Dunrovin Farm, North Hatley, Quebec

September 7, 2015 on 7:08 pm by Michael Grey | In News, Photographs, Stories | No Comments

This past Saturday I found my way back to the homeland, Quebec’s Eastern Townships, for a flying visit: there and back the same day. By far the shortest visit I’ve made to this place, about 750 kilometres from where I live today. Fleeting? Yes. But sweetly memorable. The occasion, sadly, was a funeral. Though the service, on this day in the small 19th century country church, was for a man who lived a good long life, a life lived well and one with a legacy of seriously fine people – and a lot of stories. Stories galore. Gordon Stuart was a big man who lived large. And so this day, marked a fine send-off and a quiet celebration marking goodness and a good life. Surely this is at the core of why we have funerals.
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Jane Campbell: An Early Look at a Tune [Drum Score]

July 20, 2015 on 8:21 pm by Michael Grey | In Music, Photographs, Pipe Bands, Stories | Comments Off on Jane Campbell: An Early Look at a Tune [Drum Score]

You may know I’ve been working a little these days to help make the January 30, 2016, “Live in Ireland 87” concert happen. In doing that I’ve found myself going through my (many) boxes of scores, letters and other assorted ephemera. I can say with hand on heart that, over the years, I really have saved a lot of paper.
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Piping Today Magazine – Grey’s Notes: “Piping: No Excuses”

March 17, 2015 on 3:36 pm by Michael Grey | In From Piping Today Mag, Pipe Bands, Solo Piping, Stories, Tips, Whinges | Comments Off on Piping Today Magazine – Grey’s Notes: “Piping: No Excuses”

My Dad always said that life moves forward at a pace in tandem with a person’s age. So when you’re 10, life seems to move along at a grindingly slow 10mph. At 10 a kid feels like it’ll take forever for summer holidays to come and even longer for the next happy birthday. By age 20, a healthy savings account is a nice idea for dull, boring people; but for most there’s nothing but countless, unplanned days of never-ending fun. Your forties come along and it’s all, whoa, something’s happening here: life is moving way past school zone speed. Bill made it to an Autobahn-friendly 86mph before he pulled over and stopped in the parking lot of the inevitable. And this is all to say, the obvious, you’ll know that’s my specialty; and that is, a person’s age goes a long way to inform how life is lived and, in turn, how life is understood.
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Cowal Games 1929

March 15, 2015 on 7:07 pm by Michael Grey | In Photographs, Pipe Bands, Solo Piping, Stories, Tips, Video | Comments Off on Cowal Games 1929

Say what you like, but I’ve always liked Cowal Games. Of those I recall, my memories are nothing but the happiest – or – at least – really good. OK. Not always, “really good”, but memorable. Yes. Memorable. Well, mostly memorable, but usually fun. Cowal, as much, if not more, than other contests, has given me some stuff to remember. I’ve socked it all away and stand today with a good few stories to regale the unsuspecting at the drop of a hat. Cowal Games: you rock.
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The Worlds: Fish Suppers all ‘Round!

March 8, 2015 on 6:20 pm by Michael Grey | In News, Pipe Bands, Stories | 2 Comments

Here’s a curiosity: a long-ago-redeemed copy of a cheque. Usually such a thing isn’t much interest except maybe for keen auditors (redundant, I know; of course, all auditors are keen), but this image is one for the few pipe band historians around: this is a copy of the cheque that paid out first prize to the 78th Fraser Highlanders at the World Pipe Band Championships in 1987.
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Glasgow 1901

February 26, 2015 on 8:43 pm by Michael Grey | In Photographs, Stories, Video | 2 Comments

A sort of random posting here: a really interesting video clip filmed in April of 1901 of Jamaica Street, Glasgow. An old street name, even for Glasgow, the thoroughfare, or, at least, the street named Jamaica, opened in the late 18th century and was apparently named for the then raging rum and sugar trade.
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“Mike Grey, the doctor will see you now”

February 16, 2015 on 8:20 pm by Michael Grey | In News, Photographs, Stories | Comments Off on “Mike Grey, the doctor will see you now”

I’ve had the same family doctor for as long as I can remember. I don’t see him enough, which, in a way, I guess, is a good thing. But, up until fairly recently, when I did land in his waiting room, I’d almost always cause him – or his receptionist – consternation, if not a laugh.
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Battle of the Birds

January 12, 2015 on 6:45 pm by Michael Grey | In Humour, Photographs, Random Thoughts, Stories | Comments Off on Battle of the Birds

The desperate battle of the birds. And, no, not a rare Friday night girl-fight, and no talk of the pibroch generally known by that name; a few words this moment on fighting flying feathered creatures.
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HBD Hector MacDonald

December 1, 2014 on 4:46 pm by Michael Grey | In Photographs, Stories | Comments Off on HBD Hector MacDonald

A photograph today: In honour of Hector MacDonald and his milestone birthday this week. And with it a nice bit of video here showing a little of Constable MacDonald’s other non-piping talents.
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Three Deep Breaths (A Kiwi Tip)

November 20, 2014 on 9:21 pm by Michael Grey | In News, Stories, Tips | Comments Off on Three Deep Breaths (A Kiwi Tip)

A piece of advice I remember time and again is that which came to me through the thoughtfulness of the great New Zealand piper, Gold Medallist, John Hanning. Early in my career, while I was recitalling through the north and south islands of NZ, he passed along his recipe for performance steadiness; that is, his final personal prep for ensuring he didn’t unduly contribute to the filling up of the laundry basket.
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