• Brian Gallagher

Fiddling on the roof


Artist Leo Schimanszky's works are on display at Le Chenail Cultural Centre in Hawkesbury.

Random things you take for granted no. 247:

How many times have I driven by someone’s house in the summer and seen a bunch of guys up on the roof in the blaring searing mid-July sun toiling away and thought, “That looks tough – man I am sure glad that I don’t do that job.” Well, I guess I kind of spoke too soon.

I made calls and reached out to a few of the local roofing companies in the area earlier this season to get a quote for re-shingling and re-guttering our garage roof. Silence. Crickets. Seems that it is too small a job for these professionals to even respond to or come look at. Okay, I don’t take it personally, I get that it’s too little coin to bother with when there are big dollars to be made this year. I’ll just do it myself. How hard can it be? I’ve seen it done many times as I cruise by in my air-conditioned motor car (“Once more around the park Bitterman, you know how I love the park…”).

Wrong. So, so wrong. As my body seems to correctly remind me but my mind constantly forgets, I am not 20 anymore. Don’t even remember who that good looking young whippersnapper was. 30? Nope, that’s come and gone as fast as a tequila shot on spring break in Cabo. 40? Sped by me like Ricky Bobby driving Talladega (“boogity, boogity, boogity, let’s go racing boys!”). So why as I close in on the 60 mark do I decide that it would be a good idea to get up on a roof with tools and get to work when the thermometer reaches into the 40s?

So I ask myself… was it my Scottish penny-pinching roots telling me I could save so many shillings by being that DIY guy I always wanted to be? Was it just my foolish pride dressed up as the devil sitting on my shoulder patting me on the back whispering, “You are young and strong like bull (but smart like streetcar) - you can do it!”? Look, I never said I was smart beautiful people. If you are a constant reader of my little corner of The Journal you would just inherently know that smartness is not one of my bestest assets (I think grammar probably is but there are those who might disagree). Thankfully with the help (and I mean lots of help, guidance, expertise, and strength) of our good friend Ian Challice, this Herculean task has gone much smoother than expected and is getting done properly. Seriously, I would have just wrapped the damn building in duct tape and called it a day.

So as I type this week’s edition whilst lying down on the cool basement floor to bring my body temperature down with a glass of Pedialyte in one hand and the sticky tarry remnants of a roofing shingle stuck to the other, I try to remind myself that ‘age is just a number’ – my body, once again correctly so, begs to differ. It now has me clocked in to have 176 years on the ol’ body odometer and in dire need of an overhaul.

Good news! There are music concerts popping up here and there slowly outdoors and here are two shows this Sunday that will be held in picturesque waterfront settings:

Hudson’s Greenwood Centre for Living History is continuing its ‘Music in the gardens’ series again this Sunday, July 26 from 2 to 4 p.m. This week’s featured artist is Jeffrey Waters. Tickets are $10 each and you can reserve or get more details by calling Greenwood at (450) 458-5396.

The Pointe-du-Moulin Historical Park in Notre Dame de l’Île Perrot wants to liven up your picnics during ‘Rustic Sundays’ this summer. On the menu is a tasting of local beers and musical performances offerred by artists from the region, all in a natural and enchanting setting! These events take place entirely outside, allowing visitors to easily follow social distancing rules. Artisans selling the local products will wear masks and clean tables after every use. If you have never been to this beautiful park on the water where the Ottawa River meets the St. Lawrence, this is another reason to discover it. This Sunday, July 26 the music performer is yours truly from 1 to 3 p.m. More information on the park and on the Sunday line-up for the summer can be found at:


Both shows will be rescheduled in case of rain.

From June 20 until August 30 The Centre Culturel Le Chenail in Hawkesbury, Ontario is hosting the exhibit RECYCL’ART featuring works created from regenerated materials giving them a new artistic life. The exhibit features many artists from the region including Daniel Gauthier and Leo Schimanszky. Tickets are available in advance or at the door. Contact them at (613) 632-9555 or via their web site www.lechenail1975.com

Stay well beautiful people, enjoy the sunshine and warm weather. And always remember we are still sharing our airspace with that nasty ol’ Covid-19 so please… summer responsibly. Keep your peepers peeped on The Journal each Thursday and online (www.yourlocaljournal.ca) for all the news of events starting to slowly pop up here and there in and around the Vaudreuil-Soulanges area.