Dan Schaumann

Official site of avid traveller and singer/songwriter, Dan Schaumann. Debut album "A Thousand Days Beneath The Sun" out now on CD and iTunes.


The Ocean Of Wolves

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February 6th, 2016 Posted 11:37 pm

A few weeks ago as I was leaving the office I was stopped by a random guy who appeared to be waiting at the bottom of the stairs to our building. He asked me for directions to Thursday’s, a popular bar in downtown Montreal barely a minute’s walk away from where we were. The conversation that followed went like this:

“Yeah of course, I know Thursday’s. Just keep walking here along Crescent Street and it’s the second or third building on the other side of Maisonneuve, you can’t miss it”

“Merci beaucoup,” he exclaimed. “Hey I hear an accent there, are you from Britain?”

“No mate, I’m Australian.”

“Aaah Australian! Of course, I should have known. G’DAY MATE! How’s the kangaroos? Hey I love that sport you guys play in Australia, AFL?”

“Yep, Australian football, it’s pretty unique huh?”

“Yeah and I love how you guys do the Haka before each game!”

Before I had the chance to correct him on either the nationality or code of football, he bent over at the knees, punched his chest, grunted “Ka mate, ka mate!” and gave me his own personal interpretation of the famous Maori war cry right there on the Crescent Street sidewalk. I couldn’t believe how quickly our conversation had escalated!

He finished his Haka demonstration and went on to ask if I’d like to see a poem he wrote. He handed me a sheet of paper with a piece he’d penned called “The Ocean of Wolves”. And with that, he wished me a good night before heading off up the street – the total opposite direction to Thursday’s.

The Ocean Of Wolves

So, Alexandre B. A. Lebel of Montreal: if you ever happen to Google your own name and stumble upon this post, please know that I have your poem pinned up at my desk at work. It always makes me smile to glance over it and recall the brief but hilarious encounter we had on the street that evening. I hope you made it to Thursday’s eventually. Thanks for the laugh!


Posted in Reflections, Weird

General anaesthetic


November 15th, 2013 Posted 12:30 pm

Precisely an hour ago as I write this, I was laying unconscious in a Toronto clinic undergoing a medical procedure. For the first time ever, I’d been given general anaesthetic.


The closest I’d had so far to general anaesthetic was around 7 years ago when I was given a shot of morphine to ease some pain. I was taken aback at how it only took a matter of seconds to come to life, instilling me with a magical golden glow all over and instantly relieving me of all discomfort. The full effect lasted an hour, followed by another semi-blissful hour of the comedown.

Fast-forward to today and I found myself between the siderails of a hospital bed, complete with peripheral cannula in a vein in my hand awaiting the intravenous fluid. I was wheeled into the room where I spoke briefly with the the doctor & the anaesthetist and signed the form giving my consent to release the sedative into my bloodstream.

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The Chicago skyline on LSD

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October 21st, 2013 Posted 8:44 pm

I had a few hours to spare the other night in Chicago and took the opportunity to venture up North Michigan Avenue and check out the John Hancock Observatory. 94 floors above the famous Magnificent Mile, it’s a spectacular destination for anyone wanting a birds-eye view of Illinois’ most illustrious city.

I didn’t have a tripod to steady my camera for the long exposures required at such a time of day, so I decided to have some fun instead.

I present to you: the Chicago skyline on LSD.

Chicago Skyline On Drugs 01

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There’s a little bit of the Devil in (almost) everything you buy


January 16th, 2011 Posted 2:04 am

Before I get into the significance behind the title of this post, firstly I must explain an encounter I had with a customer at work about 18 months ago.

One of the joys of working in a customer contact environment is that you get to talk to some interesting, bizarre, and often downright crazy people. It’s a true eye-opener into how different people can be; one call might be from a pleasant old lady who tells you her life story, and the next caller might be a complete madman who yells and swears at you.

Probably the most perplexing, and to be quite honest, frightening, of all customers I’ve ever dealt with was a middle-aged woman I spoke to when I worked in London. She didn’t speak English very well, and she called with a complaint about an order that she’d just received. Our conversation went something like this:

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Mule, Neil, Rince and Sicker went for a Bath

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December 22nd, 2010 Posted 11:12 pm

I was chatting to my mate Sam at lunchtime today about the way we abbreviate people’s names, and it really left me thinking: why is it that we chop the last half off people’s names, and only ever shorten them to the first half?

For example: Samuel. Why do we call him Sam for short, but never Muel?
And my own name, Daniel. Why Dan, but never Niel?
Why Flo, and not Rence?
Why Jess, and not Sica?

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Posted in Blog, Weird

Skyscraper (Muffins Are Bad)

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April 2nd, 2010 Posted 3:55 pm

In August of last year I took a trip to Amsterdam for a long weekend:

I ate a muffin and I saw some pretty colours:

Then I floated back to my hostel room, laid my exploding head down on my fluffy white cloud, and wrote the following:

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Tales from Hypnagogia


February 21st, 2010 Posted 12:51 am

a term for the transitional state between wakefulness and sleep, characterized by dreamlike auditory, visual, or tactile sensations when half-awake.

Many years ago, I remember waking up one morning, checking the time on my phone, and being surprised to see six weird, random words on the screen which I must have written as a note while I was asleep: “I need to talk to Gentor.”

What on earth…? It made no sense at all. I didn’t know anyone or anything called Gentor and I certainly didn’t want to speak to him/her/it. Eventually I summoned a vague memory of hearing this sentence in my head as I was trying to fall asleep the previous night, and for whatever reason I obviously must have woken up and recorded the words onto my phone.

Over the following few weeks I did some research and found that this was caused by a phenomenon known as the hypnagogic state. This is the watery, dreamlike state of consciousness your mind turns to as you are in the process of falling asleep, but not quite fully asleep just yet. During this process you may experience the randomest of images, shapes, colours, sounds, sensastions, hallucinations, or seemingly in my case, words, filtering through into the half-conscious eye of your mind – not quite with the “fullness” experienced from an actual dream, but moreso in brief bursts, and often more lucid and memorable.

Anyway, recently I’ve noticed these hypnagogic words have been coming to me two or three times a week, so over the past two months I’ve written down every one that my mind has graced me with! I’ve literally been going to bed at night, closing my eyes, drifting off, and then all of a sudden out of nowhere I’ll be hit by this short, whacked-out, extremely random sentence or question that makes barely any sense at all, sometimes even including completely made-up words that have no meaning whatsoever. I wake up and write them down as soon as this happens – and now, for your enoyment, transcribed below is this unpredictable and peculiar insight into my subconscious night-time mentality:

I first had a chicken when I was twelve.

They get all desperate to find out.

You don’t want to suit me up to be a bear?

In the process of renewing and travelling, did you go travelling?

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Posted in Blog, Dreams, Weird