In which the oft prophesied “rapture” is spoken of in a less than serious vein.
Is it just me or are we taking these doomsday prophecies a little more seriously these days? I’ve lost count of how many “end of the world” bulletins I’ve seen over my life time but I do remember my dear dad’s prophetic words when I first expressed fear as a young lad about one of these warnings: the world ends for someone, somewhere every second of the day. Hardly the fatherly comfort I was seeking but on serious thought very true.
Anytime I read that there will be that moment of rapture when true believers are sucked up into an eternal life of harp music and blinding light (not exactly enticements in my book but à chacun son goût) I am reminded of a brilliant sketch from Beyond the Fringe. Unfortunately I was not able to find a video of the original quartet of Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Jonathan Miller and Alan Bennett performing so had to make do with this one from “The Secret Policeman’s Ball” in 1979.
And who know we may someday we may really come up with a winner.
On this day in 1641: The Merchant Royal, carrying a treasure of over 100,000 pounds of gold (worth over £1 billion today), is lost at sea off Land’s End.
While clearing out a few videos I came across several more immortalizing the early days of the *Hounds from Hell. Those adorable days when our Nicky would eat concrete walls (I kid you not!), and IKEA furniture; when Nora would joyfully chew holes in blankets, and then throw the pieces back up on the oriental rugs. Ah the salad days of puppyhood. Days when a closed door or a gate were new challenges; nowadays they are just mundane and useless obstacles that can be overcome by whining until they are opened by a well-trained human.
Only last week , ever the consummate escape artist, Nora decided that she had enough of looking like Gloriana managed to remove her Elizabethan collar using the side of her kennel and a few well-judged moves.
One of the first things I noticed was the tremendous wealth of musical and theatrical talent on the Island. When Marlee, Evan, and I were putting together a 1920s cabaret for the PEI Symphony Orchestra fundraiser we had a wide array of performers and styles we could approach. We ended up with an eclectic programme of performers reflecting the diversity of entertainers here in PEI.
The evening began with Ben Aitken at the piano as folks gathered, ordered their Mary Pickfords (a very potent little 1920s cocktail), and perused the auction offerings. The Cabaret was compèred by Peter Bevan Baker, the leader of the Green Party in our Legislature. Later on in the evening he multi-tasked and played trumpet in The Little Big Band that provided dance music for the evening. But first our line up: Katie Kerr – a well-know musical comedy performer, Brendan Howard Roy – a young singer on his way up, Lewis and Peters – a comedy duo on stilts (yes I said stilts!), a talented trio of ladies from the Charlottetown Burlesque (yep we have a Burlesque troupe here on PEI), the Charlottetown Swing dancers, and the young man in the picture to the right – Max Keenlyside.
Max Keenlyside is a multi-talented performer: ragtime pianist and composer as well a piano restorer. In this clip he performs the original version of Scott Joplin‘s The Ragtime Dance on a 1927 Mathias Schulz piano which he has recently acquired. As a surprise during the stop-time section he switches between the Schulz and a 1850s Kirkman upright that he has restored.
Keenlyside also transcribes music – often from audio recordings, old piano rolls, or old manuscripts. The Silver Swan is the only Scott Joplin piece that was issued on a piano roll rather than in music notation. Max transcribed it from an original 1914 piano roll and also wrote an historical analysis of this late and until recently disputed Joplin piece. He plays it on a restored Woodward & Brown square grand piano built in 1851 – a good half century before Joplin composed the piece. The sheet music shown in the video is another of his projects: Engraving musical scores in the classic style of old publishing houses.
As I said we have a wealth of talent here on the Island.
On this day in 1971: Having weakened after making landfall in Nicaragua the previous day, Hurricane Irene regains enough strength to be renamed Hurricane Olivia, making it the first known hurricane to cross from the Atlantic Ocean into the Pacific.
Originally posted on Sailstrait: In recent years the residents of Charlottetown have become accustomed to the seasonal visits of cruise ships emptying their hundreds or thousands of passengers on a city hungry to sell meals, tours and Anne of Green Gables effigies. While this may seem to be a recent phenomena the first visit of…
It has been a busy cruise season here in Charlottetown and being a block away from the dock and cruise terminal we have seen most of them arrive and depart. Our Nora, and lately Nicky, have met a fair number of visitors and had their photos taken numerous times. There had even been talk of getting Nora a little straw hat and red braids but frankly she doesn’t need any accoutrements to make her lovable or appealing.
This year there are 82 ships scheduled into port with the majority (43) between September 1 and the final arrival on October 28. Due to the new speed restrictions in the Gulf and Hurricane season in the south 11 calls have been cancelled but it still leaves us with a record 71 visits. The largest will be the Disney Magic at 300m but the Crown Princess carries more passengers – 3080 – and crew – 1201. The very last arrival on October 28 is the Victory I, the smallest at 87.27m carrying 210 passengers and 90 crew, though slightly bigger the Pearl Mist has accommodation for the same number of passengers but 20 less crew. These last two spend most of the summer cruising the Great Lakes from Chicago to Toronto and back. Holland America leads the pack with a total of 43 dockings over the season with their Veendam visiting port 18 times and the Maasdam on 16 occasions.
Most cruise ships arrived around 0800-0900 and leave at 1700 – a few like the Celebrity Summit leave after nightfall. It made me feel a bit like the townspeople in one of my favourite movies: Fellini’s Amarcord.
2017 has been heralded as the biggest cruise ship season yet however Harry Holman over at Sailstrait takes us back to June of 1913 and reminds us that the first cruise ship glided into harbour over a century ago:
In recent years the residents of Charlottetown have become accustomed to the seasonal visits of cruise ships emptying their hundreds or thousands of passengers on a city hungry to sell meals, tours and Anne of Green Gables effigies. While this may seem to be a recent phenomena the first visit of a purpose-built cruise ship to the port took place more than a century ago.
There had been earlier vessels fitted out for winter cruising but their chief role was as passenger and freight carriers and the cruising role was incidental. The Charlottetown Steam Navigation Company’sNorthumberlandwas one of the first in the Florida-Bermuda trade with its freight deck temporarily fitted with partitions to create additional cabins and several of the Plant Line Steamers such as the S.S. Halifax and Olivette had winter charters in the Caribbean Sea when ice ended their seasonal work as the Boston Boat.
Telling the stories of the history of the port of Charlottetown and the marine heritage of Northumberland Strait on Canada's East Coast. Winner of the Heritage Award from the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation and a Heritage Preservation Award from the City of Charlottetown