Come leh we lime

June 26, 2007

This is a Caribbean phrase that I learned from Tony, Tony being a Canadian from Trinidad who takes charge of all our summer barbeques under the willow tree at the Rockcliffe Flying Club—the food he serves is unofficially known as Tony-burgers. Anyway, leh we lime simply means: let’s have a good time with our friends. Last Saturday Tony invited some Caribbean musicians to liven up the usual BBQ with a performance on steel pan drums and some calypso singing.

The previous Saturday we’d been at another barbeque where our German host had entertained us in his back garden with a performance on bagpipes.

And one more BBQ for the record: on Sunday six of us flew down to the triangle of overgrown runways at Gananoque airport, where a long-winged veteran, a Canso, is hangared and where skydiving takes place, but we didn’t do that, just watched. We were met at the airport by Bill and Mickie who drove us down the country roads to their cottage in 25 acres of lakeshore woodland, for an afternoon of sheer pleasure by the water. I had two swims in the lake, with shoals of little fish under my feet (no sign of a snapping turtle, fortunately) and dragon flies darting around at eye level. The grilled meat tasted delicious in that fresh air. As we ate in a leisurely manner, a hummingbird joined the party over our heads. We were eleven people (including four-month old Emma), three dogs and two budgies. The pet rats stayed indoors. There was a Pelican too, this being the name of the pedalboat Bill recently found abandoned in a swamp. He decided it was high time for its maiden voyage, so Chris was persuaded to change into his swimming trunks as a precautionary measure and join him at the pedals.

“This must be a children’s boat!” said Chris. “It’s much too small.”

The boat sank very low in the water with these two in the seats. “We ought to paint it yellow and call it a submarine!” Bill suggested. However, the Pelican did stay afloat, after a fashion, and by virtue of vigorous pedaling did advance a metre or two into the lake, where it seemed the only way to go was in circles. The excitement was too much for Bill’s dog, the Nova Scotian duck-tolling retriever, who leapt into the water, swam to the boat and climbed in too, shaking his wet coat enthusiastically all over Chris and Bill.

Laughter is so good for the digestion.


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