Welcome to friends of wine women and philosophy (wwp)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Day 6 to Day 8: Georgian Bay, Ontario

Sunday morning found us bidding farewell to Ann and Tony on Peninsula Lake, amazed we could get the trailer hitched up and out of their garden...and in the rain en plus! Took the scenic route to Parry Sound, and then headed North on the highway along Georgian Bay. The rain stopped around Grundy Lake Provincial Park just south of French River, so we stopped too...Setting up in a beautiful campsite with our own private sandy beach. Loons calling across the lake as the sun set...A glass of wine on the rock and a late night swim...Fabulous!

On Monday, we left Carmella to graze at Grundy Lake and took a drive in Ruby up to French River, where the Voyageurs portaged their canoes on the fur run. A great hike in to see the rapids...And a chance to take in an amazing assortment of vintage cars competing in a 9 day 2400 km (mile?) circuit called the 'Great Race' from Michigan...to Michigan! Then we headed to Killarney on Georgian Bay for an excellent fish and chip lunch on the Quay at Herb's (billed as the best fish and chips in the world and not far off the mark with that!) and swimming in the frigid waters of the bay, near the lighthouse...Beautiful red rocks and scenery that just takes your breath away. The group of 7 painted here, and everywhere you look you see scenes that look just like their paintings.

Up bright and early on Tuesday morning and heading for the Soo...Passed Sudbury, stopped in at Espanola for supplies, and then along the shores of Lake Huron until we reached Thessalon and realized we had no electric brakes working...Stay tuned for what happened next!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Inaugural roadshow salon evening in Peninsula Lake, Ontario

Our first salon yesterday evening was an amazing start to the roadshow. Thanks to Ann Moffat for setting it up and to Ann and Tony for welcoming us with such warmth and hospitality for 2 nights at their beautiful cottage on Peninsula Lake; to Nancy for hosting the evening at the stately Portage Inn which is definitely worth a visit; and to Susan for the beautiful food.

After a brief introduction to each other and to the history, vision and ongoing activities of wine women and philosophy, we turned to the topic of the evening: The Invisible Matron. Our unifying theme, courtesy of Gloria Steinem, was that women grow more radical with age. Zeroing in on 2 working concepts - the Female Voice (Carol Gilligan) and the Monster/Beauty Paradigm (Joanna Frueh) - we drew on participants' revelations about their lived experiences as midlife women to both connect our topic and theme, and to elaborate an understanding of what it means to negotiate a place for yourself in a world that has traditionally silenced and erased you.

The group started out by discussing what the term 'matron' connoted for them, and how the term 'invisible' qualified and shaped their sense of what it meant to be matronly. Focusing in on the respective benefits and drawbacks of being pigeon-holed by either of these terms, we explored the possible freedoms that might lie in being less the objects of society's gaze and more the subjects of our own lives and self-construction.

Reflecting on whether we considered our mothers to be invisible matrons, and equally how we saw ourselves at various ages in relation to this trope, we experimented with standpoint and voice through a series of small group exercises.

A lengthy discussion was spurred by this initial foray into the various voices (and selves) that 'speak us' throughout our lives. Turning to matters of a corporeal kind, we introduced our second concept of the evening - the monster/beauty paradigm - and worked the idea of midlife women challenging classic conceptions of feminine beauty through transforming their bodies into sites of risk, aberration and pleasure.

If this conversation provoked a good deal of pleasure in itself, it equally had its moments of serious introspection. We were touched by the honesty and openness of the women who brought their stories of courage and fortitude to the collective table, just as we were inspired by the depth of insight that they had when it came to transforming these anecdotal accounts into a living and breathing philosophy that had relevance to their lives.

The formal part of the evening concluded with an exercise in listening and seeing that turned these accumulated insights over the course of our session together into collective poetry. The results of this experiment in writing in the 'wild zone' of midlife female existence were refreshing, funny, and...well...nothing short of liberating!

During the round-up of this evening of tasty wine, wise women and adventurous philosophy we asked Jan, Susan, Ann, Shirley, Gaye, Barbara, Nancy, Jacqui, Vicky, Carole and Gill to grace us with the sound of their own voices. It is important to us as we make our way across Canada that we carry with us the voices of those women we encounter, so that they live on in the spirit of the roadshow, as well as give us something special to share with other women and to build upon our women-driven pedagogy.

Thank you to all of you who took the time to leave your voice card with us. Here are some of the sentiments shared by those women who participated in this highly stimulating and thoroughly enjoyable salon evening at Peninsula Lake...Again, (great) photos to follow once we get our technology up and running!

"I realized that at 68 I am happy where I am and very happy that I can continue to change...I felt my strength increasing tonight." Shirley

"Being with you tonight was a freeing experience. It was joyful and fun. Thank you." Barbara

"Strength and freedom, freedom and maturity, a very warm open evening with great exchange." Jacqui

"Just know ladies we are not alone." Jan

"The community of women, the joy of connecting through shared experiences...always uplifts my soul." Vicky

"A wonderful memorable evening for all us gals...an inspiration for us invisible but invincible women!" Susan

"You have given me back my voice...this evening helped me to think and to realize that I am still me and can still have a voice!" Carole

"I very much enjoyed participating in this very fun process with all these lovely women." Nancy

"A chance to voice my wisdom...the voice connects my body and my personality and brings to life a message." Gill

"Life is so wonderful and thank you for being an important part of it." Ann

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day 3: Algonquin Park

Getting to grips with the caravan life. Just the hot water system and 'dumping' still to master. It was so hot yesterday that we had to resort to the air conditioner for the first time. Midge would disapprove but, Ohhhhh...the joys of the new! We even put together an outside office to work in...away from the bugs.

On our way to Algonquin we stopped off in Barry's Bay. We visited Grumblin' Grannies store as suggested by wwp member Wendy. While there we also spoke to Debbie at the Bay Cafe about doing a salon there next summer. Over supper (we had Marianne's Tiropitas...wow!) we decided that as we travel, we'll scout out places we think would be good locations for putting on salons next summer.

When we arrived in Algonquin we got into our site at the Pog Lake campground...eventually! Let's just say that we got plenty of practice backing the caravan into this space! It was worth it, however, this being one of the best camp sites either of us have ever stayed at. Idyllic...sandy beaches and loons calling across the lake...clear, velvety water which makes for great swimming. To keep us from becoming armchair travelers we went on a 14 km bike ride along the old railway train line...very,very beautiful.

Pictures to follow...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Day 1 (June 19th) Maiden Voyage Completed

ETD 7am actual time of departure 10am. Last minute problems with hitch overcome. First stop...Tim Hortons for breakfast, courtesy of wwp member, Carolyn. Carmella (caravan) fully loaded and handling well on the highway. At the end of day 1 we have 320 km under our belts!

First overnight stop Covered Bridge campground on Round Lake near Killaloe on route 60 heading for Algonquin Park. Experiencing RV life for the first time...very interesting. We are open to ideas as to what would be a good theme for our daily blog. Contact us through our website if you have any thoughts.

After an early morning swim in the lake, we are spending the day preparing for the salon on Saturday where we revisit 'The Invisible Matron' with a group of women from Peninsula Lake.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Sun Shines Brightly on Roadshow Send Off...

It was a beautiful day on Sunday when Philosophy Club members who had participated in our "Rebel with a Cause" series reconvened after a month's hiatus to celebrate the next venture for wine women and philosophy - the wwp roadshow.

We kicked the day off with a tour of the roadshow caravan (Carmella) and truck (Ruby).

Our roadshow byline is 'celebrating salon culture across the country'.

We popped a cork to celebrate the moment.
Sonia is the next one to travel...she found the champagne cork!

We then had a toast. At wine women and philosophy we believe that 'adventure is worthwhile'...As everything we do with wwp is an adventure - from weekend getaways at the Nurtury to Montreal-based salon evenings, from Philosophy Summer Camp for Women to making music with the wwp band and choir - it seemed fitting to raise our glasses to that spirit within all of us that takes chances, opens doors, and turns everyday encounters into extraordinary occasions.

Needless to say - and in true wine women and philosophy fashion - the wine and the food, the great conversation and the enlivening philosophy - flowed throughout the day.

 A heartfelt thank you to our Philosophy Club members for a memorable day and a fabulous send off. We look forward to keeping you in touch with our trip through our weekly blog entries.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Roadshow Kicking Off Soon!

June has arrived, and we are getting close to heading out West with the Wine Women and Philosophy Roadshow. We've bought the caravan (she's a beauty!) and the truck has her roadshow banners plastered across her sides (as well as a brand new heavy-duty hitch attached to her rear end). Our first salon is taking place at Peninsula Lake near Huntsville - we pull up at the Portage Inn on Saturday, June 23rd!

Over the past few months a number of you have mentioned friends and relatives who might be interested in hosting a salon evening along the way. Now is the time to get them on board! Please send this link along to them - www.winewomenandphilosophy.com - so they can check out what co-hosting a wwp salon evening entails, and work out when we are going to be in their area. Encourage them to get in touch with us via the website and we can start planning from there.

We'd like to thank you all for your support of wine women and philosophy this past year, and we are looking forward to seeing you again upon our return. Wishing you all a good summer...Again, you can contact us while we are on the road via the website.