It’s a full day off for UHTC; well, it is for those of us who aren’t taking a peek into the Mile One Centre to gander at the layout for tomorrow’s show. It’s Friday; laundry day, and with the help of the hotel concierge I found Mighty Whites laundromat on Duckworth street. Between cycles I grabbed some tea and a bagel, and read; on the way back to the hotel it began to snow some fluffy wetness and I arrived in my room slightly damp, with spotty vision due to foggy glasses. Soon after, I heard from my uncle Tim, who has a place here. With him was his wife (my aunt Sherril) and my mum. We all met up and went for a drive, visiting Signal Hill where Marconi first transmitted wireless Morse code across the Atlantic. From there we drove around a bit and enjoyed some fantastic views of Middle Cove, and Quidi Vidi Lake where they hold the Royal St. John’s Regatta. When not driving over hills where beautiful houses stand alone, we found little nests of homes on stilts in the water, attached to near-sheer faces of rock.
I would have taken some more pictures today, but some dirt has found its way between the lenses of my camera. D’oh!
Tim tells me of some local quirks and traditions; everyone knows Newfoundlanders enjoy some Irish heritage, but the Scottish have their place here too. With such a mix, the divisions we still see in Northern Ireland today were imported into Newfoundland way back when. In Newfoundland there were Catholic schools and Protestant schools, and I spoke with Tim’s friends Helen and Dave, who shared some of their family histories which were steeped in mutual mistrust between religious communities.
Apparently George Street is the place to be if you want drinks and music. Dave plays in a band and we saw them perform in a pub whose name I can’t recall, on George Street. Over a few beers I watched young people dance to traditional tunes, something I found enjoyable. From my experiences in Northern Ireland, we young ‘uns would cringe at much of traditional music and do all we could to shun it. But Friday night on George Street is a completely different affair. University students dance whole heartedly, in Irish-inspired steps and turns to music we as teens tried to forget.
The short of it is, I had a really great time and would love to come back for a holiday with Elaine and the kids. With all the fun, I barely had time to make notes; it is with fear of falling behind that I hastily compose a rather curt entry, so I beg the reader to accept this short draft as a day’s fun in Newfoundland.