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We had a lovely day at our Friend Pam in Lower Montague at St-Andrew’s point. Will made a beautiful Lobster Quiche, he used a pound of lobster, my God it was so good and so rich, we drank champagne and for dessert he made a Summer Pudding of fresh berries, it was so light and refreshing topped off with freshly made whipped cream and more champagne.

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Before the meal I made an appetizer of cucumber, large shrimp, cherry tomatoes and Bocconcini in fine herbs with a nice bottle of Pink Champagne. The weather was overcast but her house is on the water looking out unto the Strait and the Panmure Island.

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It was a quiet day today all around, a bit unusual for Canada Day, no festivities and no fireworks because of the pandemic. Friday the Bridge re-opens for the first time in 3 months and people living in the Maritimes can travel only in the Maritimes without self-isolating. However today a bit of a stain on this good news,  it was reported that a passenger coming from Toronto on a flight to Halifax is suspected of having Covid 19. It still has to be confirmed. but if it is true, this may mean that Nova Scotia will be excluded from our Maritime bubble and have to go back into lockdown. No playing around with this matter.

There are also reports that the border with the USA could remain closed for a further year to all but essential travellers. The news from our southern neighbour is disastrous and very difficult to understand.

Today I thought of Hector Berlioz, Les nuits d’été and the first song Villanelle and I wanted a singer who had perfect French diction, so I chose Régine Crespin, (1927-2007) who had a major international career. Les nuits d’été (Summer Nights), is a song cycle by the French composer Hector Berlioz. It is a setting of six poems by Théophile Gauthier. The cycle, completed in 1841, was originally for soloist and piano accompaniment. The cycle was neglected for many years, but during the 20th century it became, and has remained, one of the composer’s most popular works. The full orchestral version is more frequently performed in concert. The cycle was complete in its original version for voice Mezzo-Soprano or Tenor in 1841.

Words are by Théophile Gauthier, Villanelle

Quand viendra la saison nouvelle,
Quand auront disparu les froids,
Tous les deux nous irons, ma belle,
Pour cueillir le muguet aux bois.
Sous nos pieds égrenant les perles,
Que l’on voit au matin trembler,
Nous irons écouter les merles siffler.

Le printemps est venu, ma belle,
C’est le mois des amants béni;
Et l’oiseau, satinant son aile,
Dit des vers au rebord du nid.
Oh! viens donc, sur ce banc de mousse
Pour parler de nos beaux amours,
Et dis-moi de ta voix si douce:
“Toujours!”

Loin, bien loin, égarant nos courses,
Faisant fuir le lapin caché,
Et le daim au miroir des sources
Admirant son grand bois penché,
Puis chez nous, tout heureux, tout aises,
En panier enlaçant nos doigts,
Revenons, rapportant des fraises
Des bois.