I've had a few comments lately about our active lifestyle. No, not active in walking, jogging or going to the Gym and working out, but active in the sense that we seem to be always out and enjoying life. Between car clubs, riding get togethers, weekends away and exploring our great part of the country and going to other events then you could say that we are always on the go. Photography has been my hobby since high school when I was a school photographer. I was so stressed to find additional time a few years ago that I stopped going to my photography meetings and only recently rejoined. My schedule now has been reduced to a point where I could undertake a new project. For the past few months I have been attending the monthly meetings of the Vancouver Ukelele Circle at Our Town Cafe at Kingsway & Broadway, Vancouver, BC which is on the 3rd Tuesdays of each month at 7:30pm
(Our Town Cafe, Vancouver, BC)
Of course I also have a conflict with my photography group where we have a dinner meeting starting at 6pm. Meetings are actually every Tuesday. A formal meeting on the 1st Tuesdays of the month with attendance taken and some sort of presentation to do with antique and collectible cameras. Yes, I am a (former) camera collector and a member of the Western Canada Photographic Historical Association. (<-- click link)
I leave my office at around 5pm in Coquitlam and it takes over an hour to reach the restaurant on the West Side of Vancouver. We talk about cameras and other stuff, have dinner and I rush over to the Ukelele meeting usually arriving a few minutes late. Tonight I decided to skip the dinner and arrive early. I managed a parking spot a kilometer away and window shop along the way
I dislike having to pay for parking. The city is cash strapped so a few years ago they stuck meters everywhere and extended the meter hours to 8pm. Free is better but you have to park farther away
While walking you are more alert to your surroundings. I noticed this patriotic mannequin peering out the window
Eventually I make my way to the restaurant and order a soup & sandwich for C$6.99 + VAT. It is already busy here with most of the members occupying the tables. I love music but have never taken the opportunity to learn how to play any instrument. It is Mrs Scoot that is learning how to play the Ukelele. It is sort of like a small guitar but with only 4 strings, instead of 6.
Meetings are structured for the 1st half with sing alongs lead by Ralph Shaw, Vancouver's King of the Ukelele. You can find more information on the Vanukes: Vancouver Ukelele Circle Website (<--- click link) or read about the activities from Ralph's blog (<-- click link).
About half way through we stop for a beverage break and the second half of the meeting is "open Mike" . Anyone is welcome to put on their performance and if it is your first time then the rule is you will receive a "standing Ovation". Ralph is well known throughout the world for his unusual style. He enters competitions and gives workshops all over the country. Here is a sample
I give moral support and sing along to the music using their official songbook. I must say that there are many talented people here and makes me wonder if I have the ability to learn how to play an instrument, or just continue to sing along with my wonderful voice. I love music from the 40's, 50's and early 60's, anything with a melody and words that make sense.
Here is another magnificent performance from last Tuesday which mates a cello with a ukelele to the words of "Here comes the rain again" (Eurythmics). I wonder if you will recognize it
Last week I was also invited to a Jam Session. It was a sort of drop in affair never knowing who would turn up. I was in the middle of the action with my new toy. I purchased a professional PCM recorder, Olympus LS-10 capable of recording better than CD quality music. I now had a chance to do over an hour of recording and produced my first music CD. Nothing special, just some music of the 60's with guitar, drums and castonets from artists who just like to play music.
Did I mention that I love music ? I hope you liked those performances because I thought they were great.