Tag Archives: abbey road

Unorthodox Grocery Shopping And Abbey Road

My husband Dave crossing Abbey Road

I read that they’ve just repainted the iconic Abbey Road crossing in London.  Apparently, it’s often hard for city workers to have a chance to do that uninterrupted during regular work hours because the pedestrian crosswalk made famous on the cover of the Beatles album Abbey Road is usually crowded with tourists. Not anymore. The self-isolation of Londoners ordered by the British prime minister and the dearth of tourists in the city these days made it easy for workers to repaint the lines. 

We went grocery shopping for the first time since our isolation ended.  We arrived at 7:00 in the morning when most grocery stores are open exclusively for seniors.  A young man at the front door invited us to use the hand sanitizer dispenser while he disinfected the handlebar of a cart for us. Folks in the store gave one another a wide berth.  We lined up for the cash register on big X’s marked on the floor that kept us the proper distance apart. The clerk was behind plexiglass.  I also went into a drug store where I had a similar experience, except here between serving each customer the cashier wiped down the counter and the credit card machine with copious amounts of disinfectant and she was wearing a mask and gloves. 

I did some coloring. Lisa, a talented colleague of mine at the Winnipeg Art Gallery is creating freehand drawings of classic pieces from the Winnipeg Art Gallery collection and posting them on the gallery website.  Since the gallery is closed and you can’t visit in person, you are invited to print up one of Lisa’s drawings and experience the paintings vicariously by coloring them.

The Farmer’s Daughter by Prudence Heward. I took the photo during the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Art in Bloom event which accounts for the blossoms and branches on the left-hand side. 

I colored Lisa’s version of this work called The Farmer’s Daughter by Quebec artist Prudence Heward. Prudence was a contemporary of Canada’s famous Group of Seven and like Emily Carr was one of only a comparatively few women who tried to make a name for themselves in the male-dominated Canadian art world at the turn of the century. 

Dave with his brother Paul on the golf course. He still reminds his brother periodically about how he made him miss the moonwalk. 

We had a long Face Time session with our son and his family in Saskatoon. We told our grandsons stories again. Dave told them a story about how he missed watching Neal Armstrong walk on the moon on TV because he heard a loud crash outside just as Armstrong was about to take his first lunar step. Dave ran out the door to see what had happened. His older brother Paul who was driving their family car had been hit by an oncoming vehicle as he turned onto their farmyard.  Paul was fine although the car wasn’t.  But in the ensuing drama, Dave missed watching the moonwalk. 

My grade two class at Sir John Franklin School. I am standing in the back row on the far left right next to our principal. My teacher was Miss Ushay.

I told my grandsons some stories about my grade two year at Sir John Franklin School in Winnipeg. How I was late for my first day of classes because I was chased by a big dog on my way to school, how I cried when I got 7+7 wrong on a math test, and how one day when I came home from lunch a car had driven right into the living room of our neighbor’s house. 

Our grandson told us he is going to be continuing his violin lessons virtually with his teacher starting this week since it looks like the music studio where he normally goes for lessons will have to remain closed for several months yet. 

In the last couple of days, I have been watching the Netflix series Unorthodox about a young woman who breaks away from her conservative Hasidic religious community in New York to find a different life for herself.  Unorthodox brought to mind a book I read called Breaking Free by Rachel Jeffs which is her memoir about escaping her life in a Fundamentalist Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints sect. Unorthodox also reminded me of the book Women Talking by Miriam Toews which tells the story of a group of Mennonite women in Bolivia who are trying to decide whether they should leave their very religiously conservative colony.  We think we are living with restrictions on our freedoms right now but many women have experienced restrictions far more troubling and challenging imposed by their religious communities. 

Other posts………….

More Visible But Not Equal

Attending A School Named For an Explorer

Almost Too Troubling to Read

Portraits in Plasticene


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Crossing Abbey Road

On CBC  this week radio personality Michael Enright pulled recordings out of the station’s archive to let us in on how the Canadian media had covered The Beatles first visit to Canada fifty years ago. It reminded me of the Beatles’ pilgrimage we made on our trip to London. Here’s what I wrote about it at the time.

We took a Magical Mystery Tour when we visited London. When we were planning our holiday in the British capital my husband Dave said his top priority was to tour some of the city sites related to The Beatles. Dave is the owner of all the albums the group has produced and can sing on demand almost any song John, Ringo, Paul and George every recorded.

Shortly after we arrived in London he found a brochure advertising a walking tour which would take visitors to many locations important to the careers of the Fab Four.      

Dave with our guide Richard

  At ten o’clock one morning we met our guide Richard and about two dozen other Beatles aficionados just outside the studio where the first Beatles’ movie Yellow Submarine was made. Richard had written a book about the Beatles and had a binder of photos he had taken of the famous quartet. He was a veritable walking encyclopedia of Beatles trivia. He told us Yellow Submarine is one of Queen Elizabeth’s favorite films.

Dave at the gate outside the MPL Music Company building

The second stop on our tour was the music company MPL which was founded by Paul McCartney in 1971. The M stands for his last name and the P and L for his first name and that of his late wife Linda. The music company is wildly successful. It owns the rights to hundreds of popular songs as well as the scores to musicals like Annie and Grease. Much to Paul McCartney’s chagrin, however, the rights to all the songs he wrote with John Lennon were purchased by the infamous Michael Jackson.

 Next Richard led us to a Gentleman’s Washroom sign marking the location of a public toilet. Apparently, in 1966 John Lennon made a guest appearance on a British television program. In one scene John was filmed going into that particular washroom. It was on this television show John wore his signature granny glasses for the first time. Those glasses started a fashion craze which lasted for years. Richard also told us some enterprising person kept the roll of toilet paper John Lennon used in the Gentleman’s Washroom that day. It recently went on sale on E- Bay for thousands of pounds.

Our tour continued with stops at the Apple Production Studios where the group gave their final concert on the rooftop in 1969. We saw the London Library. Here original scores of many of the Beatles songs are on display.

The Palladium Theatre London

We stopped outside the Palladium Theatre where the Beatles gave their first concert and Trident Studios where Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds was filmed. Our guide Richard put to rest the rumor that the song’s title stands for the drug LSD. Apparently, the real story is that John Lennon’s son Julian came home from kindergarten one day and showed his dad an imaginative drawing he had created and colored. When his Dad asked him what he called his picture he said, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” so John wrote a song about it.

The Abbey Road Recording Studio

The highlight of the tour was our visit to the Abbey Road studio where perhaps the most well known Beatles album Abbey Road was recorded. The front cover of that album shows the four singers walking across the street at a pedestrian crosswalk. The intersection is actually quite busy with traffic but I waited patiently with the camera to get a picture of Dave crossing the street barefoot at the exact spot where the Beatles had their picture taken for the Abbey Road Album cover. Later we stopped to buy Beatles T-shirts for our sons who grew up listening to Beatles music with their Dad and had no choice but to become Beatles fans as well.

My husband Dave crossing Abbey Road 2005

Our Magical Mystery Tour was over.

Other posts about music of the 60’s……

They’d Never Heard of Woodstock

Walking Into A Bob Marley Tourist Trap

Lesson From Leonard Cohen

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