Friday, September 2, 2011

From Heaven to Merlin's Gate

OK, I'll put you out of your misery -- the sourdough starter was for homemade waffles for breakfast!  Oh, we are so spoiled rotten...

We had been warned the rooster would wake us up early, but... guess what?  No rooster calls.  He must have had way too late a party the night before, because we didn't hear him until well after we'd finished breakfast.

So we all woke up naturally to a beautiful morning.  Trev started making the batter and grilling the waffles, Dinah picked a bowlful of blackberries and set out a host of syrups and homemade jams, and I sliced up the biggest peach I've ever seen.  Breakfast was, needless to say, magnificent.  As was the conversation.  We didn't really want to leave, but started packing up our stuff so we could make the 12:35 ferry and meander down to Victoria to get ready for the next gig.

Dinah headed out into the garden again, and brought back a handful of lemon cucumbers.  We dove into one -- they don't actually taste lemony, they just look like lemons -- which was so deliciously juicy.  Ah... if only I didn't kill plants!  She sent us off with a few to take to our next hosts.

Big hugs and good-byes and promises to raise a pint together when we're back on the island next week.

It was a good thing we left when we did, because the lineup was already pretty long for the next ferry -- still almost an hour away.  We started to wonder whether island life was really for us.  This was confirmed when we got onto the ferry and they told us we wouldn't depart for a while, because the other ferry was running late.  Don got out of the car on deck and chatted with an Austrian-Edmontonian couple in front of us, who had been on Gabriola to check out the new house they were having built.  The ferry finally got moving, but we were delayed again before docking, because the other ferry wasn't out of the way yet. OK, thank you life, for convincing us to not spend our hard-earned money on Gabriola property.  I left Cannington because I found it too isolating -- but at least I could get out of town whenever I chose.

We worked our way down the highway, and stopped for a light lunch in Duncan at you-know-where.  Then we headed down into Victoria to "check in" at Sandra and Landon's.

Amber, the big Golden Retriever, was of course the first to notice our arrival, and greet us as only a big friendly Golden can do.  Sandra came out close behind, and after all the hugging, introduced us to Jenny (who's helping out with planning next Saturday's CCVSI Gala) and sat us down for tea.   In not much time at all, Landon also came in the door, and we all had a nice big visit and wee snack, before they had to get back to work on Gala details and we had to shower (you're welcome, Victoria!) for our concert.

The concert was only about 10 minutes away, which was great, because with all our chit-chatting, we were running late (so what else is new?).  But we found the address quite easily, in the middle of a lovely residential neighbourhood.  We knocked on the door and met Tim Gosley, the owner, who ushered us in and...

Oh my goodness gracious glory.

When Tim called it a home theatre, he was not kidding!!!

Three tiers of red-velvet-cushioned theatre seats, leading down to the stage, complete with wings and dressing room behind.  Art and posters lined the walls, there was a lighting system... everything.  A glorious room that can apparently hold up to 50 people, if everyone has bathed and likes each other.

Tim, who is a puppeteer, and his wife Petra, an actor, bought the house the year before from "an eccentric old woman" who had built the home theatre for her poetry readings and storytelling sessions.  Considering their professions, it was just perfect for them -- although they lamented they had spent most of the time presenting other people, and were not going to do their own performance there until the fall.

James came in to help at the door -- he was going to be performing there the following week, AND he had just shot a music video there earlier in the day.  So this theatre is certainly being put to many uses!

Tim had been rather concerned two days before, as only five tickets had sold.  But it seems that Victoria is just as last-minute as Orillia (will you audience members PLEASE stop giving we presenters ulcers like this?!?), because we had a nice, comfortably full house by the time 8:00 came around.

Tim gave the introductions, and we were on!  Sound-wise, it was a great place to play as well. I think this place is going to do well -- we're now dreaming up artists to send their way. :-)  We managed to get through all the previous night's rough passages unscathed -- and let the audience in on the joke.

Intermission was held upstairs in Tim and Petra's living room, where they had a delicious spread of cheeses and dips and all sorts of lovely things we couldn't eat before singing -- drat.  We each got to chat with some of the audience members -- many of whom are from away, and many of whom tried to convince us to move to Victoria, instead of Gabriola.  They're ganging up on us. :-)

The second set went by far too fast.  Apparently the audience thought so too, because they asked for an encore, which we were happy to give.  Our friend Juilana (who hosted us at Pondside the last time we were here) was there, and promised to bring her husband to our Nanaimo show when he was back from the states.  John Taylor, who had introduced us (via e-mail) to Tim and the Theatre hadn't been able to make it, due to a rehearsal of his own, but his wife did come and introduced herself -- we sent her back with a huge thank-you!

We headed upstairs with our hosts to eat some leftovers and chit-chat. Turns out they used to know our friend David Francey from back in Quebec, as well as Fransi Andersson (which I knew already), our puppeteer friend from ArtsU.   It's a small world. Petra brought their dog back from the neighbours -- a big cutie, a lab-golden-somethingelse cross -- and we chatted a little longer, until eyes began to droop, and we packed up and headed back to Sandra and Landon's.  (Sandra had had a meeting that night, but Landon had been at the show.)

More chatting and visiting and dog-patting, and then -- time for a nap!

More tomorrow, about today

Musically (and sometimes I really am!),

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