|THE BAND, GREMMY (IVICA AND PETER)|
I’m right smack in the dead of another Canadian winter. It is crisp, bitter cold, and the skeleton bones of the grey-brown and leafless trees are shivering from the the arctic chill of the January winds. The snow zombies are bundled in their eiderdowns and balaclavas, looking only at their feet as they trudge the downtown sidewalks to and from work.
Wait a minute! Life is what you make it! And winter too, then, is what you make it!
Wintertime is what it is, and, indeed, it is a paradox for me.
I am accursed to love my Canadian winters. In winter I’m spending loads of time at ice-kissed shinny rinks. The daytime skies are clear and sunny and the ground is a blanket of sparkling blue snow. The rosy-cheeked skaters with their hockey smiles are wrapped in scarves and hockey jerseys. And I love it!
In summertime I am the comestible cold beer and potato chips; whereas, in wintertime I am the comestible brandy and poutine. In summertime I am the comestible hot dogs with baseball; whereas, in wintertime I am the comestible coffee with hockey.
In summertime I am busking; whereas, in wintertime I am gigging and writing. In summertime I am fresh; whereas, in wintertime I am frosty. You have to stay frosty if you are a gig musician; whereas, when you are busking … staying fresh is suffice.
It is important for the summer busker to exude enthusiasm and be evangelical about the music. Saying thus, a busker only has to appear fresh to be appealing; whereas, a gig musician has to be frosty, alert and aware and so, so cool. At a buskspot, the consumers are just passers-by, having one ear to the music, and the other ear to their own thoughts. At a night club, the people that are near are stationary and intently listening.
(Saying thus, I do realize that those dipsomaniacs seated a distance from you have ears similar to your busking consumers, one ear to the music, and the other ear to those conservationists sharing their table. I guess I’m really expressing that if I didn’t stay frosty in wintertime, come summertime I’d not be fresh, I'd be fusty.)
In wintertime do I miss busking? Forsooth, my answer is … a big … YES! However, I’ve long since known that if you love music you don’t stop. In summer I’m a busker; in winter I’m a writer. When the busking is over the song writing begins. Like I said, if you love music you don’t stop. The need to keep strumming and singing is a positive addiction, though it does not keep me out of the pool hall.
(This line is supposed to be funny because … when I was a kid, pool hall was a pejorative phrase. Only old men who played poker and chewed tobacco went to the pool hall. The pool hall was not a place for kids. Nowadays, and actually my lifetime recreational activity, I’m still shooting stick every Saturday, especially in wintertime.)
Enough stick info.
I remind you, dear reader, that I am but a faux-busker. This self-proclaimed admission stems only from the fact that I only busk in warm weather. I am not a brutto-tempo busker; rather, I am a fair-weather busker. Seasonally, my busking begins during the muggid springtime showers; my busking apex is when I’m amongst the summertime fragrance of flowers, and I last until the autumn winds blow me back into my wintertime nidus.
Marching in my CHAUCERIAN PARADE this week, are my Slovakian friends, Peter and Ivica. I met Peter and Ivica, when I borrowed Peter’s guitar to busk in the Temple Bar in Dublin, Ireland. Peter and Ivica are the main members of the Slovakian band, GREMMY. (Google GREMMY SK ... you’ll be amazed and ... you'll know their gig schedule.)
Here are some pictures from last summer in Dublin:
|IVICA AND PETER BUSKING IN THE TEMPLE BAR|
|MY SON, TRAVERS, WITH IVICA IN THE TEMPLE BAR|
|SELF BUSKING IN THE TEMPLE BAR (WITH PETER'S GUITAR)|
As I’m sipping Steeped Tea, two creams and one sugar, in TIM HORTONS (another wintertime perk), Peter and Ivica, you are on my mind as I type this blog entry. (Peter and Ivica are still in Ireland!)
I’M JEALOUS AND I MISS YOU GUYS!
And whilst thinking of Ireland, my friend, the most famous hypnotherapist in all of Southern Ireland, MICHAEL PAYNE, also comes to mind. (Google THE HYPNOTHERAPY CENTRE: LIMERICK, IRELAND, and you'll see what Mike has to offer!)