Peter is Grateful

I went out yesterday morning to get our 6/49 ticket. There was a person at the scanner in front of me, checking their tickets………..their tickets…….their tickets. Having finished that particular task, why of course they would buy more tickets…….but only after careful consideration and much nail biting. Loyal Reader, I have bought a new car in less time than this person took conducting their business at the counter. I said nothing, but I do confess to glowering at the floor in exasperation. I said nothing to them as they finally left , and was my usual pleasant self to the employee behind the counter. It wasn’t their fault that the previous customer had taken as long as they had to, and as a longstanding veteran of “dealing with the public” myself, I knew that the shopkeeper would appreciate my treating them with courtesy.

MY transaction completed in near record time, I left the store to complete my assigned task, picking up some groceries. I began to think about how my week had been going so far, and I realized that my week had been going very well so far. The only snag I had encountered to date had been someone who had poor time management and organizational skills. Definitely a “First World Problem”. Shaking my head, I decided to write this week’s column about some of the many things that I am grateful for. Maybe some of these will resonate with you.

Spring is almost here!!! Although it is my understanding that the onset of “Daylight Savings Time” is yet another in a series of setbacks which those who work for a living have to deal with, as a well established member of “The Loyal Order Of Layabouts”, I hardly give it a second thought. As Betty and CoCo the Cat and Elvis, the Invisible and Incontinent Yak and I are all “superannuated”, our only immediately pressing question is remembering whether the clock we are looking at has been adjusted to reflect the actual temporal status. It’s a safe bet that clocks which display the correct time year round at Chez Montreuil are limited in number. Otherwise you have to rapidly employ your powers of mental arithmetic, which may or may not give you a satisfactory answer. ( Ask me how I know that  😉 ).

However, the resultant extra hour of daylight appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel! The warm weather, the greenery making its presence known as you look out your window, even the song of the birds, these all tell us that better weather is coming as Mother Nature takes us to her ample bosom. The vaccine distribution plan appears to be getting into gear, and I am confident that things will continue to improve and Life will eventually return to normal. How great will that be, to be able to get together and hear music and talk and drink and just enjoy things! We are keeping an eye on things as the “rollout” proceeds. We should get our shots by the middle of June, and then we’ll see what happens. In the meantime, we are wearing masks and washing our hands and staying home as much as possible.

Happily, artistic people have risen to the challenges posed by the pandemic by using the Internet to live stream shows, once again getting their music and their message out to an ever growing audience. I urge everyone to use Facebook and YouTube and their other relatives. You can seize the opportunity to experience all kinds of music from all across the spectrum. You can do this without even leaving your couch, for no greater financial outlay than your Internet access fee. You won’t even have to wait for transit. Of course you will to provide your own refreshments, but you can’t have everything. And if you hear a band whom you haven’t heard of and you like them, spread the word!!! Let your friends know, because that’s how indie music grows, and we can all play our own part in the process.

Of course musical performances aren’t the only things which you can access. There are radio programs, documentaries, blogs, columns, podcasts and so much more. It’s all out there, just waiting to be discovered. Just waiting to be discovered by you. Amaze your friends, Loyal Reader.

As an aside, you don’t just have to search for those “oldie, goldie, ‘mouldy'” groups and news sources while on your self imposed quest to be entertained and learn about coming trends and developments in music, but you might be surprised. For example, “Rolling Stone “, that venerable periodical which has “connected the dots” about both “culture” and “anti culture” for so long that it is now over 30 years old, hence “not to be trusted”, yes Loyal Reader, THAT “Rolling Stone”, it has just published a story about “Crown Lands”, and has streamed some of the band’s music over the last week.

“Crown Lands” is a two piece band from Oshawa, Ontario, whom I personally first saw about 4 years ago. Following my own advice, I got to the venue to catch the whole show, not just my friend’s band. I liked what I heard that night, and apparently I am not alone, as the circle of “Crown Lands” fans has grown exponentially since that night. Yet another fine example of the outstanding music which is out there, just waiting to be discovered. What is really great is that this is only one band out of many.

Check out YouTube, search Facebook, read DBAWIS, look, ( for example), at people’s personal timelines and you will be well on your way to finding your own personal musical “pot of gold”. It may not be “your father’s music”, but it is nonetheless outstanding and thought provoking music, with its own delightful earworms. And just think, it’s all around you, just waiting to be introduced to you and make you smile and dance and thank whatever entity you pray to that you are alive and able to celebrate your particular take on this “human condition”.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Betty and I have been together for a number of months, and we are settling in nicely here in London. Circling back to my main point, I have yet one more reason to celebrate my great fortune, thanks to her. For Valentine’s Day, I gave her some money as a gift. She went ahead and bought a picture which she had seen online. It arrived on Tuesday, which coincided with the 11 month anniversary of our first “making contact”. As is my wont, I put the story and a picture of the picture up on Facebook.

Frankly, the response has been gratifying. Betty is overwhelmed by the numbers of reactions and glowing comments, as am I. As I alluded to earlier, any problems I might have are insignificant in comparison to most people’s.

Finishing off this week, stay safe, stay smart, stay in touch with your friends and family. Keep your positive energy up and reach out electronically to those around you.

Appreciate the good things all around you, the food in the pantry, the clean, running water, the very fact that we live in such a vibrant and supportive community. I certainly do.

Better days ahead, my friend, just stay the course. It won’t be long now.

See you soon.

=PJM=

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