I don’t know if I’m ready for it, but Bluesfest is on for the next 11 days and I’ve got my ticket. I’m an all-or-nothing kind of Bluesfester – either I practically live there, or I don’t go at all. If I try to pace myself, I lose my momentum.
Here’s the forecast for opening day, starring Van Morrison:
Cloudy with sunny periods and 60 percent chance of showers in the morning and early in the afternoon. A few showers beginning in the afternoon. A few showers ending in the evening then cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. Risk of a thunderstorm.
Why don’t they just say it’s going to rain?
Anyway, it doesn’t matter. Bluesfest is Bluesfest no matter what the weather. One of my all-time favourite bluesfests was in ’99 and it rained outrageously. The crowds thinned as all the fair-weather bluesfesters scurried for shelter, but those who remained were energized by the rain. It was a lot of fun, all that rain and mud and music and spirit. The volunteers threw straw down to try to soak up some of the mud, but the mud soaked up the straw instead.
Personally I’m happy that Bluesfest is returning to Lebreton Flats. I like the wide-open space, the easy circulation of people, the way the space lends itself to moving between stages and running into friends. At City Hall, the space was deep and narrow and you had to move through congested channels to get anywhere. It was easier just to park yourself in one spot and stay there. I didn’t like that.
I hear they’ve installed special turf that doesn’t get muddy at the New and Improved Lebreton site. I’ll let you know how it works out.
But I probably won’t be blogging as much for the next eleven days. I’ll try to squeeze in a little here and there, but between work and Bluesfest and the occasional nap, I might not have much time.
Oh, but I have to tell you this one little story before I go.
Today I was standing on the sidewalk with three friends, and one of them was telling us about Opera Under the Stars, which was free opera at Lebreton Flats last weekend. She was in the middle of her story when a guy on a bike came up to us and looked thrilled to see us. None of us knew him.
“You know what?” he said, interrupting my friend’s opera story, “My aunt was a schoolteacher. She died. She was 85. You know what? They have these cards now so you can record your last thoughts. You know what my aunt’s last thoughts were? Don’t be sad too long, and be generous.”
We thought those were nice last thoughts.
He turned to Penelope.
“You know what?” he said, “You’re smart like my aunt. I can tell you’re smart.”
And then he turned to me.
“You know what?” he said, “I’m going gray too. You’ve got nice blue eyes though. But everybody gets old.”
A bit of a backhanded compliment, and of course I had to wonder why he was singling ME out for the old comments, especially since two of my three friends are older than me.
“You know how I spend my spare time?” he continued, “I pluck my nose hairs.”
Lucky bastard. I wish I had spare time.