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a day for red

Not my bum, I’m sorry to say. It’s been a long two days, and they’ve been full ones. But I have this much to say: I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a Canada Day more. And it’s not that we did anything so different—we spent the day in the city, in the crush of the crowd, not drunk and not wearing red. We weren’t at a cottage, we weren’t with dozens of family and friends, and we were conked out by midnight. But apparently this is how we like it.

 I’ve got a million bizillion pictures, but the one I’ve used here says it all for me, and what it says is My Ass Is Canadian, And It Rocks. And you don’t really want to see every little moment: the four young guys dressed up like superheroes busking near Sussex Drive, the kilts, the stilts, the bagpipes, Aunt Joan’s Baked Halibut in Port Union NFLD, the man wearing the most maple leaves at one time who isn’t a scarecrow, the biggest drums in Canada, the oceans of people on Rideau Street, the French-Canadian African drum corps. But I will tell you a few stories when they come to me, especially the two that go with the Elliott Brood performance. Someday soon.

It’s exhilarating for me to be in a crush of people, especially when they’re all having a good time. I miss that being out in the suburbs, where people are sparse except at the grocery store, and they’re often in foul moods and running late. On Canada Day, in the horde, you’d better not be planning to be anywhere anytime soon, because there are people on every side of you, and they’re in your way, and the best thing you can do is smile at them and accept a free hug and stop to listen to the teenage boys playing lousy guitar, because they’re trying. After dinner, we went for gelato and intended to walk up to Major’s Hill Park to watch the fireworks, but instead we parked ourselves in front of the Belle de Provence shop on George and looked straight up. Beside us, the cooks and busboys from The Grand stared at the skies along with us, and everyone around tried to get photos with their cell phones. We made it back to our hotel way earlier than we would have if we’d gone all the way to the park, and we didn’t have to fight for a spot, either. Lovely. By that point all the henna had crisped away from the mehndi design on my hand, and I’ve been staring at it since. 

We shopped today on Bank Street and made it home with our good moods intact. I tell you, you can’t ask for better than that, except that I found the website of the best band we heard yesterday, a trio of Australians on tour in Canada for more than two months. (How I wish I were going to be in Winnipeg to hear you all over again, Oka.) I have never seen music like this performed live before, and if I’d had more money on me yesterday I would have bought everything they could have sold me. This is the kind of stuff I could listen to all day, vibrant and alive and hypnotic. Neither Myron nor I could tear ourselves away from them while they played in the doorway of the Conference Centre. And I am so thrilled that their website has these lovely embeddable widgets for you. Choose “Kulcha” from the first widget—it’s a guaranteed earworm—and “Time Clock” from the second, ‘cause that’s my favorite of the songs I heard. Get up off your chair and play this to clean the kitchen counters if you have to, but get up off your chair. You need some of this.

<a href="http://okamusic.bandcamp.com/album/oka-love">Sunpad by OKA</a>                        <a href="http://okamusic.bandcamp.com/album/music-makes-me-happy">Oka Gets Ya High by OKA</a>