Retro Dundee: A peek into the 60s, 70s and 80s

What the heck are clackers? Why are Lenin and Stalin staring down from this Scottish city’s town hall? Is that David Bowie? Continue reading “Retro Dundee: A peek into the 60s, 70s and 80s”

Eating and Dancing in Cambridge’s Streets

Boom! Rattatate, rattattate, rattattate! Boom. Boom. Boom! Rattatate, rattattate, rattatate.

I found my head nodding in time to the energetic beat as it reverberated against the houses. Nabbing my boyfriend, J’s, hand as we crested a bridge I set us on course for the source of the sound. We dodged and gently nudged our way through the wall of people listening to the music.

Mill Road had gone from channeling a stream of cars to bursting with a river of strolling revelers. It was the Nile in flooding season. The local shops and international stores joyfully slurped up passing folk—their wares sparkling under the attention. Other islands of sound and bobbing bodies stood against the flow of curious incoming visitors. You never knew what you were going to float past next!

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Air Guitar World Championships

Ok so I haven’t actually attended this event since I’ve only JUST learned about it and this year’s show is over. But it’s totally on my festival bucket list!!!! Here’s why I’m so stoked to check out the Air Guitar World Championships next year!

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Cambridge Buskers and Street Performers Festival

I’ve heard it said that market squares were once considered the heart of a town. Before the giant grocery stores of today everyone converged at the central market to find their wares and catch up on the town’s news. The square was home to the local economy, social discourse and arts. Everything passed through it.

Gazing around Cambridge’s Market Square I could still see the heart people have spoken about from by-gone days. Today in particular merchants mingled with activists right beside artists busy enthralling the curious crowds.

The Cambridge Buskers and Street Performers Festival is a shot of adrenaline for a city already driven by a spirit that just won’t sit still.

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Strawberry Fair, England: 1st Saturday of June

My head rose and fell, as I nodded in the peace of the day. My makeshift pillow, the soft tummy of my partner, grew and shrank with each breathe. The warmth of the sunshine coupled with the body heat under my head surrounded me in warmth. Like a cat sprawled under a sunbeam I stretched out in blissful contentment. Nothing strayed from the slow rhythm in my little bubble of perception. Silent intermittent splashes of shade played across my body as clouds drifted across the vast sky.

Electronic music, zingy and energetic blasted from the stage of the Super Mega Zone. But its contagious beat fired harmlessly over our heads as we dozed on the soft grass of the Midsummer Common. A few daring souls bounced and bumped close to the stage as the rest of the onlookers bobbed their heads in appreciation.

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The Defection of Bidhishna 3

Surrounded by the false darkness of Bangkok the audience around me gasps as Lord Rama towers over King Ravana. Steadying his position atop a fellow performer he brings his weapon to bear. Seconds after driving a blow at Ravana, Rama lightly steps to the ground as the human structure falls away. He and the demon circle each other, seeking another moment to strike. Just behind them their two armies wait, prepared to converge in a mass of honour, strength and death. Continue reading “The Defection of Bidhishna 3”

The Defection of Bidhishna 1

Bidhishna cowers before his brother, Ravana the Demon King of ten faces, as Ravana towers over him preparing to deliver the killing blow. The audience, wide-eyed by the spectacle, releases its breath as a moment later Ravana withdraws his sword and contemplates another punishment for his brother. Overhead birds skim across the sky ignoring the drama on the ground. In the far distance clouds, as indifferent as the birds, silently roll by. The sun has already moved on to awaken another part of the world. Continue reading “The Defection of Bidhishna 1”

World Music Celebration: March 21st

They looked so sterile, so cold. Silver cylinders. That’s all they were.

But when the two musicians standing before the crowd struck their first notes these pans transformed before my eyes. The musicians caused a waterfall of pearling, perky, upbeat sounds to bounce from their drums. Like delighted rubber raindrops falling on a steel roof combined with the purest moment in the sound of a steel pipe falling on the cement or on top of another steel pipe. I suddenly saw in my mind’s eye sunshine, palm trees and tranquil blue waters. Maybe it was because I’ve often heard this instrument in movies associated with warm places and the ocean. Continue reading “World Music Celebration: March 21st”

Jacky Essombe: March 21st

She was forming the rhythm with the very air. Her hips, elbows, feet and hands beat an invisible series of drums surrounding her body. She was creating the rhythm of three beats. Her limbs listened to separate sounds, followed the voice of different drums and expressed themselves as individuals. The dance was wild but expressed coordination. Cooperation. She was a community in harmony.

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Chinese New Years Dinner: Kamloops

I gasped when I saw the envelope housing my ticket to the Chinese New Year dinner. It was a golden symbol overlaying a striking red background. The red envelope represents good luck and the colour symbolizes good fortune and joy in Chinese culture. The entrance to the Grand Hall in the Campus Activity Centre, where the dinner was hosted, was swathed in the colour.

On a side, but important note: since red symbolizes happiness it should never be worn at a Chinese funeral. Unlike western culture, white is the symbolic colour of mourning in China, but black is acceptable because it’s been adopted. I blame the Internet, particularly the Wikipedia article about Chinese colours, for beginning my blog post about the New Year with funeral talk! Continue reading “Chinese New Years Dinner: Kamloops”