The Idlers’ Guide to Summer


Illustration by Jacob Rolfe

We sent an e-mail to the Idlers asking them to send us their suggestions for what to do this summer. Here’s what they sent.

Chris Harnett (tenor sax)
Ways to idle: Write a song in Bannerman Park. Swim and camp at La Manche. Catch a show, theatrical, musical… anything with real people. Ride a bike around town and leave your car at home (definitely not idling). Go for a run through any of the city’s trails. Hike to Cripple Cove. Spend time on a deck. In the sun. Play a major reggae festival in Montreal. Plant something: food, a tree, anything. Go to the farmers’ market.

Aneirin Thomas (bass)
Ways to idle: Sipping cool, lime-filled G&Ts under a hot sun while playing phat reggae for The People.  Places to go: Why the East Coast Trail? Pick a point, and go, go, go. You just can’t beat the black fly-filled boggy forest trails, especially when you find a pond to splash around in. Events: I am enough of an event, so I can’t attend any others.

“You know it is summer in NL when the black flies are as thick as the fog!”

Craig Millet (guitar & vocals)
Ways to idle: Finding ways to drink in public… and bocce. Best event: Sound Symposium.

“You know it’s summer in Newfoundland when Curtis comes back from wherever….”

Susan Evoy (alto sax)

Ways to idle: Pick up games of soccer in the park, frisbee, hiking, swimming in ponds, and eating ice cream. Places to go: Northern Bay Sands, 3 Pond Barren, and dives around the bay. Events: 24 Hour Art Marathon, The Regatta, Paula’s Canadian birthday party, any Discounts show, fires at Middlecove or Topsail beach.

“You know it’s summer in Newfoundland when Nanny takes off her nylons”

John Duff (trombone)
Ways to idle: Cabin parties. Spend endless hours on a deck with a beer. Spend endless hours on a bike, followed by beers on a deck. Make music outside! Places to go: Bergs, Sunshine Park, Cabins. Events: Sound Symposium, Folk Festival, and my annual birthday cabin party.

“You know it’s summer in NL when the Storm beers (especially Raspberry Wheat) just keep on comin’!”

Paul Schirelli Earle (guitar & vocals)
Ways to idle: Singing God Save the Queen to John Crosbie at the Government House and holding up traffic at 4:30 at both entrances to the Confederation Building. Places to go: Driving down the shore between Carbonear and Northern Bay Sands. Swimming in the little water fall or brook then running into the bitter cold ocean, then going for some Hogan’s fries. Events: Sound Symposium, folk festivals all over the island, and crashing the Signal Hill Tattoo dressed as peasants with pitch forks and sticks with nails. Run, pimpled faced red coat, run!!!

“You know its summer in Newfoundland when Pahl goes blueberry picking, eats more than he picks and needs to resort to using his sock to get a good clean wipe.”

Mark Wilson (vocals & trumpet)
Ways to idle: Lots and lots of ginger beer. Biking with a posse to Kent’s pond. Go to the farmers’ market. I’ll be cuttin’ some wood for the winter, and preserving the summer’s harvest too. I recommend a balance of diving into the warm summer waters and bringing the summer with you to the winter.

Lock yourself to the city hall bike rack. Make your own patio and grow your own food. Pick one vegetable that you like and grow it on your patio or in the backyard. Worship it like a money cow. Water it, feed it, grow the carrot or beet or artichoke or whatever as part of the family.         Buy a wine kit. Place a map of Newfoundland and a picture of Tony-Marie Wiseman behind your mirror and stare at it every night before bed. Think of the colour orange while you stare. This will induce your dreamstate and allow you to see this island far in the future. (I learned this from Mr. Stirling from NTV.)

I recommend having sex outside in the city.

I like it when everybody goes to church and I can finally walk my dog in peace behind The Battery and stare at the ocean and the rocks.

Eat something different this summer. Eat a teaspoon of Newfoundland dirt.

If you wake up in the morning to the hottest, sunniest day of the summer, you’d better not go to work.

Curtis Andrews (percussion)
Newfoundland has a summer?!?!