The Australian Ladies

February 17, 2014 on 7:40 pm by Michael Grey | In Delightful Data of the Day, Photographs, Pipe Bands, Stories | Comments Off

Here’s a neat old picture: a postcard from 1926. Here we have “The Australian Ladies”. The inspiration for William Fergusson’s great pipe tune.
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If a Car Stalls in the Forest …

December 29, 2013 on 7:35 pm by Michael Grey | In Photographs, Random Thoughts | Comments Off

I took this odd photo this past week. I was a little startled [a word easier to write than say; does anyone say "startled" anymore?] to stumble on this while trudging in the woods not far from where I live.
Continue reading If a Car Stalls in the Forest ……

John Wilson (Edinburgh/Toronto)

November 6, 2013 on 9:45 pm by Michael Grey | In News, Photographs, Solo Piping, Stories | Comments Off

A glance at the “this day in history” section of pipes|drums just now reminded me that John Wilson (Edinburgh/Toronto) died on this day in 1979. He was a great hero of mine. Confident, bold, full of epic stories and opinionated in the extreme (oh, and a superb piper, even in the last years of his life). John Wilson both fascinated and intimidated me. Before I attended private lessons at his Willowdale (Toronto) home I’d be in his small classes at Moss Park Armouries (downtown Toronto), in the 48th Highlanders band room; we’d almost always travel home together riding street car and subway – John Wilson never owned a car. I loved his sureness. I loved his stories.
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Bagpipes in a Canoe: Aspiration Number 27 … Check

September 29, 2013 on 6:30 pm by Michael Grey | In News, Photographs, Pipe Bands, Solo Piping, Stories, Tips | 2 Comments

Back in January I wrote about Sir George Simpson, the Dingwall-born Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company. As part of his 18th century trading adventures in the Canadian wilderness he’d travel with an entourage of honking big canoes and always – apparently – with a piper. Sir George’s piper always played in the big canoe – white water rapids notwithstanding - and for years, knowing this small fact, the piping-in-a-canoe thing has intrigued me.
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Smile!

May 26, 2013 on 4:47 pm by Michael Grey | In Photographs, Random Thoughts | Comments Off

I just caught wind of news that there’s been a discovery in a barn in Lewis, Scotland of a trove of World War I vintage photography – glass negatives to be precise.
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A Merry (Plaid) Christmas to All

December 24, 2012 on 1:23 pm by Michael Grey | In Photographs, Random Thoughts | Comments Off

Here’s wishing you and yours the best of the season.
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The Artist’s Bagpipe

November 26, 2012 on 6:49 pm by Michael Grey | In Humour, Photographs, Random Thoughts, Stories | Comments Off

I don’t know if it’s due to its many appendages (all projecting from its grand inflated centre) or if it’s just plain unobservant carelessness but it seems to me the bagpipe in the context of art is much maligned.
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Alex MacMillan: It’s a Small World

January 10, 2012 on 10:29 pm by Michael Grey | In Music, Photographs, Solo Piping, Stories | Comments Off

“It’s a small world” must be one of the most often said bromides in the English language. But, surely for a reason: it is a small world. The top-of-the-small-world-pops in my family belongs to the story of my younger sister and her husband.

Here’s the scoop: After meeting and date number three or so they start talking a little about their families. He says to her something like, “my Mum’s family comes from a little place in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland: Benbecula”. “Yikes”, thinks my sister – or something like that. That’s where my father’s mother comes from!
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One Sunday Morning

December 2, 2011 on 8:18 pm by Michael Grey | In Photographs, Random Thoughts, Stories | 2 Comments

Here’s a photo from the archives; one of my favourites. I especially like the soft light in this pic. Here we see mid-August morning sun stream through the great stretch of high windows squintifying the weary, mostly hungover band of friends. [apologies to Sister Wendy: I may've ripped off her commentary/patter there].
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When in Rome …

August 21, 2011 on 5:01 pm by Michael Grey | In Humour, Photographs, Random Thoughts | 2 Comments

I’ve had to pretty much watch what I eat my whole life. Fries and gravy, pasta and anything and pints stick to me like chrome on a trailer hitch. Maybe you can relate. The buckles on a kilt, or your pants (trousers) don’t lie. It’s probably the way of things for most people, I suppose. Anyway, I generally, sort of, mostly, do my good-intentioned best to keep things right.
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