Pat Blythe – The weather report….day tripping and music…..

Hot, hazy and humid…..well maybe not hazy…..maybe more like stifling and soggy? How about moist and muggy, or maybe sultry and sweaty? Scorching, sizzling, oppressive, sweltering… endless number of adjectives to describe the current heatwave.  July 3-15 would have been a perfect Mariposa weekend running around covering 10 stages and sweating off these extra “COVID pounds”. Somehow I don’t associate “sultry” with weather that has the infinite ability to make one a squelchy, sodden, cranky mess. One short stroll out and I’m firmly planted in front of the air conditioner drying out.

Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer – Nat King Cole

No column for last two weeks…..the camera eye required a touch up which is now complete. I am the proud owner of two new eyes that can actually see where I’m going. Now waiting with bated breath for the music scene to open so I can start capturing those on and off stage moments again. Unfortunately, some swelling at the back of the eye is slow to heal so clarity of vision will take a little longer. I’ve been asked to stay off the computer for a few days. Yikes!!! Short of vacuuming or watering the garden, almost everything I do is related to staring at a screen. On the flip side, the surgeon has given me the go-ahead to get behind the wheel again! Sunglasses are a must.

Day tripper……

Took a wonderful road trip to see friends in Wellington. A gorgeous sunny day and the first time out of the city simply enjoying the country. A good friend did the driving and I was free to gaze out the windows. We drove the scenic route along Hwy 2 (although I do remember it being slightly more ‘scenic’) and took our time. There has been a great deal of building during the past five or so years…..more people selling their homes and heading east, retiring or just simply getting out of the insane craziness that is Toronto. Port Hope is my favourite little town. There is a coziness and warmth to it that draws you in and almost comforts you. I’m a lover of “old” homes, ones that have a loved and lived-in feel, well used and enjoyed. Sometimes they “speak” to you, welcoming you in. That’s what Port Hope feels like. That’s what the villages in England feel like to me.

Day Tripper – The Beatles

Our first stop was a lavender farm on Loyalist Parkway. Millefleurs has fields of purple lavender you can walk through. The stuff is like catnip to me and I could just roll around in it for hours.

Unfortunately, as tempting as it was, I managed to refrain. Millefleurs has a small boutique so I purchased some instead along with a few lavender-scented products. Millefleurs also has 100 beehives with 20 hives in the lavender fields alone. Their lavender honey…..raw, unfiltered and unpasteurised is in one word…..yummy. Craft mead is next on the menu.

I’m a day trip lover. A chance to explore the small towns Ontario is a great way to discover or rediscover what this province has to offer. The drive up to Tobermory and a ferry ride on the Chi Cheemaun (fondly known as The Cheech) is another way to spend the day, albeit a long one. The Canadian side of Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake is always worth a visit, with the Christmas store one of my favourite shopping experiences…..I could spend a week in there one afternoon. Elora Gorge Conservation is beautiful. The craft brewery in Creemore and the surrounding towns with their antique shops are wonderful to explore followed by lunch at Mylar and Loreta’s in Singhampton (the patio is open). Simcoe County, Prince Edward County (know as PEC), the town of Picton, Amherst and Wolfe Islands…..the list is endless. To explore further afield is next. There’s nothing like a road trip. Just taking off and heading…..anywhere.

My trip to England is on hold indefinitely so maybe more of a local focus is on the menu.

…..and so it begins

I am working on a number of projects I will tell you about in the near future, but there is one in particular that has most of my attention. I have much to learn and loads of people to speak to. I’m taking a jump and leap of faith into totally foreign territory…..something entirely out of my comfort zone. I am being prodded and encouraged along, so I figure now is as good a time as any to try (and learn) something new. There are a few hairpin curves ahead while patience and perseverance will be required, but there are a whole host of people trusting and supporting me to do this so… we go.

…..pour a cool one, plug in and listen or maybe put on your dancin’ shoes

Fall is actually my favourite time of year but summer produces the best feel good, uplifting and joyful songs. There is always a sense of freedom and abandonment in the summer…..a release of pent up energy and the desperation to get out from under all those layers of winter clothing and expose ourselves to the sun gods. This is why we see crowds at the beaches and parks. With the current environment and forced isolation people have become more impassioned which is often accompanied by recklessness and impulsive behaviour.

Saturday in the Park – Chicago

We can shake our heads, wag our fingers and make that little sucking “tut tut tut” sound but the need for release and to gather with one’s own kind is buried deep within our DNA.  Interestingly enough, there were no surges of the virus after the Trinity Bellwoods Park debacle or the beach crowds over the Victoria Day long weekend. I’m curious. Why has no one addressed this?

Sunny Afternoon – The Kinks

Summer is a time of laughter, catching up, long walks and bike rides, exploring the countryside, cottages and diving off the dock, fishing, boating, sunshine and BBQs….and did I mention music….lots of it. Concerts, street corners, subways, backyards, campfires, impromptu singalongs, drive-in movies, patios and courtyards… all spells one word. We can still do all of this using caution, forethought, consideration and creativity. We can’t desert summer!

Just A Little Bit by the Julian Taylor Band is one of my all time favourite summer songs. It was originally written in support of bullied kids. Someone made a summer video out of the song and I think it’s a perfect summer song.

Just A Little Bit – Julian Taylor Band

Summer in the City – The Lovin’ Spoonful

In The Summertime – Mungo Jerry

Good Vibrations – Beach Boys

Hot Fun in the Summertime – Sly & The Family Stone

The Boys of Summer – Don Henley

Heatwave – Martha Reeves & The Vandellas

Life is a Highway – Tom Cochrane

Despacito – Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee

Summer Madness – Kool & The Gang

A Summer Song – Chad & Jeremy

Surf City – Jan & Dean

Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams

Summertime – Billie Holiday

Under The Boardwalk – The Drifters

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay sane.



Pat’s column appears every Wednesday.

Contact us at:

dbawis-button7“Music and photography….my heart, my passions.” After an extended absence —  33 years as a consultant and design specialist in the telecommunications industry — Pat has turned her focus back to the music scene. Immersing herself in the local club circuit, attending the many diverse music festivals, listening to some great music, photographing and writing once again, she is eager to spread the word about this great Music City of ours…..Toronto. Together for 34 years, Pat little-red-headed-dancing-girlalso worked alongside her late husband Christopher Blythe, The PictureTaker©, who, beginning in the early 70s, photographed much of the local talent (think Goddo, Frank Soda and the Imps, BB Gabor, the first Police Picnic, Buzzsaw, Hellfield, Shooter, The Segarini Band….) as well as national and international acts. Pat is currently making her way through 40 years of Chris’s archives, 20 of which are a photographic history of the local GTA music scene beginning in 1974. It continues to be a work in progress. Oh…..and she LOVES to dance! 

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