After connecting on Facebook a few weeks ago, I headed up to Barrie to meet a cousin in my Goddard line. Tom’s great-grandfather John and my great-great-grandfather William were brothers who emigrated to Canada from Kent, UK around 1870. They settled in Vespra Township near Craighurst (north of Barrie). Tom’s ancestors moved north to Temiskaming and mine moved south to Toronto. He and his wife Joy just spent some time in the UK, including Kent, visiting some of our ancestral towns, and since they were returning home through Toronto, it was a great time to meet up without the 6 hour drive! We arranged to get together at the residence of Lillian, widow of Ernest Goddard, another descendent of John, and Tom’s second cousin. She lives in Barrie in a retirement residence built on the site of the Royal Victoria Hospital where she was born.
I know….it’s complicated.
Tom came with his wife Joy and son Jon (who lives in Collingwood), and there were murmurs about maybe a Goddard family reunion sometime in the future.
For my driving time today, I queued up my current audiobook, Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream by Neil Young. When I first started listening to it, I was a little annoyed by what seemed like a lot of plugs for his various projects including Pure Tone (now Pono) and LincVolt. But as I continued into the book, I began to realise how passionate he is about these initiatives. The memoir is a kind of stream-of-consciousness thing, like he’s sitting next to you and reminiscing about his life. But it’s strangely compelling, and was the perfect antidote to the huge traffic mess that greeted me on my way home.
There was a terrible accident on the 400 today just south of Barrie. All traffic in both directions was diverted off the highway and what should have taken me twenty minutes (Barrie to Cookstown) took an hour and a half. Luckily, I had Neil chatting with me in the car and that kept me alert and interested. (The audiobook is read by Keith Carradine, who sounds great although not like Neil, and pronounces Sault Ste. Marie with the “l” sound in it.) But more about the book once I’ve finished it.
I’ll probably associate Tom and Neil and the scent of the lavender hand cream I bought on my way home in the same space in my brain. And in honour of Tom (he’s a sheep farmer), I share something that I spotted in my Facebook feed tonight:
Last night I attended the Open Book Literary Salon hosted at The Spoke Club. Moderated by Becky Toyne, the discussants were writers Michael Winter, Stacey May Fowles, and Brian Francis. Sadly, the promised “relaxed, salon atmosphere” didn’t really materialize. The ambient noise from other areas of the club required the use of microphones, even in the small space, and it was really more of a panel discussion with a few questions from the audience than any kind of salon experience.
That being said, there were a few worthwhile gems. SMF often writes to “work something out” for example, “why I like CSI or Rihanna”. BF is motivated to keep writing because he feels responsible for his characters, not wanting to leave them in limbo but finish their stories. He also noted that you need to allow yourself to have a crappy first draft, but just get the story finished. No one will ever see it and it’s the second draft where the magic happens. MW suggested we analyze why we like the books we like (to read). This will help with your own writing. And both BF and MW encouraged people to read a lot, and read what you like, not what you think you’re supposed to read,
Before the salon, my friend and I ate at WVRST (609 King W), a lively place that sells artisanal sausages, fries, dips, and an interesting selection of beers (and cider). You place your order at a counter and your meal is brought to you. Seating is on long communal tables and while it got a bit noisy by the time we were leaving, I’ll definitely be back.
Last Sunday, the choir was ready to sing our first hymn in Icelandic. It took us a few weeks to get the pronunciation down as there are extra letters and letter-combos that we had to master . Because we sing at the back of the church from a loft, the sound is lovely. Here’s a video clip of the group Arstidir singing it in a train station: http://youtu.be/e4dT8FJ2GE0?t=5s
I’m heading to Barrie next week for a day to meet some distant cousins. Thanks to the Goddard Association of Europe‘s Facebook page, I’ve linked up with descendants of the brother (John) of my gggrandfather, William Goddard. I’ll also spend some time in the Barrie Public Library’s local history room, and if weather permits, visit the cemetery where a number of Goddards are buried.
I spend part of last week clearing out my mom’s condo, getting it ready for sale, and I came across this blast from the past:
My mom’s famous “Chicken Rice Roger” came from it, and I suspect some other recipes as well. They’re in pretty bad shape but I’m gonna look for new(er) copies as they’re the kind of cookbook that makes for a fun read. There’s a 50th anniversary edition published in 2010 (we’re the same age!) that I might just break down and buy.
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