No snow, no!

I usually walk the two and a half or so miles into “town” on a Monday to do some food shopping and make my way back with the goods on the bus. I was looking forward to a nice walk in the Spring sun yesterday, but snow had other ideas.

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I  was all like: what the hell snow, no! Didn’t you get the memo, it’s Spring now, go away!

But snow just laughed and said: (highlight) –> can you tell how many fucks I give?

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So in the end I just went ahead and enjoyed my walk anyway…

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The weather report seems to be saying that I have to wait awhile longer before the temps start rising above freezing again.

Which is nice.

 

 

It’s safe to go outside now.

The temperature here in Quebec is gradually starting to rise above freezing: the sun is shining and the snow melting. Not fast enough {it’s back down to -1 C today}, but yesterday it was about 4 or 5 C, and finally Spring is beginning to be sprung.

I must be getting used to Quebec winters because anything above -5 is actually quite acceptable as long as the wind is absent… but really I’m a summer child: I was born in July and am most comfortable basking in the sun’s warmth.

I had to pick up a few things from a local supermarket yesterday, and it was so nice to be out in the sun that I detoured to the cemetery and took a few photographs.

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I almost didn’t make it very far into the cemetery because of all of this flooding from melting snow. In the end I persevered, taking baby steps along the icy edge.

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Last year I trudged out into the tundra a few times during the winter, but this year I’ve been mostly hibernating, so it’s good to get some fresh air and reconnect with the Earth after 5 months of freeze.

Can’t wait until the snow is gone, life returns to the land, and I can go on long walks and bike rides!

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I still didn’t venture too far into the cemetery
because the snow was thick but melting.

Instead I had fun watching the crows play…

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 The End

 

 

 

Now is the Happiest Time of Your Life

 

I’ve been spending most of the past couple of days cleaning the flat next door in preparation for someone coming over to see if they want to buy the property from our landlord.

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This big yellow house in Levis, just across the river from Quebec City, is split into three flats, and my wife Natasha and I were in the wee small extension at the back until we upgraded at the beginning of March when someone moved out. The upstairs flat we’re in now has a larger kitchen and bathroom, with an actual bath, hallelujah! (I love to have long soaks and read in the bath)

There’s not someone moving into our old flat until the beginning of May, so I’ve happily left the detritus of our past life to fester until now: forgotten things in the bottom of cupboard and the back of drawers; dust and grime revealed from behind appliances and book shelves…

As I throw and scrub away these remnants, whilst listening to music and inspirational interview snippets by and of the dearly departed Daevid Allen: marvelous mystic maestro of Gong and beyond, I realise that I am Being reborn. I have been reborn, and here is the evidence of my past life that I am washing away.

The cycle of life, death, and rebirth is a cosmic spiral happening continuously on many levels. Indeed, it happens to all of us each and every day as we sleep: shedding cells from our bodies and rejuvenating our minds – reborn again each day as we awake. Each and every day, at any moment, we can chose to let go and be born again – we can chose who we want to be and determine our actions with decisive, incisive, or intuitive clarity. These spirals of life, death, and rebirth keep us fresh and vibrant, reminding us that every moment is precious no matter how we chose to spend them, but perhaps gently reminding us to spend many of them consciously, passionately, creatively… and to seek fulfillment of mind, body, and soul in whatever forms that might take.

As Daevid Allen so eloquently taught us:

Now is the happiest time of your life.  

 

Funny how the word inspirational has the root word spiral within it, no? Yes!

 

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There’s a truly magnificent three hour tribute to Daevid Allen filled with music and insightful interviews about the lore and philosophy of Gong on the Transmusic Airwaves podcast HERE

 

 

 

Goodbye Daddy Bear

 

Our rat Archimedes passed away last night.

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Archimedes in his old cage when he was a young-un

We called him Daddy Bear because rats are like little cuddly bears, and because he was the daddy of our other rats (except for Minerva, who we looked after until she passed, and our new young boy Imhotep).

We bought him from a pet shop, with Athena, who was the first of our rats to pass away at the end of June last year. Pet shop ratties often do not have the strongest of genetic lines, we have discovered. Although rats are said to have a lifespan of about 3 years, Daddy Bear was only 2yrs and 3 months, and since Athena we have also lost five other of our ratties. It’s been heart-breaking to go through so much loss, but I wouldn’t give it up for the world because we love them all so much and they have loved us back. Rats are the best pets we’ve ever had: kind and cuddly and intelligent and fun, and sometimes downright hilarious with their antics – their shortgevity the only drawback.

We have two more baby boys reserved from a private breeder, that come from a stronger genetic line, so hopefully they will be with us for a long time. And we still have Archimedes and Athena’s babies Isis, Orpheus, Thalia, and Euphrosyne, although Euphrosyne is not well at the moment and may pass very soon.

Last night and today, and most likely for days to come, my wife and I are filled with tears and sadness, but also with occasional smiles and bouts of laughter as we remember all the joy that Archimedes and his children have brought into our lives. He has actually been ill since December, so we have been blessed for him to stick around for so long. He’s been suffering from a degeneration of the back legs and a general loss of coordination, so we’ve had to help him with feeding and cleaning himself. He had been free-roaming out of the cage for some time, and although his back legs didn’t really work, it didn’t stop him gliding around our flat, pulling himself along with his front legs. He had such vigour, was full of life, and he enjoyed all the attention he was getting from us. He had even been sleeping in bed with us for some time: when he needed a cuddle, food, or to go pee or poo, he would nuzzle Natasha to wake her up.

For the past couple of days he had slowed down a little and was sleeping a lot, though it was still a surprise when, late last night, he woke up to let us know that it was time for him to go. He passed so peacefully, and we love him so so very much, and are eternally grateful for the love and joy he brought into our lives.

Fly free and play hard over the rainbow bridge, Daddy Bear.

We love you forever and always. ❤

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Playful Daddy Bear: Can I haz tummy-rubs?
Archimedes with his son, Orpheus
Archimedes with his son, Orpheus
A more recent photo of our Daddy Bear, living the high-life of a relaxing retirement… ❤

 

 

 

 

Gong but not Forgotten

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Daevid Allen is Gong…

 

He drifted aboard the flying teapot and departed this earth for a

cosmic trip to planet Gong

on Friday March 13th at 1:08PM

Gong are one of my favourite bands, and Daevid Allen was a

marvelous magickal mystic.

If you’ve never listened to Gong before, or if it’s been a while,

or even if you only listened yesterday,

please give the Radio Gnome trilogy a listen or three,

and have a cuppa tea,

in honour of the passing of this great man.

 

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And I’ve got one of the sessions Gong did for John Peel
(Nov 17th 1971) for you to listen/download.

It’s HERE , it’s about 20 minutes long, and it’s wonderful. 



The following was taken from the Planet Gong website, and the video is of what was quite possibly Daevid’s last public appearance.

” Local artists, writers and poets gathered at the Pizza Paradiso in Suffolk Park, Byron Bay on 27th February to celebrate daevid allen and Gilli Smyth by performing some of the couple’s poetry. Sadly only daevid could be in attendence – but being there he naturally he took the mike for the performance below.

daevid tells me he was entranced and surprised by the selection of poems and delighted at how well they were all performed – “every poet should experience something that”.

“For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountaintop, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.”

He has no plans for any further performances. “



 

Here’s a picture of the teapot that will be used
to carry Daevid’s ashes…

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And Stuart Maconie is dedicating one of his Freak Zone Radio 6 shows
to Daevid, which you can catch for a week or two HERE



 

Miss you, kiss you, bliss you, Daevid Allen.

Gong but not forgotten, no never.