Desserts, Atlantic Canada, and Gumboots

G’day, from Kass!

I have been meeting so many new friends, now that we’re back in Canada, I don’t know where to begin!  First of all, let me say that if I were to live like Cathy and John, I would have big pouches under my eyes, not just, well, where I have my big pouch (I’m a kangaroo, after all!).  They have been MOVING!  I’m going to be ready for a rest at the end of this tour, over in England with Margaret.

Where shall I begin?  Here’s a picture of me with Maya on the Trans Canada Trail in New Brunswick, Canada. I really liked her, and wish there was room for her in the car to come along with us.

Me and my new friend Maya and her dad.

We stayed with her grandparents in Fredericton NB on our way to Prince Edward Island: the land of Anne of Green Gables!  I HAD to meet Anne! She’s more famous than anybody.

Me and Anne Shirley - Anne of Green Gables - oh, and Cathy hiding

We went to visit Anne’s house, Green Gables, and also her village, Avonlea.  It was fun, especially since there wasn’t anybody else around, it being so early in the season and all.  C&J were happy to eat some lobster (yuck!) while we were on the island at a music festival they played at there.  It was the first “gig” they’ve done on this tour that wasn’t for quilters, and it was funny to see the strange expressions of the blokes in the audience when Cathy told them she was going to sing about quilting!  But they liked it, at the end.

We drove over the longest bridge in Canada,the Confederation Bridge,  back to New Brunswick.  Wow, it was amazing to drive over that much water!  We stopped in St. John New Brunswick to sing at the Kennebecasis Valley Quilt guild’s dessert social – I’m starting to love visiting these quilting guilds – they always have such good baking and the ladies always slip me some chocolate for being such a good kangaroo…

From there, we drove to Ontario.  John went to Queens University in Kingston, and had to attend his reunion.  This is where everybody who went to school together eons ago gets together and tries to remember each other’s names, and how they might know them.  There was a lot of smiling and laughing and talking at this event.  I enjoyed the “Re-convocation” where John got all dressed up in a robe and hood.  He looked funny!  I think he was self-conscious about me seeing him like that, because he took that robe off as soon as he could, and put on a ratty old gold jacket that he said was really special from university.  They wouldn’t let me try on the robes, but I’m working on him to try on the gold jacket…..

Wouldn't this jacket look great on me?

We had two performances in Ottawa (2 hours drive from Kingston) while we were in the area, and enjoyed seeing some new friends at the two churches we sang at.  More desserts. Yum, Yum!

Then, would you believe it:  we drove BACK to Atlantic Canada!!!  We drove through a lot of smoke (coff, coff) from some wildfires burning in Quebec, all the way from Ottawa to past Montreal.  Then it was okay.  We took the ferry across to Digby Nova Scotia and stayed with friends of C&J – and they ate scallops (yuck!).  Digby is famous for their big tender scallops and Cathy enthusiastically ate my portion (the grass and flowers outside looked good, though….).

We sang at a “golf course”  in Halifax.  The Mayflower Quilt Guild meets there to finish every year with a dinner and entertainment, and this year, that was US! Yummy dinner, too.  Great dessert. I kept looking outside the window to see a lot of people with sticks in their hands and little white balls.  They didn’t like those balls very much, and wanted them to get as far away as they could from them, so they hit them with the sticks until they flew into the air.  It was horrible: then they followed them down a long lawn (the grass was too short for my liking) to hit them AGAIN!  I think I should report them all to the police for cruel and inhumane punishment.  Cathy told me that the people pay lots of money to be able to do this to the balls, and they really enjoy it. I don’t think the balls thought much of it.

Cathy was very excited to sing in Port Hawkesbury Nova Scotia.  She said that Cape Breton was the “heart of music in Canada”, and home to famous people like Rita MacNeil, The Rankins, and the Barra-MacNeils, as well as Ashley MacIsaac.  We didn’t meet any of those people, but the ladies in the guild were very very nice to us, sang along really loudly and well, and served up the absolutely LARGEST table of desserts we’ve ever seen!  I’d love to stay there, but I’d get to be a fat little kangaroo, and that wouldn’t be good.

There are lots of lighthouses in Nova Scotia, so I had to go and visit one.

This is the Cape George Lighthouse

We visited some friends of John’s who he knew when he lived in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.  Cathy says I wouldn’t like it there except in the summer, because it’s very cold in the winter, and very dark.  But John liked it a lot when he was there, and he used to sing with a group called the Gumboots.  We stayed with a “Gumboot”, and I kept excusing myself to go and check out his shoes.  I never did see any bubblegum on the bottom of his boots, so I don’t really get it.  Anyway, John brought his friend a gumboots cap so they could recognize each other the next time he’s there, and they both seemed very pleased with themselves.

Must be a new fashion trend: gumboots on the head

We are back in Ontario again now.  We did a show last night in London, where Cathy grew up.  She met one lady who remembered the name of her high school guidance counsellor: Frank Lesser.  She said she was pretty sure Mr. Lesser would not have believed her if she had told him then “I want to be the Singing Quilter when I grow up!”  I think Mr. Lesser would have locked her up!

We have a few days off (and a few miles to drive) before we get to Minnesota next Wednesday.  Tomorrow I get to meet Cathy’s brother and sister-in-law.  Today I met her cousin, who rides horses.  It was fun to see their horses and have some nice grass to eat. We are on Lake Huron, one of the Great Lakes.  It’s huge!  I don’t think we have anything like it in Australia, maybe only when it rains a lot and Lake Eyre is changed from a sandy hollow to a huge body of water.  We sure could use some of this water down there, though! I wonder how I could send it?

I think that’s all I have to tell you about our travels for now.  We are almost finished this tour – there are only two more concerts and two more classes for Cathy to teach.  Then, I’ll be on my way to new adventures in England.  I think Cathy is going to miss me when I go, and, to tell the truth, I’ll miss the excitement of this touring life.  It’s sorta nice to have all the ladies make a fuss over me, even though I wasn’t sure about their intentions at the beginning.  I hope the ladies over in England like me as much as these ones do!

Oh! I almost forgot!  I met a couple of other friends in New Brunswick.  They tell me I’m invited on their next canoe trip!  I can’t wait!  I could use my tail as a rudder!

Cheers, mate!

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One Response to “Desserts, Atlantic Canada, and Gumboots”

  1. Jennifer Says:

    I am enjoying reading about your travels – you don’t stay put for long, do you!

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