Well, that didn’t work to a somewhat spectacular degree. That, of course, being my possibly sunstroke-induced idea to liveblog the Canada Day festivities by BlackBerry – in real time! Just like the big kids do! Unfortunately, the BlackBerry browser apparently has very strong objections to this whole notion of mobile posting, and promptly crashed out every time I attempted to update the post that I had cunningly left as a placeholder. As a result, I’m going to try posting each bulletin as a separate item, which I know is hugely annoying for anyone who wants to follow along, so I apologize to all three of you in advance. (No, OperaMini is not the answer.)
Now that we’ve gotten those unpleasantries out of the way, where am I? Well, funny you should ask — I’m not actually *on* the Hill, but across the street, jammed up against Langevin Block by a teeming horde of happy families, stealing the only bit of shade in sight. The show itself hasn’t begun yet, I don’t think – I can’t actually see the stage, so I’m going by the big screen and the crowd – but I think the Governor General’s arrival is imminent, which is what has to happen for things to get underway.
Ah yes, bagpipes. Definitely an encouraging sign. And cannons! Yes, I think the show is officially on.
Okay, how many cannon blasts are necessary to greet the GG? Who appears to be inspecting the guards – at least, that’s what it looks like from the teeny part of the screen that I can see from here. This is one of those displays that works better on television.
Come to think of it, that describes most of the official Canada Day programme, which is why it’s so hard to find locals willing to suffer through the crowds for a hugely inferior view of a show they could watch from the comfort of their own home, where there is far less chance that someone will accidentally whack your nose with their $2 bottle of water.
On the other hand, you’d miss the magical moment when a trio of drunken teenagers tries to start an impromptu singalong of O Canada, only to trail off mournfully as nobody joins in.
Also, the stage looks like a giant can of Molson Canadian, exploded and in backdrop form, which I initially thought was a horrible coincidence, but it turns out they’re a sponsor.
There go the Snowbirds! And here come the cheesy opening acts! Note: that does not include the Prime Minister, so no carping about media bias. At least, not right this second.
Schoolchildren singing sweetly. Well, I assume they’re schoolchildren: the woman in front of me has now blocked me completely, so I have no view of the stage at all. They could be specially trained wombats for all I know.
Hey, Josee Verner is here! Also, representatives from “our two national sports” (hockey and lacrosse). The girl standing in front of me is sceptical that hockey has actually been named a national sport.
Well, how about that? I appear to have vanquished WordPress, and am now able to publish updates, just like I’ve always dreamed. Unfortunately, that meant that I completely missed the PM’s address – which we already perused in exhaustive detail yesterday due to the mysterious revision – but it didn’t seem to thrill the crowd all that much.
Now there is a really entirely enjoyable Celtic band on stage, but unfortunately, it is being drowned out in my microquadrant due to a very loud man wearing a Canada Day foolscap, who is trying to herd his family through the crowd, despite the fact that nobody can move an inch. Maybe if he yells louder, or gesticulates with more menace, we will figure out how to bend the space/time continuum to allow him to pass.
You know, I think it may be time to head to Major’s Hill for the free chicken portion of the day. The other thing about Canada Day before dark that I’d blocked out was how it takes approximately seventeen times as long to get anywhere than it would even on a normally bustling day downtown. If I want to catch a glimpse of Stephane Dion staring philosophically at a grilled chicken sandwich, I’d best leave now, even though I’m only a block from the site.
I will start a new post for the Chickening, so check the main site for the link.