Casualties of Tractor-Yoga

We arrived in Toronto to delicious bowls of steaming seafood chowder, followed by a generous helping of raucous laughter, merriment and fun! This is what it is to stay with Nicola and Jack. We drank wine, ate cheese, swapped stories of kayaking adventures in the Canadian wilderness, and talked late into the night. It was the warmest and most wonderful welcome back to Toronto we could possibly imagine.

{note: the three wheely bags are not included in this shot}

{note: the three wheely bags are not included in this shot}

When we first set foot upon the train platform in Toronto, we noted that, with all our luggage, which included 3 large wheely bags, 2 guitars, 1 trumpet, 1 ukulele-banjo, and a one-fish-two-fish-red-fish-blue-fish lunch box, we had an impressively ample girth between us. More specifically, we shape-shifted from two human beings to two behemoths rampaging the streets of downtown Toronto. Wherever we went, a ‘Wide Toronto Sea’ of foot traffic parted at the stunning sight of Mad for Joy and our mighty load. Helpful people stopped us every few minutes to give us back some article of clothing I had unintentionally dropped behind us on the great pilgrimage from Union station to the Hertz rental car garage, two and a half very long blocks down the street from the station. {Note from Adam: Don’t ever believe the rental agent when they say that the rental car garage is ‘just around the corner.’}

Adam with turkey

Adam with turkey

After a glorious day at Nicola and Jack’s, we left for Muskoka and happily reunited with wonderful new friends from the last train tour, Barb and Vern, Sue, Wilf and Brenda, Rick and Jenny…and met many more. Here we shot Muskoka’s first ‘how to be active while on tour’ exercise video made to Paul Simon’s ‘Boy in the Bubble’, using reflective gear, live turkeys, two tractors and a dancing quail. (A big thank you to Wilf for the use of his farms birds and tractors, and all of his great ideas!)


A word of caution to anyone attempting such a video. While riding on the back of a moving tractor, I would suggest avoiding certain yoga positions. During the making of this video, I regrettably pulled my lower back out doing downward facing dog while balancing on the back of a moving tractor, something I suggest that all yoga instructors reading this consider warning against, especially those teaching in rural areas. But I don’t want to come down too hard on Tractor Yoga; it is possible that I made this injury worse by bench pressing a tiny kazoo shortly after.


We also got a nice variety of cute chipmunk shots and briefly considered adopting one as a companion on the long haul across Canada. In the end we decided against it. It didn’t seem fair to Erin, who had asked if she could share our cabin onboard the Montreal to Halifax line, to which we politely declined. We didn’t want to risk hurting poor Ernie’s feelings by rejecting her company while welcoming a chipmunk’s, even though Erin is just as cute, if not much cuter.

Concert on Kahshe Lake

Concert on Kahshe Lake

We moved from the film site of Wilf and Brenda’s front garden to Barb and Vern’s back garden, where we boarded Rick’s pontoon boat and played a ‘barge’ concert for the residents of Kahshe lake. While serenading people on their docks and in their gardens on the lakeside, we happened upon three unsuspecting kayakers who enjoyed our little concert so much they wanted us to come home with them and play at their house. They also wanted to buy our cd, although in all the excitement in our time with the turkeys, we completely forgot to bring any cd’s onboard with us…so we left a copy at the Summerland General Store for our new kayaking friends. Also, in all the excitement in our time with the turkeys, we completely forgot to get married. For those of you who were perhaps rooting for this, don’t worry, we’re making you a ‘live from Muskoka’ exercise video instead.

For the second time this year, we were deeply touched by the loving generosity of Barb and Vern, and all of their fantastic friends. Thank you.

On our way to play our District Lounge show in Guelph for the Wednesday evening Art Attack event, we swung by Burlington to visit Captain Nano’s pappy, and ended up playing a little garden concert for her mother, Victoria, and brother Tom, who were all over visiting as well. I was very happy to have a real, live Irishman correct my pronunciation of the work ‘Cork’, as in ‘County Cork’ in Ireland, the scene of our newly learned ballad ‘Johnny Jump Up’. (Apparently it’s pronounced K-aei-rkk).


After playing a dual show with the fabulous Matt Rennie of Mimsy and the World,on Thursday night in Etobicoke, and a fantastically fun house concert played with Vaughn Passmore on Friday night at Nicola and Jack’s place, we left Toronto with smiles on our faces and our hearts full of joy. A special thank you to Judy who made the fortuitous mistake of showing up for the house concert one week early. Had she not done this, we would not have discovered that she is a gifted chiropractor and healer. We would not have made an appointment to see her to get tandem adjustments on Friday morning. We would not have had all of this perfectly lined up immediately following the newly acquired tractor injury. After our session with her, I am pleased to say I could once again put on my own stockings, a tricky manouevre that the incident with the tractor (and perhaps kazoo) had rendered impossible.

We have much to do….on top of other work, we need to book more shows in the Maritimes, finalize booking a show in Ottawa, make more videos promoting our songs and keep building our song repertoire. So, naturally, we are focusing all our energies on making an exercise video promoting a well-known and loved Paul Simon tune. As we pass on the train from Toronto to Montreal, Adam is editing the video beside me as I write this.

Stay tuned…it’s coming soon to a Youtube channel near You!

Yours truly,


aaron bethune