Introduction

In my 50s I finally got around to reading Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. There is a famous and pivotal scene near the beginning of the multi-thousand page novel where the narrator dips a Madeleine cake into his tea, and, from that taste, is transported back to his childhood in the fictional town of Combray, in France. No…

There is a Star

Written in 1988, this song is a love letter to Hornby Island. I was living in Vancouver, and would try to break away some time to be on the island. Hornby had an almost magical pull to it. This pull and feeling of it being magical is something I’ve come to realize that many visitors to the island also feel….

Your Day is Done

One summer, when I was eleven or twelve years old, I brought to Hornby Island the one-speed bike my brother, Rob, had handed down to me. It was pretty basic, and on the verge of still being a tad large for me, but I loved it. Starting in 1971 the roads on Hornby Island began to be paved. They started…

Albert J Savoie

In 1992, I called up the now-retired ferry captain, Albert Savoie, who was still living, along with his wife, Margaret, at his house at Phipps Point on Hornby Island. I asked if I could talk to him because I’d like to write a song about him, and about the early car ferry service to the island. On a blustery March…

Hand Troller

In 1965 my father, George, and his friend Richard Wyndham, rowed from Whaling Station Bay to Flora Islet, which is just off the tip of Helliwell Provincial Park on the east corner of Hornby Island. They went to investigate the remnants of the hand troller shacks that had been built and used a few decades before. From May to October,…

Shingle Spit

Shingle Spit is a place that has played prominently in my life. It’s always “been there,” and with that comes the assumption that it always was there, and always will be there. Time scales are funny. As humans, we have our own narrow perception of time, which can warp our sense of importance of what’s happening now. We can fool ourselves into thinking we are permanent because what’s around us in terms of geology seems so “forever.” But, it’s not.

Glow of Summer

The summers of my youth rolled by. Memories of this time are rich; I was free to go exploring the whole island by bike, to go sailing in our little sailboat, and to head off on long walks, often with my friend, Chris, or my cousin, Joe. The years from 10 to 19 years old were the 1970s. Music started playing…

Crackling Static

My dad owned a Heathkit radio, which was a small shortwave and regular radio in one. My friend, Chris, and I would take it out on the porch on clear summer evenings as our parents visited inside. We’d try to adjust the small antenna such that it would pick up faint AM signals from as far away as California. This…

Where I Belong

It was January, 1988. I travelled from Vancouver to stay at our family cabin on Hornby Island for about ten days. It was a mild, wet, west coast winter, which included some doozies of storms with spectacular wind and waves during the short days and long nights. I wrote this song during this stay as I sat at the kitchen…

Petrichor

Memories can be triggered very easily by scents. Petrichor is one such scent. Every time I smell it, I’m whisked back to childhood summers when I stayed at the cabins at Shingle Spit Resort. Clouds would build up over the Vancouver Island mountains, and roll in from across the strait from Qualicum, bringing with it a strong wind and often rain. It would usually occur on a hot summer afternoon after a long dry spell. The rain would release the scent.

Standard 8

In 1962 my dad, George McLachlan, bought a used Bolex 8mm movie camera. All of my family’s early home movies were shot using it. In this day and age of digital technology it’s hard to imagine how precious movie film was, and how careful one had to be when shooting, so as not to waste any. Because of this, the…

Ebb and Flow

Time, tides, movement. It’s all an inevitable part of existence living on an island. Like water being moved by the tide, the past and the present get a little mixed up and melded together. Those who have gone before have a reach into what would be their future, and we see the effects of it. “Time’s Arrow” is always going…