To say the last couple of months have been full on is something of an understatement.
It started with our trip to Canada and Alaska which is now already starting to feel like a distant memory. Mrs Darce and I, together with eight other friends, took in Calgary-Banff-Jasper by road, boarded the Rocky Mountaineer to Vancouver, spent a few days in Victoria, then cruised into Alaska, and finished off in Vancouver. Fantastic scenery, bears, whales, glaciers, and almost uninterrupted sunshine – we were so lucky with that. “Just wow” was an often used expression. A trip of a lifetime... but maybe we will do New Zealand next!
I returned to an intense three weeks at work as a new computer system was implemented. A lost weekend, and plenty of late evenings. Still snagging now.
During the new system shenanigans I managed to get way with Mrs Darce for a day as we celebrated our 30th(!) wedding anniversary. Then, last weekend, we drove our daughter and a car full of her belongings over to Germany.
Stop the world! I want to blog!
While we were in Vancouver I managed to slip away for an hour or two and dip into a couple of record shops – I was lucky that they happened to be only 10 minutes walk from our hotel. Vinyl and Beat Street are both on West Hastings. Vinyl was, frankly, overwhelming. Crammed with record bins crammed with records and seemingly every available floor space also covered in more stacks of records. Much of it was actually filed by genre – and micro genre – but in the end I still didn't really know where to start. It needed more time than I had so I decided to withdraw gracefully. A block up was Beat Street which had a good selection. It was there I found an album in the right condition and price I had been on the look out for a while – Phyllis Hyman's debut album from 1977. I have waxed lyrical about Phyllis before, and have been a fan for many years. I had overlooked her debut album until recently though. It has plenty of strong tracks, One Thing On My Mind is the one that initially drew my attention though, it was written and originally performed by Evie Sands. I featured Evie's version here some time ago... just a minute, when was that? Exactly one year ago to the day! Spooky!
Phyllis' life story is a sad one, she was diagnosed bi-polar, and ultimately took her own life in 1995.
She was a beautiful woman blessed with an equally beautiful voice, in fact I'm sure she would have matured into a superb jazz singer. But you could hear her pain, there was a deep melancholy in her voice I think, and I am often moved to tears when I listen to her. (Looking into her eyes there is a sadness there too isn't there?)