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Hiking and rocking it out near the farmette


It's a misty-moisty day in Grey County. Not too cold, but kind of like a Scottish summer day - hah! I've been on this 'get healthy' kick for a couple of months, and I've settled into a bit of an exercise routine. Because I'm not a join the gym type (many, many memberships have collected dust over the years), I'm going for the more solitary pursuits. Stuff that I actually enjoy doing, so I'll be more apt to do it. Yoga in the morning. Walking about three or four kilometres in the late afternoon after work. The walking part was a bit bumpy for a while. We don't have a 'pretty' neighbourhood - more like a cross between a country road and an industrial park. But I realized that the snowmobile trail about a half-kilometre east on Douglas Street would be a good option. So I try not to get hit on the sidewalk-less road for that stretch, then I'm transported into this sylvan setting, complete with wild bunnies romping all around. Kind of like Snow White in a track suit - extremely kind of.

Just enjoying the quiet was fun for a while, but I get bored really easily, so I hauled out the old iPod and ear buds and decided music might be a good companion as I haul my substantial butt along the route.

Being a bit on the long-toothy side, my taste may be dated, but it's what I like. Don't get me wrong - there are lots of great contemporary musicians I listen to - White Horse, Walk Off the Earth, even Adele, but there's a certain comfort in the oldies.

I tried shuffling songs, but our collection is so diverse, I'd be trucking along to Chrissie Hynde's Chain Gang and a Vivaldi concerto would come on. A bit too jarring. Soooo, I opted for full albums. A revelation, really. It's been a long time since I listened, really listened to a complete album all the way through. Of course I only chose the best of the lot, so here's a sampling:

Dire Straits is a band I just keep going back to over and over. Sultans of Swing is a classic with the pouty, rough voice of Mark Knopfler and the way he makes his guitar 'cry or sing'.

I remember the first time I heard this one - when I was in my early 20s, and an old boyfriend who was a bass player had it. It was amazing - having just come through the disco era - which I never really got into - it felt like real music was back. Yay.

I have to reach even further back for Supertramp's Breakfast in America. I had it on vinyl and was about 17. Getting ready for the high school dance with my friend Cindy. Way too much make up and high hair. Anyway, we learned every. single. lyric. to every. single. song. We could belt out The Logical Song while bouncing up and down AND trying to apply the mascara to the lashes rather than the entire eye area.

Around the same time, I was introduced to Peter Gabriel. Shock the Monkey was an AMAZING dance tune that I heard at one of the very rare house parties I went to growing up. It was the beginning of the alt-music age - arguably one of the best times if you are a music fan. Gabriel was ahead of his time using syncopated world music riffs. His soaring voice could cut through a cement wall. Listening to his greatest hits is like trotting the globe while ambling along rural Grey County.

Tom Petty. What can I say? A great loss when he died way to young a few weeks ago. How can you NOT like his easy-going rock-it-out style with the jangly guitars and the sultry vocals? Wildflowers is one of my favourites, because I fancy myself in the lyrics - 'you belong among the wildflowers, you belong somewhere you feel free.'

That's me. Right now. At the farmette. Doing what I always wanted to do. Until next week.


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