Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It should have been a good day

Yesterday was one of those good-day/bad-day kind of days. I feel like it was really a bad day but I guess that's the way my mind works, the bad outweighs the good.

On the good side:
  • Last night there was a bird at my birdfeeder (too dark to see it, I just heard it and made out the movement when it flew away), so it has been discovered and hopefully will soon be busy.
  • The weather cleared and it was a wonderful clear cool sunny day with a good wind, perfect for working in the garden and keeping the bugs at bay.
  • I got my garden planted.
  • I got my phone installed and running.
  • I got an internet account and---in theory---dial-up internet access almost immediately after the phone was installed.

On the bad side:
  • Ruth gave me some mail they had sitting around for me (for almost a month!) and it turns out my CAA membership and auto insurance have just expired.
  • Too late in the day to do anything about it.
  • Aliant tech support walked me through the configuration process for my dial-up internet connection, but when I tried to use it, all hell broke loose.
  • Not only did it not work but it seems to have done bad things to my computer.
  • And when I called tech support back to get help they pretty much told me it was my computer, my problem.

So today I have to pay my bills and try to get help with the computer problem. I was so looking forward to being able to check my email without trekking to someone else's house!

Mike got a new bodhran yesterday. He ordered it from Germany last week and it's here now. So of course he needed to show it off and one of the neighbours, Peter, and I came over to admire. He is very, very excited about it. I don't know a lot about bodhrans, but this one is handmade, very expensive, and quite elegant looking. Mike builds and plays bodhrans himself, so ordering one is a big deal for him. I mean, if you can make a decent bodhran and play it well enough to perform publicly, then presumably you wouldn't order one made by someone else unless you knew it was going to be way better than what you could make yourself. Mike plays every Sunday night at a Celtic jam session at Paddy's Pub; Peter said he would be required to do a solo on his new drum so he had better have something ready to play this Sunday.

Mike is right into the traditional Irish music. He is of Irish descent, a fact made obvious by his surname, but his family history is kind of interesting. During the great potato famine in Ireland, many Irish came to North America, some to the US and some to Canada. A boatload of Irish immigrants arrived in Montreal in 1847, but there was cholera aboard so they were quarantined on Grosse-Ile island and many died. There were a number of orphans who survived. These poor kids were adopted by francophone Quebecois families in Montreal and raised by those families as their own, but they were also allowed to keep their surnames as a remembrance of their roots. Today there are quite a few francophone Montrealers with Irish surnames descended from these orphans, Mike's family among them.

Back in the '80s the Co-op used to sponsor Katimavik groups on the land in the Harbour, Mike acted as a host and sponsor for them. Usually these groups are half francophone, half anglophone. Once, one of the young francophone women in a Katimavik group said that she was a bit ashamed of her English-sounding surname when she was Quebecoise through and through. Mike told her the story of how her family came by their name and said she should be proud not ashamed of her history.


Alan G said...

Busy, busy, busy you are...

Good luck on the computer problem. And glad Mike got a new toy. I got aquainted with a group with origins in the Isle of Man whose music I really like. I've exchanged emails with their accordion player a couple of times. The group is called "The Stationary Willberries" although they have about retired now.

Here is a link to their site which has a few mp3's and video. Have Mike check them out - especially the song "Whiskey In A Jar"!


Also good luck on getting lots of traffic at your bird feeder. I'm sure you will.

Zabetha said...

Thanks Alan, I'll check it out and let Mike know as soon as I get on someone's highspeed internet.

Stationary Willberries, I like it!

I'm hoping to get a hummingbird feeder up soon too, there are quite a few of them around.

Barbara Anne said...

Hi Anne,

Hope the computer woes are over and fixed now and that your bird feeder is a hub of avian joy!

Wishing you a fruitful growing season, too.

We've had so much rain in the last 24 hours, we hope our garden isn't washed out.


Zabetha said...

Hi Barbara Anne

Wow! Here it's a fairly dry spring so far, no danger of things washing out! But mucho shade is the big problem, not a lot to do about that I'm afraid.