|Children's favourite Theodore the Tugboat sits in the Halifax harbour on an overcast Sunday morning.|
Reading Week in HalifaxI had the privilege of spending the last week of February visiting a good friend in Halifax during his Reading Week. The trip took on particular significance for me because it marked my first steps into the unknown after leaving the marketing job I held for 2 and a half years with a Toronto based company.
I've always believed in the power of reinvention, and Montreal is a good place indeed to reinvent yourself. Quebec really is the 'Unique Society' because for all of the language confusion and bureaucracy, there is plenty of human warmth here - at least that's what I find in Montreal. I'm starting down the road to reinvention now, as I have a new job. So far it's going quite well.
Back to Halifax. My friend Phil was kind enough to let me stay at his place in the downtown core. Conveniently, it was close to where the airport bus let me off. Of course, as I soon discovered, everything is close to everything else in Halifax! I was there years ago with my parents to see the Tall Ships, but I had not returned to the Maritimes until a few weeks ago.
Taking a ferry ride from Dartmouth back to Halifax proper after dark was a real highlight of the trip for me. As was wandering around Point Pleasant Park on the south tip of the Island. I also logged a few hours at one of Dalhousie University's libraries, all the better for getting work done (on vacation, no less!) Eating seafood at a restaurant named Phil's Seafood (no joke) was another memorable experience.
Next time I go adventuring in Nova Scotia I feel a camping trip is in order. Cities are great, but as I get older I'm finding that I become more and more interested in nature. If anyone knows of good camping locations in the Halifax area, please leave a comment and let me know. I always like to get several ideas together, then do my research before I travel. Especially something like a camping trip, which, as every former Scout knows, requires you to Be Prepared.
David Bowie Takes Us Into The Next Day
Welcome back David Bowie! There's at least one 66-year-old on the planet who isn't afraid to surprise the world with an album that's dark, relevant, and rocking — all at the same time. When most musicians of Bowie's generation would be content to do a covers album (Phil Collins) or a greatest hits tour (Peter Gabriel - I write this with flattery as I saw his Back to Front show and loved it) Bowie decided to surprise everyone with something new and unexpected.
The album's title and William Burroughs references, the song Dirty Boys clearly borrows from Burroughs' novel The Wild Boys, are a call to pay attention to the here and now. The Burroughs influence, also present in 1974's Diamond Dogs, suggests a future in ruin / world ending apocalypse. This would certainly make Bowie consistent for returning to a theme.
Turning my attention to the man himself, as of writing this he has not given a single media interview to promote the album. Nor has he announced any tour dates. His bandmates on The Next Day have suggested that in an age of social media oversharing and people 'living' through reading friends' status updates on Facebook, Bowie has opted to let the music speak for itself. It's certainly an interesting approach, but I, for one, would like to see this articulate space alien on a television near me.
Here's hoping this month brings a tour announcement. If Ziggy and his band come to Montreal you'll find me in the front row at the Centre Bell.
Merci. Until next time.