrays Dougal MacKenzie in the popular Outlander series.  Check out my chat with him on my FB social media, https://www.facebook.com/wanderingwellingtoncounty/?hc_ref=ARQNbIui3YV67rLi_OYe7MeqChO8gLxPQwWHonNU2InD-bhxNFeaiHNgHhgw6PeBSig

Last year when I attended the Fergus Highland Games I had the opportunity to meet the popular author of the Outlander series who was a special guest, http://www.dianagabaldon.com/ Diana Gabaldon.   She was full of grace, elegance and appeared humble amidst her immense popularity. Meeting both of these two talented public figures I believe is definitely the universe’s way of sending a message;  it is time to dust off the book I had purchased at last years event and delve into another world.

Another bonus of attending the Festival, is of course learning more about the culture and customs of different countries.  When one of the speakers shared some of his insight into the various clans in attendance, it is like I had a light bulb moment! I am rather embarrassed to admit this, however I had never seemed to fully comprehend the meaning of the Scottish Clans.  He explained it in a way I finally could understand a little more about this interesting culture.  Clans as I understood it for the first time in the Scottish context is another word for family.  If you are like me and need to understand a little more about the definition of the word, here is the Wikipedia definition below. 

A clan is a group of people united by actual or perceived kinship[1] and descent. Even if lineage details are unknown, clan members may be organized around a founding member or apical ancestor. Clans in indigenous societies tend to be exogamous, meaning that their members cannot marry one another. Clans proceeded more centralized forms of community organization and government, and exist in every country. Members may identify with a coat of arms or other symbol to show they are an independent clan. The kinship-based bonds may also have a symbolic ancestor, whereby the clan shares a “stipulated” common ancestor that is a symbol of the clan’s unity. When this “ancestor” is non-human, it is referred to as a totem, which is frequently an animal.

The word clan is derived from the Gaelic clann[1] meaning “children” or “progeny”; it is not from the word for “family” in either Irish[2][3] or Scottish Gaelic. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word was introduced into English in around 1425, as a label for the nature of the society of the Scottish Highlands

As I sat at a table with people watching the Tattoo, I felt more welcomed as the night was nearing its end.  Perhaps this is a glimpse into what the Scottish call a Clan, as it felt like we were part of a family.

As I have learned this life, there are various types of family,  not always blood.  What ever you call it, I love my “CLAN”.  You know who I am talking about, “those people who get you!”, “they have your back, they fight for you, they cry with you, they are family, they are your clan!” 

 Sláinte or until we meet again!

 

Talk soon,

 

Nancy

 

 

My Night at The Ghost Island Light

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Are all Lighthouses haunted?  Remember to “Keep the light on always!”, warned Erin Ward a feisty character sometimes referred to as “normal folk”,  by the newly appointed apprentice Lighthouse keeper Brandon.  It was a night of intrigue, mystery, suspense and laughter all mixed into this must see new comic thriller written by Peter Colley, http://www.petercolley.com/ who was in attendance for the opening night.  He greeted the attendees with an intimate chat and answered a few questions from the audience.   

When the Port Dover Lighthouse Theatre approached him to write a play about a lighthouse, he didn’t hesitate as he had been carrying a story around for years with him, and could finally put pen to paper. His imagination stemmed from stories he had long thought about, with years living close to the water and looking out into the distance of the  lighthouse.  Welcome to “THE GHOST ISLAND LIGHT”!

The Guelph Little Theatre has been entertaining audiences since 1935.  Why would you want to stay home and watch TV with your cat on your lap; when you can watch a live performance and have an exciting night out on the town.  The opening Gala at the theatre was wonderful and as always full of surprises. 

A local artisan Tania, of Infinite Arts was commissioned to create a masterpiece replica Lighthouse with body paint on her lovely model.  Attendees got to see her work on her craft before, during and after the show.  Check out this interview on FB,  https://www.facebook.com/wanderingwellingtoncounty/videos/1041184016057429/?hc_ref=ARSxHThkkOcTL_E-NOLHEr9ez-nE5Lm6bzONYnp4kxzj4ayPZW_7c9uIbLBtVBxvM28&fref=nf.

“The opening night of the Guelph Little Theatre’s show was more on the Comic side”, said Peter Colley as he shared with the attendees that the other 4 productions have all taken a slight twist on the endings including variations on the four main characters who might I say where all cast exceptionally well.

Kudos to the one of two directors whom I met briefly, the talented Pamela Niesiobedzki-Curtis who mentioned in passing only three days to paint and put together the set.  I would not believe that it only took that amount of time, as I felt like we were part of that lighthouse trying to keep the lights on.  I loved the lighting, sound and set design how they all came together to create a mysterious haunted lighthouse, including the large set of stairs required to reach the top.

My girlfriend Kate a fellow theatre lover, like myself commented how she couldn’t believe how quickly the night was going as we were having so much fun!  We had nudged each other more than once, with the many comic episodes of these four characters all sharing their time together, trying to keep the light shining at a haunted lighthouse. Is it haunted?  I am not saying you will have to see for yourself.

I highly recommend you go see this production while it is in town, playing only till April 21st.  You might want to bring a few extra bucks with you so you can purchase a drink at intermission and maybe a 50/50 ticket to support this wonderful organization.  Did I mention I was the big jackpot winner of the draw?  You could be a winner too, it is definitely a number 1 entertainment experience in Guelph!

Buy your tickets before they are sold out, here is the link for the Guelph Little Theatre, http://www.guelphlittletheatre.com/on-stage

Talk soon ~

Nancy