We live on the top floor and considering the HEAT that this Summer is bringing us, it’s not so bad with the windows wide open when there is a breeze flowing through.
July was a wonderful somewhat cool month, filled with new song-writing, sweet music playing, delicious barbeque eating and refreshing river/lake swimming.
I having been missing my Gatineau River and the people and food of the wonderful Wakefield Quebec, but life is pretty wonderful up here, out here, a five minute drive to the Alps.
We went swimming in the River Aare, or rather “floating.” It is a fast paced river, and you just get in with a floaty of some sort (in my case, a waterproof bag to store some drinking water, my towel etc) and go sailing down the river rather quickly. It’s a blue/green crystal clear river which reminded me of white-water rafting (with ROAM -Rivers, Oceans and Mountains) down the Chilcotin River in British Columbia, without the raft of course. It was pretty amazing but for some reason I kept getting away from the rest of my friends and had to “swim” up-river so that they could catch up to me which made my leisurely float a tad less leisurely and I could definitely feel it the next day… the GOOD pain, you know??? I remember when we were in B.C in the big yellow rafts, we would have to plan our lunch spot or camping spot for the night well in advance so we could make the stop and not get swept away by the current… Well it is a little more difficult when planning a lunch stop with a little floaty bag, naked toes and wimpy arms…you risk smashing into the rocks that you are about to sit and eat on. I have a little bruise on my elbow, but really, all was SUPER fun and I would do it again… actually the best part was diving down under the water, opening your eyes and feeling your body racing through the water, speeding past the rocks… Amazing, such a perfect day spent for a water baby such as myself.
Yesterday was my first time celebrating Swiss National Day. For all of the “Swiss” order of things, it wasn’t as orderly as I thought it would be. See, the fireworks started at 10am and didn’t stop until past midnight, people ALL over Switzerland were letting them off, everywhere and not just in one place, but next door, up the road, over the mountain, across the stream, down by the river, in the backyard, in the side yard in the front yard…. EVERYWHERE, all day. In Canada, there are the odd folks who set some off at the beach etc around sunset but mostly, townfolk/cityfolk head to a designated area and watch them all together singing chorus’ of Ooooh’s and Aaaaah’s… Not here. Silence then BAM, silence then POW, silence then CRASH BOOM BANG!!! I had to let out a few whistles of appreciation… you can take the girl out of Canada…
I got some great news a couple of days ago. Not only am I coming home back to Canada in September, but I am playing at the Ottawa Folk Festival for the first time. It was my SEVENTH time applying, so lucky number SEVEN came through and I am pretty excited to be making my debut Canadian show in MONTHS at a Folk Festival; the same festival that EmmyLou Harris and Beth Orton are playing at. Tres cool I must say, and I can’t wait to get my dirty festival feet on!!
As always, I am looking to book shows and if you are reading this note and would like to host a house concert, a backyard BBQ or a dinner & music style event… Any kind of musical event featuring ME… don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
In the darkest days of winter, most of us long for today, and here it is in all it’s blue-sky-green-grass-leafy-tree glory (it’s actually over-cast here, but we all get the drift!)
I Love both Seasons. All seasons, actually. Each one has it’s best part, and each 0ne helps me, in some way or form, to be inspired to follow my dreams and stay on the right course. Naturally, on occasion I take the wrong road, the ‘road less traveled’ but in the end, most avenues are right, as hindsight is always 20/20.
It’s my first time writing here as a married woman.
The last few months were filled to the brim with excitement and plans and yellow tape and caterers and paperwork and dress measuring and clothes shopping and phone calls and invites and organizing and basking in the Love of my mans eyes. All in the name of Love and all for the best day of my life, my wedding day. It’s true what they say… It was the best day of my life, and I have lived through some pretty tremendous days. This one beat them all, so does that mean it’s all down hill from now?? I think I will coast on the coat-tails of being a newly-wed for awhile…
It was also the first time I grew out my nails in many, many, many moons. One can’t play the chords on guitar with finger nails. I missed the sounds of the strings plucked and strummed and all those melodies that flow out while I’m rehearsing. So I’m back at it, and when you step away from it for a couple of weeks (or more??) it’s amazing what comes out once you get going again. The tap from that fresh water constant-running-spring had been corked so when I liberate the cork, the water is in full flowing force. Refreshing, beautiful, colourful musical ‘water.’ Oh how I bask in the glory of thee.
So I am back to writing and back to booking, all as a married woman.
Some say that you feel differently in your relationship once you tie the knot. I concur! I won’t go into gushy details of Love, but it does feel as though there is a tighter, kindred connection, more sincere in a way? It’s hard to put into words…more secure in the saddle? Someone recently asked me how I was going to create songs, now that my heart is solid and strong. Well, thank goodness I have a unique array of friendships that provide me with stimulating stories, not to mention the catalogue of life’s drama I have already seen
It’s my first Summer away from my second home (Canada) in a long time. The last place I spent a Summer was in Ireland, when I worked out on the Emerald Isle’s west coast, in Connemara, all those years ago. Well, here I am in Switzerland, south of Bern, a bike-ride (all up hill!) away from the Alps. It’s pretty heavenly here, but WHERE isn’t it heavenly in the Summertime?
I miss my Wakefield. If you ever have the chance to head up, north of Ottawa to the Gatineau Hills in Quebec, do it. Wakefield has everything from Organic Farms, to hand crafted beeswax candles, to luxurious bakeries, to the BEST bistros, the BEST poutine, and the BEST place to see live music, at The Black Sheep Inn. We have an arts festival at the end of August called ‘Wakefest’ and there is a market every Saturday featuring live music, fresh breads, cookies, coffee, hand picked vegetables, hand crafted felted masterpieces, local honey, local EVERYTHING!! So go check it out… Oh and yeah, the Gatineau River is the liquid Love that brings it all together.
In the meantime, I will sit up here in this old farm house on the hill, over-looking the small village I live in part-time (half Swiss time half Canadian time!) serenaded by the melody of the sheep chimes, a fridge stocked with local cheeses, delicious beer and a cabinet full of chocolate.
What is it like to live in two different places, for about half a year each?
Well, I am in my third year, living in between… and it satisfies my ‘wanderlust-filled’ soul.
If I could, I would live like this for the rest of my life,
that way, I wouldn’t have to say “Good-Bye” for too long.
I Love my friends and family across the world and it is truly hard to say those two words.
When I embark on that final (for the moment) journey to the airport, I focus on the next place, and try to swallow those good-bye tears. Sometimes it’s easier said than done, and I spend my train time swallowing hiccups and thankful I have a hanky.
Small price to pay however, to have a different view from time to time.
As a musician, I can find places to play anywhere in the world, from living rooms to lit stages, it’s an ‘easy’ profession when it comes to up-rooting once in awhile… (or twice every year.)
Sometimes performance can be difficult, if you are used to getting a laugh in between songs, the nature of sarcasm and jokes can get lost on a crowd who may speak English as a second (or third) language. I am much more “Italian” in the way I speak when this is a factor, using my body and hands as tools to get the jokes across. It’s pretty fun. Sometimes I just laugh to myself, or at myself… alone.
Laughter is the best medicine, right?
Miscommunication is okay for me, as is other “bad gig moments” such as a non-responsive crowd or a terrible sound system (or stinky microphone, yes, that happens too!) In these cases, it just becomes a ‘practice session’ or yeah, just about the money However, I do believe in performing as best as I can, even if there are only a handful (or more) of listeners. If I can get through to someone, just a little, then I have done my job.
Fellow Canadian artist, Craig Cardiff has a notebook that he takes to his concerts in which he asks people to write their dreams, thoughts, secrets etc in… And it always amazes me, when I get a chance to read some of these, at how profoundly music can help. I am so entirely thankful for this musical path I am on, be it for me or for you, it’s worth it. Bad sound systems, non-listeners, sore shoulders, hot lights, smelly mics, long drives, sideway-glances and all!
Being away from home, either home, is tough at times. Thankfully Social-Media is here for home-sickness… or maybe not? I see shows and markets and babies that I am missing out on, but still, I get to see your face once in awhile and hear your voice too!! At the very least we get to stay present in each others lives, which is big bonus, missing you in ‘real life’ or not.
Currently, I am writing a new song, featuring wisdom that I have learned over the years.
I hope to debut it on Sunday, where my voice will be soaring in a church for the first time in a long time.
You never really know what life will bring.
Look forward to every day, and try not to want to know,
I live each day trying to fulfill my needs as a self-employed singer and song-writer which doesn’t always have to be that complicated and trying to explain what I do to people who are living by an entirely different set of rules, well, therein lies the complication.
Talk about guilt! Some days on my list of things to do it goes a bit like: Make a fire, put the coffee on, do the dishes, check your emails, write a blog, pick up the guitar, work on songs, put more logs on the fire, fill up the wood box, prepare dinner, read a book, book a show, watch a movie, charge the phone, go to sleep. Some days the writing table is full of arts ‘n craft supplies, feather earrings!! Sometimes there is a yoga mat on the floor. Sometimes I get to talk on Skype to close friends and family, some days I get to go on hikes, you know, fuel for the soul and the songs. Some days I get to PLAY MUSIC in front of an audience.
These are pretty much the details that make up my life. I am also very lucky because I have a partner in crime who accepts and Loves me for who I am and what I do. I do not follow the normal day to day life that many of my friends have and it’s a bit hard for me sometimes because I am sure that there are people out there that do not appreciate my life, the life I chose, this independent set-your-own-rules way of living.
Talk about discipline! There is no one out there telling me what I have to do, no guidelines, no boss, so it’s all up to me.
I remember moving out of the house I grew up in, to University, where I could do whatever I wanted. I could eat marshmallows for breakfast and potato chips for dinner, there was no one to tell me any different. But through heartburn and tiredness I quickly learned how to eat better and be more attentive to my nutritional needs. Some days I feel like I am back there, in need of discipline and Mama’s knowledge.
I am still learning and still working hard to keep this musical ball rolling and it can be hard without a boss. I am not saying the grass is greener, but I am saying that I appreciate all of you who work so hard in a fixed schedule and sometimes I wish someone could arrange mine for me. Alas, this is my life and I am sticking to it.
Let’s face it. You live with yourself, your face your hands for the rest of your life. I remember, back when I was bursting into ‘teen-dom’ being struck with the notion, hit with the plain truth that I would be stuck with me forever and it was right there, just between myself and my reflection where I came to the conclusion that there was only one way. I just had to accept myself. I think it may have also been the first time that I realized I wasn’t just a daughter, sister or kid, but that I was my own entity and from then on, it was my life, MY very own life. I had no idea at the time what life would be about, but I sure hoped that it would be bigger than my parents rules, school bus seating, bedroom decor, fashion, sleep-over’s and homework.
Music was a thread, sewn through me, more than I knew, during this ‘breaking-out-into-the-real-world-for-the-first-time’ phase. I would sit in front of my ghetto-blaster after school learning the words to all my favourite songs (Cyndi Laupers ‘True Colours’, Madonna’s ‘La Isla Bonita’ etc) and I would record myself on tape, singing along, playing the music on low volume, to be sure I could hear myself (not having the slightest clue that I would do the same thing years later in a real live studio!!) I listened to those tapes and made new ones, eventually making my own songs, searching through my treasure trunk, dressing the part as well. I had dreams to sing on stages, again with no clue that those dreams would eventually turn to reality, (and how!)
Wherever I went, as a young girl, a teenager or now, as an adult, I have this music inside me, this flow that, simply put, keeps me going. Through rejection, pain, depression, anger, fear; ultimately REAL LIFE, I know I have this neat thing within and when I sit down with my guitar and let ‘er rip, all of the negative just floats off, somewhere else, (for the time being) and if that’s what happens to ME when I sing, then I just KNOW I have to sing for others too. So I put it out there for you, on occasion and I hope you like it. From me to you, that’s how it works with this musical gift… it’s the least I can do and it is how I will leave my mark. Perhaps one would call it a legacy, I will call it luck.
If you are in Prince Edward County Ontario, December 23rd, come on down to a fabulous little music venue/restaurant for some LIVE music featuring myself and a some original music. The Acoustic Grill has seen the likes of many talented Canadian artists. It’s a cozy place, with happy people and delicious food. I will be on around 7pm. Hope to see you!!
Good morning, good afternoon, good evening! How goes the battle out there, in the land of living rooms, offices and internet cafes? All is well over this way, for now. You never know what’s coming around the corner, so I like to take each day as it comes and when it gets hard, I always try to remember that tomorrow is indeed a new day. Times can be tough around this time of year. The other night as I was driving into the village of Wakefield to see this awesome band (The 50 Men) at The Black Sheep Inn, I decided to pick up a hitch hiker. He was young and very cold and very sad. My plans were detoured for an hour, while he warmed up, both physically and spiritually. It was a big beautiful moment, to drop him off with a joke on his lips and only an hour before, tears. I can’t help thinking about what may have happened to him had I not stopped. It was so cold out that night, and I’m pretty sure his skinny jeans wouldn’t have cut it. Things can happen that fast, in a blink of an eye, your whole world can change. A single telephone ring, a single buck of a horse, a single solitary moment can change things forever. THAT fast. So live it up while you can. Smile at a stranger, do a good deed, hand make something for your Loved ones for Christmas, just keep it simple. Just don’t worry.
As I get ready to head back over to Europe for the winter and Spring, the memories of the past Summer and Fall come flooding, in a way that tells me this chapter is just about over. Talk about going back to basics, cooking in a kitchen with no running water, living in a cabin shared by mice, waking up to goat cries and peacock screams. What a ride, literally, riding the horses and getting to know what they are all about, how wonderful and passionate and caring they are. I am truly going to miss this way of life, and if anything, I may just live a little more, in a “less is more” kind of way. I realize that nothing good comes fast, especially when making breakfast or dinner in a kitchen built on one extension cord. Especially in the Canadian music industry, where I finally figured out the formula: one song at a time. Stepping out of the rush, taking things all a little slower has enriched my life to no end, learning patience, having faith and letting it all just flow.
The music never stops. Waking up and living each day to a soundtrack is my lifeline. So there are a couple of projects I am working on! New songs for a new Lindsay CD! One thing is for sure, that cabin with the mice proved to be a wonderful place to be creative. Also in the works is an electronic album. I’ve always wanted to sing on electro songs, dance songs, chill-out songs and now I am. We are still trying to find a name for our duo so we can start marketing ourselves, but so far, nothing has stuck. Perhaps you can help? Have a listen to two of our tracks and see what you think, email me at email@example.com with any suggestions. Head on over to Soundcloud and play it loud! https://soundcloud.com/skullyandlindsay
Have a good holiday season folks, and here’s a mantra for you “People helping people.”