Oh, Juliet…

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So then, Juliet drinks this potion stuff (didn’t her mother ever tell her not to take drinks from strangers?) and, sure enough, she falls into a deep, death-like slumber. Fools everyone – her mother, her nurse, all the townsfolk and, yes, Romeo! Somehow a letter describing the intricacies of the plot-twists never quite made it from the Friar to poor old lover boy…

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Funeral Symphony (V) by Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis, 1903

Today, being Canada Day, was a day of processions, though not of a funereal type.

Spirits were high as we sang, danced, and laughed our way through the streets of Canmore!

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Happy Canada Day!!!!

No More Counting! (And, R&J)

Ok, life is just sometimes going to get in the way of the blog. Rather than agonize over a missed day and beating myself up over having to start the count again at 0… I’m not counting any more. Until such time as things settle into a nice, boring routine around here, at which point I’ll pen some nice, boring blog posts.

Meanwhile, here’s the next installment of, “What happens in Romeo and Juliet?” – the brief, illustrated edition…

 

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The dude in the bell bottom pants at the top is Friar Lawrence. But, our version of R&J takes place the late 60’s, early 70’s, when bell bottoms were oh so cool. Hey – if you are around in Canmore tomorrow, come on down to the Canada Day Parade – quite a few cast members from both shows will be in costume and taking part!! 

 

I know Juliet looks a bit like Gretel (of Hansel and Gretel fame) in this fine drawing, but take my word for it, that’s Juliet. Gretel never had a knife or she would have dispatched the old witch a lot faster.

If you are hoping to come to see the shows (afternoons will be The Apple Kingdom, a musical fairytale with princes and princesses and the most adorable lizard ever, and evenings Romeo and Juliet), performances start July 4, so get your tickets if you don’t want to miss out!! If you are trying to decide whether to come based on the how good Juliet looks in my drawings… well, our real life actual Juliets are lovely, fine actresses who look a LOT better than depicted… (there are two Juliets – Kiki Monteith and Sarah Keith are alternating shows). Likewise, both Romeos (Ben Francis and Liam Brett) are better looking than my scribbles may suggest. What is entirely accurate, though, is that both Romeos flop to the ground in despair, weeping and wailing and acting like limp noodles… you know, typical woe-is-me, my-life-is-over teenager stuff. For that matter, Juliet has her moments of misery, too… One must keep in mind that this is R&J and maybe they weren’t actually being that melodramatic about their problems…

(If you missed the first installment of R&J – the Comic Strip – here’s the link to the earlier post).

 

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Hansel and Gretel by Mikhail Vrubel, 1896 (You see what I mean?)

 

 

 

Final Week (Reboot365-7)

We are fast coming up to opening night… and that means rehearsals come rain or shine.

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Given we will be performing in the park, we can’t be put off by a sudden drop in temperature, howling winds and bucket-loads of precipitation.

We are in the mountains, so wait a few minutes and the weather changes.

The sun came out for a bit and it was every man, woman and child for him/herself… So many great brawls! My admiration for our fight choreographer, Anastasia St. Amand knows no bounds… I want to write a play full of ugly fights just so I can have an excuse to work with her again!

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Plenty of people in town have wandered past and enjoyed watching bits and pieces of rehearsals, but there’s just as much going on behind the scenes. The mask-making project is racing along (suddenly the first show seems really, really close), costumes are being stitched, props made, sets built… It is always so cool and so nerve-wracking to see shows come together. Just when it seems an impossible feat to pull off – yikes! There’s an audience out there and somehow the show happens!!

Check out the Pine Tree Players website for details and if you are anywhere near here… come see The Apple Kingdom (matiné) and Romeo and Juliet (evening) performance starting July 4…

 

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Choo-choo-choose your own adventure day! Too cold, too wet, and too tired to do anything more than post this photo I took the other day when I was in Banff and the train roared past me…

 

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Train in the Snow at Argenteuil, by Claude Monet – 1875

 

The Death of Me… (Reboot365-5)

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By the time you get to the end of Romeo and Juliet there are bodies everywhere… There’s Paris, for example… about to be discovered in the dark by the Friar. Come to the Canmore Summer theatre Festival (coming up SOOOOOON!!!) to see who else winds up sprawled across the grass…

Here, though, in my world (which has shrunk to the dimensions of my computer keyboard), I’ve been obsessing about death. Still. Again. I’m deep into revisions of my book about medically-assisted dying and oh, my – it isn’t getting any easier. The subject matter, or being a writer.

 

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Mountain Graveyard, by Kurt Schwitters, 1919

 

How is it possible that I can get to this point in a manuscript after so many years of writing books and still feel that I should perhaps be looking for other work? But it happens with every manuscript – I get to a point where I completely lose perspective and think that the whole project is worthless. It’s more boring than anything ever written by anyone – the subject is boring. My opinions are boring. Death is boring. Life is boring. Being a writer is definitely boring. Everyone in the book is boring because – guess what – they all die!

Sigh. This is the point in my day where I push back from my desk and throw in the towel. There is no point in flogging this sorry horse to… yeah, death any longer.

 

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Thanks, Picasso. I can always count on you to have painted something appropriate to my bleaker moods. This is “Minotaur With Dead Horse in front of a Cave Facing a Girl in Veil” by Pablo Picasso, 1936

 

 

Mountain Trivia (Reboot365-4)

Did you know that more than half of humanity depends on mountains for water? (This fact comes from this article on The Telegraph website).

 

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At this time of year we have plenty of both mountains and water… 

 

Why am I thinking about water (where it comes from and where it goes)? It so happens that my ghost walkers last night wanted to know about Banff’s water supply and sewage system, not something I had come prepared to talk about (ghosts neither drink nor pee).

I figured there had to be some kind of waste-water treatment going on (there’s no way all those hotels have some funky septic system under  Banff Avenue) and, sure enough, Banff has a pretty skookum system. Because the town is in a National Park, they are pretty particular about what they consider to be a clean end product. Here’s a list of what Banff suggests you do NOT flush down the toilet. I’d say it’s a pretty good list for all of us to keep in mind.

 

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I try not to forget how lucky I am to be able to enjoy a glass of good, clean water whenever I’m thirsty. 

 

On the incoming end, Banff’s (quite delicious) drinking water comes from very deep underground wells. It’s pumped up to a reservoir on Tunnel Moutain and given a bit of chlorine treatment before trickling back down into the townsite and into drinking glasses and refillable water bottles all over town.

 

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The Town of Banff provides filling stations so you can tank up with great Banff water free of charge. 

Here in Canmore, there’s a rather ambitious action plan in place that hopes to reduce per capita water consumption by 50% by 2035 (from 200 rates). I love drinking the water here (tasty!) and I enjoy long showers… I guess I will have some work to do if I am going to do my part.

Do you have any great water conservation tips to share? I might as well start now…

 

 

 

Useless Factoid 2 (Reboot365-3)

One of the things I chat about on the ghost walk in Banff (just got in from doing one this evening) is where I might like to haunt should I come back (the Harmon Residence in Banff – a house I LOVED as a kid and which haunts my dreams to this day…)

 

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Hey! Come back here with Walter!!!!!

 

And that made me wonder about other people coming back somewhere, after… or wanting to come back as something… which is how I stumbled on this gem.

Did you know that Walter Morrison, inventor of the Frisbee, had his cremated ashes baked into a Frisbee after he died? One would hope he is well identified so someone doesn’t accidentally send him sailing off a cliff or out to sea…