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Prince Edward Island, Canada
28th February 2004

As you'll know from my last entry tonight was the night for Nils' 50th Birthday Party or what they call a "Kitchen Party" in this neck of the woods and a fine one it was despite all the snow.

The sun did come out in the afternoon and here are a couple of shots to prove it...

and that is my car immediately above that I'll try and drive when the roads get a touch better :-)

And now for the pictures I took from Nils's Birthday Bash

I won't remember all the names but that's Nils Ling on the left.

As you can see I snuck myself into the picture with Kate Westphal, who owns the Graphic Detail Inc. business. She's quoted  as being about the most talented graphic artist on PEI. The picture on the right is the food, a most important part of any party :-)

I did also manage one game of 9 ball pool. Lost of course but it was fun!

Daughters of the family getting ready to play some music. I think it is Alison that has a CD out but I didn't get a web address where you can listen and buy it but if I do get it will add it later.

Guess which one of the three ladies is Cynthia Dunsford, Comedian, Writer and Actor... It's the pose that does it :-)

Nils with his daughter Allison and Gordon Belsher on the right on guitar. I must say that the fiddle music was excellent and Gordon on the guitar really complimented the playing.  He's also got a great singing voice and he even did a Scottish song "You'll take the High Road" just for me :-)

On the right is Mr and Mrs MacLeod with daughter Cynthia and her boyfriend.  I was mightily impressed with Cynthia's fiddle playing and the step dancing she does while she is playing.  I have never seen that before but if you get a chance to see her perform it's an absolute must see. She has a couple of full tracks of her music on her site that you can listen to and I understand she will have out a new CD around April.  Highly recommend you buy her CD as she's just great but if you can get to see her perform in person do go and you won't be dissapointed and you're feet won't stop tapping :-)  Her folks drove me home after the party which was most appreciated!

Lots of different music and all of it good stuff!. A great "Kitchen Party".

I had a truly wonderful evening of great conversation and fabulous music from Nils's daughters and friends and his wife looked after me very well indeed. The little dough balls stuffed with meat were truly excellent. A night to remember. Many thanks Nils for inviting me and just to prove he really was 50 here is a picture of his birthday cake :-)

And here is a wee review on some of the folk I met...

Nils Ling is a playright, author, syndicated newspaper columnist and broadcaster who lives with his wife, two children, a dog and two cats in a 150-year-old farm house in Brackley, Prince Edward Island. His wry looks at family life were a popular feature on CBC Radio shows across Canada for almost 20 years.

In 1997, Nils teamed with acclaimed Island songwriter Allan Rankin to write "Maritime Star". The musical had a very successful two-year run at the Harbour Front Jubilee Theatre in Summerside, PEI and launched Nils' career as a playwright.

In 1998, Nils wrote "The Truth About Daughters", which began its first professional run at the Jubilee Theatre that summer. Since then the show has toured extensively across Canada, into the United States and the United Kingdom.

His second one-man show, "The Truth About Love and/or Marriage", debuted onstage at the Imperial Theatre in Saint John, New Brunswick in January 2002 and had its first extended run at Theatre Organgeville, Ontario in April of that year.

While focusing most of his energies on touring with the two shows, Nils is also much sought after as an after-dinner speaker and corporate workshop leader. His syndicated humour column runs in weekly newspapers across Canada.

Nils was very kind and provided me with a signed copy of his book "truths and half truths" and also a CD with some video clips of his show which I'll put up when I get broadband access back. So many thanks for the invite Nils, you've got a great family, wonderful friends and I had a truly enjoyable time :-)

Visit his site at

Gordon Belsher has been entertaining audiences in Canada and around the world for more than a quarter of a century. From his teen years with a working rock and roll band, pounding out the latest Beatles tunes for dance crowds in Edmonton to wowing festival audiences in Europe and Japan as the veteran sideman for fiddle prodigy Richard Wood, Gordon Belsher has built a solid reputation as a versatile and talented musician and singer.

Through a musical career spanning 30 years, Gordon Belsher has also spellbound audiences on his own with a warm and enchanting mixture of folk and pop tunes. Whether playing before large festival crowds or in intimate folk club settings, Belsher's engaging personality, charming voice, and versatility on a variety of instruments are a recipe for a memorable evening.

Visit his site and purchase his music at

Cynthia Dunsford, comedian, writer and actor,  has been enjoying her latest comedy endeavor as the loveable, but opinionated, character Parkdale Doris on CBC Radio's Island Morning. Her weekly rants touch on everything from stunned politicians to the 10-man-to-a-pothole system', from the born-again apple doll that looks like she just left the lobster supper wearing the table cloths and napkins to the Solicitor General of Canada being awarded the Parkdale Doris Stunned Arse Stamp of Disapproval. Parkdale Doris has been a featured commentator on CBC NewsWorld and more recently the 'Backyard Watch' reporter during the 2003 PEI Provincial Elections. In between 'Parkdale' gigs, Cynthia performs her multi-character, one-woman comedy show at festivals, conferences and gatherings all over the Maritimes. Her beginnings in comedy stem from imitating cartoon characters and idolizing Rich Little and her obsession with making people laugh eventually led to being a co-founding member of the sketch comedy troupe The Drill Queens, a gaggle of girls who performed varied productions from 1996-2002. Her most memorable performances include appearances on CBC TVs The Halifax Comedy Festival, CBC Radios Madly Off in all Directions and Basic Black; The Charlottetown Festival, The Hubcap Comedy Festival and fringe festivals in Ontario and Quebec. Aside from the world of comedy, Cynthia has also enjoyed working on several film projects and theatrical productions, as well as commercials for radio and television. She is very addicted to the sports of cycling and squash and lives in Stratford, PEI with her husband Wayne and two semi-adults Ashley and Ian.

Listen to some of her shows and other material at

Cynthia MacLeod has been making waves in Atlantic Canada's Celtic music scene. Her music interests were sparked at the age of six when she began piano lessons. On her tenth birthday, Cynthia took her first fiddle lesson and continued to take group lessons for two years under the direction of Kathryn Dau Schmidt. At the age of fifteen, she began stepdancing with a few tips from her father.

Now 18 years old, Cynthia has made quite a name for herself. Since her first performance at Avonlea Village in Cavendish, PEI when she was 13 years old, she has performed for audiences big and small of all ages across PEI and throughout the rest of Canada. Her growing career has been featured on Canadian Learning Television, based out of Edmonton, Alberta, and she has performed with the likes of Buddy MacMaster, Wayne Rostad, Slainte Mhath and Ashley MacIsaac, to name a few.

Her dynamic, high energy performances and sparkling stage presence, as well as her wildly popular debut CD "Head Over Heels", released in May 2002, have received rave reviews. In 2002, she topped several categories at the PEI Music Awards, walking away with 5 awards on her own merit plus 1 with her former band mates Fiddlers' Sons. In 2003, Cynthia retained two titles and captured a new one at the 2003 PEI Music Awards.

Her love for music is evident as Cynthia has been teaching fiddle and piano to students of all ages since she was thirteen. She currently has more than 20 private fiddle students.

Viait her site and purchase her CD at

I got a 20 second movie clip from my wee digital camera but it waa far too dark to use. I got a friend to lighten it up but in doing that it got quite grainy.  It's 5.8Mb but it does show what I mean about step dancing while sitting playing the fiddle.  If you'd like to see it click here!

Nils also gave a couple of clips from his shows and here is one video and one audio clip for you to listen to...

From the show "Daughters"
From his show "Daughters"

Audio clip from his show "Love and Marriage"

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