Thursday, May 9, 2013

On The Bonnie Shores of False Creek

On my return from the Olympic Village I could heard the sounds of a bagpipe and was curious to find their source. 

The shores around False Creek had once supported a rich diversity of sea life, with shellfish and crustaceans in abundance. The rich ecosystem of the estuary attracted resident and migratory birds. In the restoration of the shoreline, small islands were created to once more attract the birds.  

In the process, it had also attracted a bird of another colour; a practising bagpiper. As the sounds grew louder I could see him walking back and forth.  He had arrived on the island by bicycle, which was parked near by. I had been expecting to find a tall Scotsman, instead I met a medium-sized Frenchman originally from Brittany. I soon discovered that that bagpipes feature prominently in the music festivals in Brittany and Normandy. They were introduced in the area in the late nineteenth century and have remained popular.
The retired school teacher from Kits is a solo piper who practices his passion whenever and whenever he feels like it. That is what retirement is truly about. I was delighted with the tune he played for me and even more delighted that he wore the right colour socks to match the Lupins in my picture.

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