Sing me a Temple of Coincidence in Canada

25 01 2021

Repeat visitors will be aware that I often post entries to this humble blogscape when I’m struck by a pattern or coincidence. (Or a bus, perhaps).

Yesterday I was finishing off binge-watching Temple and feeling a mounting discomfort as the main character made more and more decisions of dubious moral foundation as he sought his ultimate goal.

Source: IMDB

In episode 7, Mark Strong’s character was about to perform surgery on a patient when I noted the background music was Joan Armatrading’s 1976 Love and Affection. (Who could not be moved by the opening line “I am not in love – but I’m open to persuasion”?)

YouTube: Joan Armatrading – Love & Affection

This immediately transported me back with a memory of watching her live at an intimate concert at some venue in Milton Keynes in the mid-80’s. Might even have been a gym if I recall correctly. Anyway, I instantly punched Joan into Spotify to add her copious catalogue to my randomised listening.

Today I got to listen to her album “Me, Myself, I”, the vinyl of which I suspect is still in my mother’s attic. One of the early up-beat tracks is called Ma-Me-O Beach.

An odd name, thinks I.

This being the 21st Century and Google being such an easy temptation, I thought I’d see if I could find out the back-story. Ms Armatrading might have been raised in the Midlands but she had slightly more exotic beginnings in St. Kitts, and I fancied this was perhaps some harkback of her early life. Some sun-baked paradise cove in the West Indies maybe.

I was gobsmacked then to discover that there really is a place called Ma-Me-O Beach… landlocked in the middle of Alberta! Its Wikipedia entry even mentions Joan Armatrading allegedly liking the name as she saw it on a road sign (maybe she was lost?!).

Source: Google Maps – Ma-Me-O Beach, Alberta

Wikipedia tells us it’s a summer village located on the southeast shore of Pigeon Lake, in Alberta, Canada. It is located approximately 100 km southwest of Edmonton. Note it’s just north of “Westerose” too. I guess it’s a “summer village” because Winter’s coming…

It seems Ma-Me-O derives from the Cree word for “pigeon”, omîmîw (ᐅᒦᒦᐤ).

So there you have it… binge-watching Temple to Joan Armatrading and back to Western Canada.


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2 responses

28 02 2021
Paul Godden

Canadian citizen, Brit’ Ex-Pat, and Joan Armatrading fan… how could I not love this post?

28 02 2021
Quieter Elephant

That’s kind (if not entirely rational) of you to say… 🙂

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