Saturday was spent totally alone, writing, doing the laundry, turning the chaos of my apartment into order. I watched the most amazing television program about bagpipers in WWI, breaking ak down in tears constantly. The programme traces the role of bagpipers in both the Scottish Highlanders and a Canadian regiment. The battle of Vimv Ridge and the battle of Somme are but two major battles where the pipers inspired the troops onward. I get terribly emotional when I hear bag pipes – it must be my Scottish heritage. The Pipers in the Trenches is a BBC program, where I learned; 2500 pipers served in the Great War; 500 were killed;. 600 were wounded. I do not think any of my ancestors served in that capacity. The program is on the Knowledge channel, a British Columbia publicly funded station, which is incredibly British. It is almost eerie. It feels like I am back there. Well I will be back there in ten sleeps.
I have written that my decision to live in San Francisco in 1967, with a return to Canada in 2017 has, unfortunately, left me with the feeling that I am neither fish or fowl. I never felt like an American but have discovered that I do not feel like a Canadian.either. The Canada I left in 1967 is not the Canada to which I returned in 2017. Eerily I feel very at home in Scotland feel Scottish,. I come by this somewhat naturally as both maternal and paternal ancestors are Scottish. I am 100% Scottish, making five trips to my ‘homeland’, four related to the biography of Dave Dryburgh, who was born in Scotland in 1908. At this moment there are no plans to return to Scotland but perhaps West Wyes (which rhymes with dreams) will call again. Great grandfather Robert Baxter is buried there, a 27 year old victim of greed. He died of tuberculosis, an industrial disease contracted because of his work in a linen factory. I occasionally wonder what he thinks of his great grand daughter Alexis who has traveled in very different circles with perpetuators of greed. Perpetuator shall be the word of the day. Perpetuator, a noun: A person who carries out a harmful, illegal, or immoral act. i do think that Great Grandfather Robert Baxter would forgive Alexis because she followed the dictates of his Grandson Dave Dryburgh who said: “Stop fighting Alexis. Go to the sidelines, they will do themselves in!” They are doing themselves in, slowly but surely.
My attachment to Dave Dryburgh and Robert Baxter is very unusual as I no longer have anything to do with any member of the Dryburgh clan. I surgically removed them from my life. Wise Man recently (and perceptively) asked if I missed those Dryburghs.
Me: What an excellent question! No, I do not, not at all! Your question made me realize that.
He: Good job Alexis. I am proud of you!
The picture is a rather vulgar card purchased at Time Framers on Robson and Seymour in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The store has a glorious collection of vulgar cards usually only found in in the UK. How I love the cards and I have a vast collection. They are SO funny, as you shall see. I love Time Framers and the wonderful owner. She and I hang out, now how could I leave her, even for th warmer climes of California? Gosh darn, what a dilemma. It is on the same block as VSO. I will tell you about an incredible concert that took place on November 2, 2018.
Prior to the concert there was a special reception for Legacy Circle members. I brought ,as my guest, a friend elegantly dressed in black. I wore the white dress that graces the blog picture. My friend is black, I am white. She was the only black in the room whereas I was surrounded by white people. The staff and the VSO big deals were so WONDERFUL welcoming my friend and then this happened. I had spoken of my desire to leave Vancouver when an incredible staff member sad this, she really, really did. Honest.
She: Please do not leave Alexis. We love you.
Me: OMG. I am going to cry, can I give you a hug?
She: Yes, of course.
We hugged and I did cry. not tears of sorrow. But now you will hear about the incredible concert. There was a commissioned work Northern Star written by Dorothy Chang, then along came Mozart, followed afterward by Tchaikovsky. The orchestra was led by Xian Zhang, a Chinese woman with an impeccable resume. She is the first female conductor to hold a titled tole with a BBC orchestra. She is so powerful particularly when wielding the baton during Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2 in C minor, Op.17. She threw herself into it all, demanding the very best from the orchestra. It was masterful.
Of course, at the end of each selection, I leapt to my feet and yelled BRAVO! Not the boring Vancouver people, but in all fairness they did sort of get it together at the very end. Perhaps I had been a role model in the earlier performances..Here is a confession, Alexis is crazy about the Head Percussionist. My admiration was stimulated last season – my goodness what that man did with Bolero, the slow, steady, measured drum beat that goes on and on. I had spoken to him about his mastery earlier, then again art the evening’s reception. He shone again, so at the conclusion of the concert, I waved from the front row of the Dress Circle and even blew him a kiss. Occasionally I act like a teenager but it is such fun and no one is harmed by my enthusiasm
There is an update of About Me section of the blog. Go the to Menu and poke About Me. It was completed under my own steam, afterwards my computer guru Chris wrote:
He: Good idea. Updated x
Me: Thank you, you know everything. .
Oh, by the way, Kathleen brilliantly put her piece about me on her website. Follow the link. www.artworkarchive.com/profile/kathleen-katon-tonnesen/news/an-indomitable-creative-spirit-author-alexis-mcbride-in-contemplation-and-in-conversation-companionship-at-the-tate-britain