2014, what a year it’s been! We started off with a tour of shows (year 10!) in the southern U.S., travelling as usual through Montana, Idaho, Utah, and Nevada, before arriving in our first base of Mesa, Arizona, where we have many friends. The tour also took us to Apache Junction, Tucson, Yuma and El Centro before moving our base to Sky Valley, California for a month of touring the Palm Springs valley; also shows in Niland on the Salton Sea and Hemet, where we stayed for a week before heading to San Diego for the last few days.
Back home and Easter weekend at Muttart Conservatory and the Valley Zoo, followed by our subsequent 28 shows with Thomas the tank engine in early May in Calgary, (where we had a late blizzard! Good thing we knew not to de winterize the trailer in which we slept!) Various things in the summer; the opening of Fort Edmonton (which we did as a trio with our friend Irish Bob); the Ukrainian Village children`s days, our comedy Pub night show in the city of Red Deer and a few days for the Junior Forest Wardens national camp in Meadow Lake Saskatchewan, to name a few. This last we had a huge stretch by each doing a half day workshop, Mary on an introduction to ventriloquism and comedy and Peter with song writing, which culminated in participants being guided through writing a song about the camp – performed at a concert after we left, (we made them a backing track!)
Then came a high spot of the year. We celebrated 40 years together with ten days in Bermuda, that beautiful island where we have performed many times. We hadn`t been there for 15 years and it was like coming home, going around on scooters, snorkelling, beach time, sampling local delicacies, visiting special friends, and just relaxing in our perfect little cottage about six feet from the water`s edge.
Back home for a month and a half with various performances, including a daily involvement for a week with `Circus Spectacular`, the United Church children`s summer camp, where we taught a new song every morning culminating in a service the following Sunday.
Then off again, this time to join an old friend in his timeshare at Marbesa, near Marbella on the Cosa del Sol in Spain for 3 weeks of `r and r`. This has been `on the cards` for many years, but other commitments had made it impossible, so we planned over a year ahead and had a great time there, as well as visits to Gibraltar, Grenada and the Alhambra Palace, and Tangiers in Morocco. Then we continued to Rome, (because we were so close) and took an Insight tour of Italy – Rome, Assisi, Venice, (where our bedroom opened onto the canal) the beautiful island of Burano, Pisa, Florence, a Tuscan evening (private) at Machiavelli`s house, Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri and wonderful Positano on the Amalfi coast – a painting of which now graces the dining room wall. Because of flight delays it took us 34 hours to get to Spain and 24 coming back from Rome, plus our luggage had its own mini holiday somewhere en route to Spain, but an amazing time and we learned so much on the Italian tour, of which we were previously unaware, as well as seeing many of the world’s great masterpieces that are so different in real life from books, DVD’s, TV etc. Had some terrific folks on the tour, many of whom have been emailing each other ever since.
Back home for several Remembrance shows and the Remembrance Day holiday, where we take time to stop and think of those who lost lives, on all sides, in war. Peter found a letter from an uncle killed in WW1 and one commiserating about the loss of another during WW2, so both letters went up with poppies on them for a while as a reminder that, although we never met them, they were not forgotten.
Then into the Christmas season (starting on November 15th), we were honoured to be asked to close off the evening for the city of Edmonton ‘lights up’ hosted by our friends at the Downtown Business Association. A beautiful evening – up to zero, (minus 20 degrees C that morning), with 10,000 people in front of City Hall singing “We wish you a merry Christmas”. What an atmosphere to start a run of 20 varied Christmas performances, and an even bigger New Year’s Eve, leading into 2015! Hope your year was a good one too!
Now it’s the New Year and we’re busy planning events and trips up to the summer of 2016!