Saturday, September 3, 2011

Duncan, dancers and more dogs

Another sleep in -- we could get used to this!  My theory is that Don waited until well after he heard the blender, so as to avoid the kale smoothie...   But we both enjoyed the blackberry jam!

Another (short) morning of pyjama-clad work, some properly-clothed errands, and then a light lunch with Sandra and Landon.  As it was the Friday of the long weekend, we decided to leave town VERY early, just in case, to head up the island to our gig in Duncan.

Long weekend rush hour in Victoria is so very different from long weekend rush hour back home.   Like we needed another item for the "pro" column of moving here...

As the extra two hours we'd left, just in case, were not needed, we were able to stop at the scenic lookouts on the Malahat.   Should you be wondering, they're called scenic lookouts for a very good reason. :-)

We somehow missed the first one (there are apparently three), but found the second one quite easily, right at the top of the mountain.  Stunning, looking down the mountain at a beautiful inlet.  Many photos.

And then the third lookout.  Wow!  Here, we weren't just looking down the mountain, we were looking across the inlet across the North Saanich / Sidney peninsula and over into the Strait, complete with ferry.   Tons of sailboats, lots of hills and other mountains and water water water.  Gorgeous!

Even with all the stops at beautiful vistas and visit to the Mill Bay liquor store, we still got to Duncan an hour early.  So we went to grab a light dinner at Just Jake's -- a nice little restaurant serving micro-brewery beers, which we had to forsake as it was a performance night. :-(  Don had chicken wings, I had (half of) a Sicilian pizza -- the rest was taken home for snacking.

We got to the Duncan Garage Showroom and unloaded our gear.   A big hug from Georgia welcomed us back.  Longevity John got us all set up and sound-checked, and we enjoyed many sighs and smiles and quotable quotes from John and Georgia.  All sounding good, we were able to relax and chat and catch up a bit.

Now, the last time we were here, it was SuperBowl Sunday, AND there was a dance going on next door -- so we were a wee bit worried about attendance on the Friday of a long weekend!  So when the first couple came in 20 minutes ahead of time (and they weren't friends of ours), we practically kissed them. :-)

We were pleasantly surprised when our friend Harry came through the doors -- we met at the Victor Wooten workshop in February, and he had recently moved to the Duncan area with his family, in time for his daughter to start up at her new school next week.  We were able to spend some time before the show catching up, which was lovely.

And then our friend Ruth came in with her daughter, Aidan -- who is learning cello and guitar.   I knew Ruth back in both of our Toronto days, when I was heavily involved with the Anglican Church.  Yes, really.  Pick yourself up off the floor.  Please.  This is how I know the right bible verses to quote to religious-right bigots when necessary.   (A quick aside: we did a workshop with Cheryl Wheeler this summer -- exciting enough in itself, but... as she was introducing one of her songs, she said "I went to church long enough to learn all about what Jesus said about loving your neighbour.   I guess I didn't go long enough to learn the bit about hating everyone who was different."  Love it!)  Ruth had brought Aidan's grandparents as well, so we had a truly multi-generational event.

More people we've never met filled out the audience, which is always a good, surprising, and relieving experience, plus the arts reporter from the Cowichan News Leader, who took a number of pictures and wrote a lot of notes -- will let you know if there's a review later on!

We enjoyed the first set, but both commented later how it's difficult to switch from house concert mode to full on-stage mode -- a different feel, a different set of skills.  Once our brains made the switch, all was well, but it's kind of like switching between my cellos: I really have to remind myself which one I'm doing, what will or won't work on each.

The break again had us chatting with friends new and old, and then we were on for the second set -- Aidan, who had been swimming TWICE that day, may have lost consciousness on the couch a couple of times, but was a real trooper!  Encore was requested -- actually, John was kind of like our friend Sam in Winnipeg, who wanted several encores, but we settled for one. :-)

Unfortunately, we just found out that the video feed didn't take, so you're just going to have to take our word for the fact that I got ALL THE WAY THROUGH our new arrangement of "Real Big Man" without faltering or cursing (those who were at the first three concerts of this tour will understand what I mean).

We had a chance after the show to chat with new friend Roger and his sister -- very supportive no-longer-strangers who we very much enjoyed meeting.  Then it was time to pack up and take care of all the administrative stuff.

As we were loading up the car, another group was loading gear in to the healing studio (on the same floor of the Duncan Garage).  Apparently there was going to be a goddess pole-dancing demonstration the following morning.  I almost lost Don to Duncan dancers...

Georgia went into their home next door, John counted to five, and out came one... two... three... NINE wiggly dogs, all excited to be outside and with their humans.  Not that they were particularly loyal to their humans, they accepted attention from pretty much anyone. :-)   After some more visiting and good-byes, Georgia rounded them up on the patio, so we didn't have to worry about pooch pancakes as we drove out of the lot, and we headed back down the highway to Victoria.

Sandra and Landon were still awake when we got in -- though not for long!  We shared a glass (or two) of wine, and then headed to bed ourselves -- myself with a dreaded tickle in the back of my throat.   Uh-oh...


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