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Friday, January 4, 2013


from Stuart McLean's 
The Vinyl Cafe' Notebooks
I like winter, so I am always excited to see it come. I like to ski and to skate, and on a good night, I even like to shovel snow. There is a lot to enjoy in winter - fires and hot chocolate to name a few others - but ever winter, by this time, no matter how happy i was at the beginning, I begin to wonder if maybe the fires and the hot chocolate are the best part of it, if the best part of being cold is getting warm.  

There have been Marches in my life when I have wondered if I am solar-powered. By the  beginning of every March, I always feel like I need more sun than I have been getting.  And although I enjoy winter, I would be lying if  I didn't tell you there have been Februarys when I have wondered if I wouldn't have been happier as a bear, so I could hibernate. Now there's a bit of genetic modification that someone should take a close look at. Do we really need to clone sheep?

If a geneticist truly wanted to make a contribution, she should take a look at hibernation.  I you were watching late-night television, and someone come on and offered a hibernating gene for three easy payments of - well, I am betting she could just about name her price - I for one would be reaching for my cheque-book.  Imagine a day in November, when it has been raining since dawn. It is now four-thirty in the afternoon, and getting dark, and you are standing in the kitchen looking at a wet dog, when someone comes on the television and says, Would you like to go to bed for three months? I'm reaching for my pyjamas, calling the kids into the bedroom and telling them this: i am going to slow my heart down to about a beat a minute, and there is nothing in the world you are going to be able to do to stir me. I am not going to wake up until April, and when I do, I am going to be cranky, and hungry, so you better be careful.  

I don't care what the kids do.  The kids can stay up if they want.  That's what they always want to do anyway.  They can do science experiments on me as far as I care. They can stick my hand in a bucket of warm water to see what happens; makes no matter, I am just going to keep on snoring.  

How much would I pay for that gene?  I don't know, but I know I'd be buying.  

I think my plan would be to get up just in time for the playoffs, which is pretty much how it works anyway.  


susan said...

Cold, wet and dark have never been among my favorite experiences of life but since I already sleep for one third of it anyway, the idea of sleeping another full quarter means I'd miss what fun there is to be had. Do you think it would be possible to ask your geneticist to allow us to need less sleep in the brighter months? The only other answer I see is moving to the Maldives where winter never comes.

clairesgarden said...

Maldives please!! getting lighter at nights here now, just in time to stave off the worst of the winter blues.

gfid said...

Susan &Claire - I'm w u. I'll take the tropics over hibernation any day.... And i'm a tad bit afraid of what sort of science experiments my kids would use me for.

Lindsay Byrnes said...

Hi Granny Fiddler

I read your previous
post and concur with what Susan said.

Looking forward to the seasonal changes is to stay in tune with nature – the nature of the music is different don’t you think?

Do you like listening or playing different modes or melodies in winter?

I think our body clock responds in sync with the changing seasonal weather which in turn influences our minds to put a spring in our step or a more somber tone to our thinking.

Crocodiles have been known to quickly evolve in what have become very arid areas - (previously wet with water always present )- to only need 3 weeks in the water as dry creeks spasmodically fill for shorter and shorter durations.

To cope they developed the ability to slow down their breathing to such an extent they can hibernate in dry caves for up to 49 weeks a year and survive !!

I think they will be around a lot longer than the human species unless we lift our game within the next few centuries.

Best wishes

gfid said...

Lindsay - brilliant! i hadn't thought about music being seasonal... but i'm sure you're right. this is somewhat influenced by what's on demand - for example, i start reviewing Christmas music on the harp in the fall in prep for Christmas season gigs, and spring and summer gigs seem to demand more Celtic fiddle.... but aside from that, i tend to get more introspective as the cold weather settles in, and i'm more housebound, so the music i play for pleasure then tends to be a bit melancholy and 'serious'. one of the targets for 2013 is to spend more time on music, & get to know the music software i have - do some arrangements and backup tracks.