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Pat Dryburgh

My friend Carly Thomas’s latest—and in my opinion, best—album, Behind the Ficus is available now for purchase and streaming. I had the opportunity to perform guitar and backup vocals on her last EP, Explode, and believe the last 7 years have seen tremendous growth in maturity and confidence in Carly’s songwriting.

Due to personal circumstances over the last couple of years, I turned down a couple of offers from Carly to record a few tracks for this album. Listening now, I’m torn between regret and gratitude; regret for not getting to be part of what I see as Carly’s best work to date but grateful that now I can listen to and enjoy this wonderful work free from self-critique. The songs are so strong and so good and the performances so rich that it’s a pure joy to experience this beautiful creation from a dear friend that I can listen to on repeat for years to come.

Check out Behind the Ficus on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, or buy it now at BandCamp.

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Excited to attend this year’s Micro Camp, streaming live today at 1pm EDT. Register and join the stream to hear some lovely music created by the community before a 10-minute meditation led by David Johnson happening before the conference at 12:45pm EDT.

If you missed this year’s Micro Camp, you can still register to watch the recordings of the weekend’s sessions. Manton has said the videos will possibly end up at in the future.

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Got home late last night from visiting my friend Carly and her musical companions who were rehearsing for her album release party happening this Friday July 23 at London Brewing Co-operative.

I’m really excited to attend my first concert since lockdown began. The last public performance I attended was Kill Tony at the world famous Comedy Store in West Hollywood, California on Monday March 9, 2020. The virus was being discussed, but things didn’t lock down until a couple days after I got home. The idea that we wouldn’t be able to attend a live performance for more than a year was inconceivable at the time.

This has been a difficult time for everyone. While in no way do I expect things to ever return to “normal,” it’s nice that some things from The Days Before are starting to happen again.

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I’ve been meaning to write about the arrival of the 88 Keys of Light project to downtown London. I haven’t had a chance to go see my friend Edward’s amazing work in person, but now I’m really sad I didn’t. After spending 45 days delighting thousands of people on a street corner in Toronto, the piano was vandalized just days after moving to London. The keys were broken rendering the piano unplayable and the stool smashed, causing my friend to have to add plexiglass to prevent further damage.

Thankfully the buttons that trigger the preprogrammed song and light demonstrations still work and surveillance has been increased in the area where the piano is currently on display. If you are in the London area, check out 88 Keys of Light at Covent Garden Market Square at 130 King St.

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My younger brother, Rob, recently founded Team Hawk Canada with the aim to motivate, educate, and empower people through storytelling. His experience becoming a Master Parachute Rigger and a member of the Skyhawks military parachute demonstration team taught Rob important lessons about discipline and determination that have been an inspiration to me and many others.

After 508 jumps and suffering a career-ending injury, Rob medically released from the military and began the long, difficult process of rehabilitation. Recently, Rob was a guest on the Spill It! podcast to share his story.

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What happens when you blend together a piano, 5 acoustic guitars, 120m of wiring, a massive array of LEDs controlled by a computer, 6 buttons to trigger renditions of popular songs, and an Augmented Reality experience?

My friend Edward Platero and his partner in art (artner?), Kristyn Watterworth answered that extremely specific question with their wonderful 88 Keys of Light interactive art installation. The installation has been set up in Toronto for the last month or so, but will be heading to other cities over the summer months.

During a time of darkness, it’s nice to experience a bit of light.

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I grew up with dogs. Samantha, a beautiful and gentle sheep dog, was around when I was first born. When she passed, our family got Mandy, a bearded collie who sadly had to be re-homed because she was too rambunctious for my then-just-a-toddler sibling. When we were all a bit older we got Samantha II, another bearded collie we all loved until the day she passed of old age.

I always dreamed of having my own dog one day. I once made getting a dog a reward back when I was trying to lose weight. I reached the goal I had set, but never got the dog. My life was still heavily oriented around travel, a hectic work schedule, and a lack of desire to settle down.

This past autumn, I made the move from Vancouver and shortly after bought my first house, a bungalow with a fenced-in backyard in a neighbourhood by the Thames River and its beautiful trails.

Once I had unpacked my belongings and felt settled in, I began the search for my first puppy. My initial plan was to adopt, however there weren’t any available in London and very few within a reasonable distance who were either not my preferred breed or too high-needs for my level of experience.

I had decided I was willing to wait for the right dog to come up for adoption, however in early January I found an opportunity to purchase a puppy who otherwise would have ended up at the pound. After meeting with the owner and their 8 week old puppy and feeling its friendliness and energy, I knew I’d found my puppy.

On January 3, Billy Dryburgh came home. A Great Pyrenees mix, Billy is full of energy and lots of love to share with everyone he meets. He loves to chew, play fetch and tug-of-war, and cuddle. His favourite treats are dehydrated pig ears and large beef knuckles. His favourite toy is anything that makes noise.

Oh, and nap. Boy, does he love to nap.

Billy napping
Billy in the Snow
Billy napping again
Billy chewing a beef knuckle
Billy in the car
Billy on a walk

It’s been amazing to see him grow and learn over the last few months. Billy and I begin dog training on Monday and I can’t wait for all of the adventures we’ll have in the years to come.

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