Day 63 – Jour de repos a Montreal

Day 63 – Jour de repos a Montreal This morning was one of those mornings of talking and sharing music that is such a welcome side of travel, and the internet too – I’m sure we’ve all done it, chatting about stuff in general, a song comes up, someone finds it on YouTube, and you’re off. The song I posted yesterday about Ste Catherine is an example, one I’ve known for years but didn’t realise it was from Montreal. In return I passed on Rufus Wainwright’s Hometown Waltz, a song about his bitterness towards this city:

…You may ask why I want to torch my hometown…

(He’s the son of Kate McGarigle and Loudon Wainwright, and removes any YouTube clips of his music assiduously, so no link for this one. Prince was the same.)

Phuong and Annie both like a Joan Baez song 500 Miles, but in different versions – Annie the original, Phuong the Justin Timberlake cover from the Cohen Bros movie “Inside Llewyn Davis” which I must admit is beautiful, not being a huge JT fan. The other JT, yes:

We went out for lunch, to a vrai Montreal poutine restaurant nearby, but on the way they showed me around the wonderful Marché Jean-Talon where everyone goes to buy the best fresh produce from all over Quebec:

We passed a guitarist performing an old song called “Le Gorille” by Georg Brassens (all this info from him and also Annie). He was quite a character and we chatted for a while about his favourite music, and why he hates all the jazz-club owners in Montreal. He was curious about my cycle-ride and when I told him it was for a charity he said “I play for charity too – The Wine Bottle Charity!” followed by a huge laugh before launching into his next number. I think he wasn’t really joking:

I looked up Brassens, and he looks like the busker!:

He said I should listen to a collaboration between a great Quebecois musician Jean Carignan and Yehudi Menuhin, so I dug up this on YouTube:

The poutine place was an old establishment that had fallen on hard times, then been bought and recently re-instated with a nice diner-style interior. We ate on the street, and I tried the “Galvaude” (a sort of pulled chicken, petit pois, fries with white cheese and poutine). Plus a local beer, of course:

Then back home for a rest before being treated to a Vietnamese feast in the garden with Phuong, Annie, Josyane and May-Lan, courtesy of Phuong who is an amazing cook though, like many great cooks I know, claims not to be. (Phuong taught me how to wrap a proper springroll with all the good things of the table. )

Then all that remained was to pack up ready for starting again in the morning. Too soon.

12 thoughts on “Day 63 – Jour de repos a Montreal

  1. You expand our horizons through the blog – had to look up poutine, looks filling….?? And a lot of gravy. But George Brassens and Gorillle rings a few bells, can’t listen to the YouTube clips because I’m still in bed with radio 3 chattering away in the background while D does morning tasks.
    Friends and relations all ask about your progress, and some are following the blog, eg Anna.Hi Anna if you’re reading this!xx


  2. Another thing I meant to say, your trip is so sociable, filled with so many and various characters, whereas I had imagined it was going to be hours of solitude. What did you imagine?


  3. Never realised you were such a John Terry fan…
    Really enjoyed that Timberlake cover, I’m not normally a fan either but that’s a lovely track.


  4. I liked your fancy French. Encore, si’il te plais. (Just got that past auto correction). Your various music clips are always great to watch and listen to. Menuhin with Jean Carignan was fun, though Menuhin was always a bit outshone in his eclectic appearances – Grapelli for instance. I wish I could send a clip of Menuhin trying to play Gary Karr’s double bass! And Carignan/Grapelli leads to Tim Kliphuis who we went to hear in Cambridge Saturday night. Great UTube clips. Is there any way I can send you the link – apart from email? “This Can’t be Love” is amazing and I rather think it was filmed at Iford, where we were enjoying Handel on Friday evening.

    Your list of acquaintances grows so fast, amazing people and, as I’ve said before, showing how friendly and sharing the Canadians are still. Big address book, long list of Christmas cards.

    You are an inspiration to us all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi dad – I tracked him down and posted a couoje of links last night. It transpires that he’s a friend and colleague of Mick Stirling at the Amsterdam Conservertoire. Small world. I’ll try and find the other track you mentioned, and ask Mick some more about him too. Bx


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