The Dutch tulip fields are in full bloom leaving Amsterdam
Spring may have sprung in Holland but Toronto had exactly -1o C in store on arrival with a wind stiff enough to be jealous of. As soon as you step into the train running to and from terminal 1, 2 and 3, you are reminded you are in the land of regulation and over the top safety measures. “We are about to leave the station; hold on to the hand rail”. “The train is now leaving the station. Stand away from the doors and hold on to the handrail”. It’s like entering kindergarten and the same story in reverse upon arriving at the next terminal, 200-meters further up the track. We’re not talking Formula-1 acceleration here! Within an hour I was on my way in a brand new rented Civic to Jack & Roberta’s house. The great thing about old friends is that even if you don’t see or speak to each other for a long time, it is as if no time has passed. Their basement is a complete apartment that used to be rented making it ideal for guests. First order of business on Friday: a doctor and accountant visit.
Canada Geese Heading North
My friend Dave Wren is indisputably one of the finest luthiers in Canada. He was kind enough to lend me one of his own beautifully hand-made guitars. It makes a Martin sound like a tin can. Now, if only I could play well enough to do it some justice. Early Saturday morning I headed up to the house in the woods near Bracebridge, where I lived for 7 years.
Through our love of motorcycles the family that bought the house and I have become friends. My admiration goes out to Robert who has an advanced and painful form of MS. He can only walk with difficulty and with a brace. Even that does not hold him back from getting on the dirt bikes. A truly amazing person! They have been kind enough every time I am in Canada to let me stay in the log house for a week. The place has a special magic, situated on a peninsula along the Muskoka River with a river view from every window. Besides running into the occasional moose or bear, complete tranquility is the order of the day. To top off the hospitality, I have been given the option to use any of the 4 KTM motorcycles ranging from a 250 to 950 c.c. Just wish it wasn’t so damn cold
The South African police needs a “Statement of Embezzlement” signed by the Canadian police to file a claim against the guy who sold my truck and ran away with the money. On Saturday I visited the O.P.P. (Ontario Provincial Police) in Bracebridge only to find that they’re CLOSED! If somebody told me I would not believe it. A crumpled notice on the door informs the public that they are open (m)Onday to Friday from 8:00 to 4:30. Closed on holidays! Completely bizarre; if you need them urgently, there is a phone you can use after you have been murdered.
When I revisited on Monday, heeding the office hours, I was told they couldn’t accommodate me. I had to visit a notary or lawyer. The police motto “To Serve And Protect” has a hollow and out of tune ring to it.
Of course I must say hello to the people I left behind. Here’s a video link of Jamie playing “Don’t Think Twice “on his nylon string guitar.