MOLASSES BREAD and TEA (excerpt)




Biographical Note  including excerpt from Molasses Bread & Tea

Newfoundland writer John Christopher, singer, songwriter, marine biologist sits down to 'Molasses Bread and Tea', his anecdotal account of growing up in St. John's, and experiences of life in NFLD outports in the 30's and 40's. The rugged beauty, hardships and war peril of this era are movingly conveyed. The author's travels then take us to the Canadian North and he details interesting encounters with beluga whales, seals and other wildlife, on the tundra, in the company of Inuit friends. He also documents a gruesome season spent on a seal hunt on board a Norwegian sealer when he's called upon to act as ship's doctor in addition to his observational and collecting work for the Canadian Fisheries Research Board. Some of his memories are evoked in a selection of photos and these, along with his own lyrics, honour the spirit of the time.


Mr. Christopher offers a textural account of life and work among the recently resettled Inuit people of Whale Cove, HudsonBay 1962, where he was studying beluga whale population dynamics. He also gives a carefully balanced tale of life aboarNorwegian/ Canadian seal hunter, the M.V. Theron, as it pursues its grim work among the ice floes off Labrador and Newfoundland.


                                                    
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BOOK
Molasses Bread & Tea written by John Christopher

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Book Excerpt
pages 39-42

So, in response to growing public criticism and the agitation of conservationists, and also as a result of several preliminary studies just completed by FRB, more comprehensive studies were now undertaken. In these, FRB scientists wanted to come up with statistical evidence that would show conclusively, one way or the other, whether seal hunting adversely affected Harp seal survival. I had completed a few courses in the basic medical sciences, while a student at Dalhousie University, in Halifax, and had in addition, worked for a while in that university's hospital pathology section. These experiences, taken along with the fact that I had also completed a St. John ambulance first aid course (which he had somehow discovered), made me the Captain's first choice to act as the ship's medical officer, the moment our first medical problem arose. The Theron had an excellent and fully equipped emergency medical and surgical section, as well as an impressively stocked pharmaceutical cabinet. Here, we had surgical texts, surgical instruments, first aid equipment, medical texts and instruments of all kinds. All this had been left over from the glory days of the Antarctic expedition most likely, and probably had never been used since. I hadn't been asked to look at anything more serious than a few 'bad' teeth during the first six weeks out. Then, suddenly out of the blue, a real medical emergency fell upon us, and one I would have to deal with, no matter how reluctantly I felt about it. At the time, we were again stuck in the ice, somewhere in the Strait of Belle Isle, and were unable do anything about it but drift helplessly along on the Labrador current, southward, through the straight. It was at this time, and while we found ourselves in this awkward predicament, that a young NFLD crewman came down with a badly inflamed and infected appendix. For assistance in dealing with this problem, I immediately called on the ship to shore radio, a medical doctor stationed at the cottage hospital on Fogo Island, Notre Dame Bay, NFLD. We were instructed to begin treatment, by administering large doses of the antibiotic Aureomycin, to fight the infection. This treatment was continued for about a week, but was unsuccessful in controlling the infection. It was apparent that the man's condition was deteriorating daily, accompanied as it was by more severe pain and higher temperatures. Our patient, a good-matured and stoical young fellow of maybe 20 or 22 years of age, had for some strange reason developed an unnatural confidence in my ability to cure him, which I found very touching, if inappropriate and misplaced. Although I was becoming more alarmed and anxious by the hour, he continued to remain in cheerful high spirits throughout the whole affair. At last, and when there was no other recourse left, we were told by the medical doctor at the cottage hospital, that we would have to perform an emergency appendectomy on the patient. Even more alarming, was the news that I would have to supervise it myself! Naturally, I was very reluctant to comply with this directive immediately. Indeed, I was not anxious to follow his instruction at all, if I could possibly avoid doing so. I expressed my concerns to Maru, but he supported the doctor in every respect and was adamant that I should follow the doctor's instructions.  
Book Excerpt Continued

So it happened that the Captain, the steward, and I, began to prepare ourselves and the patient, for what lay ahead. The steward, who up to then had attended to us in only an ordinary, if efficient way, began suddenly to transform himself into a saviour. As we were discussing the task that lay ahead, he revealed to us that he had been a medic in the Norwegian resistance during the second world war, and had all kinds of experience in dealing with medical emergencies and was very familiar with operating room procedures. Because he, therefore, showed not the least bit of anxiety about what lay ahead, his attitude quickly brought about a marked reduction in my own level of anxiety. Indeed, I now began to feel that the patient might even survive what we were about to do to him. Things got even better, as the steward continued to build up my confidence in his abilities, with more and more reassuring tales of his wartime successes in the operating theatre: he had dealt with bullet, bayonet and shrapnel wounds, and had afterwards sutured up incisions and/or the wound damage caused by these agents. The only thing I had to do was to make the incision, or if I preferred, to show him where to made the incision, and he would be happy to do it. So we settled on the latter arrangement, which suited me just fine.

From the surgical text-book available, I soon located the position on the lower abdomen called MacBimey's Point, where the incision was to be made in order to get at the appendix, which would lie immediately below, if everything was normal, anatomically, in our patient. So between the two of us, we decided that we could remove the appendix successfully. Meanwhile, Maru would stand by and oversee everything. Although Maru had seemed more than a little anxious and apprehensive about the outcome earlier on, by now, the steward's marvellous reports had relieved him of all doubts. However, it was entirely true, that we hadn't very much of a idea about what we were about to do, or how we would go about doing it. Maru suggested we all have a stiff drink or two at this stage, to celebrate our good luck in having the steward with us, and also, probably, to fortify ourselves a bit. We all thought this was a very good idea at any rate.

The galley table was selected to be the site of the operation, which soon brought the cook into the picture. He seemed to want to get involved in the action, but Maru blocked every move he made, to get himself included on to the operating room team. He would let him serve as an attendant in some way though, if he so desired. We now began to make our patient ready for the operation. He remained as good-natured and confident about the outcome as ever. This blind faith of his, increased our own self-confidence, which by now was already getting a little out of hand, due to the stiff drinks of Lamb's rum that Maru had poured out for us. And then it happened.


            


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Book Excerpt
pages 39-42

          

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.....thank you again for your wonderful presentation last week (Tues October 16, 2012 7:00-8:30pm) at the Nepean Centrepoint Library:: The NL GRAND BANKS COD FISHERY AND The Newfoundland- Portugal Connection ..........I enjoyed it immensely, and it certainly seemed as though the rest of the group did as well!

Thank you very much John!


Dorothy Jefferys
Coordinator,Lifelong Learning and Literacy
Ottawa Public Library



John Christopher reads and sings

John Christopher reads and sings (accompanied by ace NL fiddler/accordionist Greg T Brown) from his Arctic memoir Molasses Bread and Tea @ Museum of Nature on August 25, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Included with museum admission.
http://nature.ca/en/plan-your-visit/what-see-do/whats/tales-songs-arctic

Comment from Facebook: :I saw him today, he is quite a story teller and musician. An old timer you can listen to for hours.

SylvieBinette
Project Leader Education
Museum of Nature
Ottawa

Interview by Algonquin College's Journalism Dept

Interview by Algonquin College's Journalism Dept following my October 16 7:00pm-8:30pm. show at Ottawa's Centrepoint Library Branch: "What explains the long, warm relationship between Newfoundland and Portugal?"

The talk drew a large, lively and varried crowd of Fisheries Dept research types(COD), navy, sailors, and 'Irish Music Ottawa' players, many of whom had something to say during the discussion. As a wrap to the evening I performed some Portuguese/Creole tunes (mornas and coladeras) to the pleasure of all present.




CBC Radio Interview

Interview in St. John's NL (August 5/12): with Mack Furlong : CBC Radio : Weekend Arts Magazine.



CKCU Radio Interview

Upcoming interview with Ottawa's CKCU radio with Susan Johnston for her 7am-8am Friday Special Blend show.


From: Don Shorock (don@shorock.com)
Sent: Tue 9/01/09 4:27 PM
To: Newfie spook (newfie_spook@hotmail.com)

As you write, I'm in the process of posting over 1400 photos of this year's trip to Newfoundland. I have already posted 85 videos which will be worked into the photo album. I just took a moment and ordered all 3 of your CDs. Please let me know ASAP what the dates are for your Memorial on Parade. We usually buy our airline tickets in the winter and that locks in the dates we'll be there.

I host a music series here in Kansas. See http://bartonarts.org/backroom.html If your travels ever take you this way, consider putting in a bid to play here.





John P Christopher offers a textural account of life and work among the recently resettled Inuit people of Whale Cove, Hudson Bay 1962, where he was studying beluga whale population dynamics. He also gives a carefully balanced tale of life abroad a Norwegian/Canadian seal hunter the MV Theron, as is pursues its grim work among the ice floes off Labrador and Newfoundland.

“I enjoyed it and am flattered that you should send it to me for publication.”
Alexander Goldsmith
Editor, Geographical Magazine, Centurion Publications

“John Christopher reads and sings from his arctic memoir Molasses Bread and Tea.”
“Ten Great Things To Do In Toronto”

The North Toronto Post Magazine












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CURRENT EVENTS

2014
Upcoming Shows in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Tuesday, October 21st at 7pm : at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic : a talk and slide show on my time aboard the arctic research vessel and sealer MV Theron, made famous for taking the explorers V. Fuchs, E. Hillary to Antarctica for their first successful crossing of that continent via the south pole in 1957-1958.

Sunday, October 26th at 2pm : at above, for a concert of Newfoundland and Celtic music accompanied by maritime friends.

Friday, October 24th at 2 pm : at the Captain W. Spry branch of the Halifax Public Library, a repeat of the above concert.


Upcoming Show in Toronto

Thursday November 13th at 2pm to 3pm at the Orchard View Branch of the library : a concert of Newfoundland and Celtic music, accompanied by fiddler James Mackie



Past Shows

Newfoundland and Celtic music concert, March 27/K4 with ace Toronto fiddler James McKie at Toronto Public Library (Northern District).

April 5 (7pm-10pm) in Ottawa at National Museum of Nature, as part of the museum's "Edible Arctic Festival" (Café location), many mini music concerts allowing time for chit chats, discussions, and slide show, with ace Newfoundland fiddler and accordionist Greg T Brown

April 6 at the National Museum of Nature's, outdoor plaza, 1pm-2pm a concert of Newfoundland and Celtic Music.


2013

Recent Shows

A recent show has been held at Toronto Public Library (Northern District) -------------My arctic and upcoming ocean conservancy book discussions, November 28/13




Show: Orchard Park Branch of Toronto Public Library, November 28 2013, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

I'll be giving a show: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm November 28, 2013, at Orchard Park Branch of Toronto Public Library Topic: Maritime songs and a synopsis of my new book: What the Barrelman Sees" highlighting a 15 minute NFB doc on famous Portuguese fishing fleet "The White Ships " on the Grand Banks in the 1950s, a Newfoundland constant



Molasses Bread and Tea, my adventure memoir is now available as an e-book

Google: Molasses Bread and Tea ; in order to see the growing list of vendors where it's availabe: i.e. now it's on Kobo and Google


SUMMER-FALL 2012

Event at the Museum of Nature in Ottawa

My recent appearance, along with accompanist and fellow Newfoundlander, ACE fiddler/accordionist Greg T Brown, at the National Museum of Nature in Ottawa, may possibly to lead to a reprise with them in April as part of their Arctic themes programme.



Ottawa Centrepoint Library

At Ottawa's Centrepoint Library : 7:00pm -8:30pm Oct. 16/12. Call Library for details.



Event at the Museum of Nature in Ottawa

On August 25 1:30 pm -3:30 pm : I'll be giving a talk on my book "Molasses Bread and Tea", along with discussion and slide show on the period I lived and worked among the Inuit people of Whale Cove, Nunavut, and spent time aboard a Norwegian seal hunter off Labrador in 1961-1964; during which time I was collecting material for population studies on Beluga (White) whales and Harp seals for the Fisheries Research Board of Canada (Arctic Unit) now defunct.

Following the discussion there'll be a concert of Newfoundland and Celtic-flavoured folk music in which I'll be accompanied by a top Ottawa fiddler.



Brimstone Head Folk Festival

August 10-August 12 : I'll be making an appearance or two at the wonderful Brimestone Head Folk Festival on FOGO Island Newfoundland.



Centrepoint location of Ottawa Public Library

October 16 7:00 pm-8:30 pm, I'll be back in Ottawa again for a show at the Centrepoint location for the Ottawa Public Library on the topic: "What's the connection between Newfoundland, Portugal and the Basques peoples?" A historic perspective of both the Grand Banks cod fishery by Portugal's White Fleet and whaling in general in Newfoundland Labrador from the Basques in the 1500s to the 1970s when it was outlawed in Canada.

A music component of folk songs from Newfoundland, the UK and the Capo Verde Islas in Portuguse-Creole will also be presented.


FEBRUARY 2012

John Showman
, the award-winning fiddler and I will be giving another concert of Newfoundland, Irish, Apalacian and other miscelaneous tunes for the Toronto Public Library.

Thursday, February 9th 2012, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm, at the Northern District Branch on Orchard View (Yonge and Eglinton)

I'll will be performing at the Gate 403 on Ronsallesvalles Ave. in Toronto OCT 29/11 2011, from 5pm-8pm, as the special guest of Bill Heffernan's regular Saturday folk music sessions . You can expect a lot of NFLD flavoured music on the first set ( original and trad) , and a wide ranging second set comprising of some portuguese/creole Cabo Verde folk songs, some classic country tunes ( original and trad), a couple of gospel/bluegrass things and even a show tune or two.

I'll be joined at the Gate for this show by the ace fiddler John Showman and the percussionist Ramon Tome both of NEW COUNTRY REHAB, who'll be sure to add their own unique special flavours to this brew.



During the summer I gave some shows at a number of maritime museums in NFLD and NS, an activity I'll be continuing in museums in Ottawa, Vancouver, and possibly Toronto during the coming year..


Stay tuned!



Toronto Shows - June 2011

I gave two shows at Toronto Public Libraries during June /11

1) Accompanied by the ace fiddler John Showman, gave a show on June 2/11, anchored by NFLD-style musuc but also included other musical influnces like latin and new bluegrass.

2) Accompanied by the well-known accordionist Denis Keldie, gave a show on June 9/11 of portuguese-creole (Cape Verde mornas and coladeras) and NFLD-style music with participation of local portuguese fadistas.


SUMMER 2011

East Coast Upcoming Events

I'll be giving a talk and a music concert at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic (Halifax, N.S.) August 21 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm.

A similar show upcoming at The Rooms (provincial museum) in St John's, NFLD, at a later date.



Toronto Shows - June 2011

I gave two shows at Toronto Public Libraries during June /11

1) Accompanied by the ace fiddler John Showman, gave a show on June 2/11, anchored by NFLD-style musuc but also included other musical influnces like latin and new bluegrass.

2) Accompanied by the well-known accordionist Denis Keldie, gave a show on June 9/11 of portuguese-creole (Cape Verde mornas and coladeras) and NFLD-style music with participation of local portuguese fadistas.


Toronto Events

APRIL 06/10

Book reading from NL and arctic memoir 'Molasses Bread and Tea' with accompanying slide show for Toronto Public Library. Gladstone/Bloor Branch ( corner of Bloor and Gladstone Streets): 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Call 416-393-7674 to confirm date

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MAY 05/10

Concert of international folk music with fiddler John Showman for Toronto Public Library. Gladstone/Bloor Branch: 2:00 PM -3:00 PM

Call 416-393-7674 to confirm date


UPCOMING SATURDAY SHOWS AT THE GATE 403 (403 Ronsesvalles, Toronto)

SATURDAYS :5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

JULY 10/10; AUGUST 07/10; SEPTEMBER 04/10


OUT- OF -TOWN SHOWS

20TH HANK SNOW TRIBUTE WEEKEND

AUGUST 19-22/10 SOUNDS LIKE HANK CONTEST
LIVERPOOL NOVA SCOTIA

---------------------------------------------------------

MEMORIAL UNIVERSITY HOMECOMING WEEKEND

AUGUST 26-29/2010 ST JOHN'S NL
MEMORIAL ON PARADE FESTIVITIES
MEMORIAL MELODY MAKERS: vintage dance band:circa 1953-1956


The Rock Island Café

Summer 2009

While in Halifax this summer I made a few appearances at the new restaurant/bar The Rock Island Café, a Bermudian owned Restaurant/Bar with nigtly entertainment, on Quinpool Rd. The food is excellent here and the music often can be too, especially late in the evening.


Toronto Library

June 4/09

I gave a final Toronto Library show for the season with a reading from my book and a concert from my most recent music CD.

I will give anorther concert or two there with John Showman and Andrew Collins of the Creaking Tree String Quartet next year.


Brimestone Head Folk Festival.

August 14 to 16 2009

Later this summer I'll be appearing at Newfoundland's most authentic folk music festival: August 14 --- August 16, on Fogo Island in the town of Fogo. i.e.......the Brimestone Head Folk Festival.

All the acts performing here are from Newfoundand and Ireland.


The Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles, Toronto ON

May 10th, 2009, 9:00 PM - 12:00 PM

JC will be performing with his his jazz band at the Gate 403 again on Sunday May 10/09 for an evening show 9:00 PM - 12:00 PM.



Latest News

March 2009

John Showman and I played a gig of ' International Folk Songs' for the Toronto Public Library again,on March 12/09, which was very well attended and received.

My CD " Having a Time" with J S has produced enquires and invitations from clubs and folk festivals from B.C. to Newfoundland, as well as receiving AM 740 airplay in Toronto on their Radio Erin programme. I will be posting here my summer festival performances in Newfoundland shortly.


The Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles, Toronto ON

March 29, 2009

My band and I will deliver a cool mix of musical styles from Newfoundland traditional to american standards during Sunday Brunch 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM at the Gate 403 in Toronto on March 29, 2009. Looking forward to seeing lots of the Saturday regular crowd again in attendance. www.thegate403.com.


The Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles, Toronto ON

January 17th, 2009, 5:00 PM - 8.00 PM

I've been invited back to give another show at "the Gate".
It will be the matineee show Saturday, January 17th, 5:00 PM - 8.00 PM
I'll be backed by the same exciting 4 piece band as last time in March/08.
The food there is great, the staff friendly as are all the band members.
Hope to see you there. www.thegate403.com.


FREE concert

November 20, 2008, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

I will give a FREE concert of Newfoundland Folk Songs at the Toronto Public Library, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM, Thursday, November 20th. 40 Orchard Park Branch, Eglinton/Yonge area.

I'll be accompanied by the fiddle ace JOHN SHOWMAN ( Creaking Tree String Quartet, Foggy Hog Town Boys) for this gig.


More free shows

March 12th, 2009, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

There'll be another FREE music show with broader repetoire and backing band given in March, on the 12th. Toronto Public Library, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM. 40 Orchard Park Branch, Eglinton/Yonge area.


Book reading

June 4th, 2009

I'll give a power point slide show and book reading at the Toronto Public Library, 40 Orchard Park Branch, Eglinton/Yonge area. June 4th......theme will centre around living among and working with Inuit whale hunters 1961-1963.


Guest Appearances / Wheel Club

May 12 and May 19, 2008

I made two guest appearances at the Wheel Club in Montreal May 12 and May 19 and had copies of the new "Gate" CD taken aboard for air play by the folk and the country presenters at CKUT McGill Radio.....with an expectant interview to come with the folk programme presenter.


Book Talk / Maria A. Shchuka Public Library

Saturday, April 18, 2008 at 2:00 PM

1745 Eglinton Ave. W, Toronto, ON
I'll be giving a talk on my book Molasses Bread and Tea with accompanying power point slides, at the Maria A. Shchuka Public Library ( tel:416 394 1000) at 1745 Eglinton Ave. W, Toronto, Saturday, April 18, 2008 at 2:00 PM . This show is for middle schoolers,and perhaps some higher grades . It is presented as part of their Earth Day awareness programme.

Seeing that it's Springtime I hope to bring along a small trad/roots band to give a short concert as well.

I'm expecting to give other similar presentations at the North York Central and Northern District public libraries in April or May as well. Stay tuned for dates and times. These school presentations have led to an interest being shown in the book by Scholastic Canada (Publishing and Distribution) Co.



Gate 403 / Tourch and Twang show

Saturday 5.00 pm - 8.00 pm, March 29, 2008

403 Roncesvalles St. Toronto, ON
I will be giving a Tourch and Twang show with a fully plugged -in backing band, at the Restaurant Bar Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles St. Toronto, on Saturday 5.00 pm - 8.00 pm, March 29, 2008. Call : 416 588 2930 or 416 932 1698 for info.

I may be making a live, on site recording of this show. We expect a large turnout so come early. NO Cover



'Word On The Street' Book Festival/Fair

Sunday, September 30th 2007. 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Queen's Park, Toronto, ON
I will be present again this year at Toronto's 'Word On The Street' book festival/ fair to be held in Queen's Park on Sunday, September 30 2007. 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Let's hope we don't get rained on again this year as was the case last year.

You'll find me in 'The Fringe' section of the fair grounds where I'll be manning a table with my festival colleague from last year Mary Keenan, whose popular book is another reason for you to come by.



Book Reading, North York Central Library

June 21, 2007, 2:00 PM

Yonge Street, Toronto, ON
More stories and songs from my book/memoir "Molasses Bread and Tea" are on the bill.



The Wheel Club, Montreal

May 11, 9:00 PM, 2007

Cavendish Blvd. Montreal, PQ
I had a guest feature gig at The Wheel Club's OLD TIME COUNTRY CLUB of CANADA in Montreal May 10/07 which was greeted with a huge and warm response from the almost full house. They say it seats 150 now. I invited some surprise guests in the crowd who originally performed with the Montreal group " The Mountain City Four" to join me on stage for a 4 part singing of the iconic tune "Amelia Earhart", during a set of gospel and country tunes. Great respones all round.



The Word On The Street : Book Fair

September 24th 11.00 am- 6.00pm

Queen's Park, Toronto ON
Visit my booth at the Writer's Block



There will be a launch of the new edition of my book/memoir 'Molasses Bread and Tea'

August 7th Monday, the Arts Centre, 4:00 PM - 6:00 P
in Annapolis Royal NS , its Natal Day
2nd Floor, 2:00 pm


There'll be a photo show, stories and readings from the book as well as a concert of songs, some from the book and an eclectic mix of other material from latin to roots. Surprise guests may show.


Trellis Cafe, Hubbards, NS

July 28th 7:30-10:30 pm

Three hours of music: folk,roots and latin


Lunenburg Fisherman's Museum NS

July 23rd 7:00 pm

A show of photographs, readings and songs


Songs with Newfoundland Roots ORCHARDVIEWERS

An entertaining afternoon with John Christopher, Newfoundland-born author and songwriter. The music will feature original and traditional songs inspired by Newfoundland outport life and the sea. An occasional Appalachian or Mexican folk song will also be included. Accompanied by instrumentalists.

January 20th, 2005
2nd Floor, 2:00 pm


Northern District Library
40 Orchard View Blvd.
Toronto, Ontario M4R 1B9
Tel: (416) 393-7610

Free Admission



North T.O. Happenings Artic Memoirs and a Victorian Christmas top the local list.

December 2: The Northern District Library presents Artic Memoirs with John Christopher, a retired marine biologist, talking about the Artic in the '60s. The free presentation begins at 2 p.m. For more information, call the library at 416-393-7610.

December 2nd, 2004
2nd Floor, 2:00 pm


Northern District Library
40 Orchard View Blvd.
Toronto, Ontario M4R 1B9
Tel: (416) 393-7610

Free Admission



Future shows are scheduled for

Vancouver at the Main (downtown) Library, opposite the CBC building
March 22nd, 2005
7:00 pm

Toronto at the Toronto Reference Library in April 2005

Ottawa at the Centrepoint Library in May 2005

Montreal at the Westmount Library in May 2005



Upcoming Toronto shows of book readings/slides/songs at:

Toronto Memorial Cummunity Centre
200 Eglinton Ave. West
November 9th/05 @ 1:00 PM

Central Eglinton Community Centre
160 Eglinton Ave. East
December 6th/05 @ 1:30 PM

Deer Park Library
St Clair Ave at Yonge St
January 17th/06 @ 2:00 PM


Dates to be announced later...
 


===================================

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CONTACT

Contact John Christopher at

801 Mount Pleasant, Apt. 414
Toronto
M4P 2Z4

Phone: (416) 932-1698

E-mail:

mv.theron@gmail.com

john_roams@yahoo.com  









> Back to TOPCopyright © 2005 - 2016 John Christopher. All rights reserved.




> Back to TOPCopyright © 2005 - 2016 John Christopher. All rights reserved.


Book Excerpt Continued

So it happened that the Captain, the steward, and I, began to prepare ourselves and the patient, for what lay ahead. The steward, who up to then had attended to us in only an ordinary, if efficient way, began suddenly to transform himself into a saviour. As we were discussing the task that lay ahead, he revealed to us that he had been a medic in the Norwegian resistance during the second world war, and had all kinds of experience in dealing with medical emergencies and was very familiar with operating room procedures. Because he, therefore, showed not the least bit of anxiety about what lay ahead, his attitude quickly brought about a marked reduction in my own level of anxiety. Indeed, I now began to feel that the patient might even survive what we were about to do to him. Things got even better, as the steward continued to build up my confidence in his abilities, with more and more reassuring tales of his wartime successes in the operating theatre: he had dealt with bullet, bayonet and shrapnel wounds, and had afterwards sutured up incisions and/or the wound damage caused by these agents. The only thing I had to do was to make the incision, or if I preferred, to show him where to made the incision, and he would be happy to do it. So we settled on the latter arrangement, which suited me just fine.

From the surgical text-book available, I soon located the position on the lower abdomen called MacBimey's Point, where the incision was to be made in order to get at the appendix, which would lie immediately below, if everything was normal, anatomically, in our patient. So between the two of us, we decided that we could remove the appendix successfully. Meanwhile, Maru would stand by and oversee everything. Although Maru had seemed more than a little anxious and apprehensive about the outcome earlier on, by now, the steward's marvellous reports had relieved him of all doubts. However, it was entirely true, that we hadn't very much of a idea about what we were about to do, or how we would go about doing it. Maru suggested we all have a stiff drink or two at this stage, to celebrate our good luck in having the steward with us, and also, probably, to fortify ourselves a bit. We all thought this was a very good idea at any rate.

The galley table was selected to be the site of the operation, which soon brought the cook into the picture. He seemed to want to get involved in the action, but Maru blocked every move he made, to get himself included on to the operating room team. He would let him serve as an attendant in some way though, if he so desired. We now began to make our patient ready for the operation. He remained as good-natured and confident about the outcome as ever. This blind faith of his, increased our own self-confidence, which by now was already getting a little out of hand, due to the stiff drinks of Lamb's rum that Maru had poured out for us. And then it happened.


> Back to TOPCopyright © 2005 - 2016 John Christopher. All rights reserved.
All website content under sole ownership of John Christopher


VIDEOS

videos from
Newfoundland/Portuguese-Creole folk music concert - Part One
Newfoundland/Portuguese-Creole folk music concert - Part Two
Newfoundland/Portuguese-Creole folk music concert - Part Three

PHOTOS

photos by Karen Burns
 

> Back to TOPCopyright © 2005 - 2016 John Christopher. All rights reserved.
All website content under









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