Musical Migrants: BBC Radio 4 show on moving for the music

There was a good series on Radio 4 last week called Musical Migrants. They were 30-minute programmes that charted the biographies of people who moved to another country because of music. I caught two shows and found both fascinating:

  • A Dutch woman named Stella Rodrigues gave up her plan to become a concert violinist when she heard the fiddle playing in Irish folk music, and ended up moving to the Emerald Isle. Her description of the ettiquette of live Irish folk playing is funny, as is her naturally blunt Dutch tendency to ignore some of those rules.
  • An American named Carl Linich heard Georgian folk music – mutli-parta capella male choirs – and fell for it so hard he moved to that nation when it was embroiled in civil war.

It’s great to hear stories about people who were so moved by music that they relocated from home, friends and family for it.

You can catch the last couple of shows on the iPlayer for another few days if you’re in the UK and you’re quick.


I’ve done it again. Having asked you to help me choose between several holiday destinations I ended up selecting one that wasn’t on the list. I’ll be spending the August bank holiday in sunny Barcelona!

Thanks anyway.

Bay of Fundy blog

My Joggins Fossil Cliffs post yesterday reminded me of a blog from back home that my brothers told me about: Bay of Fundy blog.

Blogger Terri McCulloch decided that the amazing area where she lives – and where I grew up – deserved a little more web attention. Her blog about it is really good, and is gaining a lot of attention and acclaim. In the last couple of months she’s covered diverse but unique regional topics: how to cook marsh greens, the Not Since Moses race across the ocean floor, garden tours in one of the first North American settlements by Europeans, whale watching and dead whale disposal, where to spend your Canada Day, a recipe for blueberry lavender scones, new restaurants, lighthouses, and suggested driving routes.

I think a blog like this has great potential as a regional-reader shared experience, and as a well-presented tourist guide. Anyone looking for a summer holiday in North America should give some serious thought to the maritime provinces of Canada, and anyone visiting the Maritimes should definitely use Terri’s blog to have some fun in the Bay of Funday area.

Check out the pictures of the Bay that people have put on Flickr.

Back to the Isle of Chilly

Arrived back in the UK this morning. It was a relaxing, sunny time in Florida.

The only thing I feel the need to expound on is the extreme shittiness of US Airways. This sad excuse for a carrier came last in (two) US consumer surveys last year, and I think it deserves that. Although they had a shiny new Airbus A330 for the London Heathrow-to-Philadelphia leg, for the Philly-Naples, Naples-Philly, and Philly-to-London Gatwick legs, the planes were old, dingy, and very cramped. The entertainment systems had glitches. You have to buy headsets to listen to the entertainment. The meals were crap (a sugary donut for breakfast?).

Florida observations

  • It’s hot and humid.
  • Although there are a lot of old people living here, there are a lot of tourists too, so it doesn’t feel as geriatric as I thought it might.
  • Naples has a nice beach.
  • Lots of turtles and birds.
  • I can still manage to go for a good run as long as I start early enough (i.e., before 8am).
  • People drive sloooooowly.

There are some other generic American observations that I’ve made before, too, like how cheap food and gas are, how large portions are, and how every other ad on TV is for some sort of pharmaceutical cure for erectile dysfunction or restless leg syndrome or whatever.