In and Out of April

Out on the town, snow, and a new Canadian…

Child Soldier event with Emmanuel Jal and Evelyn Amony (centre)

In April I had a nice mix of entertainment, going out more than usual. I’ve blogged before about events for the Child Soldier Initiative, a local charity promoting awareness of the use of child soldiers, and working to end it. What does this have to do with entertainment? Well, they had a fundraising evening featuring two former child soldiers who told their stories at a “rally style” event. One is now an inspirational music performer, and both have written books. Too many child soldier stories sound hopeless, so it was a relief to see two adults who got through it. I hope efforts continue so more kids get a happy ending to their stories.

On a completely unrelated note, Rom and I went to a concert film of Nick Cave, his latest one called A Distant Sky. I have an odd approach to Mr. Cave. I love watching him on film and reading about him, but I don’t otherwise listen to his music much: murder ballads and all that. Yet he is one of those singers and songwriters I love and respect despite their voices, like Lou Reed and Leonard Cohen! We loved the filmed concert. We won’t be travelling to see one of his live shows this year, but it’s on my future list for sure. One of the things I liked most about the concert film was how all the men in the audience (in Copenhagen) were absolutely besotted with Mr. Cave. I mentioned it at work and the guys said they all want to be him.

Our favourite local record shop

April 21 was Record Store Day. I am vintage enough to have bought vinyl the first time around! But Rom has started collecting LPs again this past year. He says he’ll stop when he’s bought all the records from his current list; we’ll see about that! On Record Store Day, all the independent record shops sell special edition albums (and 7”s.) I only just stopped myself from buying a very cool Courtney Barnett picture disc. I did end up buying a record, to my own surprise – it was The White Stripes Complete John Peel Sessions. I have all their other albums on CD (I was a super-fan) and this is a set of 2001 recordings which were never released until 2016, and vinyl only. How could I resist, eh?

Protest the Hero

Finally, we went to a hardcore show on a weeknight, ack! It was Protest the Hero doing a 10th anniversary tour of their album Fortress (a tour I saw with Link). Fortunately, the show started early – not knowing that, we missed the first opener. Rom and I went out for a meal after work and then to the club. It was so hot in there I ended up stripping down to a tank top. Fun show and we were home by midnight, haha!

PK and her brother

All of that pales next to the really exciting thing that happened! This has all been brewing for many months. Regular readers may remember I am in touch with a blogger from Rwanda. PK’s brother has been in university in Halifax since September. We have met up a bunch of times. PK had thought about moving to Canada, and wasn’t sure, but she applied for and received a skilled worker visa, and she was in a position to emigrate right away! After thinking about where to start life over in Canada, she decided to try Halifax first. PK’s brother and I picked her up at the airport on April 16. I was ecstatic! PK is a marketing professional from a big city. I hope I can be of some help with practical things. But if not, I look forward to just hanging out. In the meanwhile, we had a lovely night out celebrating bro’s birthday, and I am waxing rhapsodic over the Rwandan coffee I was gifted with! Here’s to the start of a friendship. (I will note that PK and her brother are originally from Uganda).

I foolishly told PK it would be early Spring and warming up to 10C; this did not happen for another two weeks, and in the meanwhile, snow was seen! To top it off, we’ve had days of torrential rain – it always rains a lot in April and May, but I swear, not like this! I actually saw a tulip today, so things may be looking up.

I have read 4 more reader-recommended books, so I will review them soon. Only 3 more to go!

How was your April?


  1. PK

    Thank you so much Dar, finally meeting you made me feel right at home in Halifax. It really is as you described (apart from the weather 😏) and I’m loving it.

  2. I love Nick Cave. I first saw and heard him in Wender’s “Wings of Desire,” one of my favorite movies. Sometimes when I need to calm down enough to fall asleep I listen to “Into My Arms” as a lullaby.

    I have tears in my eyes as I read about your friend emigrating to Canada. My father’s and mother’s generation were displaced after WWll. Broadcast far afield.

    • I can’t imagine leaving my extended family to live in another country. Even moving from Nova Scotia to Saskatchewan within Canada was such a big deal for me! If Rom had not been willing to move to Canada, I would not have moved to the UK to be with him (due to my family situation at the time, and economic prospects) and he knows that. Nick Cave’s fairly recent Push the Sky Away album is the only one of his I have listened to on repeat.

  3. Margie in Toronto

    April was a busy month – saw “Come from Away” for the second time – still wonderful! Then the following week I saw “An American in Paris” – friends and I get yearly subscriptions to the Mirvish Theatre productions – we sit in “the gods” but the theatres are great and you can see and hear everything just fine – 7 shows for $200 = probably one of the best deals in Toronto!
    Went to Kingston to visit a good friend and my youngest brother & SIL – they had both moved into new homes in the past few months and I hadn’t seen either as yet so it was time for a visit. I take the train (love it) and it was a lovely few days. My friend and I saw a lovely little British film that has just come out called “Finding Your Feet” – along the lines of “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and with some familiar faces.
    I act as an English language facilitator on Tuesday night at my church and we welcome both ESL students and new immigrants. Some of the things that the immigrants (some of whom came as refugees) tell you makes you very, very grateful to live in Canada. There is one young man who comes to class and he is from Turkey – he has a maple leaf tattooed on his arm and he says he is never leaving Canada for any reason!

    • I still hope to see Come From Away now that it’s extended to January! Your subscription rate is amazing. It’s so great you are doing English language volunteering! I hope I can do that someday when my schedule permits. I love spending time with PK and her brother but no help needed because their English is impeccable. I sincerely hope Canada will remain worthy of the Turkish immigrant’s hope and trust!

  4. Fiona

    PK – thrilled for you that you have managed to emigrate to such a wonderful country as Canada! I hope the settling in goes well and wish you every best wish. I know it must be incredibly hard, but I am jealous that you’ve met Dar and get to hang out with her!

    I feel duty-bound to like Nick Cave since he grew up in a country town outside Melbourne and was then sent to boarding school as a recalcitrant teen at a school in the same system/style as mine here in Melbourne. He’s basically ‘one of ours’ so it makes me happy to hear you mention him (and Courtney Barnett – though I didn’t know who she was until you told me a few years ago!) I do actually love a lot of Nick Cave – but admittedly, it’s quite dark and intense and brooding.

    The Child Soldiers event sounds very interesting. If you have time to check out “Deng Thiak Adut Unlimited” on YouTube, there’s a video I used in my teaching last year ~ another amazing, positive story about a former child soldier.

  5. Sounds like a wonderful, eventful month, Dar. Always a pleasure to catch up on what you’ve been up to. 🙂

  6. You await the warmth as the cold descends here… Which means we now get tulips that last! Yep Tulips are a autumn/winter flower here.

    I went to a concert – The Script. I think it was this month. I’m sad to say that it wasn’t as good as last time – I think they have produced more content which I’ve not kept following as much and then didn’t enjoy the concert as much as when you know every song SO WELL! But an enjoyable night, and at our new convention centre was a treat.

    • I don’t know The Script even though I am up on most similar bands; not sure how I missed them! I often go see the same band 2 or 3 times on different tours and I probably shouldn’t; the first show is always the best!

  7. If you ever find yourself wandering through Portsmouth, NH (a quaint little seaport town if you haven’t been), I urge to to stop by Bull Moose and check out their stellar record collection. It’s our favorite music shop when we are in the area!

    Happy to see records making a comeback. Brings back what music is supposed to be about. Call me old-fashioned but digital music can’t hold a candle to what it feels like to hold a real record my hands. The kids today will never understand it. Of course now I’m dating myself. 😄

    • We look for record and comics stores when we travel! I like digital music for the convenience but I’m glad I had the experience growing up of listening to records and looking at the foldout sleeves and the lyric sheets – not the same online.

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